Monday, February 27, 2017

Unfair to the comets?

When I first met Swede, we tried to do a more "full time"-ish relationship. Despite the long distance. After a few months, I realised (again!) that I didn't have the time or energy for yet another full time relationship. I've come to this realisation several times before, but I keep trying again. Because I like having intense emotional connections with people.

Instead of cutting Swede completely off, he became something like a comet (which I explained here). Sometimes we chat several times per day, sometimes we don't speak for a week. We have some great long skype calls, but they have become much less frequent than they used to be. I still care deeply for him, and I'm really looking forward to seeing him again this summer. I hope we can play and have fun, but just as important is cuddling and talking. Because I love him and look forward to spending time with him.

For me, this amount of contact works out perfectly. I spend time with him when I've got the energy and opportunity to do so, and don't feel bad when that isn't possible (or try not to feel bad, anyway). I've got a fairly busy schedule, he has a very open schedule, meaning that he's almost always available whenever I want him to be.

What bothers me about this arrangement is that it gives me too much power. I feel like I become some sort of royalty, doling out my attention to supplicants who come begging. He has to wait on my time. On my whims. I'm keeping him at arm's length, because I don't have the energy for anything closer or more involved. And he accepts that, despite missing me and despite not having anyone else in his life that he can turn to for intimate relations or close emotional support. It feels too unfair, for him. Too unbalanced.

Of course, I don't see how we could have any other sort of relationship. This is the best and the most involved that I can offer. I don't have any other solution. I guess it just makes me feel bad that I'm his only source for emotional or physical closeness, so he's left bereft whenever I can't prioritize him.

We've spoken about this, and he claims to be ok with it. He says that some of me is better than none of me, and that he's glad he's getting anything at all. That the longing and emotional ups and downs are worth it. I have to trust that, and trust that he's able to take care of himself and his own needs. I just worry that I'm taking advantage, seeing as everything is on my terms.

The reason this has come up at all, is because of Cogito, the guy I met this weekend. If things work out, and we keep getting along, he could theoretically become another comet. Another "this is great fun when it happens, but for long stretches of time it won't"-kind of relationship. And I worry.

That guy claims that it only seems unfair from my standpoint, but I don't understand that statement. It's the guys I worry about, after all. Not myself. I'm in the sweet spot, getting the most by giving the least. I don't understand how that isn't unfair on some level, but like I said: I don't have a solution.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

What did work out: Cogito

After the first 30 hours or so of the festival this weekend (some, of course, spent sleeping, so perhaps they shouldn't count), no one had shown any interest in me that wasn't just regular friendliness. At least not that I could notice. (Now, I don't want to rule out that I might have lacking abilities in discovering when people are flirting. If I do, that could be part of the problem.)

I'd been participating, asking questions, meeting new people, dancing, and even (for the first time in over two years) drunk enough to make me slightly tipsy. I'd been very frank about being poly and about being sexually liberal, open and interested. I'd also talked to quite a few people about my interests in kink and in particular in bondage, though not in great detail.

I made a decorative shibari pattern of yarn on my name tag, as a sort of kink-recognition trap. You either see what it is, or you don't, and if you do... Well, we could have overlapping fields of interests. I also carried a half-length of rope on my body during the evening hours, so as to be able to show people rope stuff in a social context, if they were interested.

I was trying to present myself and my interests in a way that was light hearted and fun, so as to not come off as too aggressive. I also wanted to leave people the option of pursuing those topics further if they wanted to, but also the option ignoring those topics and just talk of other things.

After well over 24 hours, I was slowly becoming disillusioned and concluding that still practically no one found me attractive enough to show any interest beyond friendliness. I was seriously considering seeking out the French guy whom I'd gotten to know during the previous week, even though I didn't really fancy him at all. At least it would be some physical attention, even if I didn't feel quite comfortable with the idea.

Then, due to a series of random events, I started talking with a guy at a party (edited to add: This is the guy I've since named Cogito.) I offered him some of my cider, and he commented on my name badge (with the shibari-like decorative pattern on it).

I showed him the length of proper shibari rope that I "happened" to carry on my body, saying half-jokingly that I was looking for "willing victims" to tie up. I asked him, like I'd asked everyone else I'd talked to about it, to spread the word to anyone who might be interested. However, as opposed to everyone else I'd talk to, he said "I might be a very willing victim".

Score.

Admittedly... Not quite in the way I originally wanted to.
It was not someone who saw me, found me attractive, and started flirting with me.
It was not someone who viewed me as a sexy and interesting person, based on who I am or how I look, and therefore desired me.
It was someone who saw me as an available dominant woman, and who desired me for that. For what I could do to them. For the experience I could provide. The service I could give. Not for who I am.

After the comment about being tied up, things quickly developed. We talked a lot, got to know each other better, negotiated, kissed and played and had fun. I loved the time I had with him, and really grew to care for him over the two short nights that we had. I have no doubt that he enjoyed spending time with me, liked me as a friend, found me intelligent and interesting, and that he liked the things I did to him.

However, the idea of being desired for who I am, and not for my skills or the service I can provide, is an old insecurity of mine. I wrote about this already back in 2012, and although I'm somewhat more confident now than I was then, most of that blog post is still true. I am not just my looks, of course. I also consist of my experiences, thoughts, ideas, temperament, and all those other things. But my looks is my weak point. (If not in reality, then at least confidence wise.)

