Monday, October 6, 2014

Kaelah's Corner (Sep 2014):
You and I

A warm welcome to another belated edition of Kaelah's Corner. This is the third post in my series about kink and relationships. In my first post I wrote about the influence that being kinky might have on the issue of finding a mate. In my second post I discussed the question What is love?. Today I want to talk about different types of relationships and how they are represented in our kinky community.

As you might already have realised when reading my post about love, I am of the opinion that love relationships can't be perfect and always have their strengths and weaknesses. That is because the different aspects of love and of our needs and desires are often contradictory and therefore can't all be equally fulfilled in one relationship.

This is why Michael Mary, the relationship counsellor whom I already quoted in my last post, advocates letting go of the widespread belief that one can have everything with a single partner forever. He argues that instead of the perfect all-in-one-relationship there are different possible kinds of relationships depending on what is most important for those involved. Mary distinguishes five types of relationships which I think are common in the kinky community as well.

In an adjusted relationship, lifetime support is the most important thing. The partners complement each other so well that they want to stay together long-term. Therefore, they adjust with each other. Passion and sometimes sexuality is put on hold. Some of these couples almost have no sex at all any more.

I think this kind of relationship is quite common. In our community, I have heard especially from some fellow kinksters who are a bit older and explain that this is how their relationship works or worked (in case their partner is already deceased). I believe that a high number of younger couples who have decided to raise a family together live in an adjusted relationship as well. I guess that many people who just read and enjoy kinky blogs and kinky fantasies but aren't active members of the kinky community otherwise might be in such a relationship.

Sometimes we also hear about this kind of relationship in a negative way, mostly I think on DD-blogs and other kinky couple blogs. Because sometimes the starting point of a DD-relationship or experimenting with kink is that one partner or both are unhappy with the lack of sex in their relationship.

Those who are living in a distant relationship don't have that problem. The aim here is to maintain the passion in an exclusive and faithful relationship. Because distance is an essential condition for passion, the couple does without a good deal of everyday accompaniment. For example, by deliberately choosing to live separately.

I have to admit that this is a type of relationship I haven't heard about too often in the kinky community. Ludwig and I are currently still in a long-distance relationship and that certainly has fed the passion for each other for quite a while. Still, for us, this is just one step in our relationship and we plan to live closer together and share more of our daily life in the future.

For serial relationships the rule is: As long as the passion glows, one should keep the relationship. A relationship without a common and passionate sexuality is considered worthless and therefore ends. The partners can deal better with frequent partner changes than with having to adjust or keeping some distance between each other.

I think serial relationships are more and more common amongst younger people, also in the kinky community. Being in a love relationship then means having fun together and experimenting with spanking and kink. Once the passion decreases, the partners decide that they don't fit well enough any more and part.

In parallel relationships a person simultaneously lives in two relationships – either secretly or openly. One relationship focusses on the accompanying everyday love and the other one on passionate love.

I have the impression that this is quite common in the kinky community, especially for fellow kinksters whose spouse/life partner doesn't share their kink. Then often the kinkster has a kinky play partner in addition to the long-term vanilla partnership. Sometimes the spouse/long-term partner knows about and condones the play relationship, sometimes the second relationship is kept a secret. In addition to that there are the open kinky relationships which are quite common as well.

And finally there are the controlled free relationships. Couples in such a relationship allow extramarital sex, which has to follow certain agreements though. The partners are allowed sexual escapades from time to time, but no durable side relationships.

I think this model is very common in our community as well. Many kinksters who live in otherwise exclusive relationships go to parties and play with others at least from time to time. Often their arrangements exclude sexual intercourse and/or other forms of intimate touch but some are open for that as well.

I've asked myself which type of relationship I would find ideal for Ludwig and me. Since I want to raise a family with Ludwig and long for a long-term relationship, the serial relationship can easily be ruled out. Parallel relationships wouldn't work for me, either, because I don't want to have more than one mate at once. Ludwig holds the same view, and besides, he jokingly tells me that having one girlfriend is stressful enough for him, he definitely doesn't need more than one in his life! I also think that it is extremely difficult to find a good balance between all people involved and avoid hurting any of the partners when openly living in parallel relationships. And betraying one's partner by having a second relationship behind his back isn't an option for me, because trust is one of the most integral parts of a love relationship in my view.

Maintaining a distant relationship doesn't fit to our future plans, either, but Ludwig and I certainly both need more time for ourselves and more personal freedom than many others. So I am very sure that we will both insist on private rooms and a certain amount of alone-time, even when sharing a home.

In my opinion, an adjusted relationship can be a very happy and fulfilling form of relationship. For me at least, friendship and partnership are much more important in the long run than sex in a relationship. I think my ideal relationship is one that focusses mainly on friendship and partnership.

Given that both Ludwig and I need a certain level of distance, though, I have the hope that this might stir up our passion at least from time to time, even when we share more responsibilities and our everyday-life with each other. And even if the passion shouldn't be reawakened on a regular basis, I think it might be possible to give one's partner sexual satisfaction as a gift of friendship as well
from time to time. What I mean is that at times when one partner is in the mood and the right headspace for sex and the other is not, maybe the one not in the right mood can still administer a spanking or satisfy the partner manually or orally, as long as their mind isn't in a completely different place that requires them to have some time for themselves.

And finally we have the controlled free relationship. In my opinion that might be an additional option for Ludwig and me in the future. Right now I think that our relationship still doesn't have the necessary maturity for that, though, and there are too many things which we have to find out and build up between the two of us first. But once our new life together is settled, at least attending a spanking party from time to time and playing with others (maybe not each of us separately but the two of us together) is something that I can imagine. That might give us a time-out from our everyday responsibilities and maybe even raise the passion for each other. Plus, it would enable us to try out things which we can't do alone, like co-topping.

At the moment, spanking and kink only play a minor role in our life, though, and other topics are more important. We'll see how our relationship and our kink will develop over time and whether my view and Ludwig's view on different types of love relationships will change.

How about you? What types of relationships have you experienced and which kind of relationship are you longing for? Which one would definitely not work for you? I look forward to reading about your thoughts and experiences in the comment section!


Anonymous said...

Hello Kaelah,

Just stopping by to visit after a long time away from blogs. I hope you and Ludwig are both well!

I've been thinking a lot about some of the issues you raise in this post. It seems to me that it's particularly true of kinky couples that no one person can fulfill another's needs throughout a lifetime. The more unusual-- and I use that word not as a pejorative, but merely to indicate tastes that are not shared by the majority of the population-- one's sexual needs are, the less likely that one can find a partner who shares both sexual tastes and the compatibility needed to share a life together. Even when both partners are kinky, there is still sufficient variety that it's hard to have a monogamous play relationship that fulfills all the needs of both partners, even independent of vanilla compatibility.

I think that's part of the reason there are so many poly relationships in the kink world. Even when both members of a couple are kinky, it's not unusual for one to want to switch and the other not to, or for one to want a DD partner and the other to have no interest. So while I think I'm with Ludwig in that having more than one primary partner would be way too much work, I'm not opposed to secondary partners with whom I would play but not have a relationship with the same degree of commitment as with a (theoretical) primary relationship.

However you would describe your relationship with Ludwig, I hope that it lives long and prospers!


Kaelah said...

@ Indy:
It's good to hear from you! I've read the story which you recently posted on your blog and liked it very much.

I am quite sure that poly relationships wouldn't work for me, even though I can definitely see the advantages. I think all forms described by Mary can work well, as long as those involved are open and honest with each other and treat each other with love, care and respect. I also think that relationships change over time and that couples who want to stay together in the long run constantly have to adapt to those changes.