It's Multiamory's milestone 200th episode! We take part in a veritable retrospective hootenanny - sharing which tools, research, and lessons from creating the show that have had the most long lasting effects on our relationships and ourselves. Turns out that talking about sex, relationships, and communication every week for 200 weeks has some interesting outcomes!
If you want to support our show, the best way is to become one of our patrons at www.patreon.com/multiamory. In addition to helping us continue to create new content and new projects, you also get extra rewards and exclusive content and discussions.
You can order Dedeker's book, The Smart Girl's Guide to Polyamory: Everything You Need to Know about Open Relationships, Non-Monogamy, and Alternative Love by going to http://amzn.to/2cGBDoC.
This episode is brought to you by SexyLingerieHeaven.com Buy any two lingerie sets and get a free pair of panties! Order now to make sure you get your goodies in time for the holidays!
Multiamory was created by Dedeker Winston, Jase Lindgren, and Emily Matlack.
Our theme music is Forms I Know I Did by Josh and Anand.
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Dedeker: Over the course of the last 200 episodes, it involved a lot of trial and error, a ton of research on our parts because none of us came into this as certified relationships experts.
Dedeker: Or encyclopedias. None of us had like a Ph.D.
Emily: If you're happy with the same old ways of dating.
Dedeker: If you enjoy sucking at communication.
Jase: And you have no desire to improve your romantic life, then our podcast might not be for you.
Dedeker: But if you want some out of the box ideas to deepen your current relationships.
Emily: Broaden your sexual horizons.
Dedeker: Develop a better understanding of yourself.
Emily: Or learn more about non-monogamy.
Jase: Then you've come to the right place. I'm Jase.
Emily: I'm Emily.
Dedeker: I'm Dedeker.
Jase: This is the Multiamory Podcast.
On this episode of the Multiamory Podcast, it is our 200th episode and we're doing a special retrospective where we're talking about over the past 200 episodes of this show, how we have changed, how our relationships have changed, and how this show itself has changed over these past four years.
Dedeker: Four years.
Emily: 200 in four years.
Dedeker: A child is walking and talking basically.
Jase: Yes, I guess so.
Dedeker: Our little collective podcast baby.
Emily: It's a fully formed human, well, not quite but it's getting there.
Emily: On its way.
Jase: Right, just what, 14 more years before it can vote?
Dedeker: Okay, yes, 14 years to vote. It is making some money, which is better than most four-year-old's that I know personally.
Emily: That's a really good point.
Jase: That's true, yes. Not enough to support itself, but it's making something.
Dedeker: It's earning its room and board.
Emily: It's not enough to put away for college or retirement, but it's getting there.
Dedeker: Our little podcast baby is growing up, you all.
Emily: Now, it's so sad. No, it's not. When people write things about their babies when they're like, "This baby is now walking and talking and I'm missing the times when it was just sitting there like being a blob." I'm sure they say it more eloquently than that, but yes.
Dedeker: I guess we're going to be talking a little bit on this episode about the days when our podcast was-
Jase: Was just a wee infant.
Dedeker: - a little blob.
Jase: A little blob, yes.
Dedeker: Lying there when we ourselves were little blobs in our relationships and in our lives.
Jase: Yes, definitely.
Emily: Small larva.
Jase: I do feel like I need to get it out there and say we acknowledge the fact that this podcast is nothing like an actual baby, so those of you who actually have those and are yelling at your podcast machine being like, "What the hell do they know about babies?" Yes, you're correct.
Emily: Nothing. Not a thing.
Dedeker: We fully acknowledge that this company and show is probably honestly the closest the three of us are going to have to having a baby in our individual lives, and so it's what we got.
Jase: [laughs] Okay.
Jase: All right, so, first, we just wanted to start out by saying that this show couldn't be where it is today. It probably wouldn't have been able to keep going and to afford to keep going and for us to be able to spend more and more time on it and everything around it like the community, and the live shows, and workshops, and all of those things if it weren't for our patrons and for all of the amazing people who have been guests on this show, and the incredible community that we have, not just in the Patreon community but the larger community out there as well.
The people who have written to us, people who have tweeted at us or commented on episodes or shared them or written us reviews on iTunes or Stitcher or any of that, that really, we just want to say thank you so much for the fact that we're here at all doing this 200th episode.
Dedeker: Yes, at 200 episodes and I started thinking, I was like, "Gosh, I wish we had an annual review at work."
Jase: A performance review?
Dedeker: Yes, a performance review. I'm like, "I feel like what if we got a panel of listeners and we're like, 'Give us a performance review? Are we serving you well enough? how can we improve?'" but in the lack of actually being able to do that.
Emily: That's a great idea.
Dedeker: I was going to say or maybe we'll workshop that one let that percolate, but since we haven't done it yet, the people who do take the time to reach out to us, either in the form of leaving a review saying we're great or in the form of an email saying, "Hey, I really didn't like this part," both the praise and the criticism is essentially our version of an ongoing annual review all the time. I really just want to acknowledge that we're all hyperstimulated all the time by our social networks, and our phones, and everything going on.
It can be super easy to just never tweet at someone or send them an email or just assume like, "If I Message them, they're not going to see it, they're not going to care."
For those of you who have reached out to us over the course of the last four years just to say anything, it's actually really appreciated because, honestly, we do see. I'm willing to bet at least 95% of the feedback that we get across all the various platforms at this show is, and it really does help inform us and it really does help to shape the show. I realize that even though it doesn't take a lot of time to leave a review or leave a comment, it does take some time. It takes a little bit of intentionality and effort and I just want to acknowledge that.
