I’m in a primary poly relationship and a few secondary ones. On the whole things are great and the world is wonderful.
One of my newer partners has a primary and poly family of his own. They are a great bunch of people. We’ve been taking things slow and recently both cleared our STI screening tests, so technically we are ready to have sex when we want it.
But I’m holding back. Something doesn’t feel quite right to me. He’s not very affectionate towards me, so I asked him for more of that and the last time I saw him he was indeed more affectionate when we were alone. But when we are round my partners or his, he’s totally cold. He said he worries about annoying someone, but I hope this will get easier with time.
Then there is the issue of contact. I tend to message my partners a lot, just organising meetups and so on, because I love them. Until I notice that I am the only one initiating with him, and when I do hear from him first it is just to arrange playtime and tell me about what kinky sex he’d love to try, which makes my skin crawl.
So I’m holding strong and not messaging him, to see how long it takes him, and what he does say when he messages me. If he only ever messages me for sex, he’s not going to get it -ever. I want more than just sex with him and he damn well knows it. I need affection and vanilla things with him and we’ve agreed to do this.
I guess I have two questions here after all. One is how much contact do you like or think is reasonable to have with secondary partners? And would you have sex with someone if they only seemed to message you about sex or play?
It does look like you’ve already decided how to handle your potential, and that’s good. I mean, it’s good you’ve made a decision – not passing judgment on it. It does sound like your basic desires in a relationship don’t mesh, and you know it. Hey, it happens. Fortunately, there are 7 billion people in the world, so there’s no need for the two of your to make each other miserable when you can each have relationships that actually make you happy.
How often is reasonable to contact partners? I can’t give you a sensible answer to that. It really, really depends on the relationship. I have a partner I’ve been involved with for almost five years and we don’t contact each other every day. We’re fine with that. I’ve also had partners that I chatted with online most of the day off and on. What is reasonable is what works between partners. Honest to goodness, if I had a partner declare it was reasonable to get a text at least three times a week because some opinionated bigmouth with a blog said it was, not only would I be dubious, I’d be disinclined to agree just out of contrariness. If the person asked for at least three texts a week because they liked that level of contact and it made them happy, I’d probably make a note to make sure I tried to do that. If they asked for three or four a day, I’d have to explain it conflicted with other things I needed to do and go from there to see what accommodation we could reach. But that’s me, my schedule and what I’m up to. You are almost certainly different. As long as you and your partner reach an accommodation that make you both happy, certainly a stranger’s tastes don’t enter into it.
As far as having sex with someone who only contacted me about sex, if all I wanted with him was sex, that’d be fine. If it wasn’t, well, no. Since interesting conversation tends to be a bit of a kink of mine, no, just sex isn’t generally what I’m looking for. I think that’s a taste thing rather than anything else –certainly no moral judgment. I think a sex for sex’ sake relationship has its merits if that’s what makes the people involved happy.
I wish I could be more concrete with you, as I get the impression what you really want is a reality check about whether or not you want too much time from a partner. It’s not the wanting, though, that’s reasonable or unreasonable. It’s a lot more to do with how you ask for what you want, and how you behave when you get your answer – be it yes or no. That’s where reasonable (or at least mature) comes in or not. You’re allowed to want things. You’re allowed to ask for them. You’re allowed to ask for things that are a big deal and you’re allowed to ask for things that are not. Certainly you’re allowed to have things that are a relationship requirement for you. It’s just that, if you don’t get them, it’s pretty important to be able to walk away with a “no harm, no foul” attitude, or even consider how important that want really is to you. Sometimes it does boil down to whether or not you want X quality or is that you want to be close to Y person.
1 thought on “Bouncing the Reality Check”
Is it just me, or is the phrase “makes my skin crawl” a bit of a red flag maybe? Even if all you really do want out of the relationship is sex – which isn’t how it sounds – I’d be seriously re-thinking any kind of relationship with someone whose behaviour I responded to that way. Unfortunately, most people are conditioned to sweep feelings like this under the rug because the potential partner meets some other criteria of desirability.
(btw, long-time reader, first-time commenter. Hi! Love the blog! Wish you’d post more as I could happily read you talking about grocery lists let alone interesting poly issues, but hey, life *is* more fun than blogging!)