Compersion: new age deviance

That’s right, I’m a deviant. An emotional deviant. Because I's refraction

I first discovered the word “compersion” about 10 years ago. The concept, at that time, blew my mind wide open. “Compersion is an empathetic state of happiness and joy experienced when another individual experiences happiness and joy, and the term is …used … in the context of polyamorous relationships. It is used to describe when a person experiences positive feelings when a lover is enjoying another relationship” (Wikipedia).

Then, just as quickly as my mind blew open, it occurred to me with great shock – how obsurd that this concept had never even existed in the English language prior to the 1970s! No wonder we have so much trouble cultivating this feeling!

I am working through my newest read, Jillian Deri’s “Love’s Refraction: jealousy and compersion in queer women’s polyamorous relationships” Much more academic than my last read and satisfyingly dense in terms of stretching my mind, this beautiful book supports my journey of unpacking a life, or perhaps many life times, of belief systems and cultural conditioning on the topics of love and eros.

Today’s lesson: we, as polyamorous people, are collectively re-writing the book of love! We get to co-create the world we want to see. And what we want to see is equality, honesty, and agency. What we seek is more compersion in our lives. This goes against the dominant paradigm in which jealousy is the expected and appropriate outcome for so many situations in our daily poly lives. And since we are currently the minority, this makes us emotional deviants.

So today I learned that I am a deviant, an activist, odd, a rebel, a bad ass. Because I believe that love, in all its forms, is abundant, free, pure, and good. Because I believe that joy is worth celebrating, even if I’m not the object of that joy. Because I believe in happiness and pleasure.

For someone who spent decades trying to fit in, this feels utterly satisfying. There is no other outcast I would want to be more than this.

Zadenalove. Emotional Deviant.



The Truth Part 2


My heart continues to melt, and my soul is enveloped and nurtured as, page by page, I journey ever deeper into one person’s journey into sex, love, authenticity and spirituality. I am continuing to devour Neil Strauss’ new book, “The Truth: an uncomfortable book about relationships”. This excerpt captures the essence of why I am here, giving a voice to the spiritual hedonist inside of me. Here Neil discovers the very real possibilities for love and healing within a group sex environment:

“I gaze deeply into the world in [her] eyes and she into mine – and it feels like love. Not the love that is a thought that comes with expectations of commitment and fears of abandonment, but the love that is an emotion that makes no demands and knows no fear. I’ve found, for a moment, love in a swing club.

“Connected sex is a spiritual experience…because it’s a release from ego, a merging with the other, a discorporation into the atoms vibrating around us, a connection to the universal energy that moves through all things without judgement or prejudice.

“Thus, orgasm is the one spiritual practice that unites nearly everyone on the planet, and perhaps that is why there’s so much fear and baggage around it. Because…it is sacred.

“And every orgasm. Is in itself an act of faith. An attempt to reach out. And just for a moment. Relieve our separateness. Escape from time. And touch eternity. And, yes!

“As she drenches the mattress, I fill the condom.

“Not only did I find love at an orgy, I think I found enlightenment.”

I have experienced the touch of the creator in the sacred sensuous space of a play party, a swing club, an unexpected connection in a cuddle puddle at a house party. I am so grateful that people “out there” are beginning to talk about the healing powers of sexuality beyond the limits offered within ‘traditional’ relationship structures. Thank you, Neil.

The Truth – a triad of thoughts

the truthI am on a bus in rush hour heading through the inner city, this particular bus in this particular neighbourhood is always an adventure. So many stories I could share of awkward people pining for love. Today is no exception.


I started reading Neil Strauss’ new book last week. You know, the one who wrote “The Game”. This time it is “The Truth: an uncomfortable book about relationships”. I have been enthralled since the moment I laid eyes on it. White soft cover, gold lettering, and gold trimmed pages, with a maroon ribbon book mark. It looks like a Bible. The first image you see is an anatomical drawing of a heart, a brain and a pelvis, all on a stark black page. A book that looks spiritual, is about love and relationships, and has scientific anatomical drawings in it – I am already hooked. I love it so much that I am reading it today, on the bus, at the bus stop, at the store – every moment I get. I muse at what comes up for me. First, I recognize how conspicuous I feel reading something resembling a Bible in public, I feel myself projecting judgement onto myself by the others on the bus. Interesting – what is that about? Second, I am reading about Neil’s time in rehab as he delves into the mystery of his own sexual desires that have led him beyond the edges of integrity. I am reading about family day. This hits home. I was once a person visiting someone in rehab on family day. The staff tore open the deodorant I had brought my partner that day, on the off chance I was trying to smuggle substances into the facility. I remember feeling offended that these professionals, having never met me, would assume ill intentions. It occurs to me today that I have a pattern of getting terribly triggered when people don’t trust me, or don’t understand me. Also interesting. The third thought happens just after the handsome man sitting beside me yells ‘back door!’ to the bus driver so he can manually override the side door to let someone off. He then apologizes to me for speaking so loudly, and we exchange some pleasantries about the adventures that always happen on this particular bus, in this particular neighbourhood. Our eyes lock for a moment, and I see kindness, excitement, and a little bit of mischief. He is flirting with me. I enjoy lingering in his gaze a little longer, even though I know better than to pick someone up on this bus, in this neighbourhood. He gets off at the next stop. I am left wondering, did he look over my shoulder to see what I was reading? Did he assume it was a Bible? Or did he see the words ‘sex addict’ throughout the text? I giggle at my own quirky insecurities, realizing I will never know if it was sex, religion, or something else that inspired him to seek out a connection today.