42Cleveland, United States
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My self-summary
Please read "You Should Message Me If" before messaging me. I know the profile's ridiculously long, so I've wrapped up some basic points there.

Disclaimers and Fair Warnings:

Immediate disclaimer, since it's an automatic issue for so many people -- I'm poly and I'm a smoker. I totally understand if either of those are "no-goes" for you.

Also, apologies in advance for slow or brief replies on here; I rarely access it these days except by phone. Much better to reach me by email or GIM, and I'm generally pretty free with providing those if my filters send me your message (I think they require an 80% or so to do that at the moment). I'm generally not going to log into other messaging systems with any reliability, so please be aware of this.

7-14-12: quick update since I'm on my phone and thumb-typing. Did end up finding a primary partner (here, actually) not entirely closed to new involvements but really not looking, either. Always happy to chat and meet with new folks, though! Particularly love welcoming Cleveland newbies to the area and social networks.

8-15-12: going through to do a bit of updating, although probably not the whole movies/books/etc part, so that remains about two years out of date (finished educating myself on Doctor Who, or at least have reached the same pace as any Whovian, Max Headroom HAS come out on DVD, etc), and the pics are about two or three years out of date, too. I don't look much different, except for being two or three years older.

Well, seems good to start with the stuff that's most relevant in my life... My most central identity is "activist" -- it's about how I think about and interpret the world as much as whether I'm doing big things or little things at any given moment. I believe in speaking truth to power, and the importance of sharing information. I define activism as any action in intentional pursuit of a particular philosophy, so it's a pretty broad umbrella. I consider my big, crazy, chaotic household to be its own form of activism (especially in combination with my participation in couchsurfing.com), and I'm very much a homebody these days. I love that my place is where my friends come for a break from the world, and I generally describe it as "the den of moderate hedonism" -- I'm all about the comfort.

Generally I'm rather education-focused; I've particularly done a lot of sexuality and reproductive health educating of various sorts over the course of my life, and my central foci at the moment are clinic escorting and patient-instructing (teaching med students reproductive health exams). I'm a font of bizarre information about history of sexuality and sexology, anatomy and physiology, sociological analyses of zombie flicks, and whatever topic has pegged my interest recently (I love micro-histories that focus on a specific topic -- salt, bathing, bananas, sodomy laws, etc). I love learning new things. I love finding information and sharing it with people. I love what the internet has done for all of this. I like the weird and the silly and the fascinating, and I love what the internet has done for this, too.

I'm polyamorous, bisexual, kinky (S/M much more than D/s), and very out about all of it. I've done a lot of educating about these topics too, and have a knack for talking comfortably about commonly taboo subjects. I totally suck at socially appropriate small-talk, though -- I only get going when I'm on a topic that interests me. That said, examining almost any topic closely enough is interesting to me. It's why I think of myself as a geek, and tend to be attracted to other geeks -- people who are intensely fascinated with some aspect of their world. I love conversation for conversation's sake, as long as it isn't small-talk. I also enjoy hearing from local folks who are looking for friends; we're a pretty social household, and if we get along, you can always come over for one of our mellow little hangouts and meet some new people.

I'm queer-identified, and tend to connect best with other folks who also are, in some way or another. It's one of my home communities (I've been out and politically active since I was 16), and it's nice to share that. I have a longstanding sense of connection with the trans and genderqueer communities, and I'm political about trans inclusion issues in both queer and feminist communities. And I'm a feminist, and if you think that's a dirty word, or aren't capable of comprehending why that's important to me, we pretty much aren't going to connect. For those of you who have a sense of how many different branches of feminism there are, I grew up educated in the mainstream second wave, and am theoretically pretty in line with third-wave sex-positive feminism, with a particular focus on class and classism. I'd have to go back to my decade-old textbooks (or hit up wikipedia) to get more specific.

I'm vehemently in favor of the broadest possible interpretations of the First Amendment. I despise the obscenity exclusion on free speech. I believe when it's the issue, the solution to offensive speech is more speech, not less. I find the current intellectual property debates fascinating. I don't believe drugs or prostitution, or anything else consensual for adults should be criminalized. I'm political about sex workers' rights, and about workers' rights in general.

