BDSM V: Polyamory in BDSM: Leontii Holender

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I think we can all agree that polyamory is no longer taking a backseat in erotic ManLove fiction, as we now have tons of Ménage titles that showcase the complex dynamics of polyamorous relationships between swoon-worthy heroes. Beyond the world of erotic fiction, polyamory has become broadly practiced in the real-world BDSM/Leather/Fetish community. Just like in our favorite sexy Ménage titles, the people that participate in polyamory in the BDSM context are used to stretching their emotional boundaries via their participation in the lifestyle. Interestingly enough, many that introduced polyamory into the BDSM mix comment on how they were unprepared for the amount of struggle that arose out of it. Be it in a vanilla or lifestyle sense, polyamory is a form of emotional edge play by which participants can stretch their emotional boundaries in the context of love, sex, romance, and their partners.

To start, it should be noted that there is a considerable amount of overlap between the BDSM and polyamorous worlds. In most regional areas there are Swinger groups and BDSM groups, but this isn’t the kind of overlap I’m referring to. While good portions of BDSMers prefer monogamous relationships, there are just as many that are in open relationships in some form or have multiple romantic partners. Polyamory fits well in the context of BDSM, as the open and honest motto of the lifestyle can help a person wade through the emotionally murky waters of a poly relationship. While BDSM and polyamory can coincide wonderfully in a relationship, it’s my experience that it can bring up issues that vanilla polyfolk are not exposed to.

So, why then would a kinky person want a polyamorous relationship? The reasons are as numerous as they are complex. It’s true for most polyfolk (vanilla or kinky) that they either want more of something, something different from what they already have in an established relationship, a greater sense of novelty and variety, or are simply capable of loving more than one person at a time. If a poly person is looking for more, it might be more attention, romance, sex, or time than they can get with their current partner. If they’re looking for something different it’s usually a sign that some crucial need isn’t being met in their current relationship, and so they go in search of fulfillment from someone else. As for those looking for a sense of variety and novelty, that desire is in our human nature, no matter the culture or societal group.

In my experience, kinky people who tend to be poly are usually looking for different rather than more. Usually, the “looking for different” aspect is in regards to a type of dynamic or play that a person’s current partner doesn’t want to do, either because they are not kinky or simply that they like to do a different kind of activity. As most BDSMers have found out in one way or another, it’s hard to find someone that is compatible on a long-term romantic level and aligned with their core kinks. More often than not, the best kink partner is not the same person as your best marriage or life partner. As a result, some BDSMers tend to marry/live with people that are well suited as a domestic partner, but look outside the primary relationship for BDSM activity with people who can meet their needs.

As far as polyamorous relationships go, I personally think that BDSMers are a little better suited for the challenges and rewards polyamory can bring than our vanilla counterparts. In the vast majority of BDSM relationships, each person’s roles and rights are clearly defined and explained. Any person in an open or poly relationship can attest to the fact that a conflict over roles, status, rights, and responsibilities are not a foreign subject. In BDSM relationships and dynamics, each person has a specific set of roles, a clearly defined status, and each person knows what is expected of them and what to expect from each other. This leaves less room for assumptions and misunderstanding about an individual’s status and the hierarchy of relationships. In any relationship, vanilla or kinky, unspecified and unmet expectations can create a lot of hurt feelings.

Secondly, BDSMers usually have a firm understanding of what they need and want to be happy in both a relationship and in play. They can articulate their needs clearly, negotiate the delineation of expectations and responsibilities in the relationship, and have institutionalized these negotiations as part of courtship for play and relationships. The willingness to negotiate, set boundaries, and compromise is a key to any poly relationship. There’s no room to make assumptions about your partner’s needs, desires, expectations, and ability to meet your need set. Be it in a poly or monogamous relationship, the other person can’t read your mind and magically know what you want out of an open or poly relationship. Because BDSMers are often more capable of articulating these things, there’s less room for misunderstanding.

There are a variety of kinky poly relationships and they come in as many shapes and forms as vanilla poly relationships do. Below, I’ve outlined a few. Keep in mind, these are meant to illuminate relationships that are not solely BDSM oriented, but are also polyamorous in nature.

 

Role Specific

This type of polyamorous arrangement works well for people that have several different partners. Each partner can be given a specific role that only they can fulfill. In example, “You are my one and only daddy.”

 

Co-Topping

In this arrangement, a pre-established couple comes as a packaged deal. You can only play with one if you play with the other.

 

Service Only

This can be a significant partnership, but it is based around a sense of formality and service. Be it domestic service, high protocol for a specific event, or a formal sense of service. Oftentimes, people who are dedicated to D/s usually adopt this.

 

Queen Bee

In this arrangement, a dominant has multiple submissive partners who don’t have other Doms.

 

Alpha Slave

An alpha slave is a submissive/slave that is owned or dominated by one person. S/he is allowed to own or dominate submissives/slaves of their own, or is given the responsibility of doing so over the other dominant’s submissives/slaves.

 

Vanilla/Kinky

One partner of the primary relationship is not interested in BDSM. The secondary partner is allowed to explore their needs and wants with one or multiple BDSM partners.

 

photo credit: Reraizure via photopin cc

One comment

  1. I love your witting, very interesting thanks…………