3 weeks ago. Sat 24 Feb 2018 03:44:12 PM IST
"And the sky was made of amethyst
And all the stars were just like little fish
You should learn when to go
You should learn how to say no"
- Hole, Violet (Live Through This)
Less ramble and more real this time around. A little slice of reality in the form of a message between me and someone that approached me recently. There's a lot of talk and writing about ideal and theoretical negotiation, how things 'should' be done, a lot of stories and discussion about the aftermath of failed relationships, but very few practical examples of what 'nuts and bolts' communication and negotiation looks like during those difficult times. I thought it might be enlightening to see what discussing relationship difficulties actually looks like in my world.
A few disclaimers:
1) What follows below is my original message, word for word, written to her only with no intentions of posting. It's raw, human and not perfect.
2) The person that it was written to is not a member on The Cage, nor are any of the people I refer to. I do have a life outside of here. :) Seriously though, there's some pretty intimate stuff in here. This isn't about petty drama or guessing games. Please respect that.
3) Yes, we got past this.
4) The attitudes, opinions and approach are mine alone, and not held up as ideal or perfect.
I wanted to share this as an example of how to communicate rather than what to communicate. Far too often, when folks hit difficulties, they focus on their partner's issues rather than their own experiences and how those influence concerns and anxieties. I tried to do my best here to focus on my issues, not hers, and to express problems as incompatibility, not flaws.
As always, I'm open to any and all feedback.. - Fud
I know your anxiety is an issue, so I'll say off the top that I'm not cutting off any contact, but we do need to slow down and talk if we're going to take things any further.
I can't fault any of your reasons, or rationale for wanting to explore BDSM. I don't argue with your assessment of your needs or desires there.
I do have hesitations about me being a good fit as a partner for you. I tried to explain them as thoroughly as I could last night, but you responded as if I listed reasons why you're not 'good enough'. It's not a matter of 'good enough' it's a matter of compatibility. I'm not going to play the 'tell me what you're REALLY thinking' game. It's a red flag for me. I've been open and honest throughout. If you don't believe that, you should run, not walk away.
Did I encourage you to play and 'tug at the lead'? Yes, and no. My approach isn't much different than training a puppy. You need time and patience to do proper training, but you also need to play and reward that to 'get some energy out'. I wanted to see if we could play online and achieve that. It didn't go well. One failure doesn't mean it's hopeless, but I did see problems there. No, the fact that you didn't cum wasn't one of them. It happens to me too, and I don't see failure or lack of skill there.
The problems I did see, and that concern me the most involve some BDSM basics around consent and communication. Yes, 'everyone is new at some point'. I don't fault you there. What is frustrating and confusing to me is that you had these desires for xxx years, you're obviously a smart person, yet you did nothing to research or explore even the basics of the lifestyle while still holding a strong desire to participate.
I made some assumptions when we first started talking in thinking that you were aware of at least some of these basic concepts. You are very aware and in touch with some of the deeper psychological motivations and effects of BDSM (no doubt your education helps there) and that led me to believe that you knew a bit more about the 'nuts and bolts' aspects than you did. It seemed a bit like having an in depth discussion about traffic patterns and road conditions with someone only to later discover that they did not own or drive a car.
I could and am still willing to go into more detail there, but considering the reactions to that feedback so far, I'm going to try a different approach. The following are reasons that I don't think we're compatible. They're based on my faults, past experiences, and areas of weakness.
1) Partners not speaking up about circumstances that affect their mood, time, and concerns early enough. I play at some deep and dark kinks, and part of what I enjoy is making partners uncomfortable at times and pushing limits. I expect that when I move into areas or circumstances that a partner is uncomfortable with, they will understand that it's their right and responsibility to communicate that discomfort as soon as possible. Submissive in play should not be submissive when it comes to their own feelings and concerns. I have hurt people before due to communication difficulties and not speaking up soon enough, and it's made me feel like a monster. I do not wish to repeat those mistakes ever again.
2) Partners with multiple medical issues. This has overwhelmed me in the past, and left me resentful and irritated at partners when I needed to be sympathetic and supportive. It requires a lot more mental effort on my part to manage these relationships with due consideration, especially online. I have a very strict hierarchy of relationships, and my local ones with folks I've met in person will always take priority. As I've mentioned, partners both past and present have had those issues, and I have previously existing support obligations there as a friend and partner that limit my ability to fully support someone with those same circumstances online. This is why I suggested a more monogamous partner for you, not jealousy issues.
3) Partners who have been molested by family members in the past. This is not an uncommon circumstance to come across when you play with the kinks I do. I have found it impossible to ignore exploring that abuse and how it connects to BDSM and desires with partners before. It's a very delicate and long term thing. Once again, I've made mistakes there in the past, and feel I've left partners needed more support than they got from me. I am always wary of any relationship where this in an issue. It's very important that both partners are not only willing to explore this, but understand both their own and their partner's motivations when exploring.
I'm willing and glad to discuss any of these flaws and problems in my approach to things, and whether you think we might be able to get past them. I'd like that discussion to focus more on my flaws and what I'm doing wrong than your flaws and problems, but I'm flexible there as well.