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Sex with Dr. Jess


December 16, 2021

Ethical Non-Monogamy & Open Relationships

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  • How do you know if opening up is right for you?
  • How do you tell your partner that you’re interested in ethical/consensual non-monogamy?
  • What’s the difference between swinging and polyamory?
  • What if you want a different ENM arrangement than your partner (e.g. they want to swing and you want to explore polyamory)

Sex Goddess & Erotic Educator Taylor Sparks joins us to share her experience and advice. She is the founder of Organic Loven, the largest BIPOC owned online organic intimacy shop & works to improve sex lives around the world.

You can check out her YouTube channel and follow Taylor on her Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.

We’re also excited to announce a new program for 2022: 30 Days to Master Your Relationship!

4 Group coaching sessions

  • Week 1: Relational Values & Blueprint
  • Week 2: Emotional & Relational Communication
  • Week 3: Bedroom Mastery
  • Week 4: Re(Ignite) The Spark + Ladies Night Event in Montreal

If you’ve got questions or topic suggestions for the podcast, submit them here. As well, you can now record your messages for us! Please record your message/question in a quiet room and use your phone’s headphones with a built-in mic if possible.

And be sure to subscribe on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPodbeanGoogle Podcasts, Amazon MusicStitcher!

Rough Transcript:

This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.

Ethical Non-Monogamy & Open Relationships

You’re listening to the Sex With Dr. Jess’s podcast. Sex and relationship advice you can use tonight.

Welcome to the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast. I’m your cohost, Brandon Ware here with my lovely other half. Dr. Jess, how are you doing? I’m really good. Why is that? I don’t know. I like the Christmas tree in my house. I’m just really liking the way my house looks this week. I will say that the Christmas tree smells great. It smells so good. And I was reading this is not a purposeful segue, but I was reading that more couples are now putting their Christmas trees in their bedrooms. Really? Yeah. Because it gives it does surprise me. It’s the glow and the smell and all the health benefits of feeling like you’re in a forest. Yeah, that’s what it is. I’m serious. I feel like you’re in a forest. I think it just has to do with it. All of our houses are getting so much smaller and there’s nowhere to put, like, the Christmas tree takes up like a third of our living room. Yes, it does. It’s blocking the whole patio door. It’s a great third, though. It looks really good. It does look really good. Yeah.

So I’m in a good mood and we’re going to be talking to my friend Taylor Sparks from Organic Lovin in just a moment. Yes, I’m looking forward to it. It should be a good chat. Absolutely. I think we’re going to talk about she sent me so many topics, but we’re going to talk about non monogamy and get some perspective and personal experience on that. And before Taylor joins us, I wanted to chat to folks for a moment about a new course I have coming up. It is a group coaching course for 30 days. It’s a four week program to master your relationships in 30 days. And so this is for the New Year. I’m really hoping folks will either sign up as singles or as couples and jumpstart the new year focusing on relationships because so many of our resolutions really center on. I think the body and habits. And I think it’s actually really cool. I love the New Year. I love the idea of a reset. It’s the same reason I love Mondays. Really? You love Mondays? For that reason, you feel like it’s a reset. Yeah. I’m just like, okay. This week is going to be the week I start working out. Or this week is going to be the week that I get a better night’s sleep. I always feel like it’s like, by time Thursday comes around, I’m like, just pass me the wine, just giving up. It’s over. It’s done. But Monday, Monday. It’s a whole fresh start. Yeah. And so that’s how I feel about 2022. And you don’t have to wait. But I’ve got this amazing course. I’m super excited about it’s. Mastery relationship in 30 days. It’s a group coaching program with coach Sonya. And so Sonya Zabartani, Montreal based coach who does all different work in, like, life and business and fitness. And we’re really excited. It’s really for anyone who wants more passion, more pleasure, more love, more fulfillment. And in week one, we’re going to go over mindset and relationship blueprint, so really work through your relational values to identify what you want so you can get more of it and looking at, like, balance and really creating relationships that aren’t just happy and fulfilling that help you to grow and elevate one another.

