So You’re Monogamous

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In the kink community, there is this pressure to be polyamorous. I think this is because it’s really hard to find someone who can be everything you want when you have a lot of kinks.

For example, I am a switch. I know I mostly write from the perspective of a Domme, but I have switched in the past. I just can’t do it with the same person. If I dominate someone, I’m not going to then turn around and submit to them. It’s just not comfortable in my brain.

Don’t bother telling me that this speaks to some deep-seeded issue. We all have issues, and not all of them can (or even need to be) worked out. If your life works the way it is and you are happy, then don’t change a thing.

Now, in most of my relationships, I’m the Domme. But every now and then, I’ll find someone who clicks with me just right, and I’ll be willing to be a submissive. That submissive relationship won’t satisfy me completely because I’m still 99% Domme, so it can’t be my only relationship.

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Polyamory exists in many varieties, and for many reasons.

In the case of my husband, he’s my Pet. I can’t see him as Dominant because he curls up in my lap and I stoke his hair and he’s my perfect little plaything. I don’t want to taint or compromise it in any way; it’s exactly what I want for us and it makes me so happy.

If you ask me, I think this speaks to why kinky people are so likely to create multiple meaningful attachments. After all, sometimes I do want to be submissive (or even just a different kind of dominant,) and I need an entire other person for that.

There’s also stuff that he’s just not into (like role play) that I really love. So, I need a whole other person for that as well.

Kink is varied and there’s a lot going on, and you probably won’t find one person that can be your everything all the time.

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The problem is this: Some people are actually just monogamous. Being poly or monogamous is another orientation. You’re born that way, though maybe it takes you a long time to figure out. In the end, it’s who you are.

Let’s talk about an example:

I dated a guy many years ago who was fun and kinky and interesting. He looked a little weird (big forehead, odd lips) but he was funny, had an infectious energy, and was generally enjoyable to be around.

However, he was monogamous.

Now, he didn’t accept that about himself. He claimed to be poly and had no issue with me dating. And, since I didn’t know he was monogamous, I had no issue with him looking for another person to date as well. (Note: he was completely single when I met him- which is fairly inconceivable to a poly person. I don’t think I’ve been completely single since middle school.)

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The moment he found another girl he liked, he vanished. Oh, he still sent a message here and there and tried, but he simply wasn’t able to split his attention. He was completely incapable of thinking about more than one person.

It was jarring for me, since I had put a fair amount of emotional investment into the relationship. It sucked to basically be ghosted (though he wasn’t consciously aware he was doing that.)

I did try tell him that his behavior wasn’t okay, and that I still deserved attention even if he began dating someone else. He lashed out in a way that was childish, cruel, and unexpected. He said I was being emotionally manipulative, and made all kinds of completely unfair accusations.

Obviously, I know that it probably did feel that way to him (like I was being unfair.) However, that’s only because he literally lacked the ability to pay attention to more than one sexual partner at once. My asking for attention felt like a manipulation since I said I didn’t mind if he dated someone else. He simply didn’t have the bandwidth to comprehend what he was doing. It was like he expected me to stay on hold while he let the other relationship run its course, and he didn’t understand that polyamory isn’t putting someone on hold so you can go obsess over new people.

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In my opinion, the hardest part of being poly is stepping up. You have to pay the same amount of attention to the person you were already dating, and then make new energy for the new person. I understand that it’s hard for some people to split their attention or to handle more than one thing at once. I’m not criticizing them for this single-mindedness.

However, if you are monogamous, figure it the fuck out.

And remember: there is a difference between sexual monogamy and emotional monogamy. Some people are emotionally monogamous but just have sex with other people. They don’t develop relationships with the extraneous people. They don’t send them Christmas cards or try to keep them in their lives. They only want extra people for sex, but they are unable to expend the emotional effort to care for those people.

If you are emotionally monogamous, then everyone who comes in contact with you needs to know that. There is nothing at all wrong with sex that doesn’t involve emotion. Casual sex is awesome! But, the people who sleep with you need to know that you don’t have the capability to handle more than one emotional attachment at a time.

It all comes down to being conscious of who and what you are. I know monogamy is stigmatized in the kink community. However, if you are a monogamous person, just be open about it. It’s who you are, and you need to demand respect like the rest of us do.

