Many pieces very I-relate for me…
(Also post format thoughts…)


the problem isn’t the hard limits and the clear noes and the senses of conviction;

the problem is the wibbly discomfort and the vague unsettled feeling that fails to yield to internal probing and the faintest hint of friction

it’s lack of real-time experience processing and the filter-barriers to noticing recognizing articulating a thought

it’s why-isn’t-this-right and just-wait-a-bit and but-normally-this-feels-like

it’s the tiny quiet hyper-personal accommodations and the Imposing even on those who want to know and it’s conflicted and changeable and Obnoxious

it’s always making room for and avoiding reactions, it’s cost-benefit calculus constantly and subconsciously and it’s

so uninterruptable.

(and then they say what a nice time that was wholly free of suspicion and when do you ever mention how the story ended for you?)

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Some thoughts about relationship labels, paradigms, etc (or, n-dimensional space, amatonormativity, romantic comedies, and sexist/gendered adventure stories)

Relationship labels in n-dimensional space

In thinking/noticing some things about relationships I have and labels recently, I went thinking about about the general situation.

One of the things I’ve repeatedly run into is that as a culture we have like five or something relationship terms among a very n-dimentional space (the axes/dimensions here being ‘things that can vary between relationships and could be used to categorize them’) for most of which our culture doesn’t give us much tools for really recognizing/thinking about/etc those dimensions to begin with.

Obviously, this leads to a lot of lexical gaps, a lot of words doing coverage over very large and disparate territory, problems that arise when different distinctions in the n-dimentions are important to different people (or there are any of a variety of other things that lead to people trying to draw their word-concept lines pretty differently and then running into disagreements).

Relationship paradigms and amatonormativity

I was also thinking about not having very much material to work with. As noted, we tend to lack the material that would deal explicitly with the axes/dimensions of relationship things – that might help me figure what various ones of them are and thus which ones might matter most to me, which ones feel right as category divisions, etc. (We have material for axes like ‘are you having sex’, but those are often not the ones I’m interested in).

Lacking that, a next best thing might be seeing what relationship categories someone else has and how they work. Or, since I don’t really have someones to survey, and also since people’s personal ideas are likely to have connections to social ideas, what relationship categories some other social relationship paradigms have.

As such it occurred to me that I don’t actually immediately know any.

A relationship paradigm I run into a lot, including often in the context of it being the norm, is amatonormativity. Specifically the ‘you have one sexual, romantic, life partner etc relationship that is your only relationship with those traits and also the most important relationship in your life (this is your partner, and everyone else is friends)’.

This made me realize two issues thinking more about this runs into in my head. One, in my head amatonormativity ends up at odds with the ‘heterosexual couples divide their time between passionate romance and yelling’ view of relationships, which I also run into in the context of social norm narratives etc (I can’t think of the proper term for this, though see Awful Wedded Life and Slap Slap Kiss for some relevant TV Tropes things). (Er, to be clear, this is not a disagreement with amatonormativity things or anything like that, this is just my particular thread of trying to think through some particular things and stuff that ends up in my mind.)

Two, amatonormativity is clearly not a consistently universal norm across time, and what might have been around at other times and how things moved is also relevant.

This ended me up with actually thinking of two particular relationship paradigms, which I then wanted to write about.

Two relationship paradigms

(Note: this is in no way me saying I know things about society or etc. I am not making any kind of claim about something being the case, having been the case, etc. This me working pretty much entirely off media, with the selection heuristic of ‘I’ve run into it and it came to mind when I was thinking about this’. All these things have way more forms and variety than I am going into here. The point of this is helping me think about things and it is not intended to be particularly more meaningful than that.)

Paradigm romantic comedy

(General sources: romanic comedies I have seen, which is mostly a few ones aimed at teenagers and stuff since I don’t actually watch romantic comedies. Romantic comedies I have heard about, read summaries of, watched trailers of, etc. Other media things).

You have a romantic interest/significant other/spouse/etc. (Using the categorization of the-like-five-words-we-have, they are your partner relationship).

You Have Feelings for them. You want to or are having sex with them. You are either on or, in a happy ending, going to be getting on the relationship escalator, involving moving in together, getting married, combining households, and having children if that’s a thing you’re going to do.

You might do fairly intense and intentional thing for your relationship. If you’re separated, you might go across the country to see them, end up moving with them, etc.

Your relationship with them is often very roller-coaster. Some commonly appearing relationship elements are general nice times together (more likely in relationship building stories), general miserable times together (more common in relationship-has-existed-longer-stories), passionate emotional moments, and high-conflict fights.

