Letter to a friend – you’re fucking up

Dearest Pax:

It was great to have you at New Years, i appreciate it when we are able to get our worlds to overlap and connect.  Immodestly, i see a bunch of the best parts of myself in you.  You’re daring, you’re confident, you are sharp, you are not waiting for someone to show you the way, you make stuff happen.  And that is awesome.

And i was pleased to see that you connected romantically with Zeta at the party.  As you know she and i have recently thrown sparks together and intimately connected as well.  And while i am happy to be in a brief poly circle with you, i am afraid i need to deliver some heavy news.  Zeta felt like you failed to get consent from her in your quick sexual connection.  She did not feel seriously violated, but from what she told me, she easily could have.  You need to check in more, you need to ask before you start getting sexual with a new partner.  She was definitely into you and attracted to you.  And in the end she felt run over by you, like you were not interested in taking signals from her.  Like you had your own agenda and her opinion was not peer of yours and not respected.  Even if by some measures what you were doing was principally pleasuring her, it does not matter.

I dont think you know that Zeta is the survivor of childhood sexual assault.   This has made her sexual development very slow, it is hard for her to trust people in a romantic intimate way.  You and i are some of her earliest relationships of choice, despite her age.  When she and i started getting sexually intimate, she did not tell me about her difficult past.  But i was very cautious to check in a lot about what touch she was comfortable with.  My first tip that this was clever was that she kept thanking me for checking in, strongly reinforcing this behavior.  My overwhelming experience, even with lovers who want forceful partners and even with lovers who  only had healthy sexual histories is that  they are nearly all appreciative explicitly establishing consent at lots of points in the progression of a physical intimacy.

i think you are an amazing guy, in lots of ways far more together than when i was your age.  There are tremendous possibilities in front of you.  And this is a piece you need to work on.  i encourage you to do some self-deconstructing.  To figure out what your motives are, so you can reprogram into a person who is more consensually sexual.  You need to be asking a bunch more before you are becoming intimate with new partners.  It will change the dynamic between you and your partners to one you prefer OR it will tell you that your partner is not ready.  Either of these things would be better than pushing an intimate agenda with insufficient consent from your new partner.

I dont want apologies, i do want you to think about this and change.  i know this is not who you want to be, and i am happy to share my experiences (both failures and successes) in this tricky area with you if that is in anyway helpful.

Paxus at Twin Oaks

3 Icy 2012