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Old 10-01-2011, 07:52 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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A note to start... this isn't about poly and I will absolutely not mind if anyone skips right on over it and starts reading again when I've gotten back to talking about the lovely folks in my signature line.

As I've gotten more comfortable on this blog and on this board, I've started to speak more specifically and more freely about my life. As anyone who's ever lived in any kind of closet can attest, it's hard to be honest and open in general if you're always holding back about some aspect of yourself. And besides, this is an anonymous forum on the internet... why should I censor myself?

So I've begun speaking here and there about D/s -- domination and submission. D/s means one partner giving control to another in some way, great or small, sexual or otherwise, short term or long term. D/s has been an important part of my internal landscape for a long time, and it has played a role in some of my relationships, though by no means all.

When I began mentioning D/s more here, I worried that some people might be confused or even disturbed, but I figured, hey, this is my blog, this is an anonymous message board, we're all adults who can accept relationship constructs that are outside of the mainstream (otherwise what would we be doing on a poly website), so, again, why hold back?

However, it's come to my attention on another thread that some people do, in fact, find at least some D/s practices confusing, disturbing, or even, "pathological" even if the partners are consenting, safe and respectful. Sad face.

So, I decided to write more about it here. I had a mental image that made me laugh of me leaving the other thread and saying "If anyone needs me I'll be on my blog" like a kid walking away in a huff and yelling that they'll be in their room. Heh.

So. Why D/s? Well.

When I was a young teenager I started secretly reading my mom's romance novels. I read a bunch, and in one in particular a woman is kidnapped and made a man's sexual slave before she's rescued by her handsome and daring lover. And I found I was really, really stuck on the whole "sexual slave" thing. I mean, I *was* a precocious kid, but this was middle school and there I was daydreaming in class about what I can now recognize as elaborate BDSM fantasies. Not exactly normal I guess, but then I've never seen "normal" as something to strive for.

I imagined, without the vocabulary to really describe it, that when I was grown up and had a partner, we would take turns. I would live for a year as his or her slave and then we'd switch and he or she would live for a year as my slave. Just to try it out, see which we liked best. It seemed simple and obvious to me then. It wasn't just a sex thing, though sex was included. Without ever having read about the BDSM lifestyle, or power exchange, or 24/7 D/s, I'd imagined it and I knew what I wanted.

As I grew older I drew back from these ideas. Sure, I knew I had kink in my heart, but I could and did vigorously enjoy vanilla sex and relationships, and I recognized, correctly, that my innocent dreams were a LOT more complicated and intense in real life than I had taken into account. So, I didn't really pursue it beyond occasional play in the bedroom.

Still, I read things... Anne Rice's Exit to Eden and her Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, for example. Both stories absolutely captivated me. And I found that I got a special sort of happiness when I saw queer love depicted in the media, when I saw poly love depicted, and when I saw D/s love depicted. I felt a special bond with those ideas, and a knowledge that, whether I chose a path that led me to them or not, they were part of my identity.

Then there was Gia. Ah, Gia. My story with her is chronicled here, of course. She, Eric and I did some kink stuff in the bedroom but not much, really... mostly we just had hot vanilla sex but with three people. But when we *did* do BDSM stuff, even just a little (tying up, holding down), I felt especially excited and drawn to her and connected to her.

Then, about a year into our relationship, we were all at a week long camping event. We were camped with some veeery kinky people, so kink was on my mind. And my roommates had recently made kink a bigger part of their marriage, so kink was, again, on my mind. And I found myself thinking about how much I wanted to call Gia "My Lady" and how much I wanted to serve her and do whatever she told me to do and just be owned by her. But I wasn't sure how or when to share those desires.

One night, we were all sitting around a campfire. Gia was sitting on a wooden bench and I had settled at her feet. I had some lotion with me and I was rubbing her feet and then kissing her feet and I felt so ecstatic and fulfilled and perfect. But then she pulled away and I didn't know whether it was because she was uncomfortable and didn't like what was happening or whether it was for some other reason. I got positively frantic inside. I couldn't take not knowing. I'd gone from extreme positive to extreme negative and it showed me just how much I craved that dynamic with her. It wasn't a foot fetish thing, it was the idea of service, of being below her, of giving myself over to taking care of her needs and letting her lead me as she saw fit.

At the next opportunity to get her alone I took her aside and we talked about it. I told her how much I wanted to sub to her and she told me she wanted to try her hand at domming with me but was a bit intimidated by the idea. I figured, no problem, we can go slow.

Then she got pregnant and, well, things changed. Slow became stop, and that was about a year ago now.

But let's back up.

