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The monogamy model works for a lot of people, and they have made it work because they are open and honest and a continuous conversation is happening, which is key for any relationship to be successful. I think it is wonderful and I am not challenging anyone on that.

For a long time I have been fighting myself – mainly because I was worried about the perception, and what it what it could say about me. I also caused a lot of pain on the road here. Having gotten a better understanding and accepted it – I can’t help but to be open and honest and put something out there into the ether that someone else might relate to. For me it is ultimately about love and connection.

Some important things before I go on:

-There are many different ways to be polyamorous with all sorts of boundaries.

-Polyamory is about connection, not sex. Sometimes it doesn’t even include sex.

-It is open and honest and takes work. Lying is not tolerated.

-It takes me a long time to want to be intimate with someone, sometimes weeks, sometimes months, sometimes years – I need to trust and be comfortable.

I remember being 16 and asked what I want from life. I answered “to love as many people as I can”. I had never ever heard about anyone else doing that or feeling that way – but it was who I was. I had no dreams of a wedding to one person. I have been trying to figure it out – because I thought if I could figure it out that I could ‘fix’ it, or reverse it. I continued to feel trapped in relationships, no matter how beautiful the relationship was or how much I loved. It had nothing to do with the quality of the relationship, but rather the general social construct.I think it is incredibly unfair to expect one person to be your everything. We grow and learn and feel fulfilled by getting our needs met from multiple people.

Being poly is not something that is an easier choice, you will be very lonely at times because people you love leave you, people will leave you over and over because it is difficult to accept. There is this idea that if you love someone enough that you will only want them. Why are you allowed to have as many close and intimate friends as you like, but not romantic partners? Why does that seem tainted, if you are completely open and honest? What is the logic behind believing that it takes away from other relationships.

I fought it also because I too struggled with jealousy with certain things – did that mean I had double standards? I realise now that jealousy says a lot more about us than the other person. If someone is going to leave you, they are going to leave you. Talk about your feelings of jealousy, work out where they come from and don’t give it too much power.

The hardest thing has been to explain to people that you love. Because one thing is believed – if you love someone, truly love someone, you would not be able to want anyone else. That is all fine and well for those that experience that. But I don’t and it doesn’t mean I’m a shitty person – which I believed for so long.

I learnt a word – Compersion. This is the opposite of jealousy. It is the appreciation of the objection of your affection enjoying something without you being part of the picture – physically, emotionally, intellectually. Some people find tremendous worth in being able to give to those that they care about without wanting something back.

I am quite close friends with my past romantic partners. When I care about someone I don’t stop. The connection has been created, whether that connection is regularly tapped into or not.

Something on family. When you have a child, you make a commitment to nurture that child. I think people struggle these days with moving away from extended families to the city, children thrived on having these people around and it gave them a well rounded social upbringing. Children need stability, nurturing and role models and that comes in various ways, shapes and forms.

I think I will continue to figure out what I really want and how to get it right, as we all do throughout life. For now, anyone I meet is part of life’s journey.

A tale of two lovers (or three, or four): the truth about polyamory

Some resources here :  More than two

 

You might think it doesn’t really matter what type of attraction you have towards someone. Give me a chance to explain..

I think for some time – particularly as a teenager it was really important for me to label my sexuality. We also hadn’t heard of all the newer terms being used so I had to choose between gay, bi-sexual or straight. In my christian phase I used to try to pray the gay away as they say (this is not an anti-religious post, just my own experience).  Even until recently, depending on who I spoke to , my answer would change a little – not because I was ashamed, but because different people have different understandings/interpretations of things.

As I started to delve into the different types of attractions, I begun to actually understand my own attractions a little better. Point is, when I realised what types of attractions actually existed, I could also determine what I really wanted from someone or something, resulting in less confusing situations, I’d also be better equipped to give what someone or something needed, or explain why I could not.

This blog in particular I found really useful : Differentiating types of attraction. It’s also important as the author above gives the definition of attraction – this is feeling of being drawn or pulled towards something or someone.

So from a few different sources we come to the following main types of attractions : 

Aesthetic attraction : Simply put, this is a visual appeal. It’s important that we note this is not synonymous with sexual attraction. Of course it can be, but they are not the same thing. I would like to say it is important to know the difference between sexual and aesthetic attraction. Just because you can admit that someone is aesthetically attractive should not imply that you would like to sleep with the person. (Straight men are slowly admitting that they can see other men that are good-looking).

