Ever since my alter-ego took on a new writing assignment, I’ve been having some trouble getting the advice out on Mondays. I’m considering changing the day of the week I do it. But for now, I give you Monday Advice on Tuesday.
My partner N and I have been together for well over a decade. We’ve had ups and downs in our sex life over that time, and we’re currently working hard on getting to a place with it that makes both of us happy. We have tried various kinky activities in the past, and they were fun but never became a large part of our sexual repertoire. However, we both have other partners, and I have been exploring my kinky side with mine in a way I never have with N. I know that N is unhappy that there are things I am “sharing” with others which I am not doing with her. I know that every couple has ways in which they aren’t completely sexually compatible, but what can I do about the things that I want to do with other people but just am not interested in doing with N? I’m GGG, but there are things that just isn’t sufficient for.
- Sad in the City
This is a somewhat tricky situation, but if it weren’t, I imagine you wouldn’t have written. My first response, though, is to ask you a question: what things are you willing to do with N? It can be very difficult, in poly relationships, to feel that there are things that you and your primary partner simply don’t share – especially sexual things. But it can also be very difficult to be as kinky as you want to be with the person you share your life with, especially if you’re trying in all other ways to have a relationship of equals. When you do kinky sex with someone regularly – especially if the power only flows in one direction – the question of who does the laundry and who pays the bills becomes even more charged than it usually is. Not to mention that sometimes, you just don’t see your partner in those terms. And sometimes, especially if you’ve been with someone for a long time, you’ve discovered your kinkier side with someone else.
I can’t count how many clients I had when I was a professional domme who couldn’t ever imagine approaching their wives about their kinky desires. For the most part, these were women these men had chosen to marry before they knew about their kinks, or they were caught up in some virgin/whore dichotomy and chose these women to marry and raise kids with, and went to women like me for the other stuff. In your case, though, it sounds like you’ve given kink with your primary a fair shake, and it just hasn’t worked for you. In that brilliant way that poly people do, you’ve found appropriate outlets for your desires elsewhere.
But now your primary is unhappy. Why? Because she perceives that you’re having all the great sex with someone else, not with her. So the question becomes not what to do about those things you don’t want to do with her, but what about those things you do want to do?
It’s impossible to make a happy sex life out of things you’re not doing. But there are many, many things to do in sex. It can be a huge trap to focus on the things you’re not doing together – especially if you both are doing those things with other partners. The thing to do is focus on what you’re already doing together, what you could be doing together that you know works but aren’t doing for some reason, and what else you could try that might work.
Comparisons, as one of Shakespeare’s fools said, are odorous. Experienced polyamorous people know the dangers of comparing oneself to one’s partner’s other partners; that way lies madness. Comparing the sex you’re having is no exception – in fact, it’s probably the cardinal application of the general rule. The thing to do is address the sex you’re having in that relationship, and find the ways of having it that are good for both of you. This might involve some experimentation, and maybe bringing back some of the things you did in the past that you found “fun.” It may involve trying some new things, or falling back on old standbys that you know work well.
I’m a pretty kinky person, but I know that with one of my partners, the most profound and satisfying thing we can do is fuck in missionary position. The way we connect energetically takes care of the rest. With another partner, sometimes he gets full satisfaction just from going down on me – which I don’t enjoy all that much with anyone else. It doesn’t matter to me that I’m not swinging from the chandeliers with either of those partners, and it doesn’t seem to bother them, either. It can take time to get to the point where you’re not constantly thinking about how you must be falling short compared to your partner’s other partners, with whom your partner clearly has a much more fulfilling and exciting sex life (read sarcasm here). But it is possible.
The trick is to connect, without expectations. Undress each other. Look at each other. Get into bed together and just touch each other for a while. Revel in the feel and familiarity of each other’s skin. Even if you don’t have the most exciting sex ever, you’ll be rebuilding the closeness that brought you together in the first place.
Next, make a point of it. Have boring sex, once a week at the least. Make special time for it. As you go on, keep trying new things, or old things, one at a time. Really explore each other. Sometimes, poly couples can fall into the complacency trap: because all the exciting sex is coming from outside the primary relationship, it’s easy just to share the non-sexual, day-to-day life with one’s familiar, primary partner and let the sex life fizzle. Before you know it, you’re just like best friends who are roommates. Add scheduling craziness to this and the pattern becomes nigh-unbreakable.
So schedule it in. Mark the time for each other in your calendars. Keep to it, and start finding the things that make your sex together special, rather than concentrating on what’s missing.