bookofmirrors: (Soft)
A while back, I joined Model Mayhem, with an eye towards meeting up with photographers or whatever to get my fix for being art. I've only ended up meeting so far with one of the photographers who's contacted me (local guy, we have an outdoor shoot today, weather permitting), but I've engaged in dialogue with several, and I've made what seems to be a pretty strong connection to one in particular. He lives far away, and isn't particularly in control of his travel schedule, so he's not sure when he'll be in my area again, but we have plans to get together for the usual let's-meet-in-a-coffee-shop-and-make-sure-no-one-is-a-murdering-rapist get-to-know-you vibe-acquiring meeting. (I'm a stickler for safety.)

In the meantime, we've emailed, forumed, IMed, and talked on the phone. (Yeah, I know. Me on the phone, right?) And it became pretty clear pretty quickly that this rather unbidden mutual attraction was forming. And that when we met, something more than taking pretty pictures would be on both our minds.

Well, that brings a whole other dynamic into the situation, obviously. Because at the point someone has the potential to become more than a friend, the arrangement that userinfoBlckwngdOrcl and I have is that we get to meet anyone our spouse plans to have a sexual relationship with. Our "rules" of engagement have changed somewhat over time, but that one's pretty much always been there. We recently added the caveat that a phone call would be sufficient for a one-night-stand in special circumstances (mostly something like gathers, or cons), but possible relationships involving sex require a meeting. We've agreed this is a common-sense precaution to prevent the other person from "thinking with their dick" and getting into a bad relationship.

Except this guy doesn't want to meet userinfoBlckwngdOrcl.

There's a reason behind it, which hasn't been fully explained to me. Something about a similar situation in his past, that involved a couple in a BDSM relationship, if I understand it correctly. He thought at first that this was a dynamic in my marriage, since I'm a submissive by nature, but even when I told him that wasn't the case, he still has no interest in (my paraphrase) jumping through our hoops. Now, normally, this would be a huge red flag for me. And to some degree, it is. But prior to this, he's always been extremely respectful and reasonable. Hell, he's STILL being both those things and more. He even agrees it's a good idea to have that rule, and that he understands if the whole thing is a dealbreaker.

We've both found, though, that when we take the possibility of sex out of the equation, the energy between us just dies. Even the photography energy. Which is weird, really, and not something I've experienced before. And when the energy does flow between us, it's really strong, and has a sacred feeling to it. So it's not something I'm willing to dismiss offhand.

I would probably have come to that conclusion, regardless, if it weren't for him saying something about exploring why we had that rule to begin with, and what fears might be surrounding it.

And, of course, since my knee-jerk reaction to that was the idea that of course there was no fear involved, we were just trying to keep each other safe (ahem), it become obvious he'd hit on something there....


This is probably gonna get long... )

P.S. The funny thing is, I did, in fact, read this post by the brilliant userinfoTacit back when he first posted it, and it struck me then... but not nearly as much as it's striking me now... Seems I needed a personal framework to tack it on for me to really grok the concept, even though I understood and agreed intellectually the first time around. Probably could have saved myself the trouble of writing my own post, if I had remembered his post at the beginning of writing this instead of at the end. :)
(And for the record, I have no idea how much of that post was floating around subconsciously in my mind as I was pondering this whole thing...)

But then, I wouldn't have learned anything, would I?
bookofmirrors: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] tacit is a great read anyway... People should follow him, and read his archives.

But here is his most recent gem.

Enjoy.
bookofmirrors: (K'La and Glenn)
The following is a cross-post. I posted my angst-y polyamory woes to my Core Energetics group, and got a very strong negative response from one of my class members, who thinks that userinfoBlckwngdOrcl is taking advantage of me, and that my reaction to his dating is normal. Which, really, I suppose, it is. I'm editing my post a bit to make it more LJ-friendly, and I'm not posting what he wrote to prompt it, because that particular group is a private one, and everything said there is "safe" from anyone's eyes but our own. But this is my writing, and I want to share it.

