Who is Jay and what behaviour are we flagging?
Jay prides themselves on being polyamorous, often having multiple partners at once. They frequently proposition queers on various dating apps like OkCupid and Tinder.
Jay frequently gets exasperated and frustrated when issues are brought up about the way they navigate polyamory. They consistently rep a victim complex and act wilfully ignorant to their actions. Harmful dynamics have manifested in non-romantic and non-sexual situations as well. Below lists the dynamics and behaviours we have experienced from Jay:
Toxic, non-consensual, and sometimes coercive polyamory dynamics
Our experiences with Jay have been that they often date a lot of people at once. This forces their partners to compete for time, which creates fear, scarcity and resentment towards other partners. Their communication around safer sex (timing of dates and new partners, STIs, etc) also lacks transparency. When concerns or frustrations are brought to their attention, more often than not they try to persuade you that your feelings are a result of your mental illness. Jay lied to us about how many people they were dating, and then would use our mental health as an excuse for not having disclosed the information to us.
“Jay would cultivate an extremely triggering dynamic of intense scarcity after being hyper present and caring initially.” -ex partner
“Jay was extremely withholding. Their behaviour would often create insecurity, jealousy and feelings of inadequacy. They would often run away from labour in a relationship by being totally immersed in a new person. They would become resentful and aggressive when VERY basic care was asked for.” – ex partner
“Jay coerced me into a disclosure agreement that was on a basis of only communicating about people we wanted to date seriously and not the ones we dated casually. They would hide the amount of people they would date from me.” – ex partner
“Jay agreed to getting back together after a breakup on the condition that I had no expectations of them, even though we had been in a partnership for four years at that point.” – ex partner
Jay reaches out to people constantly to attempt to date and oversexualizes people to an uncomfortable degree, including in professional settings. We believe that this entitled, vocal way of sexualizing people is an embodiment of toxic masculinity.
“Jay would oversexualize everyone, including my friends or people in my life; roommates, my other partners inappropriately.” – ex partner
“They would expliciately over sexualize people, literally saying that they are always imaginaing/fantasizing having sex with people when they look at them at random”. – ex partner
“I had to argue with Jay once about whether university students should or shouldn’t be dating interests for teaching staff. They were excusing teachers, saying that students simply were part of “the dating pool.” I know people can just say things too lightly sometimes, and maybe they’ve changed their mind about that, but Jay was already a TA at the time and I found their opinion really worrying.” – ex roommate
“Whenever I dated anyone, esp women of colour, Jay creeped on them and talked about wanting to fuck them. On occasions where these partners were willing to be intimate, Jay acted like any care for their trauma or feelings was a nuisance – and left me to handle it alone. I recall 2 specific instances where this lead me and the other partner to get triggered / retraumatized – 1 occasion led to a suicide attempt from my other partner which Jay refused to ever help me process/they shut down completely and wouldn’t even let me talk about it. Jay wants to fuck people of colour but doesn’t want to hear about their needs or feelings”. – ex partner
Jay grooms their partners into polyamory, then gaslights you when any “poly issues” are brought up by telling you that you are the issue, not them.
“Jay explicitly told me that they try to make (always traumatized often younger) people feel ‘safe’ so they will do whatever they want sexually. This dynamic goes hand in hand with coercive group sex.” – ex partner
Pathologizing Inconvenient Reactions
Jay turns attempted dialogue into arguments, often spinning words and minimizing your feelings to be a result of your mental state. They use academic and psychological lingo to minimize your feelings.
“Jay recommended that I look into support for Children of Alcoholics – even though my dad hasn’t drank since I was young and I never even said that his drinking affected me very much. Basically they were just trying to discredit my legit arguments by pathologizing me / and trying to convince my own support network that I’m crazy – the inherent problem being that Jay thinks “crazy” people don’t deserve to be listened to.” – ex partner
During the process of writing this statement we discovered that Jay had recommended the same exact thing (Children of Alcoholics) to all 3 of the ex partners involved.
“When I lived with them at Sober House, EVERYONE who annoyed Jay was discredited for being crazy – to the point of some people being pushed out / kicked out / driven crazy into nervous breakdowns. Why the fuck did Jay think they should start a house for recovering addicts if they have zero tolerance for anyone acting “crazy”? – ex roommate
“Sometimes, Jay responds to ‘inconvenient’ behaviour with aggression, lumping together erratic behavior and being in touch with their feelings. There have been a few times when they threatened to “snap”, “lose control”; in other words insinuated physical violence if a housemate wasn’t in charge of mitigating their interactions with another housemate. In these instances, they expected people to take care of them when they were threatening to get violent. It was difficult to bring that to their attention and talk about the position it put us in, because they would frame it in terms of their mental health flailing and needing support. They pathologize reactions strategically.” – ex roommate
Jay dismisses people based on their mental health status and dismisses people’s genuine mental health needs when they express them. However, in our experience, when Jay experiences a crisis, they don’t apply the same standards, appealing to their struggles with mental health in order to gain sympathy or get out of taking responsibility (because they know the people they date will take their mental health concerns seriously). Ironically, Jay consistently dates people who identify as having trauma and/or people from marginalized communities who are more likely to have experienced trauma and face mental health challenges.