Okay. I’m going to stop right now and I’m going to shoot your praises. I’m going to sing your praise. I’m going to big you up because that’s what I’m here for. Charles Charles Boyle. I am here. No, but I really do think that I can’t think of a time where you’ve offered this sort of training for this kind of cost. And I’m serious. No, really. When I think about the discussions that you give and the cost to bring you in for a day and that these four courses for $249, I’m sold, I’m standing up here’s the thing. You’re awesome. You’re awesome for me. I think everybody has the capacity on their own to do this to really do it. I think most of us just don’t do it. Like, for example, if you were to do all the exercises in my latest book, I just think it could be really revolutionary. The problem is we don’t set the time aside, and that’s why I think coaching can help. So we’re doing these group calls, group sessions Wednesday nights, starting January 5. Week one is the relationship mindset and blueprint. Week two is around emotional and relational communication. So we’re going to go through the exercises, help you find the language and hopefully have you practiced week three, we move into the bedroom and we’re looking at sexual values, sexual communication, how to get more of what you want, how to master your orgasm, kind of get to know your body from the inside out. And then week four is a hybrid where it’s both digital and it will be live for people in Montreal, and we’re going to really be talking about how to ignite the spark, how to keep it going, going over the tips and techniques and really just making it fun. And yeah, I’m really excited. I haven’t done anything like this in a very long time, and I’ll make sure to link it in the show notes. We’re selling it over at coachsoniaacademy. Com, but I’ll make it easier. You can just head to my website. It will be on the home page and it will be in the show notes.

Master your relationship in 30 days. I’m hoping people will give it as like a holiday present or as a present to themselves. And we’re going to be focusing on folks who are both single and in relationships and not just intimate relationships. Part of it. Of course, with the bedroom is really about sex, but I want people to be thinking about relationships more generally, and I’m pretty excited about that again. I’m going back. I’m going to sing your praises. You do an incredible job of packaging the information and giving it to people to use every single day. That’s what I love about you. That’s why it takes so much out of this relationship. I learned so much from you and the guests, so I’m just excited for the people to have access to this information. And you’re a fun person. You’re a fun guy. I’m a fun guy. You’re a fun guy. You honestly thank you for that, by the way. But you don’t call me out for not following my own advice, too, which I really appreciate. I do that, too. Yeah, but, I mean, this is the thing with this program that you don’t have to do absolutely everything. It’s the same thing with the book. I always tell people you got to pick one little thing, like one new conversation. There are probably, I don’t know, 200 action items in the book, and you can’t do them all. So I’m kind of pulling what I think is most important and easiest for people to actually do, because I think you’re better off doing something a little bit rather than feeling like you have to do everything all the way. So 30 days to master your relationships. It starts January 5 that runs Wednesday nights for four weeks. I think it’s an amazing way to start the New year. And we know that relationships of all kinds are at the core of our life satisfaction, our mental health, our physical health. And so if you are setting resolutions around physical mental health and all that, I think that this is a really important tie in, and they’re so naturally integrated, whether you want them to be or not. So super excited for that. And now, looking forward to this conversation about consensual, non monogamy and more.

Joining us now is Taylor Sparks, an erotic educator, a sex goddess, the founder of Organic Loving. Com, one of the largest BIPOC owned, organic online intimacy shops. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you, Jeff, for having me here. I’m so excited. I haven’t seen you in over a year. Yes, I think even longer. Toronto. Yes. We were at the Taboo Show or the Everything You Do With Sex Show. You were teaching a ton of different classes. You were there with a friend of yours. I can’t remember what you were doing, Parish. I was there with Parish Parish. Michelle Blair, another sex goddess. Yes. And why do you call yourself a sex goddess? Well, as a sex and all women, I believe, can be sex goddesses. It’s just I just choose sex because you could be a different type of guy, a culinary goddess or garden goddess. I just chose sex because it’s my thing because it’s better than garden. No, it’s not better it’s just different, because if gardening is your thing, gardening is your thing called Texas your thing. But we can’t say it’s better or not or worse, it’s just gardening is your thing. You can be a garden garden. People that put together these beautiful gardens. Like, I can’t do that. I’m like here’s a couple of plants and a pot, and I’m done. But as a sex goddess, I believe. And I love everything that has to do with sex, even the things that I do not participate in. Like, I don’t swallow, and I don’t do anal. But if it’s something that you love, I love it for you. I also believe as a sex goddess that sex is healing on both the giving and the receiving side. So that is my definition of a sex status. I love all things sex, even though I don’t do well, let’s talk about that because there is so much pressure that if you are open around sex, I think there’s this confusion that you must also do everything.

