3 Hot Fantasies I Have About Sex Dolls

Eerie voyeur. Sir is kissing me, and peeling off my clothes, when suddenly… “Hang on, I forgot something important,” he breathes against my lips. My eyes drift open and I watch him stand up, grab the sex doll sitting on her chair, and wheel her around to face us. Her cold eyes catch mine; in them, the slightest hint of undead mirth.

“Is she going to watch us?” I ask uneasily, and Sir nods, before climbing back on top of me and pressing me into the bed with his body.

As long melty minutes tick by between kisses and caresses, I can almost forget the doll is there. That is, until Sir mutters in my ear, “Look at her.”

By then he’s got his fingers in me. I’m self-conscious about my moans, my twisted grimace of pleasure, my wetness seeping onto his hand. And it all seems so much more pronounced when there are two people watching me – even if one of them isn’t actually alive.

“Keep looking at her,” he continues, darkly, his fingers pushing into me in exactly the way I like. He’s going to make me come like this. My face flushes hot. My thighs tremble. The doll’s eyes stare unflinchingly. I’m uncertain. I’m uncomfortable. I’m coming.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. As my breathing slows, I realize my eyes are closed. And there’s Sir, in my ear again. “Didn’t I tell you to look at her?” he warns. I know I’m in trouble, and I can’t stop smiling, and the doll’s still there looking placid and placated.

Learning vulva tricks. “Babygirl, you’re gonna learn something new today,” Sir says, gently pressing me forward over the bedroom threshold, and my heart judders at the sight of a silicone love doll on the bed. She’s spread-eagled, hair pooled beneath her like a yellow-gold puddle, and she looks like she knows what’s up.

“You keep saying you don’t know how to eat pussy,” he continues, and he’s right; this comes up whenever we flirt about threesomes, my incessant fear I wouldn’t know what to do with another vulva if it looked me square in the face. “So daddy’s gonna teach you.”

He pushes me down onto the bed gently, next to her, and pulls up a high-backed chair for a good view. My lesson begins with gentle warm-up – “Kiss her thighs” – before progressing to more insistent teasing – “Lick along her pretty pink lips” – and then to full-on giving her what she wants: “Suck on her clit, little one.”

I melt under his words, eyes sliding shut as I press my face further into this soft silicone vulva. I can almost hear the noises she’d be making if she were alive. I can almost feel like I’m giving someone real pleasure. And when I glance over at Sir, and see the way he’s biting his lip, I know that I am.

Hands off. I’m in trouble, because I made a bratty comment at dinner. I can tell from the stormclouds in Sir’s eyes that I am in for a punishment tonight – but I never quite know what it’s going to be. That mystery itself is part of the punishment.

He shoves me through the doorway, shuts the door, and slams me up against a wall. Instinctively, I reach for him, pining for kisses and warmth, but he pins my wrists over my head and growls, “No. No touching tonight.” I whimper reflexively. No touching? But how?

Guiding me to a chair with firm tugs on my dress, he deposits me where he wants me and then loosens his necktie while I watch. His strong hands guide it over his head and then he’s wrapping it around my wrists and the arms of the chair in quick loops and knots, so fast my eyes can’t keep up, like a con man playing three-card Monte. Find the lady, find the lady. Am I the lady?

No. There’s another lady. Sir pulls the doll from the closet and tosses her on the bed. He climbs on top of her, the way I like. He kisses her lips and then her throat, the way I like. He grazes one hand along the swell of her breast, the way I like.

I don’t like this. And also I do.

Sir makes me watch for long minutes as he bites and smacks his little proxy-me, drags his fingernails along her ribs and hips, presses her thighs apart with his. I like when he treats me like his little fuckdoll. This is not that. This is something else entirely.

He tugs his shirt off over his head and throws it at me, so it lands on my face, obscuring my vision. I’m torn between leaving it there so I can inhale his scent and shaking it off me like a dog so I can see him again. Eventually the latter option wins when I hear him unzip his jeans. If I can’t have that cock inside me tonight then I at least want to see it.

I extricate myself from his fragrant tee just in time to see him pushing two lubed fingers inside his doll, warming her up with slow and deep strokes that make my cunt clench sympathetically. And then he’s pulling his hand out of her and replacing it with his cock, one steady slide all the way inside her. He quirks an eyebrow in my direction, and I realize I’m drooling, quivering, whimpering. Who knows how long I’ve been this way? (Sir does. Sir always knows.)