I'm also a science fiction geek, a skeptic, an atheist, and a big ol' hippy at heart (yes, I'm familiar with cognitive dissonance). I'm a big fan of entheogens and altered states, and quite fond of 420. I'm not very "girl-identified" -- at best I'm a tomboy. I'm fat, and I'm fine with that. I've also got fibromyalgia, which limits my energy a good bit, and I tend to really need a lot of psychological space and "introvert-time", while also having a relatively broad social network that already takes up a good deal of my life, so I don't tend to do "attached at the hip" in relationships. I mostly tend toward friendly rather than overtly romantic involvements; I form very long-term connections, but I'm not exactly gushy, and the friendship is always the deepest necessary core for anything ongoing. I dig "mellow and affectionate" with people I trust, and I'm very comfortable with relationships that wander between platonic and sexual over the years. If it's not already obvious from my writing so far, I do my damndest to be as honest and forthcoming as I possibly can be; miscommunication makes me crazy. When I know what's going on in my head, I don't hide it.

I'm big on movies; everything from documentaries to shlock SF/horror, and I have a ridiculously large library and quite a number of pets (2 dogs, five cats, and a snake). I'm generally pretty mellow but straight-forward -- don't ask questions you don't want answers to. Not generally all that big on the club or bar scenes, but up for random roadtrips and festivals and new experiences.

I dig art and creativity and craziness, and fill my life with quite a number of people who are substantially more right-brained than me. It's a nice balance. I'm the "practical but utterly unshockable" one; the home base for all my substantially more peripatetic friends, the one who remembers the sunscreen and extra water when we're shrooming in the desert. I take in people and animals on a regular basis. I like a moderate level of chaos in my life, although I'm not a fan of the infamous "drama", and mostly got that out of my system in my twenties, thank maude. I like environments that don't require me to be clothed. I'm really not a fan of the stuff except for practical weather-related reasons. I joke that I have bodyart because it's the lowest-maintenance form of personal decoration out there.

I have several wonderful non-primary involvements in my life. In general, I tend to connect best with other people who are clear and comfortable with who they are, and who can geek about politics, gender, sexuality, science, and the world. Sexually, bi guys are a particular hot-button for me, but I also casually date clueful straight guys, especially if their sexual interests are relatively broad. Most of my female partners have been bi, although not all. If you're considering whether we might be compatible dating-wise, be aware it's a big plus if you have previous experience navigating open relationships -- I jokingly refer to dating me as being "the advanced course in Polyamory" due to the inherent complexity of my existing relationships. And please don't assume that an invitation to my bed is a de facto invitation to bed with any of my other partners; they're their own people, and make their own decisions. That said, jealousy and possessiveness aren't really where my personal faults lie. I find the "sharing" element of polyamory to come pretty naturally, and do well with relationships with people who already have primary partners. Seeing people happy together makes me grin. On the other hand, I probably have a harder time dealing with jealousy _from_ partners than average, and tend to cope rather poorly with feeling liked I'm "claimed" by someone, so I don't tend to connect well with folks who tend more toward that end of the spectrum.

And on a practical level, if you don't enjoy dealing with animals (or have allergies that'll make you miserable), our in-person hanging out time is going to be necessarily limited, since the number of animals in the household make them a central feature of it (aside from the resident five very friendly cats and two rambunctious dogs, we have up to three extra dogs on a daily basis -- it's great fun if it's your thing, and thoroughly annoying if it isn't), and I'm, as mentioned above, a homebody. Also on the practical side, I gave up the car several years back, since I've got good public transit access. I can get around Cleveland relatively well, but my ability to meet up with folks is limited by that factor. I know all the good spots in my neighborhood, though, and I always enjoy a cup of coffee and a chat.

I'm very much a sexual explorer, and really enjoy friendly sexual involvements with the right people. To clarify my mention of BDSM up above, it's something that's only part of some of my involvements, and it's an intermittent interest in my life. I have a deep sense of joy in sexuality, I'm turned on by intelligence (hellooooooo geeks!), by humor, by honesty, ethics, and independence, and by people who are comfortable in their own skin, and as adventurous as I am. I don't sleep with people I don't like and respect enough to want to continue hanging out with (although I'm quite happily slutty within those limitations), and I prefer the fun that an on-going sexual relationship allows to develop. I'm honest and forthright to a fault; to say "I don't play games" is quite the understatement.

