Relationship Dynamics & Labels

I recently read a post on Fetlife (Every Relationship is Different, by Lady_Elsa, if you have access to FL) that really resonated with me. I posted it in the Twisted Tryst group on Fet because we are headed there next week, and it seemed to echo so much of the philosophy of that wonderful group and what I found the last time I was among them.

One of the tenets of Tryst is this idea of radical inclusivity, the idea that we are all welcome, no matter what our kink, gender, dynamics, sexual orientation or lifestyle is. Both the post and the comments are insightful and I believe would make good reading for anyone attending Tryst–or any camp event, where we are more likely to witness day-to-day interactions and relationship dynamics than we might at a hotel event, or a one-night play party. But really, it’s good reading for anyone that has to interact with other human beings (which most of us do), vanilla or kinky. ;-)

One of the things that I (occasionally) struggle with is trying to explain the dynamics of my relationship with W, and, to a lesser degree, Ad. Perhaps “struggle” is too harsh a word, and implies a dislike of the resulting back-and-forth discussion that often ensues. Frankly, I love talking about our dynamics, what works, what doesn’t, why it is the way it is and what it is that we do. It doesn’t fit into any of the boxes that I’ve checked on my profile, though, and other people might (and often do) chafe at the inability of these labels to completely or adequately describe their dynamic. To me, those labels are an excellent place to start.

But that’s the kicker: they are an excellent place to start.

I believe we need some labels, some way to begin the discussion about what and who we are. Others don’t, and that’s fine too. But for me, those labels actually facilitate discussion.

One of the oddities of my relationship dynamic is that while I label myself W’s submissive, while I consider myself his submissive, he doesn’t necessarily agree with this labeling. Oh, he agrees that this label, and how I use it, resonates to me, and is how I perceive our relationship, but he doesn’t necessarily agree that our relationship is one that falls under the purview of typical “D/s” dynamics.

And nope, it doesn’t.

Still, I am his submissive. It is a part of our dynamic that is always there, always a part of who I am with him, and who he is to me. That we don’t exhibit any of the typical behaviors, attitudes or conventions of a D/s dynamic matters not one whit to me. I know what I feel. And that’s enough.

W and I are lovers. Friends. Peers. He is my Owner and he is Onyx’s handler. I submit to him and I am subjugated by him. I also argue with him and push him and admire him and sometimes act like a brat and always respect him. Sometimes we are best friends, and sometimes we are adversaries in the push and pull that is coercion play. We nurture each other and care for each other. Some days we are deep in our kink, deep in this space that we inhabit where kink IS how we relate, some days the kink is beneath the surface.

And then there is how our relationship in regards to others works. He and I had some intense, convoluted, interesting and occasionally heated (in a good way) discussion about what it means to be open, poly, coerced, swingers. As you might expect, though I label myself poly with Ad and open with W, those labels don’t do justice nor encompass the complexity of what it is we do.

And I’m fine with that, because that is exactly when/where we can start talking about it. Where we can start parsing out what those labels mean to me, and in so doing, find out what they mean to you. And that is the beginning of dialogue, and understanding.

Torturing Myself

W always says submissives shouldn’t be allowed to torture themselves. In fact he never (or seldom) gives me tasks that involves causing myself pain, because he knows that I’ll probably hurt myself more than he intended.  And the weird thing is, it’s true, though I’ve no idea why.  Not that I hurt myself more than he does–he hurts me like fuck sometimes. But on the occasions when I have to complete a task that involves some sort of physical discomfort, yeah, I tend to take it to the maximum, not necessarily because I want to hurt myself excessively or prove something, but because I want to be sure I am completing whatever task he has given me to his specifications.

I don’t wanna be no wimp, see?

So when he tells me to put on my tit collars, I tighten them down until I wince.  When he tells me to put in my buttplug, I shove it into place.  But that’s about all he’ll let me do to myself.

But then there’s times when I just go ahead and torture myself.  You know, cuz why not?

