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-   -   The Need to Be the Best (Seeking Advice) (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=70226)

Quintrue 06-11-2014 08:11 PM

The Need to Be the Best (Seeking Advice)
 
Hello, friends.

I'm involved in a newly formed triangle with my monogamous girlfriend of 3+ years, and a new love who is poly (T).

T is also newly poly and has been involved with another man (B) outside our triangle who is monogamous and not accustomed to, or ready to accept, that T is poly. B would rather remain ignorant of T's relationship with me and is currently going with the denial strategy. (Good luck with that, B!)

My problem is that I recently asked T how the sex was with B. Her response was that it was "mindblowingly amazing." Now, I have no problem with T being involved with others. I am not jealous in this way and accept that she is poly like me and free to pursue other loves. But when she told me how good the sex was with B, I felt sort of second-best. She told me that I'm also great and it's just different with me, but I felt like I was being lovingly told that I was good, but B is better. She says that her sexual connection with B is very raw, lustful and high-energy, whereas I am slower and more sensual. My connection with T is definitely good and we have good sex and connect in a deep way during sex, but... I find myself plagued with feeling this silly competitive need to be better, or at least as good as B at sexually pleasing T. I am torturing myself by imagining them having this wild, raw sex and her having a dozen orgasms and being ravenously into B in ways that she isn't with me.

T loves me and loves the deep, spiritual connection that she doesn't get with B. And that makes me feel good. It should be enough for me, I know, but I feel inadequate. I am depressed that I can't inspire that same level of physical/sexual passion and lust that B brings out in her, and that maybe I don't have as much energy or stamina as he does.

I'm a bit disappointed with myself that this is bothering me so much. I thought I had more emotional discipline but seem to have found a weakness. I want to see the same kind of lust and raw passion in T that she seems to have with B. I want to satisfy her as much as B does. Does anyone have any wisdom for me about my need to be the best? I would be immensely grateful... thanks!

-Quin

nycindie 06-11-2014 08:49 PM

It sounds like she has already told you that you satisfy her just as much as B. does, but you are refusing to believe her. You just have to get over the idea that "different" means better or worse - or that raw and animal-like sex is superior to connected, tender lovemaking. Each has its own kind of energy, purpose, and appeal, and satisfies specific needs in a person. Even wild sex can be boring if that's all you ever get. Let go of the need to compete. When thoughts like that come up, do not pay credence to them. Get present in a real and physical and way, such as focusing your attention on something in front of you, sounds, colors, tasks at hand, or some kind of manual work. Get out of your head and into your body and the present moment. Eventually those thoughts become part of the wallpaper and won't bother you.

In future, be careful what information you ask her for. You're obviously not a voyeur with the sort of objectivity that can turn you on if you hear what your partners are up to. Why did you want to know what sex is like with her other lover?

kdt26417 06-11-2014 08:49 PM

D'ope! I see nycindie beat me to the punch. But I concur with what she said.

Re (from OP):
Quote:

"I recently asked T how the sex was with B. Her response was that it was 'mindblowingly amazing.'"
Ah, but: she didn't say it was "better than it is with you." Some sex blows the mind. Other sex soothes the soul. See the difference? Comparing the two is like comparing apples with oranges.

In my perspective, we live in a rather porn-flooded world, where "hot and heavy" are the only values that "matter" in sex. We're all tempted to think we're not a "bomb in bed" unless our bomb is blinding and deafening. A fizzling shower of pretty colors just doesn't seem to be worth as much in bed.

Re:
Quote:

"I am torturing myself by imagining them having this wild, raw sex and her having a dozen orgasms and being ravenously into B in ways that she isn't with me."
Which raises the notion that "(X+1) orgasms is [always] better than (X) orgasms." I mean what does (X+1) have to equal before it's *too much?* For a bit of perspective, my partner Snowbunny and I used to go pretty hot and heavy in the bedroom back in our NRE days. I used to be quite pleased with myself about how many times I could get her to climax during one encounter. But one day she admitted to me that even though orgasms are great, after awhile they get to be overwhelming and she would prefer more of an easygoing kind of encounter where one or two orgasms sufficed. I learned to take it down a notch.