Eventually, he comes inside her, panting and grunting, and I’m so desperately jealous that there are red welts on my arms from where I’ve struggled to break free of this divine and devious torture.

 

This post was graciously sponsored by the folks at OVDoll, and as always, all opinions and words are my own.

Terrified to Run Into Your Ex? Here’s How to Deal…

‘Cause I know I am! [Laughs a joyless laugh that eventually peters out into sad awkwardness]

One of the ways my anxiety manifested, in the months after my last break-up, was a near-constant fear that I would run into my ex – on the street, in a store, in a coffee shop. This was exacerbated by the unfortunate fact that I moved into an apartment coincidentally near his, mere weeks after the break-up. Worst.

In working through this anxiety with my therapist, talking to friends about it, and journaling about it, I came up with a bit of wisdom on this. Here are a few questions to ask yourself if the thought of running into your ex terrifies you. It’s not much, but hopefully it’ll help you if you’re going through something similar.

What’s the worst that could happen? One of my best friends is a social worker, so she knows all the smart questions to ask me when I’m spiralling into anxiety – and she asked me this every time I mentioned this fear to her.

Here’s my personal “worst that could happen,” with regards to running into my ex: I could run into him while he’s with a partner of his, and while I’m rumpled/makeupless/depressed-looking, and they could both look at me pityingly and/or attempt to talk to me. This could result in me bursting into tears, which would, of course, make the whole situation even more embarrassing and pathetic.

Stating my “worst-case scenario” makes it clear to me that even if the worst happened, it wouldn’t actually be that bad. I’d get through it. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve cried in front of someone it’s embarrassing to cry in front of, nor would it be the first time I’ve seen a former flame with their achingly gorgeous new paramour. I got through those other times. I didn’t fall into a chasm in the earth from pure and total humiliation. I’m still here. And the same will be true if I run into this ex, too.

Do you really have anything to feel bad about? This is another question my social-worker friend posed to me, and she’s so right. She picked up on my feeling that it would be shameful for me to run into my ex – like I should hide from him, because the end of our relationship was somehow a failing on my part. But the thing is, it wasn’t! He ended the relationship, for reasons personal to him, and it wasn’t my doing or my fault. I have nothing to feel ashamed of. I can reasonably hold my head high if I do encounter him.

Even if you did do something wrong in your relationship, it’s likely by now that you’ve either owned up to it and apologized for it or that enough time has elapsed that both of you have moved on with your lives for the most part. If you feel you still owe your ex an apology, maybe you can reach out and issue that apology. But otherwise – why feel bad if you run into your ex? Why hide your face like you’re a pariah to them? There’s no reason for it!

Could you get away if you needed to? A friend reminded me that even if I did run into my ex and he did try to talk to me, I would always have the recourse of simply ignoring him and walking away. I would not be obligated to enter into that interaction if I didn’t want to.

If escaping your ex is an actual safety concern for you – i.e. if they had/have abusive tendencies and/or you think they’re upset enough with you that they might try something violent if they saw you – you could try using a safety app like bSafe whenever you’re in a neighborhood where your ex might be, and maybe consider some self-defense options if that’s your style. (Pepper spray isn’t legal where I live, and sometimes, when random men follow me down the street late at night, I wish it was…)

What would make you feel stronger? A lot of the cognitive-behavioral therapy I’ve done has focused on the practice of accepting the things I cannot change and changing the things I do have control over. In this case, that means figuring out what would help me feel less freaked out about running into my ex, and putting those measures into place.

I used to wear dark sunglasses and headphones when I had to walk in the direction of my ex’s place, so I could plausibly ignore him if I did see him. I’d put on clothes and makeup that made me feel strong. I’d often text a friend about my situation so I felt emotionally supported in what felt like a brave act. I’d listen to music that made me feel happy and badass. And for the most part, it worked!

Have you ever been afraid to run into an ex? How did you deal with it?

Social Media-Era Romance in 5 Vignettes

My unrequited love has changed his Twitter avatar, and just like that, I feel less in love with him. Poof. Pow. Wow.

The old picture was heavy with associations for me, months of misery tempered by sparse endorphin rushes when he would slide into my DMs. It was never the love confession for which I kept hoping and grasping; you’d think I’d learn by now not to expect anything from him but dawdling, awkward friendship. But no; I still want more. More than I’m ever going to get.

