Ask Minx: How do I own my shit when I’m depressed?

Minx podcasting headshot 2013Hi Minx,

My partner and I have been together for nine years and poly for almost two years. Because of my depression, I don’t always feel very sexual. While this wasn’t the reason we decided to become poly, my partner feels like he should have other partners during these times to sleep with to “fill in the gaps”, so to speak. However, during these moments in my depression, I’m usually feeling incredibly volatile, and it’s at these times I feel my worst and most replaceable (not just in our relationship but in all aspects of my life), and I physically can’t go through the constant panic and anxiety attacks that means for me. I know one of the biggest aspects in the community is “owning your own emotions”, but how do you see one’s troubled mental health playing into that for continued success in polyamory? 

Depressed and distressed

Dear D&D:

While it’s true that we talk a lot about owning your own shit, there is another issue at play here. In the case of health issues, I’d recommend a slightly different tack. And I’m using the word “health” instead of “mental health” because in truth, there isn’t much difference between a physical and a mental ailment. It’s all biology, right?

It’s rarely a good idea to use polyamory to fix a problem in a relationship. (We call this the “relationship broken; add more people” model.) It’s unwise and unkind to try to use other people to “fill in the gaps” in your current relationship–and it almost never works out the way you think it will! Instead, I’d recommend working on two things: first, on managing your own health and second, on developing coping techniques for your partner.

First, the issue of your health condition. We typically recommend addressing any relationship and any chronic health issues before opening up a relationship to polyamory. As with dating monogamously, the goal is to present your best self as well as a happy, stable couple to prospective partners. So take the time to address and stabilize your health issues before trying polyamory. Work with your doctor to better manage your depression. As LustyGuy always says, “Biology comes first.” Your depression isn’t currently well managed, and that will only make dating and polyamory unnecessarily difficult, for you, your partner and your new dating prospects. As you say, you currently have no control over your emotions, and that’s not a good position to be in when dating (or when your partner is dating). It’s OK—nay, essential—for you to take care of yourself first.

Once you’ve figured out how to manage your condition and have developed tried-and-true coping mechanisms for any depressive episodes, you’ll be able to consider dating and having your partner date. But for now, please take care of yourself.

Second, there is the issue of your partner feeling something lacking in your relationship. Even when your depression is well managed, the fact that your partner feels your relationship is lacking from time to time is a separate issue. Please work with your therapist and your partner to figure out a good coping strategy for your partner when you have a depressive episode. LustyGuy, L and I each have chronic conditions that arise on occasional (and often inconvenient) times, and we each have strategies for coping with them when they arise. We each are able to express support and love to our partners while revising our own plans accordingly and relatively painlessly. You and your partner should strive to do the same. And before you know it, you’ll be handling your condition like a pro, and your partner will be supporting you merrily all the way!

PW 458: Waking up your erotic side with Amy Jo Goddard

Is your erotic life fully open?AJG-author-photo-ByShelbySharieCohenPhotography©

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1:00 Host chat

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1:35 Poly in the News

4:30 Interview: 9 erotic elements with Amy Jo GoddardCOVER_WomanOnFire_Goddard

Sexpert and sexual empowerment coach Amy Jo Goddard shares some of her secrets to waking up your erotic elements to have the sex life you’ve always wanted! Elements: Voice, Release, Emotion, Body, Desire,Permission, Play, Home and Fire.

Her book Woman on Fire: 9 Elements to Wake Up Your Erotic Energy, Personal Power, and Sexual Intelligence was released on September 29th. Ask your local bookstore to carry it or but it via her site.

34:45 Happy Poly Moment

Listener L writes in to share a happy poly moment about opening up her relationship to polyamory.

42:00 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 453: Loving your body

lolcat mirror amazingFitness and body image for everyone with Alyssa Royse

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1:30 Poly in the News

5:00Topic: Loving your body

Gym owner and sex positive educator Alyssa Royse returns to share how she deals with people who come to her gym who are fighting body image issues.

28:45 Feedback

39:25 Happy Poly Moment

Penelope Connor of the OKPolyNetwork shared her happy poly moment about great communication and reassurances with partners and metamours.

42:05 Thank you!

Thanks to Donovan and Doug for their donations this week. And welcome, Laura, to the Poly Weekly Playmates!

43:00 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 453: Loving your body

lolcat mirror amazingMany of us struggle with body image

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Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:30 Poly in the news

5:00 Topic: Loving your body

Gym owner and sex positive educator Alyssa Royse returns to share how she deals with people who come to her gym who are fighting body image issues.

28:45 Feedback

39:25 Happy Poly Moment

Penelope Connor of the OKPolyNetwork shared her happy poly moment about great communication and reassurances with partners and metamours.

42:05 Thank you!

Thanks to Donovan and Doug for their donations this week. And welcome, Laura, to the Poly Weekly Playmates!

43:00 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 447: Poly people of color

poly people of color imageWhat is the experience of poly people of color, and how can we encourage diversity and inclusion?

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1:00 Announcements

  • Minx will be in New York September 24-27—any suggestions for things to do?
  •  CatalystCon West report will be in next week’s show

1:45 Topic: Poly people of color

The poly community is generally portrayed as white and middle class. But that’s not entirely accurate. Our panel answers the questions that Minx awkwardly poses:

  • What is your experience in the poly community?
  • Can you speak to the experience of being a person of color in a poly community?
  • What can we do to be more inclusive and welcoming of people of color?