Sensual attraction : This is strictly pertains to touch.  It’s also important here to note that this in many cases is very separate to sexual attraction. An example would be wanting to tough and hold a baby or a puppy. Sometimes we get these urges with relatives, friends and people we feel close to.  In the book  Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind, David Linden delves into the science of our nerve system responses to touch. It becomes very obvious that different types of touch triggers different emotional responses depending on the rhythm at which it is received – this is not simply learnt.

Sexual attraction : Self explanatory this is the attraction to engage in sexual behaviour with someone. Some people can feel this attraction without any of the other forms of attraction and some can only feel sexually attraction once emotional and/or romantic attraction has been established.

Romantic: A desire to be in a romantic relationship with someone.

Emotional: I would describe this as a desire to have a strong relationship with someone – many times platonic as we have with our close friends.

Intellectual: Have you ever been so intrigued by the way someone’s mind seems to work that you feel you need to speak to them more to better understand them? This would be intellectual attraction. I personally find someone who challenges the way I think to be very intellectually attractive.

So why is this important? Many times we find ourselves wanting to be around someone new and because they are a sex we are usually attracted to, we may not realise that this could just be intellectual, sensual etc and could avoid a difficult situation of dating them when a fantastic friendship could have been gained. At the same time you may realise you have most of these attractions to someone and be aware of how important the different types are to you.

I don’t think attraction is limited to the above, some people can be heavily driven by status and wealth amongst many other things.

 

 

Just over a year into Living in London I am beginning to struggle. It’s not because I’m not loving London – I truly do love it (I will post a different blog about how amazing it is).

But the experience is different for us compared to Ozzis and Kiwis that come over. Many of them that are over for a few years come to get some great experience, travel Europe, party it up and go back home to settle. While for us – this is a more permanent move made out of fear. There are those that have permanently left SA for other reasons, but this is in the very small minority.

I realise the difference more now that I moved to Wimbledon (for those of you at home, this area of London is packed with Saffas more than any other – hearing Afrikaans on the buses and grocery stores is a daily guarantee). My take is that it’s due to the green open spaces and larger houses. There are 2 South African Shops as you exit the train, and biltong can be found in a few cafes around. I find it quite annoying and tiresome when people talk too much boastfully about their homeland in a new country – so it has been important for me to make friends out of South African communities.

After a year I am trying to rid myself of guilt and dissonance I have with the choice of the move. I know that I am one of the hundreds of thousands of youth that have left recently with skill sets that South Africa so desperately needs.

Why we didn’t want to move:

  • We love to dance, when there is a celebration or protest we will gather and dance to enjoy every moment.
  • We have it all from deserts to wetlands, grasslands, bush, subtropical forests, mountains and escarpments. 11 different languages (not dialects), temperatures from Durban to Bethlehem can differ by up to 20 degrees celcius at the same time.
  • You know we have the best wildlife – venturing a little way from the city and you have lions, leopards, cheetah, rhino, elephants, giraffe, zebra, variety of buck, tortoises, chameleons, monkeys, baboons,  hyena doing their own thing.
  • Warmth – if we care about you and you are in need we will carry you with us until we cannot look after ourselves. We love visitors, cooking and hosting.
  • Drinking water is still one of the tops in the world, with fresh  fruit and veg produce in abundance with very few pesticides in comparison to 1st world countries.
  • For adrenaline junkees – We have the highest commercial bungee jump in the world, highest density of great white sharks, 2000 shipwrecks off the coast to explore amongst many other exciting opportunities.
  • Some of the most crucial human fossils found west of Johannesburg.
  • Top world dinosaur fossils are found in the Western Cape.
  • The National Party in 1948 won with a small majority. Powerful propaganda was spread for many years and education was changed for brainwashing. Many white people fought against apartheid which is often forgotten. You will find that although there are those that are very ignorant most of us are not racist. Our differences lie in the system created then, and the system perpetuated now.
  • We loved Mandela. My memories of his smile and kindness I will never forget. A president dancing with the nation. Chris Hani would have been my next man if not for the assassination.

Why did we move?