“Jay would gaslight me when we were dating anytime I would bring up issues in our relationship/poly dynamics. They made me feel as though I was jealous and bad at poly for having basic needs and concerns around confusing and shitty dynamics. They would tell me that they did not want to follow proper poly guidelines because they wanted to “do what they want”. They always blamed my mental health for bringing up or being upset about things in our relationship. They would continuously use the excuse of not telling me things because they thought I could not handle it (mentally).” -ex partner
“Jay would use academic language when communicating and trying to convince people of things. Telling you that the things that you say don’t make sense and then using inaccessible language or definitions.” ex-partner
“Jay used politics to coerce and manipulate me. They made me feel like I was a ‘bad anarchist’ for complaining about their type of polyamory.” -ex partner
“Jay would speak from absolute authority, stating their own memories of events or situations as facts. They would doubt others’ points of view despite being presented with proof. They would ridicule people’s grievances with sarcastic comments. They would withdraw during crises but then act like nothing happened when they returned like ‘’hey what’s up’’”. – ex roommate
Tokenizing, Fetishizing and Racism
Racism: Many of us have either witnessed or experienced the tokenizing and fetishizing of people of colour (dates, partners, roommates) by Jay.
“I believe that Jay’s only interest in performing anti-racism is to gain access to fuck and date more women and queer people of colour. They would downplay or play up my racialization to suit their needs. Ie: exoticize me as their partner when it was sexy or validating for them – but when it wasn’t sexy / we were in conflict, they would try to shut me down by saying I’m so white passing / basically white and “identity politics are stupid/problematic”.” – ex partner
Jay was a diplomat’s child who lived in different parts of the world and got a lot of access to different cultures, some being the very cultures or lineages their partners were part of. The way they talked about their (limited, expat’s) knowledge of other cultures felt very objectifying. Some of us also noticed an overlap between their academic research subjects and dating interests, which we find incredibly scary and predatory.
“It felt to me on various occasions that I was being studied / used to gain (generally sexual) access / trust from vulnerable communities. Is this how they intend to continue conducting their “research”?” – ex partner
“I remember them telling me about a hot Muslim woman at their workplace. They were mad about how she wasn’t friendly with them, and they were trying to anthropology-understand why she wasn’t interested in them. Around that same time I was borrowing their computer and accidentally saw some pretty violent Hijabi porn on their computer search history. Also around that time was when they were talking often about how they wanted to do their Master’s research in the Middle East. Scary.” – ex partner
Many of us witnessed and experienced racist microagressions from Jay. This included Jay belittling our rage towards racism and using their stance against identity politics to whitesplain to us how we should be thinking and feeling. Based on our experiences, we firmly stand by the opinion that Jay has the potential to inflict a lot of violence towards racialized people, especially women and femmes.
Cissexism/Transphobia: Most of us have witnessed Jay belittling people’s understanding of gender and self-determination, pushing their beliefs about identity and how it should be articulated on other queer folks, misgendering and deadnaming people, and speculating about HRT to discredit people’s reactions to their behavior. For instance, they would speculate about the negative effects of HRT, (wrongly) blaming someone’s violent behavior on their taking testosterone. Yet, they expressed support for trans partners, lovers, and folks they valued as dates or sexual interests.
Avoidance and refusal to take responsibility
Bottom line, basic communication was often an issue with Jay and it did not help address any of these issues. For instance, whether willingly or unwillingly, Jay disclosed sensitive information about others without their consent, publicly and to other partners. On occasions, they would use that information against someone else (to shame someone), but then omit that information when it was most relevant to explain a situation. They continuously perpetuated the cycle of abuse, strategically placing kindnesses (words or presents) when there’s insecurity or conflict to address, or when they hope to get something from you. Besides, their tendency to act on behalf of others without prior consent, to single people out as the cause for problems, and to talk 1 on 1 about collective issues instead of addressing them as a group, did not help establish good communication.
Lastly, Jay has often avoided taking responsibility, even when responsibility was shared. For instance, past housemates remember that they routinely left instead of dealing with issues that would arise in the collective (when there were threats about busting our door, when a housemate would experience a mental health crisis, when we had bedbugs, when we were out of heating, etc.) It’s fair enough to take care of oneself and respect one’s limits, but we don’t recall a crisis where they stuck around, or supported people who stayed and recognized their work. Their avoidance was hard to reconcile with their instistance and repeated entitlement to taking on leadership roles.