It has been a busy week and a half for Steph and I. On Sunday, May 30th we did an extra bit of filming for the documentary on modern marriage that we’re going to be in, I believe airing on CBC’s Doc Zone (next year sometime?), and last night we were interviewed for local sex show, Sex Matters.
When the documentary crew showed up on Sunday – as we’ve already done our interview with them – they wanted to film us making food to get some filler bits. Talk about the most surreal 20 minutes of our lives, making dinner together in our terrible layout of a kitchen, an activity we rarely do because there’s just not enough room and it drives me batty! There we were though, making a pasta dish and talking amongst ourselves with three people, a massive camera and a light surrounding us. It was like improv, regular conversation. I was very conscious of everything I was saying, while trying to act perfectly normal at the same time. As we were cooking Steph made a random joke. and nobody laughed. It was a fantastic joke and the room remained quiet. How. Very. Strange.
Then last night, Cynthia Loyst from Sex Matters and her cameraman Jeff came over to ask Steph and I questions about our relationship – its history and how we really feel about fucking other people. Strangely, more nerve wracking than the questions were the extra bits where they filmed us making drinks in the kitchen and playing with the kitty – a real cat, you pervs – on the couch. It was a great experience and, while Steph probably won’t watch it, I can’t wait to check it out when its aired on the show. (Though I will cringe at my flabby bits and weird voice.)
A few years ago I never thought things like this would be possible. When I was interviewed for the National Post in October 2008 and consequently heard Jian Gomeshi saying my name on CBC’s Radio Q afterward, it was all very surreal. Watching my blog posts spike on that day blew my mind! I couldn’t believe that people were interested in hearing or reading about me!
Sure I grew up thinking about being ‘famous’. At that time I wanted to be a singer. It was the 90′s and Sarah McLachlan, Holly McNarland and Jann Arden were my inspirations. I even visited a recording studio when I was 16 to see what I needed to do. The staff there were very gracious at indulging my fantasies. Which is funny now as it seems you have to be 16 to get a record deal. Singing obviously didn’t pan out, possibly because I didn’t try though. Always a crucial step … actually doing the thing you want to do!
Now, at age 30, I have aspirations of a published book and hopefully speaking engagements; but this has nothing to do with fame or fortune. It just feels like the right thing to do. I don’t know if I’ll fail or succeed at this point; of course I want to succeed – it’s why I quit my job to pursue this goal of mine, but more importantly I want to help other people find their voice. The most rewarding thing for me during this entire process of blogging the past few years has been the comments and emails I’ve received from you. You’ve told me how I’ve said what you’ve always been thinking and helped you put it into words. Or how you live in a small town and felt like an outsider for choosing this lifestyle when everyone else is married by 21, pregnant by 22.
I’m writing this book and this blog for you; because when we first opened up, a mere 3.5 years ago, so much of the literature out there was hippy dippy flowers and bunnies. Non-monogamy was thriving on the internet, but in very fringe groups. Nowadays I can be on Twitter with complete traditionalists, discussing polyamory and it’s all pretty normal. I’ll admit it, I’m very lucky. I’ve only lost a couple of friends due to my lifestyle, our families just laugh at us but don’t mind and I’m married to a pretty amazingly laid back guy who’s been ok with me doing a lot of shit the past few years.
Being on camera is certainly nerve-wracking. I’m much better at writing than I am talking as conversations don’t come with editing time – none that I have control over anyway. My introduction to BDSM a few years back with Harvey certainly helped me to become more confident though, so I don’t mind a few nervous moments like I used to. And talking about our relationship on camera always makes Steph and I feel pretty damn smart. We come out of it slightly amazed at ourselves for talking about such a complicated lifestyle with an ease and grace that we forget we have. We’re so used to talking to each other about it that it’s a bit strange to discover we can talk to others too. And while he’s always hesitant about the camera – I am too, after they leave when I suddenly think “Holy shit, THAT just happened!” – his confidence booms when he realizes that hey, despite some break-ups and fuck-ups, we’re pretty good at this open relationship thing. Goooo team!
The self-preserver in you might be wondering “How can you just talk about your sex life? Shouldn’t that be sacred and intimate and private?”. To some, sure it is, but does it really matter to me if people know I masturbate? Does it matter that people know I sometimes crave being with women? Or that I can get off on being told what to do, and sometimes slapped and choked?
*Not one bit. Most of us have sex with someone else or at least ourselves. We think dirty thoughts about other people or objects or situations. We’ve sexted, or had phone sex, or even sent a racy picture to someone. Everyone’s level of naughty is different; and for some theirs never sees the light of day as they are forced – or choose – to suppress it, but we all have it. If I can talk about a topic that many people get embarrassed to discuss, I’m happy to help break down that societal taboo.
Mainly though, when I’m asked what does embarrass me … it’s seeing my weird crooked smile or fat ass on camera. Can’t the lens take away 40 lbs?? Does it really have to add 10??
Sabotage, I say!
*I will admit; when friends or family bring up something they’ve read on my blog, I blush. It’s weird, I know but I only have control of what I put out there, not of who reads it. I like that I can still be embarrassed a little!
Want to contribute to the book? Visit this form and learn more about how you can share your stories!