I'm a sceptical pagan, a sensible freak, and a reasonably sober old punk.
I've been practising polyamory for most of my life, and am finally starting to get reasonably good at it. More about polyamory & other shagging stuff in the "You Should Message Me If" section, below, if you're interested.
I have several extensive tattoos (see pics for the biggest one, which goes from my coccyx to my crown) and four piercings (three of which are below the neck; it used to be six/five). I like to shave some bits of my hair off and grow other bits long. I like shiny clothes, and big boots, and spiky things.
I read constantly; literary fiction, SF & Fantasy, thrillers, crime novels, historical fiction, gritty contemporary urban literature, history books, popular science, whatever comes to hand. Favourite authors include Iain Banks, J L Borges, Isabel Allende, Alastair Reynolds, Marge Piercy, Ursula Le Guin, Joe Abercrombie, Niall Griffiths, and Rupert Thomson.
I play games. I write tabletop roleplaying games and teach Game Studies & Game Design for a living, but I also play boardgames, computer games, and especially live roleplaying games.
I enjoy keeping fit -- running, martial arts (depending on time/fitness/convenience, this can include: judo, Filipino martial arts, Thai boxing, sport fencing, classical fencing, Tai Chi, taijutsu, combatives, and even the obligatory year or so of karate when very young!), weightlifting, kettlebell workouts, CrossFit, bodyweight exercises, etc. I aim to be athletic, strong, and possessed of almost limitless energy. I like it that way.
I'm a bit of a nerdy science fiction geek... but only a bit. I do like to think that I'm capable of having conversations about other stuff too, from anarchist circus and contemporary dance to goth/industrial gigs and high-falutin' sculpture. If I know that you have no interest in SF & Fantasy & all that, you're unlikely to hear much about it from me. Just be warned that I was my primary school's acclaimed Doctor Who expert when I was eight, renowned for my ability to reel off summaries of every episode, even the ones I hadn't seen. I'm not sure I could remember them all now though.
Most of my living these days is made from writing, editing, game design, research, & lecturing. In the past I've had an assortment of jobs from vegan chocolatier to factory worker, deliverer of organic vegetables by bicycle to pagan bookshop-owner (the shop's still going, but I sold it on a few years back), graphic designer to stage technician, stilt-walker to marketing manager. It's all been fun, but I like what I do now, best.
I used to be somewhat more involved with political activism than I am now (mostly chaining myself to trees to stop roads being built through forests). I still go on demos and cause trouble occasionally, but mostly these days I talk a good fight. I'm not strictly vegetarian any more, but am committed to not buying any meat that isn't at the very least free-range. Most meals I cook and eat are vegetarian. Where possible, I buy locally made food from farmers' markets, etc., or get it delivered in bulk by the excellent Suma workers' co-op. Having recently read _No Logo_, I've also decided not to buy any sweatshop-made clothing, which cuts out 90% of high street shops. )
I do travel a bit, mostly to visit friends or for academic conferences. I love New York and Chicago and Denver, especially, in the USA, and plan to get out to Oregon and California someday too. I seem to get to Europe and North Africa more often at the moment though. I am from the internet, especially alt.gothic
I am time-short when it comes to relationships, especially with PhD work and day job to fit in, too. So I am a little resistant to starting something new. Unless you are especially fabulous. I am sure you are.
My ex-wife told me this profile makes me come across as an arrogant idiot, and that I'm actually really nice. I pointed out that she thought I WAS an arrogant idiot when we first met...
I am venomous, fearless, and dry. But I'm trying to be a better person. Aiming for supportive, fearless, and dry.
Working on a novel, a couple of fee-paying game projects, and a couple of royalty-paying game projects. Started a PhD in 2011 which is eating a lot of time...
My day job is lecturing at a university, which also eats a lot of time, though is fortunately somewhat seasonal.
Going to live roleplaying games.
Getting fitter. Sometimes. Feels like 2 steps forward, 1 step back, a lot.
Taking the piss
(b) MAD MAX FURY FUCKING ROAD...
...seriously, that film, if you love it too we should talk because I can talk for hours about it, THAT FUCKING FILM...