I’m not talking about causing myself pain. I just had a conversation with someone that asked if I ever do that.  You know, pinch my nipples or use clothespins, smack myself while I masturbate, like that.  As I have said before, I don’t like pain for pain itself.  Even though I really enjoy impact scenes for the pain and sensation, it is still because someone else causes me that sensation, because they have the control and can make me accept it, either by physical means or by compelling me by my need to submit to him or her.

But I’m not talking about torturing myself that way anyway.  I’m talking about deciding to make myself wait for something I really wanted the other day: an orgasm.

After the scene in the basement, I wanted an orgasm so bad I literally throbbed with the need of it.  Ached.  And I denied myself.  At first not as torture, but just because…it seemed like the thing to do. I wanted to ache, I wanted to wait, I wanted to feel on that edge of desire and need until, finally, I would be allowed to crest, to orgasm, to be released from the exquisite edge of torture.

It was easy to deny myself because I knew I’d get what I wanted, what I needed, and soon.  An hour or two, at most.

But then I didn’t. Life intervened, and I got sent home without having an orgasm.  That was Thursday.

Sigh.

I got home and hung out here with kids and Ad, and it wasn’t sexy, it was just, you know, normal life and family time.  All good, but…not quite how I had expected to spend my evening.   If I had asked, or suggested it, I probably could have gotten laid by Ad, and had an orgasm. But…it wasn’t just an orgasm I wanted. Everything that I was feeling had been generated by the day and night and next day I had spent with W, culminating in the scene in the basement earlier that day.  I wanted my release to come from him, with him.  Still, by the time Thursday night came I was so aroused I almost gave in.  Ad went to bed early, as usual, and I stayed up for a short time more before finally heading into the bedroom.  I looked at Ad, sleeping so peacefully next to me, and thought about accosting him.

I looked at Baldy, my hitachi, and thought about the quick fix.

Then I thought about waiting, about holding on to this throbbing sensitivity, this desire, just one more day. I’d see W the next day, which was my short day at work. I’d have four hours after work to beg him to make me come, to maybe even have it exactly the way I’d asked him for it, that afternoon just after he’d finished with me in the basement.

So I turned over and squeezed my legs tight together to accentuate the ache, and fell into a fitful sleep.

A sleep in which I was fucked over and over in my dreams, but was never quite able to come before I woke, turned over, and went back into sleep and into another lust-filled dream.

The next morning I emailed W:

I’m still heartbroke that I didn’t get my orgasm.  I was savoring it…anticipating it…dreaming of it. That made me crazy hot what you did…taking me down in the basement, your hand in my hair…fucking me like that…cumming in my ass. GOD. You make me such a hot horny damned SLUT.  I wanted you to shove THINGS into my cunt and fuck me with them, letting me fuck myself til I came, screaming into my gag. 

Oh wait, you probably didn’t know I was gagged.

And that my legs were tied up in a V.

Of course he didn’t know, since it was all in my head. That’s right–I was torturing myself. Completely unassisted by him.  It was all me, all in my own mind.  He didn’t do a thing to fuel those fires.  He didn’t even reply back to me.

I was a wet, horny mess all day at work, watching the clock, anticipating the moment I was sprung free of work responsibilities and could head over to his house.

I was desperate.

And again, life intervened.

He had something come up with his business and I couldn’t come over until he got back, which didn’t turn out to be until 3pm. Still, if we were quick (and fuck yeah, I would be!) it could still work out…

Until life intervened–again.  Mother Nature, that bitch, decided to mess with me.

When I got to W’s he pointed upstairs. “There’s a wooden toy waiting for you,” he said.  I sighed. “I can’t,” I replied. “Got my period.”

“The toy doesn’t care,” he said.

As you all know, I have issues with sex and blood.  You’d think that I’d be okay with it, you know, “done it once, no big deal” and all. But it’s still not something I can treat lightly, or would choose to do. Still, I was worked up enough that I actually considered it for half a second.  But I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  If he’d told me to, I could have–and probably would have gotten off on it, too–but I’m still not quite able to go there on my own.

