Community, writing, belonging

Even if you like to write, even if you are not worried about the actual process of writing, blogs are scary. They are scary because you’re talking to the world at large. Blogging about something like polyamory is scary because there is such a particular community around the topic, and I don’t really feel like I belong to that community. Not really. And, maybe the scariest part: I don’t really know if I want to belong to it.

I’ll explain that.

I’ve belonged to a lot of communities and chosen families and subcultures in my life. Goths, club kids. Sex positive people. I’ve led sex ed workshops and consent classes. I’ve been a very involved Burningman person many years, off and on. I’ve put lots of work, time, effort and love in to many times of social endeavors including Burningman camps and other subculture explorations and events. And I’ve also attended my share of sex-positive and poly-community events, parties, talks, happy hours and readings.

Still, I never felt a particular ownership or allegiance to a certain community. I’ve always wondered about people who get really into one thing and seem to define themselves by that thing, whether that is being part of the fetish or BDSM “scene”, the Burner “scene” or being gay, lesbian, poly.

I know that in many ways my refusal to latch on to a group and make that my identity is because I am independent and stubborn and I always seem to have to be different, even when presented with a wonderful community of “freaks.” There’s part of me that has held court in my heart since I was in grade school – that part that thinks, You’ll never fit in anywhere so don’t even try – just be you, don’t look for a community, and you’ll never be rejected from one.

I also know that this refusal is an expression of my extraordinary privilege. I can “pass” as a “normal” person whenever I want to. I never made the kind of commitment that would prevent me from “passing” as whatever I feel like being that day. I am reasonably well off and employed and cared for, and I’ve always lived in liberal, accepting urban areas like NYC or SF, where I live now. I’ve never lived in a place where your sexual (preferences or orientation or fluidity) could get you beat up or killed. I’ve had relatively little to put with, other than being a female (which has plenty of its own problems but I’ll try to stick to my point).

So, perhaps I didn’t cleave too strongly to any community because nothing pushed me. I wonder, if I write about poly, do I have an obligation to read a billion poly blogs and engage with them, or codify some rule set, or use particular buzzwords and accepted terms? Some are useful but some don’t apply to me. This is part of what is scary about blogging (about anything). There are always others who went through what you have, who know more than you, who disagree. That’s ok. And maybe I should read more. I kind of miss personal blogs. Remember LiveJournal? I miss the hell out of that. Partly, I think this blog is my hail mary attempt to see if that sort of personal blogging thing that I had back in the LJ days even really still exists.

Does it?


When I was young, I would write every day, for an hour or more. I’d come home from school and whatever else I was doing – theater or dance practice, seeing friends, etc. – and I’d sit at the computer and do a big brain-dump. I’d write about anything I wanted. Sometimes it was poetry and stories, but most of the time it was pure journal, stream of consciousness or well-crafted sentences depending on the day, but it was my emotional and creative outlet. I’d get everything down about the day that I needed to vent about or wanted to preserve for later. Good and bad.

Now, I thank my younger self for all of that writing. I can go back and look at the thousands of words I wrote and remember exactly what it was like to be 14, or 15, or 18. Most people don’t have this. My memory isn’t the best, so it’s especially delightful to be able to relive happy moments in extreme detail. Thanks, former self, for thinking of me like that.

I work in marketing now. I write a lot of words every day, in the form of emails, notes, research, blogs, longer articles and social media postings. I do it for myself, to keep in touch with people, but mostly I do it for my job, because content marketing is a cruel mistress and she demands to be fed all the time. Sometimes I feel supremely lucky that I get to do things I like and get paid: I research things that are interesting and I write and photoshop and tweet around them. And of course, sometimes I lie around consumed by depression and ennui and obsessing about how my career may have “taken” from me the things that were personal and dear to me – writing and making art.

I’m sure most creative marketing types who got in to the field because they were “creative” an “good at that sort of thing” have days like this.

Anyhow like many before me, I begin this blog by introducing myself and my desire to write again/more/better/differently. I’ve tried before, but this time is different.

This time I’m beginning a blog because I’d like a place to discuss polyamory. It seemed like a great idea when I was registering the domain, but now it actually feels a little bit scary. Still, I’d like to try, and I think I could use the space to do it. So, hello! And here is a new blog about my life, sort of, but mostly life and thoughts as they relate to poly. I make no promises about staying strictly on topic or posting on a schedule, because the one thing this blog will not be is a soulless content-marketing machine. For that, I get paid. This will just be for me, for fun, for now.