The new picture is an instant shake-up in my psyche. It takes a few moments, each time he messages me, for my brain to register that it’s him. Those moments aren’t much but they’re enough to distance me from my knee-jerk love reaction, a pause that is a prism, refracting my crush into questions to be pondered: How much do you actually like him and how much of it is just habit?

Maybe love is always a habit. Always just an addiction you have to kick. Maybe there are tricks that make it easier, like nicotine patches and impotent cloves. Maybe a Twitter avatar is no small thing after all but actually the big thing that kicks off a seismic shift, blessed and unexpected.

The bartender is fumbling with coins, pitchers, and a misfiring computer system. Unhappy customers crowd around the bar, waiting for their drinks, waiting to even be acknowledged. Welcome to Friday night at the Cavern.

“I wonder if we’ll ever get our drinks,” a British accent bemoans beside me. This stranger turns his good-natured smile on me like highbeams, and now I have a face to connect with the warm tweed that’s been rustling against my arm for the past five minutes. He looks like Prince Harry and Fred Weasley’s charming lovechild. Oh, hello.

We strike up an easy, tipsy rapport, and he pulls out his phone to show me a song on Spotify that he can’t get out of his head. My eyes sweep over his playlists, taking in the names. There is something so intimate about peering into someone’s music organization system, digital or physical. You’re seeing the soundtrack of their brain in the way they’ve chosen to arrange it, the way that makes most sense to them. It’s like resting a palm against the slickness of their coiled brain, feeling it pulse with private electricity.

Later, he comes to find me again, weaving through bar crowds to tap me on the shoulder. “I’m getting on a flight back to Britain in the morning and figured I’d seize the day and ask: want to go smoke a joint?” he proposes, and I do. “Great! I’ll be right back. I’m just going to change my outfit.” I nod, and he goes, but he’s gone about an hour before I decide he must’ve fallen asleep in his hostel room, and decide to leave.

I find him the next day by searching some of those Spotify playlist titles. I didn’t even have his name, but I had those. As I scroll through his tightly curated music selections, I feel the echoes of awkward hostel sex that could have been. Swing and a miss. Maybe I’ll meet another Weasley another day.

My habit of fantasizing too far forward about online dating suitors is exacerbated when they’re polyamorous. The way some folks compose their OkCupid profiles, I can creep not only my potential partner, but also my potential metamour.

On late nights with nothing better to do, I comb through these women’s compatibility questions, seeking the places where we touch and the places where we differ. I try to parse what it means that a man is into both me and her, what it says about him, what it says about me. I stack myself up against her obscure favorite bands, the outline of her lipstick, the cool candor with which she speaks of sex and food and Arrested Development.

The sore spots that ruffle my feathers are the spots tainted with internalized misogyny. When I’m burningly jealous she’s prettier than me and think, At least I’m smarter than her; when I hate her pink hair because it renders me a boring brunette; when I snort derisively at the pretentious Wes Anderson movie she’s chosen to quote, I know the patriarchy is whispering bitterly in the back of my brain. I rarely really hate another woman. I just hate the opportunities for which I’ve been told she’s my cruellest competition.

When I’m feeling happier and lighter, sometimes these metamour-creeping sessions turn into fantasies of their own. If I was dating her partner, we could go shopping together, get manicures. We could gossip over burgers and fries about his secret fantasies, his favorite blowjob tricks. We could be best friends who shared everything, and I do mean everything. It would be so cute, so sweet.

But I never quite follow through, both because online dating is exhausting and because I am too awkward and insecure to pursue friendships with metamours without reservations. I hope one day I work through this, because I still dream of that girl beside me at the nail salon, sharing the weight of my heart.

The new boy I’m flirting with asks-without-asking: “I had a crush on you, but I didn’t think I was being that obvious about it. Apparently I was wrong.”

He was wrong. But he probably doesn’t know the exact moment I realized he like-liked me. It was when he left a comment on an Instagram photo of me in lingerie: “I unhearted this, just so I could heart it again.”

He must have written this so that I would know. And I did know. Because people don’t write Instagram comments like that unless they like you. They just don’t.

When my last serious boyfriend first introduced himself to me via Twitter DM, he provided a list of links to his other social media. An Instagram profile, an alternate Twitter handle, a full name so I could Google him. “I don’t use Facebook, though,” he wrote, “because Facebook is the devil.”

