Is this your first time?

Posted: October 21, 2016 by Jordyn in Uncategorized

My first time skiing: I fell down (a lot).

First time snowboarding: I fell down. A lot.

First time cooking: I made a grape and black olive salad… Thing. It was beyond awful. My next couple attempts weren’t great either (inedibly salty falafel).

First time I picked up a violin for school: I sucked. A lot. It was also terrible.

First time I masturbated with a toy: It was super scary and I wasn’t able to get inside myself.

First time I went to a sex shop: Me and my two friends sat outside the parking lot hemming and hawing and being completely nervous and scared for about half hour before I said fuck it and went inside. (I wish I could see the tape of that. We were hot messes).

First time I went on vacation away from my family with my best friend as a little girl: I had moments of crying and missing my family and I think I ran out of money (including food money) like, 2 days before the trip was supposed to end.

First real relationship: Long distance (him New York, me Colorado)- we broke up and got back together and broke up and got back together for like, 4 years, until he moved out here to be with me and about 24 hours into it I knew it was a terrible, terrible mistake and that we were not good together.

First time I got married: Biggest mistake of my life. I fell down. Hard. A lot.

First time I tried to spherify stuff: They fell apart and I made a glorious mess.

My life has been a series of firsts. Forever and still. I suspect it will continue to be. There’ll always be new experiences, new people, new places. New ways of thinking, new ways of being. But I’ve been living for, well, a while now, and sometimes I forget that things can still be new.

Poly is not new to me- I’ve been poly for about six… ish? Years now. It’s mostly been pretty great. Lots of fun times, some crazy moments that have simply left me in happy disbelief thinking “How the fuck is my life this awesome??” There’s been some rough spots, sure, and a rough beginning to my poly career. There’s been boredom, loneliness, envy. All the things, all the feels. Recently I’ve been experiencing a lot of the “bad” things, and I’ve been grasping at straws, trying to figure out what the hell is going on with me. I’ve struggled before, but never like this. I’ve always been able to handle my emotions and work them out and get through them. These emotions lately are… Out of control, and extremely hard to handle. It’s gotten to a place where I’ve seriously not wanted to be poly anymore. Many of my emotions seem incredibly irrational. I don’t like feeling like this. The emotions hurt. I feel guilty, I feel ashamed. I feel weird and I’ve caught myself feeling like the suspicious crazy girl you see in movies. I don’t want to be that girl. That girl isn’t healthy.

Trying to find things to help me not be that girl, I stumbled onto an article yesterday by poly-centric therapist Kathy Labriola that said that “Adding a new relationship is like having a baby”. She went on to explain, saying “Just like a new baby, a new relationship will change your schedule, your lifestyle, and take a lot of your time and energy, as well as adding a major source of stress to your life. And, like a new baby, it is an unknown quantity, and it is impossible to predict how it will change your life experience and what kind of intense feelings it will trigger.”

Holy shit did that rock me back. It just made so.much.sense. Yes, this new Relationship is affecting my existing Relationship with my partner. It is absolutely an unknown quantity- there’s lots of fear there to unpack. There is lots of stress associated with that fear and being scared of how I am going to be affected by the new Relationship. But, on reflecting more, it hit me like a freight train:

I have never done this before.

My partner is adding a new Relationship and I have never experienced that before. I cannot believe it. How had I not realized that yet? I’ve always been the one adding, never the one being added to. For six years, I’ve always been the one to bring in new relationships. I’ve gotten pretty good at dealing with the existing things, what was there before me, dealing with partners feelings about my new partners. But I have zero skills for the other side of the coin.

Realizing this has absolutely shaken my world up- in the best ways though. One of the things I felt almost instantly with my newfound knowledge was an immense sense of relief. I’m not bad. I’m not crazy. I’m just unskilled. This is my first time, and it’s ok that I suck at it the first time. It is so much easier to be kind to myself, and to forgive myself, when I realize that I’m doing something brand new. I haven’t been hard on myself (mostly) for when I’ve fucked up new things. I didn’t give up on a lot of things I wasn’t good at at first. I still cook- a lot, actually. And I’m pretty great at it. (Never perfected that grape & olive salad though…). I masturbate like a fucking champ now. I go inside sex shops with my head, full of sexy sex knowledge, held high. There’s things I never quite got (I definitely do NOT play the violin y’all). I will never get married again. It’s not for me: I need control over my body way too much. I’m going to keep playing with molecular gastronomy, and my first attempt was a fun, laughter filled evening with my best friend: hardly a failure. But I tried at them, and it’s ok that I’m just not great at something. It’s ok to suck at things.

No one comes into this world knowing anything (except how to suck, grab, and generally flail. Seems appropriate). We have to learn how to do everything, and sometimes learning is really, really hard. Ask anyone who’s struggled with math how hard that process was (hint: you can ask me). But I needed to learn math in order to do well in the “real world”. I’ve needed addition and subtraction skills almost every day of my life. Algebra, eh, less so. But if I couldn’t’ guess at how much money I was spending on groceries, it would make life hard. It would make most jobs I’ve ever held virtually impossible. So I’m glad I slogged through the hard thing that I hated, because it was for my own good and I needed to. I think this is going to be the same thing; probably hard, probably going to end in tears sometimes (like multiplication did). I’ll probably fall down, and I’ll probably make a mess or two. But it’s definitely worth it, and definitely for my own good. I know working through this will make me stronger, more aware, more conscientious, better for myself and for my partners. And knowing that it’s my first time and that I’m learning a new skill makes it so much easier.

