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Old 09-09-2012, 02:14 PM
lolalondon lolalondon is offline
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Default Sex in LT Poly relationships

Hi! I have a question about managing sexual expression with primaries in LT relationships - in a way this follows on from Nathan's interesting post about being a primary's sexual secondary...

I've been with my bf for over 2 years, open from the start but taking a more poly direction recently; he's always been poly at heart, I'm more of a swinger and it took me time to feel settled and secure enough to be comfortable with him having emotional connections with others. As for me, I just need sexual freedom - I love variety and have enjoy being promiscuous - always playing safe, of course, but I an not interested in managing several committed relationships. We've been very honest with each other and managed to accept and understand our differences. I never doubt how much he cares for me and we are extremely close.

We're both equally into having many sexual partners and experimenting. When we met it was insane NRE and we would have sex 4 times a day, often extremely kinky BDSM (we both switch), I’d be covered in marks... Over the years, we still have a lot of sex (usually every time we see each other, so about 4 times a week). But the intensity and BDSM side of things has lessened. I know a lot of it is to do with the way relationships often get more cuddly when you're closer and more comfortable with each other, and also any tensions we've had caused the kink to take a back seat. But still... I have been pursuing other doms over the time we've been together, and now I feel like I mostly have to go outside the relationship to have this need met. And now he's started seeing a girl who's a sub. We do communicate, he does dominate me, so it's not like it never happens - but there's a part of me that's a bit sad we're going outside the relationship to do the kind of kink we used to do together all the time. He’s still happy with the way I dom him and hasn’t yet looked for anyone else to do this with, although I actually don’t mind if he does.

We don’t have any “problem”, really, but I guess I'm interested in the ways people’s sex life in LT polyships work out:
  • If you’re kinky, have you found that kink levels decrease as you get closer/cuddly/more emotionally intimate? Or is it more of a “wax and wane” over the course of time?
  • Is it often the case that when you meet new sexual partners you direct more extreme sexual behaviour towards them and away from the primary relationship?
  • Does NRE with others generally lead to less sex between primaries?
  • If you’re into BDSM play, do you have any restrictions on BDSM with others, or does everything go?
  • If you’re into D/S play, how do you manage this with having an extremely equal relationship in all other ways? Sometimes it’s hard for either of us to let the other take control because we’re so equal in all other arenas, and both extremely independent people… it’s almost like it’s easier with someone you’re not in such a close partnership with, I’m wondering if others can relate.
  • Do you get jealous if your primary does something sexually with another partner you crave and hasn’t happened in a while? Do you talk about it, and how do you do this without them feeling you’re pressuring them into a certain sex act? Or do you just tell yourself it's none of your business because every relationship is different, and you’re glad he’s having fun?
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:52 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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If you’re kinky, have you found that kink levels decrease as you get closer/cuddly/more emotionally intimate? Or is it more of a “wax and wane” over the course of time?
Wax and wane. I do not engage in edge play of the body when
  • sick
  • tired
  • upset in some fashion
  • too happy/giddy/hyper
  • time limits (do not want to rush a scene)
  • too recent since last major scene (The top or bottom "natural high" and endorphins and things need time to clear the body. Kinking on a high is no good.)

Any of those can lead to mistakes, and mistakes in kink can be disaster.

But non-kinky sex also functions on a "wax and wane" thing long term -- stuff has to happen. Work, kids, caring for aging parents, bills -- making time for sex to happen IN is always a balancing act regardless of the type of sex it is.

Quote:
Is it often the case that when you meet new sexual partners you direct more extreme sexual behaviour towards them and away from the primary relationship?
You are on the NRE high with a new person -- so yah. Tempted to go at it like bunnies (frequency) because you want to keep getting the feel good hits. It's hormone brain cascade.

But "extreme" sexual behaviour? Does that mean kink stuff? NO. Some things are earned in time. I do not START there.

To want to get a double hit -- NRE high + kink high -- with a new person to me is dangerous drunk driving. Whether bottom or top -- that's a lot of hormone cascade and if I'm top -- I could get into topspace and make mistakes because I do not know my bottom well enough to "read" them right. If I'm a bottom, I could get to the "no words" point and not even be able to safeword out. And this new top might not know me well enough to know my tells.

That requires scene negotiation and ramp up time in scene intensity -- to MINIMIZE that tempatation of driving drunk and MAXIMIZE the knowing each other well to play well. I just can't see me jumping feet first with a new kink playmate to the extremest edges of where I kink play. There's not enough trust built yet for that. I want to bring someone or do phone check in/check out at start end of scene so someone else knows where I'm at with new person player.