He meant this in an anti-capitalist, anti-surveillance-state, anti-terrifying-algorithms sort of way, but Facebook is the devil in a different way, too. Facebook lets people linger in your life who haven’t earned the right, simply because unfriending them feels too aggressive, too unwarranted. What he did was bad, but it wasn’t UNFRIENDING-bad, you know?

What he did actually was unfriending-bad, though, in that he ended our relationship suddenly and unceremoniously, after reassuring me for four months that he had no intention of doing this. But as he didn’t have Facebook, I never had the chance to unfriend him. I had to settle for deleting the messaging app I’d used to communicate with him and unfollowing him on Twitter. (What he did was unfollowing-bad, but it wasn’t blocking-bad, you know?)

What’s nice about his Facebooklessness is that there wasn’t much damage to undo when things went sour. No unfriending to attend to, no photos to untag myself from, no relationship status boxes to uncheck, no mutual friends to bicker over. He never got entrenched in my digital life, so when he left my physical life, he dissolved from the digital, too, like a ghost. Poof. Pow. Wow. And that was all.

Am I Sexy?: An Ugly Duckling’s Lament

Baby Kate trying to be sexy, circa 2006.

I have clear memories of all my milestone compliments. The first time someone called me “pretty,” and then, “beautiful.” The first time someone specifically said they loved my nose, my hips, my labia. All the suitors who’ve called me “cute” and all the different tones in which they’ve said it. These memories form a patchwork tapestry of my self-esteem – a guilty admission for me to make, in this world which tells us you’re not allowed to be loved by others until you love yourself first. It hasn’t really worked that way for me.

But all those words represent a nonsexual admiration – if not strictly chaste, then at least wholesome. I remember experiencing different feelings entirely the first time someone called me “sexy.”

He was an older boy at my high school, not a romantic interest of mine but on my horizons nonetheless, because his crush on me was unignorable. I don’t remember why he said it – what specifically he was referring to, and when – but I remember how I felt. I felt confused.

See, I grew up an ugly duckling. This is a fairly common experience, one with which you’re probably familiar, so I won’t go too much into the pain of believing for your entire childhood and adolescence that you are unattractive and that therefore your life will lack something fundamental. I hated my big nose, my chubby curves, my dull skin, double chin, irrefutable plainness. I wanted to be an exotic, unmissable stunner – like my best friend at the time, who got compliments all day every day on her model-pretty face and model-sexy body. (It did not occur to me then that maybe she didn’t like this type of attention, or that maybe she would’ve preferred to receive the more substantive compliments I received all the time on things like my intellect, humor, and writing. The grass is always greener, am I right?)

So to be told that I was sexy activated some deeply-rooted cognitive dissonance in me. I knew what “sexy” looked like in our culture – I’d absorbed it through magazines and movies and television and general discourse, like we all do – and I knew I did not look like that image. It didn’t occur to me that there could be a spectrum of sexy, not just an acceptable window of sexiness you might happen to fall into but indeed a wide-ranging, almost infinite array of qualities some might consider sexy. I know this now, having spent years writing and reading sex media where folks eroticize everything from chubby bellies to big noses to hairy toes to sharp-toothed giantesses and beyond. But I did not know it then.

So “sexy” was a word that did not apply to me, at least not comfortably. I laughed when the word came out of that boy’s mouth directed at me. He must have been mistaken. He must not have spent much time looking at me. He must not know what “sexy” even meant. How else could this word ever be used to describe me?

Ten years have passed and I am still mildly uncomfortable when described as sexy, hot, arousing, erotic, a turn-on. I can accept that my work is sometimes sexy – that someone’s pants might get tight as they read a flowery description of sex I’ve had. I can accept that certain qualities of mine might be sexy – that someone might fetishize my hips or my feet or my lips, focusing in on those parts to the exclusion of all others. I can accept that someone might want to have sex with me – because they like my brain, they want intimacy and closeness with me, or they simply want to get their rocks off. But it still vexes me to imagine that I, as a whole person, in my totality and weirdness and unconventionality, could be sexy.

It worries me that this is true, because if I feel this way – I, a woman who writes about sex on the internet, and is therefore inundated day in and day out with messages from horny, enamored suitors of various degrees of appropriateness – then, truly, anyone could feel this way. My cognitive behavioral therapist is always asking me to look for evidence of the core beliefs that bring me down – like that I’m not sexy – and though I’m faced with an onslaught of daily evidence to the contrary, I still can’t seem to shake this odd belief. That makes me worry on behalf of everyone who doesn’t feel sexy – which I’d guess is most of you. Not everyone has the (debatable) privilege of constant validation that I do. There are countless incredibly sexy people out there who never get to hear just how sexy they are. And that is tragic.