So can we talk about swallowing? Why don’t you swallow texture? It’s mostly texture. Vegans do taste better or taste good if you’re vegan, that makes a difference. But it’s a texture thing. I don’t like the same reason why I don’t eat pussy. Texture. Yeah. You can say anything you want. Yeah. My girlfriend, a girlfriend of mine said it’s like, it’s kind of like licking a dolphin. I don’t want to like a dolphin. So it’s a texture thing. And what about anal? What do you not like about anal? Because for some reason, I have the bullseye attraction for Big Dicks, and I’m like, no, thank you. You’re not putting that in there, right? It’s a size thing. It’s a size thing. But even small, it does nothing for me. I’ve tried it. It’s like, are you done yet? I’m so glad you’re saying that it does nothing for me. I would rather find my man, my man, someone who enjoys an o and watch them have an o with her. I’m like, Girl, you need some loop. I got the organic loop for you. I’m going to sit there with my tequila and watch you take all that debt because it’s doing nothing for me. It does nothing for me. Okay, so we need to talk about that, because anal is such a popular topic. Like, everybody wants to know how to have anal, how to enjoy anal. I think, actually, when I was at the Taboo show with you, I probably taught a little kind of mini course on how to have anal, but I’m always driving home the message that you don’t have to, like, not everybody likes everything, right? I have an Auntie who doesn’t like chocolate. I have another cousin who doesn’t like chocolate. I get that most people really like many people like chocolate, but some people don’t. One of my best friends doesn’t really love sweets. And it’s so interesting because she’s a Baker. She’s like, a phenomenal. You know what I’m talking about right now? She’s a phenomenal Baker, but she’d rather have, like, a second savory meal rather than have dessert. And that’s her thing. I’m not telling her she’s missing out. I’m not telling her like, oh, you’ve got to try it or you’ve got to do it different or beer? I don’t like beer. Okay? And everyone’s always, like, after I play sports right after the game, they’ll be like, oh, I brought you a Rattler. I brought you a cider, or I brought you. I don’t know. There’s all these different things, and I’m like, okay, I don’t hate them, but I’d just rather have wine, like, It’s fine. Yeah, your cider is fine, but I don’t really like it that much. I actually would rather have water. I like water.

And so I love that you’re normalizing, that it is okay to do absolutely anything. And it’s also okay to say no. And one thing you brought up is that you would rather find your partner, someone who enjoys anal. You are 25 years married, and you’ve been both monogamous and ethically non monogamous. I think you’ve basically split the relationship about twelve years, and we decided to ask my husband about if we could open our marriage. And so we didn’t do the swinging thing. At first, we were just kind of open marriage. And then we kind of backed into the swinging thing because he didn’t want to not only see me with another man, he didn’t want to hear me with another man. He said, no one should be able to make you make those sounds with me. I’m like the sounds I make with other people are different. The ones that I make with you, I can make myself make those sounds basically right. And so I kind of backed into the swinging thing. We were doing that. So we were open. First we did everything separately. Then we kind of backed into the swinging thing. And then we were doing that. And then I was hosting for LLV at Keto about five years into the non monogamy and met this couple that introduced me to polyamory and Kink, and they did things to me that I’m sure not legal in at least three States. But it was like, this is Polly, and I just had all these questions, and I did the incorrect thing, which was to text my husband from 800 miles away and go, I met this couple. I’m in love. We’re going to be Poly. He’s like, Wait, we’re doing what now? What the hell is Poly? What do you mean, love? We don’t love. We’re swingers. There’s no love here. We talk about this week when you get home. So that’s not the way to introduce anything to your partner via text 800 miles away, four days before you come home. You just don’t do that. But it ended up that after reading some books, we read more than two and listen to some podcasts and listen to YouTube channels and talk to a lot of people and even counsel with a couple. He was like, no, I’m not feeling this. I’m going to get my pussy and come home. I like the swinging thing. I don’t want a girlfriend. I’m like, I want a boyfriend. I want two boyfriends and a dominant shit. No, I want three boyfriends. And so I was kind of Polly open swinging kinky. And he was kind of open swinging. Okay, let’s back up a little. Actually, I’d love to know two things, how you introduced the topic of non monogamy to begin with. And then I’d like to talk about that little. I’ll call it a tiny mistake where you texted him from 800 miles away and how you overcame that. But let’s start from the beginning. So how did you figure out that you wanted to open up a relationship of twelve years or a marriage of twelve years? And then how did you approach him? How did he respond? And I’m looking for, like, advice folks can learn from. Sure. Well, initially, what had happened was we had decided to go with a non swinging group to hedonism. We had had a really tough transition from Boston down to North Carolina financially, and we had just got back on our feet. We hadn’t been away without the kids in, like, seven years. And this group was going to hedonism I had always heard about it, and he was like, we are not going there. I’m like, we’re going, we need a vacation without the kids. He said, we’re not those kind of people. I’m like, we don’t have to do what they do. We’re just going to go because we thought, like, a lot of people think he knows him as a swimming resort, which it’s not. It’s an open lifestyle resort, so it doesn’t matter if you swim or don’t swim. They don’t really care. And we argued about that for three months. And then I finally said, let’s not act like I don’t have access to my own money. I’m going with or without you. So I called the travel agency to prime your roommate, and I booked myself on the trip. Well, his passport came in the day before the trip. And of course, he came with me. And he was like, I am not going to be in the nude side. You don’t have to do anything. I just want to be with my house and spend some time without any children with anybody else’s children.