Say the kink is bondage -- alright. Start with honor bondage the. PRETEND you are tied up. Do not move. Next time? A simple quick release on the hands perhaps -- or just one hand. Then increase from there. No way I'd allow legs -- I want to be able to walk/run/kick if I have to.

I just can't see me leaping into the deeper end of the bondage pool with predicament or suspension bondage or things on that end with some new person whose skills I do not know all alone. That's not a risk I want to take.

Quote:
Does NRE with others generally lead to less sex between primaries?
Depends? How the person is managing their NRE time and balancing ORE?

Quote:
If you’re into BDSM play, do you have any restrictions on BDSM with others, or does everything go?
Things are earned in time, dude. I'm not opening myself up all the way to some barely known stranger.

There's ethics to BDSM to do it well just like there's ethics to polyamory. Not everyone in BDSM or polyamory communities is there flying under honest flag colors. That's a reality.

Quote:
If you’re into D/S play, how do you manage this with having an extremely equal relationship in all other ways?
It's a D/s scene -- you AGREE to your parameters. Within this arena, you can boss me about. Or I'll boss you about.

Quote:
it’s almost like it’s easier with someone you’re not in such a close partnership with, I’m wondering if others can relate.
Red flag to me. I can only let go of control with complete trust with person I know extremely well because I know they will keep it in the arena negotiated before the scene. For me, that is DH, and no other. Some things are earned. And I'm not playing D/s scenes with an unknown variable. No fuckin' way. You can safeword out only if the dom will respect that limit and you trust them to do it. What happens if they don't? Ack!

Quote:
Do you get jealous if your primary does something sexually with another partner you crave and hasn’t happened in a while? Do you talk about it, and how do you do this without them feeling you’re pressuring them into a certain sex act? Or do you just tell yourself it's none of your business because every relationship is different, and you’re glad he’s having fun?
If I have a want, need, limit? In my universe it is my responsibility to report. I cannot expect my partner to mind reader me.

So if the agreement with partner is that there is no TMI wall up, and we share intimate details of what's going on with other partners, and I hear about something that I want some of? I will say "Aw... me too! Can I get some sometime? That sounds fun!"

And we can negotiate that.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-09-2012 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:17 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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If you’re kinky, have you found that kink levels decrease as you get closer/cuddly/more emotionally intimate? Or is it more of a “wax and wane” over the course of time?
For me, wax and wane, depending on what's going on in life.

Is it often the case that when you meet new sexual partners you direct more extreme sexual behaviour towards them and away from the primary relationship?
If I stopped directing energy to an existing partner to focus it on a new partner, its more likely that I don't have the emotional or physical energy to juggle both. If that was the case I'd ask existing partners if it was going to negatively affect them having LESS of the activity from me (be that kink, a dance partner, or or never going to thai restaurants with me anymore because I was always having thai food with my new partner), and make decisions about what to do if the answer was yes.

Does NRE with others generally lead to less sex between primaries?
Having sex at all makes me want to have more sex, so it just makes me want to have sex with my husband every day.

If you’re into BDSM play, do you have any restrictions on BDSM with others, or does everything go?
There are things on my BDSM list I would like to do that my husband is not comfortable with, therefore they are off the table because his comfort > my desire to have those things in my life. Some of those things are able to be negotiated when somebody has been around long enough that husband trusts the other person to be safe with me, but a couple things seem non negotiable.

If you’re into D/S play, how do you manage this with having an extremely equal relationship in all other ways? Sometimes it’s hard for either of us to let the other take control because we’re so equal in all other arenas, and both extremely independent people… it’s almost like it’s easier with someone you’re not in such a close partnership with, I’m wondering if others can relate.
Not the case in my marriage, but I'm sure it is harder work to transition from equals to D/S if you switch instead of having a clear usual role. I'd probably ask on fetlife about what techniques people use to negotiate that situation for themselves.

Do you get jealous if your primary does something sexually with another partner you crave and hasn’t happened in a while? Do you talk about it, and how do you do this without them feeling you’re pressuring them into a certain sex act? Or do you just tell yourself it's none of your business because every relationship is different, and you’re glad he’s having fun?
I may get pissed if my husband did something with another person that he had NEVER done with me if I'd repeatedly asked him to, especially without talking to me first, sexual or non sexual stuff. I would get envious if he stopped doing something with me and was doing it with somebody else instead and not "in addition to". If it was kink related, well in my case I'd be very sad that he'd finally found some interest in it, as it's unlikely he would start viewing me in that light after 8 years, so I wouldn't benefit.