Emily: I also wanted to say that I'm so impressed with our listener base because it's a big group of people that are constantly asking questions, thinking about themselves in relationships, and we see that constantly on our Patreon group. Just like they're asking questions, they're trying to get better too. I'd like to think that their ability to do that is hopefully been shaped by our podcast somewhat, but it just constantly amazes me. The people out there are so willing to learn and willing to become better at relationships and better at just being people in general.
We're constantly given that through our Patreon group and just through the emails and everything just learning and seeing how many people are excited to learn with us. That's been a really amazing part of getting to do this podcast for so long.
Jase: Yes, so do you want to get this started.
Dedeker: Gosh, yes, where to begin with this? What I want to toss out to all you all is let's just start in the arena of ourselves personally. Because over the course of the last 200 episodes, it's involved a lot of trial and error, a ton of research on our part because none of us came into this as certified relationship expert.
Dedeker: Or encyclopedias. None of us had like a Ph.D. or anything like that, and so much of what we've done on the show has just been purely us wanting to research stuff and wanting to learn stuff for ourselves. There's been so much research, there's been so much stuff we've learned from the guests that have come on. I wanted to ask the twos of you, and I suppose I'll answer this myself as well, how do you feel you've personally changed over the course of these last four years doing this show?
Emily: Yes, I guess I can go first. Really, I touched and I'm just now with our patrons, but getting to see through our guests and for our listeners just all of the different people and the different experiences that each of us have in the world, and how those experiences shape who we are. It has brought a lot of humility to my life just because it is very easy to get bogged down with the minutiae of every single thing that happens in my life and be like, "Nobody's going to understand this, nobody is going to understand me just simply because my experience is mine."
I've have seen such a broad range and scope of other people's experiences whether or not they're polyamorous, monogamous, a cis white male or a trans-African-American person or anything. All of those different experiences are something that has been brought to my attention in a way that I don't know if another medium would have been able to do that, and just getting to be on this podcast learning constantly and broadening my own scope of what is available out in the world. It's been incredible and something that I never probably would have been able to do otherwise.
Dedeker: Seriously, it's really been such a privilege because when we started this podcast, it was just the three of us just talking to each other and just putting it out into the world and that was it. It's such a privilege that there is this community of listeners and of patrons all of whom have such a wide spectrum of experience, and identity, and all those things. That's just what I want to come back to is what a privilege to be able to be exposed to that and to have that opportunity to learn from such a wide spectrum of experience.
Jase: Absolutely. I found that for myself just the act of every week, at least during the day that we record and usually, other days during the week, but every week for the past four years having these very focused and intentional conversations about relationships, and about emotional wellbeing, and about accountability, and about gender, and about different people's experiences. Then also, getting feedback from people about that, and hearing other people's experiences. For me, very specifically, one thing that has really changed for me from the meet four years ago is my understanding of different gender dynamics.
Both in terms of how we are socialized as how I was socialized as a boy and as a man, and how the women in my life have been socialized, as well as the bigger picture thing about gender and the restrictiveness of it, and the other options out there. For me, it's changed a lot very personally in terms of my own relationship to my gender. Not just this, "I’ve gained knowledge," but it’s been this really amazing but also sometimes challenging and sometimes difficult process of really starting to question a lot of those things of like who am I?
Who am I, not just what I've been told I am, just what other people think I am, and where's the difference between how I might identify versus how I might feel? It's hard to even talk about without just being very general like that. I'm trying to make it as specific as possible. I had a thought recently where I was thinking about masculinity and some of the ways that men will insult each other about things, about not being man enough or about calling someone gay or implying something like that or whatever, and how so very hurt, and also very afraid a lot of men are by these types of things. About being seen that way, about being thought of that way.
That way being whichever of those you choose. I realized that getting away from those things even if you are, as far as you know, totally straight, and that is your identity, that getting away from the fear of anyone ever thinking anything else or of being called anything else or having any traits that are associated with anything but that, once you let go of caring at all, not just saying you don't care but actually not being concerned about that, it's like gaining a superpower.
I had this realization recently, especially when I was having some conversations with some men younger than myself, two who are really struggling with this and didn't know they were struggling with it, and just being like, "Man, you can't hurt me with this stuff because I have this superpower now." That, for me, has been a really cool part of this journey, and getting to meet a lot of other men who've had a similar experience in their lives, whether it was related to this podcast or just in their own lives in their own relationships. That's definitely something that's changed a lot for me.
Dedeker: I think, for me, I don't know, there's been so many things. I feel like I've noticed in myself a change in how I react to criticism. We talked about this a little bit with Cat Black about maintaining mental health and dealing with people who are really insulting or terrible online, but I'm not quite talking about that. It's the stuff where it's people on YouTube being like, "You’re a slut" or whatever. It's like, "Yes, whatever, I’ve heard it a billion times."
Emily: "You are a man," I’ve heard it a billion times.
Dedeker: [chuckles] It doesn't really change my day. What historically has been more challenging for me is if someone sends me an email or sends the show an email where they are more specifically like, "Hey, you used this tone of phrase" or "You had this particular opinion" or "You said this thing that I don't agree with" or "That made me upset" or whatever. It's harder when it hits this gray area of initially not being able to tell do I take this to heart or do I not? Is this BS or is there something valuable?
I can't tell you how many times we've gotten some kind of critical email to the show that is attempting to be constructive criticism, not just bashing or whatever, where my initial reaction has been that defensiveness. Has been, "Why are they offended by this? I don't feel this way." Or "I don't think other people feel this way. Why can't we use this term?" Or yadda, yadda, yadda where it's my initial reaction for a day, let's say, will be that like defensiveness and be like, "Whatever, I can write it off. That person doesn't know what they're talking about."
