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Jul 8, 2016 xaotica commented on Seattle's Food Scene Just Got Less Weird and Interesting.
I'm interested in weird & challenging food, even food that's weird for its own sake. I'd never heard of this restaurant, so I went on Yelp to read the reviews and see whether the majority of negative reviews were about the food, prices, etc.

A repeated comment by reviewers was that the restaurant was doing the "since we legally have to raise the minimum wage, we now include a mandatory 20% tip" explanation on their menu. There have been numerous articles about customers at other restaurants who objected to this for a variety of reasons.

Another frequent comment was that the website was not transparent about various things (that the menu was seasonal and/or fluctuating but this was not clear, the 20% tip, etc.)

Another regular topic was that the titles of the items (fairly generic titles like fish & chips) created an expectation of a 'generic' dish.

To me, these are all valid pieces of feedback, and if the chef or other people choose to believe that the biggest problem was that people don't like or want unusual food, I'd consider that a defensive response to criticism which could've been used to improve both profits and the diner's experience.
Jul 6, 2016 xaotica commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Pregnancy Derails Poly Bliss.
Inquired w/someone w/relevant experience and got this response:

"When I dated a couple, I would've been truly overjoyed and excited if she had become happily pregnant. I would've been flattered to have continued to be involved in their lives during the pregnancy... it obviously adds a lot of physical stress, emotional stress, etc. which can make the typical relationship conflict/communication issues harder to take. My own desire for a child would be unrelated because I wouldn't expect to be planning to be impregnatated / co-parent with someone(s) I'd been dating for 4 months regardless. Also, I don't see anything indicating that the couple asked her to commit to exclusivity, so it's not like she couldn't continue enjoying their company outside of the confines of 'will this be my new life partner(s)' regardless.

If she'd started having terrible morning sickness, I would've been by her side to hold back her hair or bring her peppermint tea or whatever else could help. I would've wanted her to know that she (and her body) were still beautiful to me. And I don't think of that as specific to my romantic interest in women, I would feel that way about a female friend too."


My addition, though, is that there is some missing context. Is she worried that she might "lead them on" if she's seriously involved in their lives during the period that they're starting a family because she associates that with a serious life commitment? I've had concerns about dating parents and becoming a big part of a child's life and then being forced to exit the kid's life should the relationship end. Is she worried that there would be no chance of either husband or wife considering the possibility of her bearing a child (his or other) and continuing a serious relationship? It isn't clear what these "arguments" are about or where her concerns originate. It definitely doesn't seem promising that she withdrew from the wife at a moment in time when the wife might be especially touched by attention / help / intimacy of any sort, but I feel like there would need to be more information to determine why.

The idea that a woman is "supposed to be so happy" all the time when she is pregnant is very strange to me... it doesn't reflect much of what I've heard / read / witnessed. If that's what she expects out of her desired future pregnancy experience, I'd say she has bigger challenges ahead than her romantic relationships ;)

Regardless, based on the limited information presented here, it's hard for me to feel like this partner isn't being selfish & thoughtless at the very least. Even if she doesn't really have deep romantic interest in women, or deep romantic interest in this specific woman, this is still the partner of the man she loves and the mother of his soon-to-be child. I'd expect her to treat his wife with compassion and treat her as a friend. I'd also wonder whether she assumes that the wife is less interested in intimacy due to feeling ill / being pregnant in general / something and doesn't have the communication skills to discuss this directly...

Jun 9, 2016 xaotica commented on Listen to Sydney Brownstone Talk to KUOW about "The Audition".
Unfortunately, psychology research does not indicate that being trusting is associated with lower intelligence.

It's actually correlated with higher intelligence.

Apr 19, 2016 xaotica commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Failing Chemistry.
An inexperienced vanilla woman who is open to trying new things & enthusiastic about it really isn't inherently a negative thing for every kinky bisexual. Plenty of men and/or women would be totally excited about expanding your horizons in a thoughtful, honest way that put you in control of the pace and felt fun to you vs terrifying and anxiety-provoking.

I'd fit in that category, don't struggle with anxiety, and am not into monogamy -- and I'd still be unhappy about discovering surprise sexy emails on a shared computer, particularly if addresses of meeting locations were involved. I'd also be unhappy about being a live-in partner who did not come up in conversation before distributing a phone number to an attractive interested person.

I don't approve of asking partners to delete sexts, hot photos, or etc. from people in their past. For me, those are happy nostalgic memories... they're not indicative of any issues or dissatisfaction with my current relationship(s). I would be pretty unhappy if a partner found an old phone I had laying around our shared home and looked through its contents and then tried to tell me what to do with them. I'd feel angry and controlled.

However, I also feel strongly that if you want partners to share sexy things with you, you really need to protect their privacy by using passwords, hiding photos from shared libraries where new partners / kids / random friends might accidentally or deliberately try to access them, etc. Those people may not have wanted you looking at that content any more than you wanted to be looking at it. If you've shared similar sexts / photos with him, now might be a good time to explicitly discuss how you expect that content to be handled in the future (ie can shared friends look at it, etc)

100% agree with Dan. If "we don't have the kind of sexual chemistry I might prefer" is how he put it, that's both mean and vague. Having different sexual interests isn't an automatic free pass to pursue them without discussing it with your partner. Nothing about this sounds like your anxiety talking, it sounds like a guy being a jerk to you and blaming it on random external things. I'd hate for you to write off kinky bi people as a dishonest selfish crew... and I'm not seeing the description of his apology, resolution for how he would handle situations in the future, compromise, anything other than you internalizing someone else's crappy actions.
Apr 19, 2016 xaotica commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Constant Question.
@99 I unfortunately have far too much experience discussing mismatched libidos with partners and their responses really, REALLY depend heavily on how you approach the conversation. Few people will object to extended flattery about how sexy they are and how much you like [insert feature or experience here] which you can then follow by mentioning that you do really miss being intimate with them and wonder if you might be doing something wrong or able to do something new and creative that might interest them more. That opens the door for them to discuss likes / dislikes / preferences / other things which might be hidden sources of discouragement.

