Bigger (love) on the Inside

Kink.com Bondage Woman

I have lunch scheduled with a friend for today. He is an old friend from an old life and the last time we talked it was about how one of our close mutual friends had “fallen in with a bad crowd”. What he meant by this was that she was working for Kink.com. I kept quiet. I did not talk about the fact that I had a membership to kink.com, or the fact that ZeeGee and I used it. I did not mention that we had just come out as non-monogamous or that we were kinky. It seemed like more than was fair to dump on him all at once and if I was going to say anything, I was going to say everything.

When it rains, it pours…

I will not do this in half measures. If this is important enough to tell him about, if he is important enough to tell then I am telling him everything. My life is an open book to those I am close enough to. Maybe it is too much for him. He is a good guy with a kind heart and I am not sure if the idea of being cruel, brutal, and controlling are traits he can see without negative connotations. Maybe it is stronger than our friendship.

This is an idea I have been contemplating since before this all began. I have always made friends easily, partially because I am easy-going and willing to listen, and partially because I am willing to talk about what seem to be intimate details of myself. The truth is that I do not consider many of those details intimate and many of the people who were my “friends” are nothing more than acquaintances. When I began to let my inner-self out and I realized that he would not be accepted by most of the people I was associating with, I simply stopped talking to those people. I was not losing something, I was not falling away from real friends because in many cases they did not really know me.

This went for family, and high school friends, and people I met when I first moved to Chicago. They did not know what I was really thinking. I was not losing confidants. I was not losing my secret confessors because I was never telling them secrets, I was never  confessing.

Opening the door to the TARDIS

So he is coming over and I am going to invite him into my house but something will be/is different. I am not going to hold back my thoughts and feelings like I did before. I have come to terms with the fact that I am a monster at times.  I am ok with what I want and who I am. I am also ok with others knowing that. If I have invited you into my house, over my threshold then I feel you can enter into my world. I am not sure what will come of this small experiment in outing myself to my past. Perhaps I will find that this is not what I want. perhaps the world is not ready for my honesty. We will see but in the meantime I have clothes to fold and dishes to wash and all of time and space to explain.

 

PostScript

The meeting went well and all he said to me was, “why didn’t you tell me before?” I told him that I thought he would judge me and he explained that his concerns had always been for how quickly our friend fell in love and had nothing to do with the lifestyle. It was comforting to hear. Not many people understand where any of us are coming from.

 

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The Chronicle of a Newly Minted Master

Original: http://gregorystgermain.tumblr.com/post/30982923852

It has been four years since ZG and I started our first explorations of the power dynamic. Up to then I had no idea that people voluntarily gave up control to others in these types of games and relationship. ZG was reading trashy romance novels where the heroines were strong, brash young things just waiting to be put in their proper places by stronger men. We were on vacation, just the two of us for the first time in years, and in the morning I was feeling horny. She was not and after a little back and forth about who this always seemed to be the case she turned to me and said, “You are in control. You don’t have to stop just because I don’t like it.” It was a revelation for her. She was able to give up control and be used as someone else desired. It took me much longer.

 

When we were young…

That first encounter told me I could use her but at the time I did not understand what was meant by the word “use”. I felt as if it meant that I could roll over onto her in the morning and fuck until I came then I was to  pull out and grab a shower. I thought what I was being offered was nothing more than a warm hole on occasion without the need for foreplay. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of having a fuck toy at your beck and call was alluring even before I knew what that truly meant. I was simply not aware of what that could really entail. What she was really offering me was the ability to use her in any way I wanted. I could fuck her mouth, cunt, ass. I could fold her in half or try and fit both my hands in her ass. I could put my dick so far down her throat she passed out. I could fuck her with bottles or dildos. It meant things I did not even know were things (suturing and genitorture) and things I could not even imagine liking (rape and watersports). What I was being offered was a new way of looking at the very foundation of relationships. What I did not know then was that what ZG was offering me was a way of gaining control of my life that I had thought was not possible.

