It’s time for our Patron’s favorite moments! This episode was created by suggestions from our awesome private Patreon group members. We asked Patron’s what some of their favorite moments have been on the show and these are just a few of some of their favorite moments. Find out which moments made the list and we've love to hear your feedback about future episodes like this!
Favorite moment #1 [4:18] - Objectification in Sex
Favorite Moment #2 [10:25] - Rules vs Boundaries
Favorite Moment #3 [17:31] - Science of Falling in Love - New Relationship Energy
Favorite Moment #4 [24:39] - Switch Tracking
Favorite Moment #5 [32:05] - Bids
Favorite Moment #6 [44:10] - Don’t let fear lead you
Favorite Moment #7 [51:22] - Jealousy
Multiamory was created by Dedeker Winston, Jase Lindgren, and Emily Matlack.
Our theme music is Forms I Know I Did by Josh and Anand.
Please send us your feedback and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, find us on Instagram @Multiamory_Podcast, tweet at us @Multiamory, check out our Facebook Page, visit our website Multiamory.com, or you can leave us a voicemail at 678-MULTI-05. We love to hear from our listeners and we read every message.
This document may contain small transcription errors. If you find one please let us know at email@example.com and we will fix it ASAP.
Emily Matlack: If you're happy with the same old ways of dating.
Dedecker Winston: If you enjoy sucking at communication.
Emily: And you have no desire to improve your romantic life, then our podcast might not be for you.
Dedecker: If you want some out of the box ideas to deepen your current relationships-
Emily: -broaden your sexual horizons-
Dedecker: -develop a better understanding of yourself-
Emily: -or learn more about nonmonogamy.
Jase: Then you've come to the right place. I'm Jase.
Emily: I'm Emily
Dedecker: I'm Dedeker.
Jase Lindgren: This is the Multiamory Podcast.
Jase: On this very special episode of the Multiamory Podcast, we're putting together a collection of some of our Patreon's favorite moments from the show. We recently asked our private Patreon group for suggestions of what some moments were that stood out to them from the show that they would want to see in something like this. Now, we've put it together for you.
Dedeker: Yes, it was a little hard to compile because I think for a lot of people, I know for myself, it's entire episodes are my favorite moments. The radar episode or triforce episode or things like that and those were things that it's very hard to pull over just a short excerpt from. We did our best to scrub through find some good moments, hopefully, a little bit of laughs along with some insights and some gems to toss your way.
Emily: It was really fun to see what people picked for their favorites as well.
Jase: There were some moments I was like, "I forgot about that".
Emily: Yes, I mean gosh, I feel every single episode, we do it waits in the can and then I forget all about it. Someone would be like, "When you said this thing it really resonated". I was like, "I'm glad because I don't remember saying it".
Dedeker: My brain is a bucket with a hole in the bottom [laughs], yes.
Emily: Exactly, it's too much information that we cram in and then it has to go somewhere and that's generally out the other ear.
Jase: People will sometimes post quotes by me and I'll look at them and be like, "Gosh, I mean that does sound like something I'd say but--"
Emily: I don't remember saying it.
Dedeker: All the time if people post quotes from me I'm always like, "Haha, that's really funny. What? What was that about?".
Emily: No, me too yes.
Dedeker: Why was I saying that? Who was I saying that to? I don't remember. I like that you call this a very special episode of Multiamory. It reminds me of when you watch sitcoms as a kid like Full House. They always had to include the lesson at some point, right. In every episode of Full House because it always typical multi-camera sitcom, joke, joke, joke, joke, joke, joke, joke. Three jokes per page the standard rubric for sitcoms in those days and then at the end when the lesson shows up. Then the serious music comes in. The serious really heartfelt piano music as they are explaining to the kids why it's not okay to steal or shoplift or whatever. Or they apologize to each other and then it all feels good, the audience claps and then we're back to joke, joke, joke, joke, joke.
Emily: Yes that's what we do here. No, but recently, I guess our email alerted me to the fact that it's almost two years that we've been on Patreon. It'll be two years in June.
Jase: Oh wow.
Emily: That was cool to see that and it also made me be like, "Wow, it's been two years since this thing started. This community started and that's definitely been a robust outlet to talk to and get feedback on what people were enjoying about the show. Maybe even the things that they're not enjoying and for us to change things if we need to based off of that.
Jase: Get suggestions for stuff like this.
Emily: Get suggestions, absolutely.
Jase: Although, ours isn't going to have heartfelt music at the beginning. It's going to have the [sound effects].
Emily: Yes, not at the beginning maybe [laughs].
Jase: If there's a good moment for some piano music, we'll stick it in there.
Jase: All right well, we also have not yet heard this compilation yet at the time we're recording this. We're also looking forward to listening to this with all of you and talking to you about it in the Patreon Group. I guess with that have at it.
Emily: Enjoy. I wanted to get into-- This is potentially challenging just because it's men and women that I'm about to talk about. I know as a female-bodied person, I have felt objectified by men all of my life. Yet, I've had a lot of partners who ask me the question or just say like, "I want to feel objectified by you in sex" and how often I say to myself like, " I have no idea how to do that".
Dedeker: Yes, yes we had a lot of conversations about this. It's okay if I share what you want?
Emily: Yes go for it and yes, no just basically I wanted to ask the question like, "How the fuck do I do that?". "Are there tools?" Are there good ways to go about approaching that in a way that will be great for my partner?
Jase: I call it taking as a service.
Dedeker: Yes, if you can really drop into not touching them how you think they're going to love it but really, really drop into what turns you on about their body. How can you really take it and it's hot when they know that they can give you the gift of that. Vice versa, once you'd really get into taking then you can be objectified and actually and it actually feels good. Because you are going, "Yes, take pleasure in my body in my pussy in my ass". Whatever the thing is, right? Do you want to add to that?
Jase: It's such a beautiful thing because it is so very common to hear that from women. That it's like, "I've been objectified my whole like and it doesn't feel good". The reason it doesn't feel good is because you didn't agree to it.