I had a great time with him, I'm glad we found each other and very happy that we played. I'll probably write more about it at some later point. But just like with Swede (and back in 2012 with Tight), I have a very hard time to believe that this guy actually desires the person I am.

It might just be a personality issue...? Thinking back, I notice that both that guy, Swede and Tight (and Corvus and Mondage, before them), are rather reserved people. Not all of them are shy, but all are careful in social contexts. They sometimes struggle with what to say, they over-think, and they aren't among the most "popular" or loud guys in a crowd.

However, that description fits Saint as well. And I feel very confident that Saint desires me for me. I've been able to trust that since the first week we played. So personality isn't the whole explanation...

Besides, as opposed to Swede, Tight and Corvus, this guy is really, really good at speaking his mind. He seems to be more in contact with his emotions, he articulates both feelings and intentions clearly, he expresses his needs and he's able to explain (to a large degree) how he "ticks".

So am I just misreading him? Putting too much weight on observations and behaviors, and not enough into what he actually says? I'm not sure if I can do otherwise...

Maybe I'm the one over-thinking things?

What didn't work out: The French

This weekend, T and I participated in a conference/festival. It's not a kink/poly/BDSM event, but many of the participants were kinky/poly in some way. And the majority of the participants were sex positive, open minded and fairly liberal.

This festival has a long and proud tradition, and many of our friends and acquaintances have participated several times before. I went there mostly to figure out what the fuss was about, and to be more "in" on all the jokes and stories people in our social group tell to each other. I also wanted to find someone to hook up with and have some casual and intimate fun. I'd prefer if it was BDSM-related, but would also have been happy with some heavy vanilla petting.

Or so I thought.

A few days before the event began, three people crashed in T's and mine appartement. One of them was a polyamorous, bearded french guy around 40. Not particularly kinky or at least not part of any kink scene, and therefore unused to the typical BDSM-like negotiations. We got to know each other a bit (despite his poor English and my poor French) and he was nice enough, and we ended up kissing for a bit. However, I hesitated with taking that any further.

I spent the next two days trying to figure out why. Partially, I think it was because I wasn't particularly interested in him. He was nice enough sure, but I didn't feel like we "clicked" in any way neither physically or mentally, and he didn't have the charisma to overcome that lack (as some people do).

But partially, I think it was because I felt uncomfortable entering into any intimate encounter without a proper negotiation. At least, I felt a need to express where my boundaries were (for example no penis-in-vagina sex), so that he wouldn't feel like I was leading him on in any way..  and I wanted to talk about health issues (like the use of protection and those kinds of things). And with the language barrier being as it was, I simply wasn't interested enough to actually make the effort of having that talk.

And that makes me wonder... If I actually did catch the eye of someone interesting.. On a dance floor, for example.. Would I actually feel able to do anything with him? Spontaneous, in a darkened corner of a room, music blaring? Or would I not be able to go beyond a kiss, without really talking properly first? Doesn't all that talking remove some of the magic, the spontaneity, the flow, the feeling of being in the moment?

Is this attention that I desire, really just a mental construct? A fantasy that I'm too much of a control freak to actually explore in real life? And if the answer is yes: Is this something I ought to change? Or is this desire for control actually a good thing, because it means I'm being more safe. Not just for my own security's sake, but for the sake of my other partners and metamours..

The French encounter has given me new insight into my own reactions, thought patterns, wants and needs. I don't have any answers, but I've at least discovered more questions.

A philosophical ramble on attention and attraction

(I thought I'd written this elsewhere in this blog, but apparently I hadn't. So I'm writing it here.)

In the kink community, dominant women are in high demand. And since I'm an experienced, highly visible and outspoken person, who's willing to play casually with others.. Well, I'm usually not lacking in offers.

However, in no other social scene do I get the same attention. In other social settings, it feels like I'm still stuck in high school, sitting in a corner and watching the more popular girls having all the fun. Being alone, while others are swimming in offers (often more than they want).

For this reason, it's always difficult for me to deal emotionally with the discussions concerning unwanted sexual attention from guys. Like cat-calling or people groping women in a bar queue.

(Now, I don't doubt that this is a problem, for lots of women, and I can sympathise on an intellectual level. I've also felt slightly worried when walking alone in town at night, I've taken precautions with where I meet someone for the first time, I try not to get overly drunk at parties, I worry that I'm "leading someone on" if I'm too nice to them... So yeah "rape culture" is definitely a problem. I do think about my own safety in my daily life, and especially when interacting with men I don't know that well.)

But on some level, I wish I could get some of that attention that other women seem to hate. I know it's irrational, and that I probably wouldn't want any such attention from guys if it did happen to me... I know that stalking and cat-calling and groping and veiled threats hidden as compliments aren't nice, and they don't make people feel wanted or desired or safe. But still...

But still, I can't help notice that some women get all the attention. All the positive attention AND all the negative attention. Some women... not me.

Like I said, it's like being back in high school, watching the popular kids. Sometimes, I feel like negative attention would be better than none at all. That way, at least, I'd know that SOMEONE was attracted to me. Someone thought I was sexy. (Someone, who didn't know that I represent the commodity that is "Dominant Woman".) Someone who saw me, and was attracted to me. Yeah, it's sort of irrational, I know.

Still, I can't quite shake it.