The number of times that've I initially felt that way and then essentially, by the end of the week, I've totally changed my tune to, "You know what, actually that's totally valid, and I think it totally makes sense that we can make an adjustment to our language." Or "We could use this different tone of phrase." Or "We could prioritize this different thing." Or "We could be more careful in what we express about this particular topic." So many times that I've realized this person bringing this to our attention, it's not a violent thing. It's not a thing that I should feel defensive about, it's just it's a corrective experience and that's okay. I feel like, for me, that's really helped me to be much more open in the rest of my life to--
Jase: Figure that out.
Dedeker: Yes. If someone calls me out on something or calls me in on something or whatever that I can recognize, even though I have that initial feeling of defensiveness, but now it's almost like a signal to me that I'm like, "I know I'm feeling it this way, but I'm willing to bet if I just give this some time, I'll be able to turn this around and I'll totally see what this person is saying and understand." That's been really valuable I feel. I don't know how you all are when it comes to emails like that.
Jase: I don’t know, 100% the same like that. That natural reaction to be defensive, and then-
Jase: - sit back and actually know they took the time to write this, realizing how much courage it takes for them to even say it. Really, that's definitely changed a lot for me also in terms of being able to hear those things. I think something I'm still working on is being able to accept that criticism without letting it just destroy me like, "Oh God, I fucked up everything. I've done everything wrong, and I've offended people, and everyone hates me."
Emily: I think it's really interesting going back home, for instance, and seeing my other friends who are not as just tuned into the things that they say that might be offensive, even if it's not meant that way, but it happens constantly. It's so fascinating because they have no platform, I guess, for themselves or anyone holding them accountable in any way, and no one saying, "Hey, maybe you shouldn't say that. That's not okay." Or even just if it's like a racial slur. I understand it's not meant that way, but it truly is not, in my opinion, okay, at all to say, and trying to stand up for that on my end being like, "Hey, maybe think about that."
Or "Think about what you've just said there. Can you see how it's not okay in X, Y or Z way?" I think we get really privileged. Like I know that I'm privileged being in Los Angeles and having a lot of people who are very understanding of others and understanding of all different walks of life, all different experiences. That when you get into smaller towns or just more perhaps Middle America, I don't want to say that that's the case all over the place, but that often, people just aren't as attuned as we might be simply because we get so many comments of people teaching us.
I'm so grateful for that just because my scope of others again has changed so drastically from four years ago when we were young and thought we knew everything, and it turns out we knew nothing obviously.
We still know that for sure.
Dedeker: We were trying to come up with a title for this episode and we workshopped a bunch of ideas and a bunch of silly ideas. One that I wrote down was that it was 200 episodes later called in. We don't know anything actually.
Emily: Yes, how true that is.
Emily: Is that Socrates or something you said?
Dedeker: Yes, the only knowledge is knowing that you know nothing.
Emily: You know nothing, yes, exactly.
Dedeker: Something like that. Yes, it's so crazy. I say something-
Emily: I guess this is a little bit more personal, but I've gotten better over these last four years at understanding my own boundaries, being able to say no, and learning how to uphold my boundaries in a way that perhaps I didn't four years ago. I know that that is absolutely been because of the show. Even you two telling me, "Hey, why don't you say no to that" instead of just driving yourself into the ground and banging your head against the wall all the time. That's been a huge one for me just because we talk about it so often. We talk about boundaries and we have to think about it all the time and it's easier said than done.
I definitely still allow my buttons to get pushed and boundaries to get violated, but I think I am definitely better at it than I was four years ago when we started this.
Jase: Yes, I know that's something that, Emily, we have talked about a lot recently of how that's changed and it's still changing.
Emily: Yes, that nausea.
Jase: No, for you specifically that we've talked personally about how that something that you've definitely worked on a lot and worked for it. I think Dedeker has talked about that too of how we're so socialized to never say no to anything until it's just please other people, and not ourselves, and that it's potentially even worse for women who are so much more socialized that way. That's a great one.
Dedeker: Let me tell you. I remember in the early nascent infant stages of recording this podcast, at the time when this podcast first began, I was in a really not great relationship.
Emily: Yes, we know [laughs].
Dedeker: Yes, everyone knows, it's old news, but the thing is that I think about there were so many times when the three of us would have an appointment to record together. I would know that I have to be there at a particular time, but before coming over to your house, I would get into a really terrible awful fight with my partner that I was initially temporary relationship with. We'd just would have to, on the drive over, be putting myself back together after crying and full of adrenalin, and really pissed, and really bummed out, and shaky. Then suddenly have to get into podcasting mode and talk about good relationships. There's something about that that's not really not sustainable I think.
It's happened when I've been in other bad relationships also. I found that it seems like it's really not sustainable for me at least to be in a truly bad toxic relationship and also be working on this podcast at the same time because there is something to getting a chance to proclaim your boundaries, and your principles, and your guiding light every single week.
Jase: That's a good way to put that.
Dedeker: I think that's not just a thing that's just me because I'm the one talking on the show, but I think also times when I've been better at listening to shows or reading stuff that's really affirming and really filling me up that it's hard to let my relationships just be really crappy basically or let myself be in really crappy relationships. I'm getting that constant, slow dripping constant reminder of what's good for me. I know for me, it's definitely been this case of essentially extreme accountability being on this show totally.
Jase: Like the cognitive dissonance to talk about one thing but then be in a different kind of relationship. It's like one or the other has to give and it's nice that in these cases, it has given for the sake of better relationships and still doing the show rather than being like, "I quit this show because-
Emily: I quit this bitch.
Jase: - I need to be in this relationship."
Dedeker: My shitty relationship is more important.
Dedeker: I don't want anyone to get any wrong ideas. I'm not 100% congruent all the time because I'm a human being, but at least it's there to highlight, at least I'm aware of like, "I know I talk about doing this on the show" or "I talk about doing this in my coaching practice," but I see myself having this really bad communication habit or that this particular crappy behavior comes out when I'm angry or when I'm sad or whatever. At least there's always that sense in my mind of I know there's a gap between where I am right now and where I want to be and it just really nice to have that.