And remember: Polyamory might be the standard in the kink community, but you’re still the one who gets to blend in with the vanillas and have relationships that don’t require a flow chart!

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Finally, let’s circle back to the start and talk about compromise.  Monogamous people are not emotionally capable of maintaining more than one attachment. However, they often can’t get everything that they want from the partner that they have. The compromise they make is all over culture: The poor man who wants some excitement in his life. The poor woman who has a nice guy but dreams of someone handsome (just for a night!) Etc… etc… etc…

The stories about the compromises of monogamy get told. We all know them.

Monogamous people often think that we don’t make any compromises since we can sleep with more than one person. This is absolutely not true!

My husband put up with my crabby boyfriend staying here for a week. That was a huge compromise on his part! He has to accept me writing letters and sending birthday cards to all the people I maintain relationships with. And, he feels sad sometimes when I am paying attention to people who aren’t him.

By the same token, I love to set up play dates for him so that he can experiment with different types of play and have some variety in his life. But, I do feel a little sad sometimes when I think of how there are pieces of him that I don’t get to share. Knowing those pieces exist is my compromise.

You’ll never be in a happy, healthy relationship that doesn’t involve some compromise. So embrace who you are, and make the best decisions based on what you can handle.

But please monogamous folks, know yourself. Don’t date poly people if you can’t be poly.

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First Dates

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Even vanilla people hate first dates. Half the guys are creepers. Half the women are Republican. There’s not much chance for a good match.

When you add kink on top, it gets worse. You probably have specific things that you are hoping to find, such as someone who isn’t afraid of anal play or who won’t judge you for using gear ties instead of ropes. They probably also have specific desires as well, and those desires likely don’t line up with yours.

The more complicated you like your sex, the harder it is to find someone that you are compatible with. That’s why dating in the kink community is so much more difficult than dating in the vanilla world.

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Actually, I don’t even like to call the first meeting offline a “date” because I think that puts too much pressure on it. It’s always annoyed me when people refer to a first meeting as a “date,” as if trying to overlay some societal expectation onto my behavior. I’m just trying to figure out if you’re cool since you wrote to me on the internet. Let’s not call it a date unless we already know each other from somewhere and we already like each other.

“Dates” are for people who have a mutual attraction. One does not get that from text online. One gets that from being around someone in person. There’s no substitute.

Anyway, as an example of first date hell: I recently went out with a girl. She contacted me, and I figured it was worth a few hours of my time to meet her (even though I have been feeling like shit lately) because anytime a semi-normal person talks to you on Fetlife it feels like you ought to at least meet them. She picked the place, which was an IHOP by the airport. However, I endeavored to keep an open mind.

 

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As far as kink goes, we were a match. She’s a submissive of the sort I would want. She’d be willing to play with my Pet as well. She’s fine with swapping STD tests. She even likes D&D (which I feel shows an aptitude for Role Play.) In terms of just the potential for kinky sex, we were a match (which is so rare!)

And yet, somehow someone who seemed completely perfect on paper turned out to be a chore to be around in person. She kept throwing out completely false facts like:

We only know about 5% of what is in the ocean so there are animals we don’t know about in there that could just come eat you.” (That’s not true- we know about a lot more than 5% of the animals in the ocean, and you will not get eaten by a mysterious and unidentified animal if you snorkel.)

And:

Less than 1% of abortions are because the baby is deformed or because the mom is at risk.” (Again, not true at all. Most abortions are done because there is a risk to the mother or a problem with the baby. It’s not a choice people make lightly. But of course, Republicans have made sure that you can’t demonstrate this because in the 90’s they made it illegal to collect data. I rely on data from other countries because that’s all you can get anymore.)

 

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You might ask yourself: “Couldn’t you just gag her while you fuck her and not spend any time with her outside of sex?

Yes, I think some people could make that work. I wish I was one of them. But the thing is, I can’t get horny for someone who grosses me out as a person. She’s anti-choice! How could I get into that? How could anyone? My sex drive went in reverse listening to her talk about her kids (one of which she doesn’t like and all of which have different dads.) Then there was her Fox News talking points about how healthcare in Canada is “basically murder.” Everything she said was gross and untrue, and I kinda felt like I needed to take a shower after talking to her.