So we went and first thing, of course, we met with a bunch of swingers. So I’m so curious. I had all these questions. How would you why would you where do you with whom do you got all my questions answered, and we decided this wasn’t for us. But I was intrigued about having sex with others. So while researching something on Will and Jada Smith, now we know what’s happening with them. But all of us in the community knew they were open. Anyway, reading about a business he had invested they had invested in. Up popped an article about them being in an open relationship. So I Googled benefits of an open marriage. And up popped an article from a husband and his perspective and the benefits of it. And I thought it was fabulous. So in the article, he talked about how their libidoes were highly different. His was much lower than his wife. And that was kind of my situation. So I said to my husband, you should read this article. And so I said, let’s discuss it. And so he read the article. And because it was from a man’s perspective, he was like, So what are you saying? I’m like, I think we should try to open our relationship. We’re both traveling and we could kind of set our boundaries. And he’s like, Well, let’s think about this for a couple of months. Like, no, let’s do this. Let’s talk about this right now. Today. I wouldn’t get it started today because my libido was higher than his. And based on the article, there were boundaries that were set and stayed within those boundaries. So we decided to try it. I said, if it doesn’t work, we can go back to being monogamous. Now, I will tell people, once you ring that Bell, you cannot unring it. You can go back to monogamy if you want, because I believe that monogamy and ethical ethical being the operative word ethical non monogamy is a choice. It is solely your choice. Well, it’s interesting that we talk about ethical non monogamy or consensual non monogamy. Should we also not talk about ethical monogamy? Well, for sure. Like consensual monogamy, something you opt into as opposed to something you just do because you’re supposed to. Exactly. And I think consent again is sexy on both sides of the thing. Right. But we do get caught up in what you should do and what you’re supposed to do to take off the s we supposed to do. So what do you mean when you say once you ring that Bell, you can’t unring it when you present to your partner whether your partner is heterosexual, straight or whatever, that I want to open a relationship and have sex with others. And if they are completely like, oh, hell to the no, then this is always in their head. Now that you are wanting something that they don’t want and you are no longer in alignment. So how do you get back in alignment? Because you can’t take it back. You can’t swallow and pretend you never said it, right? This is something that you desire. So now you have to face this. And so where do you go from there? How do you then say this is something I desire, and your partner is like, I don’t want to do it. So you have to have that discussion right? But at the same time, that impasse or that discrepancy or incompatibility already exists, whether you say it out loud or not, right? Yeah. I don’t necessarily call it incompatibility. I just think you’re not in alignment. You know what I mean? It’s not like you’re incompatible, because as I tell people all the time, people go, Well, why would you open your marriage? Why get married? And we’re not monolithical? Is that a word? We’re not a monolith. We are multifaceted people. So just like we were talking about some person that doesn’t like chocolate, and I don’t like anal. It’s not just one tiny thing. Once you get married, we encompass lots of different things. We like lots of different things to do and places to go and people to see.

So just because you decide to become a Union or a unit, so to speak, you know, suddenly everything doesn’t suddenly get shut off. Exactly. Yeah. So why not? But you do have to have that discussion. Once you open it up and the person goes, I want to do that. So then you have to then say, Well, how do we maintain the things that we both enjoy and do the things that we don’t want to do together but still want to do because nobody actually belongs to anybody. That’s exactly it. I get so many emails from people like, how do I tell my partner that I want to open up the relationship? And so your story is that you used an article like you took an article and said, hey, I read this. Will you read it? And folks can do the same thing with this podcast. Hey, I was listening to this podcast. Would you have a listen to it? What other ways would you advise people to approach this conversation? Especially, I think, for people for whom it feels out of the blue. Well, any time you want to have approach any subject that is not normal in your relationship like, hey, what a truck emo. I always suggest you don’t do it in the heat of a sexual moment or the heat of an argument. Like, I want to fuck other people. Don’t do that. I always suggest have it over breakfast or a cup of coffee, not at the end of a stressful day. And in the car on a ride somewhere where no one can escape. No one’s going to jump out at 70 miles an hour. I’m not going to talk about this right now to jump out the damn car in a car somewhere. And I always tell people, no matter if you’re going to broach a subject about something about sex you might want or don’t want, start with what is working. Well, right. So you’re going to go, Bey, do you know what I really love about our relationship? I love this and your partner’s like, okay. And I also like this and that. And that okay, because who doesn’t want to hear the good things, right? Right. And I was thinking, Well, I heard this podcast that I want you to listen to, but they were talking about ethical, non monogamy, open relationships. And I want you to listen to it or read the article because I want to talk about it. They’re going to be like, what are you talking about? Are you saying you want I’m not saying anything right now other than I want you to listen to it because I think we should have this discussion together, but I can’t have it if you haven’t listened to and read what I’ve read, because maybe what I read, you’re going to take it a completely different way, so you don’t have to give it. All right. Then until they hear the podcast or read the article, and then they come back and they go, okay, I read it or I heard it now. What are you saying? So what did you think about the part when the woman said or the guy said, how do you feel about that? And so what do we do when people honestly withdraw or won’t have the conversation or get angry or make accusations? Because that’s what I’m sort of seeing in these messages. Like my partner refuses to talk about. How do we handle that?

