CN: Kink, power dynamics, explicit sexual content
23. What, if any, involvement have you had with any groups or organizations? How did you find them?
I have had some involvement with groups on Facebook. I am even a moderator for a small private book club.
One of the general local poly groups I have been involved with since they had about 350 people and now they have over 1000 members. Amazing to see it grow and split and change over the years. Interesting to see people come and go. I have had a lot of time to assess my place in the group and rethink whether I still want to be part of it – I do, but the arguments in favor of that have become weaker over the last couple years. The strongest argument in favor being that I would not have met Diplomat or June, may not have met Lola, wouldn’t have gotten to know Star or Sparkles much more than tangentially, and none of that is cool by me. I also belong to a number (and moderate one) subgroup of this big group – it broke into subgroups, like the Catholic Church, awhile back, and everyone seems to be better off for it.
Another (not specifically poly, but definitely non-monogamous) group I belong to, is, well, X-rated. It is a group that organizes sex parties/orgies a few times a year, about 60% of which I go to. It is a great place to go and see pictures of cute people (sometimes even naked) and to organize sexually oriented events. I joined this group when it was first forming and had gone to one event before that fact (my first official sex party), but no one (unless they met me individually) seems to remember me – I had a couple people (including a moderator) ask if it was my first event with them. I got a bit of a shocked reaction when I told them it was actually my fifth (Fourth? Can’t remember) with them. Am I really that forgettable? Or is a matter of not being an extrovert, so I don’t really stand out? I don’t know.
22. A majority of non-monogamous people are also kinky – what are your thoughts on kink?
I definitely identify as kinky – generally I say I’m a sadistic switch. In a little bit more detail:
Bondage – switch (I burnt out on bottoming to hard core rope stuff, especially more decorative stuff, and I like topping more practical rope-work than pretty)
Discipline – not actually sure, probably bottom-leaning switch
Dominance/submission – switch
Sadism/masochism – I get more mental pleasure out of sadism, but I enjoy pain as a sensation (it’s more a sensation play thing to me).
I enjoy sensation play (other than super cold – that’s kind of a nope due to circulatory issues), both topping and bottoming. I like both topping and bottoming wax play, and bottoming to cupping.
I really like struggle play/play wrestling – not sure there’s actually a top and bottom for that.
I like sensory deprivation boxes. I could be very comfortable in one of those for a very long time, as long as it was well padded with something inoffensive.
I like bottoming to flogging and other impact play – I cannot top heavy duty flogging due to a shoulder injury, but other impact play is not off limits to top.
There’s more, but I think that’s enough for now.
21. Thoughts on fluid bonding?
My definition goes beyond sexual fluid exchange and into blood and other bodily fluids.
I am super picky about fluid bonding. I have been fluid bonded with two partners in my life and for both I required testing before we did that, even though we had been sexing for awhile, and I plan on continuing that testing requirement.
I will not do it before the six month mark – that is the absolute minimum. I need to have that time to figure out if I have absolute trust with my partner, their safer sex pratices, and their communication standard. Giving it six months also gives more time for some of the NRE to wear off, so we are both relatively sane (it’s all relative) when making the decision to forgo barriers.
I need to also have faith in my method of birth control. For the first time, we only ever occasionally exchanged fluids, so I wasn’t super concerned, even though being on the pill made me nervous about this. With the other, I already had my Mirena IUD and I have great faith in that, so that wasn’t really a concern.
If there’s any breaches in sexual practices – whether that be an STD/STI worry, a trust issue, a consent issue, or a problematic (for a variety of reasons) outside partner – then it is time to go back to using barriers until the issue is resolved, then talk again about whether we want to go back to being fluid bonded.
20. What, if any, agreements do you and your partners have about sex?
For safer sex practices I will always have a conversation before anything beyond kissing goes on. I try to make a point to talk about what people’s expectations about the knowledge they want about my sex with other partners early on in any relationship – usually after we’ve had sex at least a few times and are starting to get a rhythm going in our lives.
My general philosophy is that I will use the highest protection level of the people involved (myself and whoever I want to be sexing).
I will ask any potential sexual partner about their latest STD test results – when they were, any new partners since then (and their results, if needed), and if there was anything of concern. I require partners (and will ask for their potential new partner, if it comes up) to test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HSV (both 1 and 2), and HIV. HSV1 is agreed upon to be a non-issue within my group.
