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-   -   Just thinking about this particular metamour freaks me out (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22292)

persephone 03-16-2012 12:25 AM

Just thinking about this particular metamour freaks me out
I've posted a little about this already, but the issue is just getting more complicated. I have been in a long-distance secondary relationship for a year, with a wonderful man whom I get to see every 2 or 3 months. I live with my husband, and boyfriend lives with his wife. Neither of us has any local lovers, but boyfriend has recently met a local woman who interests him.

Normally, I would be boyfriend's biggest cheerleader in a new relationship, but this new person makes me extremely uncomfortable on multiple levels because she is a sexual dominant. I do not like the potential power imbalance there. I had a previous poly relationship where I watched a bright, independent man whom I believe genuinely loved me become putty in the hands of a jealous domme who wanted me gone from his life. She eventually got her way, and my former boyfriend is afraid to even say hello to me in social situations now for fear of displeasing her.

I watched in horror a year later when the exact same thing happened to my best male friend. A male dominant demanded monogamy from my friend's beloved girlfriend of two years, and she rushed to do his bidding, and dumped my friend. He had viewed her as a life partner. (The male dominant had multiple female submissives already, all monogamous to him.)

At this point in my life, any man who is submitting to someone else, or interested in doing so, is not someone I want to date. My current boyfriend is not a sub (as far as I know, anyway, although he lacks any kink experience.) He just met this woman socially and finds her interesting. I've seen her profile on a kink site and she pushes a lot of my buttons (sadistic, speaks disrespectfully about a partner of hers right on her profile, etc.). I told boyfriend my misgivings about his new friend, in detail. He listened, and then told me that new friend wasn't anything like the unethical domme who used to be my metamour, and that he wasn't anything like my ex, and that he, and I, would be fine. I then told him, you do what you like, but I do not want to hear anything about this new relationship, please just leave me out of it unless you have necessary sexual disclosures to make. He agreed to do this. He adhered to that for about a month, then, in the course of telling me about his weekend, mentioned that he had spent time with her socially. It was the first time in a year-long relationship that I'd ever gotten upset with him.

I really don't believe in don't ask, don't tell, as a rule. Boyfriend just made it clear to me that he hates not being able to speak freely about his social life to me. He had tried a don't ask, don't tell relationship with his wife in the process of transitioning to a fully open relationship, and he says it just got them into trouble. I can see his point.

He says he isn't dating the domme (yet). I don't want this to become a huge issue between us, we normally get along perfectly. But I feel very strongly that I cannot personally trust a dominant as a metamour, that there is too much potential for them to have too much power, which can be misused. It would just about destroy me to lose another person I loved in the same manner as last time.

I also believe that it would be completely inappropriate for me to have veto power here. I am just a secondary partner, and a long-distance one at that. Boyfriend has a wife, and I really wish she would take a hard look at the domme and put her foot down, but so far, that has not happened.

Does anyone have insights or advice, or is this just an unsolveable puzzle?

No offense was meant to any kinky people here.

Anneintherain 03-16-2012 04:28 AM

It sounds like your main issue is trying to figure out which of these is the future for them - if your boyfriend dates this person but there isn't a BDSM dynamic of any sort you are fine? If your boyfriend wants to explore any kink with her however, it is not fine and you will stop dating him?

My husband has dated a LOT I mean a LOT of kinky people, ones who were slaves, ones who were dominant, ones who did things that made him rather queasy, even ones that make ME queasy which is harder to do - but his dealings with them were always vanilla, as he isn't kinky, and he did not let what they chose to do with other partners keep him from liking them and dating them, as long as their dealings with him did not try to impose things on him they weren't comfortable with.

It really sounds like you may be coloring her with your past a lot. If he decided he wanted to date a submissive and be dominant to them, would you still be uncomfortable with it? I am just curious if it's just your past, or power dynamics in general, or maybe that you find a man who will let a woman dominate him to be weak in some way? If you really think he would let some new partner sway him into breaking up with you, you might have some other stuff you need to be communicating about, as it seems this also might be complicated by feeling you are as important as you like to be, if you think he'd let somebody tell him to break up with you.

Arrowbound 03-16-2012 06:37 AM

It's okay to be freaked out. I never find myself bouncing off the walls or anything when a potential metamour is mentioned but I do make it a point to see them all as individuals. This doesn't mean I don't consider the possibilities of things going wrong or the discovery of a cowgirl; it just means I don't use it against them especially since I don't actually know them.

