Welcome to the Petting Zoo

Step one…

Someone asked me if I had any advice for people who might be just starting out on a path that included multiple adult partners. Who knew? So, I gave it a go.

Treat people as you would want to be treated. Treat them as equals, as people who have lives and loves and passions and hobbies that are jus...

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Stages via Art

I think technological civilizations start off with three stages.

Start off, mind you.

The first stage is learning how to draw straight lines.

All of of that civilization’s technology is bent toward understanding, describing, drawing, and building straight lines. It suffuses their art, their...

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“You jelly?”

Jealousy is ultimately an act of soul-abuse.

Jealousy represents what happens when we cannot think of ourselves as actual human beings with thoughts, emotions, and lives. It’s when we reduce ourselves and our multidimensional humanity to some singular aspect. By performing this reduction, we ren...

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“Restrictive Sexuality”

I often use the term “restrictive sexuality” when referring to monogamy. This is deliberate.

I’ve been told I’m being mean, judgmental, negative, and a variety of other things when I use the term “restrictive sexuality.” This amuses me, of course.

I look at how different people differentiate the...

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Passing the Torch

Let’s be careful not to proclaim too loudly that this is a society that does not embody social classes. Let’s not try to assert that it operates solely on personal ability without regard to race, sex, and class.

The fact that we allow personal inheritance of land and property alone is proof otherw...

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The Links in the Chain

A hypothesis
You are receiving a reward to unknowingly do someone else’s dirty work.

Assigned homework
Postulate possible options for the reward. Postulate possible options for the dirty work.

This is the 100-level exercise, by the way.

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“You say you wanna revolution…?”

I think countries need to compete to see who can be the kindest, smartest, funnest, and most welcoming.

Countries who do well are rewarded by tourist dollars.

I’m not so sure I can get behind the who-can-make-the-biggest-bomb competitions, or the who-can-kill-more-people competitions. Those ar...

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“Exactly what kind of team is this, anyway?”

I have a question to ponder for those of the multiple-partner mindset.

The short form is this:

What will it be with you as a part of it?

The long form is this:

When you connect yourself to someone and thus connecting yourself to their someones and then connecting their someones to your someo...

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Risky business, raptors…

The local nudist colony is going nuts trying to buy some velociraptor-proof fencing. I’m not sure if I should sell them ordinary cyclone fencing because I’m not sure it’ll stop a raptor attack.

Time for math!

Let’s assess this risk…

Risk assessment includes two big pieces:

  1. What could go wr...

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The Functional Aspect of Rules

In relationships, I often hear a lot about rules. In particular, I’m talking about multiple adult relationships, but feel free to extract what makes sense for you out of this if this doesn’t apply to you. My own opinion is that where an observation can be applied broadly, it seems more likely, b...

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Second Guessing — it’s like punching yourself in the face.

The notion that human beings must be of one mind is ridiculous.

We are meaty chaotic systems. The fact that we even make decisions indicates that on several levels we compare and contrast different possible outcomes.

If you prefer, remember Whitman (which I creatively paraphrase here): “If t...

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When a Miracle isn’t Actually a Miracle

I’m going to tell you about a miracle.

An ordinary person flips an ordinary coin a hundred times in a row and the coin lands on heads each time.

No trick person, no trick coin, no trick situation.

One hundred heads.

Is that a miracle? A lot of people would think so.

Aaaaaaaand, I would hav...

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Check Your System Levels!

Here’s a quick and easy way to look at your relationships: Check your System.

Always have a sense of where the energy’s going in a relationship.

That’s the one-sentence takeaway.

The more detailed (but still short) version is this:

Ask yourself five questions (in this order!):

  1. Am I happy...

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Stand up for structure!

One of the hardest writing lessons I ever learned was also one of the most amazing lessons I ever learned, and it was in two parts.

The first part was that being a standup comic is hard. Doing improv is comparatively easy, but walking up onto stage and doing standup is just… brutal (and I can...

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With great power…

One of the fundamental dynamics of any romantic relationship is this:

Where responsibility is uncoupled from control, nothing but mischief can happen.

In other words, if you want to exert control over a situation, you had best be prepared to be responsible for the exertion of that control of the...

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Fresh Bear Squeezin’s!

Food containers can be so puzzling…

For example, honey in plastic bears teaches me that if I turn a bear upside down and squeeze really hard, sweet goo comes out.

Pez dispensers are the best, however. Pez dispensers teach me that if I bend someone’s head back far enough to reveal a hole in the...

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Handling the “whoopsie-doodle!”

Been thinking a lot about apologies. Came up in some conversations. in particular, what makes an effective apology to a partner.

I think any effective apology is a mutual effort all the way down the line.

  1. The people involved must be able to agree on what happened (what went wrong).
  2. The people...

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Just a little aside for you entomologists…

They say giant bug movies are unrealistic for reasons of biology and physics. Okay, I’m cool with that.

I’ve watched many giant bug movies, including Them, of course, and I’ve been thinking about giant ants.

Because if you aren’t thinking about giant ants, then you aren’t thinking hard.

In m...

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A man with no name

A review of Samuel R. Delaney’s book Dhalgren.

I have read this book many times in my life.

The first time I read this book, I was about sixteen years old and even at that early an age (for this sort of book, that is a fairly early age), the imagery haunted me. A city on the edge of nothing, w...

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A certain beautiful brutality

A review of Jonathan Moon’s book Stories to Poke Your Eyes Out.

Sometimes I read a collection of short stories and it feels like a roller coaster ride that I’ve been on before. I know the twists and turns, and I can anticipate each one. I have a great time. When I’m done, I feel lighter in m...

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