Well, like any adult, you’re going to have to put on your big girl panties or your big guys panties, and you’re going to have to have the conversation if they refuse to talk about it. I suggest writing them an email. Okay. Yeah. Absolutely. Sometimes writing things down can help to elucidate what it is you want and really clarify how you’re feeling. I always think back to one big fight that you had with someone many, many years ago. It was probably like a decade ago where they were really, really, really mad at you for a while. And it was because, you know, you had this conversation. I’m talking to Brandon here. Sorry. You had this conversation with them, and you had said something. They had heard it. And there was also the story they told themselves and they were fuming about it. And then they went to their partner and told the story. And so then this couple in your life was really mad at you wouldn’t talk to you, like, kind of cut you off. And then you wrote them an email and said, this is what I said. And this is why I said it. And the other partner who wasn’t there, read it and called you immediately after ignoring you for weeks and not taking your calls. And he said he’s like, I didn’t know that. That’s what happened. I appreciate what you had to say. You also opened with the email. The reason I’m having this conversation with you is because I care about you because I value this relationship is because I want it to be a rich and meaningful relationship for the rest of our lives. And it’s interesting. I’ve talked about this before on the podcast. A lot of therapists will say, like, don’t resolve arguments through text. Don’t put things, not text for sure. Yeah. Text is a little short. You only text when you’re in Jamaica. Don’t do that. This is why we don’t need data on our phones. But I do think that writing things down can really help with clarity. I also think that when you’re writing something down, there’s no loss in translation. You might lose some of the nuance and things like that. But you can go back and say this is clearly what I’ve said and what I’ve communicated and miscommunication. You can always say that there can be miscommunication. But if you’re very clear about what you’re writing, it’s in writing. Yeah. I mean, you want to be clear in the writing and the writing is secondary. The only thing about writing things down, of course, is that you lose the two most important parts of communication, which is body language and tone.

Right. So there is a lot of room for error there. But if it’s after the conversation, I think you have a better chance because in the conversation and it’s heated or people are feeling hurt, their ears shut down anyway. So no matter what you’re doing, like with Babe and you’re smiling and you’re trying to make it, you’re trying to give as much open body language as possible. If they have shut down emotionally, writing it down is your next step. I don’t consider it your first step. I consider it. Your next to last step is to write it down and to make it more like bullet points and to make it not accusatory meaning. Like when I said this, you said that. Just say these are the facts. I think, Brandon, probably this is the fact I want nothing but the best. I should chime in and say, I wholeheartedly agree with you that communicating and putting it in writing doesn’t usually for us, happened until we’ve had a conversation to begin with. Exactly. Oftentimes it’s me taking a step back and saying, I know how I get in heated relationships. You said it my ears. I don’t absorb things properly. I need to take a step back. And when I do, I can write it down. And when I write my thoughts down and how I’m feeling, I can actually revisit my thoughts, it gives me a chance to reflect on what I’ve put in writing. And then is it rational? Is it not? Am I overreacting? Am I under reacting? And I find I can come back to the conversation more effectively. Yeah. And sometimes you have to give yourself 24 hours. Me and my other partner. We’re like if we have a heated discussion and it’s going nowhere, we’re like, all right, you go home. I’ll go home. We’re done with this. We kind of set a boundary or a rule if you will not really a rule, but we won’t go 24 hours without talking. So we give ourselves time to calm down because it’s difficult to live in the same house. Right. You give yourself time. But sometimes you give yourself time to calm down. And I love the phrase I think it’s from Renee Brown. Right. The story I’m telling to myself, and I’ve opened up with that and go, listen, this is a story that I’m telling to myself. Or I have a feeling. And just because I have the feeling, I know it may not be true, but it is a feeling that I have, but it may not be true, but I got it.