...Sin City, The Fountain, Blade Runner, Natural Born Killers, The Princess Bride, Big Fish, Second-Hand Lions, Collateral, Casablanca, Alien, Aliens, Terminator, Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars
(c) Vikings, The Americans, Game of Thrones, The Wire, Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Babylon 5, Firefly, Farscape
(d) The Creatures, Alabama 3, Massive Attack, Bauhaus, The Stooges, Hawkwind, Inertia, Faithless, Tricky, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, The Pogues, The Golden Apple, Imminent Starvation, KLF, Mark Stewart & the Maffia, Soft Cell, Devo, The Doors, The Beatles.
(e) chocolate, curry, yoghurt, salads, nuts, fruit.
You're down with the One Drink Bailout concept if we meet up: http://impresswomen.tumblr.com/post/26481309949/guest-post-dating-bailout-a-proposal
OK, I promised I'd write more about polyamory. For me, this is a recognition that I'm not naturally monogamous, have never been very good at trying to be monogamous, have never been very happy when monogamous, and frankly, at my age, have no interest in even attempting to be monogamous any more. For some people, monogamy might well be right and proper, but I don't really understand them to be honest. Here's the muesli-smoking, yoghurt-weaving, incorrigible hippy mystic explanation for me being polyamorous: "Well I'm like, looking for the Goddess right, and, like, I can see an aspect of Her in, like, almost every Woman, and it would be, like, WRONG to, like, reject the Goddess, man -- savvy?" Well, stripped of the hippy crap, that's not far off the truth. I'm a BIT more picky than that -- it's not quite going to be EVERY woman -- but the truth is, I can feel attracted to any apparently tiny thing -- the way you laugh, the way your eyes sparkle, the way you grin mischievously, an uncertain look in your eyes, the way you dance, the way you smile at me, the way you move, whatever. If you're at all interesting, individual, and/or intelligent, AND if there's that spark of attraction there, I'm going to be drawn to you. If that's the case, why should the fact that I'm also drawn to my main partner, and possibly to other partners at the time, and probably to several other people I don't have a chance with... why should that mean that I shouldn't be attracted to you? I want to have my cake, and eat it, and have everyone else's cake and eat them too. Greedy? Sure. Unfettered by Old Aeon Slave Religion Morality? Absolutement, baby. A polymorphous pervert? Probably.
So what's the practical upshot of my polyamory, if you decide we should meet up & maybe even shag? For starters, I will be honest with you. That doesn't mean I'll tell you everything (you probably don't want to know EVERYTHING anyway); it does mean I won't lie to you. I'm fairly flexible, in that I'd consider almost anything from a casual shag to another long-term partner, depending on circumstances. I'd rather let any relationship develop organically, rather than start off saying, "Well, you, Person A, will do for a quick shag; but I believe you, Person B, are my PERFECT WOMAN, and I'm going to obsessively stalk you as a result." Bollocks to that. I don't believe perfection can be found in the real world, but I'm going to have a DAMNED good time looking for it, and pretending to look for it (I think it might have slipped down behind the sofa? Lost things often end up there). I have a deep and abiding interest in PEOPLE, generally. Mostly women. I'm captivated by 'em, but I'm a willing victim.
That's not to say I'm especially submissive, incidentally; from an S/M perspective, I'm closest to being a switch (polymorphous pervert, remember?), but most of the time I'd rather just have an intense, vigorous shag, in which it's never quite clear which of us is on top... If you can wrestle me into submission, you're WELCOME to try topping me, but I'm not going to make it easy; where would be the fun in that? Wouldn't it be more enjoyable to earn a momentary position of dominance, if that was your thing, rather than having some willing slave-boy cowering at your heels? And if you like to be dominated yourself... well, I can be quite strict too, and unless you're strong I probably don't need furry wrist-cuffs to hold you down. All that stuff, anyway, is a bit of fun for me, not the be-all and end-all of sex; it can certainly enhance a good shag, but I'd rather have a good vanilla shag than a rubbish kinky one.