After the underwhelming meal, she followed me to my car (though I tried to say goodbye in front of the restaurant.) That’s when it got bad. She made fun of my Jeep.

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It’s a 2004 because I wanted something older. Newer cars are impossible to work on yourself since everything is computerized, and who wants to spend money on mechanics? Plus I don’t feel comfortable driving nice cars because then if a shopping cart rolls into them in the parking lot, I have to get upset about a scratch. Also, I park it at a lot of beaches and hiking trails in sketchy areas, and no one is going to break into an old Jeep because they assume there is nothing to steal (and they’re right- I don’t keep valuables in my car.)

She also made fun of it for being dirty, which is so dumb. Why wash a Jeep? It’s just going to go off road tomorrow and get dirty again. What? Am I supposed to care what people I don’t know might think if my car is dirty? Fuck them. Fuck anyone who wants to have an opinion about the mud on my tires or the dirt on my windows. As long as I have good visibility and it’s safe to drive, the mud stays.

It’s more than the specifics, though. It’s the general issue with people like that. They live their lives trying to impress others. That sounds exhausting, pointless, and like a complete waste of a life. You couldn’t pay me to care what a stranger thinks about me! And to be so shallow that you need to make yourself feel valuable by having nicer things than others? Yuck!

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My value comes from within. I’ve seen and done amazing things. I’ve traveled the world. I’ve meditated with monks in three different countries. I struggled with issues stemming from childhood abuse, battled my demons, and won. I did event planning and threw fetish proms and made amazing memories for myself and for others. I’m proud of who I am, what I have done, and how I see the world.

Could I drive a nice car if I wanted to? Yup. Could I wear brand name clothes if I wanted to? Yup. I could have amazing things and I could polish them daily in hopes that others would validate me by congratulating me on my shinny possessions. I could waste my entire life on vapid, stupid pursuits.

But, I won’t.

I’m going to do the bare minimum required to survive so that I have time for FUN. I want to climb every mountain, snorkel every reef, and have all the sex. I want to spend my time doing things I love, and spend my money on amazing experiences. For example: That girl spent about $400 a month on a car payment. I spent $400 during my entire week of backpacking around Chang Mai. There is no way I would rather have a fancy car for one month than those memories.

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This is why dating in the kink world is harder. It’s also why I hate calling it a “first date” when I meet a new person. There’s just too much going on.

Kink Concerns: Are we compatible in terms of BDSM? Will this person fit into my poly lifestyle in a way that all partners will be comfortable with? Are they attractive enough and interesting enough for me to want to play with them? Are they concerned enough with safety?

Vanilla Concerns: Can I stand to be around this person? Do they say things so heinous that I want to punch them? Are they a racist piece of shit or a Trump supporter? Are they a feminist or are they an idiot?

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I feel like I need to be compatible with people on a kink level and on a vanilla level in order to enjoy playing scenes with them. After all, if someone is shallow and vapid, then they need WAY more aftercare and time spent validating them because they are empty inside. I don’t want to spend all my time on that. And I just can’t get horny for someone who throws out fake statistics to defend draconian beliefs, either.

I’ve been very lucky to have found a lot of compatible people in my life. And when I like someone, I’ll keep them around forever. Example: I have a boy who I like as a human (he’s nice, we have similar values, and he’s into D&D.) The sex wasn’t always great, but there were some really hot moments that I still fantasize about. I’ll probably talk to him as long as he wants to talk to me. I’ll also harbor hopes that we can recreate some of those really good moments. Plus, I’ve grown to consider him a good friend.

I think that’s the best way to be kinky and poly. Find the people you are compatible with, and just keep them around for the rest of your life. It might not work for everyone, but it works for me. Anything to avoid dating, right?

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So… No Threesome Then?

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Six year ago my husband had to go for training in Missouri before we moved to Guam. I went to stay with my mom in Oregon for a year, and I dated a guy there who was kind of a mess, but nice. We’ll call him Kevin, since he just has a generic white guy name anyway and they’re all the same.

Anyway, Kevin had been married for 20 years and was in the process of getting over it. I thought he could use a little fun, so I took him along to the kink clubs of Portland and showed him a good time. It wasn’t thrilling or anything, but between him and the gorgeous young pet I kept while living there, I entertained myself.

