This week’s “think piece” is late because I was in the wonderful position of having to pick the top five photos for the Sinful Sunday round-up this week. This is definitely an example of writing-as-therapy, because my thoughts and feelings developed even as I was writing this. In fact, it kind of surprised me by going off in two very different directions, both of which need to be, and will be, explored in much greater detail.
I feel like I’ve spent the last few days being very emotionally vulnerable and honest with people. This is good, and often feels deeply cathartic, and even though the outcomes of these discussions may not be the realisation of the secret, shameful fantasies I have, I usually come out of them feeling good – though with lots to think about.
Because I’m ridiculous, I work out these things through song.
I can’t say I’ve listened extensively for Hozier’s music, or indeed the work of any one artist, but there are two songs I’ve listened to many times. The first appears on my Sapphic Sex playlist on Spotify, and the second… the second I’d like to talk about today. I can’t remember its initial significance to me, but a few months ago I heard a few lines of the course – a snatched line of music from a passing card or shop window – and found an interesting interpretation of them in my life right now.
And so I fall in love just a little, oh, little bit
Every day with someone new
Not quite true, of course. I don’t fall in love with just anyone. I don’t form connections with people easily, to be honest. Every person who I count as a close friend means an awful lot to me, and to the friends closest to me I say I love you easily. The Greek language has four words for love, and it is philia – describing affectionate regard, friendship; a concept developed by Aristotle – that I’m talking about here. Deep, platonic love, which English doesn’t seem to have a word for and thus trips me up every time I want to tell my friends how awesome they are, how much I love them.
I find it hard to guard my heart. While others are more careful with their emotions, I often feel like when I trust people, I let them in too easily. If I like you, if we talk a lot, my feelings will often become philia without realising it. I fall in love easily in that way, I think. I talk to them lots, I think about ways to make them smile, I like buying little presents for them, and I want to support them in any ways I can.
There’s probably a couple of people who I know through my blog who I could say I love with a platonic, philia love. They’re amazing and clever and help me in so many ways and are there for me when I’m struggling with my mental health. They’re my friends, and I think they’d understand if I told them I had a degree of philia love for them. This is where it gets complicated, though, because I know them through my sex writing and we often talk about hot things, it gets a little bit harder to define. Is it éros – the intimate love of sexual passion? Or is it just philia combined with really good sex?
So I fall in love just a little, oh, little bit
Every day with someone new
In being emotionally vulnerable, I realised something: unless something totally unexpected happens, I can’t see myself being in a relationship at this point in my life. Well, not a heteronormative, monogamous relationship, like the type shown as “normal” in mainstream media at least. While I’m pretty secure in my queerness, and happy to yell I’m bisexual from the rooftops, there are some things I’m only now trying to figure out.
They can mostly be summarised in one word: polyamory.
While I was confident in my sexuality before I started blogging, I’m not sure I truly knew that polyamory or non-monogamy could be an option. I think it was Bex Talks Sex who first introduced me to words ‘solo poly,’ but since that point my mind keeps coming back to those words. Right now, I can’t imagine myself in a traditional relationship, and it was amazing to realise that polyamory is a thing people I did. As I said to a friend recently, I realised I can have a girlfriend and a Daddy Dom and a local friend who ties me up and a couple I have brilliant kinky threesome sex with and sleep in their bed afterwards.
There is something super exciting about this. Could I really do it in practice? I’m not sure. Compersion* is something I’m still working on, but I feel that’s ok: compersion is not a skill society strives to help us develop, and I know I’ve come a long way in the last six months. And in general, I’m in a very different place today than I was six months ago: a place where I can differentiate between the erotic and platonic love I feel, wonder if the way I want to do relationships is solo poly, and feel safe to be emotionally vulnerable with my friends.
Alternatively, a place where I can fall in love, just a little bit, every day with someone new if I want to. And that makes me happy.
*Apparently my laptop doesn’t recognise ‘compersion’ as a word, but I’d like to link to these wonderful recent blog post by Molly’s Daily Kiss where she talks about her experiences of compersion and gives a good definition.
Quinn Rhodes (he/him) is a queer, trans, disabled sex writer with vaginismus. He’s a slut and a sex nerd who writes about his adventures in trying to fuck without fucking up. Quinn can usually be found wearing stomp-on-the-patriarchy boots while falling in love every time he fucks.