34:45 Feedback

  • Poly Friend writes in to argue that with poly, a limited number of kreplits are distributed among a growing number of partners. Minx argues that love isn’t a zero sum game, or people with more than one kid would be exceedingly cruel.
  • Lee writes in to argue that for the listener asking for advice on episode 444 when to stop lying about when to stop lying, Minx should have told her just to dump the guy who insists she lie to her friends. I disagree: I see my job as enabling my very smart listeners to make their own decisions, so my style is to give you questions you can ask yourself that will help you to decide what will be best for you.
  • Squirrel writes in about herpes, so we do an HSV review. Past episodes covering HSV are here, here and here.

46:30 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 429: OMG Girl Sex with Allison Moon

girlsexallison

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1:00 Announcements

  • I’ll be speaking at Rocky Mountain Poly Living May 7-10
  • Working to offer Kicking Poly Drama in the Ass as an online course—stay tuned!

3:00 Poly in the news

8:00 Interview: Girl Sex 101 with Allison Moon

Girl Sex 101 is an innovative and unique project created and spearheaded by Allison Moon and illustrated by kd diamond. Described as “a road trip in a book,” Girl Sex 101 seeks to combine fiction, comics and sex education as a resource for queer women in a way that no other sex education tool has done before.

Want to win a copy of Girl Sex 101? Tweet your favorite quote from this interview before May 15 and tag @theallisonmoon and @polyweekly to be entered to win!

33:45 Feedback on 426

Tre writes in to ask for more happy poly moments!

35:55 Thank you!

Thanks to Sidney for joining the Poly Weekly playmates!

36:00 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 417: Senior sex with Joan Price

Senior sex kitten Joan Price shares the secrets of sex over 50Joan Price

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1:00 Announcements

InfinityCon dates have changed to November.

1:45 Poly in the News

A ton of articles this week on how poly culture affects everyone. Poly in the News has a great roundup post, including an article on navigating poly relationships from the new dating site MeetMindfulness; 6 Reasons Why Sharing Your Boyfriend Will Boost Your Self-Esteem from a BlogHer blogger; This is the Explanation for Polyamory That Everyone Needs to Hear; and a TEDx talk on Polyamory and Emotional Literacy.

4:15 Interview: Joan Price on Senior Sex

Author and speaker Joan Price calls herself an “advocate for ageless sexuality.” She has been called other things by the media: “senior sexpert,” “the beautiful face of senior sex,” and—her favorite—”wrinkly sex kitten.” Visit Joan’s zesty, award-winning blog about sex and aging at www.NakedAtOurAge.com.

She talks to Poly Weekly about reviewing sex toys for people over 50 as well as considerations and solutions for sex in your fabulous golden years!

38:15 Feedback

M in Oregon writes in to say how great it was to hear from L on episode 414!

39:45 Happy Poly Moment

A listener calls in to claim she and her partner have found a unicorn (bisexual woman equally attracted to both partners simultaneously)

42:15 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 391: HPV Hope

HPVhopeThe straight dope on HPV

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1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

3:45 Topic: HPV Hope

Danah Abarr of HPVHope answers listener queries about HPV:

  • How is HPV spread?
  • How long does it last in the body?
  • Who can be tested and how (men/women/trans)?
  • Is there a throat swab test of some kind?
  • Should a patient ask their dentist to look for abnormal throat cells that could be caused by HPV?
  • Who (men/women/trans) can be vaccinated and when?
  • What strains of HPV have different answers to these questions?
  • And even more difficult to answer, how much of this covered by health insurance?

HPV Fact sheet

39:15 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 380: Advice from your secondary

42-lolcat-funny-images-of-cats-with-toy-roboA few things your secondary wants you to know

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1:00 Announcements and HostChat

Want better poly matches on OKCupid? Be sure to answer these poly-indicative questions!

4:30 Topic: Five things your poly secondary wants you to know

Blogger Ginger wrote up a short but sweet post on five things your secondary wants you to know: (paraphrased by Minx)

  • The time we spent together is limited, so please value it like we do
  • We sometimes need extra reassurance; this is normal
  • You still need to be reliable
  • It’s important that your primary partner be comfortable with us
  • The fact that we love and value you keeps us going

Listener GreedyPaul called in to ask what changed in terms of metamour relations between Minx’s last long-term poly relationship and this one? What did L do to welcome me into the relationship and/or how had I changed?

Amanda wrote in to share a story of metamour relations: while she’d always believed that it was the new partner’s job to reach out to her, she came to understand how scary that can be for a new partner, so she chose to step up and reach out, with wonderful results!

20:45 Feedback

E wrote in to thank us for covering Asperger’s and poly and how very valuable the clear and explicit communication required in poly is to those with Aspy’s.

23:30 Happy Poly Moment

Heath shared a professional happy poly moment about bringing up relationship structure inclusiveness for intake at his college counseling center in the Kansas City area. AND if you have examples of the language you use in your paperwork for assessing relationship orientation, email him at heath12@ku.edu Thanks!

26:00 Thanks!

Thanks to Steven, Kevin, Elizabeth, Ewen, Violet and Sturley for their generous donations this week!

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 373: Sex positive blowout at CatalystCon West

Cunning Minx, Dr. Jocelyn Elders, Lynn Comella at #ccon

Cunning Minx, Dr. Jocelyn Elders, Lynn Comella at #ccon

What is going on in the sex positive world?

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1:00 Host chat

Welcome to our new affiliate sponsor, GetSTDTested.com Use code “polyweekly” at checkout for a discount! Or just click on the banner in the right sidebar. :-)

5:00 Topic: Sex positive mojo at CatalystCon West

 28:15 Feedback

  • Jason in Wisconsin shares how he and his wife came to get over the poly hump
  • Herbalwise comments on the legalities of marriage from episode 354
  • Vir asks about how to cope when a partner passes away

 36:30 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

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