Over this last weekend, I had the opportunity to address the Rocky Mountain Rebellion Convention in Salt Lake City. The theme of the event was “Rebelling Against Shame”. Below is the content of that speech, as well as some additional information.


[Full Text of Speech]

I joined the kink community on July 16, 2006. In the years since, I have lost track of the many parties, classes and social events that I have attended, but I do know that this is my 26th conference. In that time, many dates stand out, but few more than an evening in November of 2013 when I received a call telling me that a friend in the community had committed suicide.

Across the US, in any given year, 1 in 4 adults will struggle with a mental health problem, but because of stigma, lack of availability, and other factors, only a small percentage will seek help. The good news is research tells us that the prevalence of these issues in the kink community are lower than the general public. However, when people in the kink community do face a mental health challenge, they are far less likely to seek help, largely because they do not believe that their lifestyle will be understood or respected.

In culturally isolated communities like ours, SHAME LITERALLY TAKES LIVES.

That’s why I wear a pin on my vest for suicide awareness and prevention. It’s why our organization in Colorado is working with the NCSF and supporting their Kink Aware Professionals (KAP) list, and it’s why I have spent a huge amount of my time for the last year working to train individuals within the community to recognize the signs of a mental health problem or crisis and offer appropriate assistance. Because in a community like ours, no one should ever have to make or receive that phone call.

The National Behavioral Healthcare Council has set the goal of reaching one million people trained in Mental Health First Aid by the year 2020. I am personally working to see that at least one thousand of those are people within the kink community.

You can help by going to and finding a class near you. If there isn’t a class near you, CALL ME and I will come and facilitate one.

For everyone who has been lost and for everyone who can still be helped, please do your part.

Thank you.


National Mental Health First Aid
Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition
MHFA Colorado

The other States in the Rocky Mountain region (Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana) currently do not have a dedicated site for information on local classes. If you live in those states, or any other in the country, you can visit the national website so search for a class near you.


I am a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor. I am authorized to provide this training anywhere in the United States. If you would like to organize a MHFA training for your area, please feel free to contact me.


Thank you to all who approached me after the speech offering resources, connections and assistance. I hope to be in contact with you all soon. If you don’t hear from me, please reach out to me.

Shame Takes Lives

Posted: August 25, 2016 by Isaac Cross in About Me, Advice, Events, Learn Something, Life Log, Philosophy

That’s the title of the speech I will be giving at Rocky Mountain Rebellion this Saturday in Salt Lake City.

When I read that the theme of the event was “Rebelling Against Shame”, I realized there was only one topic I could possibly discuss.

I will post the full text of the speech the morning after. For now, here’s a short teaser.


In any given year, 1 in 4 adults in the US struggle with a mental health problem and only a small percentage of them will seek help. The good news is research tells us the frequency of these issues are lower within the kink community, but it also tells us that people who do experience problems are less likely to seek help, primarily because they fear their lifestyle will not be understood or respected.

In culturally isolated communities like ours, Shame literally takes lives.


Look for the full text of the speech Sunday morning, right here.

Our New Friends

Posted: August 10, 2016 by Isaac Cross in Reviews, Reviews (Product)


I am proud to announce that XCBDSM has partnered with our FAVORITE sex toy brand, Tantus!!!


In addition to being able to offer our readers 15% off of all products on their site (including the Rumble, which happens to be the best vibrator, ever), they will also be sending us their products from time to time so that we can give you real, honest reviews so you can pick out the toy that is best for YOU.


Using the code also helps to support us and the work we do, since Tantus will send us a portion of every sale.

So while we get started on our first review, feel free to go peruse the site and remember to use the discount code, “XCBDSM”, for 15% off, site-wide.

Kink Bundle


Update to QR Resource

Posted: August 10, 2016 by Isaac Cross in Uncategorized

LIMITSWe’ve updated the negotiation quick-reference guide with an image that you can feel free to share around if you like.

We’ve been using the negotiation mnemonic in class for the last couple of years and people keep asking us for something they can save and share, so we finally got around to making one. Enjoy!

Negotiation Guide – Quick Reference

New Record and Thank You

Posted: August 1, 2016 by Isaac Cross in Uncategorized

July was a new record for pageviews and I can’t thank you all enough, especially those who post links to your own websites or social media.

Thanks to our increasing readership, the revenue from the advertising has also been increasing and I think that we can finally afford some of the major renovations to the site that I have been wanting to make for a while now.

Thank you for the ongoing support!!!

PS – I’ll be in Salt Lake City for Rocky Mountain Rebellion and Columbus for COPE later this year. If you are in either of those cities and would like more information, send me an email at

The Error of Silence

Posted: June 2, 2016 by Isaac Cross in About Me, Advice, Learn Something, Life Log

For-your-own-good-1024x1024 (1)For those of us to the left of the slash (dominant, top, etc), we often make decisions for the good of our partners without telling them. Even with the best of intentions, these decisions often have the opposite effect if we fail to communicate.  Read the rest of this entry »