I am an observational learner. I have to see something happen to understand it. I could not pick up a book on being a dominant or master and read about the ins and outs of power exchange. I had to see the interaction, watch people control and be controlled. I had to try and fail and try again and fail again until I was comfortable. I started with simple D/s and tried to define it as something that happened in the bedroom only. ZG and I were an egalitarian couple and I was afraid that even though she said she wanted it, I was going to end of fucking things up by pushing this too hard. D/s was not enough for us and we struggled to build this new dynamic on the constantly shifting sands of uncertainty. She did not know what she wanted. I did not know what I wanted and more importantly neither of us knew what we wanted.

It has been four years now and I am starting to understand what I want more. I can see what is available in the way of relationships and control. When you have someone who gives of herself so completely, the way they dress, the way they act, the way they sleep and eat, you begin to feel like you have a place in her life. I like having that place. It makes me secure to exert control to that level. A submissive is willing to give of themselves to a point. There is always an implied veto where they can say no to a command if they feel it is too unreasonable and it will not destroy the relationship. A slave does not make that distinction. They give themselves so completely. There is no thought to saying no. This is comforting because it means you can focus on making decisions not figuring out how to make the decision stick. It also means that you have to choose your path with a level of intent and meaning you would not have to have if it were a D/s paradigm. That person who has given everything she is to you must be taken care of. she must be handled in a way that watches out for her because she is putting her faith in you in a way that is pure. It is a lot of pressure but it is also an amazingly liberating way of living.

 

So things change, people change, interest rates…

I do not have the relationship I wanted with ZG. We talk about it now and again and both agree it was a pipe dream to think we could have it. We were not the same people when we met. We did not know what was out there, what we wanted, who we were. It is sad to see things change when you can still remember the good times. It seems so easy to think back and see how you got where you are and feel that maybe, just maybe you can retrace your steps and try again. You can’t. Time is a path we walk down backwards. You cannot go back. You cannot know what you have learned. You can only hope you learn from the past and work to be a better person from what you learned. I hope that I know myself better now. I hope I understand what I need better and the things I did before that let my past relationship slip through my fingers. It saddens me to lose something that meant so much but I will not let that get in the way of me making things better for me and mine.

 

PS – I have been thinking about the idea of ownership because of this but will leave that for another post.

Sunday

ZG and I are separating. It has been a long time in coming or is a sudden change brought about by the actions of a few short minutes. It really depends on your perspective. It is not how I hoped it would be. I do not feel good about and the sadness that is filling the air these days is almost too much to bare. In the end it will be ok. We will all be ok. These are the honest lessons of this life we lead. It is neither good nor bad, it just is.

I still think we should have taught the class on polyamory. The five of us in the chaos that is our lives could have had a round table discussion to explore the dangers, the benefits, the ideals and the realities of living like this. Is it worth it? Does it work? The verdict is still out. No one said it was going to be easy.

Is it worth it? Is the attempt to hold multiple relationships of that level together worth it? That is question for each person to answer individually. I think so. For me the love you feel for different people is worth the pain that it may cause. Then again, maybe I am just a glutton for punishment. The pain can be intense. The loneliness that you can find in a crowd is almost too much but I know that none of us meant to hurt the others. We are human, we have human flaws and those flaws give us the remarkable ability to implode and explode and cause collateral damage.

But we grow. We change and try to become better people, deciphering the difference between the wants brought about by self-doubt and fear of change and the needs of the soul that unconsciously starves. The journey is not over, in fact this seems to be some of the darkest days but I do not regret heading out in this direction. I have found pieces of myself that I would have never found otherwise.

Letting Go

My youngest son has always been a challenge to punish. You could not take away his favorite toy or blanket because before he had learned his lesson he had given up on holding on to whatever it was that you took. If you sat him in a corner he would find ways of entertaining himself. The boy is unphased by change and has learned to appreciate what he has no matter how little or how much that is. It is a good lesson for the rest of us. Let go of the temporal and embrace the present.

Life is in flux now. Change seems more prevalent than ever before. I know this is not entirely true, we are surrounded by constant and never-ending change. Still it feels like there is more change swirling around me now. As I sit here smoking and reflecting on all that is different now from just a few short weeks ago I am reminded of my little sage’s philosophy. Holding on to that which has passed or what was not only fills you with regret and doubt, it makes you miss what is right in front of you. This blindness to the present good only creates more regret in the future. We should let go, experience the movement of life and embrace what gives us joy. Love what you had but not at the expense of what you have.

