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  #1  
Old 02-10-2010, 08:50 AM
Gibson Gibson is offline
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Default Kink Partner Confusion?

Been checking out the forums for the last few days and been pondering my new situation (which is what brought me here in the first place). I have seen lots of great conversations, but nothing specifically to my situation...so here goes.

I have a loving relationship with my fiancee, N. We love each other deeply and want to grow old together. Recently, we have been going through a bit of a rough patch (money problems, unemployment for the both of us, depression as well) and it kinda came to a pivotal moment a few weeks ago where N expressed that I really need to further understand and accept myself (and how I am wired be be a sub) and she needs to accept her desire to be topped, specifically with ropes and flogging.

I am really working to understand myself and my needs and desires, but she is as well and it has greatly confused me.

We have a few friends in our lives who are openly poly. In the past, N has said she understands poly, but doesn't need it in her life. She has even said I could go have sex with anyone I wanted because she is not jealous in that way. She wants me to be happy. Now, as we are understanding our personal wiring, N says she wants the mental space and feeling of clarity that comes with being topped and that she might want to seek that out with someone else since I cannot give that to her. We generally have a peer relationship, not one of dominance in either direction...so I recognize this inability on my part.

So we talked about how a kink thing outside of us could be possible and I started off with some rules that were too restrictive for the level she wants. She wants kink, but does not believe she will be able to feel that mental space without having an emotional connection with the person. She agreed that this kink experience would be ok with no sex, no removal of clothing, no kissing, no genital stimulation. Basically, rope bondage, flogging and all with a person she has an emotional connection with. This doesn't sound like poly at all to me. This sounds like it could be an awesome super close friend who you might even say you love, but you don't have a romantic relationship with.

So this is where things get weird...

Now, since we have had some really difficult, emotional discussions (particularly since I am more wired for mono than poly), N occasionally has needed to physically leave for a few hours to let her emotions settle (leaving in tears, emotionally exhausted and needing to catch her breath) . She has left particularly to be with one of our few local friends who has some understanding of the situation as he is kinked and poly.

I honestly believe she visited him for advice, but as I have been talking with N, I discovered he went and straight out offered to her that HE would be willing to be that kink partner. In another discussion they had over dinner, he actually asked her out on a date. These both happened with him knowing full well that my conversations with N are nowhere near a point where it feels ok for someone else to ask her such questions. It feels like disrespect for me, for N and for our relationship. Am I overreacting?

Now, I know full well that when N met him many years ago (before I met N), he wanted to date her. She was not into him in that way at all and had to have the "not now, not ever" conversation. Return to the present day and I feel like he is pushing her towards an easy solution to her needs...a solution with him. Even if this is what she wants in the end, the discussion is between her and I, not her and him and I. All this has now made me uncomfortable and I don't have good feelings in his general direction. She claims now that her feelings for him are unclear and I can't help but feel that he has opportunistically helped bring the situation farther along, faster than I would have liked.

The last conversation I had with N was about not specifically kink, but more about her desires to be able to express her feelings for other people. Woah...not the conversation we were having a week earlier. If this is how she is feeling, ok then, but I'm starting to feel a bit ambushed...all things considered. So I try to ask her about what she does want. She says, more than friends, but beyond that she doesn't know. I press her for details (do you want to date, hold hands, kiss, have a boyfriend), but she just gets mad at me every time I ask for specifics. She does not seem to desire sex with other people...so I know her desires don't extend quite into the poly discussions that I see on this board, but I remain confused. I can't agree to something if I don't know what I am agreeing to.

It is also coming out more in the last few conversations that N's previous relationships have failed because her partner's did not recognize her needs. I am being non-specific about what needs those are because I still don't think she knows quite what those are.

So, I now find myself looking at this rationally. I love her and want to be with her and I know she feels the same about me. I realize that I cannot simply tell her to completely close the door to warm feelings for other people for if I do and she agrees, it will only lead to an even more horrible blowup later which could easily lead to our split.