So what I am trying to say is that "The Best" doesn't always equal "The Hottest." Sometimes it equals "The Gentlest." Why not? One of the best things about polyamory is the variety it brings into our lives. I mean if you were like B (in bed), then T would have two B's, and I don't think she wants two B's. I think she wants one B, and one you. She wants the best of both worlds.

So I encourage you to not try to imitate (then outdo) B. Instead, practice and refine the unique techniques that make you the kind of lover that B could never be. Focus on your strengths -- not on B's strengths.

I realize that knowing all of that intellectually doesn't always mean you'll be able to feel it emotionally. But thought can precede -- and pave the way for -- emotion. Practice thinking from a certain point of perspective and see if your feelings don't eventually catch up with your thoughts.

That's how I see it anyways. I hope it helps you in your situation in some small way.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.

nycindie 06-11-2014 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kdt26417 (Post 269322)
D'ope! I see nycindie beat me to the punch. But I concur with what she said.

Hey Kevin, we posted at the exact same time - so it's a tie. And I loved what you said.

kdt26417 06-11-2014 09:06 PM

I rather thought it looked like two identical posts, just laid out in two different styles. I love it when a plan comes together ...

Quintrue 06-11-2014 09:29 PM

Wow, thank you both so much. I wasn't expecting such quality posts in such a short quantity of time. Quality/quantity does seem to be a problem for me here doesn't it? :)

You both make fantastic points and I already feel a bit better about things. Of course, like you said, Kevin, it takes time for the intellectual understanding of things to transfer into the emotional self. I think I'll ultimately be OK with this and the understanding will be fully integrated in time. For now, it is still a bit difficult whipping my silly ego back into its cage. Silly ego...

I guess I want to be able to be everything, which I know is contrary to the very idea of polyamoury. I know that I cannot be everything, nor do I expect anyone else to be everything for me. I'm trying to reverse situations here and think of the things that I don't get from T, that I get from my other girlfriend or perhaps past lovers. Nobody has it all, that's for sure. I do need to focus on quality instead of quantity and remind myself of my strengths.

Nycindie, the very first sentence you wrote is definitely something that's sinking in. She has told me the ways in which she appreciates me and connects with me in a special way. And the thing is, I'm confident about that and know I have a special, uncommon kind of love to offer. I will work on letting go of my need to compete.

To answer your question, I asked her how the sex was with B due just a strong curiosity I suppose. I like to know as much as possible about as much as possible and I guess in this case feel the need to measure myself against others to get a sense of where I'm at and how valued I am. If the answer is "He's good, but not as good as you," then I feel a confidence boost and feel good about myself. And I guess if the answer leads me to believe that he is "better" than me, then I am forced to deal with an ugly emotional dragon that hopefully I can become strong enough to slay. I guess I am now in that process of bringing myself to a greater level of emotional strength and acceptance about this.

I will be coming back to both of your wise words. You are both awesome, thank you!

nycindie 06-11-2014 09:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quintrue (Post 269326)
. . . I asked her how the sex was with B due just a strong curiosity I suppose. I like to know as much as possible about as much as possible and I guess in this case feel the need to measure myself against others to get a sense of where I'm at and how valued I am. If the answer is "He's good, but not as good as you," then I feel a confidence boost and feel good about myself. And I guess if the answer leads me to believe that he is "better" than me, then I am forced to deal with an ugly emotional dragon that hopefully I can become strong enough to slay. I guess I am now in that process of bringing myself to a greater level of emotional strength and acceptance about this.

I suspected that the real reason you wanted to know was so you could hear he is lousy in bed (and maybe you secretly wish she would dump him because of that?).

To me, what you wrote above indicates self-esteem issues. You wanted to use information about another person to either bolster or beat yourself up. One makes you temporarily feel like you matter to someone and have worth; the other gives you reason to believe you don't matter, don't have worth, but motivates you to overcome it. Neither tactic is productive, nor based on anything other than someone else's description of a person you don't know - so why measure yourself against that? This is probably a survival mechanism or habit you developed in childhood - time to let that go. We can't drive a car forward only looking in the rear-view mirror.