Cut for length )
bookofmirrors: (Eye)
I'm trying to get in the mindset to do this again. I flit in and out of it, and I had mostly flitted out when I found out I'd be "able" to make this entry. I'm sure a great deal of it is avoidance. I seem to be "in the mood" and have the "right" circumstances to make the entry only when I'm tired, or don't have enough time to do it justice, or something like that.

Anyway, here's the inevitable cut-tag... )
bookofmirrors: (Mirror Mirror)
So, today was my once-monthly Core Process Group. These tend to be way more low-key than the Modules, and only last for about 4 hours or so. For the most part, we get together, kinda touch base with each other, do some moving around, maybe one or two people do some deeper work if there are major issues going on... it's pretty free-form, and we all just go with whatever comes up.

I'm putting what came up, and how it affected me, under a cut, but I want to sort of make a disclaimer here first. There was a lot going on, and I barely scratched the surface of this train of thought there, so much of what I write here will be me seeing/experiencing/realizing it for the first time, too. So, 'ware confusing stream of consciousness, 'K?

Abandonment Issues )
bookofmirrors: (Default)
So, while I'm at my parents' for Thanksgiving, I had several profound moments. Most will be documented in my other journal, but this one belongs here. The reason I'm in the mood to write it tonight is that, while [personal profile] blckwngdorcl and I were driving home from my client's tonight, we were having a great conversation about some books he's reading (Note: Hey, [personal profile] blckwngdorcl, you might wanna follow that link - it refers to two more books you don't have...), and suddenly I just got this overwhelming feeling of overall rightness in my world. That things really WERE as they should be, and that I'd made good choices in my life, and that things were just coming along nicely in general. With all my doubts about things lately, I treasure those (these) moments.

Anyway, the subject of this post falls into that category.

So, I'm lying in bed, about to go to sleep (when many of these little revelations came to me) when something became very clear to me.

(OK, so here's the point where I don't know where to go with this post... that is, whether to jump straight to the conclusion, or to give some background... the former would be a bit jarring to readers... the latter would make the conclusion anti-climactic. Hmmmmm... Think I'll go for the shock value factor this time. *eg*)

Shock value version: )
bookofmirrors: (Default)
This was on [livejournal.com profile] tbrents' journal a while back, and I think it illustrates polyamory and its challenges very well.

Warm Fuzzies )
bookofmirrors: (AuraOfTwo)
I ganked these questions from [livejournal.com profile] feygirl a while back, but never got around to answering them. However, one of my posts yesterday seems to have fostered the most delightful debate on the subject, so I'm sorta in that mindframe now, so I thought I'd post these now.


Do you have a relationship structure?
Not really sure what this particular question is asking. I'm married, with an open relationship, which I actually tend not to call polyamory (except that it's a convenient word that most people are familiar with) because I find it hard sometimes to connect emotionally to someone other than my husband. This is something I'm working on.

If you're married, what are some of the boundaries you have set up concerning other loves?
Well, the first rule is always safe/sane/consensual. Condoms are a must. We haven't really discussed dental dams. We each have to approve the other's lovers. We do this for a couple of reasons. We're both fairly intuitive people, and we're both intelligent. We both realize that in states of infatuation or pure horniness, we might not make the best choices for ourselves. We help each other to make sure that we're not jumping rashly into something, or "thinking with our dicks". This "forces" us to be friends with the people we're with, because you can't make that sort of informed consent without it. Which is a good thing. Both of us tend to be more attracted to people we're close to on a personal level, anyway. If I'm in a BDSM scene, [livejournal.com profile] blckwngdorcl insists that I use a safe word. If it's someone who's not already on the "OK" list, the rule is kissing, and over-the-clothing, above-the-waist groping. Of course, this can be modified for situations where we're already naked for whatever reason. cybersex of any kind, with anyone is OK. And our marriage comes first, always.