I do think in general it's not my business what he does as long as our agreements are being kept, however it is not my nature to want something and not keep asking for it until I get a satisfactory answer about why I can't have it (and a satisfactory answer is "I just don't feel interested in doing that with you anymore, I'll let you know if that changes"), so I'd probably bring up every few weeks or so, and after several "not in the mood" responses I'd feel compelled to sit down and say "hey buddy, I'm feeling really envious that you like doing X with them but don't seem to want to do it with me. I'm trying to figure out if it's because you just don't want to do X with me at all, or if there is something I could do to help you be interested in it." If they weren't interested, then I'd likely ask them to not talk about doing that particular activity with the other person. If it was something done in public at events, well I wouldn't avoid those but I'd work hard to find equally pleasurable distractions of my own.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:21 PM
lolalondon lolalondon is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
It's a D/s scene -- you AGREE to your parameters. Within this arena, you can boss me about. Or I'll boss you about.

...

Red flag to me. I can only let go of control with complete trust with person I know extremely well because I know they will keep it in the arena negotiated before the scene. For me, that is DH, and no other. Some things are earned. And I'm not playing D/s scenes with an unknown variable. No fuckin' way. You can safeword out only if the dom will respect that limit and you trust them to do it. What happens if they don't? Ack!
Thanks GalaGirl, and Anneintherain, I find this really interesting.

I think you're right Anne about the switch thing making boundaries more fuzzy - at times both of us want to be dominated but might it hard to let go, because we have so many other roles with each other. I know I can “top from the bottom” at times and be overly clear about the things I want done to me, because apart from being a sub I’m actually naturally assertive… Something I need to work on I guess, will definitely check out Fetlife.

Gala - just wanted to clarify that I'm only referring to established/safe playmates, not some new random guy with handcuffs! But when I say "someone I'm not in such a close partnership with" I mean a playmate (can be long term) who isn't a boyfriend. Someone who hasn't nursed me when I'm sick/argued about stuff with me/held my hand through emotional meltdowns/visited my parents with me/does all the day-to-day relationship stuff with. Someone who perhaps knows me in a more one-dimensional way, sexually, but might know the sexual me very well. Yet there isn't the established relationship cuddly comfort with him. Hope that makes more sense? I agree it’s very important to play safe
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:56 PM
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rory rory is offline
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I don't subscribe to hierarchy, but I'll switch primary for established relationship(s) and secondary for newer relationship in my answer since I feel that's what you're getting at.

If you’re kinky, have you found that kink levels decrease as you get closer/cuddly/more emotionally intimate? Or is it more of a “wax and wane” over the course of time?

Neither. For me it seems to take some time in a relationship to find the type of kink that works in the dynamic and with the specific person. Thus, so far I've found that my sex life with a partner includes more kink with time and the closer we get.

Is it often the case that when you meet new sexual partners you direct more extreme sexual behaviour towards them and away from the established relationship?

No way, haha!

Does NRE with others generally lead to less sex between established partners?

From what I've read here, it tends to vary a lot. Some people have a hard time focusing on anything but the new person, and in that case it is probably a risk if work isn't done to prevent that. For others (such as me), it's the other way around, and NRE for somebody also increases libido in general.

If you’re into BDSM play, do you have any restrictions on BDSM with others, or does everything go?

Anything the people involved feel like doing is fine.

Do you get jealous if your partner does something sexually with another partner you crave and hasn’t happened in a while? Do you talk about it, and how do you do this without them feeling you’re pressuring them into a certain sex act? Or do you just tell yourself it's none of your business because every relationship is different, and you’re glad he’s having fun?

I have limited experience with this, and in my situation it's been the case that if I haven't been able to get what I've craved, it has been due to circumstances (long-distance) and not differing wants. So, when I've felt jealous (occasionally), it's been helpful to remind myself that the circumstances would be same anyway, even if my partner wasn't having sex with somebody else.

I do think I might get jealous if I wanted to do something with my partner they were doing with another but not me. However, what I would do would depend on the reasons. If they know how important it's to me but don't feel like putting in the effort, that would tell me something quite negative about their priorities. But if they just don't feel like doing it with me (even after trying), then that is how it is, and I certainly can manage/get over the jealousy and be satisfied without that aspect [unless I can't in which case there's a problem regardless of my partner's sex life with others].
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Last edited by rory; 09-10-2012 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:14 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Gala - just wanted to clarify that I'm only referring to established/safe playmates, not some new random guy with handcuffs!
Thanks for the clarify! That gave me the heebiejeebies initially. Whew!