When I left Portland, gorgeous young pet wandered off into drugs and hippy festivals in the woods, and I haven’t heard from him since (though I hope he’s okay.) However, Kevin stayed in touch. We met up several times over the years (since he lived near my mom) and things seemed fine other than him still being a bit of an Eeyore about everything.

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Now that I am living in Hawaii, all of a sudden everyone wants to “come visit me” (by which they mean they want a free place to stay in Hawaii.) Kevin was among those who asked to stay, and I agreed. He’d had a run of bad luck between his daughter’s suicide attempt, losing his job, and his older son having trouble in school due to being autistic. It was a lot to deal with and I thought some beach time would help.

However, Kevin had never spent any time around my husband. I just assume everyone who claims to be poly can handle that. I really wasn’t prepared for what a jerk he was about to be…

See, I knew Kevin had issues. He made the choice to stay in an unhappy marriage long enough to learn some bad behaviors. However, I don’t think I really understood that I was about to see all of them on display at once.

In every interaction he observed between my husband and I, he tried to find conflict. My husband and I do not fight, but Kevin tried to look for the hostility that he thinks is behind every word and gesture in a marriage, and it was exhausting.

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I would say some innocuous thing like:

Where are all the spoons?

This is code for:

Husband, I know there is a pile of tea cups on your desk with spoons in them. Bring them to me for spoons belong in the kitchen.”

But Kevin would immediately see hostility in my calm tone of voice and say:

Dude, she sounds pissed off. You better get her the spoons.”

It’s hard to show exactly how shitty it is to have someone gas-lighting your every conversation by trying to turn it into a fight when it’s not. And yes, I know that it’s not his fault because clearly he has a huge hangup about the idea of marriage. I get that. But, it’s no excuse to spend a week trying to see fights in every single thing a couple does.

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Then there was the mocking. My husband and I do try to keep affection to a minimum in front of company. However, we’re really happy and we really love each other, so sometimes we can’t help ourselves. And there was Kevin using a tone only a school-yard bully would use: “Yeah yeah I get it, you’re so fucking cute.”

Obviously I saw no reason to have a big breakup while he was here, since I had to drive him the airport and it would have been awkward. However, I breathed a sigh of relief when his cloud of misery and anger was safely dropped on the curb. Then, I sent a Dear John letter post hast.

It’s weird how you can know someone for six years and safely avoid their deep-deeded issues. And then all of a sudden, that shit can all jump out at you like a boogieman in the dark.

I’m so disappointed.

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Plus, one thing that sucks about being poly is that I never feel like I’m allowed to be sad about a breakup because I have this beautiful husband who brings me chocolates and loves me to pieces. And yet… six years is a long time to chat with someone, hang out with them, and exchange holiday gifts. It’s the end of A Thing.

I guess if the husband hadn’t been in training in Missouri the whole thing would have fallen apart six years ago when I realized how miserable and bitter Kevin was towards married people. However, things just happened to align in such a way that I didn’t find out until I’d already gotten attached, and that sucks.

Anyway, it’s okay to be sad when you break up with someone even if your life is still full of love and joy. Emotions are weird and complex, and we have the capacity to feel a lot of things at once.

One last thought: I am sick of the trope of the “crazy ex-girlfriend.”

Women tend to find someone new pretty easily, and it’s usually the men who end up brooding and getting weird. So I want to point out that I have a crazy ex-boyfriend who needs a lot of therapy, and it should be more acceptable to talk about how nuts men can get after a breakup. After all, a “crazy ex-girlfriend” refers to a girl who slashes your tires or tells your new girlfriend that you have Herpes. But ladies, we all know that a crazy ex-boyfriend can be dangerous. I live an ocean away from mine so it’ll be fine, but some women live in the same city, and many are murdered by their crazy ex-boyfriends.

May you all stay safe and happy, and may you avoid the ones with hidden issues.

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BDSM Resources

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a post about helpful resources for new kinksters, so I guess I’ll do one.

First, it’s awesome to learn from the people who are out there putting in the time to teach. I highly recommend Jay Wiseman, Midori, The Knotty Boys, and Janet Hardy. I’m not much of a teacher myself, even though I do my best to mentor the kinklings. But the real pros have more information and it’s better organized. Look to them.