The core issue of fights is generally whether/how much one of you cares about the other (or both directions of this). Fights generally end via later demonstration that they are over and things have returned back, generally though something that shows you like each other. Sometimes there are apologies of gestures of apology, such as buying nice things for the other person. This tends to be gendered. You are unlikely to discuss the issues behind a fight.

You are often unlikely to go to your partner for support with problems, struggles, etc. (As a particular exception that might also happen, if you have a Central Issue in your life, you might confide it in your partner and they might encourage you.)

You also have friends.

You are likely to be in fairly common casual contact with them. You see (or are otherwise in contact with) them pretty often, but not with high intensity or intention. Most of your time together is spent either doing something else (if you’re coworkers etc) or doing casual nice things (like being in a coffeeshop).

You are likely to go to your friends for support with problems, struggles, etc, including ones re your partner relationship.

If you have a conflict with your friends, it is probably about :lack of loyalty:. You left them for the popular kids or other kinds of similar dynamics. The issue ends with you realizing you were in the wrong and coming back. You will probably apologize, but like the conflict, the apology tends to be fairly standard as opposed more specifically personal to you and them.

Paradigm sexist/gendered adventure story

(General sources: LOTR movies, Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes, somewhat older medieval-type fantasy and non-fantasy, etc).

You are a man.

Of very high importance in your life are your comrades (using the categorization of the-like-five-words-we-have, they are your friends). Together you do important things such as fight for your cause, go on important missions, etc. You give assistance to your comrades in times of danger, would go to great lengths for them, etc.

You are less likely to confide your emotional struggles to anyone. However, if you do, you are likely to go for support to your comrades and to older and more experienced mentor figures who are also among your comrades.

You might have conflict with your comrades about decisions relevant to pursuing your cause. If this happens, you might separate and pursue separately for some amount of time.  This generally ends through you coming together again.

The greatest conflict comes if a comrade betrays your cause. You will consider them an enemy because that is how it is, but will retain comrade-originated feelings. You will have a physical fight with great emotion and bury them with grief.

At home, you have a wife/fiancee/beloved (using the categorization of the-like-five-words-we-have, this is your partner relationship). You love them. You do or will have sex with them, though this is less likely to be brought up. You plan to or do live together and have children together if you will do that.

When you are away from them you feel longing/yearning for them. They likely represent peace, a reason you fight, hope for afterwards, etc.

Much of your relationship is likely to be in less verbal terms. You think of them as images. You express emotions by crying, laughing and running to each other, gestures of care, etc.

If you have conflict it is about moments of them not wanting you to leave. It resolves, likely in emotions, as you both know you must.

Your partner is also likely to have friends, who are people in a similar situation to them. They and their friends are in contact through the general activities of living, and might also visit separately. They are likely to commiserate together. If your partner needs advice, they are likely to go to their own older mentor figures. This is likely to be about your relationship.

A few immediate thoughts

  • One thing this immediately helps me thing about is what ‘friends with benefits’ (which could be seen as one of our ‘secondary’ (in the like-primary-and-secondary-colors sense, not the importance sense) existing relationship labels) means. Within a relationship paradigm, this is someone where your relationship has the tone and other features of a ‘friends’ relationship, but you also have sex with them.
  • The older mentor figure relationships appear in the second paradigm in a way that I don’t thing I see them appearing so much in ‘more contemporary’ relationship paradigm things.

Systems that do harm, psych important things, typical mind fallacy, and argument dynamics

{crossposted from my tumblr here}

A dynamic I think I’ve run into repeatedly:

There’s some kind of thing that, as it exists right now, does levels of harm. At the same time, some people get psych important things out of it (to be clear, notout of the harm aspect itself, here).

Some people *don’t* get psych important things out of it, might get psych important things out of the other direction, etc. They might themselves get hit harder by the harm, or they just personally run into only the harm, since as noted they’re not getting things out of it. They can also have some typical mind fallacy about this (generally on the ‘underlying, wouldn’t even consciously think of it’ level). So when they call out the harm etc, they can take the approach of ‘get rid of the whole thing, it’s just awful’.

People who aren’t concerned with the harm *and* get psych important things out of the thing or have other reasons to support it then often regard those first people as enemies and reject the calling out parts. (Depending on people and dynamics, there might be typical mind fallacy here too, there might be not caring, etc).

This then puts into a pretty bad situation the people who *do* care about the harm and would want it not to happen, *and* get psych important things out of the thing. They’re unlikely to be comfortable with the first group, who not only don’t give weight to something psych important for them, but don’t see it. They’re unlikely to be comfortable with the second group, who aren’t caring about the harm. Neither group is likely to like them, and they can get caught in crossfire a lot. There isn’t particularly much space for ‘ok, let’s do work re things that can give this psych important things and *not* do this harm. How can we do that’ (this can often involve trying to identify the psych important things, which can also vary between people).

