Isn’t it Queer?: How to Date Online in the Age of Tinder Queers

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In terms of Okcupid dates, my worst first date stories almost always take the cake, for the simple reason that I date A LOT. I’ve made it a point to take dating seriously, not just because I’d like to invite authentic, healthy connection into my life, but also because it’s like participating in a sociological study. At age 20, I was working in social-justice-arts-collectives, participating as an ally in WOC circles and applying for environmental non-profit jobs and managed to find myself on a first date with an ex-member of the Aryan Brotherhood. The things people leave out of their dating profiles are astounding. Despite my abject horror, my anthropologist heart found the whole fifteen minutes fascinating; he was livid because he had been kicked out of the monstrous gathering when they found out that he was an eighth Honduran. The universe has a brilliant talent for ironic humor. It was my first EVER Okcupid date and he said he was “cuddly,” so I was like, “sure! cuddles are dope.” After six minutes of him railing on “the gays,” “mouthy women,” and “chinks who were too lazy to learn English,” I spent the next nine minutes trying to execute a clean escape without losing any crucial limbs.

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Gf7Ze4}

Thank Gay Baby Jesus that since my incident with my bald, bigoted friend, my ability to screen people for dates has improved substantially, but I still maintain that the best approach to dating, online or otherwise, is with a wide-eyed sense of curiosity about people. Genuinely enjoying the process of dating, regardless of the outcome, allows me enough optimism to be open to the right people. Because the reality is, dating is a shit show, especially when you are looking for queer, pronoun savvy poly folks–but good people are out there. In my quest to build my poly army, I have found dozens of amazing queer identifying poly kinksters, but I know that to continue finding these people I have to play a numbers game. In a homophobic, heteronormative, sexist, racist culture, one has to approach dating with tenacity and a steel plated heart. With that said, I hear endless excuses for why my friends do not pursue dating. “It’s too much work having to read through all those profiles,”  “how am I supposed to find a person who isn’t going to be freaked out that I work at a dungeon,” “I don’t think there is anyone remotely not-racist on this fucking site,” “I’m queerer than the light of day but all I get is douchey comments about my ass from cis-straight men.”{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1DhWSU3}

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1DhWSU3}

Yeah. I hear ya. It’s not simple or easy by any means. It’s not untrue that the internet and local bar are abundant with fuck-heads but in order to surpass fuck-headery to genuine connection, you have to meet with a fuck-head or two. If you think about it statistically, if you are a trans, polyamorous, kinky, person of color and you’ve tried Okcupid or Tinder, that means other beautiful humans such as yourself have too and despite what you may think, there are so many others out there! It’s just a matter of putting yourself out there so you can find them.

I attribute my success in finding good people to several things: improving my screening process, going on excessive amounts of dates, having a brutally honest depiction of myself on my profile, and having a library of knowledge about people’s red flags and how to respond when you see those bad boys flying. Going on dates frequently isn’t about the way you look or how much money you have (although in Los Angeles I acknowledge fully that it’s a factor), if you are an authentic queer (poly/trans/kinky/poc/non-binary) human, you are inherently valuable to some other authentic queer (poly/trans/kinky/poc/non-binary) human, swiping daily will help you find that other authentic human. So send that first message!!! Grow some ovaries or kidneys or something and tell them what you like about them. Sending the first message is more important than eating a healthy breakfast…I guess…if you value your sex life before your health, which you shouldn’t, but I’ve become side-tracked. Anyway… queer dating and shit. I should also mention that freaking out about people not responding to your messages is extremely counter-productive. It’s not really your business why they didn’t respond to you. Maybe they just had their heart broken and your gorgeous fro-hawk reminds them of their ex, or they think your bro hat is stupid, or they think The Shining is a stupid favorite movie. Hold out for the people that see your profile and light up like a glow worm. The more profiles you read and the more messages you send, the more people you will find who respond in just that way. Also, it really helps to have good pictures of yourself. Blurry, grainy pictures–even if you’re literally on the eiffel tower–don’t sell yourself well. At the wrong angle, everyone has a double chin. MySpace the shit out of your Tinder and find your good angles. Tyra Banks actually has some decent advice on that but I can’t stand her, so you are welcome to check that out if you think you can handle it.

