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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The juicy details.

The other night I went on a date with Lucy and we had an awesome time! We had such great conversation at dinner that we decided to go back to her place and continue talking. Well, one drink turned to two and the next thing I knew we were making out on the couch! She is such a good kisser she really blew my mind! And then she blew. . . well, you know. I was amazed how good she is in bed. The woman can bend like a gymnast! And she did this thing in the middle of sex I have GOT to tell you about. . .

That is probably not the conversation you want to have with one of your partners about a date you had. And if you have had that kind of conversation with your partner, count yourself lucky. You either have a very easygoing partner, a very solid relationship, or both. I'm assuming it must be one of those because anything less and they probably would have murdered you in your sleep and you wouldn't be reading this.

The topic today, if you haven't guessed it already, is how much detail to give your partner about a date you have had. This will probably apply to the question of how much detail to give your partner about time you spend with your other partner(s), or OSO's if you prefer.

From the example above it is easy to imagine getting carried away and giving your partner far more information than they ever wanted. Seeing the horrified look on their face, or tears running down their cheeks, is not the time to realize you overstepped and told them too much.

The only hard rule I have about dates, or time with OSO's, is that I want to know it happened. I also make it clear to my partners from the beginning that I won't hide time I spend with others and will at least casually mention I had a "date". From there I usually follow the guidelines below.

I prefer to let my partner tell me how much detail they would like. Then I usually give them just a bit less than what they have asked for. If they respond by asking for more details I will give more but again, just a bit less than what they asked for. This allows them to guide the conversation and stop it before they acquire more information than they want. It also assumes they will stop themselves before getting information that will hurt them.

I follow it up by asking how the information makes them feel, and if they have concerns or feelings about it that we need to discuss. Did I give them too much detail? Did I do anything they didn't like? And if I need to change how we talked, what should I do different in the future?

For me, this method has worked well but I think it important to note that it is only one small piece of dealing with jealousy and other issues.

I've heard of couples that have "Don't ask, don't tell" type rules where neither party wants to know anything, particularly details. I've found I do better with some information but maybe not the nitty-gritty details. Insufficient information and my imagination runs wild, I end up feeling jealous. To much information and I begin to question if I need to change my behavior to make my partner happier, acting more like the person they have told me about.

I have also heard of couples that like every detail, down to every kiss and caress, because it adds excitement to their relationship. I'm not completely sure how that works so I can't comment on it much other than to say if it works for them, yay!

So what type of detail do you provide your partners? Is there a method you use, and what is it? Maybe more importantly, what do you not do to preserve your partners happiness when having conversations about your dates?


  1. This is one of the areas of conflict in my relationship. My husband wants to tell and hear _everything_ and then some. I'm comfortable with a brief, factual summary. We're still figuring out how to communicate about this without frustrating him or giving me wayyyy too much information.

    I like your suggestion of incremental details, though, I'll have to see if he'll go for that.

  2. We have a casual DADT kind of situation. We are a FMF V and each person is slightly different in what we need to know.
    In the beginning I got hurt a lot because I didn't express to wife that I didn't really need to know any details good, bad, ugly about her sex life with our mutual partner. We are both very open sexually and like to discuss the topic at length, however she was less careful in describing details between she and husband which made me uncomfortable and I had to finally buck up and communicate to her that I would rather not know those things. At first she claimed to not care how much she heard about husband and I, but soon realized that her jealousy of even hearing IF we had sex was causing her to compare/contrast her own sex life and caused some major breakdowns.
    So, we've tested the waters and agreed that if there is a health reason to discuss sex lives left to nothing more than a, "We had a really great night last night. We really connected. It was refreshing." etc...
    I think you have to do what works for you. I love your suggestion of telling less than what was asked for. Helps to test the waters and hopefully result in less stabby emotions.

  3. The Preacher's Kid, thanks for the comment. That's a very good example of different communication styles and needs between people in a relationship.

    I'd very much like to hear how the idea of incremental details works out for you if you try it!


  4. The Deviant Wife,
    I think it is great you recognized that giving 'wife' the information she said she wanted was causing problems. Even better is that you were able to work out your needs for different levels of communication. I'd call that a happy poly moment :)

    Thanks for sharing with us!

  5. Preface: I'm not poly. I found this post really interesting, because it kind of affirmed something in my relationship with my husband. I actually have no problem hearing stories of his exploits with ex-girlfriends (and girls who weren't his girlfriend). I usually ask for more and more detail, until he can't remember any more ... and I don't feel an ounce of jealousy. I guess it's probably to do with knowing how much we are perfect for one another and that none of those past relationships was as "real" as ours. Well, that's probably why I don't feel jealous. But why do love to hear about it so much??

  6. Carla, interesting comment!

    Venturing a guess I would say that hearing about past exploits by your husband doesn't bother you because they are "past exploits". There is no current threat to your relationship hence the lack of jealousy. After all, you have him now! And because they are memories you consciously know you can't change or remove them from his mind. I feel much the same way. When one of my partners tells me about past exploits I don't usually experience any jealousy, but current exploits often cause jealous tingles.

    I also enjoy hearing about my partners exploits. Not because it turns me on or anything like that, but because I like seeing my partners happy. Their remembering a past love that made them happy will put a smile on their face and bring about good energy. I enjoy seeing that smile, and feeling that energy. Hearing their happy memories also helps me know them better. A theme of memories about romantic lovemaking rather than a theme focusing on erotic lovemaking tells me a lot about what my partner likes and what fantasies they may have that I could bring to life.

    Thanks for the comment!

  7. My husband and I are very different in this area. He likes details. I don't care for "having" to share things. I don't need all the details. Just general ones are fine. The date went well and I had a good time are usually enough for me. If he is happy then great. I have a tendency to want more details if I know things did not go well.

    Over the years, we've learned somewhere in the middle actually works best for us. Now that I don't feel required to tell all, I share more freely voluntarily. And I'll listen to what he wants to share.

    I believe he's discovered what I've felt all along. Each relationship deserves some privacy. And sharing less does make for less feelings of jealousy and less chance of thinking you should change to be more like what your partner likes in his/her OSO.

    It takes some learning to understand that diveristy is an advantage to this lifestyle and not to be threatened by it.

  8. Lovingmorethanone,

    I agree with your comment about privacy completely. That's what makes an intimate relationship intimate in large part. Giving it away to another decreases the intimacy in my mind.

    I absolutely love the last line of your post. It captures and communicates so much! Very nicely done!

    Thanks for the comment :)