I think I may offend someone in someway back home but this is the general take. We all have our personal circumstances but it is fair to say the majority who have settled here have settled here because:I say this in GENERAL

  • We do not have windows that people will be able to fit through unless there are sufficient burglar bars . We do not leave our curtains open when it is dark. We are on high alert stopping anywhere at night in cars and are more inclined to drive through red lights alone.
  • We have little to no confidence in government. Applying for important documentation can be pointless.
  • We all have our personal stories / those close to us of being assaulted while ending it – “I’m glad they just took what they wanted and that we are still alive” sort of story.
  • We turn off the news because it is too difficult to hear. It is painful to regularly read stories of toddlers being raped by their own family members. It’s not that we have crime, it’s that the crime is so violent, there is little respect for animal or human life to those who commit these crimes.
  • Please know that when I say this, I am very aware of White privilege and do not pity myself –  I know South African history better than most. But as white South Africans, we are unsure of our future. We know we are seen as the enemy by many (not all), understandably so. Public hate speech from popular and prominent Black leaders towards white people is common. In saying this I am very aware of how fortunate I am to find opportunity elsewhere whereas the majority of South Africans cannot.
  • Our now president received almost 800 charges of corruption against him that were suddenly dropped before elections. A man that showered to not contract HIV, used over 200 million rand to build his home without our consent with no real apology even after been found guilty.

 

Growing up in very rural North West SA, coming to the UK finding a machine acting as a cashier was rather terrifying. I am more at ease negotiating on the dirt road about the price of  what some avocadoes and mangoes are worth.  I’m not sure what the future holds for any of us. Although my immediate family have or are leaving the country- my dream is still for my last days is for my toes to be emerged in sand under the African sun.

My own video of visiting the Cape recently with my mom :

Not written here in so long, but am going to start blogging again very soon. So much to write about, with many pieces that aren’t mine to tell, so I will talk about what I can. Time is healing wounds slowly. Wounds both self inflicted and by others. What has helped though, is the realization that no one can help you but yourself. When you give up, tell yourself ugly things, feel sorry for yourself – no one else can help. Someone telling you are a beautiful person or being there for you – doesn’t really change how you treat yourself and ultimately your way of life. The power is all within. When you get up in the morning, it’s you who makes the decision as to whether it is going to be a good or bad day. Your mind can be your worst enemy or your best asset – it’s all your choice, when you really realize this as fact your life will change. This goes across the board with little exception. It’s your life – live it to it’s full potential.

Graffiti Banksy Tunnel

Posted: June 17, 2015 in Art
Tags: , , ,

Free spray

Had a great afternoon after work. Cycling through the Leake Street/Banksy tunnel under London Waterloo station I was enjoying the artwork and a wonderful guy gave me his very half full cans to mess around with. This tunnel is the biggest legal spot for artists to enjoy. I am going to be passing through here more often!

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Graffiti and bike

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I first felt a little insane waiting for Amanda Palmer for 7 hours in the sun in Joburg this last Friday. The fact that pretty much all of my friends follow the main stream thing and thought I was following some crazy liberal feminist they had heard about performing naked with signature eyebrow art work and unshaved arm pits made it difficult to express the significance I felt in her visit to South Africa. I hadn’t even read the book yet and I hadn’t watched any interviews. In fact I’m generally a little skeptical when it comes to people in the spotlight fighting the system because it often results in disappointment in some way or another. But I fell in love with her music a couple years ago, her unapologetic passionate playing and performance with bold lyrics.

The gig was awesome, obviously. What made it special was the fact that the gig had been spontaneously set up only a couple days earlier, I’d followed the odd whisper on facebook, I even started actually using my twitter account to make sure I wasn’t going to miss out. I think we became even more excited when Amanda expressed how amped she was for it too. Reading her posts the few days before built up even more anticipation. She was staying near the centre of the Joburg CBD, not some fancy Sandton Hotel or Cape Town beach house like the rest of the artists that come and claim they have had an African experience, going on “safaris” in private game reserves. She went to Soweto, walked around the city and chatted to locals. I figured she must have been here before and known some local agents who’d be escorting her everywhere, protecting her. Nope, she didn’t know anyone (which surprised me considering we have over 150 000 South Africans in Australia where she loves touring). I needed to know more about this interesting earthling.

So after the concert I youtubed, I read the book and tried to figure out how genuine this human was. She’s legit. She’s not doing all her stints because she wants to be famous, she does it because she absolutely loves it and thrives on connecting with the people who love her and her art. I know the books general idea was to convey the importance of art in society and being able to ask for help to do it, but for me it meant something else. This book crosses barriers, she strips herself completely bare to the public and opens herself up to harsh criticism she knows will come from people accusing her of being incredibly naive and idealistic about how the world should be, free from the socially accepted and expected behaviour. She has an actual authentic relationship with her fans who feel free to criticize and praise her on social media. She’s a humble, genuine human with a heart full of love and inspires so many everyday.

Thanks for visiting us Amanda,
Cape Town (the selfdeclared separate state) will in all likelihood sweep you off your feet when you return 🙂