Well, it’s interesting because there’s always this discussion. Our feelings valid. Right. And we always tell people your feelings are valid. So your feelings are valid in that you are feeling them. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that your explanation for why you feel them is accurate or rational. Right. Brenda Brennan have been talking about this lately. It’s easy to say when you did this. It made me feel that when, in reality my feeling anything. Let’s say I feel hurt or I feel triggered, or I feel insecure or whatever it is. I feel that feeling is a culmination of all of my entire life and everything that came before. It like, yes, that behavior may have triggered it, but it doesn’t mean that that person’s behavior is responsible for my feelings. Exactly. And this is something you must have to always navigate not only with one partner but with multiple partners. And so I’d love to actually go back to Jamaica. So you’re down at Hedonism. So I think most people know what hedonism is. It’s a resort for kind of just open minded people of all kinds. It’s divided into two sides. So there’s a nude side and a Prude side. And in order to go on the nude side, you have to be nude. Yes. For the naked people, they nude this. And it’s just super fun. It can be very sensual. It can be very wild. It really depends on who’s there and what’s happening. What I like best about hedonism and I honestly haven’t been in years is just that once a week, they have a reggae band and we get to dance to the music. I actually like, you need to come in January for the Kamasucha week, for the annual winter getaway with Lob. If you got a room left, you should come. I will be there. I’ll be in the grill at the beginning of January, but I won’t be at Heathrow. I’ll be just down the block with family. So maybe I’ll leave you stay. But here’s what I want to know.

So you found polyamory. You met this couple. You had this great experience, not just physically, but an opening of your mind. And you texted your partner, and it probably I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but it probably hit him hard and made him feel a lot of things. How did you navigate what you refer to as a mistake? You wouldn’t do it the same way. How did you come out of that? Because I think when it comes to anything that’s nonconventional. So anything that’s non monogamy, anything that’s outside the box. People think that mistakes or problems are fatal when, in fact, in monogamy, we make mistakes all the time, and we don’t treat them as fatal. Unless, of course, it’s non monogamy being the mistake unless it’s cheating. So how did you navigate that? Well, once I got home, by the time I got home, I had been on YouTube. I had so much information, and I had ordered the book on Amazon more than two. It was on its way, and I sat down and he was angry and he was hurt because we don’t do the love thing. And I’m an all in kind of girl. I was kind of like the kid at the end of the pool, deep end just threw her arms and just fell back into the water. I’m like, I’m in it. And so we had a lot of conversation about because he had no idea what it was. He just heard I’m in love, and then they were white, and he was like, but they’re white. When do you like white guys? I never know you to look at a white man before. No, he’s not really white. Actually, he’s mulatto. He’s white. Okay. He’s a white guy. And I just explained to him why I thought polyamory would be good because I found that I enjoyed when we were having our swinging moments. I found the ones I enjoyed the most were the ones that I really had a deeper connection with the person I was with. And some of those people we were still seeing on a regular basis. And we were kind of doing the Poly things, but not calling it Poly thing because a lot of swingers, as we know, they’re emotionally monogamous or physically non monogamous. But we keep seeing the same people year in and year out and go to their houses and they come and we’re really polyamorous with them. But we don’t use those words because it’s taboo. And I think we tend to differentiate between friendship, love and romantic love in this way that is decotomizing when, in fact, it’s not a feeling is a feeling. Love is a feeling. But to be fair to people, I mean, if it’s easier to I guess, navigate your relationship as like, this one is primary, and this one is romantic. And these others, I still feel loving feelings, but it’s friendships. That’s okay. I think that’s for you to say that when I say childhood, I don’t mean childish but immature. I mean, it’s like you’re putting a bandaid over something to make the other person feel good.

I really love you more, and I don’t love them as much as it’s just friendship. It’s like it’s love love is infinite. Anyone that has more than one cat, more than one dog, more than one child. Love is infinite. What is not infinite is time. You can only love as many people as you have time for. But when we try to downplay this emotion just to make our partner feel better, we stunt their growth emotionally. I don’t know if it’s always for the partner, though. I think some people do it for themselves as a protective mechanism, which is really a holdover from monogamy being the norm, even though they are consensually non monogamous in some way. We were still all raised with this notion that monogamy is the default. So I think for some people, we know how there’s data showing that we will downplay the attractiveness of other people when we’re in relationships as a protective mechanism. Like it’s just like a psychological feature that’s either built into us or we just enact on our own. I wonder if folks in non monogamous relationships but who are non polyamorous, who won’t acknowledge or use that word Poly? I wonder if it’s a protective mechanism not only for their partner but for themselves. There’s a fear that if I get too close to someone, that it could destabilize and threaten my relationship. And so for folks who differentiate between sexual non monogamy versus emotional non monogamy, I think that’s maybe, like their safe zone. Do you know what I mean? I do, and I personally still think it’s a way to stunt your own girls emotionally because you’re trying to keep yourself from liking or loving someone too much, right? Why do you need protection from an emotion that is normal? I think you need protection because the emotion threatens a specific system or structure that you’ve built in your life. Like you’ve said to yourself, for example, if it was us, I only want to be with Brandon in a relational, practical context. Like, I want to live in a house with him. I want to share money with him. And let’s just say I was comfortable having sex with other people. I think that a lot of people will separate sex, try and separate sex, not from emotion, because that’s impossible, but from romantic emotion. And that’s where I get confused, too, because I don’t know how you differentiate, like, the way I love my friends. It’s not the same relationship I have with Brandon, but it’s not a different type of feeling for me. Like you said, like for me, love is love. But I just think it’s a bit of a protective mechanism that works for people to protect a structure that they’ve created. But you’re saying that there’s a challenge there. I’m saying it doesn’t need protecting. There’s nothing to protect.