There's a saying: if you want self-esteem, do esteemable things. Cultivate a need to be your own personal best rather than besting someone else. Be there for yourself, and for others, take care of what needs taking care of, and one day, what other people are doing won't ruffle you because you will know you have value and worth, and that your place in this world does matter, without needing anyone else's shortcomings to prove it to you.

kdt26417 06-11-2014 09:42 PM

NYC, why are we posting in tandem? :o Weirdness ...

@ Quin ... glad to help. My personal vote is that if you and B could be compared (as lovers), you would come out tied. Neither of you is "The Best." You're both "the best at what you do."

If your goal is to examine/improve your bedroom technique, then I suggest asking T directly if there's anything you could do better and what that might be. That way you're not comparing yourself with B, you're just giving T a chance to give you some guidance (if she so desires). If she says, "Hon, you're already just what I want," then woo-hoo! Question answered and the news is all good.

And feel some compersion for how much she enjoys her time with B! Go ahead, feel that compersion. It's hot that she gets so carried away with him. It's even hotter how much she loves it with you. Polyamory rocks. :)

Warm regards,
Kevin T.

KC43 06-11-2014 10:14 PM

I have vastly *different* sex with Guy from what I have with Hubby. Hubby leans toward sensual, lots of foreplay, relaxing, snuggle before and after kind of sex. He also has it in his head that because of past trauma, I'm emotionally "breakable" in bed. (To be fair, I have had flashbacks a few times during sex with him.) Hubby and I also share a household, raise my kids together, and have a lot of other stuff going on besides sex.

And Hubby tends to be pretty conservative sexually; his point of view is "If it works to get her off this time, it will work the next thousand times" rather than "This worked this time, I wonder what else will work?" On the other hand, at one point last year he discovered his inner Dom, and I've always identified as submissive, so on occasion we go that way.

Guy spent some time as a BDSM switch, and sexually is very open, nonjudgmental, and unwilling to be fit into anything in particular. He's happy with sensual and tender, but he's also happy giving it rough or receiving it rough (not BDSM rough, because Hubby has asked me not to do anything BDSM-ish with anyone else; just leaves bruises and breathlessness rough). We rarely see each other, so when we are together, we tend to sexually make up for lost time, and it can become very intense, "hot monkey sex" as a friend of mine puts it.

Guy also knows about my past trauma, and I have had one flashback with him, but he knows that isn't a reason to treat me like I'm fragile especially when I vastly enjoy rough sex. The flashbacks or panic attacks happen when I try to do something outside my comfort zone or put myself in a position where I feel like I have no choice about what I'm about to do; being held down or having my ass smacked or something like that is well within the comfort zone. The occasions when Hubby puts on his Dom hat are the only time I can operate outside my comfort zone without having issues, because I'm not me being afraid of what my husband will think or do, I'm submissive handing over my trust and control to my Dom, knowing I can stop it at any time and knowing I'll get the control back at the end. And, because of that past trauma and the possibility of issues arising, I have a safe word with each of them that applies no matter what kind of sex we're having.

Sorry... sidetrack.

Sex with Guy is not *better* than sex with Hubby. Sometimes I like the slow and sensual. When I'm in a bad headspace, the predictability of sex with Hubby is welcome and needed. When I'm in a mood where I want to just let go and enjoy and not have emotions and "Are you all right" involved, Guy's roughness and unpredictability allows me to do that. Sexually, both of them are equally good at meeting my needs and desires; they just don't always meet the *same* needs and desires as each other.

Which is one of the reasons I have both of them...

SouthernFirefly 06-11-2014 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kdt26417 (Post 269328)
NYC, why are we posting in tandem? :o Weirdness ...

@ Quin ... glad to help. My personal vote is that if you and B could be compared (as lovers), you would come out tied. Neither of you is "The Best." You're both "the best at what you do."

Love it! And so true!! I have two different partners and both have their very own unique style. Both are best at what they do!

B could very well ask T how sex is with you and she could say it's "blissfully tantric!" Hey, tantra can, many times, be better than mindblowingly raw. :D

Both are good. One of my favorite foods is spaghetti but that doesn't mean I want it all the time and it doesn't mean that I can't appreciate the utter deliciousness of curry on other occasions. Both meet my needs and both are yummy!


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