This post is part of an ongoing series of posts on Polyamory, for those who have questions about us. You may want to read the Introduction first to get an idea of what this is all about.
Today, I want to focus on how BDSM is related to the poly lifestyle.
First, let’s look at a generic situation, and then we can look more at specifics.
In this example you have a straight wife who is submissive. Her husband is a straight male who is dominant.
I tend to think of Poly as an orientation so even if these two matched up perfectly and didn’t need anything from anyone else, I would still argue that they may want to date other people because that is just how they are. I firmly believe that people who are straight and only submissive or only dominant can still have fun and rewarding experiences outside of their primary relationships.
In fact, some people argue that kink can be completely different (and sometimes more fun) with people that they don’t feel as strong of an attachment to. So in the couple above, the man might love his wife too much to feel comfortable really objectifying her. However, that might be her biggest kink. So if she wanted it, she would have to look outside the relationship.
It seems like there is a higher instance of poly people in the kink community, and this may be why.
Above is me.
I am going to use myself as an example now. It is sort of uncomfortable to do that, but it is easier than trying to make up an example so here goes:
When people ask “what I am” at a munch, there is a lot for me to process. I am a lot of things, and I think all of those things are important and make up who I am. So here are my many orientations.
1. Poly-amorous, and monogamy has not ever gone well for me.
2. A switch in terms of kink, though I lean more towards Dominance.
3. Pansexual, meaning that I am open to all genders/sexes.
4. About 60% female because of my body and the behaviors that my body dictates, but about 40% male because of how I think and feel.
I am married to a man who is a switch, but our interactions with each other never switch. I am always a Dom for him, though I can switch or be submissive with other people.
My husband is a switch, but is always submissive with me. He can switch with other people, but our dynamic would make it uncomfortable for him to switch with me.
So polyamory is actually necessary for us to fully express who we are as kinky people. Our kink is part of who we are, and our orientation as poly-amorous people allows us to get everything we need, instead of settling for only one part of the larger whole.
Of course, this can all get extremely complicated. I once dated two other bisexual switches and none of us ever knew what we wanted, or from whom! But then, that is part of the fun. I know it looks hard from the outside, but you get used to it when it is who you are.