Emily: I feel like the show gives us some sense of accountability to a degree. In the back of our head if we're not doing something in real life that we talk about on the show, it's like, "Hey, you need to be doing this better because you understand the tools to a degree and you have talked about this at length, so why aren't you putting it into practice?" What is the true reasoning behind it? That for me is definitely something that is constantly going on in my head and allowed me to have a little bit of more kindness towards myself at times, and then also a kick in the ass at times. Being like. "No, you need to do this better because you talk about it on a weekly basis and there are no excuses."
Dedeker: That's really funny because sometimes I feel like I get more of a pass in my relationship with my partner Alex because, obviously, he's not on the show.
Emily: A good point.
Dedeker: He doesn't listen to the show every single week, and so sometimes I feel like I'm able to be a little bit more "naughty" in maybe my communication habits or something like that versus, jeez, I definitely have no excuses because it's like we're talking about the same stuff every week in the same tools.
Jase: Right. Yes, that is funny, that's a good point. It's funny, I found in one of my other relationships I always have this thing of I don't know which episode she's listening to or how caught up she is. I'm like, "What if I said that I needed to be sure I'm doing?" Or on the other hand, which things can I assume she already knows? Like with Dedeker, I know that she understands the Triforce so that she understands radar or something like that, whereas, with my other partner, it's like, "Wait, have we talked about this thing? Has she already heard this from me and I'm going to bore her by talking about it now? What is it?"
Dedeker: This seems like a good point to take a little bit of a break.
Emily: I think so.
Dedeker: Okay, excellent. Emily, do you want to start us out with the stuff that we need to talk to the people about this week?
Emily: Yes. We want to talk about some of the ways if the show over the last four years or if you even just started a couple of weeks ago. We definitely have some people who say like, "I started two weeks ago and I've listened to 35 episodes" and you are amazing person, thank you. if you're really compelled to help us out, then the best way to do that is to become a patron of ours. Just go to patreon.com/multiamory and sign up today. There are a bunch of different tiers that you can sign up for. One of them is the $7 tier where you do not have to listen to us talk about ads every single week, so you get ad-free episodes and you also get bonus content, which is exclusive to members who are $7 and up.
Also, at $9 level, you get a discussion group that is a video discussion group just for $9 in our Patreon so you can go and talk to us and other like-minded people every single month. It's a really great poly-processing group. It's been an amazing space for us well, we really, really love it. Yes, you can even donate at the $2 level if you just want to give a little bit, you don't have a lot to give, but it would still help us out immensely. Again, if you would like to become a patron of ours, go to patreon.com/multiamory.
Jase: Yes, and as we were talking about, at the beginning of this episode, about how much things like iTunes and Stitcher reviews have meant to us, and how those have helped to shape the show, those have also helped other people to find this show, and to help build this amazing community that there is now, and to keep growing it into something that can become even more and more amazing and more and more parts of the world. The easiest way that you can support that is by taking a couple of minutes to go to iTunes and to write a review explaining what it is that you get out of this show, why is it that you listen to this show.
Just explain a little bit about that there so that other people coming along, coming across this show will see, "That makes sense, I think I would get that same thing out of it" or "I would like to get something like that, so I'll give it a try." Just take a couple of minutes, go to iTunes or Stitcher and write a review about what it is that you get out of this show.
Dedeker: Okay, you all, there's going to be a little bit of a left turn, but I want to talk to you all about the afterlife.
Jase: Wait, what?
Dedeker: Specifically, I want to talk to you about Heaven. Do you guys know anything about Heaven? What do you know about Heaven?
Emily: No, definitely not a thing, but I've seen ghosts.
Dedeker: Emily, you don't know anything about Heaven?
Jase: Yes, it hasn't really been talked about in the way we've read and drunk bible studies so far.
Dedeker: Yes, I know, but anything you've gleaned, Emily, from pop culture about Heaven and what it might be?
Emily: It's fluffy, and there are clouds, and you get to do whatever you want.
Jase: Harps, and angels, and stuff.
Dedeker: Harps, okay.
Dedeker: Yes, so that's the thing is you didn't know it, but there is sexy lingerie in Heaven and I'm going to tell you about it. Specifically, I'm going to tell you about sexylingerieheaven.com. In case any of you don't know the way that lingerie is in Heaven, first of all, it's very high quality, obviously, because you're in heaven,-
Emily: Of course, the best.
Dedeker: - you can't have cheap, poorly made lingerie. I think we've had the experience of ordering cheap lingerie or cheap sexy outfit.
Jase: Yes, it falls apart.
Dedeker: Yes, it's like those discounts Halloween costumes that are good for one night of going out and drinking your body into the night, all the stitching is coming apart and stuff like that.
Emily: Definitely I had a fear of those in my life.
Dedeker: Yes, but if you order from sexylingerieheaven.com, all of their products are not made in a factory in China, they're not mass produced. They're made in Turkey, which I can personally attest having lived in Turkey for a number of months that there is high-quality stuff that gets produced there, so definitely good times. The majority of the lingerie sets that they sell on their site are under $30, which is a steal for sure because most actual high-quality lingerie is going to be upwards of $50 for an entire set something like that.
Jase: Yes. No, it gets out of hand for sure.
Emily: Some are like 80, 100, it's ridiculous.
Dedeker: 80 $100? 80 or 100.
Emily: Yes, 80 or 100. 80, 100.
Dedeker: I see, got it. Anyway, at Sexy Lingerie Heaven, definitely, the majority of the stuff on their site is under $30. I would say 100% of the stuff on their side is under $50 at least, so definitely a good bargain there. Right now, they are running a promo for the listeners of our show that you can buy any two lingerie sets and get free panties, which who can say no to free panties really? There's free shipping, fast shipping available on some orders. By the time this episode comes out, there will still be time to order stuff for Christmas. If you want to buy a Christmas gift for yourself or for a partner or multiple partners, definitely go to sexylingerieheaven.com and make your order.