I keep thinking that it's ok to have a kink partner, with rules...but I am worried about it crossing into poly. I am not wired for poly. I don't disrespect it at all, but right at this moment I am not ready for it. I might be if it can be gradual (actually it sounds kinda nice if I can get over my insecurities), but right now I am lost and confused. My finacee started off saying she wants a kink partner...but now I have no idea what that means.

Any thoughts for this awesome forum?
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2010, 10:13 AM
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xmakina xmakina is offline
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Goodness me. Quite a bit going on here! I've gone through and pulled out a few choice quotes that I feel I can help you address. Obviously, I only know as much as you've posted here so take it all with a pinch-of-salt.

"In the past, N has said she understands poly, but doesn't need it in her life. She has even said I could go have sex with anyone I wanted because she is not jealous in that way"
"Basically, rope bondage, flogging and all with a person she has an emotional connection with. This doesn't sound like poly at all to me."

First thing is that poly is about neither of these items. Polyamory is the development of strong, emotional and loving relationships. It's not about sex, that's swinging and it's not about bondage as that's BDSM. From what you've said, the rope bondage is much more poly than the having sex with whoever you want.

"These both happened with him knowing full well that my conversations with N are nowhere near a point where it feels ok for someone else to ask her such questions. It feels like disrespect for me, for N and for our relationship. Am I overreacting?"
If it's deception and not something your comfortable with, it's not poly. Another important aspect is full and complete disclosure of this kind of thing. He may have only said it as "this is an option" but N should be talking to you about this before she gives an answer.


"I press her for details (do you want to date, hold hands, kiss, have a boyfriend), but she just gets mad at me every time I ask for specifics."
There's a very good chance that she doesn't know. If you're both wired to monogamy then it's not surprising she doesn't know what she wants. This will come with time and experience.

"but I am worried about it crossing into poly."
You don't strike me as being 100% confident as poly and as a result my suggestion is to talk to N about this being a bad time for her to be wanting to explore polyamory.

Your relationship sounds very strained right now, and trust me adding more people will not fix anything. You and N need to come together and sort out your own relationship before getting involved with other people.

When you are in a good space, then N can explore getting into a D/s relationship with this other guy.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:00 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Default Nice !

Hi Gibson - and thanks for sharing !

First, I took note of the high general stress levels you guys have been under. So keep in mind that under those conditions we aren't always at our sharpest in thinking other things through. I suggest giving each other some slack in all this right now recognizing that you're both a little on edge to start with. If things get better (I hope) some of these conversations and issues will get easier to deal with. Don't try to take on too much change at once.

Also - looks like xmakina had several nice valid points there......
1> There's a LOT going on there
2> Getting in a 'good space' with you lover has to come first
3>Poly is really about strong, loving,honest relationships with multiple people But so is monogamy minus the extra people

But because everything is all confusing right now, let me see if we can just simplify it somewhat by breaking out the different elements to be thought about and addressed separately. If you can both get clear on things separately then you can see how they fit together after that.

Make sense ?

First - the sexual need mismatch. Or if you don't want to classify it 'sexual' the submissive desires. But I recommend you consider those desires sexual in nature. Maybe someone else will have a different take - we'll see. I just think it will help simplify the thought process if you do.
I can relate well to this because my mate has had somewhat similar needs in the past and it's not really my style either. A little play is fine & fun but I have my limits in taking on some dominant role over anyone - especially a woman. But I understand the desire fairly well and neither condone nor promote it. But in those games the critical thing is safety & trust. Because you love here YOU need to trust that's she's safe. SHE needs to trust whoever her partner is in that completely.
Now.......that deep a level of trust is definitely better - and much more easily built- from a truly loving perspective. Which will lead us to the next point.......

'Love' is a pretty slippery term and it has a lot of different meanings and ways of expression. You I think made some reference to 'romantic' love for example. So it might be good to note that if your mate required some form of 'love' to establish the necessary respect & trust to travel the BDSM path - that's not necessarily the same type of 'love' as the romantic love you have between you. But don't assume it couldn't take that turn either. But either way it's really not a threat. REALLY - it isn't.

