Image originally posted as With These Hands
For episode 101 of ProudToBeKinky, we discussed Alternative Relationship Models. Which meant not only discussing what that term encompasses but also touching base on why we see our own dynamic as coming under that category. As well as having conversations like this on the podcast, we often have them in private as well. Often reaffirming that we are both still content with our, somewhat, unique setup. The truth is for many reasons our dynamic suits my personal needs perfectly, my confession is that I still have many insecurities that love a chance to rear their ugly heads.
For anyone who hasn’t read or heard the more detailed view of mine and Bakji’s dynamic here is a brief summary. We engage in kink and sexual activities together, we have a romantic element to our dynamic, we’ve exchanged ‘I love you’, we have a great friendship, a podcast together and shared friends. We talk about future plans and include each other in our decision making, even if it’s only as a sounding board rather than a co-decider.
It sounds and looks like a fairly standard relationship to many folks but for various reasons, once we start explaining how we do things to people it becomes clear they have many questions. Things we don’t do and have no plans to do together include; living together, any forms of commitment ceremony (collaring, engagement etc), shared family events. In short, we know the relationship escalator wouldn’t work for us, so we stepped off of it, knowing to do so would benefit our time together.
When I met Bakji his position on relationships was that he didn’t want one. At all, and he made it very clear that he would never have a girlfriend. At the time I saw this as a clear indicator to keep the relationship casual and not get too attached. What is actually meant is we could grow however we pleased but certain terminologies were not welcome descriptors of our interactions together. It took a very long time for the word couple to be used and the word relationship always came with air quotes. We’ve relaxed a little on those two now, but girlfriend and boyfriend are still out of bounds, but sexy friend is our go-to way of describing our time together.
Then you get to explaining the non-monogamy and most non-kinky folks are up in arms. What do you mean you haven’t met his mum? What do you mean he can have sex with other people? Why doesn’t he want to live with you? What if you want more babies? Why doesn’t he want you as his girlfriend? Why? Why? Why? I think you get the idea. When I’ve shared our dynamic with people outside (and even some inside) the kink scene this is the reaction I get.
Here’s the thing, I love what we have together and as I said it suits my own personal set-up perfectly. A lot of the assumptions people make are that our lack of ‘normal’ relationship behaviours is down to Bakji somehow holding me at arm’s length. When the truth is our dynamic is something we have built together, we’ve discussed the parts that work well, we have spoken up when things were hurting and we are stronger for being honest about what it is we want from our time together.
There have been times and situations that have negatively impacted my emotions and they were hard, but we were not only figuring each other out but ourselves and what it was non-monogamy meant to each of us. We were both relatively new to the kink community and very new to non-monogamy at that time and neither us had been looking for a relationship, so to find ourselves in a situation whereby we had someone who truly meant something to us threw us both a little of balance I think and neither of us handled the tricky parts of those early days very well.
Look how well I’m doing at avoiding the nitty-gritty of what this post is about; insecurities. Despite the fact that I can discuss anything with Bakji and our communication is constantly improving I still can’t completely accept that the whole non-monogamy thing won’t cause problems at some point in the future and cause no end of drama, that I just don’t want.
For a long time now the way we’ve engaged in non-monogamy has been (mostly) together. We’ve played with other couples, or other ladies and they’ve been friends as well as sexy play partners. The truth of the matter is that even if it came to solo play, or even solo dates with those people I feel like the outcome and experience would be positive, even if I were not the one getting the hot sexy action. It was these kinds of interactions that made me see how the right people makes all the difference to your experience of non-monogamy.
While we both currently feel that branching into polyamory isn’t for us at the moment. Neither of us is looking for another romantic relationship or a dynamic that would need a regular time commitment. I am always aware that things can happen whether you’re looking for them or not, my brain is constantly on the lookout for someone who might be the ‘game changer’ for our views on polyamory. I think it’s a classic way for insecurities to play out but I never imagine that person being of interest to me, only Bakji.
I have a long history of nightmares and night terrors, which means that when my insecurities manifest in dreams I can be incredibly cruel to myself. I have dreams where Bakji finds someone new and far more exciting than me and just goes off with, doesn’t actually tell me we’re over, just stops calling, texting etc and when confronted thinks that okay because ‘it’s not like I was his girlfriend or anything’.
I also have a constant fear that if he does find someone he really likes he won’t tell me until I see it as ‘too late’. By which I mean they’ll be well on the way to knowing they’re at the start of something good, dates arranged and I’ll find all this out the day before they’re due to meet. With little chance to process and no chance to ask quesitons or as for reassurance.
These are things I’ve discussed with Bakji, more than once. I tell him when I’ve had these dreams and I’ve told him how I’d feel if I were blindsided by a new relationship. He is amazing when I bring these things up and his words and his actions leave me in no doubt that I could, in fact, let these insecurities go. The trouble is they are rooted in those early days of getting it wrong, so my brain has experience to back it up and apparently, 3.5 years isn’t enough time to process and move on.
Another concern I constantly have niggling away is that at some point we’ll stop being lucky with finding the right people and someone who isn’t a good fit for both of us will come along but will be the perfect fit for the other. When I say good fit for both of us I don’t necessarily mean that they want to play with us both. I mean someone we both like, someone who is open to friendship with both of us even if they feel more drawn to one over the other. I can vividly imagine that woman who wants to play with Bakji but can barely spare me a civil hello. Or even worse she makes out like I’m the reason we can’t be friends yet when I try to reach out she cold as ice and I’m left wondering what the hell her problem is.
This imagined lady born of my insecurities also comes with a side helping of Bakji being unable to do scenes with me because he’s so bruised and battered from scenes with her and being his ultimate game changer. Despite the fact that he has embarked on a relationship with me that does, in fact, look a lot like what he said he’d never do, my insecurities love to tell me that someone out there will show him he does want some more and I’ll be left behind as they move forward with things I thought Bakji never wanted.
The fact I don’t want a lot of those things, even if Bakji were to want them if apparently irrelevant when I’m on an insecurity binge. I’m not worried I’ve not met his Mum, I’m sure she’s lovely and I know lots about her, but if my choice is a family dinner or a Sunday of kink, I’m choosing to whip Bakji’s bum every time. The idea that someone else could get to go makes me so sad though and I know that’s because in my head it would show that they were more important than me. That they meant so much to him that it made sharing them and showing them off a priority.
I understand all of the reasons behind every insecurity I have. It doesn’t stop me having them though. Hell, I even know that if Bakji severed ties with me tomorrow I have so much in my life to move forward with that even though I’d be sad, I’d 100% be okay. I don’t suppose any of that matters when it comes to losing someone you are fond of though, because it’s them that matters most when your feelings and life are intertwined with theirs.
I know the answer to battling these insecurities is to keep talking, not only to Bakji but to friends and also here on the blog and on the podcast. I think I mostly wanted to share this ‘confession’ with you all because it can be easy to think we’re the only ones out there who are feeling something and the truth is we are very rarely alone in our thoughts, even thought fear and insecurities can be extremely isolating in their nature.
The other message I think I’d like to convey is that despite all the occasional worries, I am so grateful I made space for non-monogamy in my life. It has enabled me to have some wonderful experiences and make some amazing connections and even though it often takes a lot of work both as an individual and as a couple I wouldn’t want to go back to being monogamous. Which itself was wonderful when it was a good fit for my life, but I think for now at least the journey I am is supported by mine and Bakji’s adventures in non-monogamy.