Emily: Yes, Jase.
Jase: When you do agree to it feels fucking amazing and also you may have partners men or women that yearn for that. They yearn to feel taken from and sexy and desired. When you're body is being used as a tool for someone else's desire, that's a beautiful thing. It's one of the most nourishing and healing things as a man to feel taken from in that way.
Dedeker: There's something also that in your nervous system that can become healed and nourished on a deep level. If you've had things in the past that have been felt really wrong, there's a way to bring it back in so you actually feel really good about it. There's a lot of deep healing there.
Jase: It's funny you mentioned that because I had an experience on the opposite side from what Emily was talking about at the workshop where. Where we were doing the exercise where you would partner up and ask to do something to the other person for your own pleasure like we're talking about.
Emily: "May I do this to you for my pleasure?"
Jase: Right. My partner asked she's like, "Could I sit behind you and just touch and squeeze your shoulders and your muscles or your arms or your chest or whatever?" You know it was like, "Sure yeah" They had this weird thing of at first feeling like, oh, I'm getting a massage or something. Then being like, "Wait this is for her" and I just had this like, " This doesn't compute" I'm just sitting here and she's getting something out of it? As a man, I feel for the most part my body has been valued for what it can do and not just what it is. That was this [laughs] just--
Dedeker: If you're like women it's very much been the opposite. Because I thought about the fact that when it was that part of the workshop and I was trying to think of what I want to take from my male partner from my own pleasure. I'm like, "I don't know" because I've been so conditioned to like, he's the observer, I'm the observed. I'm the consumed thing he's the thing that does the consuming.
Jase: Oh, interesting language there.
Dedeker: I think that a lot of us have been conditioned to learn how to take pleasure in that one way or another.
Emily: Even slip into enduring.
Dedeker: Or slipping into just enduring it because this is just what the dynamic is. The thing is that when I sat with it and I know there's definitely a deep part of me that would love to take especially from my male partner for my pleasure. That's never seen the light of day really.
Jase: We can practice when we're done.
Dedeker: That is such a hot date night even setting the intention of "Hey there's something I really want to play with you". Would you be willing to play? They can go "Yeah" then you can layout, just layout the ground, the parameters and try it. Even with simple touch or massage or kissing or whatever it's--, I want to-
Jase: You have to remind your partner too-
Dedeker: Who good thought.
Jase: -as men, the doing is hard to break. Your partner will reach up to participate and you'll have to smack their hand.
Emily: When she's taking from me she'll just, I'll reach up I'll be like "oh-oh" and she'll just smack my hand down. I'm like, "Oh yeah right I'm the fuck toy right now".
Dedeker: And loving it. [laughs]
Jase: Right and loving it. Then when you can really drop into that space. I honestly have never felt anything more nourishing sexually than being in a totally non-doing pleasurable state. Actually, it took a long quite, not a long time but a fair amount of time to rewire my arousal. Because laying on my back, I couldn't even really access an erection or arousal for a bit in there. I just had to really drop in and relax. That's something that often, I will present to male clients when they're having issues with erection. Sometimes you don't want to be doing your body is not in a space of doing. Actually, blood flow to your penis to your cock or whatever is about relaxation. If you can get out of your mind and into your body and relax, and all of a sudden there's this access to arousal that's a different one than we're used to. That we're used to consuming. I like that you use that, the consumed and the consumer. We're not always in that space. This is like a real gentleness and tenderness that comes from dropping into that relaxing space.
Dedeker: Right definitely.
Jase: Something worth pointing out about rules is the thing with rules is I always want to ask people the question when they say, "We have this rule, or this rule" is okay, what's the consequence for breaking the rule? Often people don't have an answer for that. That's another key difference is that a boundary is always enforceable because you're the only one who needs to do it. Right. You don't need power over anyone else to do it. It just dictates the choice that you will make about your own actions, like leaving that relationship, leaving the room, not living with someone anymore, right?
There's different ways that you could enact that boundary for yourself but with a rule, like this rule, I need to be introduced to someone in person before you have sex with them. I don't know how you would enforce that. If that was broken, I'm really upset. If that's broken, you have to sleep on the couch for a week. I'm like, "How do you enforce that in a way that will actually feel like that's good?" Which is why maybe this would be better as an agreement.
Emily: If for example, saying, we're both going to introduce any new partners to the other person before we have sex with them. That's an agreement again, that two people make in the relationship together. They're agreeing it's going to go both ways. You're going to introduce your new partner, and I'm going to introduce my new partner before I have sex with them.
Dedeker: I've solved questions about that agreement though. Again, I get that, two people are coming together to agree, it still feels like a rule to me. I feel like that still has the implication that if you don't do that, then there's going to be trouble. We can agree that if you sleep with someone without telling me your ass is grass, we can agree on that. That doesn't mean that it's a healthy agreement.
Jase: I think that that's part of an agreement. That's part of any agreement, even if it's just like, you agree that you're going to pick the kids up after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Like any agreement, it is possible that the other person will not do it and you will be upset and there will be fallout and if there were enough of these, it might lead you to break up or something. This isn't to say that wording it the right way or making it the right thing will make it so no one ever does anything you don't like.
That's not the point of this. I think that's why I would encourage people to use more agreement language, because then it's like, "Hey, we said we'd do this thing and you didn't, I'm hurt by that. Let's have a conversation about that. Do we need to adjust this agreement? Do I need to adjust my expectations? Is this relationship going to work out?" This isn't a guarantee that you won't have a problem it's just saying, "Hey you, we agreed to do something and you didn't." Versus a rule of saying you can't do this. To me, it's like well, that if you can enforce that? Do you see what I mean? It's like a subtle difference or a rule is phrased as if there's going to be a consequence. Whereas an agreement is more of this, obviously, there's a consequence, but it's more personal. It's more like you hurt this relationship because we agreed to do something and you didn't.