I got so frustrated, about all of it. I came here to talk some of it out, and I also joined my friend JD on a trip to a bondage club. JD was a regular there, but I had never been to such a place and wasn't sure it was for me.

It was there I met Harry. We talked for a while, with others around, snacking in the non-dungeon area. I felt drawn to him, and like I could trust him, and I was curious, so... I asked if he wanted to try some of the interesting implements I'd seen on me. He said yes, and that was how I ended up being bound and publicly flogged, paddled and spanked (all by him) for the first time. It was intense, and not all of it was strictly pleasurable, but the pain made his hands gently brushing against my back feel *so* soothing afterwards. I was enraptured and, to his surprise, I ended up taking him to a private area and blowing him that night. Yum!

We ended up becoming friends after that and seeing each other regularly. He would dominate me and fuck me and I would rub his back then we would talk and get some food and watch a movie.

I wish you all could meet Harry. He's Canadian, and the sweetest, most straightforward and helpful guy you could meet. He's talented, competent, confident yet has vulnerability that he let's you see as you get closer to him. Since he was a kid, he's had visions of bound women with him in charge. He's in no way macho or controlling outside of D/s play. But he lives to help women discover and explore their wildest, darkest fantasies. He loves to create a safe space where they can give him control and he can take them on journeys. He seeks out intelligent, assertive, even dominant women who want to submit to him, and he sees "Master" as a part of his core identity. He tried to give it all up once for a woman he loved who wasn't into it. He lived without that part of himself, and without poly, in a mono, vanilla marriage for 3 years. Ultimately he was miserable and had to leave. This last year he's been coming back into himself and it's beautiful to see.

Harry and I never really got this far in practice, but we discussed the idea of taking D/s outside of the bedroom and then some. Me, say, polishing his shoes, him playing with me psychologically. Maybe for just a day he could put a collar and we'd go out together and he'd own me and I'd do whatever he said. Power exchange.

I was interested in finally, finally, trying out some of my long-held imaginings in real life, but I wasn't ready to go there with him, especially since I worried that I was exploring these things with him in no small part because what I really wanted and couldn't have was to explore them with Gia... like in a way it wasn't really about him and I'd be using him if I let us get in too deep.

Then I commited to Davis and stepped back from Harry and yadda yadda you know that story. (continued)
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Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.
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  #202  
Old 10-01-2011, 08:00 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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(continued)
Still... *why* D/s? Well, I don't know. Why sex, why love. It's a part of me. It's an urge, an urge that I can find answered in others who joyfully respond and give back the energy I give them. It is, to me, beautiful.

Maybe why is not quite the right question, as it doesn't seem likely to elicit anything that will help someone understand. What is the attraction for me of submission? Not kinky bedroom play, since that seems more obvious to many people, but the submission of my will to the will of another.

As Red Hot Chili Peppers says in their song Universally Speaking, "nothing better than love and service." And, for me, that couldn't be more true. I've been employed all my professional life in non-profit and government service, working on issues I care about. When I'm passionate about something I volunteer and try to spread the word. I am discriminating, it's not like I serve purely as an abstract ideal. Rather, I serve the things I love... the places, the ideas, and the people I love. One of those people I love is myself, and I strive to take good care of myself and serve my own needs. But I relish helping my friends and loved ones too.

I know that for others it's different, and maybe I will in time find other motivations myself for taking on D/s roles. But at least at this point in my life and at least regarding submission, for me it's all about service -- a natural extension of how I live in all areas of my life. I dream of serving someone I love. Not so much as a slave per se but as a highly devoted personal servant... sort of like a retainer, a handmaiden or a samurai.

In the right context, with the right person and enough trust and alignment of desires, I could envision making my dream of yore -- total power exchange as an experiment for a set duration of time -- a reality.

In the end, I can describe D/s but I don't know that I can "explain" it. I think that for those people to whom it makes no sense it will probably never really make sense. And that's ok. What I ask of the world is not understanding (although it's awesome when I find it!), but acceptance. You don't need to understand how a woman could love another woman romantically, you just have to accept that I do and that it doesn't make me wrong or bad or criminal. Similarly, no one needs to understand why I'm poly or why I'm kinky. As long as they can see that it's fulfilling me and my partners and not hurting us, then all I ask is to not be judged negatively for it.

Yes, it's hard to do right, yes it takes special rules to ensure everyone's health, safety and happiness, yes it's intense. Don't care, it's still awesome, it's still my choice, it's still "equal" (in that as much is received as is given), it's still sensitive to the needs of all involved, and it's still beautiful.

And that's it! My D/s manifesto.

Tl;dr version: Kink is awesome and I've liked it since forever and ain't nothin wrong with it.

