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-   -   Bdsm (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=218)

Lemondrop 05-07-2009 09:25 PM

Oh boy, another question from Lemondrop. Yay! (I'm really sorry, and if this isn't appropriate let me know and I'll delete the post.)


I need the advice of someone experienced with BDSM.

So, in case anyone doesn't know, I'm in a quad comprised of myself, my husband, and another couple. Wife #2 is into BDSM. I want to be open-minded and help her get her needs met, but I have a childhood history of various types of abuse. I thought I had dealt with it, but I'm having some problems with it now. When I found out the other night that my husband has been choking her--with her consent--I tried to stay calm, but I was a mess. I didn't feel safe around him even though he's NEVER harmed me or tried anything I didn't like. Just for the record, there are enough reasonable arguments against choking that they had pretty much decided to stop before I asked them to.

Now I'm worried. I'm afraid of coming around a corner and finding them doing something that I'll find distressing. So is this the kind of thing that I'll get used to? Could this be a situation that therapy would help? I just don't know a darn thing about BDSM. Would it be reasonable to ask them to stop the BDSM until the relationship is a little older, and I might feel safer?

redpepper 05-08-2009 02:36 AM

I really wonder just what it is YOU are getting out of this!

Do you have any idea????!!!!!

cause if you don't then you might want to take a long hard look and perhaps make some really tough choices.

nikkiana 05-08-2009 03:45 AM

Redpepper, I'm really confused by your response to this... It seems like she's asking a really heartfelt question here... What are you trying to get at with this reponse?

I've been in a similar situation in the past... Choking used to really bother me. If someone tried to do it to me, I'd tweak. If I saw my partner do it to someone else, I'd tweak... even if it was perfectly consentual. I could handle seeing a lot of things, but that was one that would almost immediately trigger an anxiety attack if I saw. (For reasons I can't explain, choking no longer bothers me... I wish I had the insight to know why, but I don't).

I think the best thing you can do is be honest with your partners. If you find certain behaviors and acts distressing and triggering, by all means... speak up. If you don't, you're going to end up living in fear of seeing something you don't want to and eventually that's going to lead to resentment. Telling your partners means you can sit down and figure out what the best way to resolve the issue is.

Things that I might ask myself in a situation like this is:

"Why does this bother me?"
"Are there limitations that I could live with without restricting their behavior?"
"Is this something that I can be okay with in time?"
"Would having your partners take a precaution like locking the door so you can't accidently walk in on something you don't want to see ease your mind? Or maybe asking them not to discuss their BDSM activities around you? Or only doing these sorts of activities when they know you're not going to be at home?"

I tend to think in polyamory there tends to be a culture of openness.... and assumption that you ought to be open to anything and everything and if you're not then you're not poly enough... but the reality is, we all have our limitations and the things that bother us. If you're not okay with it, you're not okay with it.... and that's perfectly fine and acceptable. It's okay to have limits and guidelines to make you feel comfortable.... and maybe in time, you might become more okay with it... or maybe you won't... everyone's different.

MonoVCPHG 05-08-2009 03:56 AM

Hi Nikianna,
My own concern stems out of previous posts under the "New relationship difficulties" thread. It's worth a read to see the big picture. This is not just about the BDSM.
Respect always, Nikianna

nikkiana 05-08-2009 04:11 AM

Thanks for pointing out the other thread.... and I do want to say that after reading that thread, my thoughts and suggestions aren't substantially changed because of the contents of that additional thread of information, except for maybe to suggest that part of the arrangement and boundries account for the fact that she's been feeling left out because she's not into BDSM and the others are.

MonoVCPHG 05-08-2009 04:18 AM

Such is the beauty of sharing information and ideas. They are put out there for discussion and anlysis..if everyone had the same opinions and experience we wouldn't need forums :) Have a great night, Nikkiana (sorry I mispelled you name last time)

Quath 05-08-2009 06:05 AM

You don't have to embrace BDSM if it makes you feel too uncomfortable. Just allow for them to have their fun and negotiate a way so you don't worry about wandering into it.

But it sounds like you do want to explore it so you can deal with it better. Maybe watch them doing much lighter BDSM and see how you react. Let them know how you feel. See if you can appreciate the consentual aspect of their play and focus on that.

I don't think therapy is a bad idea, but I wonder how many therapists would blame polyamory as a problem.

nikkiana 05-08-2009 06:12 AM


Originally Posted by Quath (Post 806)
I don't think therapy is a bad idea, but I wonder how many therapists would blame polyamory as a problem.

There are poly friendly therapists that exist... http://www.polychromatic.com/pfp/ - that tends to be the go to list... and often times kink-friendly professionals are also poly friendly, there's a list of those here... http://www.ncsfreedom.org/index.php?...keyword&id=270 but of course, that doesn't really help if you're not in an area where they are... http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/po...lytherapy.html also has some links to articles that would be good to share with your therapist if they're not familiar with polyamory.

redpepper 05-08-2009 06:24 AM

[QUOTE=nikkiana;797]Redpepper, I'm really confused by your response to this... It seems like she's asking a really heartfelt question here... What are you trying to get at with this reponse?
I understand that it is heart felt, really I do and I loved all the suggestions of questions to ask oneself... thanks for posting that. What I am trying to get at with my response is that there may be deeper questions to ask before the question of how to handle ones reaction to ones partner engaging in BDSM acts that are disturbing to myself. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that there is many things going on and that just add more pressure... I don't know I would find myself wanting to slow things down a bit and create some boundaries before getting into BDSM scenes. If I wanted the situation to last any length of time I would certainly want to have more discussion on what was coming about more, rather than living it all in a couple of weeks and it fizzling out.
I guess I have lived that and would do it differently now... what do I know.... I don't live what lemondrop is going through and am not her so it is all just my perspective... but then that is what this is all about isn't it?

nikkiana 05-08-2009 06:57 AM

Thanks for the clarification, redpepper. I think I read the tone of your intial post as being a little more harsh than what you had probably intended. That's one of the troubles with written communication, sometimes tone is lost.

You're probably right that there are other deeper questions to ask than just the BDSM related ones, but since that's what the thread was about, that's what I decided to address in my response.... and from the experiences I've had, sometimes it's difficult to sit down and tackle and identify what those deeper issues are until after all the surface issues that are causing extra tension have been dealt with...

I do agree that slowing things down is a good option here, often times I have noticed (especially in myself) is that I tend to want to rush all the time to deal with things, and sometimes things take time and we need to slow down to deal with things that are difficult. I think it's a trap that people who are new to polyamory fall into because in many cases, you're retraining yourself to think differently than what you were taught to be true about relationships, and it takes a level of communication that often times we're not accustomed to using so it's difficult work that takes time.

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