Straight up telling them that you don't have enough sexy interactions generally will not go over so well.
Apr 19, 2016 xaotica commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Constant Question.
@196 Some of my partners of both genders have felt shy or awkward about giving realtime feedback during sex... or they just felt like it broke their mood / concentration. However, they were very open to discussing their likes / dislikes outside of the bedroom in a private setting, especially in situations where they didn't necessarily anticipate that sex might immediately follow. Perhaps you could take her on a date and say that you're interested in creative ways to make the experience more fun for her but that you're not sure what she'd enjoy most. If she stares blankly you could suggest something slightly different but still vanilla. Or you could buy a sex book that's female-focused and show it to her and tell her that you're curious if she'd be interested in anything like [this page] or [that page].

Is penetration typically part of every experience? If women come to associate sex == penetration, some will avoid sex when they don't want penetration even though they might enjoy other activities.

Also, I've had success with holding hands with shy partners and asking them to squeeze my hand to give feedback about pressure / speed / various other things...
Apr 19, 2016 xaotica commented on This Past Weekend's Democratic Caucuses Were an Unbearable Ordeal.
"When I walked in, the chair had been delivering a 45-minute propaganda speech, which included sexist remarks about "that hot chippy little intern, Monica Lewinsky," and claiming she was part of the "vast right-wing conspiracy to take out Bill Clinton" and proclaiming "IT'S REAL!"... (to boos and hisses from both Bernie AND Clinton supporters, I might add)."

Gross! I think some people with a bullhorn might've started setting off the siren sound at that point...
Mar 25, 2016 xaotica commented on Pronto, ORCA Card, and the New Mobility.
@3 Yes, there are bike racks nearby. But a big appeal of light rail for me is the bike racks onboard. I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 25, so I'm often nervous on busy streets... or even sometimes in bike lanes. I enjoy bike trails. However, there's still the issue of getting the bike TO a bike trail. I don't enjoy the bike racks on the bus. I'm not good at quickly getting my bike in and out. I feel anxious holding up the bus. They're often full. I also often feel anxious and paranoid about being on a crowded standing-room only bus where my bike is on the front rack and I can't see it. Bikes don't get stolen off the bus frequently, but it does happen.

I have a very easy time getting my bike on light rail, though... and I love standing right near it rather than having it out of sight for extended periods of time. So the ability to easily get my bike and myself to a bike trail will greatly increase how frequently I ride it... which in turn will increase my skills, and the chances of me starting to ride it more often in other situations.

My friends who have little or no previous experience with bikes also feel comfortable with the idea of a trail with no cars nearby and are interested in the idea of renting a Pronto bike and immediately taking it somewhere else where it'll be easier to ride.
Mar 25, 2016 xaotica commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Open Couple May Lose Close-Minded Friend.
My biggest concern about this letter is what LW is concerned about (a friend leaving a party, for whatever reason). Of course you can lose friends by being open about your sexuality and/or open relationships. Even if it's a "My partner and I have relationships with other people" with no additional discussion / firsthand observation / introductions to anyone else who could tolerate the concept.

Other things you could lose: parents, brothers & sisters, other family members, jobs, apartments and/or houses, promotions at work / your professional reputation... the list goes on.

You can also sit outside a hospital room while someone you love dies. There is no such thing as legal domestic partnership for more than one person.

For heterosexuals, open relationships can be a pretty eye-opening experience in terms of gaining empathy for everyday LGBTQ relationships, interracial relationships, et al... it is unfortunately nearly inevitable that if you continue, you'll have painful experiences & be shocked by the way someone treats you and/or your partner(s) and/or your/their relationships.

None of this deters me from being open (about the topic, or my approach to relationships). As you've probably noticed, there is also an enormous list of amazing awesome experiences you can gain from experimenting with the many different ways humans can approach relationships or life in general... and insight into life & humanity.

I would encourage many people to experiment -- but only with the understanding that any risk involves the potential for loss. Open relationships are not a "mainstream" concept and are definitely not widely understood or supported. Take a look at the assumptions people made about you and your partners in this comment thread... and then recognize that these are the assumptions being made by *people who are familiar with Dan Savage and go out of their way to read his advice*. To say that the people who read Dan Savage tend to be more open minded about sexuality is a fairly massive understatement. These assumptions are only scratching the surface of what you may encounter.

To me, every time I walk out my front door there will be people who feel uncomfortable about a variety of aspects of who I am, people who feel neutral, people who feel enthusiastic, etc. and I prefer to be transparent and let them make their own decisions. But the world is not a support group. Being polite, respectful, and tolerant of diversity is important but it's never a guarantee that you'll receive unconditional support... no matter how much the people in your life care about you.
Oct 13, 2015 xaotica commented on Bike Activists! I Have Seen the Future! You're Going To Hate It!.
I enjoy moving at a high rate of speed regardless of the means of transportation. But you know what I love even more? A higher likelihood of remaining alive without broken body parts. Racing up a hill with a car on my heels can definitely be a rush, but I'd happily choose leisurely checking out people's outfits on a slow crowded path over the vigilant watch for doors, impending death/dismemberment, et al.