So the choice to live with Brandon in the house, share money, share your deepest, darkest desires, where the bodies are buried and all of that. It’s your choice to do that with him. But it doesn’t mean that just because you chose not to live or share finances or a home with another partner means you love them less than branding, or you love them more than branding. I’m with you. No, I’m like with you 100% because I think that that hire it can be problematic. But for some people, I think they feel it’s functional. So I just want to recognize the function there, but then also hear what you’re saying, which is that why would you want to limit your loving capacity? Why would you want to limit your loving capacity? But there’s nothing wrong with having hierarchy, right? If you want to say I have a primary lover and I have a secondary and tertiary. If you want to go down the list, I can only get the tertiary because I don’t know the next word. That’s me too, right? Me too. And if you want to have that and everyone is in agreement, this is the thing, the alignment right with you and the partners you choose to be in a relationship with. If everyone’s in agreement for that, it’s okay. I’m saying that you don’t have to be protective. You could just be like, this is what I want. I want to have Brandon as my primary. I want to have John as my secondary partner that I don’t live with, that I hang out with, and I love him. But I’m not doing these things with him because Brandon is my primary. So I love John. I love Brandon, and that’s it. And John is like, that’s fine with me. I don’t need to live with you and Brandon and Brandon’s like, I don’t care what you do with him. It’s a small house. You know what I mean? I think a lot of these protective mechanisms, though, are really just rooted in mono. Normativity like, it’s hard to get away from. I guess the supremacy of monogamy when you talk about it sounds a little not like ownership, but a little bit like control, right. And I think it’s hard for people to walk for me. Then I think there’s a lot of undoing and unlearning that we have to constantly do, because mono normativity of monogamy. And I guess like, toxic monogamy is so strongly enforced, and that’s not to say that all monogamy is toxic for some people. Monogamy, like you said, hierarchical polyamory, where you might have a primary partner, a secondary, a tertiary, and that’s it because we don’t know the fourth. Nothing wrong with it. You can only have two more people. What would be the fourth? I don’t know. I have to look it up. Yes, you could have been doing this. You can choose that and do that ethically. You can choose monogamy and do it ethically. But in a world that is toxically monogamous that tells us we must be monogamous. That prioritizes monogamy above all else, it seeps into non monogamous relationships as well. It’s quadrary quadamari. I had a quadrary quaternary. I see. And then I don’t know how to. I studied Latin. I share it. Five would be Quinnery century Septenary. At one point, I did have the husband and three boyfriends. What did you call your fourth cordonary? I call them all the same. I don’t do hierarchy. Everyone’s equal. I don’t care if you come in last. 2nd, 3rd, fourth. I don’t do hierarchy. All is equal to me.

I love that you’re talking about all of these things. I also love the challenge of okay, so when folks are enacting protectionist behaviors, we need to have a conversation again. And I think you’re also challenging us to get a little bit more vulnerable and say, Well, why are we doing this? It is okay. But why? And how are you perhaps limiting yourself or limiting your partner. So here’s an example. My partner in North Carolina that I hadn’t seen since covet before COVID started. And then May came this May and I was working remote for a month in Mexico, and he got his vaccine, and his wife got her vaccine. I was down there by myself, and he wanted to see me. And I’m like, I’d love to have you come down. And his wife was like, but we haven’t been anywhere in a year. I was going to take you away for your birthday in June. You’re going to go with Mariposa down to Mexico for a week. And so he says to me, you know, she’s right. We haven’t been away because of Covain here, and she’s going to take me away in June. I’m like, okay, well, don’t come down. But what does you coming in? May have to do with you going away with her in June, or is she changing the dates? And he was like, Well, no, but if I go away, maybe I should go away with her first because we haven’t been away. And I was like, okay, that’s a little hierarchy, but. And she’s doing the wife thing, not the wife thing, but she’s doing the hierarchy thing because she’s the wife. But, honey, I’m not here to cause I don’t do drama. So I will see you in Florida, like, in July or something after you get back. Very simple. But I called it as I saw it, because that’s what it was. And then it was like, Can’t she come here? She wanted me to come up there. I’m like, I’m not coming to North Carolina ever again. Never. I’m not coming to North Carolina. No, you don’t need any more. As much as I love you, I’m still not even coming to see you. So what difference is that she was going on about the car, but you got your vaccine. I’m like, yes, Bosh, I’m like, yeah, he goes, I think she was doing the vaccine thing. I’m like, okay, if you say so. It’s funny how sorry. Go ahead. Next thing I know, he was down and he came down to see me because he had a conversation with her. He’s like, We’re not going away till June. We’ll go away in June, and his going away in May doesn’t affect their going away in June, but we get certain things in our head, right? Like, we should do things the first time with someone, or we should do something in a certain volume that happens in monogamous relationships that have nothing to do with sex.