Let me revisit that chunk then.

Quote:
If you’re into D/S play, how do you manage this with having an extremely equal relationship in all other ways? Sometimes it’s hard for either of us to let the other take control because we’re so equal in all other arenas, and both extremely independent people… it’s almost like it’s easier with someone you’re not in such a close partnership with, I’m wondering if others can relate
.

Basically my answer is still basically the same. As a top, bottom or switch? I think it boils down to good negotiation of the scene beforehand to define the play arena and trust in the partner and the partner's skills as to how easily you can let yourself go with them either as a top or a bottom.

We both switch. Also independent. Again, some things are earned. To help set the mood and role for the scene firmly in place? To help build trust?

You could have a putting on of collar or some other "ritual" you do with each other.

Rather than only a safeword you can go colors.
  • Green = all good.
  • Yellow = use caution
  • orange = something in between yellow and red, approaching red limit
  • Red = this feels ugh, change it to something else please
  • Black = Mayday! Game totally over!

There's nothing wrong with topping from the bottom if you are learning each other's styles still and need a little nudge to get the scene to move a bit. Or maybe you just LIKE topping from the bottom!

You can negotiate how to express those things without it taking away from the scene mood or vibe. Look up the "new topping book" or the "new bottoming book" for ideas. Or see FetLife and other resources online.

If you view having topping from the bottom as "bad form" (which I do not think it is) or view it like "not good enough at topping and my bottom has to tell me"... That's not so much about the scene I think as your communication skills, your "think on the spot" skills, and/or your esteem/confidence stuff in self or the other. Either before the scene in negotiation or during the scene or aftercare -- your confidence in your own skills or that of your partner can influence your "let go-ability" with them.

And all those can be learned and honed in time served. It's not going to progress if you don't practice your skills together. Things get earned in time because you keep moving the bar over in tiny increments. The skills grow, the trust grows.

How ARE your aftercare skills for each other? Are they weak? Are those holding you back on full on trust with your partner if you are in subspace? Or are you worried about yourself in topspace?

I had a hard time with this with DH initially and he had a hard time with this with ME. Because I can seem like I am HERE but I really am not. I can talk and answer things and have no recollection. I can also go to the no speech place. He goes to a no feedback zone. Everything is "I'm fine, I'm ok" and I cannot tell if that is true or some kind of mantra so we had to take the time to ID and learn the other "tells" and not rely only on verbal cues.

Also when topping had to learn to ride own leash in topspace and start winding the scene down when the top is at limit whether the bottom is ready or not because a bad judgement mistake from the top could be BAAAAD. Besides... it's the Top saying the game over. Deal with it, Bottom! Ha.

He had to learn to trust I could ride my topspace leash well enough to protect both of us from mistakes. He also had to learn to respect my topspace limit and not egg me on further. I had to learn same about him. There came the eveolution of the "1 snooze tag rule" -- past that, nope. Which led to the habit of the Top pulling back one step before pulling back was really needed. So if the bottom wants the 1 snooze tag, you have the space to grant it safely. Or deny it. Haha.

Again -- takes time to be able to cut totally loose and let go and develop your banter/style together. There's nothing WRONG with it taking time.

HTH!
GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-11-2012 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:19 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Quote:
If you’re kinky, have you found that kink levels decrease as you get closer/cuddly/more emotionally intimate? Or is it more of a “wax and wane” over the course of time?
Definitely wax and wane.
There are times when we're very cuddly and others we're totally kinky. Then there are in between times. It has a lot to do with what is going on in our lives with work, house guests, kids, school etc. But, it never goes away, it does have an ebb and flow.
(same with non-kinky sex actually)

Quote:
Is it often the case that when you meet new sexual partners you direct more extreme sexual behaviour towards them and away from the primary relationship?
Not for me. When I am sexually interested in someone else, I tend to be MORE sexual with my dh. If I am actually sexually involved with someone else-I'm DEFINITELY more sexual with my dh. It's like.... getting it somewhere on puts me in heat for him.

Quote:
Does NRE with others generally lead to less sex between primaries?
I don't handle NRE the way most people I know handle it. My autopilot reaction to NRE (of my own) is to pull away from the entity that is "new and fascinating". I don't allow myself to jump into a sexual or romantic relationship with someone unless NRE has fully abated. So this is moot I think.

Quote:
If you’re into BDSM play, do you have any restrictions on BDSM with others, or does everything go?
Yes. There are restrictions. Some things are ours alone. There is the option to renegotiate every 3 months-but thus far we retain certain things between us.

