This week sees the first prompt of Food For Thought Friday hosted by myself a May More. Going forward we’ll be hosting a week each, but this week we have combined forces to ask you what you would send to Room 101?
Room 101 – Originating in George Orwell’s 1984, Room 101 is said to be named after the conference room at the BBC where he attended incredibly boring meetings, In the novel 1984 it is a room where people are taken to face their worst fears. On a lighter note, it is also the name of a BBC comedy show, where guests are invited to put their pet peeves or worst fear into ‘Room 101’.
This was May’s idea, as she posed the questions ‘What are your main hates and/or fears – sex wise or other – that you would like banished from your life forever? … Explain why/how these became your hates and fears.’ However, not only is it a concept I’m familiar with, it is a concept we ran with on Episode 64 of ProudToBeKinky. We asked each other to think of five things we would consign to Room 101 from our days before we discovered kink and non-monogamy.
I decided that for my Food For Thought Friday post I am going to share the things I chose with my wonderful readers. Do bear in mind though that these are reflective of the things I desire from a relationship and are not at all a declaration of how others folks do it wrong. As a bonus, I am going to include the things Bakji shared too. I don’t suppose it comes as a surprise but our choices were actually fairly interchangeable, which I suppose is why we’re still enjoying our time together after 4 years.
The reason we share thoughts like this with our listeners is that in previous relationships our values and approaches didn’t line up like ours do now and as a result, those relationships on reflection didn’t nurture us or make us feel very good a lot of the time. We want our time together to be well spent and we absolutely want other folks to be in that position in their relationships too. We don’t think that doing it just like us will magically make that happen, but we do think that creating a discussion around the different ways people find their happiness is a valuable resource.
I now present to you, in the order we discussed them on the podcast mine and Bakji’s ultimate list of things we would send to Room 101 because we think the world would be a sexier and more loving place without them.
Lack of Intimacy with Friends – I suspect this varies for everyone, but for me, I was not encouraged to be openly loving towards my friends. Perhaps geographical location has something to do with it. When I joined the kink scene though that changed completely. While I’m not the most tactile person, I do now have friends that I can be physically affectionate with and emotional open with. I can tell my friends when I’m missing their faces and I can give them a hug when I see them and this feels so much more rewarding than my previous approach to friendships. If I’d have told a friend in my non-kink days that I loved them, they would have been horrified, that was not how we did things. If we don’t love our friends though, why exactly are we friends with them? I wish more people were sharing their love and offering hugs when they are needed, not because it’s sexual or romantic but just because it’s kind and supportive.
Bakji’s – Spending Too Much Time Together – This one definitely won’t resonate for everyone but is definitely something we both feel strongly about. It’s less about the amount of time spent together though and more about not feeling obliged to spend all your time together just because you are in a relationship. Bakji discussed in Episode 68 how in past relationships he and a partner would end up doing something neither of them really wanted to do because each doing their own thing was frowned upon. This seems daft to us, having your own interests and time apart from each other is surely a great thing to do, especially if it enhances the time you do spend together?
For us, this extends into not living with a partner, but we do realise not everyone needs to take it to that level. I’d go out of my mind if I lived with anyone else though. I need a decent amount of time to myself. I don’t love Bakji any less because of that though. It also means that when I do see him it’s because I want to and I’m excited too.
Penis In Vagina Sex Being the Main Event – I discussed this for Do I Need a P In My V? The short answer is no. Don’t get me wrong I love P.I.V sex, it’s fabulous fun. But it’s not necessary for a healthy and fulfilling sex life, not just for me, but for many folks. For some relationships, it’s not even possible and that doesn’t make their sex life less valid, or less ‘real. I hate that P.I.V sex is often touted as the main event or the end goal, and the term foreplay needs to go to Room 101 too. I have had entire sexual encounters, and in fact, relationships were the only things I did sexually were on the list of what some people consider foreplay. In many cases, those sexual adventures were more satisfying than a lot of the times where a penis went into my vagina.
Bakji’s – Communication Being a Taboo – Within the kink community communication is often talked about and paramount to safe and healthy kink dynamics. Outside of the kink community though it just never seemed to be this way to either of us. Bakji has told me, and the podcast, how in the past he has tried to discuss sexual things with a partner only to be rebuffed because it’s awkward or improper to talk about those things. Even though he knew the ladies in question weren’t perhaps getting the most out of their encounters, and neither was he. He also knew that openly discussing likes and dislikes, wants and needs, would open up a whole new level of enjoyment to them.
