D/s and Polyamoury: Incompatible or merely strange bedfellows?
I consider myself to be polyamorous. I’ve actually had open relationships for the most part since I started having sex. However, I’ve never successfully been in two concurrent love-type relationships. There have been a few times when I’ve dated two or three people simultaneously and cared a great deal about all of them, but I’ve only had a maximum of one person at a time to whom I say “I love you”. Being poly isn’t easy. I’m not one of these fortunate people who was born without a jealous bone in their body. I’ve always been quite confident about what I mean to my loves, but I still get a dull ache sometimes when I think of them with others, particularly others I don’t know well.
This causes some interesting quirks when working towards ownership. I enjoy a rather intense style of domination. I like the idea of having a 24/7 relationship. I would like, eventually, to own someone; I’d like to have a slave. This is antithetical to the polyamorous ideal that people are not possessions. It’s one thing to think of a submissive and I choosing a third partner together, but the idea of them independently finding and dating another that I don’t know or necessarily like poses a problem when everything is supposed to go my way (and their way through my consideration of our needs and wants). This is rather selfish, but when FT was in love with someone I’d never met before it made him feel less mine. I don’t know what to do with that.
You can always do the, “we only date people once our mate approves of them” or “my primary partner has veto power”. But that just seems unrealistic for several reasons: a) poly people often come with other lovers who they already care a great deal about; b) telling a person who treasures freedom, “no, you can’t have them” often causes them to fixate on said person; and c) limiting who my partner can and cannot date feels like a betrayal of my poly sensibilities.
So how do you give freedom and enslavement simultaneously? I think ultimately it comes down to different layers of the relationship. First you’re friends, then lovers, then partners, then Dom(me)/sub. All the other layers have to be functioning for the exterior layer to work. Poly is more on the partner level (or boyfriend/girlfriend, but I wanted something more gender neutral). The Dom(me) can’t force a relationship style on the submissive. That’s the kind of thing that has to be agreed upon and consented to, and can ruin a relationship if both parties are not honest about their wants and needs with regards to it.
The only problem with this is that it can tamper with the suspension of disbelief. Living a 24/7 relationship is allowing a fantasy to become, for the most part, a reality. However, the reality has to come before the fantasy in importance. This does not take away one’s love of the fantasy though, and reminders that ultimately both individuals are equal can be somewhat annoying. So what do you do? Well, the Dom(me) learning to feel compersion would certainly help, so that they would actually enjoy the sub’s being with others rather than merely tolerating it. Alternatively both parties could be limited to dating others as a couple. Or you can have an unequal arrangement that the sub is actually happy with: cuckold fetishists, for example, wouldn’t mind a totally unequal arrangement, but it’s not unequal in that they are still thoroughly enjoying it.
What kind of arrangements have you all come up with? Enjoyed? Hated? Do you experience compersion? Did it happen automatically or did it take some sort of practice?