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.