Because..........
of the love you have for her and your desire for her happiness and fulfillment, by standing WITH her - partnering with her on finding happiness, you are EXPRESSING your true love for her ! It's more than words. It's actions.
These are the things that bind us Not words. Not concepts - or labels. Actions.
And what you build together out of love can never be threatened - except by yourselves.

So as you put it at the end - she wants a kink partner but in order for that to REALLY be benificial it needs to be based on trust and respect. Both important pieces of a loving relationship. And that's ok. It doesn't change what you have between you - UNLESS you do something to make it change. But supporting and helping can only make it change for the better - from my experience.

Hope this helps some......

GS
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:48 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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One partner being insecure and not actively resolving their own insecurity issues, ruins monogomous relationships on a regular basis.....
So it doesn't make a sound argument (imho) for why one is or is not poly.
NOW that said-I agree that insecurity is a problem in poly relationships, but no more or less then it is in mono relationships.
The major difference I see (first hand) is that in a poly relationship there are more people dealing with it and so it tends to be pointed out to you more often.

But the truth is -NO relationship is healthy AT ALL until trust is established AND personal insecurities have been addressed BY YOURSELF.

I HIGHLY advise checking out www.xeromag.com and reading his articles on polyamory-and specifically the ones on insecurity. Every person ought to consider reading them-not just the poly people.

EVEN if your relationship remains monogomous-it will be improved if you learn how to manage your own personal issues.

As for BDSM-there are several threads on here that make it quite clear that TRUST is IMPERATIVE in a BDSM relationship of any type-I would HIGHLY advise that you understand-if you two are allowing in your relationship for her to have another partner in BDSM, that she DOES need to feel a level of trust with them at least equal to what she has with you if not more so AND that you need to able and willing to accept whatever it takes for that level of trust to be built OR she is endangering herself getting into a relationship like that.
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:23 AM
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Lemondrop Lemondrop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibson View Post
...I have a loving relationship with my fiancee, N. We love each other deeply and want to grow old together. Recently, we have been going through a bit of a rough patch (money problems, unemployment for the both of us, depression as well) and it kinda came to a pivotal moment a few weeks ago where N expressed that I really need to further understand and accept myself (and how I am wired be be a sub) and she needs to accept her desire to be topped, specifically with ropes and flogging.
I think there were great suggestions already, so I'm just going to suggest that you find a BDSM support group that meets near you, if you haven't already. That way you could both feel like you are moving forward even if you're not running out and picking a top, and you might not feel as much pressure to "get it done now". More education might help both of you figure out what you want/need.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibson View Post
... It feels like disrespect for me, for N and for our relationship. Am I overreacting?...

... but I'm starting to feel a bit ambushed...all things considered. So I try to ask her about what she does want. She says, more than friends, but beyond that she doesn't know. ...

... I love her and want to be with her and I know she feels the same about me. ...
You have a lot of feelings going on here. I don't know you, so I'm sorry if I tell you things you already know--but I would suggest that when you talk to her, you tell her "I feel ambushed" and "I feel confused". "I feel" helps make it feel less like an attack or a criticism. "I feel like I'm being disrespected" sounds so much kinder and less dramatic than "I'm being disrespected" and helps keep the other party listening to you. But the bottom line is that last quote--you know she loves you. That's really the foundation, isn't it? You can build anything on that, if you work at it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibson View Post
... I realize that I cannot simply tell her to completely close the door to warm feelings for other people for if I do and she agrees, it will only lead to an even more horrible blowup later which could easily lead to our split....

I keep thinking that it's ok to have a kink partner, with rules...but I am worried about it crossing into poly. I am not wired for poly. I don't disrespect it at all, but right at this moment I am not ready for it. I might be if it can be gradual (actually it sounds kinda nice if I can get over my insecurities), but right now I am lost and confused. My finacee started off saying she wants a kink partner...but now I have no idea what that means...
LOL...I'm not sure you meant it this way, but you can't tell anyone to never have warm feelings for other people, that's just impossible. Maybe you're talking about "romantic love" feelings, but really you have no control over that. All you can really do is say, "it would hurt me if you..." and hope.

