28 February 2014

Anonymous asks about "rules" within short & long-term open relationships



Anonymous asked:
Do you have rules with your significant others about what is allowed with other partners? I guess I'm thinking of your longer term relationships like Butterfly Boy but I'm also curious how this works with Sir.

Dear Anonymous:

Honest communication and clearly defined boundaries are imperative to making any relationship work, whether that relationship is platonic, romantic, sexual, monogamous or non. These things become even more important when multiple partners or any sort of power exchange dynamic is involved. 
The "rules" vary from relationship to relationship, and person to person. Even within one relationship things will evolve and change as time goes on and trust develops. 

The one constant is safety, physical and emotional. 

While both are important, I tend to place a little more emphasis on the physical--- a misunderstanding is much easier to mend and bounce back from than an unwanted pregnancy or an STI, so safer sex practices are always a requirement. 

I feel I have to point out the importance of discussing what, exactly, "safer sex" means to you and your partners-- particularly if you are fluid-bonded. We're all grown-ups here and we know that sex can be risky, but most of us take calculated risks. I don't know anyone who uses dental dams every time they go down on a girl or give a rim-job, or who uses condoms for every blow-job. Should we? Ideally, probably, but most of us don't. Do your research, discuss, and make informed decisions with your partner about what activities and measures work for both of you.

Whew! Being a responsible adult is hard work, right? And that was the "easy" part...

Now, beyond the physical safety factors, within a long-term romantic relationship (as with Butterfly Boy) the "rules" are made to support and maintain trust. I prefer full-disclosure: crushes, potential lovers, pre-date announcements, post-date debriefings (tee hee). Some people prefer not to know details beyond the fact that their partner has other lovers, but what I have found is that when things are left to the imagination, well, the imagination runs wild. "We hung out" could be tea and Scrabble or it could be a 10 person orgy--- I'd rather just know which. Besides, story-time is sexy. I like hearing other people's stories and adventures; things they've done or tried that might inspire my new misadventures. 

For my partners at least, anything goes, as long as the honest communication, full-disclosure, and safety factors are there. I prefer to meet their lovers, but don't require it. I know a lot of women don't like to feel like "the other woman" and even if they know the affair is sanctioned, most of them won't feel comfortable meeting me. One thing for which I am a stickler, is respect. They must be respectful of me and my relationship with my partner. Likewise, if any of my other lovers even hint at a lack of respect for my primary partner (can we please come up with a better term for that, already?), it's over. 


Sir was a whole other story. We are no longer involved, but while we were, it was strictly a D/s dynamic rather than a romantic relationship. We did sort of "date" for a couple of months at first, but we were incompatible as romantic partners. That is not to say there wasn't affection, trust, or respect (those are required in abundance for healthy power exchange!), but he was certainly not a "boyfriend". 
Because of the power exchange dynamic, there were more structured rules. As his submissive, I willingly gave him control over certain aspects of my behaviour, my body, and my sexuality. Because of the platonic nature of our dynamic (and the fact that we both adamantly believe in non-monogamy), I was free to date and play with others, but always remembering that he was my Sir and I was his girl. When I became his sub, I gave him sole control and ownership of my orgasms. While playing with others, I was allowed to orgasm-- but only after asking for and being granted permission by those other lovers, sort of a temporary transfer of ownership, if you will. That was actually at my request/suggestion. It served to remind me of my training, remind me that my orgasms no longer belonged to me, and that even while playing with others, I still belonged to Sir.
 I was definitely not allowed to wear my collar while playing with anyone else, though I was allowed to call other lovers "sir" if engaging in kinky play, merely as a respectful form of address. There were certain other little personal rituals and terms that were reserved just for us. 
The one thing that was absolutely off-limits was my ass. My bottom could get spanked or flogged all day long if I wanted, but there was no kind of anal penetration allowed--- no tongues, fingers, plugs, cocks, nothing...I wasn't even allowed to wear my kitty-tail plug.
The kitten play was the only area where we initially disagreed. My kitten side is something I only recently started exploring in earnest, thanks to Sir. As it's primarily a non-sexual thing for me, I wanted to explore that type of play with others as well. When I first brought it up, he was a bit hurt, I think. It was the only thing we explored that was new to both of us and that may have made him feel somewhat proprietary about it. Given how difficult it was at first for me to even admit I was into it, he was surprised I would want to explore it with others so soon. He eventually conceded, though. 

That brings me back to the very first thing I mentioned: honest communication. You have to openly express your needs and wants, discuss them, and make rules that work for everyone involved. Then stick to them! Also be aware that those rules will change as you and your relationship or dynamic change. When the old rules no longer apply or they aren't working, they have to be re-assessed and re-negotiated. The other tricky thing about rules is that you can't plan for every eventuality. You can't spend so much time creating rules for your relationship that you don't have time to have a relationship. How boring! 
Things will come up, mistakes will be made-- just be a grown-up. 
If it was an honest mistake, discuss it, resolve it, and put rules in place to avoid repeating it. 
If it's a blatant disregard or "creative interpretation" of your agreements, it may be time to re-consider that particular relationship.

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl


P.S. Have a question for me? Click here to send me your anonymous queries.




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