So.  Here I am. It’s Sunday night. Ad’s asleep next to me. I slept with the two of them here last night, because W spent Saturday and Sunday here, hanging out being vanilla.  And I still haven’t had an orgasm.

I’m ready to gnaw a paw off.  Or hump the dog. Something.  It’s torture!

And yet…

It is sweet torture.

And Christ, when I finally do get to come?  God help the man, toy or machine that makes it happen.

In Praise of “Normal Life”

Sometimes in my online readings, by coincidence or fate, I’ll read two very different pieces of writing that will spark thoughts on the same topic, though perhaps (as in this instance) from different perspectives.  A post by Kaya on the nature of her relationship and another on Fearless Press, Living a “Normal” Life, did just that the other day.

I so get where the author at Fearless Press is coming from when he talks about living and writing about his own poly life and relationships. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but I haven’t updated APL in awhile. Not because I don’t have anything to write about, I have many topics in my Drafts folder that I’d like to noodle on regarding love and relationships and poly and family…but sometimes, well, the reality is that sometimes my life is just…”normal.” I just don’t feel like I have anything specific to share about it.  Aside from having some fantastically kinky sexplay to write about, our life together–Ad, me and W–is just…our life together. There’s my time with Ad, my time with the kids, my time with W and the time we all spend together.  Even my time with W isn’t all kink and sex. (What?! Oh no!)  Seriously, though, sometimes we just…hang out on his balcony. Talk about life and kids and books and diet and exercise and nothing. Sometimes (~gasp!~) I’m not even in heels, slutwear, make-up or some kind of bondage.  Sometimes we take walks to the park or the river or a restaurant. We’re just…us. Sometimes we even have sex like normal people, you know, in bed, in missionary position. (Okay he is usually pinning me down, but still.) Sometimes we go to bed…and don’t have sex at all. And sometimes–he’s tender. And sweet.  He holds my hand when we walk. He looks at me with something closer to love in his face than lust.

We all spend time together, as a three, making dinner or going out to eat, and we all spend time together with my kids as well.  We talk about college and growing up and boys and life with my daughter; about school and acting and video games and books and his friends with my son.  We play board games and eat ice cream.  W stays over and we spend the day puttering around the house with the kids watching TV and reading and on the computer.

For instance, over 4th of July weekend, W came over Saturday afternoon.  Ad and I made dinner while W hung out and talked about religion with the kids, then we had margaritas and all of us played a board game. Ad went to bed early and W and I stayed up with my daughter, watching something on TV and talking until he and I were ready for bed. When we got to bed…we cuddled up and went to sleep. I know–a naked woman, two men, and no wild sex! How wild is that? But that’s the point.  It was…comfortable. Settled. The next day we all hung out together until we went to a local fireworks display.  I rode the rides with my kids while Ad and W sat on the blanket, and then we watched the fireworks together, just like any “normal” family.  I can’t describe how peaceful and happy I was, laying on a blanket under the stars with the kids, Ad and W all around me, my head on Ad’s shoulder, my hip against W’s and our hands intertwined, as we watched the fireworks. Utter perfection.

Not much to write home about, though, right?

Kaya’s post sparked similar thoughts, but not so much about my poly life; more about my kinky life with W. I get where she is coming from in her relationship dynamic. What she gets out of it, how deep her enslavement goes, her commitment to the structure of their relationship.  Even when she is railing against it or struggling with it, I know (or get the feeling) that this is her true “place” and that she loves it. Even when it doesn’t sound like she does.

