Sorry for skipping a day on you folks, life ate me a little bit - and these two prompts go nicely together, so you'll maybe forgive me. Yesterday I released this week's podcast episode, a conversation on polyamory and D/s with Sinclair Sexsmith, which you should go give a listen to.
If you're following along, this series is 7 days of journaling prompts and my answers on the subject of kink, as a nod to the fact that I frequently reference my membership in local communities on the blog, and also because I'm teaching Negotiation for Edgeplay for Wicked Grounds on the 19th.
Day 3's prompt is "How much impact does your kink have on your polyamory and your relationships?"
(pun intended - always)
On the one hand, I don't really do fully vanilla relationships, so kink seeps into all of my relationships somewhere - where is the overlap of the Venn diagram of our interests and how can we explore it together? In most relationships it ends up being a fun sprinkle of shared activities and discussion topic we can share, rather than the central function, simply because of too many other life things going on. With kids, work, and more there just isn't time and energy to make this my number one focus.
Before I had kids kink was often the central function of relationships for me, and sometimes now I have play partnerships where it's the center of a more casual relationship. Still though, as I said above, when I integrate a relationship more deeply into my life now, kink tends to end up in a secondary position for me. Sometimes, a D/s dynamic and power exchange can draw kink forward into more areas of my life, but the practicalities of sharing power on an everyday basis with folks who don't live in the same place and need to track tasks and rituals when we're both very busy with all our other relationships and concerns can make the dynamic feel extra important, but also extra hard to maintain. It can be the first aspect of things to be pulled back or de-escalated if there are other issues going on in our lives or other relationships that limit our bandwidth and energy.
Day 4's prompt is related - it's about whether D/s is a kink that you like - "Do you like D/s?"
Short answer: Yep.
For many people, power exchange is the first thing they think of when they think of kink. If you've been playing the home game, you may remember it's one of the things that attracted me to my local communities in the first place and realizing that PEOPLE DO THIS???? was a big deal for me as a young adult. Learning to negotiate as an empowered individual and recognize my boundaries and not idealize that totally giving up control was the thing toward which I should be striving in in relationships where I had these dynamics was probably the most important set of lessons I've learned. (Unfortunately, these were mostly learned by messing up and emotionally getting banged up in bad experiences and then having someone around me go "oh but did you not realize you could have negotiated XYZ for ABC?" )
Identifying that no matter how deep a relationship was or how much I enjoy a dynamic I needed to notice and care for my own needs first might sound like a no-brainer but is actually really important.
In practice I play with power in scenes with both of my partners but in terms of ongoing dynamics I am slow and gentle and careful about getting myself into them, and very protective of the one I'm in.
If you want to come learn about negotiating edgy play as a bottom or submissive (and listen to me giggle while talking about the 3 things I top for), I'm teaching Negotiation for Edgeplay for Wicked Grounds on Sept 19 - tickets here.