How do you handle living w/ your spouse, and having other lovers over, or spending the night elsewhere?
It just basically depends on scheduling and such. Unfortunately, our living situation doesn't really lend itself to having people over. This is mostly due to a rule I forgot to mention, which is that [livejournal.com profile] blckwngdorcl doesn't like our bed to be used by anyone but us. (Actually, I think he's modified that, but I don't remember what the verdict on it was...) We don't have a spare room, and trying to schedule time alone in a household of 5, one with no car, no job, is damn near impossible. So, generally, all playing is done elsewhere. So far, there hasn't been an issue with this that I'm aware of. In our dream house in our head, we have a fully-stocked "playroom" with a huge fucking bed (pun intended) and various toys and other comforts, as well as a fully stocked dungeon, with a secret entrance and everything.

Do you have things set up so that you can veto people?
I basically answered that already. Obviously, if one of us felt strongly enough to veto someone, there'd be a long discussion about it.

Do you have primary and secondary and maybe even tertiary labels?
Not really. I mean, I'll refer to [livejournal.com profile] blckwngdorcl as my primary, but that's mostly because it's a commonly understood term in the community, not because I really think of him that way. I don't have "levels" of lovers.

Do you get emotionally attached to other lovers, or do you only have sex with others and leave the emotions to the primary or the spouse?
In the past, I think I left the emotions with my husband, and thought of the sex merely as an extension of friendship, separate but equal, for instance, to going out for coffee with someone. Of course, that's more a safety net for me, because it's almost impossible to have sex with someone and not have a different level of feeling for them going out than you did coming in. I think I used that as a defense mechanism, to not let anyone get too close to me. I'm trying to remedy that, and find that connection, because it's a horrible thing to be closed off to love of any kind. I want to be open about it. [livejournal.com profile] blckwngdorcl and I talked about this once, and he said that he actually prefers me to have an emotional/romantic attachment to other lovers, because he feels that, if I can have sex with someone I don't love, what does that say about when I have sex with him? And he's got a point.
bookofmirrors: (Fire)
Another thing that I forget to mention earlier that happened as a result of my day with [livejournal.com profile] kapua23...

That night, I was online, and got an IM from my online dom. He and I have had a relationship for about 6 years now. He was wondering why I was online, since he knew I had the "date" that day. When I told him we'd already had our fun, and the date was over, he actually got angry (his words). He said that I deserved an entire "romantic weekend", and he was upset that I wasn't given that. I was kinda shocked by this, and we went a little deeper into discussion about it, which resulted in us having a pretty deep heart-to-heart conversation. It included him saying all SORTS of wonderful things about me, and me actually doing the happy tears thing. It also included me admitting (although I'm sure he knew) that I'd been in love with him for years, and him saying that he felt the temptation to meet in person as much as I did. I admire him for his ability to stick to his own sense of ethics, though.

Anyway, it was a really awesome conversation, and it was nice to be told all that, and to be able to share.
bookofmirrors: (Default)
So, [livejournal.com profile] blckwngdorcl and I finally took the plunge. Well, we've kinda taken it before, but in actual practice that panned out into one brief (but enjoyable) encounter. After that, we had come up with other issues, and wanted very much to make sure that if we fucked other people, it was for FUN, and not because we were running from any of our own issues. At that point in our relationship, there was some danger in that, and I'd seen other people who seemed to use polyamory for that purpose, and we agreed that we didn't want that to be us.

so, we spent a long time working on ourselves and our own issues, and came to the conclusion that we were ready to take that plunge again, in the right (for us) headspace a few months ago. But it wasn't until recently that it actually panned out into an encounter for either of us. In fact, not too terribly long ago, [livejournal.com profile] blckwngdorcl said he felt he was monogamous for now, but had no inclination that I needed to be the same way.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I took the plunge with [livejournal.com profile] kapua23. He was visiting with his wife [livejournal.com profile] lil_red_witch and her lover [livejournal.com profile] sirstee and his wife [livejournal.com profile] delenn99. I won't get into all the tangled webs of relationships involved when you mix the four of them with the five of us. :) Anyway, all concerned parties were good with the idea, and so [livejournal.com profile] kapua23 and I pretty much got a day to ourselves to explore each other. It started out with a shower here, which was great, but it's hard to keep your balance in a wet shower, and I was kinda fearful of that in the back of my mind the whole time. That didn't prevent either of us from enjoying it, though. :) After that, we went out for breakfast with everyone, and then went to Insurrection to get some goodies. Unfortunately, my favorite branch of it had pretty much gotten rid of their entire leather section. We ended up driving to Midtown to try to find the other branch that they said still had leather stuff. We thought we never really found it,'cause the only shop we found in the general area we were directed to was a store called Heaven, which had some great furniture (big black X with all the appropriate clips... mmmmmm.....) but not so much in the way of leather, and godawful overpriced. Later, when talking to [livejournal.com profile] blckwngdorcl about it, he said that WAS Insurrection, and that the orginal guy who started Insurrection made enough money to give his original managers each their own stores, and Heaven was one of those. Who knew?