So I’m here to remind you that you are sexy, by virtue of the fact that any and every quality in existence is sexy to someone. I’ve swooned over bald-headed men who longed daily for their hair back. I’ve fantasized about tugging someone to me by the chubby hips I knew they hated. I’ve obsessed over the beauty of “imperfections”: crooked teeth, asymmetrical moles, big noses, gnarled hands, scarred skin.

And in doing so, I’ve learned to believe – intellectually if not emotionally – that I can be sexy, too. Just like pistachio isn’t my favorite ice cream flavor but I believe you if you tell me it’s yours, I can accept that I might be sexy to someone, even if, when I look at myself in a mirror, “sexy” is the farthest word from my mind.

“Sexy,” as a concept, is subjective, flexible, accommodating. One person’s “ugly duckling” is another person’s “scintillatingly hot.” I hope you’ll remember that, even if it takes you a while to actually believe it.

5 Monogamously-Minded Mistakes to Stop Making

I’m no expert on non-monogamy. Nope. Not by a longshot. Sometimes people try to interview me about polyamory and I’m just like, “LOL, don’t ask me, I’m a baby. Go talk to Samantha or Kevin or Tristan or somebody. I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.”

That said, I have learned a few things – mostly from doing shit wrong, and getting hurt by other people who were doing shit wrong. I’ve noticed that a lot of polyamory slip-ups happen as a result of clinging (consciously or not) to a monogamous mindset. We can’t quite inhabit a healthily polyamorous paradigm if we’re still living at least part-time in monogamy-brain, if you know what I’m sayin’.

Here are 5 of the most common manifestations I’ve seen of this problem. If any of these remind you of something you’ve done, maybe it’s time to examine that and think about whether you’d like to change this behavior or thought pattern. I’m definitely not saying my way of doing poly is the only way or the best way, but I do think eliminating these behaviors would help most non-monogamous relationships work more smoothly!

Implying you’re in competition with your metamours. (Just so we’re clear, a metamour is a partner’s partner. So if I’m dating Ben and he’s also dating Sally, then Sally is my metamour.)

I once asked a partner how he felt about another guy I was seeing, because there had been some jealousy afoot. He responded – ostensibly jokingly – “It’s okay; I think I can take him.” Pro tip: do not threaten to beat up your metamour, even as a joke!! Not only did I not find this even remotely funny, it was also hurtful to me; I care about all my partners and don’t like to hear them disparaged. I set a boundary with that person that he was not allowed to talk shit about my other partners unless he believed one of them was being genuinely toxic/harmful to me. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable boundary to set.

This problem can manifest in other ways too: self-pityingly joking that your partner probably likes your metamour better than you; trying to get your partner to admit your blowjobs are better than their other partners’; pouting when a partner opts to spend time with a metamour instead of you… It’s okay to feel your feelings, but you should process them yourself as much as possible, rather than looping your partner into a competition that probably only exists inside your own head. Their relationships with other people are not a threat to you – that’s the whole point of polyamory – and when you imply otherwise, you put your partner in a super uncomfortable position. Don’t do it!

Comparing your partners to each other. This is sort of the inverse of the previous point. If you don’t want your partners to feel like they’re in competition with each other, DON’T FUCKING COMPARE THEM TO EACH OTHER. EVER.

Sometimes there might be occasion to usefully elucidate the differences between your different dynamics, e.g. if you need to designate one partner as a primary and one as a secondary (hierarchial polyamory isn’t my fave, but it works great for some people). But putting any kind of value judgment on one partner over another – whether sexual, emotional, or in any other category – is not cool.

If you find yourself wanting to make an observation like “Partner A is more fun to have sex with” or “Partner B stresses me out less,” that might be a red flag about the overall well-being of the relationship. Or it might just be a signal that there’s an issue you need to address. Can you give Partner B some more explicit sexual instruction, or sit down with a Yes/No/Maybe list together to pep things up? Can you set some useful boundaries with Partner A so they aren’t, say, relying on you for all their emotional needs while you’re trying to spend quality time with another partner? Making unflattering comparisons is a sign that something needs rebalancing, somewhere. And it’s rude to communicate those comparisons to your partner unless absolutely necessary, because you will fill them with insecurity and doubt.

