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flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Dr. Reid)
I am polyamorous, and some of the poly community spaces that haven't shaken out all the bugs yet have this terrible habit of declaring "NO DRAMA" ... like that's a thing that works. But it doesn't work because humans don't work like that. We're a species that thrives on emotions and complexity - and the poly community is supposed to be a place that encourages the expression of such.

What "No Drama" does:
  • it encourages emotional dishonesty in an environment where fostering honest communication is supposed to be the norm. It causes as much turbulence as it stops due to making people feel as though bringing their problems before the group will cause them to be shunned socially. That vulnerability takes a great deal of bravery, and instead of rewarding it "no drama" seeks to criminalize it;
  • it fosters a policing outlook based not on member safety but on a subjective metric which if it has to be appealed will cause the thing it's trying to prevent. How is drama defined? How do we argue about what it is without creating it? How will it be discouraged without creating more drama than we are stopping?;
  • it is unevenly enforced across genders. Because expressing emotion is constructed as a feminine behavior, masculine people are less likely to be accused of starting drama due to their practice at emotional regulation. It becomes a way to discriminate against people who express problems or feelings others find uncomfortable, or who are still learning emotional regulation. In a space that encourages the open expression of feelings, it becomes a way to tell femme and genderqueer people to be silent about emotions others don't want to deal with.
  • it is enforced unevenly across power divides, like any silencing tactic. If a secondary partner has a problem and seeks advice from the community, they can be accused of starting drama by a primary partner who does not have to be held accountable, since their share of causing the trouble happened in private. If someone in the community has previous abuse triggered during a community meeting, it puts the onus of the emotional work on the victim to calm themselves lest they be "starting drama". It adds an element of injustice to our community, and to all communities that use it as a cultural standard.

    "No Drama" as a framing issue:
    Ask yourself these questions: for whose benefit do we avoid engaging in complex emotional reasoning, i.e. "drama"? Is the group meeting for some other purpose than to discuss problems and provide support to its members? If the person who has brought their problem to a group because their partners were not sufficiently able to achieve understanding without help, are their emotional needs being left without redress if the group declares their problems too problematic? Is the job of fixing these problems being left on the weakest and most isolated members?

    Our communities are fragile, and our members have no recourse for advice beyond our borders much of the time. Telling someone not to have drama is basically telling them to stop having problems which ... we can't do. Often our intentions for saying so are even more suspect: we feel that the groups time and concern are better taken up with discussing our problems, which are not drama because we can conveniently define drama any way we like. In this way "no drama" is a silencing tactic that warns people to play happy families for public consumption on pain of nebulous punishment. It has no place in the polyamory community, and the world would be better off it it were replaced with a more nuanced understanding of complexity and concern for vulnerability.


    With special thanks to my friends Terri Hudson and Cassie Withey Rila, to whom some of these points belong.
  • flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    I consider about a third of you my family, you know. And if I were to change my name some day, I'd want to change it to a name we could all have, make you all my wives and sisters, make you brothers and lovers and cousins here. As my family of choice, I want more of you to meet each other, to share your lovability with people who are most capable of relating to you. As myself I want to lure more of you away from the families you don't feel related to and bring you here to my metropolitan suburb to be the clan I always wished my families could be.

    It's going to be involved and complicated, starting a family this way with no marriages or births. There will be drama and uncertainty, but a big enough family will always have drama because they always have something new going on to be uncertain about.

    I would like a last name like Weird, or Strange. Or possibly Skywalker, because if I have to be quiet about being a geek, what's the point? What would you like our last name to be, you, my family of choice? We all can have a say in these rules we have yet to write.
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    In the wake of $500 of unexpected car repairs, I may not be going to CMA this spring. So all of the normal head-sorting that's supposed to happen there, the entire reason I started going, will need to be handled by me, outside ritual space. Won't this be fun?

    I have come to the conclusion that I need my own personal meta: I can't just have feelings, I need to deconstruct my head so that I can have feelings about my feelings. Not all of this makes sense, but I needed to write it out. )
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (OT3)
    I bought five copies of this book. So since I'll be pimping this book to all of you, anyway, here's one of the main reasons I'm loving this thing and a useful reminder of what we have to lose with our loves.

    HOW TO F*** UP )
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    Hmm.
    Must be wiling to undergo a six month wait since last sexual partner and an STD test prior to sex. Safety reasons, not negotiable.
    Must be weird. Pagan would be best, but spiritually open-minded is a close second.
    Must be bisexual, or at very least like boys and be bi-snugglesome and kissy.
    Must be out of your mind.
    Must have enough stability to deal with the insanity of others as well as your own.
    Must be interested in growth and the betterment of self. No bullshitting or pretending-to-grow-while-not-dealing.
    Must have good luck, 'cause you'll be needing it.

    Anything I'm missing?
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    I'm not convinced I should put this up here, as some will misunderstand, but that's the risk I run when I open my mouth on any subject.

    I want to have more than one significant other.

    I like things that are diverse and rare and different. Something doesn't have to be expensive or show-stopping to grab me by the attention-span. I have met a lot of unassuming people with whole worlds living in their heads, and it's catenative, connective to me. I want things to be complicated, because when things get too easy for me I stop paying attention. People deserve more attention than they get from me, and this would help. I want to explore the emotional landscape, and pioneer the mysteries of people and interaction.

    I'm not looking for casual sex. I know that there's nothing wrong with it, but I have plenty of sex readily available, and it's not why I'm here talking to a computer screen. I want to wake up sometimes snuggled between warm bodies, comfortable. I want love and comfort and affection to be shared around and played with and pranked on. I want to face unfair odds in the bedroom, and I want to gang up on the rest of the world and make it shake in it's badly-fitting people's-republican boots. And two isn't much of a gang.

    I want a boy, girl, tranvestite, alien, or time traveler to grin at us and look speculative. We've got so much to offer, and at such a little risk (if the world is going to break your heart anyway, why not let us try and have twice the fun?).

    I want things for [livejournal.com profile] xenoix_13 that I can't be for him, and I want things that he can't be for me. It isn't about inadequacy, it's about the possibility of having more than just enough. Can't I want that? Is that greedy? Then I'm greedy, unashamed.

    I want to challenge my balance and try to get past the vertigo of overabundant love, to surf on waves of it, wipe out and drown and be resuscitated in it so that mermaids point and laugh and think me crazy for braving these depths.

    And now I'm waxing poetic which means it's time for bed.

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