Quote:
If you’re into D/S play, how do you manage this with having an extremely equal relationship in all other ways? Sometimes it’s hard for either of us to let the other take control because we’re so equal in all other arenas, and both extremely independent people… it’s almost like it’s easier with someone you’re not in such a close partnership with, I’m wondering if others can relate.
We have specified D/s dynamics. So, there are specific things that don't change-for example, which side of him I walk, he always orders the food if we go out to eat, if he sets out an outfit he wants me to wear, I wear it-regardless of the plans for the day. Those remain the same NO MATTER where we are. Making them subtle reminders of our dynamic even in circumstances where I may be "in charge" or whatever.


Quote:
Do you get jealous if your primary does something sexually with another partner you crave and hasn’t happened in a while? Do you talk about it, and how do you do this without them feeling you’re pressuring them into a certain sex act? Or do you just tell yourself it's none of your business because every relationship is different, and you’re glad he’s having fun?
sexual or not. If there is something I long for in our relationship and am not getting-but someone else is getting it-I get emotional.
We definitely talk about it. Because it means that there is a need in our relationship that isn't being met. It isn't pertinent really that someone else is getting it-but that we need to be getting it too.
But-as a rule of thumb-we don't discuss sexual specifics. So, more frequently this would be non-sexual things.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:20 PM
lolalondon lolalondon is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
How ARE your aftercare skills for each other? Are they weak? Are those holding you back on full on trust with your partner if you are in subspace? Or are you worried about yourself in topspace?
It's interesting... we're very good with aftercare, sometimes I love him belting me hard so that he can comfort me after, we've very intimate and tender and intense, it can be beautiful and comforting and exciting all at once.

I think some of my issue is that in two other LTR I had (both mono because of the men involved, never my first choice of relationship model) the sex essentially fizzled out. In the first case it was me who lost interest, in the second case it was him. But perhaps I'm overly cautions in thinking that once something shifts it's the beginning of an inevitable decline. So when the intensity and frequency of BDSM for us decreased I immediately assumed it was the beginning of the end of kink for us, panicked and became demanding, etc. etc.... of course, as soon as I relaxed he started topping happily again, I guess I just made him lose confidence?

It can be hard for me to conceive that what he does with other people has nothing to do with me (e.g. it's his thing, it's not a comment on our relationship) but I'm finally learning, and doing fine. I am also learning to led go of the idea that once something doesn't happen for a while it's somehow gone forever.

It's been really interesting to hear how other people's dynamics play out in this arena. I thought there would be more people directing sexual energy away from the relationship but seems like even after many years people still direct it mostly towards their primaries... though I wonder if that's always the case? I know I do, but don't others get worried about not being shiny new exciting fucktoy any more?
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:23 PM
lolalondon lolalondon is offline
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Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
We have specified D/s dynamics. So, there are specific things that don't change-for example, which side of him I walk, he always orders the food if we go out to eat, if he sets out an outfit he wants me to wear, I wear it-regardless of the plans for the day. Those remain the same NO MATTER where we are. Making them subtle reminders of our dynamic even in circumstances where I may be "in charge" or whatever.
This made me smile because I have a lover who is a dom and when we go out I usually call the shots - I choose the venue and often do the ordering... but as soon as we get home he puts me in my place do other people who know you ever pick up on these reminders when you're out? Or is it very personal to the two of you?
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:33 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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The people closest to us know. People who aren't, generally remain clueless.

There was one interesting dinner, where someone got offended that he ordered for me. I was intrigued and curious how he would handle it-so I kept my mouth shut (but admit to having an eyebrow raised). He basically managed it with telling them that this was OUR relationship and how we choose to manage ordering our food wasn't warranting of their time or attention.

Another time, we had a waitress who was hell bent on getting me to respond. She continuously aimed her questions at me and ignored him. It became necessary for me to tell her that it was my preference for him to place the order. She was royally offended.

A male waiter was bemused. He asked me, I deferred to Dh (with my eyes and a smile). DH ordered, the waiter double checked with me "that works for you?" DH smiled at me and gave me the signal to respond, so I did, telling the waiter with a smile that "yes, yes it does". He nodded and went to put in our order with a smug sort of look. But, he referenced all further questions to my husband the rest of the evening. Very funny.

Mostly though, people don't notice. I also sit on a specified side of him-even if we are in a group of people, and I always sit beside him, not across from him.

I'm not really shy about any of those "viewable" D/s things.
However, we do have an agreement that all bedroom activities remain mine to share or not share about. Meaning-he does not have the privilege of telling other people about anything regarding our D/s behavior that isn't public behavior.
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