Dedeker: Sorry, I think I'm too jaded by working with people who've come up with some really, really manipulative crappy agreements. I feel nervous about just saying, just if you put the language of we agree that that makes everything okay.
Jase: That's exactly what I'm not saying.
Emily: May I interject here?
Emily: Thank. Overall, with all of this, I think it is really important. Like you said, Dedeker, because sometimes these agreements or these rules or boundaries can come from a place of not being good to yourself or to your partner. I think it's incredibly important to do the internal work, and ask yourself, why and where these things are coming from. Because again, it may be because your ex-partner did a huge boundary violation, and therefore, it became a boundary.
Like they did something unforgivable and so, therefore, you know, I'm not going to do anything in a further relationship, that would violate this boundary again. For example, in this thing, you may not want your existence to be hid from a new partner, maybe your old partner didn't tell anyone that they were polyamorous before they started sleeping with someone, and then they just slept with them and then later on, they were like, "Actually, by the way, I also live with this person." Obviously, that's shitty, and you don't want that to happen again, so maybe that's why this boundary is in place. I think it is really important to ask yourself that in all of these instances, what are my internal fears or insecurities that are dictating these boundaries that I have?
Dedeker: Okay, so as in, maybe your boundary is that you don't want to be in a relationship with someone who hides your existence from other people. That's why it feels like a value to you to be able to eventually meet in person your metamouror your partner's partner. It's interesting because I feel like if you do uncover that boundary for yourself, I think that means that it's easier to be more relaxed on that particular rule that maybe when you realize that it means well, maybe that doesn't mean I need to meet them every single time before you're going to have sex. Maybe it's just important to me as a value of like I would just really want to be able to meet them. Meet the people that you're engaged with, at some point.
Jase: I want to be sure that I'm not being hidden from them. Well, and I do want to be clear to respond to what you were saying earlier, Dedeker, that I actually don't think this is a good agreement to have in a relationship. I think like you said, more of a preference like I'd like to meet them at some point. I think that and sure, why not? I would prefer to meet my partner's partners. I guess what I'm getting at is just that none of these things are going to solve all your problems. Just because something it's an agreement, or just because it's a rule or just because it's a boundary isn't going to solve all your problems.
I just meant it as an example to clarify what those different things could be used for and that maybe you would decide that's an agreement in your relationship and then at some point, someone doesn't do it, you might be upset about that, you have a conversation about it and maybe as part of that, hopefully, you realize, okay, maybe this agreement wasn't a reasonable one for us to have. Or maybe this maybe not even reasonable, but just, this isn't the best agreement for us to try to have, let's adapt this.
Let's change it to be something else. Whereas I think the boundary would be something that's not like, "Okay, you crossed this boundary of mine, let's talk about it and maybe reevaluate, and I'll change my boundary." The boundary is more like where you said, that last line of defense, your boundary might change over your life, but not because but I love this person and they crossed this boundary. That's what I'm trying to differentiate here. An agreement can be renegotiated within that relationship but a boundary is pretty fixed for yourself because it's about protecting yourself.
Emily: You guys want to talk about some science?
Dedeker: Yes hit us with science.
Emily: Although it's with oh hell.
Jase: Oh, hell.
Emily: Oh hell.
Jase: That's what we call it here. Right. Helen Fisher, which many people probably know from her various TED talks and things like that, that she's done. She's definitely the best-known researcher today, who's doing research on love and the brain chemicals and things that go on. We as well as many other people like Dan Savage, or Carrie Jenkins, or Chris Ryan, a lot of us have some issues with some of the assumptions that she makes about the way people work, being very heteronormative and very the only purpose of falling in love is in order to pair bond monogamously and to have children and totally discounting same-sex couples or asexual people or anything else that doesn't fit that mold. The science she does is interesting, it's just the conclusions that she makes from it that are based on her assumptions that are problematic. In this study, that's the one that she talks about a lot is a study done with a fairly large sampling of college students, mostly, who reported recently, having fallen deeply in love.
Emily: What does that mean? Like really.
Jase: It's self-recording.
Emily: College students in love.
Jase: Whatever they think that means-
Jase: -but studies their studies, they did find some interesting things by doing FMRIs and hormone tests and things like that, and they found elevated activity in-I'm going to try to pronounce these the caudate nucleus and the ventral tegmental area, which the important takeaway there is that those are both areas in the brain that are associated with the reward system. The reward system being things involved in addiction, or in seeking out food, or sex or these base desires.
Dedeker: The reward system is connected to having dopamine injected into your system by your brain, essentially. The idea that if you're hungry, you go find food, you eat the food, you feel a little rush of dopamine afterwards, that's the pleasure you feel during and after eating and that encourages you to keep doing that to keep nourishing your body.
Jase: To keep living.
Dedeker: Keep living. The same thing with sex. We have a dopamine release during and after orgasm. The thing is that when you're falling in love with someone, when you're in a [unintelligible 00:20:09] you definitely have the surge in dopamine and that's the reason why you can end up feeling obsessive because it does become an addiction. The same way about addictive substances usually cause a huge rush of dopamine. That's what you chase. You're chasing this higher eminence energy that you get from this new person that you're involved with. There's also some evidence in the research of cortisol, of the stress hormone being involved. She doesn't really emphasize it but I think anecdotally makes sense that it also- we talked about how this can also be the dark underside of NRE that is really stressful and actually unsettling as well.
Emily: There was a different study done, Donatella Marazziti, I'm not saying that right.
Jase: Marazziti [laughs]
Dedeker: Marazziti. Yes, come on use your painful Italian on us.
Emily: I know I did. Donatella Marazziti.
Dedeker: [chuckles] Great.
Jase: There you go.
Emily: That's as good as I got- of the University of Pisa in Italy, showed that in 2004 that compared to single people or people in stable longterm relationships, newly in love people, people probably in NRA, they showed lower than normal levels of serotonin and also significantly higher levels of cortisol. That's similar to clinical OCD which is interesting that was said.
