Back in September I wrote ‘The Feeling When … New Things Are Awesome’, and yes I’m aware I use the word awesome far too much, but I like it, loads, so you’re stuck with it. In that writing I covered some of my thoughts on compersion, and how I’d finally experienced it in some way, which I thought I never would. I debated whether or not writing about it again was worthwhile, for fear I might repeat myself and not add anything new to the mix, then I thought about it more and realised there is always more to unpack when it comes to non-monogamy.
“Compersion: A feeling of joy when a partner invests in and takes pleasure from another romantic or sexual relationship.”
I’ll have to apologise again for being purposefully vague with some aspects of what led me to write this entry, while a lot of things are my story to tell, a lot of it isn’t and this isn’t intended to be erotica, so the explicit details hopefully aren’t necessary. The summary is though, there was sexy, hot action and I was there, Bakji was there and another person or other people (now I’m just trying to make you wonder, my desire to tease does indeed extend to my writing) were there too, and they totally got some attention from us, and gave plenty back too.
While I was definitely excited about this adventure, I was fairly certain it would involve some new experiences, both as an individuals, as a couple and as friends and new things are unknown, so I’m often wary about my reactions to them, especially when my brain is still swimming with a lot of the societal norms I grew up being told were the done thing.
My overwhelming feeling though throughout our fun, and afterwards, both the next day and after a couple of weeks have passed is one of sexy happiness. You know when you’ve had a really good sexy, or kinky session with someone, and every now and again you get those great flashbacks that make you smile and tingle simultaneously, well I keep getting those. While it’s one thing to enjoy something in the moment, being able to look back on it and still feel good about it feels like the way to go.
I know without a shadow of a doubt that I would not have felt quite this glowing about things in the early days of opening myself up to non-monogamy. There would have been stomach churning, anxiety and days of ‘big talks’ to get to the bottom of why things didn’t feel right. Knowing that made me look at what it was that had changed, and it will come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about non-monogamy as to what those things were.
First up is the one thing everyone who discusses sex, relationships, kink or even life is always banging on about, communication. Why do we all say you should work on being better at this? Because it really does help. I’ve written about mine and Bakji’s journey with communication before, and we’ve also discussed it on the podcast. Needless to say we have improved dramatically. When it came to moving forward with non-monogamy as a duo, instead of just blindly saying we weren’t monogamous and blustering through without discussing what that meant, it became glaringly obvious that we needed to start having the in-depth conversations about non-monogamy.
I asked my questions, I said how I felt, I stopped panicking about where I was at maybe being different to where Bakji was at and just said ‘this is how I feel’. I realised that holding things back wasn’t helpful, and that even if I said something that made Bakji call time on our relationship, that was probably healthier than living with a false sense of security. That didn’t happen though, what happened is that Bakji answered my questions, shared his own thoughts and we moved forward together without that impending feeling of doom that not knowing can definitely bring.
The fact we started communicating honestly nurtured a better level of trust, and that is the second thing that made these new experiences so much better. I trusted not only in Bakji, but in our and my own reasons for being non-monogamous, which is a point I don’t think I had reached previously. This is a lifestyle that found me, as opposed to one I went looking for and for a long time I didn’t appreciate what it took to make it work for me. I also got swept along with the crowd a little bit, and in the face of so many people identifying as polyamorous I naively assumed that was where I needed to be too. When in reality, polyamory is not where I am personally at yet. I can’t say for certain one way or the other whether or not it’s something I’ll be ready for in the future, what I do know though is that I don’t feel guilty about not being there right now.
The other things that I suspect makes a huge difference to whether or not people succeed in their non-monogamous adventures is the people you engage in sexy times with. I know for certain that has made a huge difference for me. Obviously when you engage in play as a couple you both need to have chemistry with the same person or people, otherwise someone isn’t going to be having fun. I think also knowing where the other people or person is at, and that they’ve got a good handle on their own relationship, or their take on non-monogamy if they’re single, is going to make or break whether or not they make you feel good about exploring with them.
I appreciate that depending on how your version of non-monogamy or indeed polyamory looks that always having the best of feels for who you partner chooses to play with isn’t always going to be possible and I know from reading and listening to other resources that in itself that is a big conversation to be had, and often times an even bigger hurdle to overcome. What I have learnt about myself though is that there are ways I am willing to do things, and ways that are not necessarily instant deal-breakers, but certainly could lead to that if a compromise or understanding could not be met. I now know that this is okay. I don’t have to do all the work myself to be okay with any given situation I find myself in. I had to work really hard to get to that point in my mind though, and almost had to give myself permission to admit that some approaches are not going to work for me.
While it’s always really nice to be able to share positive aspects of journeying into non-monogamy, or positive aspects of anything really, I do want to be honest about the whole overview, and that’s where the brain niggles come in. Now, I 100% in my waking hours feel totally amazing about our recent adventures, our future adventures and our time together as a whole. Apparently when I’m asleep my brain thinks it’s funny to test me by making sure I dream about everything going tits-up (and not in a sexy way). I think it’s probably another blog post to explain exactly why I think I was having these particular dreams, as it feeds into how security can look different within alternative relationship models. So I will come back to that soon. What I can say though is that I haven’t started to panic, or worry that brain niggles are a sign that deep down I’m in turmoil. Instead I just asked myself honestly what part of my insecurities these dreams were playing to and what I needed to do to settle those fears and thankfully the answers to those questions aren’t big and scary, and can be resolved with our good friend communication.
It feels like a bit of an anti-climax when I realise that the summary of this blog post it talk about your feelings, develop trust with your partner/s and don’t go into fatality mode over the small stuff. When we are new to things though I think the obvious things can pass us by, and little things can become big things in our mind. More often than I’d like to admit I have let my brain go catastrophic with my thoughts, instead of just taking a step back, thinking things through and discovering everything is in fact, all good.