Dangerous Compassions


shark nesting

Hello, I’ve been thinking about nesting.  I’m quite the nester.  If I’m really close to someone, especially if sex is involved, I want to live with them.  That’s just the kind of animal I am.  Cozy, cuddly, caring, curious, homey, needy animal.

I was thinking about nesting because I met a couple–they seem to really like each other.  But we were at an event, and they didn’t sit next to each other.  It surprised me because if I’m at any event with Ming, I want to sit together.

I’ve seen couples at parties who wanted to sit separately with the explanation, “We’re together all the time!”


When it comes to sex, I need to feel really safe.  If we had sex an hour before the meeting, four hours before the meeting, the day before–my body wants to be near his body.

That’s my safer spot.  I’m very bonded to him.  Being near him helps me relax.  I smile more, like the world more, and like myself more!

If Ming treated me like I was just any other person, I would feel scared.  I want to feel special to him, like I’m his only Laura-Marie.

I do love all the way.  Less than that is not an option.  I can’t be casual–it doesn’t make sense to me.  Other people can do sex however they want–I’m not going to judge them.  But I can’t do like that.

morally neutral

“We’re all on a slidey, when it comes to nesting, right?” I asked Ming.  “So if I need to nest at a 9 out of 10, and other people don’t really need to nest at all, so they’re like a 0 or 1 out of 10, that’s just different, right?  It’s not like I’m good and they’re bad, or I’m bad and they’re good.”

“Right,” Ming said.

“But people could think I was bad, right?  They could think I was overwhelming, too needy, or smothering them,” I said.

“Yeah, but you’re not bad,” he said.

“Right,” I said.  “It’s just about honesty and clarity.  If I pretended I was a 4 out of 10, on the nesting scale, when I’m really a 9 out of 10, then got mad at people for not going along with what I wanted, then I might be harmful.  But I’m not lying to anyone–I mostly experience other people lying to me.”

“Yes,” Ming said.

We thought of past relationship struggles I’ve had.  Sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter how clearly I’m trying to communicate my differences.  I’m not believed.  Or I’m just railroaded.


“Maybe it’s more about violence,” I told Ming.  “When someone’s hurting me, I want to talk about it, but I’m not really lashing at people.”

We all have different responses, when our needs aren’t met.

  • withdraw
  • lash out
  • let it roll off our backs
  • communicate
  • negotiate
  • get cerebral
  • get spiritual
  • whine
  • act out with addictive cycles
  • retaliate
  • read a self-help book
  • store up the offense to use against the other person later
  • some combination

It’s all about our trauma, habits, temperament, how we’ve healed.  Sometimes it’s about how much pain we’re in already.  Also how entitled we are.

Too many cis men I’ve been close to think everything good in the world is theirs, so anyone who stands between them and what they want is just evil.  That level of entitlement is hard for me to comprehend, let alone enact.


I think about problems in culture and relationships.  Domestic violence is such a huge one.  I pick at the whys and hows, but mostly I don’t know if there’s a lot of nuance.  It mostly comes down to: Do you think what you want and need is more important than what the other person wants and needs?

So many men have used me and treated me as a bottomless well of resources.  No, I’m not showing up for that anymore.

Do you really want to share and collaborate, or do you want to take and hoard all you can get?  Do you think you have something to learn in relationship?  Or do you think you have the whole world figured out, and no one has anything to teach you?

queer nesting

A lot of people will pretend they want to share and collaborate, in order to get all they can.  That type of deception is a huge part of toxic masculinity and pretty normal, unfortunately.

That’s partly why queer and trans people are my people.  Straight cis men are so violently deceptive as the norm.  At least with the queers, I have a chance at engaging someone who’s thought about power and honesty from a point of view besides king of the hill.

I’m a queer nesting lady, and fall is a time to hunker down and ready the nest for harsh weather.  Ming and I will keep each other warm.  I hope you are warm also.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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