Jase: With a buy two get one free, it’s set up for three partners right there [laughs].
Dedeker: It's true, you could just pick it out for everyone.
Emily: No, for sure, it's perfect for us.
Dedeker: Your partner or your other partner, your metamour, whoever you want. Okay, you all, I feel like we started talking about this a little bit in our last go around, but can we specifically put the focus on, over the course of the show and all the many hours of research, and trial, and error, and mistakes, and stuff that we've made, how have your relationships changed or your approach to your relationships changed?
Jase: I'll go real quick on this one.
Jase: For me, this one has been partly about how my romantic relationships have changed in terms of when we started the show was kind of a little more into hierarchy and felt like there was maybe more of a place for certain rules, and restrictions, and things. I feel differently about my relationships now, but I think the biggest change for me has actually been in my friendship relationships, and in other sort of less easily defined partner relationships. That I've moved more toward this relationship anarchy way of seeing each relationship for just its own thing, and it can have its own value, and that that relationship is made by those two people rather than needing to fit some certain boxes.
I think my simplest example of that is when I had this realization where I was feeling like I'm not dating anyone in Los Angeles right now, and I don't have anyone to hang out with, I don't have anything to do while I'm here, so I better get on OkCupid and start trying to do that. Then in thinking about relationship anarchy and talking about it with you guys on the show, having this realization of like, "Wait a minute, but I get to do all of that stuff with my friend Eric who I also live with," and it's like- [squeaks].
Dedeker: He's really he's like your honorary partner.
Emily: For sure.
Dedeker: I totally count him as that.
Jase: We don't have a physical relationship, but other than that, it's very similar in realizing not just as a joke of like, "Bromance, right?" But just being like, "No, actually." A lot of the needs that I felt like I could only get met by this one type of relationship, realizing that didn't have to be the case. For me, that was a big change in terms of how I approach dating and friendships.
Dedeker: I just wanted to toss in a comment on that because I feel like a number of episodes back we talked about that study where they found that a lot more millennial men are getting emotional needs met by their relationships with other men, platonic relationships. How in some publications that was like, "That's a good thing," and in some publications, it was like, "Oh my God, it's going to be the death of romantic heterosexual relationships."
Jase: Yes, right.
Emily: Calm down.
Dedeker: I know, seriously, but, honestly, I love it. I absolutely love it.
Jase: It's like it's allowed me also to approach my romantic relationships or dates with a lot less of a sense of need, which I think I definitely approach relationships that way and I think most people do because we're taught to, right?
Emily: Yes, our partners have to fulfill absolutely everything. They are our emotional support and it's like, "Okay, this becomes difficult." I guess I don't know if I can go next year, but it's bouncing off of that. I know in my life I have had very co-dependent relationships. I think to a degree, Jase, you and I were in somewhat co-dependent relationship for a long time.
Jase: Yes, I'd agree with that.
Emily: I still struggle with that sometimes with both of you, but I think that I am a lot better than I was. I think my relationship with my mother, I'm less codependent that I once was.
My relationship with Jase, I'm much less codependent than I once was. It's allowed for more independence just talking about how to do relationships well. I think just not need them to fulfill the holes within me.
Dedeker: I guess my biggest thing when it comes to relationships, there's so many things. I swear to God, every time I do a radar I want to log on to the Patreon discussion group and just be like, "Oh my God, I'm so glad I can do this and I'm so clear," but then I feel like that's going to be like a little self-indulgent so I don't. Every time I do a radar with one of my partners, by the time I get to the other side of it, even if it's been one of those six our radars where you need to take a break in the middle because it got too emotional or too angry or whatever, even then, I still feel like, "Goddamn, I'm so glad I have something like this under my belt."
I would say specifically this year, I'd like to believe that I've gotten a lot more mindful about my sense of attraction to people, especially when I'm dating or things like that.
Dedeker: I haven't done a ton of dating in the last year. Actually, I want to do a whole other episode just on the physiology of attraction and deconstructing attraction and stuff like that because I feel like I really realized for myself personally how much my sense of attraction to people has been influenced by my upbringing, by colonial values, by my privilege, by my perception of status of another person, by my perception of how I think people are going to think about me. I had this, even just a few months ago, I had this total trip out moment randomly where I was thinking about one of my earliest relationships ever in high school was with a boy.
I can call him a boy because he was a boy. Was with a boy who was overweight, and on the one hand, that relationship was a really good relationship in that I really felt seen, and heard, and understood by this person and we shared a lot of passions. It was a very formative relationship for me. For years afterward, actually, when I would date more as an adult, I'd meet someone who reminded me of him and it'd be like, "He reminds me of him and that's a good thing." That's a good thing we shared his qualities, but at the time, the relationship was really rocky and was really stressful for me because the biggest stressor was my friends giving me shit for dating a fat person.
Even for years afterwards, when I would talk to my old high school friends, we were all like, "Remember when you dated that guy?" "[sarcastic laugh] Yes, what was I thinking?" It wasn't until months ago that I realized like, wait, if I didn't have anyone there giving me shit for it, there probably would have been a much longer, lasting, happier relationship. I probably would have had a lot less stress about that relationship, and so that really threw me for a loop of starting to examine the body types that I'm attracted to. The people that I tend to swipe left on and swipe right on. Like I said, I'm not doing a ton of dating right now.