Dedeker: Yes, that makes total sense.
Jase: The lower levels of serotonin.
Dedeker: Because serotonin is what kicks in to make you feel satisfied.
Emily: [unintelligible 00:21:40]
Damn it. Sorry
Jase: Singing some Hamilton again.
Dedeker: To bring it back to- like when you listen to Hamels and you get stuck in my head and there's no serotonin release because I'm not done listening to it and now you want to keep listening to it obsessively.
Emily: Yes, you never will be satisfied.
Dedeker: I'll never be satisfied. Anyway, to bring it back to a more reasonable example. With the food thing, you seek out food because you're hungry. You eat the food you get the dopamine release and then afterwards you also get serotonin. It helps you know that you are satisfied and you are satiated. Then in addiction, that serratonin release doesn't happen. That's why you need more and more and more and more because there isn't that feeling of being satisfied. I guess that makes sense with the clinical OCD thing, the idea that doing an action doesn't satisfy that feeling and you feel like you need to do the action over and over again because it doesn't actually get satisfied.
Jase: Well serotonin is also related to a feeling of wellbeing in general, which is why a lot of the medications for depression or even anxiety are affecting serotonin. Either by synthesizing it or by stopping your body from reabsorbing it so that more of it stays in your system and is more freely accessible. It's a pretty big deal hormone and it's not just a- with all of these they're not just like a more is better or a less is better thing.
It's finding a balance. I thought this was really interesting that that study there had previously, years before the Hellen Fischer study had seen this thing with cortisol being higher meaning that we're more stressed. I thought that was really interesting. Then also to go along with making bad decisions, there was Adreas Bartels of the University College in London did a study that showed with in newly-in-love people and they also did the same study with mothers looking at their children.
They found that the neurocircuits of the brain- what they were looking at was not what hormones were happening but areas of the brain were being activated or more importantly here being deactivated. They found that the neurocircuits of the brain that are associated with critical social assessment are suppressed.
Emily: When they're looking at the person that they love--
Jase: Or at their child, the parts of their brain in charge of being critical of someone socially is actually suppressed.
Emily: Or in the case of some of our mothers it's heightened
Jase: Your mom might be a special case.
Dedeker: Maybe once you hit puberty then it gets heightened but when you're a baby less so.
Emily: I'm kidding [chuckles]
Jase: This is basically showing that there is also some scientific backing to the idea that we'll overlook fault in someone that we're in love with.
Dedeker: Why it's a mother's love.
Jase: [chuckles] The best- why do we say that?
Dedeker: [chuckles] Why do we say that?
Emily: Only a mother can love that.
Jase: Who wants to start us off today?
Emily: I'm the first one. This comes from Josh, my partner told me about told me about an NPR podcast that he was listening to which was the hidden brain and on it they touched about this amazing called switchtracking and just came up with a bunch of different names for it.
Dedeker: Is that the thing they do with railroads?
Emily: No, is that it?
Dedeker: Is that trackswitching? That's trackswitching, right?
Emily: Well switchtracking-
Jase: It's like trainspotting.
Emily: No, that's any McGregor movie.
Dedeker: I thought that was crosshatching.
Emily: Yes, that's even a McGregor movie. Moving on, also Danny Boyle. What it is is that it's a thing in communication that causes a breakdown in communication. Someone may give you feedback and then your reaction to that feedback just completely changes the subject. The conversation starts on one track and then because of somebody's emotional reaction or some feedback, it changes to an entirely different track and then people are essentially talking past each other at that point.
Jase: I'm confused.
Dedeker: I have a question.
Jase: You go ahead.
Dedeker: Is this something that people do intentionally as in you bring up some criticism about me and so I intentionally try to fog the issues by bringing up something else or this an unintentional thing that people do.
Emily: I would say usually it's a completely unintentional thing. It's a thing that I think happens a lot in communication where you end up saying completely different things. It's as though you are talking to each other but at each other and nobody's actually getting through anything that they're speaking about because you're both on completely different wavelengths. I created--
Jase: I just want to clarify something. This is different from just changing topics. Is this something else?
Emily: It is essentially changing topics but also changing the subject in the middle of the argument that maybe happening but you may not think that that's what's occurring. You may think, "I'm addressing an issue that I think needs to be resolved." Your partner may be like, "Well, I have an issue that I think is related." Yet you two may be speaking about something completely different and then, therefore, talking past each other.
Dedeker: It's like you bring up an issue and my response to that issue is to bring up a different issue that in my head I think is the same thing but it maybe not actually the same thing and then we're both arguing actually [crosstalk] in circles and maybe for entirely different issues not realizing that we're doing that.
Jase: Can you give us an example of this?
Emily: I created an example for you and you two are going to say the example.
Dedeker: You made a script for us?
Emily: Yes I did and I color-coded it.
Dedeker: You wrote the script? You became a screen writer?
Emily: I color-coded it and everything. I'm not good just so everybody knows.
Jase: Is this the first multiarmory radio drama?
Dedeker: [laughs] Radio drama. We need to get some foley up in here.
Emily: Yes. The two of you are going to be the radio drama tests. You both have been actors in your days.
Dedeker: We both have gotten into some arguments too.
Emily: Yes. I expect greatness. I expect real human drama right now.
Dedeker: Okay, do the cold read.
Emily: Your cold read. You just took a buch of classes on this.
Dedeker: Yes, I've taken some cold-reading classes.
Emily: Yes, there you go. Come on. Give it to me baby.
Dedeker: My instrument isn't 100%.
Jase: Can you set the scene for us?
Emily: The scene is set. A kitchen table. Two people quietly eating their dinner, a couple. Gently, a person places his fork down.
Jase: Ting. I'll send you some foley clips.
Emily: Exactly and then he clears his throat and he says the following.