Here’s Hardwire


Second, it’s all about head space. Where you exist in your mind is where it’s at. You can have a kink relationship with a vanilla person without them even knowing it by choosing to submit or to dominate in your own way and viewing the relationship in those terms in your own head. Seriously, kink happens in the mind.

Since kink is in your head, confidence is your biggest asset when you want to play a scene. For that, I recommend some great music. I like Faderhead, Element a440, Marilyn Manson, and Hardwire. However, you should find what works for you and makes you feel sexy and in the space that you want to be.


Here’s element a440.


Third, don’t buy cheap toy sets from a sex shop. Get some good quality leather that will last longer and be more fun to play with. You can find awesome vendors for cuffs, custom collars, floggers, and paddles. Just do some digging. If you won’t search for independent vendors, at least go through somewhere like Stockroom.com instead of Castle Boutique. (No offense to Castle- but they do carry lower-quality kink gear.)

There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to be you, but the main thing that defines the kink community is our focus on consent. In the vanilla world men touch women without consent and pressure them into things. We’re not like that. You should probably fill out a negotiation form or a BDSM Checklist before you play, and you should make sure never to get pushy and rapey with someone (unless they specifically tell you that their kink is for you to be pushy.) Communication is the best way to avoid confusion so TALK TO EACH OTHER.

Honestly, we make a lot of this stuff up as we go because BDSM is like Polyamory: It’s not represented in culture and there are not examples in your day-to-day life to model. But if you need a mentor, join Fetlife.com and go to a munch to meet people. We’ll help you.


Here’s Faderhead

Consensual Non-Monogamy in Media


I think Mayim Bailik is a perfectly fine actress and I hear she’s a passable scientist as well. That’s great. However, as a person, she has always rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t go out of my way to watch her talk. And yet, videos and stories about her come up from time to time on my social media. It’s always something horrible. She is constantly talking about ideals that went out in the 1950’s.

Example: During the #MeToo movement, she did a video that I saw reposted where she said that she had always dressed conservatively to avoid harassment. She went on to say that people weren’t nice to her because she dressed conservatively. Then, she said that obviously she was right all along because other girls trying to make it as actresses had been harassed. Her basic point? Dress like a whore and you deserve to get harassed.

It was slut-shaming, and it was disgusting. I was deeply sad that women with influence still say such shitty things.

So, when a video of her bashing my lifestyle came up in my feed the other day, I was pissed. It turns out it was an older video, but it still made me mad enough to post about. She went on and on about how unsettling she finds polyamory, and how we (poly folks) don’t have “real” relationships.

See for yourself exactly how shitty and clueless it was:

She literally tries to invalidate me and the way I live by saying that as a woman, I can’t possibly be in an open relationship without being wrong. Women, according to her, can’t possible care about anything but making babies. We need to “lean into our biology” by only having sex with men that we want to procreate with. I can’t tell you how offended I am that her narrow view of biology and relationships is being projected onto me. Plus, she acts like people in open relationships are the ones who are spreading STIs. That’s is the exact opposite of the truth.

Monogamous people are the ones who are constantly cheating by having one-night stands with strangers. If you don’t plan on an open relationship, then you cheat “by accident.” Statistically monogamy is an illusion. If you think your wife or husband doesn’t cheat on you, then statistically, you’re probably wrong. These one-night stands are how STIs are spread, because those people aren’t thinking at all about what they are doing. They are acting on instinct.

Meanwhile, people who are poly tend to be much more cautious about sex.

For example: the idea of a one-night stand with a stranger seems insane to me. I don’t need to get HIV or that flesh-eating STI going around in England. I don’t want to put my husband or any of my secondaries in danger! I have responsibilities, and I would never take that lightly.

So in the poly community, we talk about sex in mature ways and get tested before adding a new partner to our cluster. There are exceptions sometimes, but they are carefully considered exceptions, not one-night stands in a club bathroom.

Monogamous people cheat even when they are happy. And, because they are sneaking around, they are more likely to engage in irresponsible hookups that spread Sexually Transmitted Infections. The data is in: Monogamous people are spreading the STIs.