We'll see the next time I have the energy to really dive into dating how that's going to manifest, but I've just spent a lot of time really examining why am I attracted the people that I'm not-- I was going to say how can I change that? Not that there's a problem with whom I try to do right now, but how do I expand that? What's in the way to expanding that? Just being able to examine what are my look cyst, and default racist, and sexist, and all these assumptions that are keeping me attracted to a certain set of people and making me not be mindful about who it is I'm pursuing. I feel like I got a little bit lofty. Did I lose the both of you?
Emily: That was good.
Jase: Yes, there's a lot there. I think that would definitely be an interesting thing to research more about and stuff like that. I think that would be really cool.
Dedeker: Yes, definitely.
Emily: Absolutely. because ultimately my bottom line is just that every time I think I figured out my attraction, like my sexuality, for instance, someone else pops up that I find myself super attracted to and I'm like, "Well, okay, back to the drawing board, I guess." Which is great. It's not a bad place to be. It's actually kind of exciting to still be discovering these things about yourself even so many years down the line.
Emily: There's a lot of attractive people here in Shanghai. It's very interesting also being in a completely different culture with a big language barrier and something that I know the two of you deal with more often than perhaps I do, but just like seeing how something that you were not used to like, what kind of attractive things come up and like what you are attracted to it is really interesting. Yes, as you said, examining that and just questioning yourself for whatever reason, just saying, like, why do I like this? Why don't I like that and et cetera. What is inherent about me or what is inherent about my experience that causes X, Y or Z to happen?
Jase: I think that's just really interesting. I feel like the way that's showing up for me is kind of like, not putting that second level of judgment on myself for when I do feel attraction for someone, kind of like the voices of Dedeker's friends that she mentioned, but just being like, "No, I just feel this way. That's what it is," or, "I don't feel this way. I don't feel attracted to this person who logically, I think that I should or status wise, I would think that I would," something like that. That's been really interesting to just try to be more observant and not judgmental of that for myself and just being like, "Huh, cool. Maybe I wouldn't have expected that, but I definitely got some feelings going on."
Emily: That's awesome. I also think the show has made me become a better listener in a variety of ways, just like more constructive listening, and also not thinking about whatever a person said based on my own personal biases, but just really sitting there and listening to what somebody has to say and then being able to acknowledge that often when people say something when they're upset, they just want to be heard. They want someone to acknowledge that whatever they're feeling is okay. You might not agree with it necessarily in that moment, but acknowledge that you heard them and that you're there for them and stuff like that.
I think that the show is helping me a lot within that. I still have a long way to go, but it's been a good important lesson for me to just become a better more active listener over the years.
Dedeker: Well, I feel like that's actually a pretty good transition, Emily, because we didn't really approve this question ahead of time, but I kind of want to slip it in there and I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I am really curious to know from both of you and, Emily, you can keep that same answer or you can give a different answer whatever you want. Are there things that you know you want to get better at? Because I feel like we spend a lot of time thinking about where we started from and where we are now, but I want to think about the future and heading forward at least as far as like yourself and your relationships go.
Jase: Yes, what a question.
Emily: Definitely, just being more patient because I know that I still I'm either really stubborn or just like I'm placating and like, "Oh, okay, I'll acquiesce to your demands or acquiesce to the situation and just try to defuse it or whatever." I think simultaneously being better about not being a doormat, but then also being better about being able to hold in moments when I need to, understanding that if somebody needs to take a break, instead of just trying to charge ahead and saying, "No, we're going to finish this," to not do that. These are big things I was going to say little things that still need to be worked on, but no, they're all big things for sure but patience is a big one. I'm not great about that, just in my daily life.
Jase: We feel the same way. In some ways I feel like I'm really patient and in other ways I feel like I'm not at all. I mentioned earlier about being able to not be as devastated by criticism. I think that one's definitely a work in progress. I feel like I'm better about it, but it's been difficult. That's definitely been a challenging one for me. I think also being somewhat of like a people pleaser, or getting my self-worth from what other people think about me. It's like ,you get a criticism, and it's like, "Aha, evidence that everyone hates me and everyone thinks I do everything wrong, and I'm no good." Combating that has been a process that this show has forced me to face much more often than maybe I would have otherwise.
Emily: For sure.
Jase: Both in terms of like we were saying getting constructive criticism from people or even just super negative comments on the show, those don't get me as much as the ones where it's like, it hurts because they're right. Even just in the stuff that we've explored on this show, or in things that guests have brought up, or things that I've learned through working on this show, kind of looking back and going, "Fuck, I've done a shitty job of this," or like, "I've been the bad guy in the past," or like, "I've been shitty. I've made mistakes."
It's like, if your whole identity is around this idea that you're somehow the good person and the bad people are the bad people, that sort of black and white world like our movies, if you have one thing where it's like, "Fuck, I was the bad guy," where do you go from there? You were the bad guy and therefore are terrible and deserve failure and bad things should happen to you. You know what I mean? No one should sympathize with you and it just goes on and on. Some of those moments have honestly been very difficult for me over the past few years.
Those are things I think I'm still recovering from for myself of like, regaining my sense of identity or confidence in who I am and trying to build something that's better and stronger and also more flexible and more able to learn and listen to people. I think that's still a work in progress. What about you?
Dedeker: I think for me honestly, the thing that I want to get better at is being more unapologetic. I know a lot of people are surprised by that because they're like, "You wrote a book and you're on a podcast every week and this is your work." It's like, in a professional sphere, yes. Totally unapologetic, like, "Whatever." If I got to hustle, or I got to write something or anything in my professional sphere is no problem.
When I get into my personal sphere, when I'm dealing with family, or friends who don't really understand or even total strangers, I'm trying to figure out is there a part of this where I still feel kind of apologetic for who I am and what my relationships are and how I identify and what my sexuality is? Is that the main part of it or is the main part of it just I'm exhausted about talking about it and defending it? I'm sure it's a little column A little column B.