For me, personally, I use condoms (internal/female or external/male) with any penis-having partner for any non-oral penetration, if we have not agreed and tested for fluid bonding. I do not require condoms to give oral sex or dental dams to receive it. I will always use condoms on penetrative toys and external toys that may come in contact with bodily fluids, mine or someone else’s. The former is an always – it makes clean up so much easier, the latter is toy dependent. Since I have nails now, I will use gloves with any manual penetration unless I am told that scratching is not a problem and I have quick and easy access to running water, soap, and a nail brush (partially a safer sex thing, partially a “I can’t stand things under my nails” thing). This last one – I prefer to use gloves, but this is not a dealbreaker. If my partner has longer nails, I would prefer if they also used gloves for manual penetration.
As for individual deals with partners about what they do and don’t want to know: one partner does not care about knowing about sexual partners unless he has met them or something goes wrong, the other two would like to know, but have different times as to when they would prefer to know. If one of my partners has questions about any given encounter, I am up for answering them, but I try not to go into lurid details, because that’s not my style, in general. As for safer sex practices, mine are the most restrictive, so those are the ones used.
18. How do you define “sex”?
In general, acts performed by at least one party in an interaction with the intention of causing orgasm for one or more other parties, with the consent of all the parties involved. For me, intention matters more than act. A person has an orgasm in the middle of an intense kink scene that doesn’t involve any expectation of sex – not sex. The same person has an orgasm in the middle of a kink scene where there was the intention to cause orgasm in some way, shape, or form for any party involved (not counting bystanders) – definitely sex, at least for one party.
What about cases where the intention was unknown or unclear?
If it was me personally, I will generally assume that that was not the intention, until I have the chance to clear with the other party or parties involved and I definitely will want to clarify it, if it is at all positive.
What about if only one party had an orgasm or if only one party was acting on another, without expectation of reciprocation and no intent on another party’s part to induce orgasm?
Technically both parties could claim that they had sex. The acting party could put up a decent case that they didn’t have sex with the acted upon party, as no one acted upon them (assuming two parties involved). This is mostly up to the parties involved. For me, if we do have sex or are planning on having sex in the future, even if the action was one-sided – it probably will balance out in the end. With someone with whom that is not the case – I’d probably just leave that up to individual parties to decide whether they, personally, had sex. Based upon the mood and the relationship with the person involved, I have decided on both sides of that for myself.
What about group sex?
I would actually use a situation that I was in as an example. I was in the middle of a make out, cuddle pile that ended up going to the bedroom. I was in the middle of the bed but I was not acting upon anyone past making out with them and handing out condoms and lube and was not acted upon other than some fondling and making out. I did not have sex with anyone there – but I did participate in an orgy.
When raised with monogamy we are taught that part of why we are important in a relationship is that we are unique, that that was very important for all we do to be unique. It’s what makes us special for our partners. If we aren’t unique for our partners it is the end of the world – we are stuck comparing ourselves to past relationships and generally finding ourselves lacking in some regard (age, appearance, intelligence, job status, etc.). Which, wow, that sucks.
As a poly person, dating people with other partners, that can come to the forefront. It is often a concern with new poly people, so they put restrictions on who their partners can date because of their fear of not being unique, of not being special to their partner. Which is really a load of hooey.
Even if you do the exact same things, look the same, went to the same college, have the same job, so on, you will never be not unique. You have different genes, different backgrounds, different life stories – that’s what makes us unique, makes us special. No matter how much we are the same, we will always be different people. Part of the joy of poly is that. We get to build different relationships, to have different stories to tell, build different lives together. And, that, that is one of the greatest joys.
I get to be a different person with each of my partners. I get to build a new life with them. Our relationship gets to be whatever it is going to be. Even if I’m dating multiple people at the same time I can have very different relationships with them, can choose different labels, have different kinds of sex, go to different kinds of events, express my affection for them differently.
Comparison can become much more complicated if you know the other people involved, especially if you’re on good terms with them. When on good terms metas become full people, with fabulously different lives and stories. Yes, it is likely that you will share some things in common with your metas – people tend to have types of people they’re attracted to, whether that be physical, mental, emotional, or sexual types. So yeah, you will likely have something in common with your metas. Nothing wrong with that. It can be harder than when the other person was just a hypothetical ex, someone that may or may not have actually existed – having a real person on the other end of things can make things harder. Or easier. Depending on how you are wired.
But love is love and the amazing part is that we get to build our own unique stories with the people we love, whether that be for months, years, or a lifetime.