Symbolism

ZG and I have had an open relationship for about 8 months now, and while that is not a long time (especially compared to the 10 years we spent in monogamy) it has been an amazing time of growth for each of us as individuals and for us as a couple. We have had ups and downs, talked of compersion and played with jealousy. We have argued and made up and in the end are closer today than we could have ever been before. Our learning is far from over, but I don’t think anyone would argue that we have experienced a great metamorphosis in this time. As we near our tenth anniversary of marriage this coming October, we felt that there must be something we could do to symbolize this change and this growth. So, without ceremony (as we’ve done most things in the time we’ve known each other), we casually decided the other day that we would move our wedding bands from our left hands to our right.

I had been thinking about wedding rings for a few weeks now. One of the joys of having an open relationship is that I am now “available” again. I find myself looking at women’s hands all the time, looking for rings at the grocery store and at work, when picking up the kids from summer camp and talking to other parents. I am, after all, an objectifier, looking at people as a collection of pieces, and the left hand specifically had become a new focal point for me. It was a place to start. If a cute teacher at the gremlins’ school had a ring then there was really no point in flirting, now was there? As I became aware of myself doing this I also became more aware of my own ring. I began to wonder how it was that I could explain my forward behavior if I was wearing a ring on my finger. The whole “we have an open marriage” schtick has been ruined by infidelitous jackasses and just seems hollow. On the flip side, removing the ring is not an option because it is symbolically shortchanging the very thing that is most important to me in my life. I am very much a happily married man, and not only am I unafraid to show people this, but think that it is important that anyone I meet knows this. I am looking to get to know people, to date and have fun, and yes possibly to even fuck people, but that is not to say that I am looking to forsake what I have with ZG. So I found myself stuck in a place of looking for unattached fingers, while very conspicuously wearing my own ring. I was a living paradox.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the living room…
…ZG was having the same thoughts. Our opening up has had a very clear evolution to it. It started with play partners and then moved to having more emotional connections to play partners, to toying with the ideas of “dating” for more than just the sex of it. It was only a matter of time before we moved into the realm of looking at the people that we met in our everyday lives as potential partners. So while I was checking out the ass on the newest member of our accounting team, ZG was trying to casually note whether the good-looking new guy in her office was wearing a ring.

As with most things in our shared lives, we started to talk about this conundrum while on a recent road trip (sans children). When talking about all the nuances of this particular philosophical question, ZG made the recommendation of simply moving the rings from the left hand to the right. It was such an elegant, simple thing. It was something we could do right then, while driving. There was nothing special needed, no ceremony, no special contract or ring or other piece of jewelry. It was a small gesture that could mean something special, something that we wanted it to mean. This was not the end of our old relationship nor was it the beginning of a new relationship, but it was a moment, a threshold, a mile marker in the life of our relationship. It was a moment that needed to be marked in some way, but in a way that neither attempted to replace the past or create a new future.

At first it was an odd feeling. The indentation on my ring finger is very pronounced and the weight of the ring on my right hand seems odd. I am not a jewelry wearer so I am acutely aware of the movement of my one piece. I had developed some habits and quirks around my ring. I would tap it on hard surfaces, I spin it, generally play with it absent-mindedly when nervous. These are the little things that constantly remind me of the move. This may seem like a sad thing, that I am noticing the fact that it is missing but that is not it at all. Every time I feel for my ring on my left hand I am reminded of the fact that we have moved it, I a reminded that our relationship has evolved and grown. I am reminded in a very real and tangible way that we are more complex and complete in our relationship today than ever before.The movement has me thinking about my ring and subsequently my marriage more than I used to. This symbolism is perfect because it is the opening up of our relationship that has made ZG and I think about our lives together more than we ever did when we were monogamous.

For us, this simple symbolic gesture has been a perfect marker of the evolution of our relationship. We are as strong as ever, but are constantly evolving and growing to learn more about ourselves and each other, something that has made us happier and more complete. To me, I can’t think of a better reason for a right-hand ring.