Also, here's a great article on what you need to make a 24/7 D/s dynamic work:
http://sexgeek.wordpress.com/2010/07...247-ds-and-ms/
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Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.
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  #203  
Old 10-01-2011, 08:19 AM
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rory rory is offline
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Thank you for writing this. I enjoy BDSM in sexual context, but I haven't really understood it in 24/7. I've obviously always accepted it, since I rarely see my not understanding something as grounds for judging it. But your text makes me understand it a whole lot more. Actually, it makes me wonder, if I would like to try something like that outside of bedroom for a short period of time. You never know until you try, right, and after reading your post I can definitely see some of the draw of it.
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  #204  
Old 10-01-2011, 08:42 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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That's so cool to hear, Rory.

Something from Franklin Veaux of xeromag.com (I am going to marry this man's writing style...), that covers the issue of respect and the issue of "what are the benefits":

"Respect for your lover is not just in behaving according to some ideal about the way "men are supposed to treat women" or whatever. Respect for your lover lies in exploring with your lover, creating with your lover, doing with your lover those things that you and your lover wish to do, sharing yourself on a very deep level with your lover... It's reflected in everything you say, do, express, feel, and think with your lover.

Different people want, need, and value different things. Respect recognizes those differences. And above all else, respect is an integral part of the mutual process of self-exploration and self discovery.

Now hold on a minute, kink-boy. We're talking about kinky S&M here, not Buddhism. What do you mean, "self exploration?"

Just that.

BDSM is a very broad term that encompasses many wildly different practices, and many wildly different beliefs. But central to all these things is the idea of challenging boundaries and testing limits--and that's precisely what self-exploration is all about.

You cannot know your limits if you never test them and never explore them. You may know some general things, but you can't truly know yourself if you have never explored and never experimented. As Francis Bacon wrote, Your true self can be known only by systematic experimentation, and controlled only by being known.

BDSM provides a context and a set of tools for exploring your own personal boundaries in a safe, fun, enjoyable, and mutually reciprocal way. It provides a vehicle by which you can get to know yourself and your lover much more deeply and intimately than you might have thought possible. And hey, you often find along the way that you can be surprised! You probably have turn-ons that you don't even know you have, and you will never discover without exploration.

And that, my friend, can truly enrich your life and the life of your lover.

When it comes right down to it, if your goal is self-knowledge and personal enlightenment, I put six months in a BDSM relationship up there with three years in a Tibetan monastery any day."

-- http://www.xeromag.com/fvbdsm.html
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Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.
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  #205  
Old 10-01-2011, 02:01 PM
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Thanks for the Sexgeek article, it was really helpful!
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  #206  
Old 10-02-2011, 04:30 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Thanks for the Sexgeek article, it was really helpful!
You're welcome, I'm glad it was of use to you!
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Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.
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  #207  
Old 10-02-2011, 06:16 AM
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Little things.

I remember this very clearly, about a month ago. I mentioned to Gia and Eric that I have a spot of nirvana whenever I can sleep in a bit and then have my eggs and coffee in the morning before starting my day. As I said it, I saw what looked like a quick, wordless communication between their eyes. I thought it was cool that I'd caught it, like their glance was a little, innocent secret I'd overheard. And sure enough, the last two times (one of which was today) that I came to their place early in the morning, there were eggs and coffee warm and ready to be shared. This time it was a lovely omelette with cheese and ham.

Today, I gave G&E&B a ride to a festival where we spent the day together (Davis had originally been planning to go too but had to cancel, and my roommates were there but we didn't really see them). When I got there I realized I'd forgotten my ATM card and had no cash! Gia handed me the money in her pocket, so I was able to get all the cider and snacks I wanted. They shared their food with me throughout the day, and Eric gave me extra cash to get more coffee at the end of the day.

Gia gave me two small presents today -- stuff she'd picked up while out shopping for other things, I think. They suited me well and made me smile.

I love to do things to get Bee to laugh and smile. He likes it when I stick out my tongue at him. I can change him quickly and I can calm him down just about as well as Gia and Eric can. They seem to trust me with him completely at this point.

When we got back from the festival I was sleepy, and I laid down on G&E's bed while they cooked and hung out with our friend Dan who was visiting. I fell asleep and woke back up when Gia came into the room to grab something. She told me to rest and that she'd wake me when food was ready.

Gia and I kissed today, warmly and repeatedly, on four occasions, three of which were in public. Two of the public ones were when we were parting ways, even if only briefly. The one in private was when I was leaving their house for the night. And the other one in public was at the festival, when she held up a decorative bridle to me and said, playfully, "now you can't get away" (as if she was going to put it on me). Um, sexy!! I didn't quite lunge at her but I moved to her without thinking and kissed her and she kissed me back and she was smiling.