Anyway, we went back to his hotel room, and had a wonderful time. It had been a long time since I'd been spanked by anyone who was enthusiastic about it, and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. We were both going pretty easy on each other, it being the first time and all. We were feeling each other out (no pun intended) and getting used to each others' reactions and such. It was very cool, though. I don't remember many details, if any, 'cause I hit that point where I kinda lost my head... not completely, but enough to make the memory fuzzy. I mainly remember it was good. :)

So, I got home, somewhat nervous that [livejournal.com profile] blckwngdorcl had changed his mind while we were gone, regretted the whole thing, etc.. But he was cool with it. Gods, I have the bestest husband in the whole wide world. He said I came home with 10 fingers and 10 toes, and seemed to have had a good time, and he was happy for me. And I could see that he genuinely was, and that meant, and means, the world to me. [livejournal.com profile] lil_red_witch was equally cool about it, and I thanked her for sharing her husband with me. All in all, a very good thing which we have plans to repeat when I go to Florida in October to see The Pet Psychic, and spend the night in the hotel that [livejournal.com profile] kapua23 works at. Ought to be fun, since I think we're both going to discard the kid gloves. Scaryexciting. :)

I will say that one thing bothered me about the time we spent together. I've kinda discussed in past posts that my version of polyamory is more polysexuality than anything else. I really don't want a romantic relationship with anyone but my husband. That's not to say that I'm just looking for a stable. I'm friends with [livejournal.com profile] kapua23, and I'm friends with the other people I've had sex with, and plan to have sex with. But I don't feel a romantic attachment to any of them, and I don't want to. I feel like I'm cheating on [livejournal.com profile] blckwngdorcl if I were to do that. So, there were a couple of times while we were together that [livejournal.com profile] kapua23 looked at me with some intense passion and emotion, and it wigged me out a little. I was able to let it flow over in the heat of the moment, but I remembered it afterwards, and I want to work on that so that it's not a problem with him, or any other lovers I may take in the future. Or with my husband, for that matter. I talked with [livejournal.com profile] blckwngdorcl about it, and he didn't feel at all that it was cheating for me to become romantically involved with my lovers. In fact, his version of polyamory includes the romance, and that doesn't bother me a bit, 'cause I feel secure in my relationship with him. So, as we talked, I was kinda surprised to realize (and I confirmed this with him) that, in his mind, I was already romantically involved, 'cause from his point of view, that's the way polyamory worked. So, in his mind, there was already a romantic relationship there. And, note above-stated reaction, he was already good with that. So that was kind of a weird realization for me.

I also talked to [livejournal.com profile] kapua23 about it. He, of course, didn't wanna wig me out, and he doesn't feel a romantic connection with me any more than I do with him, but we both agree we are good friends who share a passion. He was pretty cool about the whole thing, and said he basically knew that's where I was coming from to begin with. Damn empaths. ;)

So, it would seem that no one has a problem with this brand of fear of intimacy but me. And, of course, that's all that matters. Because it IS fear-based, which pretty much equates "bad" to me. So, that's something I'm going to be exploring and trying to get over in my poly-amorous/sexual pursuits.

All in all, I think this is a good thing for me, and therefore for all my relationships. I thank the gods that I have such an awesome husband, and such a great lover, and that they're willing to go to these places with me. And anyone who's reading this that I've discussed going there with you... well, that's what you're in for, too, but I don't think that's a bad thing. The invitations are still open. ;)

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