You have to be cautious of your own projections. You have seen it happen with others and that informs your worry, but let her actions prove who she is instead of immediately writing her off from jump.

BlackUnicorn 03-16-2012 08:29 AM

The situation you described with your ex is my personal poly nightmare. Even after dating for almost a year and living together I don't trust Vanilla completely when she says no dom/me of hers could ever come between us.

Is your bf even potentially interested in a (kinky) relationship with her, or is this just in the early befriending stages still?

persephone 03-16-2012 01:11 PM

Anneintherain, my former submissive bf, who I was with for going on three years, told me that he had a "mostly vanilla" relationship with his domme. I can't say whether that was true or not, I wasn't there in the bedroom with them, and a big part of our breakup was her inciting him to lie to me and destroy my trust in him. While I hate the idea of anyone physically hurting or humiliating the man I love now, even if it's safe and consensual, what I mostly worry about is the mental hold that a dominant can get over a partner. That's what they DO, they're good at it. My former metamour, the domme, was a master (mistress?) of manipulation, and, from what I heard from a mutual friend, it sounds like she pretty much persuaded my love that I was destructive to their relationship and they would only survive if he ended it with me. Ultimately, he sent me a brief "I can't do this anymore" email, and completely cut off all contact.

My current love is a smart guy. I trust him. My former love was also a smart guy whom I trusted. I guess I don't believe that any man can withstand a woman who is manipulative on the order of the domme I used to call metamour. By the way, I had considered her one of my best friends, and actually introduced her to my former boyfriend, and wholeheartedly encouraged their relationship, before she decided that I had to go. I was fooled too, and so was my husband, who had also considered her a close friend.

I don't hate all D/s. I've dabbled myself, as a very mild switch, and it can be fun on a limited basis. I would have done so with bf if he'd ever expressed any interest in kink to me. It's true that I don't like sadists, they make me sick, and my boyfriend's new friend is clearly one of those. I don't think it would bother me at all if bf dated a sub or a switch, it's specifically the scenario of him dating a domme, and a sadist, that I don't like.

Arrowbound, it's true that I don't know boyfriend's new friend, and would be very unlikely to be able to meet her in person any time soon. I know intellectually that she might be a very good and ethical person. I guess I just find it unlikely that a person who gets off on hurting and humiliating others is such. There's a disconnect there for me.

BlackUnicorn, bf just says that he's curious about the kink world in general. I think he has a specific interest in attending a play party, and his new friend could certainly get him into one of those, I believe she used to run a local dungeon or something like that. (Yipes.) He's told me that he's certain he doesn't want to try humiliation play, and outside of that, he doesn't know his limits because he's hardly ever done anything kinky.

At present, I'm just taking deep breaths and focusing on the fact that he told me yesterday that they're just friends for now. I hope things stay that way.

nycindie 03-16-2012 02:43 PM

This story sounds very familiar to me, I feel like I've read it somewhere, but I don't see any other posts from you about it. Well, I guess it is something many poly people face at some point -- when one is at odds with an ideology or practice of a metamour whose influence on one's lover seems threatening or frightening in some way.

I think I would be feeling similarly concerned. I like a few kinky things in the bedroom only, so anyone who likes 24/7 domming freaks me out a little, too. From what I've read (I have a bunch of ebooks on BDSM that have been very illuminating), being a dom/me is supposed to focus on the benefits and pleasure it can give the sub, but I have also heard that it's difficult to find a good dom/me. The problem is how do you know someone is good at it or not until after the damage is already done? I guess people can ask for references?

As far as the play party, I wouldn't be too worried about his going there. My understanding about those things is that they are not total free-for-alls, and people who organize them consider everyone's safety and consent to be of tantamount importance. There are people here who can tell you about these things from experience (which I don't have), but I believe just watching is okay at most play parties. Also, I do know that in NYC, the big BDSM organization holds introductory meetings for newbies run by volunteers. They meet at a coffee shop, talk, answer questions, and then take any interested newbies to a dungeon for a tour. Everything is respectful (you can read about that here: http://www.tes.org/novice/). Maybe he has something similar where he lives, and can learn about D/s from workshops without actually being dommed (unless/until he wants to).

I think that there are a few ways for you to personally deal with this. One is to trust his judgment and his word. I know that some people feel like their partners are bad at making decisions and therefore they cannot be trusted, but if your bf is adept at respecting boundaries, expressing when he is uncomfortable with something, and has a brain in his head, give the guy the benefit of the doubt that he knows what he's doing and will keep his word to not go farther than he's said he will with her.