And then there’s often a lot of really sucky argument dynamics, on overt levels (what you see in arguments) as well as not (who might not even be entering the discussion even though the topic affects them and they have a perspective and etc). And other things.

and/well given that a thing showed up

So as is pretty obvious again, I haven’t been on here in a while, again.

I had the intention of doing more crossposting of backlog from my tumblr, but as is also pretty obvious I in fact did not, and I’d like to be able to write etc on here if I want to without feeling like I can’t until I do that.

So, noting as such. I still have a bunch of backlog on my tumblr that is not here, most of the writing is probably at this tag, I’m not sure what I’m going to end up doing about this given that I’d continue to prefer to have things on here for organizational purposes but having things out of order would bother me too much to go for that, I’ll see if I can think of something, and meanwhile if I want to write something on here I can (which as always may or may not happen as that decision is largely made by parts of my brain I do not control).

(…my brain is really bad at ending posts…)

Some re negotiation thoughts sparked by a post

{this is a reblog of a post, and I thought WordPress would put the original post at the beginning, but apparently it puts it at the end. Not sure why, but, as such, scroll down to see original.}

[Not an essay or anything, just – some thoughts that showed up having seen this which I am trying to put into words and not doing very well.
Did not read linked article (the Creepy Dom one).]

I’m very much one of those ‘communication and negotiation and discussing and etc our kinks with my partner is something I value and really want to do not just for utilitarian use but as its own thing which I love’ people. Like, I’ve had literal communication fantasies and everything.

I often don’t and haven’t felt space for this. From domism, certainly and very much (not going to go further into this right now). But also in general. For talking, for having all the thoughts on myself and sharing them, for the other side of this. I don’t see it represented. I receive the idea that it’s not OK. I receive the idea that talking is a burden and a chore and no one actually wants to do it. I don’t see representations of a positive place for it. (And, to be clear – if someone *doesn’t* want to listen to mine, isn’t interested in/would not want doing that themselves or sharing, I wouldn’t want to do that with them or etc. This is something I’d *only* want to do with someone who also wanted it. But socially received ‘not OK’ for me feels like the idea that no one would want this and it’s bad/imposing/presumptuous for me to think someone would etc. Which is where this hurts me).

And, I definitely get this feeling when I see quotes like this. When things like this are just taken for granted etc. (I also get it when I run into ‘negotiation can be sexy!’ type things that again don’t leave space for wanting not-that. (Like seeing a lot of things going ‘it’s ok, bread can totally be made to taste like pastries’ when I like bread and and would like to have bread. (Which, to be clear, wanting your bread to taste like pastries is *also* a valid want and thing to want materials on.)))

I think there’s fairly clearly a typical mind fallacy thing going on here. I’ve read writings about how things work for them by people who write quotes like this, and this is very much a how-it-works and experience etc that exists and people have and etc, and it is valid to be/have. (Even as my experience also exists and I have it and this is valid). (Note, this is different from ‘negotiation is boring so let’s just do things and I don’t care if I hurt my partner’, which is not at all valid. Or ok. It’s valid for negotiation etc to *not be a thing people are in and of itself into and excited about*. Much like I don’t have to be excited by obeying safety traffic laws, but I very much have to abide by them. If I can find a way to make this fun for me, I can be happy about that, but if I can’t, then I need to either do it un-funly or not drive (general I, not specifically-I-I.))

And I wouldn’t want to do the typical mind fallacy thing in return – much like there are things other people like and are excited by and I don’t and am not, there are things I like and am excited by that other people don’t and am not. And I can and do want more representation and material and etc re how it is for me (the what-ifs of this post give me yes feelings!). But I don’t want to act like everyone is or should be like me in this.

Which makes me think, also, that this can be useful to conceptualize as one of those things where people for whom something is utilitarian have different needs in materials etc than people for whom it’s a/the thing-they’re-into. (Even as there’s the important difference caused by the fact that the ‘utilitarian’ purpose of negotiation is *trying to not hurt or violate your partner*). Just like people who are into bondage don’t have the same needs in materials as people who have found that they keep almost falling off a table when doing their actual target activity and would like to try restraints to solve this. But, for instance both groups need to know things about not cutting off circulation with restraints.

(I also very much want more material with negotiation, and really wish it was out there more and I could find it, because that’s not one of those things I just automatically knew or know how to do, and examples, aside from validating OK-ness, are also really major for that. (And I’ve gone looking before, and haven’t found nearly enough, so.))