I hugged Eric goodbye tonight and kissed the back of his neck and ruffled his hair. These sorts of gestures from me to him used to stand out to me, even scare me, but now it's just a regular thing. He hugs me back and he touches me here and there at other times when we're all together, puts a reassuring hand on my arm, squeezes my shoulder, brushes my back, in ways I don't think he did so casually before.

It's just been such a wonderful day.

All that agonizing I did a while back about "family", wondering whether or not I should talk to them about the concept. And now, I feel like family is happening on its own, in small increments and slight shifts, realignments and relaxings.

Love them, love them.
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Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.

Last edited by AnnabelMore; 10-02-2011 at 06:31 AM.
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  #208  
Old 10-04-2011, 05:19 PM
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I've been thinking of putting up photos of Gia, Bee, and Davis above my computer at work. Ha ha, I am a crazy rebel.

Before anyone asks, I thought about putting up a photo of Eric too and decided that until I know my feelings are reciprocated, either on the love thing or the family thing or both, it would just make me feel weird, like I was crossing a line.
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  #209  
Old 10-06-2011, 02:54 AM
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In bed, listening to Ben Folds, drinking red wine and eating little circles of dark chocolate. Feeling quiet, still, sad.

Davis and I have had some really solid times together recently. Good conversations, good sex. I like best those chaste and sweet times when we're falling asleep or just waking up. We wrap around each other, hold each other. Safe. I feel wholly and unreservedly comfortable with him. He knows me, he trusts me, I know him, I trust him. Completely. He's solid and warm and dear to me. He's my best friend.

But too often, when we're hanging out other times, I find myself asking uncomfortable questions of myself and not having any good answers. I feel bored or annoyed with him, I feel like I could be making better use of my time, I wonder what the hell I'm doing.

Like, for instance, I'll ask him how his day was... he's in between contracts at work, so he has all day free... and he'll say he was bored. And I just boggle at that. Life is so big and exciting and there's never enough time to do even a part of all I want to do. And he's bored. How can he be bored? Do I really want to be partnered with someone so boring that he can't figure out how not to be bored when he has all the time in the world to play with, to grow in?

I talked to him about it all, just a little bit, the other day... about feeling uneasy, about not being sure if I wanted to move in together. He said he understood, but that he thought he would need some commitment and stability in the next 6 to 12 months. We left things up in the air, but I don't think he knows I'm so unsure about our relationship itself and I haven't figured out if I can/should tell him yet.

I told Gia today, over instant message, that I was having these doubts about my relationship with Davis. She said that she could see he and I working together, and that she wants me to "have a full-time partner" for her "own selfish reasons" (she's fretted about neglecting me before), but that she'd like to hear more about my worries. Hopefully we'll have time in the next couple of days... I think talking to her will help.

I want Davis as my best friend and my lover. I'd be happy to have him here with me now to hold and be held as we fall asleep. I just think less and less that I want him him to be my life partner. And I think it's going to come down to all or nothing. The thought leaves me feeling washed out and toneless. I wish it all just fit and worked the way it seems like it should.
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  #210  
Old 10-07-2011, 04:03 PM
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Safe. I feel wholly and unreservedly comfortable with him. He knows me, he trusts me, I know him, I trust him. Completely. He's solid and warm and dear to me. He's my best friend.
Is there passion in the mix? I think one of the greatest things about having dear friends is that you can have totally committed, loving, sometimes even sexual relationships that lack the couple's dynamic. There's less of the whole OMG-where are we going-what will our relationship look like in ten years-is this what I want-do I really have what it takes-are we compatible in the long run-is somebody feeling neglected-are everyone's needs met-blahblahblaa in solid friendships, I think. Many good friendships, even loving ones, would be totally ruined if you force them into a couply mold.

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He said he understood, but that he thought he would need some commitment and stability in the next 6 to 12 months.
This actually worries more than any passing feelings of boredom and annoyance. Just that I don't think you should make any lasting commitments unless your hand with Gia is played through, and you see what sort of form your relationship with her will take post-Bee. I'm worried that otherwise Davis will take more of a role of a consolation price (at least that's how Gia seems to see him).

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...she wants me to "have a full-time partner" for her "own selfish reasons" (she's fretted about neglecting me before)...
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
I just think less and less that I want him him to be my life partner. And I think it's going to come down to all or nothing.
Wouldn't that be better for everyone included? If Davis is mono, he will be wanting a life-partner of his own that really puts him on top of their list. Keeping him hanging on as it were might be giving all the wrong signals, and he would be left hoping that eventually you come around and are willing to take the final step and seal the deal.

Or I could be totally of the mark and you just need to give it time.
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