And since I tend to be very "Dragnet" in my answers to these things ("Just the facts, Ma'am, just the facts"), I should probably take a minute to note that I consider a sense of humor and a good dose of silliness pretty damn essential to survival. I spend a large part of life laughing, although I, personally, am more witty and silly in turns than funny (twinge of envy for those of you writing the awesomely entertaining and creative profiles).

Did you make it this far? Really? Damn, I'm impressed. So, hopefully you know as much useful info as I can figure out to communicate about whether and how we might get along. Including knowing about my long-windedness.

I am queer-identified, activist, and geeky
What I’m doing with my life
I'm a helpdesk analyst by day, activist by night. I'm passionate about my abortion clinic escort volunteering, and about patient-instructing. I do my local work, write my congresscritters a hell of a lot, and attend major protest events when I can.
I’m really good at
Educating, explaining, being my friends' personal researcher. Wandering around in the woods in the dark. Dealing with animals. Random trivia. Being stable in a crisis. Roadtrips.
The first things people usually notice about me
I really haven't the foggiest.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
"Favorite book" is an almost impossible call for me. I'm a long-standing SF/F fan, with a particular fondness for hard SF (Robert L. Forward, Greg Bear), and for elaborate, often multibook worldbuilding (P.C. Hodgell, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Sherri S. Tepper). I also have particular fondnesses for Neil Gaiman, Spider Robinson, and Terry Pratchett. I have a long-standing love of traditional fairy tales and creative modern fairy tales and retellings (for awesome new fairy tales, I recommend Catherynne Valente's Orphan Tales duology). I also read a lot of non-fiction, mostly science, politics, and sexuality, but really anything that catches my eye. I love Jared Diamond's work, and Ehrlich's Human Natures, and Blink, and Bonk and Your Inner Fish. I'm a longtime fan of Susie Bright, Carol Queen and Tristan Taormino. I can get lost in bookstores for days. I can't pass up used books that are cheaper than candy bars (library book sales drain my wallet like nothing else). I read voraciously, usually a few books a week. At the moment I'm typing this, I just finished Robert Forward's Indistinguishable from Magic, and am reading Schermer's The Science of Good and Evil. Next up are a few I bought yesterday: Tongue First, and a history of clockmaking's effects on the world (I can't recall the title at the moment).

Magazine-wise, I read In These Times, Scientific American, Ms., Mother Jones, Bust, Spread, and Bitch.

I also watch a lot of movies and shows, and have a similar problem coming up with a favorite. I'm currently educating myself on Doctor Who -- I've been netflixing episodes from the beginning on up. I adore Jon Pertwee. I'm eagerly awaiting the day Max Headroom is released on DVD, and deeply pleased that Alien Nation finally has been. I'm a huge Joss Whedon fan, most especially Firefly. I have a soft spot for the Raimi brothers, and will watch almost anything with Bruce Campbell in it, although Brisco County Jr is top of the list. I love Farscape, Wonderfalls, and Freaks and Geeks. I'm mourning the loss of Pushing Daisies, but digging getting into Eureka, Sanctuary, and Castle. I'm also a big fan of Dirty Jobs, Bill Nye's Stuff Happens, Burn Notice, United States of Tara, Number One Ladies' Detective Agency, and Ninja Warrior. I can't wait for the return of Torchwood. I think A Bit of Fry and Laurie is some of the funniest sketch comedy I've ever seen. I'm sure by now it's deeply shocking that I'd also be a Monty Python fan. In terms of more general movie genres, I most often steer away from tragedies and from romantic comedies, although there are exceptions on both, and I generally prefer a good dose of weirdness in my media. The Cartoon Network and Comedy Central's Adult Swim (particularly Moral Orel) are also my friends.