In terms of finding red flags, that really comes down to knowing what you are looking for, what kind of people you surround yourself with and why. If it is absolutely a deal breaker for you that a person is a smoker, don’t be afraid to put it in your profile. Why waste time on dates with people you know you won’t be able to tolerate? If you’re a fierce advocate for marginalized communities, ignore messages from people who don’t make any mention of their participation in community activism in their profile.{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1N2tLre}

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1N2tLre}

I have a friend at the dungeon who is KBR, or kinky beyond recognition, and she complained to me that she liked the woman she went on a date with, but she was,“so boring and vanilla.” At which point I asked her, “Did she mention being kinky in her profile? So why did you go on a date with her?” She confessed to fearing that she would never find a partner who not only liked her for who she was, but who had similar interests. So she felt she had to settle in order to find connection or sex.  I think at a certain point we all sell ourselves short because we are afraid that our people are not out there. I’m not suggesting that every one of your hook-ups has to be into the same meditation practices as you or that you can only fuck other vegans. You do you boo. But it is important to remember that your people are out there and they will love you for you who are, kinks and knots and bruises included. The more voraciously you pursue finding your people, the quicker you will. If my ungodly amount of awkward, joyful, inspiring, fear inducing and straight up weird dates has taught me anything, it’s that every single kind of human imaginable exists and they are all looking for love and intimacy.

A bit of healthy introspection goes a long way in these situations. What personality traits do you value in other people? What are your biggest pet peeves? If it absolutely destroys you when people mess up your pronouns, maybe it can be your rule not to message people that don’t mention having an understanding of gender identity in their profile. How do you show love and what kind of love-showing do you respond well to? Then put that shit up for review, tell people exactly who you are and what you are looking for and only respond to people that are looking for things that align with your values.

These things of course, all come with practice. Real talk: I use dating apps on my phone as a way to procrastinate from doing other things I really should be doing. It’s productive in a sick sort of way but it certainly guarantees a more interesting selection of humans to spend my time with. The amazing part of being the unique human that you’ve become, is that you learned everything you know by experience. If you want to cultivate a healthy sex life, jump in gender neutral genitals first. Online dating and/or picking up other humans with the hope of real conversation and possible connection at bars is absolutely a shit show, but if nothing else, it’ll give you great stories.

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

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Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and aims to lead by example through bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” -Audre Lorde

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

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MHM 15: Greetings from Austin!

Hey all! Guess where we are?? We’re enjoying our last morning in Austin, TX!

MHMBannerWe’re writing this a bit ahead of time to get you the Mash-Up on Monday, but we’re pretty sure the conference went awesome and we met some wonderful people! We’ll tell you a bit more about that next week.

For the time being we wanted to share some COM|PASSionate Consent Worksheets we made for our little Queering Consent Playshop at the Contemporary Relationships Conference this past weekend!

First up! COM|PASSionate Preference Exploration Flow Chart

While “No, means, NO,” is an important place to start in any consent conversation we realize that their are a multitude of layers underlying our ability to say, NO, clearly when we need to. There are also a multitude of layers that inhibit us from saying, YES, when we want to. This cycle multiplies and complicates with each level of intersection- especially for queer folks who spend a lot of time being told they’re… well, queer (and not in the good way.) This COM|PASSionate Preference Chart can be used to neutralize and explore your interests, preferences, inclinations and, all out, turn ons. It’s a starting point to “getting down with your desires and under the covers with your body boundaries,” so you can start a dialogue with your body that informs how you articulate personal consent.

Exploration

Exploration2Here’s an example of the chart filled in:

ExplorationExampleNext Up! COM|PASSionate Boundaries Worksheet

Now that you’ve flow-charted your way through any preferences that need a little more exploration you might want to start thinking about what your body/language/preference boundaries are over all. This chart can help you get organized about boundaries you might want to hold for yourself as well as things you might want to express to current or future partner|s.

CompassionateBoundariesHere’s an example of the COM|PASSionate Boundaries Worksheet filled in:

BoundariesExampleLast, but not least! A quick COM|PASSionate Wishlist, Adventurous Ideas + Places to Avoid Chart

This is a quick way to document your preferences and boundaries for yourself or to share with a partner. This list is moveable, changeable and expires at the writer’s will!

ListChartHere’s an example of the list filled in:

ListExample

So, until next time, we hope that you all have a wonderful week of consensual and fulfilling play and exploration with yourself and others!

Lastly, if you’re still confused about consent but understand the etiquette of tea (or if you’re anyone on this planet that interacts with anyone else on the planet) watch this video:

As always you can reach us at…

compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci 

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Skye is a youth worker, educator, activist and white transmasculine human. Traci is a therapist, yoga teacher, educator and queer vegan femme-inist of color. They reside, practice, navigate, survive and flourish in the Southern California area. The Mental Health Mash-Up is their offering of thoughts, process and tips towards mental health and wellness as queer folks navigating the intersections of stigma, oppression and identities.

MHM 14: Queering Consent

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Good Morning Revolutionaries!