All that said... in the last couple of years, I've been more & more turned on by the idea (and, sometimes, the reality) of very submissive women... I've had a couple of flings with women who wanted to be overpowered & ravished, and I have to admit, I found the experiences hugely arousing. So if you're more submissive than not, I'm probably interested, too.
So, given all that; you should message me if you fancy a date, or a shag, or just a good conversation (for which read, argument; I love a good argument, so long as we don't take it too seriously).
Also -- well -- I used to say you should message me if, like me, you are honest, fearless, and strong. Recently I've wanted to add "neuroplastic" and "autotelic" to that checklist (gods, I'm picky, eh?). Those, really, are the main things I want out of people, whether friends or lovers or somewhere in-between. If that doesn't apply to you, look elsewhere, please, as I already have enough friends and lovers and somethings-in-between who ARE all of those things. I don't need any who aren't.
Massively submissive types can be just honest and neuroplastic, I guess, though it'd be kinda neat if they were fearless & strong & autotelic too, in their own special way. In fact, I suppose that anyone -- submissive or not -- who is neuroplastic and honest, and deliberately plasticising their neurons in the direction of increased strength and fearlessness, and the development of an autotelic personality, would do fine. Yeah. Neuroplasticity is the key. I want people who are not just able to change the way they think, but committed to doing so whenever better data come along, or sometimes just for the hell of it, because it'd be fun to think something different for a while.
Didn't really want to have to add this (and it's NOT directed at anyone in particular), but if you're under 30, and especially if you're under 25, you'd better be very bloody convincing when you tell me that you're honest, fearless, and strong. I'm certain there are such people under 30, and even under 25; it's just that most of the ones of that age who say they are, are deluding themselves and/or me.
The corollary to that, I suppose, is that if you're over 35 or so, I expect you to be taking care of your body. Up to 35, you can get away on natural charm & beauty and fitness. Over 35, unless you're either working out as much as I am, or are into some other thing that keeps you fit (dance, rock-climbing, weightlifting, whatever), you probably can't keep up with me, either in bed or out of it, & that's just no fun for anyone. I don't particularly have an upper age limit though; if you're over 50 but young at heart, and are somewhat athletic, let's talk. ;)
(Did those last two paragraphs make me sound negative, bitter, and demanding? I don't think those 3 words are my favourite self-summary, though they may be true, on occasion. Those two paragraphs, though, are at least honest.)
Please don't bother messaging me if when you say you're "inexperienced with polyamory but interested in trying it out", you actually mean "willing to put up with polyamory for a bit, till someone who wants a more traditional monogamous relationship shows up." I'm really bored of that.
I guess distance is something of a factor. I have a busy life, and if you're interesting to me, you probably do, too. I have maintained very long-distance, loving, polyamorous relationships before (5,000 miles for 18 months -- hard work but worth it), but they are tough. So, if you live in another country and have a very high match percentage with me, do feel free to message me -- but we're not that likely to meet up, unless you plan a holiday to the UK sometime soon. If you live in the UK, unless it's either within about 50 miles of me, or near-ish to London, again, I'd love to talk and maybe meet -- but the distance will make things hard work. Although if you're interested in or already do either live roleplay, or medieval re-enactment, I already travel halfway across the country for that kind of stuff, and I have a very nicely decked-out tent -- think "carpeted & be-cushioned boudoir". ;)
Also, you should message me if you are "one of those who are born with an immedicable distaste for all that is present or near at hand; one of those who have drunk too lightly of oblivion and have not wholly forgotten the transcendent glories of other aeons, and the worlds from which they were exiled into human birth; so that their furtive, restless thoughts and dim, unquenchable longings return obscurely toward the vanishing shores of a lost heritage. The earth is too narrow for such, and the compass of mortal time is too brief; and paucity and barrenness are everywhere; and in all places their lot is a never-ending weariness." (Clark Ashton Smith)
Better still, if you can read that Clark Ashton Smith quote, know it's true, know it applies especially to you, laugh about it, and love life anyway, every second of it, drain each cup to the lees.
Mostly, you should just message me. Go on. You know you want to.
Unless you are Alyssa Bereznak. If you are Alyssa Bereznak, please do not message me.