I remember a friend complaining that their partner had spent more time with me that week because we shared a specific hobby than with them. Okay. But that’s because we had these games. We play sports together, these games scheduled. Yeah, I shouldn’t even have to say this, but it’s not even like we’re hanging hanging out, like we’re literally playing a sport. If you want to come play the sport, come play. If you want to come watch, come watch. If you want to schedule more time with your partner, schedule more time with your partner. But don’t make it about somebody else. Exactly. But the thing, the way we know monogamy now has only been this way the most recent 150 years. I think Esther Perel has talked about this many times in her podcast and in her book Mating in Captivity, which is an amazing book. It’s like the movies and the marketing and the Hallmark Cards have told us, this person belongs to you that time is yours. And as emotional beings, right? We can control our emotions. We choose not to. We choose not to. Jealousy is just an emotion, like love and happiness. And this we choose not to. We decide that we’re going to be a four year old and swing our body to the ground. You’re all mine. It’s like, no, no one belongs to anybody. We are all responsible for our own happiness and our own bullshit and our own behavior. Right? You can feel any wrong. Feel like even if you can’t control every feeling, you do have some choices when it comes to the response to those feelings. Unfortunately, this is the whole topic, but we have practiced certain behaviors. We’ve normalized certain behaviors. We’ve ingrained. We maybe don’t take the time to recognize our triggers. Like, there’s all these layers. What always strikes me is that in non monogamous relationships, there tends to be a need to talk about a really broad range of feelings and responses. Oh, my God. You got to talk about everything and knowledge. Can we just have sad talking about my feelings? There’s more talking and non monogamy than ever, right. And I think that the folks who are in monogamous relationships, there’s something to be gleaned from this, right? Even that language around ownership or control, I think is so important. So before we let you go, sorry, I went a little bit over here before we let you go, could you tell us what you’ve taken out of your last, I guess, 13 years or so in non monogamy that you wish you had learned in the beginning. Everyone’s responsible for their own happiness. No one can make you happy. Nobody will make you happy. They can create a happy environment for you. But literally, you are literally responsible for your own happiness. And you cannot be sitting there agitated with your partner about the shit they won’t do for you. No matter how many times you ask them. Ask them how many times you cry and beg and argue and get up and do shit for yourself. Do your own thing. I’m not saying run out and be reckless and cheat or whatever it is. Salsa dancing Lessons For 23 years, my husband was like, I’m not taking. I asked 23 years to ask him to take salsa lesson. He said no. And when I found some other guy to go salsa, suddenly he was interested. I’m like, never mind now because we should let him do it. No, actually, for 23 years, he said no. So no, because you’re just doing it just because somebody else is suddenly interested in doing it with me. That is really the biggest thing. And to me, that is the most important thing. You are solely responsible for your own happiness. And lastly, use your words. Open your mouth. Say what you want. Say what you don’t want. Don’t sit with an attitude and be agitated, expecting your partner to figure it out. And you’ve been together long enough. And they should know how you feel. They don’t know. They only should. I’m telling you, they have their own thoughts in their own head about their own thing. And if you want something or you want something to stop, use your words. But don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater and that’s I think what people do in monogamy, you find one thing that goes wrong or two things that go wrong. You throw away an entirely great relationship for that one or two things. How about you line up all the things that are working? Well, keep those things and decide those one or two things. If they’re not the crux of the relationship and maybe find somebody else to do those things with. Absolutely. Yeah. Whether it’s salsa dance or something else, really appreciate it or sex.

Taylor Sparks So organicloving. Com and that’s Lovin L-O-V-E-N. Please be sure to check out that shop. Check out all of the offerings. It is important to be putting our money where our mouths are. And we saw all those mouths talking about supporting BIPOC folks, specifically black people last year in 2020 or 2021, guess what. If you are put on the pedal and if you are shopping for all that beautiful, fun, sexy, erotic and as well as organic stuff because you have organic intimate body products that are chemical free for folks with vulvas and penises, check out organiclove dot com and be sure to follow Taylor Sparks we’ll be putting all of their handles in the show. Notes. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you, guys. It’s so good to see you both. And thank you for having me. It was fun. I got to talk. Love it. Thank you so much, folks, for listening. Wherever you’re at have a great one. Bye.

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