I’m starting to feel mildly resentful about the goings-on at the play party.
Yes, I enjoyed seeing The Bunny reduced to even more of a puddle than I could have managed by myself.
Yes, elements of the evening turned me on – mostly The Bunny’s reactions to things.
Yes, I was willing to fulfill The Bunny’s fantasy of two women at once, and basically volunteered to.
But what if I hadn’t been up for it?
What if Chibi and I had been sitting there with The Bunny rubbing both our feet and she’d said “what should we make him do for us now?” and all I really wanted was for her to back off so The Bunny and I could focus on each other one-on-one – which is what I’d understandably expected of the evening, after all, since The Bunny was my date and I hadn’t anticipated that Chibi would be there, let alone that she and The Bunny had gotten onto a sexual basis with one another as of that afternoon?
I mean, I guess I could have deflected using something like “Actually, I think The Bunny and I will go over there now. Talk to you later!” but that would have been awkward as hell, not least because there really wasn’t a “there” to go to. I didn’t have anyone across the room I knew and could start a conversation with, all the play equipment was currently in use – it would have been really, really obvious that I was just trying to get rid of Chibi. And honestly, I hold nothing against her – she seems like a cool person, and it was The Bunny’s obligation to tell her our rule about focusing on each other when we’re out together; if he didn’t, how could she know how to behave with us? I didn’t want her to feel like I was hostile about the two of them seeing each other, and I didn’t want her to feel like she had to avoid us at this public event she had every right to attend.
So, like…I do enjoy the idea of making The Bunny’s big fantasy come true, and would probably have set about making it happen sometime…but I know part of the reason I took things in that direction when I did is that I felt slightly cornered and didn’t know what else to do. When Chibi said “What should we make him do for us now?” I wasn’t thinking “All I wanna do right now is co-top him!” – I was thinking “Well…I’d been thinking of co-topping The Bunny with someone, anyway, and I actually don’t have any ideas for more things he could do for the two of us…and even if I did, I’d get less pleasure out of having half his attention than I would out of putting my full attention on only half of his body during co-topping…and it’s not like I object to Chibi’s company right now; she seems perfectly nice and I don’t want to tell her to go away, so…fuck it.”
To be clear, if that whole footrub, “What should we make The Bunny do for us now” thing hadn’t happened, I might have suggested co-topping him anyway. But it would have been fully my decision, dammit, and not tainted by peer pressure.
The Bunny and I have been texting a little bit about all of this, btw – I’m trying to save most of the conversations I want to have until I see him in person, but I just had to ask him the burning question in my mind: whose idea was it for Chibi to come out with him?
It was her idea. She genuinely wanted to come out to this thing, and was at The Bunny’s apartment that afternoon/evening anyway, so they headed over together. The Bunny did not invite his newest sex partner to come out on a date with us.
So that makes me feel better.
It seems he did forget our “focus on each other” rule, though. I asked him if he discussed protocol with Chibi once she decided to tag along, and he said he didn’t because he was unsure of the correct protocol for the situation, himself.
Actually, he said some version of “this is all new to me” a few times during our conversation. I think he thinks he’s in trouble or something – like my questions are giving him that “summoned to the principal’s office” feeling. I assured him that it’s okay, it’s all new to me, too.
We’ll talk more about things tomorrow.
I would really love some input from poly people about all of this – did you ever go through something like this when you were new to poly (assuming you were ever a monogamous type)? If so, how did you react? How would you react now?
And my biggest question: how can you tell the difference between a pang of jealousy that will go away on its own and doesn’t really need addressing, and a thing that genuinely does not feel okay to you? I’ve been struggling a lot with setting boundaries. I wanna do “relationship anarchy” in which there are no rules (no “veto power” over metamours, etc.). Occasionally, something might come up that bugs me and I become tempted to make a rule in order to avoid that discomfort in the future…but most of the time, the discomfort was jealousy and after I acknowledged it and let it sit a while, it went away. But I do think there are things a partner could do that would genuinely be kind of shitty, and I can’t always tell if what I’m feeling is jealousy or legitimate grievance.
The “focus on me when we’re out together” thing is one example of a boundary I feel good about setting. I don’t want to make relationship rules based on archaic ideas of possessiveness, but I do not think my wish to be the focus is coming from that; if I went to a social gathering with a platonic friend and they ignored me all night, I’d be pissed off, too. So I see this rule as common courtesy, not some heteronormative “I own your ass” bullshit. I mean I even told The Bunny that if we’re out somewhere and he takes a liking to someone else, he can talk to them for a bit and get their number for later – I just want him to spend most of his time with me.
Other times that I feel uncomfortable with something, though, I have a hard time telling whether the discomfort is coming from my gut, or from society telling me I’m supposed to be uncomfortable. For instance, when The Bunny had that play session with RopeGirl a bunch of months ago, I felt weird and jealous that someone else was topping him. But I reminded myself that once upon a time I’d’ve felt insanely jealous about a partner kissing someone else, too, but I powered through that and learned that “outside” kisses didn’t affect my relationship at all – ergo, just because I feel uncomfortable about something doesn’t mean I shouldn’t let it happen. Letting shit happen has been a huge source of personal growth for me (and I did let RopeGirl top The Bunny, and it didn’t affect our relationship, and now I feel more secure about him being topped by other people). But I could see myself taking it too far: “Okay, my date has now picked up someone else and is ignoring me while fucking her literally across my lap as though I’m a piece of furniture…this is my worst birthday ever!!! …Well, y’know what, this makes me uncomfortable, but lots of other things used to make me feel uncomfortable and I managed to power through it and grow as a person…maybe I just need to reframe this/wait out the discomfort/etc…”
What do other poly people do? How can you tell garden variety insecurity from someone actually being kind of a thoughtless dick?