But when I read her post, where she talks about his “conditioning” of her, another part of me goes–no! Seriously? Can you truly be content with never feeling a tender hand on you? With never having the flip side to the objectifying, disconnected sex?  I know I couldn’t.  I need the tenderness.  The loving touch. I need to be “W’s girl” again after he’s done doing what he’s done to me.  And I need him to be my lover and partner again. Not that brutal, dispassionate, uncaring person that he has to turn himself into in order to do all those things to me.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love love love being what he turns me into, a “Collection of Holes.” But I live to be “his girl.” To come back to him and find the man I love waiting for me there on the other side.  I need to feel “normal” again with him, to take the kink out of our interactions for the time it takes to find that normal space again.

You know, so he can make it all wrong and twisted and dark and subversive again. Maybe I am teasing when I write that–or maybe not. Maybe it is the very fact that we can be in this normal space that allows me to go to that other place.  That makes me trust him to take me there.

When I originally read her post, that was the part that I missed–and misunderstood. After I re-read it, I realized I had missed something vitally important in what she said. It’s in this one, almost-throwaway line: “…until he’s put the tools in place to compensate for it.” I only saw the feeling of failure she had because she couldn’t internalize being an object, with no needs of her own, content with being used dispassionately and with no regard to her own needs.   I read this: “…maybe it’s something he’s done for so long, and does so often, that I was starting to internalize and believe how useless/unattractive/objectified it makes me feel…” and my brain kind of turned off, because those are not the things I feel when W objectifies me, uses me as a fuckhole or loans me out to be used as such.  Quite the opposite.  But would I feel that way if it was all he did?  If I never got the flipside?  I think so, and so when I read it, I missed what came after.  I missed that all-important concept of eventual compensation.  And I realized that although our dynamics are very, very different, in some ways we are very similar.

She is able to endure that because she knows that eventually she will be “compensated” for it.  Perhaps not in the way that I am, and that would probably not be the right kind of compensation for her anyway–we all have our own, individual, needs. But she knows that eventually, her needs, for “touch, voice, attention,” for humanity, if you will, will be met. Because she trusts him. And that’s what makes it work. That’s what allows her to feel, not resentment as he orders her back under the desk to be used as his masturbatory tool, but relief, and a sense of coming home.

Of normalcy, whatever that looks like.

The same feeling that I get as I curl into W’s arms after an intensely brutal or degrading scene, or when I crawl into bed naked with my two guys and we simply cuddle and sleep, or when we lay out on a lawn with my kids watching fireworks.

Wanton Wednesday – New Shoes

It’s almost always W that christens my new shoes.  He’s the one I buy them for, after all.  While Ad appreciates a good “leg” and enjoys seeing me strut around in my heels, he’d as soon see me in fuzzy slippers or barefoot.  As for fucking me in heels, well, he’ll do it if they don’t come off quick enough, or if I happen to be in them when he “wants some,” but he’s never asked me keep them on while he fucks me.  And sleep in heels?? Never…

Til the other night.

New shoes. Me doing a crossword puzzle in my cute panties and new silver heels.

He comes to bed after taking that picture and I continue to puzzle through my puzzle–

–for about five minutes before he grabs me, pushing the pad of paper out of the way and tossing my pencil aside, lifts me up and lays me, shoes and all, on top of him.  There was a brief tussle, with me playfully resisting and him grappling with me, til he got my panties off and pushed me down onto his cock, which was standing up like a flagpole.

Still in my shoes.

 

Awww...matching lizards...

(Shhh…there’s a click thru.  Go on, do it.  You know you wanna…)

But the best part? Laying in bed afterward, I didn’t wanna take my heels off. So I didn’t.  I slept in them all night. Apparently Ad liked it, because the next morning he woke me up with yet more lovin’…until I jabbed him in the shin.  “Hey!” he said.  “I’m not W. I don’t have to make sacrifices. Take off the heels!”

~giggle~

Be a part of Wanton Wednesday!

Note: Damn it’s been awhile since I participated!  Lilly has made a really cool change to the Wanton Wednesday blog & linking format, so be sure to go over there and check it out.  looks like it’s going to be much easier to take a gander at all the sexiness going on over there at the Wanton Wednesday party!