Anyway, later Maryim Bailik tried to fix her terrible video by posting this:

She does apologize for being a close-minded person. However, the way she does it is pretty rude. She says “It’s all so complicated” as if it’s too hard to understand us, so that it’s not worth it.

I get that she was doing her best to apologize for being ignorant, and I appreciate that she tried. However, she can’t really be that sorry about promoting her 1950’s values because she has always done it, and she still is.

At the end, she gets mad at us. She says we “make her feel boring” about being a person who chose to marry, be monogamous, and breed. It makes me really mad that anyone would expect me to be responsible for their choices! If she feels boring, then she should make different choices. However, she should not blame people who lead more interesting lives.

I guess I’m just tired of how we always get portrayed as immoral sluts who cannot feel love. And then, if we work hard to justify our lifestyle, then they still find a way to be down on us because we make them feel bad.

Dating Separately vs Dating Together

My husband and I live on an isolated island, so we don’t have much opportunity to date. We’re in the middle of nowhere and it’s a very small community. (Thankfully we move to Oahu at the end of this year and so this forced monogamy is almost over!)

However, when we have the chance to date (everywhere but here), we usually do it separately. He does his thing; I do my thing. And then we meet up and share thoughts and feelings together.

On rare occasions, we have been lucky enough to find someone who was interested in both of us. One of the amazing humans who we had played with when we lived in Korea came to see us recently, and we all spent a week together. And, I guess I am just thinking about how sometimes that can work out.

I mean, it’s harder.

If I date someone that my husband does not date, that is one relationship.

If he dates someone that I do not date, that is a second relationship.

And then, since we are seeing each other, that makes a total of three relationships.

However, when you have a triad, there is so much more going on. You have each individual relationship on it’s own (his with her, his with me, me with her, me with him, her with him, her with me.) But then, you also have the overall dynamic when you are together. It’s an added layer of complication that I don’t usually opt for. I mean, I like to keep things simple. Extra stuff tends to make things more complicated.

But, I just want to celebrate the fact that sometimes it works out. With this one amazing, special, beautiful unicorn, it has always worked out. It’s never awkward of weird; just happy.

Those moments when things really go well are so rare and so awesome that I am just glad, and I just wanted to give a shout out to all the people who like to date couples and who blend seamlessly into what is already going on. Thank you for existing.

A Unexpected Conversation

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Part of my month-long vacation this summer involved going to see some old friends from college. After some adventures, we ended up sitting at a Denny’s late into the night and talking about “how we really are.” When the girls found out that I was in a poly-amorous relationship, they immediately unleashed a torrent of jealously at me.

I should note, these are not kinky girls. They are what I would consider to be pretty vanilla and normal (all things considered.)

And yet, when I mentioned that my husband and I occasionally slept with other people, they were overcome with wonder and asked me how I managed to convince him to allow such a thing.

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Now of course, that is just silly. I didn’t have to “convince” him and he doesn’t “allow” it. It is just who he was when I met him. It is also how I am, and so it worked out nicely for us.

At that Denny’s at 3am, the more the girls described their experiences with their husbands, the more I became convinced that being poly is an orientation. My college friends are hard-wired like me, to want multiple partners. And unfortunately, their husbands are not.

This made me curious how common it is in each sex, and so I did a bunch of digging. It doesn’t seem that the topic has been studied yet, so if you know a social scientist looking for a thesis idea, please suggest it to them. In the meantime, my anecdotal evidence will lead me to suspect that it is more common in females.

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If being poly truly is an orientation (as many have suggested,) then I guess that means it’s something you can’t talk a partner into if you want the relationship to last. You either have to find someone who is, or become comfortable with being monogamous. At least, that is how it would seem to be.

It’s funny because when I first realized I was poly, I suspected that everyone was like me, but they were all pretending not to be. I held on to that belief for a long time, and used to get annoyed when people told me that they just couldn’t imagine it. I would blame their religion or their upbringing, and imagine that they were being held back from something they really wanted deep down.

However, after years of running workshops and counseling people on everything to do with sex, I am convinced that some people really aren’t into sleeping around. They just want one human to call their own, and consider that to be enough. I think that is really just how some people are.

Thank all the gods both living and dead that I found a mate who wasn’t monogamous.

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