Jase: Honey, I want to talk to you about something. I really feel like our time together has been limited and when we do see each other, it hasn't been the quality time that I need when I'm with you. You're generally on the phone texting your other partners. You seem pretty spaced out when we're together.
Dedeker: I take a long drag of cigarette. This will explain my husky voice this week. There you go. See I don't understand why you aren't appreciative of the time that we spend together. Now that Anne and I broke up I see you three times a week pretty regularly and you aren't appreciative of the time that I spend with you or the things that I do for you during that time and instead I feel like you're always focusing on the negative about what you're not getting.
Jase: I really just think the time we're spending together hasn't felt that special and fulfilling and I think that we need to focus on that right now.
Dedeker: I know and I'm saying that if I'm with you and I'm around you then that should be appreciated. You're always nitpicking me with all the ways that I'm falling you instead of focusing in the positive. I never feel like anything that I do is right in your eyes.
Jase: I just want to feel like we're getting the best possible time together that we can.
Dedeker: I know and I want to feel like you appreciate the time that I do spend with you and what I do do for you.
Emily: End of scene.
Jase: It is too real.
Emily: No. Exactly. This scene illustrates Jase, he just really feels like he's not getting the best quality time. Again, when we've talked about things like what our love language is, maybe Jase' is his quality time
Dedeker: Jase is complaint is in the situation is the time that we spend together is not quality time. During that time and I want you to be present.
Emily: Dedeker is saying, "Oh my God you're always nit picking me. You're not appreciative of the time that I am giving you and all the things that I feel like I am doing for you".
Dedeker: I'm moving my schedule around. I'm [unintelligible 00:30:15] time together-
Dedeker: You're nitpicking me about-on the phone.
Jase: I think it's interesting that this is from the point of view of my character here. From my point of view, the conversation is about our quality time and how I don't think we're spending it and so to me it just sounds like she's avoiding the issue or she's getting defensive or she doesn't want to admit to it because she must know that she's wrong or something. That's how it feels from my point of view because I think the conversation is about our quality time that we're spending together and how it hasn't been as quality as I'd like.
Jase: Then from your point of view in that story--
Dedeker: For me, it's about you're always criticizing me are you not appreciating me. I see. It's like the fact that I hear your criticism and my response to it is to bring up a new issue not intentionally being like I'm going to try to throw him off the trail. This feels relevant to this but actually, it's an entirely different issue.
Emily: Instead of staying with his issue and trying to address that specifically you're saying, "Well, you always do this to me. You're always nitpicking me or not being kind to me or being--"
Dedeker: I feel like I've done this a billion times.
Emily: Sure. I mean I--
Dedeker: Happens to me a billion times also in arguments in a relationship.
Emily: I absolutely feel like I have as well.
Jase: Well, I think what's interesting about it is that unlike when I was asking before is it changing the subject, kind of, but it's that the two people are both talking about a different thing back and forth to each other.
Jase: It's not like someone brings up something else-
Emily: Unlike nothing ever gets resolved.
Jase: -and now we're talking about that. It's we're just like you said talking past each other.
Emily: One person says on one track the entire argument and the other person says on the other track and never the two shall meet.
Dedeker: What do you got for us?
Jase: I'm going to talk to you about bids.
Dedeker: Bidding the cattle?
Emily: $1, $2, $3, 4$.
Jase: There you go. Yes.
Emily: No. Not on cattle.
Jase: You'd make a great auctioneer.
Dedeker: They're bidding, they're auctioning them off to the Farm Sanctuary.
Jase: [laughs] Good. Bids. What I mean by that is a bid is any attempt from one partner to another for attention, affirmation, affection or any other positive connection. This is something that was discovered and codified by the Gottman Institute. We've talked about the Gottman Institute before.
Emily: Quite a few times.
Jase: They are the ones who came up with The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse of a relationship. They're also-- the stuff we talked about in our episode on The Science of Happy Relationships. A lot of that was from the Gottman Institute. They've done some really interesting things. It's very--
Dedeker: They're relatively heteronormative.
Jase: Heteronormative and mononormative. These just study specifically marriages with the assumption that the only good outcome is staying together and the bad outcome is not being together anymore. Given that, there's still a lot of really cool research that's come out of this. This particular one came out of a study where they interviewed couples right around the time they had just gotten married and then six years later they followed up with these couples.
What they found is that the couples who stayed married after those six years or we're still married after six years, they reacted positively to each other's bids around 86% of the time and that couples that had divorced averaged only 33% of the time. Pretty huge difference in terms of how often and the term they use is "turned toward each other rather than turn away". If someone comes in for some affirmation, affection or attention do you acknowledge that, do you engage with that or do you turn away from that?
Dedeker: My question is they codify bids as these particular interactions. Right?
Dedeker: Okay. Like words.
Jase: Did you have a question? Well, this can look a number of different ways. The basic example that they start with are verbal things are actually things you say and there's also nonverbal. We'll talk about the verbal ones first. Basically, the way they break it down is there's things that you can say to your partner but then there's actually another meaning behind it. The first example that they give is, "How do I look?" The actual subtext is, "Can I have your attention?" It's not that I want an answer a question but I want you to pay attention to me for a moment to--
Emily: Not like--
Dedeker: That's like look at me.
Emily: No. Like tell me I look great just like [unintelligible 00:35:09]
Jase: I mean that would probably be good too. The subtext there is, "I want your attention," or "Let's put the kids to bed". The subtext there is, "Help me put the kids to bed". Just say, "I want your help with something". This one's a little interesting is starting off with something like, "I talked to my sister today" or "I talked to my mom today". The subtext there is, "I want to have a conversation with you about that".
Dedeker: Will you talk to me?
Jase: Right. Like, "Will you chat with me about it?"
Emily: About it.
Jase: Because otherwise, it's just like, "Cool". That's the difference.
Emily: It was great.
Jase: Between the not turning toward your partner not accepting the bid is to be like, "Cool honey". I feel like we've all done that in some extent at some time where you're just in your own zone and you're not acknowledging that.
