Monday, November 14, 2011
The past couple of weeks have been pretty busy from a relationship perspective. Not to mention all the other stuff that life hands out to keep us busy like family commitments, work, kids, and on and on. I went on a couple of casual dates with ladies I know and have been interested in dating but haven’t yet. Although both were enjoyable, neither produced the kind of electric connection you would hope to establish with someone that would support a romantic relationship. Such is life in my opinion, no harm no foul.
Where things were more positive was with a woman I met a while back at a BDSM event. Though not someone who is active in the lifestyle, I have explored (including with my current partner) and am interested in learning more. When I heard this woman talk at the event she echoed interests similar to mine such as; building a trusting relationship first, exploring slowly and with emphasis on communication and feedback, not being very interested in a 24x7 or formalized arrangement, and not being interested in what I would call ‘extreme’ BDSM such as needles, cutting/branding, or really anything with pain involved. We are both interested in the psychological aspects of power exchange with a strong focus on sexual activity, rather than daily activities. We are both also quite interested in collaring in a D/s relationship.
The other night we were finally able to meet for dinner and have some conversation on the subject. I had seen her at another event a while back and mentioned that I was interested in what she had said at the BDSM event and would like to discuss things more, so she had an idea at least of what our conversation would be about.
I explained that I felt we were in a similar position with our BDSM or D/s experiences and interests and I would like to talk more about that with the goal of determining whether we could enter into a defined relationship for purposes of exploring those interests. She was agreeable and the conversation commenced!
Some of the things we discussed were:
-Past BDSM, D/s experiences.
-Our general focus. Were we interested in power-exchange, pain, domination, submission, etc. (We were both more focused on power-exchange and testing psychological limits).
-Was there a sexual focus for us both? In other words, would we be exploring in a sexual or non-sexual setting. (We were both sexual focused).
-Was there any interest in integrating our exploration into daily life? If collared, would she be a 24x7 sub, per scene? Would the D/s play extend beyond the bedroom and if so, to what limits?
-Would the relationship be strictly D/s, or would it include a romantic component?
-Would other partners be included in any way?
-What hard limits did we each have?
-What type of communication did we both need?
-Sexual safety including; partner history for the last couple of years, last testing date, contraceptive use, condoms/barriers, etc., and fluid bonding.
-Would the relationship be casual or formalized?
There were a lot of other things we discussed that are more difficult to define such as general feelings about knowing when to stop a scene, what constitutes pain, general likes and dislikes, things like that. We also agreed that were we to enter into such a relationship we would need to start slowly and build up some trust before we started pushing limits.
At this point we are both still thinking about things and have had some follow-up discussions via email when we have thought of new questions, or wanted to further clarify things.
If nothing else, I felt the conversations we had were handled very well by both of us. We both identify as polyamorous which I think helped our talks a lot. Both of us were quite open and honest about our likes and dislikes. When we had finished talking I felt refreshed at having had a very open, honest conversation with someone who doesn’t seem to have a hidden agenda. We were both happy to end our talk with the understanding that we would take a few days and think things over. I was pleasantly surprised that once the woman realized I had an interested in her that included sex, her attitude didn’t change. My experience has been that once you tell someone you are interested in sex with them they either pounce on you or run away. She did neither but continued to engage with me in an intelligent conversation.
So am I just bragging? No, I really do have a point to make here.
As regular readers here have heard me say before; I believe in defining relationships independently of one another. I hold that relationships should be defined by the parties in them. What I hope to have given you above is an example of how I’m applying that same belief to a relationship that isn’t specifically poly. Although the two of us discussing the relationship identify as poly, that isn’t the focus of the relationship, D/s is the focus. Polyamory may support us having the relationship and in that way will be respected, but it isn’t a defining characteristic of the relationship.
We did touch on my other partner briefly during our talks. (The woman I’ve mentioned here isn’t currently partnered). She actually knows my partner and knows my current partner is aware of our conversations and my hope they will result in a relationship.
So friends, take some of those wonderful things you learn from polyamory and apply them to other aspects of your life. And don’t be afraid to explore your interests. Remember, in any relationship you are in control. Control over your own happiness, fulfillment, desires, and needs. Define relationships that make sense to you and make you happy. Talk to potential partners about all aspects of the relationship you want to design, even the difficult things like sex and money, and look for the fit. If it isn’t there during your initial conversations chances are it won’t be there when the going gets tough or the NRE has worn off.