Only telling partners what you think they want to hear. Two weeks into my last relationship, my boyfriend started seeing someone else, but he told me he didn’t think it would get serious and that I would continue to be the “girlfriend” while this other person would just be his “lover.” I breathed a sigh of relief, which was, in itself, a bad sign; I was definitely still stuck in the paradigm that said anyone else entering his romantic life was a direct threat to me and our relationship. (I still feel this way sometimes, admittedly. It’s a process.)

Unsurprising spoiler alert: things did get serious with that other partner of his, and when I found out just how serious they were getting, it crushed me. I had believed I was “safe” from that kind of “intrusion” into our relationship, so I didn’t start processing that shift in our dynamic until it was already way too late. I’m not blaming my partner – I genuinely don’t think he knew things would unfold how they did – but if he had felt relationship-level feelings toward this other person right off the bat, I wish he would’ve told me that upfront, so I could have adjusted to it at my own pace and processed it in my own way.

Similarly, you shouldn’t tell your partner only bad things about their metamour (in an effort to make them feel better about themselves or more secure) or only good things (in an effort to be like, “See?! They’re not that bad!!”). Humanize your partners to each other. That means sharing the good and the bad, when relevant. (This process definitely benefits from metamours meeting each other in person, if they’re comfortable doing so!) Shielding someone from your true feelings in an effort to avoid hurting them usually just ends up hurting them more.

Using superlatives. Ohhh, this is a tough one for me! I didn’t realize this was a problem until there was a discussion about it in a poly group I’m in, and I went: Oh. Fuck.

Superlatives are words like “cutest,” “favorite,” “hottest,” “sweetest,” etc. I tend to use these a lot, in an affectionate way; I’ll call both my best friend and my brother “my favorite boy” (which is true, they are tied for the position of my favorite existing boy) or I’ll sometimes call someone “the handsomest” or “the cutest” when I’m flirting with them. I’ve been trying to be more mindful about this because it doesn’t really work once you’re in a poly situation.

A lot of language we recognize as “romantic” is rooted in a monogamous paradigm, and that includes referring to a person you’re dating as your “favorite [x]” or “the [x]-est” or whatever. This comes back to what I was saying earlier about comparing partners to each other: it’s a shitty thing to do, and also kind of misses the whole point of polyamory. My mom once asked me which of my two beaux I “liked better,” and I honestly didn’t even know how to answer that: I liked them both a lot, for different reasons, and also for some of the same reasons (their intelligence, humor, kindness, etc.) – so how the fuck could I pick a “favorite”? In poly, there should be no such thing. (Unless maybe you’re hierarchical and everyone involved knows that and is cool with that.)

Relying on your romantic partner(s) for all your social and emotional needs. Dean Spade says that polyamorists should treat our friends more like our lovers, and our lovers more like our friends. This has been an incredibly important insight for me – so much so, that I should probably write a full blog post about it sometime. It’s essentially the idea that you shouldn’t put all your emotional eggs in one basket – both because that’s hard on you, and because it’s hard on the “basket” (your partner[s]).

A monogamy paradigm teaches us that your partner is your “other half,” that they should be there for you through thick and thin, and that whatever you need, you can get it from them. This is fine for the people for whom it works, I guess (although I don’t know who those people are; even deadset monogamists often run into trouble when they over-invest in and over-rely on their partner). However, I think it’s safer and more respectful for everyone involved if you view each partner as just one piece of your support network, rather than the entire network in and of themselves.

That’s the “treat your lovers more like your friends” piece, but I’ve found the “treat your friends more like your lovers” piece to be equally important. This is not about sexualizing your friends or making them uncomfortable! It’s about valuing your friendships as much as you value your romantic relationships, putting effort into keeping those friendships healthy and mutually fulfilling, and asking for support from your friends when you need it. My close friendship with Bex, for example, is a foundation that allows my other relationships to thrive. If I didn’t have that intense, reliable, baseline intimacy with them, I would desperately seek that type of intimacy with other, potentially less trustworthy people, which might get me into unwise romantic/sexual situations.

It’s important to note here that people don’t exist to fulfill your needs. They can, but that doesn’t mean they’re obligated to. View people as people, always, and not just in terms of what they can offer you. That goes for friends as well as dates.

What monogamous-minded trope/pattern/belief have you had to unlearn?