Dedeker: I feel it can get very soul because it could be something like, "I really want to show you this YouTube video I saw today" or "There's a show on Netflix that we really wanted to check out". That is actually like it could be multiple it could be like, "Can I have some of your time? Can we cuddle on the couch together? Can we laugh at this show together??
Jase: It's the time and attention and affection and all those things that are part of it that are the important part of this transaction. Maybe it's bad to call it that but the important part of this big-
Dedeker: Communication is transactional. It is back and forth.
Jase: I mean a more subtle version of this would be something like, "I had a really terrible meeting with my boss today," and the subtext there is, "I want to process this with you".
Emily: I want to decompress.
Dedeker: I want some triforce around this.
Jase: Exactly what I was going to say. Their example here they say the subtext is, "Will you help me distress?" and I'm like well knowing the Triforce a little better. Yes maybe but let's be clearer about how they want you to help them do that. In other case it's acknowledging that and going for that. I think something that we were talking about too is like how can you do this in a way even if you can't say yes to that bid right then.
Say you're right in the middle of something and it's like, "Oh my gosh, have I showed you this YouTube video or did you see this meme? It's that question of whenever possible can you say yes to that can you be like, "Okay, sure. I'll take a moment to look at". Or if you can't at least do what you can to turn toward that bid and acknowledge it and be like, "That sounds amazing. Can I watch it in 20 minutes once I'm done with this". The difference between that and like, "Honey stop bugging me. I'm busy".
Emily: That's very big.
Jase: Pretty huge.
Dedeker: I have to say as soon as I learned about this whole bids thing it really changed the way that I looked at these interactions with my partners. I saw them as much more significant than I ever did before. Realizing when I say to someone like, "No, I'm not interested in that" or "No, that's not my type of show. I'm never going to watch that" or whatever. Actually realizing the impact of not being--
Emily: Because it's not necessarily about the thing.
Dedeker: Exactly. Of it not being about the thing of it being about--
Emily: Care about...
Dedeker: About turning toward my partner instead of away. Again it doesn't mean that I have to watch every single Netflix show that my partner recommends-
Emily: Yes you do.
Dedeker: -it is about finding a way that's not just a shutdown.
Emily: Well and with bigger things too like sex for instance. I mean that can be a cumulative effect if you constantly say no. Because that's the way.
Jase: That's the other thing I want to get to. Here's the other side of it is being a better bid giver or bid offerer.
Emily: Bid better.
Dedeker: Just a better bidder.
Jase: Because with things like sex or any of these examples something that seems very small and simple like, "How do I look?" I just want your attention. I want you to acknowledge me for a moment. That seems pretty reasonable that you could take a moment to say yes to that and give that. However, with something like sex or doing a specific chore at a certain time or going out to do something, that can be a little harder because maybe you don't have time maybe you just really don't want to. That it can become a little bit trickier. What I think they don't address as much in this but I think is incredibly important and this is something that we've all talked about a little bit earlier is this idea of these couples where they see them accepting each other's bids much more often. I think that part of that is because they're better at knowing when to make the bids.
Dedecker: When to make the bids also, interesting.
Jase: I think sex is a good example of that. Where it's getting out of your own head of just like, I want this thing right now. I'm in the mood for this thing right now. To let combining that with, what am I seeing how my partner's feeling? How do I know from interacting with them before when they're more or less likely to be interested in this? Have they even told me specifically like, "I don't like doing that in the morning?" Or something like what can you take a little step, it goes back to the mindfulness thing.
Can you take a little step outside of just your own thoughts and your own desires? To go, "Is this something that I think they'd be receptive to right now?" Then approaching it then, or being like, "Okay, I'll wait and maybe talk about that more later." Obviously, this is something where like with sex, hopefully, you're having those conversations in your relationship radars and can get better with that. I think that's a good example.
Dedecker: We had a big discussion about this before this episode about how do you say no to a bid still in a way that's turning toward your partner? I think for me when it comes to something like sex, if I have a partner who pitches sex or tosses offer. We don't know what is or is it offering a bid, you're giving a bid, maybe places a bid--
Jase: A wager $5.
Dedecker: If I don't want to have sex at that moment of finding out what's the way to make sure that the message is still, "I think you're sexy. I do enjoy having sex with you, just not right now."
Emily: There's a big difference between just the outright saying no, or saying, "I am interested in something with you. Maybe not necessarily that, but let's perhaps have an intimate moment. Whether that just be being affectionate to one another like words of affirmation, or laying in bed naked together, and being kissy kissy.
Dedecker: Right. It's like because I know I've definitely as far as the sex one goes, I've definitely been really bad at rejecting the bid or being really rude or being really impatient. Even pushing their hands off my body. Feeling definitely more destructive rejecting of bids. Versus being able to be like, "I do really like when you touch me that way, but can we do something different." Or "I'm not feeling great could we do this at such and such time instead?" Or things like that.
Jase: I think that example you gave is really interesting. Because I've definitely had times where I'm like working on something, and a partner would come up behind me and put their hands on my shoulder. Maybe kiss my ear or something. When I'm really focused on something, to me that's like, "God, get off of me. Stop touching me." Because it's distracting.
Dedecker: Because you're in the zone.
Jase: Yes, because I'm in the zone. I did have a realization with that one a few years ago where I noticed that I was doing that, and being like, "Why am I reacting this way to something that normally I would like?"
Emily: Getting to that place of being able to combine, like taking myself out of where I'm focused for a moment, just long enough. To appreciate that and be like, "Hey." Give a little bit of that affection back and be like, "I'm really focused on this though right now, so please let me stick to this. We're going to have dinner in like an hour, let's talk then and let's see how we feel afterward." Rather than being like, "Well, okay, do you want to make out for a little bit instead, right now?" That just doesn't seem reasonable to me as an alternative.
Dedecker: It depends on context.
Emily: Yes, I'm right. That's the example that comes up that I know has happened in my life.