What I find myself so often doing is that sometimes at the end of the day, if a family member asks about it, or if I'm in a situation meeting someone who doesn't know that I've multiple partners, it is just so much easier to just not talk about it or to pretend to only have one partner or to just not even reference partners or kind of dance around what it is that I actually do. I guess maybe the two of you could help me on this, or maybe some of our listeners could help me on this. I think I need to come up with a script for myself that accomplishes both of the truth of what my life is and what I do, but also conveys, I don't want to answer your 10 hundred questions about it, at least not right now. I don't know how to do that without running the risk of this person just making a bunch of gross assumptions about me or coming off as if being like a fuck you or something like that. That's what I'm trying to figure out.
Emily: Maybe just be like reference the podcast just be like, "If you have more questions about it, feel free to listen to the podcast, this is what I do."
Dedeker: Yes, I guess I could. Then I activate my insecurity around self promotion and it's a dazy chain of just badness.
Emily: I talk about the podcast all the time to people when they ask.
Dedeker: I know you do, it's great.
Emily: Also, people are like, "You've got that great voice what are you doing with it?" I'm like, "Well, actually--" Then I get to talk about the podcast.
Dedeker: You're like, "I'm fucking using it." That's true.
Emily: I have a built in inn, and then people are like, "I'm going to sign up for it right now."
Jase: That is funny because I remember that you would sometimes complain to me years ago before we started this podcast about how often people would say something to that effect to you of like, "Your voice is amazing, you should be on radio or you should do voiceover or whatever," but just that you were kind of, "Yes, I should. What the hell? Where are those jobs? Why am I not doing that to now where you can be like, "Well, actually I have a podcast that's been running for four years." It's cool that you're doing something.
Dedeker: "Actually, I have a podcast and I do voiceover work and I sing, so bitch I'm using it every single day."
Jase: You recorded an audio book. Right?
Emily: Right, yes. Yes, I did.
Dedeker: Basically just like everyone who tries to complement you, just be really sassy with them, just throw it right back in their faces.
Emily: I need to be better than what I am when I'm usually like, "Thank you."
Dedeker: Thank you. That is correct. This is the voice.
Emily: I know I feel so bad. It does become tedious after a while.
Dedeker: Oh, sorry. I think this might be just actually like a mini rant, and I apologize in advance for that. I think I've realized also part of my issue is that the times especially with my family or friends who do know that I'm already out to, the time that I try to be so normal about it, I try to just be like, "Oh, yes. I was in Singapore with my partner Alex, or oh, yes, I'm meeting up with my partner Jason and his partner so and so later on." The times that I try to just normalize as much as possible after they already know, I just get so deflated when people have no idea what to say. People often just pretend nothing happened, "Okay, let's just change the subject." Or there's a weird awkward pause, they're like, okay, I'm just going to pretend you didn't say that. I don't know how to deal with that. I guess it's really not my problem if they don't know what to say. They don't know what to say. It's their problem, but still, I'm tired of killing conversations in that way.
Emily: No, I totally get.
Jase: Weird silence until someone else is like, "So, did you see the game last night?"
Dedeker: [laughs] Yes, basically.
Emily: And you're like, "Well, all right, they're not worth it anyways."
Jase: I'm like, "I don't know about sports."
Emily: They're not worth talking to it about. Finally, we should definitely talk about the way in which this show has evolved over the last four years as well because it certainly has, oh man, our humble beginnings beneath a blanket trying to--
Dedeker: Boy and beneath a blanket.
Emily: Exactly. Trying to make this show sound good when we had a ton of cars right outside speeding down.
Jase: Lots of motorcycles and cars.
Dedeker: We're marginally better now.
Jase: First of all, I think it's worth telling people that when we first were recording this show it was us crowded around one microphone. Basically, I think maybe we had two of them crossed, but all sort of huddled around a thing in a blanket fort to try to dampen the sound.
Dedeker: In our underwear because we had to turn off the air conditioning, it was so hot, and so we just stripped down to our underwear because we had to be under this freaking heavy-ass blanket recording the show.
Jase: Yes, we had all of our show notes written on a whiteboard that we would--
Dedeker: So cute.
Emily: That was really smart.
Jase: Then would have to take a photo of afterward so that we would know what was on it when we wrote up the show notes and things like that. Yes, we've definitely come a long way since then.
Emily: Yes. Oh man, that's really incredible. Audio-wise we've upgraded considerably, editing-wise, I think just having Mauricio as our wonderful editor has made a big difference as well.
Dedeker: Talk about patience, goodness.
Emily: Hashtag, sorry Mauricio. Hashtag, thank you, Mauricio for everything.
Jase: Yes, seriously. I was looking back too, I'm looking through some of our old episodes right now. Also, just thinking about all of the different formats for the show that we've tried.
Dedeker: Gosh, you're right.
Emily: Yes, we had like our Twitter thing for a while which really--
Dedeker: Oh, the Twitter shout-out.
Jase: Which did connect people in real life, so that was cool.
Dedeker: It did, yes.
Emily: That's true.
Dedeker: That was like the very baby beginnings of any kind of community.
Jase: It was kind of this like a time killing thing in a way. It was like, let's build community, but also let's take up some time so we can fill an hour with what we have to say. Or we had multi referee where we would try to bring up some sort of, not quite current events, but some sort of article or something to talk about and riff about.
Dedeker: I love riffing so I kind of miss multi referee, but I think that outlet turned into drunk Bible study, the show where we can actually be more silly and make more jokes.
Emily: Yes, I think all of the research that we've done has evolved over the years as well.
Jase: So much.
Emily: I think we really do a huge amount of research for every single episode. I hope the people out there know that we really do consult articles, consult studies, consult infographics and real-life people to make these episodes happen every week. I think we're committed to that now in a way that perhaps we weren't as much when it started. I know I am at least because I want the show to be good and I know that it takes work in order to do that.