We hope you all had a lovely weekend!

We’re so excited to be ramping up for the Contemporary Relationships Conference this weekend in Austin, TX! We’re going to be giving a workshop on Queering Consent: Navigating Relationships Outside of the Hetero AND Homo Normative.

In this episode of the podcast we talk about the essential components of consent and why it’s so important for happy, healthy and fulfilled individuals, relationships and sexual interactions!

Stay tuned! In upcoming weeks we’ll post helpful worksheets from the workshop and give a recap of how our time in Austin went!

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Take a listen!

As always you can reach us at…

compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci 

———-

Skye is a youth worker, educator, activist and white transmasculine human. Traci is a therapist, yoga teacher, educator and queer vegan femme-inist of color. They reside, practice, navigate, process, survive and flourish in the Southern California area.
Read more at http://compassionaterevolt.libsyn.com/#ALOPKXTgZdITBBRC.99

Isn’t it Queer?: Poly-Ponderings on Love, Sex and Connection in Abundance

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Hello Vibrant Souls! Today on Isn’t It Queer? I bring you thoughts, ideas, dilemmas and revelations from a queer, polyamorous, purveyor of love, sex, and connection, Dia Davina. To preface our plunge into that sparkling can of omni-sexual worms, watch this incredible spoken-word piece/delicious real talk, from Dia Davina about the challenges and rewards of poly-life:

 The Polyamorous Mating Habits of the North American Red Squirrel

Dia Davina’s piece rocks my fucking rainbow socks, not to mention, they are so attractive, charming and articulate, it nearly blinded me. Hey Dia, I know three lovers is already a lot, but hit me up. Their piece illuminates the unique challenges that poly people take on when choosing to live an alternative lifestyle: the social pressure and frequent questioning from outside parties, the lack of support from family, the lack of good poly role models to learn from, the daily face to face battle with jealousy or possessiveness and the negative impact those emotions can have on relationships. Davina’s piece gives poly folks the gift of not romanticizing or glorifying poly relationships. Speaking anecdotally, there is a tendency in groups that live alternative lifestyles to feel pressure to depict their community as having chosen the ideal, revelatory, revolutionary, and flawless life style choice and the one with the most benefits, rather than just a life choice. When the reality is, people with multiple lovers, partners or spouses, also come with childhood trauma. They are also prone to feeling jealous, not feeling worthy, struggling to keep promises, and a whole assortment of other very human behaviors. Because -crazy concept- poly people are human, as fickle, inspiring, and full of potential, as is implied.

Davina’s piece, boldly and honestly, shows the challenges that poly lovers face, touching on everything from having to remember the precious details of each interaction with each of your lovers -citing emotionally fatal text message errors- to the revelation that having a plethora of partners, does not numb the very real pain of heart break, no matter how much incredible support our abundant community lends us. My favorite point Davina makes, remarks on the dilemma that poly life and successfully navigating multiple love relationships has no formula or road map. Making it perhaps one of the scariest life style choices in love, sex and connection. A majority of poly folks do not have parents in the lifestyle to model their practices on, and in all reality, a large number are attempting this lifestyle in order to escape some of the emotional stagnation they saw in previous generation’s monogamous tendencies. Making our “best practice” a brand new uncharted territory, that is frequently debated. “How do I tell my partner I need to spend time with my other partner in their time of need?”, ” How do I explain that I am not interested in the same sexual practices with one partner as I am the other?”, “How do I ask my partner to take responsibility for their jealousy?” “How are all of my partners having their period on the same day?”, “How do I process feelings of jealousy around my partner’s new partner?” Also, most prevalently, “what the holy fuck am I doing?”

DiaDavina

Being brave enough to take on your jealousy and apprehension in order to obtain abundance, is stressful. It is hard to take on a lifestyle that is stigmatized by the predominant culture, and equally exhausting being called “greedy” or “damaged” and having your relationship choices be repeatedly invalidated. It is refreshing to hear a piece that does not spend it’s time justifying our lifestyle to monogamous individuals (which is necessary at times) but instead validates the experience and struggles of those seeking their abundance despite great struggle. The piece is cathartic to listen to, hysterically funny, and as a political piece of art, it does justice to the poly-lifestyle, by portraying poly individuals as the diverse, emotionally complex, humans that we are.

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

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Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and they aim to lead by example by bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.”

Audre Lord

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**ATTENTION ALL RED SQUIRRELS** COM|PASSionate REVOLT will be at the Contemporary Relationships Conference in Austin, TX on May 15 + 16, 2015 doing a workshop on Queering Consent: Navigating Consent Outside of the Hetero AND Homo Normative.

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.