First foray into Dom/sub relationships

Feeling kind of strange today. Mrs. Scribbens had her first real Dom/Sub training last night, her being the Sub and a good friend of ours being her Dom. It feels different to me. Like it’s one thing with her enjoying sex with someone else, or having intimate feelings for someone else, but having your wife dominated by someone else (being controlled, told what to do, etc.) brings-up a whole different set of emotions. Especially when you’ve spent allot of energy trying to make everything as equal as possible in your relationship.

However I know this type of sexual expression is something that Mrs. Scribbens needs to explore. It’s a part of herself that needs to be recognized and embraced for her to feel like… her. And I have a hard time dominating anyone else in any way. It’s not in my nature. So I have to stand aside, put my personal feelings and fears aside, and support her in this exploration.

But it’s still hard giving-up any or all control in this manner that I may have, real or imagined, to another person. In a way it feels like I am as much a Sub as she is. As much as she’s experiencing the physical and emotional aspects of a Dom/Sub relationship through her Sub training, I’m experiencing an emotional Sub “training” on a different level. It’s as though as much as she trusts and gives up complete control for a period of time to her Master, I feel I am also being submissive to her Master in that I have no control over it either. I’m giving-up complete power to her Master because I do love her and she does live with me.

And it’s not something I can do for her, therefore maybe there are some feelings of inadequacy creeping in where they shouldn’t be.

This isn’t like having feelings for someone else and being sexual with someone else within the realm of common sex. It’s not like common intercourse or oral sex that anyone can do, albeit some may be better at certain things than others, or at least you enjoy the differences in technique even as both are just as good as the other. A Dom/Sub relationship is on a whole other level that not everyone explores, and it has a specific mindset and there is a certain thrill and emotional satisfaction from either having total domination over someone else for a period of time, or giving-up total control to someone else for a period of time. And unlike good oral sex, I don’t know if I could ever provide that to Mrs. Scribbens. So this is as much an emotional release or loss of control for me as it is for her, just in a different manner. For her, she relinquishes control for a period of time than takes it back, but I’ve given it up and am not getting it back. Where it seems from my point of view that for her it is role playing that lasts a few hours, in supporting her to go there I have given-up that aspect of “us” forever and entrusted it to another person.

I know though, that this kind of play for her is important to release and express what needs to come out. That this is something she needs to do to be a healthy, happy person. That this is therapy for her ever-present need to control her surroundings in her daily life and her sometimes overwhelming frustration because she can’t.

What it really comes down to, though, is that I need to work on my own issues and feelings about relinquishing this part of our life to someone else, because my issues of loss of control emotionally are mine and mine alone. It’s part of growing emotionally and spiritually, and growing can be painful sometimes. But in the end it’s always worth it.

The battle between polyamorists and swingers

Recently I was reading a polyamory message board I subscribe to and came across a post from a couple just introducing themselves to the group. This couple is looking for a poly relationship but have been discouraged because as they put it: “All that’s out there is swingers and polygamists”.

Wow. This is a stark reminder of the constant battle and differing views between swingers and polyamorists, both thinking the other is “wrong” or “unethical” or “immoral”.

See, many swingers get their panties all in a wad at the mere mention of feelings and intimacy developing between play partners. They recoil like a surprised snake ready to strike back. And often they do. I can’t tell you the number of times Mrs. Scribbens and I have been on the other side of a scared swinger loudly proclaiming that if feelings were ever to develop between their spouse and someone esle how it would end right there and yadda, yadda, yadda.

Of course this reaction is based solely in fear and insecurity. It’s the fear that if feelings develop they may get left for the other person or not be number one in their partner’s life or that their partner may only love them half as much.

On the other side is the polyamorists. Some seem to think they are an evolved species, far above the lowly, morally bankrupt and unethical swinger because they “love” their partners, not just have sex with them. It’s an arrogant and self-righteous stance taken by some to justify having sex outside their primary relationship; it’s okay because they are “in love” with their third.

Of course this reaction is based on the concept that only sex within a committed relationship is permittable, so they seek and develop several committed relationships to justify having a sexually open relationship. It’s also based in their deep-rooted beliefs from their upbringing that what they are doing is not right, so they proclaim their “correctness” loudly and proudly, demoting some in hopes of elevating themselves in the eyes of others and thus justifying their beliefs to themselves.