Dedeker: Definitely. I feel like I need to acknowledge the fact that we've talked about our community and the people that we've met and our listeners and stuff like that. I feel like it was really a turning point for us when there were people like Mauricio or our social media wizard Will, or our wonderful team of moderators who works for our Patreon community, when there are people who are not just listeners and not just listening to our content, but people who actually wanted to be a part of this thing growing and building. If I speak anymore, and I'm going to get all teary-eyed. I don't know if I should, but that's a game changer. It's such a game changer for us when there's people who actually want to get on board in keeping the train rolling. I guess that's the metaphor I'm going to use, but you know what I mean?
Jase: Oh, yes. Definitely.
Emily: We have like 700 patrons or almost 700 patrons now, that is mind-blowing. Mind-blowing.
Dedeker: Dumbledore's Army if you ask me.
Emily: Yes, it's incredible. That even 700 people would be interested in helping our show out in any way let alone the many thousands more hopefully that are listening to the show on a weekly basis, that is mind-blowing, that that has happened to this humble little show that started underneath a blanket all those years ago.
Jase: Yes. I was also thinking about when we were talking about criticism earlier that our episodes used to start out with the Twitter shoutouts and some other kind of like random little bits and we would actually start talking about the topic maybe about halfway through the episode, maybe a little earlier than halfway but around then. Like I said, I think part of that was to fill time because we only felt like we had that much like content to talk about and there's two parts of that that are funny.
The first of that is that now we have to edit like crazy to get ourselves down to an hour because there's so much to talk about, there's so much that we've looked up or that we've researched, or we've heard or that we've connected. That part first of all, I think it's funny that we used to struggle to fill that time out. Now, we really try to keep it concise. Then the other thing is speaking of criticism, some of the criticism that we got quite harshly on Reddit was about get to the fucking point, please. I don't want to listen to 20 minutes if you guys talking about whatever the fuck you're talking about, and that was one that was at first was that sort of defensiveness and then it was like, "That makes sense. This isn't morning radio talk show where you're just goofing around with what's his name, about--"
Dedeker: The soundboard.
Jase: Yes. Well, your sound effects and stuff. It's like, no, this is the show people come to because they want information. They want this kind of stuff. I think that change has been a big part of now when I look at other shows, I kind of feel that I'm like, "You should get to the point because you have good stuff to say, but we'd like you to get to the point." I think that was definitely an interesting change for our show.
Dedeker: This has been great. I don't want it to be all just about us. I have to say if we could name drop listeners and patrons on this show, I would. I haven't, unfortunately, taken the time to clear that with people. Unfortunately, I can't drop your specific names, but when I go into the Patreon group and look through the threads and sometimes I'm able to participate and sometimes I'm not, sometimes I'm super on top of it, sometimes I'm not, but there are so many specific people especially some of the more active people in there that I admire so much who I'm just like, "Oh my God, you are so courageous and you are so vulnerable and you are so amazing for taking the time to support this person who's posting the Patreon group because their relationships are imploding." Or, "You are so amazing for calling out this person in a really gentle compassionate way," or, "You're so smart." There've been so many times when there's been a threat and I kind of want to be like, "The only planned episode on that is--"
Maybe that's something we could coordinate in the future, is a little Patreon planned episode could be fun.
Jase: That's a fun idea, I like that.
Emily: That would be lovely.
Dedeker: That's the thing is this show doesn't exist in a vacuum and although in the early days it felt like it did, but I don't think it really ever has, but definitely hearing from all of you who have emailed us and who have left comments and who have called us. It always leaves a mark on us, it does influence the show and I just admire people who can be so vulnerable and so supportive and also, again, just so brave in their relationships, in their life, in their coming out stories, in them messaging us to tell us where we've made some kind of bullshit mistake. All those things take this courage, and it seriously is inspiring to me every single time. Definitely for me and from the rest of us, thank you to all of you who have listened and who've connected with us in some way and especially to all of you who are Patreon supporters as well.
Emily: Here's to 200 plus more.
Dedeker: Okay, any shooting from the hip predictions for the next, 'season' of Multiamory?
Jase: The next 100 episodes?
Dedeker: The next 100 episodes, yes. That is about two-ish years or so.
Emily: I know there's so many topics we've talked about, but there's even more to talk about, obviously. We're just going to have to keep digging, keep learning and keep getting better.
Jase: Yes, I think connecting with more people building this community to be larger so that there can be this even greater support network for everyone involved all around the world. I think that when I look at a year ago to now and just how much has changed, I'm like, "Gosh, I don't even know how I could predict what would happen another year from now, much less two years, 100 episodes from now." I think a lot and it's a really exciting thing.
Dedeker: I want to meet more people in person because anytime we've done tour or live shows or workshops or whatever, it's just a frickin blast, or even the little casual Patreon meetups that happen, go sing karaoke or whatever, it's a blast. I love it, it really instills in me how important it is to have community and good people around you. I hope between now and the next 100 episodes we do more of that.
Jase: Yes, definitely
Dedeker: Well, thank you again so much for listening, thank you for contributing, thank you for connecting to us. The best place to share your thoughts about the last 200 episodes of this podcast with other listeners is on this episode's discussion thread in our private Facebook or Discourse forums. You can get access to these groups and you can join our exclusive community by going to patreon.com/multiamory. In addition, you can share with us publicly on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, you can leave us a voicemail at 678multi05 or you can leave us a voice message on Facebook. Multiamory is created and produced by Emily Matlack, Jase Lindgren and me, Dedeker Winston. Our episodes are edited by Mauricio Balvanera, our social media wizard is Will Macmillan. Our theme song is Forms I know I did by Josh and Anand from the Fractal Cave EP. Full transcript is available on this episode's page on multiamory.com.