Another thing to do, if it looks like they are getting closer, is to communicate with her directly and express your fears and concerns to her. Tell her that you have been burned before by a lover's domme, that even though it's long-distance and you only see him every few months, your bf holds a special place in your life and you care deeply about how he will be treated, and that you want to know she will respect him and his relationship with you. Set aside your disgust to talk to her and see that she is another person with feelings, hopes, and dreams, too.

Finally, you could ask yourself if this is a deal-breaker for you. If it is, then let him know that if he does start a sexual relationship with her, that is something you cannot accept or live with and you would end your relationship with him. Not as an ultimatum to manipulate him, but as a choice you are making because you cannot abide by his involvement in something that creeps you out. And then stick to your guns. Maybe you will have to walk away.

persephone 03-17-2012 11:56 PM

Thanks for your input and suggestions, nycindie. I don't see this situation as a dealbreaker at this point. However, if I find myself in a situation again where a domme metamour is calling the shots in my relationship, it will be.

I'm definitely going to discuss this issue, up front, with anyone else I date down the road, and clarifiy that "no domme metamours" is a hard limit for me.

Alleycat 03-18-2012 07:32 AM

As a dedicated "kinky" person (I prefer the term "pervert"), I deeply distrust anyone who identifies themselves as a "domme" except for exactly three, however the rest of them tend to have personality traits and various behaviours socially I don't approve of;

Its possibly a local community things but most of the self-identifying "dommes" I know are over 40, fat as a cow, bitchy, hurting over a bad divorce a decade ago and oh yes you will hear about it painfully often), shitty at the craft of proper application of domination, bondage, sadism and aftercare, usually broke and/or living off a settlement from said decade old divorce and are generally disrespectful of Doms or other Dommes and submissives (their own usually gets the least amount of respect, and by that I mean outside the context of collars protocols and such games) not to mention are totally unable to function without constant validation from their subs or psudo-subs, And not to mention that most are very threatened by other relationships that their subs may end up developing.

Actually most throw hissy-fits and try and actively sabotage any 3rd-party relationships of those under their "care".

But once again, that may just be a local community thing. At least I hope its not the actual standard.

As a side note, I tend to judge metamours and partners heavily on the company they keep, you can tell quite a bit about someone by what and who they choose to associate themselves with.

persephone 03-18-2012 12:08 PM

Wow, Alleycat. Your stereotyping is close to spot on here.

My former domme metamour:
  • Late 40s
  • Used to be married to an emotionally abusive alcoholic, whom she hesitated to leave until he blindsided her by leaving her first. She dated other men without his knowledge for years before he did. I met her when she hit on my husband online. He, as a poly person, would not date an adulterer, but he found her interesting to talk to and we made a project out of her, we thought we could "turn" a cheating person into an honest poly person. On the surface we succeeded, she's a part of our local poly community now, heaven help us. We deeply regret that now.
  • About 250 pounds, used to be more back when I was in the relationship too.
  • Works for herself as a business coach and claims to do well at it, but she was living with her mom before she moved in with my ex.
  • Very insecure about her looks and her body. I reassured her about those things more than once.
  • Bitchy? Well, at one point in my relationship with our mutual boyfriend, she told me that if he ever put my needs before hers, she would dump him. It was long before she moved in with him, she and I were just girlfriends he saw one or two nights a week apiece at that point. That was when I figured out that she wasn't really my friend.
  • I can't comment on her kink abilities, but I know her husband wanted to hire a pro-domme before he left her, was only stopped by the cost of such.
  • In terms of actively driving off third parties, I know what happened to me, and I also know a little of what happened to the woman my ex dated after me. She was very friendly with the domme at first, and I know my ex fell for her, but a few months into the relationship she decided to move 4,500 miles away. I saw the three of them together once before she left, and it was pretty darned chilly between the women. I was not surprised.

My current boyfriend's new friend designates herself as a "Mistress" on Fetlife, not a "Domme." Is that any better? I'm always unsure about the nuances of these things.

nycindie 03-18-2012 12:17 PM


Originally Posted by Alleycat (Post 129175)
...most of the self-identifying "dommes" I know are over 40, fat as a cow...

Are these aspects really pertinent at all to whether someone doms well or not? I'm not a domme or into the BDSM scene, but I am a plus-sized woman over 40. Is that automatically a negative thing in your eyes when looking at someone's abilities to be accomplished at something?

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