Dedecker: I see.
Jase: Your example of just pushing them away, versus, "That's really sweet, I like that, but I'm working on something else right now." That's hugely different.
Emily: Yes. Again, having mindfulness over this situation on both ends. I think it's really important.
Dedecker: I will say it's definitely made me a lot more likely to watch people's YouTube videos.
Heterosexism is rampant and out there, but don't let fear lead you. Remember that there's a very powerful normative system in play that dictates what real love is and how people should live. Many will question you and the validity of your relationships when you don't follow these norms. Work with people you love to find escapes and tricks to counter the worst of the problematic norms. Find positive counterspells and don't let fear drive your relationships counterspells.
Emily: Who are we?
Dedecker: We're wizards.
Jase: Yes we are.
Dedecker: We're relationship wizards.
Emily: This one is an intense one.
Dedecker: I love it.
Emily: Because it's absolutely correct.
Dedecker: Yes. I do love that it is related to this fear thing of don't let fear lead you. Because I think that, maybe this is a little bit of a controversial statement, but I think there are many people out there who are led either to monogamy, or maybe to marriage, or to having a home, or to having kids. Less out of I really want this to happen, I really want this for my life and more out of I'm afraid of being alone. I'm afraid of dying alone. I'm afraid of everyone else getting these things in me not getting them. Which is related to our wanting what you don't want episode.
That there can be this very human fear of, my life looks different from everybody else's life, at least on the surface. That must be a bad thing. It's so incredibly pervasive. It's so pervasive. A lot of people find when they first come to any kind of nontraditional relationship or polyamory or relationship anarchy or whatever, that it can be very lonely in many regards. Ironically, even though you may have more partners or more relationships, it can still be very lonely. Because there is still this very normative driving force that dictates that what you're doing is not normal and is not going to be supported.
Emily: I just wanted to go back to something that I've said on the show that my mother sent around the time when we were becoming polyamorous and it's conviction. Have conviction for what you're doing. I cannot tell you how many times I have spoken about polyamory to people, to co-workers, to colleagues, to just new friends or whomever. How having conviction about it and makes people be like, "Shit, that's really something. That's really a thing to think about."
Even like, I've had people be like, "I wish I could do that. I wish I had your courage to be able to live my life in the way that I wanted to." That's a really fascinating thing. That I think yes, if you do have conviction about the thing that you are doing, in spite of all of the bullshit that may be thrown at you, I think you still have the opportunity to make a change and to be a positive force. I guess what we're doing here, what we have continued to do for many years.
Jase: Yes, I think that this line here too about the work with the people you love to find escapes and tricks to counter the worst of the problematic norms.
Dedecker: Into spells. That helps.
Jase: The counterspells, yes. To not allow your relationships to be shaped or driven by fear. I do like that too, that it's not just saying, "Be strong and tough it out." It's saying, "No, be proactive. Actually, talk with your partners or your friends or your family or whoever it is that loves you and supports you in what you're doing. To say, "Okay, let's find ways to counter these norms that are going to get enforced upon us." I think that depending on what your life looks like, this could involve something like talking with your partners about how we're going to keep the secret because of potential problems with our jobs or families or something.
I think that can seem like being driven by fear. I think it could be like, some people are closeted about this purely out of fear and not out of a real need to be. We generally on this show, encourage people to come out if they think that they can. Because that's going to help normalize it in the larger picture for all of us. I also find it just makes it a whole lot easier when you're out. Even if you can't be, it's being proactive and actively having conversations with your friends and your partners and your loved ones about this. As opposed to just always being afraid and so never really allowing your relationships to grow.
Not having open conversations with people because you feel like you might need to push them away if you start to feel unsafe at your job or in your home life or something. It's a tricky thing there to evaluate what's being driven by fear and what's proactively trying to counter these things. I also was just realizing as I was saying that, that even in making the distinction of your friends or your partners or whatever is already going against the core idea of relationship anarchy here, which is that people don't need to be put into these broad categories and instead, every single relationship operates on its own terms.
Jase: It's hard, I feel like our language makes that challenging.
Dedecker: It does.
Emily: It does.
Jase: We don't really have an in-between or between friend and partner, to just cover all of that.
Dedecker: Just to any really any human that you are related to. In some way not like blood-related but relating to.
Jase: Because in relationship anarchy generally, the word used is relationships-
Jase: -or loved ones, to mean people who are more serious in your life. In relationship anarchy, relationship refers to every relationship. It's your relationship with your mailman, it's your relationship with your co-workers, with the person that you met for two seconds as you're walking down the street. All of those are relationships, rather than our typical societal use of relationship, means, romance and sex.
Emily: I was going to say a fartner, but that's not--
Dedecker: Today's the day that Multiamory reached a new low.
Emily: You said it. You said it's right there-
Dedecker: Yes, but you're the one who said the word fartner.
Emily: It's right there. I definitely want to use that.
Dedecker: Please don't. I really don't think that's going to help stem the tide of stigma in people not understanding what any of this is about.
Emily: I'm sorry, that really got me. I'm glad that I make you laugh.
Jase: Oh, man.
Emily: Good God, okay. On that note, should we talk about some other things?
Dedecker: i was so proud of us. I was like, "We're getting into such good deep meaty philosophical stuff, I just love this, I'm so inspired and now I've got to-
Emily: I need to bring it back a little bit, guys. Bring it back-
Dedecker: -got to bring it back down to earth."
Jase: Have you dealt with jealousy?
Emily: Who hasn't dealt with jealousy?
Dedecker: No, I'm perfect. I float above the ground.
Emily: We know.
Jase: Well, I think that's what a lot of people think about polyamorous people. They think, "Oh gosh, you must not have jealousy. I could never do that because I get jealous."