The fact is that there is quite an overlap between swinging and polyamory. Imagine if you will two circles, overlapping at one side. In one circle you have the pure swingers and in the other you have the pure polyamorists. However in that overlap area are the swingers that are open to polyamory and the polyamorists who are also open to the purely recreational sex that swinging provides.

Mrs. Scribbens and I fall in that overlap.

We see many other couples in this overlap also. Swingers who become “exclusive” with another couple or a single for quite a while (say 3 – 12 months) and polyamorists who practice what I call “serial polyamory” where they are in a committed relationship with another single or couple for a while (say 3 – 12 months) than move-on to another couple or single. The swinger couple won’t admit they are practicing polyamory in even it’s basic form and the polyamorists won’t admit that they are swinging in even the loosest meaning of the word. But the fact is they are both doing the same thing, just calling the same horse by a different name, and in some case throwing rocks at each other for doing it the way they do because it’s “wrong”, “immoral” or “unethical”.

Mrs. Scribbens and I subscribe to the idea that “Whatever gets you through the night’s alright.” Any form a happy, healthy, loving adult relationship takes is “right” because it’s right for the people involved. Nobody has a right to throw rocks at the other proclaiming that their way of living and managing relationships is any more right than someone else’s. And the people that do so are just as bad as the “traditional” relationship folks that anger them so for judging their alternative lifestyle.

For us, Gus from My Big Fat Greek Wedding sums it up best: “Here tonight, we have, ah, apple and orange. We all different, but in the end, we all fruit.”

Will and Jada and the swinging controversy

Will and Jada SmithThere has been allot of Internet buzz the past few days about Will Smith’s comments about his and Jada’s marriage agreement. In short everyone is saying they are swingers. Well, I don’t think so, and here is why.

They are not really swingers because based on what Will said they have never had sex with someone else while they’ve been married to each other. They just have an understanding that it is natural human nature to desire other people sexually and that doesn’t mean that you love them, it just means that you lust them and want to have sex with them and that Will and Jada are honest with each other about it.

I respect them for it because they are honest with each other, and can be honest with each other while at least half the people that are shocked and horrified by Will’s statement are hiding things from their partner, and many of them have, are or will cheat on their partner. Will and Jada have simply made a pact to always be honest with each other and to discuss things like this before they could happen.

That’s light years beyond what most couples do. Instead most couples hide their true feelings, dreams and fantasies from each other because knowledge of such may hurt or anger their partner due to their partner’s personal insecurities. They have set themselves up from day one to not be honest with each other in an attempt to save each others feelings and avoid conflict.

Here is the copy and paste from the article:

‘Our perspective is, you don’t avoid what’s natural and you’re going to be attracted to people,’ Will explains.

‘So sometimes we have the discussion: “Wow, this or that girl is freaking gorgeous”. I’m not going to say anything to my buddies that’s any different than what I say to my wife.’

And Will, 39, reckons he’ll tell Jada – and she’ll tell him – if they ever find they can’t resist their desire.

‘If it came down to it, then one would say to the other: “Look, I need to have sex with somebody. Now I’m not going to do it if you don’t approve of it,”’ he says.

‘In our marriage vows, we didn’t say “forsaking all others”. We said, “You will never hear I did something afterwards”. Because if that happens, the relationship is destroyed.’

But Will’s not sure what he’d do if one day Jada, 38, confides that she does want to take a lover.

‘I don’t know how I’d feel,’ he confesses. ‘But I know I would react better than if I found out about it afterwards.’

You’ll notice that nowhere in there does it say that they have done it, just that they have an understanding that if the opportunity presented itself that they could as long as it’s discussed beforehand.

So I say, “Good for you Will and Jada, you’re a tighter couple than most could ever wish to be.”

Original article here

Open relationships vs. cheating

So today I am catching-up on my MySpace messages and such and a sponsored link on the right side of my screen is for AffairMatch.com. “Affairs Made Simple” proclaims the headline, and it goes on to advertise: “Married Men & Women Seeking Affairs. Discreet Online Forum. Free Sign Up”

Now on MySpace such an ad doesn’t really surprise me since so many people use MySpace to hook-up with other people, and one of the most commonly asked questions I see on Yahoo! Answers is “I found my partner has a secret profile on MySpace and their relationship status is ‘single’. What do you think that means?” Plus, Mrs. Scribbens constantly gets emails from supposedly single guys on her MySpace, and nowhere on there does it elude to the fact that we have an open relationship. Both our MySpace profiles are totally vanilla and non-sexual in nature to protect our secret identities. But I guess these guys still think “What the fuck, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?” And the correspondence to her always go the same route:

Stranger: Are you married?

