Happy Holiday Season, Party People! This is the second post in my 12 days celebration! What better way to celebrate Capitalism than posting reviews where you can purchase these fine items with my affiliate links?
10 out of 10
A long time ago, I wrote a post about being monogamous. I was in a happy and healthy relationship. I didn’t see that changing at the time, and the post still holds a lot of positive memories for me. However, a lot did change in that time. I’m single again, but I’ve come into a new identity as non-monogamous, which has helped me to create some beautiful new things in my world.
Between August and October, I didn’t really see anyone other than my roommates, classmates and coworkers. I wasn’t super social and I kept myself in my work. Needless to say, I didn’t see any bang buddies, partners or even potentials. Then all of a sudden, in a two week span, I had one play partner at my house for three days, reconnected with some old friends who have play partner potential, played with a new person at a party, and visited someone for a weekend who appears to be a consistent play partner. It has been a wild time for my brain as I begin to tease apart all my connections and what they mean for me.
To start off with, I have a hard time with the word “partner.” I hesitate to use it with anyone who I’ve just played with unless we have a conversation. Why? It feels like it gets weighed down with expectations. I expect a Bang Buddy to want to bang, and maybe mention that to me if they are in my city. This is on the same level as friend in my head. But I expect a partner to make time for me, and for them to expect that from me. My roommate says that what I call a partner, she calls a friend. Part of that is maybe because she is on the asexual spectrum, which inherently makes our relationship styles different. But part of it may be our inherently different levels of commitment.
I have a tendency to fear relationships because I fear I won’t understand the nature of a relationship and do something to make the other person uncomfortable. As a result, I am very clear about the nature of my relationships. I can separate kink from sex, which I can separate from emotions. I made sure I could do all this because I don’t want to be hurt by my own emotions, which often come on strong and sudden after physical contact. Play Partner/Bang Buddy is a sexual word. Dominant is a kink word. But Partner is an emotional word. And emotions are frightening. So I try not to use it unless there is some type of connection established.
I almost feel like I can’t have casual partners. That may be a struggle right now, as I recover from a hard year. I feel like I need someone who does support me and sends love and affection very often. And because casual partners send some, but not enough, I feel like I will ask for more and more from them, which may step over their boundaries. As a result, I keep everyone who wants something in-between at more of a distance. I can’t handle the thought of being told I am asking to much, so I ask nothing. I might leave potential partners feeling neglected, but I don’t know how to fix it right now.
Let’s dive into why this might be. Up until a year or so ago, I always felt monogamous. I clung to this word because I wanted to feel special and I wanted to make sure my partner was there for me. I wanted all my needs met, like any other human. And monogamy was a way for me to have that, while also maintaining control. If my partner was limited to me, as I was to them, then we were always there for each other. Only emergencies around family would really stop that. Basically, I could ensure without a doubt that my partners fulfilled my needs because there would be no one else to pull them away. However, as I began to feel myself pulling away in my last monogamous relationship, I realized that there is still that human error to account for. Less humans doesn’t mean no human error. It just means the illusion of less human error. But because humans have lives and needs, even in a monogamous relationship, I was still being pulled away from my own needs, and my partner was too.
As I began to let go of control and trust the world around me a little, I found some comfort in new connections. Sex educators who were friends are now bang buddies, and some might be more. I’ve found my needs being met in new ways. One person covers my need for kink, and finding cathartic healing in my own pain. One person listens as I explain my psyche because she needs to know how it works in order to be a professional dominant. One is my connection to the outside world, reminding me that there are people who aren’t trans that will still like me and my body.
As I let go of control, and let myself open up to more feelings, I find different needs that I wasn’t aware of before. Currently, everyone I consistently interact with is challenging me in some way. I am growing around them, because of them. This is a need I knew partially, but I became more aware of when I was chatting with one person who visited me, and they asked a simple fact-checking question. I was so grateful they had asked because it reminded me to be more careful with my words and assumptions.
However, some awareness of needs comes from not having them met in some interactions. One partner I spent a weekend with is very attached to his phone. He is constantly checking it, and messaging people. It’s part of his personality. I adore it, because he’s one of the few people who is more social than I am. However, when I was there, I realized that it would be easy for me to feel neglected. If I had a bad day, or some brain chemical didn’t line up, I would be hurt by losing his focus, even for a minute. So I need to be careful with my needs. When those days happen, I need to make sure I can voice what is happening, and not just explode. This partner fills many needs, but I am realistic about the needs I have which he won’t fill. I cannot ask things of people who aren’t willing or able to give them.
But those are needs that I have. I do crave a partner who abandons technology as much as I do. Because not being on my phone is a big part of my life. And I do need a partner that eventually builds something with me and says “This is for us and no one else.” Because I’m non-monogamous now, I feel a freedom to find that partner. I am remembering the times in monogamy when some needs weren’t met and I had no way to fix it. Well, now I do. I can find partners who fit me and fill those needs. And it will never change my other partners and the needs they fill. Because those two aren’t mutually exclusive.
I think one of the more fascinating things is how people don’t fill the same needs for each other. I think this is another hang-up from the monogamous views I had. I used to think that many people had the same needs and so you had one relationship to fulfill them all. Each person should grow from their partner. However, what if you don’t have a relationship like that? What if only one is growing? With non-monogamy, that is okay because the partner who isn’t growing can fill that need another way. They may not even have that need at all.
I have some ideas of what I want in my future, including a core relationship with a nesting partner. I struggle with wanting this type of relationship, because I don’t want to place partners into a box that I’ve created. I know that at some point, I will have to balance my needs with the natural tendencies of a partner. Now, I’m excited for the human equation. I feel as if I have gained a clearer understanding of the world, and of the ways that I need to adapt in order to have a fulfilling personal life. It’s going to be the activity that I love the most: problem solving.
My journey in non-monogamy is just beginning. I don’t even know which label I’ll settle on for my relationship style. And I’m off to a really great start, honestly. I’ve learned a lot about myself, which is my first goal in any activity. But I’ve also made a lot of good relationships happen in my life already. I set goals for myself fairly often, and my next one is to trust a little more. Because I attract and deserve good things.