by Regyna Longlank
After my divorce I decided I didn’t want to be in a monogamous relationship anymore. I had met some people who were into polyamory and I was intrigued. To me this was the cutting edge of human relationship, evolving past jealousy, building stable networks of loving individuals, it all sounded so great. I had always been fascinated by the concept, and I had heard of it, but meeting actual people living that way definitely made me want to learn more. Ever the social butterfly my attentions were fairly fickle in my youth and I bounced between slutty behavior and serial monogamy, trying to keep myself within acceptable bounds but always feeling like I was capable of more, and wondering why it wasn’t ok. I was terrified of what I might do left to my own devices, so I tended to see myself as attached to a man if only in my mind as a way to control my own impulses.
I auditioned for a theater project in the city run by a young man whose stated goal in life was to help men accept what they wanted and learn how to get it from others who want the same things. His personal mission to remove shame from sex included helping people to explore kink, bdsm, power exchange and some other consent and negotiation based practices as a way to find out what turns on you and your partner. To quote a ’05 flyer “Fireball Improv is a revolutionary improvisational theatre troupe devoted to exploring human relationships by drawing on audience suggestions.” This was my first real exposure to the slap and tickle of it all, and I was cautious but very interested.
Spanking, for example, had never held any sexual interest for me. The experiences I had with corporal punishment in my youth did not leave me titillated, and I had no positive associations with being hit. After doing a scene with light spanking in it I suddenly realized it wasn’t about the spanking. At least not for me, I’m sure for some folks it is the humiliation or the power exchange that is hot about spanking. For me it is a simple case of blood flow and stimulation. Having the area of my ass stimulated by light impact increases blood flow to the area, which arouses me, and increases sensitivity and sexual response. I found this astounding, as I thought the point of it was spanking, or being spanked, or some variation of the psychology surrounding the act of spanking. It never occurred to me that the physical aspect of it was the point. Not the pain aspect, this was not a painful spanking. The positive physical aspect of increasing blood flow and awareness and therefore sexual pleasure was not something I expected.
As someone who is interested in the sensual and the lovely my personal journey into the world of kink has been very rewarding and a real eye opener. In a place where I expected mean-spirited violence and self loathing I have instead found that things are not always what they seem, and it does bear closer examination. My initial assessment stands – you do not enter into these things lightly, like any form of ritual it is very powerful, and once you begin it will be difficult to go back to not knowing. It is true what they say, in order to survive one must ride the tiger until one becomes the tiger, it is not possible to dismount. The depth of self discovery available and heights of human sexuality possible make the journey well worth the risk, but make no mistake. This is not a game.
If you choose to explore find a partner you can trust, go slowly, and communicate, communicate, communicate. Consent and negotiation are imperative. Take it slow, check in with yourself and your partner often, and find a supportive community. You will need to be able to talk about what you experience, it is important to have a safe place to do that and people you trust to talk to, people who aren’t going to judge you, sex-positive people who understand theater and play and ritual and the power of these things. For me it has been incredibly empowering, and I will be exploring some aspects and sharing them with you. There is no right way, it’s a journey, and this is mine. Here’s hoping we all learn something from the experience.
- Is Polyamory the New Monogamy? (femalesexualhealth.wordpress.com)
- No Need to Blame Polyamory (lovingmorethanone.wordpress.com)
- Polyamory and Sex Addiction (psychologytoday.com)
- Expanded Monogamy (psychologytoday.com)
- Evolution (polyamorwolf.wordpress.com)
- Poly Q&A: How’d You Become Poly? (apolylife.wordpress.com)
- Monogamy Rocks! (slog.thestranger.com)