Mrs. Scribbens: Yes

Stranger: Are you HAPPILY married?

Mrs. Scribbens: Yes

Stranger: Woud you like to meet anyway?

And it just goes down hill from there.

But MySpace actually allowing advertising that promotes it’s usage as a free cheater’s dating site just rubs me the wrong way. Especially since so many teenagers use it and could see the same sponsored links. What is this saying to them? What it’s saying is “It’s okay to lie and cheat, but not to be honest and open with your partner about your feelings, wants and needs.”

Does that surprise me? No. In my experience I’ve seen that most people can not be honest and open with their partner – the one person in the world they should be able to be the most open and honest with – because of the fear of their response: jealousy, anger, resentment. So they will be more honest with complete strangers than with their own partner. No wonder so many people say things after many years together like “I don’t feel I really even know you?”; “Why won’t you let me in?”. Well, experience has taught them that being honest and open with their partner about their fantasies always causes problems. They become insecure, jealous and defensive – “WHAT?! AM I NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU?!” And the fighting and hurt feelings start from there. And then they bitch to their friends about it:

“Why won’t he/she open-up to me? Why won’t he tell me his dreams and feelings and fantasies?”

Well, let me tell you why. Because whenever they do you become all insecure and butt-hurt and then at a later date use what they opened-up to you about to emotionally kick them in the balls whenever you are feeling insecure and butt-hurt again!

So it’s easier to just say nothing until years down the road a couple drifts apart because “they don’t really know each other” and they the find someone new and start the same destructive cycle all over again.

The funny thing is, according to virtually every study nearly 35% of women and 40% of men cheat on each other. And according to one study (I wish I could find where I filed it so I could reference it for you) 60% of women and 70% of men think about cheating and probably would if the opportunity arose and they knew they would never be caught.

So based on this fact alone, nearly 40% of couples do have an open relationship, just one member of the relationship is unaware of it.

So how many really do have open and honest open relationships of one nature or another? It’s hard to pinpoint a figure. I my experience and research the number that pops-up most commonly is 20% of all committed couples dabble in, or have an ongoing open relationship. This can be anywhere from trying a one-time threesome to dating others openly, swinging and polyamory.

Add this figure to the number cheating on each other and you find that 60% of all committed couples have an open relationship of some sort, and another 20% to 30% would if they thought their partner would go for it or they thought they could do it behind their partner’s back and get away with it.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep on living in bewilderment of those that would judge our open relationship while all the while cheating on, or thinking about cheating on their partner.

What is an open relationship?

The first post here. For those that have been in or are currently in an open relationship of any kind, the following information may be old hat. But for those unfamiliar with the different types of open relationships I’ll recap the basics here.

An open relationship is any relationship (usually between two partners) where the participants are allowed to have sexual or otherwise intimate relationships with others. Open relationships take on many forms, the most common being:

Open relationship or marriage: This is where one partner or both date others, usually without their primary partner being an integral part of the outside relationship.

Swinging: This is where a married or otherwise committed couple includes other couples and singles in their sex life. This can be through swapping partners in foursomes or moresomes, or just including another single for a threesome. In a swinging relationship sex is usually the focus and intimate, loving relationships are not the norm.

Polyamory: This is where a person carries-on more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved. Polyamory differs from swinging and “open marriages” in that much of the time all three or four or more people involved are either mutual lovers or at least good friends. Some polyamorous relationships include cohabitation and others don’t.

Mrs. Scribbens and I started our open relationship status through swinging, mostly to allow her to experiment with her bi-side. We started by having sex with other couples but along the way included a female or two. Eventually we met a single guy that was just the thing we needed. An emotional relationship developed between Mrs. Scribbens and him, and although at first such a thing was absolutely terrifying to us, when it happened it seemed absolutely natural. In fact, our relationship got better between us because her emotional needs were shared between two men. I no longer had to shoulder everything, and she no longer expected me to.

That was our first excursion into polyamory. There have been many swinging partners in between, and many of them have become very good friends, but we are always open to a polyamorous relationship developing. The idea of each other having someone else in their life that helps complete them is not threatening, but rather exciting and welcome. We love each other greatly, and feel that others only add to that, the idea that Love + Love = More Love. And it does.