I completely agreed with the points Bakji made but I did open up about how I have been resistant to these conversations with others in the past. Which I explored more thoroughly in Let’s Talk About Communication. I’m also a big fan of finding alternative ways to communicate if face to face conversations feel a little bit daunting, you can find out more about how we do that in Communication It’s Good For Ewe.
Let’s Spice Things Up Tropes – I am all for exploring sexual and kinky things that get us all hot under the collar. What makes me feel a bit frustrated is that in previous relationships it’s been the same things on the table that were expected to get my blood pumping and they really don’t, so where did that leave me in terms of sexual excitement? I never found the idea of having sex in a car very appealing, yet it was always offered to me as a thing we should do to be sexually adventurous. As was looking in a mirror as we fucked or having a fumble in the great outdoors.
Like I say, I’m more than happy for other people to enjoy these things, I just don’t though and it always felt like I should do them do complete the tickbox list of sexual things I’ve done, so therefore I’m not a prude. The truth is when I was being offered all those things to ‘spice things up’ what I really wanted was more oral sex, more kissing and more attention for my nipples. Those requests were seen as dull, boring and unnecessary though. No compromise was ever reached either, which leads me nicely onto Bakji’s next pet peeve.
Bakji’s – I Prefer It That Way, Can we Always Do It That Way? – Bakji’s own explanation of this was how in previous relationships both himself and partners were both inclined towards being the bottom in sexual encounters. What he found was that instead of reaching a compromise where everyone got their sexual needs fulfilled, his previous partners tended to want to have things all their own way.
While we don’t advocate doing anything that you are truly uncomfortable with, we do think that all sexual relationships should be benefitting all those involved. I’d like to say that Bakji is alone in his experiences, but actually, mine were very similar.
Where somehow the other person seemed to see their desires as the ‘right way’ and my apparently mundane requests were just a bit too dull to indulge. What we’ve discovered since becoming sexy friends with each, is that indulging and encouraging the other person’s sexual desires and needs actually makes life freakin’ awesome. Also being generous as a lover invites the other person to do the same for you and that is a wonderful way to share intimacy with someone.
Being Forced Onto the Relationship Escalator – For anyone not familiar with the term, the relationship escalator is essentially the format many of us recognise as relationship progression. Dating, commitment to monogamy, merging friends, meeting the parents, moving in together, engagement, marriage, babies.
It often looks something like that, with people around us happy to enquire as to where we are on that agenda and when the next step will be occurring. I recently wrote Looking After My Brain where I discuss why my dynamic with Bakji looks the way it does, it is an ongoing conversation with the outside world though as the assumption is that we all want to be on and should be on the relationship escalator.
I have zero issues with people merging their families, getting married, having babies and engaging in all the other ways in which a relationship can progress. I did them myself and I don’t regret any of it for a second. When that part of my life was good, it was amazing and it went wrong for reasons no one could have predicted. While I wouldn’t do those things again now, if I had to do my life over I would do them all over again with that same person, even knowing as I do now that ultimately we would part ways as husband and wife.
Which means my wish isn’t to abolish the relationship escalator, just to offer it as an option rather than as an obligation. Bakji and I are incredibly happy with our relationship set up, sure it wouldn’t work for everyone, but being on that escalator would make us miserable and I wholeheartedly believe that those kinds of commitments should only be made when both parties are making them because it’s what they want regardless of what other people think.
Bakji’s – Arguing – We acknowledge that everyone has disagreements once in a while and we also know that some people feel that arguing is productive for their relationship. The type of arguing Bakji brought up though is the type that has always hurt my heart. The type of arguing that doesn’t even start with a rational discussion but just descends immediately into shouting and chaos. Even when it was over something relatively small.
We also don’t claim that we never disagree with each other. We do, and we’ve definitely had conversations that were needed to clear the air, but no one raised their voices and we’ve also been kind to each other during the process. I think having similar views on conflict resolution has become one of my most important relationship values, I cannot and absolutely would not be able to function in a relationship with someone who wanted to yell at me every time we had a misunderstanding or disagreement.
You may have noticed that I started this post stating we picked five things each and have only listed four each here. That is because our fifth item was actually a wild card, so something that folks who don’t know us could conceivably believe we didn’t like, but actually, we do enjoy them, and they definitely prompted good conversations. You will have to listen to the episode to find out what they were though.
That just leaves me to ask what would you send to Room 101? Would they be pet peeves? Perhaps you have a fear you would love to banish. They could be to do with relationships, kink, sex, blogging or anything else for that matter. Whatever you would send to Room 101 we would love to hear about them. Click the Food For Thought Friday badge below to go to this week’s link up and get involved. Myself and May are excited to see what discussions occur during our first week at the helm of Food For Thought Friday.