I love American Zombie, V for Vendetta (movie and graphic novel), Saving Grace, Harold and Kumar, Mirrormask, Kinsey, Ginger Snaps, The Blues Brothers, The Dark Crystal, Muppets from Space, The Big Lebowski, The Hudsucker Proxy, Jeffrey, When Night is Falling, The Full Monty, But I'm a Cheerleader, Nausicaa, By Hook or By Crook, Citizen Ruth, Dead Alive, Dirty Pictures, Dogma, Dr. Strangelove, Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill, The Fifth Element, Harold and Maude, Immortal Beloved, Kung Fu Hustle, The Madness of King George, Orgazmo, Pi, Princess Bride, Real Genius, Tank Girl, The Thomas Crown Affair, Time Bandits, Wag the Dog, Forbidden Zone and a multitude of other movies. I've been having fun in recent years going through various themes via Netflix, and recently watched almost every zombie and werewolf movie I could get my hands on. I also have a serious weakness for MST-worthy bad movies. I can tell you in which movies to find zombie fetuses, zombie fish, marsupial werewolves...

I watch a lot of documentaries of all sorts, and I'm hooked on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Countdown, Frontline, and Bill Moyers Journal. I have a massive crush on Rachel Maddow.

I really don't spend a huge amount of time listening to music, but my interests there are all over the board, too. I particularly love blues, classic rock, 80s pop, classic country, psychedelia, zydeco, bluegrass, and taiko drumming, and I still take guilty pleasure in the 80s hair-rock of my youth.

I'm generally very exploratory with food, with the major caveat that I have a very low tolerance for capsaicin-based (hot pepper) heat. I am emphatically not a vegetarian, so if you are and it's an ethical thing for you, just a heads up.

And although they don't ask about it, this seems like the appropriate place to say that I really enjoy games, too, and play them much too rarely. I'm not generally a video gamer nor a role-player, but I love everything from classic board games to puzzles and quiz games, and I have a wonderful time with games like Chez Geek, and the Looney Labs games.

And although I make it to them less often than I'd like, I have a huge amount of fun with Cons and Festivals and events of that sort.
Six things I could never do without
My pets
My friends and partners
Internet access
Intelligent conversation
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Politics, sexuality, gender, science, who's going to be home in time to let the dogs out.
On a typical Friday night I am
Hanging out at home with the household and the pets watching movies, or out-of-state visiting friends. Possibly at a conference, convention, or festival.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
...is that there just isn't much in my life that's "most private". I don't have any particular innate sense of TMI. Pick a topic and ask away.
You should message me if
You're interested in local friends to hang out with, someone new to chat with, or a possibility of dating and/or sexual compatibility. Or if you enjoy undirected geekery about any topic we have in common; intelligent conversation is one of my favorite things on the planet.

You're cool with me being bi, poly, political (way-lefty progressive), atheist, geeky, low-energy, a smoker (tobacco and 420), and having a lot of pets (the last two being most relevant to meeting face-to-face; I hate making people with allergies miserable)

You're looking to meet folks in the area, and think folks I know might be your kind of people; we have friendly gatherings every few weeks during the summer, and it's always a nice relaxed way to meet some new folks and have a few beers.

Also, I'm always especially psyched to connect with other bi and poly folks.

Please don't message me in aolspeak. I love to read, and I honestly just find things like "r u there" to be painful and grating in my brain. If you don't truly enjoy writing well and relatively extensively, I probably won't be over-interested in having an IM conversation with you. Also, please be very clear that me being this direct about sexuality doesn't change the fact that I'm not interested in most people. If you don't get my brain going, you won't be getting anything else going. My physical attractions have been all over the place; the commonality is that every person who hits my buttons does it with their sexy, sexy brain...

Also, please don't message me looking for insta-hookup. I know my profile's long, and I don't expect everyone to have read the whole damn thing, so some things are worth restating here: I'm not interested in sexual connections with people that I don't find interesting and compatible enough to at least be ongoing friends. That's not an instant decision for me, so don't expect things to "happen" immediately, and overall, I don't connect with all that many people on that level. Also, particularly because I have partners to protect, I don't get involved with anyone who isn't comfortable having safer sex conversations.
The two of us