Emily: They would be wrong. They would be dead wrong. I will say, okay, when Jase and I first became polyamorous, I would get sick to my stomach in jealousy or just at the thought that he was going out with someone else or he was going to be sleeping, potentially with someone else. It would be all of these crazy what-if scenarios in my mind. I just have learned to deal with it over the years, and really get to a sense of also, "Hey, my partner is their own person and it doesn't mean that they love me any less, because they are getting to go out with someone else."
It just simply means, that they're having an experience and I may get to have an experience as well, at a later date. We can come back together and have a loving experience with each other and that's really amazing and beautiful.
Jase: When you say it as learn to deal with it, it sounds pretty negative.
Emily: Come on, I think I'm way better than I ever have been. There are times when I'm like, "You know what? Just suck it up. Just chill the fuck out, it's going to be okay."
Jase: To yourself?
Emily: Yes, to myself about jealousy.
Dedecker: It's always so difficult with the jealousy question because it's never just, do you get jealous or do you not get jealous? There's so many more questions to delve into the context behind it. It's, how's the communication with you and your partner in this particular instance? Is there a history in this relationship of your partner lying to you, or do you feel really solid about your communication with your partner? What kind of insecurities do you have and how do you manage those insecurities?
There's so so many factors that go into what might be a jealous response, what might cause a jealous response or how you might choose to react to it and handle it, that can be so very different. I feel for myself these days that, of course, I still experience jealousy but after doing this for 10 years, I think I've learned. I've learned what are my insecurities? What are my hangups? What are the things that I just need to heal within myself, or maybe talk to my partner about? My own insecurities, or my own vulnerabilities.
Most of the time, for me, I've come to this place of knowing like, "Oh sure, maybe I feel jealous" but that doesn't mean anything. It doesn't mean anything. Maybe I'll feel a little twinge of jealousy but I know my partner's not going to leave me. I know that partner A and partner B, maybe they've both demonstrated to me, really being trustworthy and committed to me. I know they're not going to leave, I know that I've gotten through this situation before and 9 times out of 10, it's not the end of the world when I feel jealous.
That's where I end up these days, but that's also after a lot of time and a lot of experience and a lot of research. If you're someone who's at the beginning and you're first having to be faced with this idea of experiencing jealousy, but then just having to push through it or get through it somehow, that can be really daunting when we've been told our entire lives that romantic jealousy is completely unacceptable and that it's our partners responsibility to make sure that we never feel jealous.
That is another big factor, is that accepting, yes we feel jealous in many areas in our lives, not just our romantic relationships. We can feel jealous of coworkers, we can feel jealous of classmates, we can feel jealous of our siblings. We learn to manage those, and it's taking those same skills that we use to manage those and bringing those back to your romantic relationships.
Jase: Yes, a big turning point for me-- Well, there are two big turning points to me with jealousy. The first one was in understanding that being jealous doesn't mean that you love someone. That the more that you love someone doesn't mean you're going to be more jealous. If you think about being in love with someone, it means that their happiness is something that you value. If you love someone, you want them to be happy.
By being jealous, you're saying, "I don't want you to have these other experiences that might make you happy." That's not the same thing as love. In fact, sometimes it can be the opposite of being loving to a partner, is to be really jealous of them. That was the first turning point for me, was hitting that realization. The second one was, in touching on what Dedeker was just saying, that we deal with jealousy all the time in other areas of our lives, with our friends, our coworkers, our family.
A healthy, well-adjusted adult would be expected to deal with that in a way that's not destructive and doesn't involve throwing temper tantrums and doesn't involve cutting off those friends or family members. For some reason when it comes too romantic or sexual jealousy, we think, "Oh, this is something you can't possibly manage" even though we manage jealousy all the time in other areas of our life.
When I tell this to people, some go, "Wow, yes that makes a lot of sense." Others will say, "Oh, but it's different." They'll try to come up with some sort of evolutionary psychology explanation for why sexual jealousy is more important than others, but the actual truth of it is that while there are some scientists who've tried to make those arguments as well, they're coming to it trying to argue something that they've already assumed is true, because their culture has taught them that it is.
So often these arguments or these ideas aren't very well thought out because it's like, "Well, everyone understands that" or, "I just know it in my heart to be true"-
Dedecker: It's typical reasoning.
Jase: -that just makes us reach these illogical conclusions, or conclusions without a lot to back them up. There is a lot of research showing that that's not actually true. That the jealousy isn't hardwired into us, in the way that some people will say that it is.
Emily: I'll just say finally, that a better way of putting what I had said before is just that I have allowed myself, I've figured out ways and tools in which jealousy does not derail my life, where it may have had or done so in the past. Like you said, it generally comes from looking within, so you have to view exactly what it is that you're trying to achieve with that jealousy. It may just be an emotional response. If you can separate your emotion from what is really happening then that's a great thing to do as well.
Know that if you keep feeding it, then that is obviously not going to be a productive thing to do. If you can step outside of it and try to feed your soul and your happiness in a different way then hopefully you can get past that moment of intense jealousy.
Jase: If you can imagine if a friend has some really amazing experience that you wish you could've had, yes, it feels shitty, but you're kind of like, "Honestly, I'm really jealous of you, it doesn't mean I don't want you to have had that experience, but I really wish I could have had that." If you can approach that in your romantic relationships, I think that takes a lot of the pressure off.
Dedecker: All right, Patreon's and other listeners. What did you think? Did you enjoy it? Are you super happy that one of your favorite moments made it in? Are you super pissed at us that another one of your favorite moments didn't make it in? Let us know. The best place to share your thoughts with other listeners is on this episodes discussion thread in our private Facebook group or Discord chat.
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. Leave us a voicemail at 678-MULTI-05 or you can leave us a voice message on Facebook. Multiamory is created and produced by Jase Lindgren, Emily Matlack and me, Dedeker Winston.
Our episodes are edited by Mauricio Bervanella. Our social media wizard is Will McMillan. Our production assistant is Nicole Samra. Our theme song is Forms I Know I Did by Josh & Anand from the Fractal Cave EP. Full transcript is available on this episodes page on Multiamory.com.