I don't think that there's anything wrong with making rules that the both of you agree to. I think "I am not wired for poly" is a very different statement from "it sounds kinda nice". Perhaps you would do better if you just stuck with "I am not ready for it"--it doesn't close off your options. Maybe your fiance is feeling closed off? Perhaps it would help her to hear "I know that you're feeling confused/unsure right now, and I'm here to support you. I want your ultimate happiness and I want our relationship to be strong. Tell me how we can work this out/I'm ready to talk when you are/is there anything I can do to help you?" And perhaps you can offer to tell her what your ideal outcome would look like, in a safe and nonjudgemental way? I'm just throwing out ideas...I could be completely off base here.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:24 PM
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Breathesgirl Breathesgirl is offline
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After reading through the other responses i think just about everything has been covered, lol.

However, it might help both of you to sit down and define what polyamory, BDSM, love, etc. mean to each of you. These are all terms which have different meanings to different people. There are as many different forms of polyamory as there are relationships, as many different meanings for love as there are people who love, etc.

A lot of times misunderstandings happen because the people having the discussion have totally different definitions

i second the motion for the two of you to go to BDSM munches, brunches, workshops in order to help you better define what these things mean to you. The same goes for poly get togethers and workshops.

i also second www.xeromag.com . It's a WONDERFUL site. Lots of great advice and analogies. He also has a section on BDSM which you might want to check out.

It sounds as though you are doing something right . You are COMMUNICATING with each other.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:38 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Originally Posted by Breathesgirl View Post
These are all terms which have different meanings to different people. There are as many different forms of polyamory as there are relationships, as many different meanings for love as there are people who love, etc.
Now THIS is par excellence !
Wonder if we can find some way to have this automatically added as a header to all posts LOL

Thanks Breathes

GS
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:08 PM
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Breathesgirl Breathesgirl is offline
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You're quite welcome, lol.

I belong to different communities and that is one piece of advice which gets passed around from generation to generation, male/female, all races, creeds, colors and religions .

For the record it's Breathes' girl, Breathes is my b/f/Sir but since most nic generators won't allow characters which aren't letters, numbers or an underscore i can't put the apostrophe in there.

To make things easier just call me Robin .

Off to use my spa day gift certificate! WOOT!
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:03 PM
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Breathesgirl Breathesgirl is offline
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Cool. I just noticed, how in the world did I become a Senior Member, lol?
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:30 AM
sunnydee sunnydee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibson View Post

The last conversation I had with N was about not specifically kink, but more about her desires to be able to express her feelings for other people. Woah...not the conversation we were having a week earlier. If this is how she is feeling, ok then, but I'm starting to feel a bit ambushed...all things considered. So I try to ask her about what she does want. She says, more than friends, but beyond that she doesn't know. I press her for details (do you want to date, hold hands, kiss, have a boyfriend), but she just gets mad at me every time I ask for specifics. She does not seem to desire sex with other people...so I know her desires don't extend quite into the poly discussions that I see on this board, but I remain confused. I can't agree to something if I don't know what I am agreeing to.
It sounds to me like N wants intimacy and the freedom to explore it. I've had this discussion before with someone who was trying to make me define and be specific and kept trying to say it was "sex" and I remember feeling irritated and trapped, too. I'm not going to argue with the definition others put on poly, just going to say that, for me, the freedom to explore intimacy where it arises is what poly is about. (Again, for me.) The OP, understandably wants to feel safe and seems to, understandably, think that somehow knowing all the specifics and having rules will make the situation safe. IMO, letting go is "safer" than straining for a control that you really don't have, but it's unlikely that will happen here. Good luck. I know this is tough. Better now than after you're married, at least.

Last edited by sunnydee; 02-13-2010 at 01:31 AM. Reason: error
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