Showing them the Ropes

Recently my vassal and I were on a trip to get some much-needed healing. We lived for a few months in a new city. While there, we put out an ad in the local kink community seeking play, relationships, whatever might come to pass. Sure, it's unlikely you're going to find love while on vacation at a major tourist destination. And if you are, it isn't very likely that an internet personals ad is going to bring you that love. But as we have learned again and again, the universe rewards those who ask.

Some of the responses were what you expect from the Internet. A straight guy told us we could both suck his cock; he said (having never met me) that I had good cock-sucking lips. Alas, we will all remain ignorant of what good cock-sucking lips are, because he never responded when I asked.

One response stood out. We'll call him H. He asked some questions about polyamory. After exchanges some answers we got together for drinks. We had the opportunity to help someone who was exploring how he thought about relationships. We were able to show him that through communication and intentional love work, we had built something wonderful between us.

We were also able to show H that that his fears and doubts were a normal part of growing as a lover. Everyone goes through something similar. That doesn't make them less real, less important, or even less personal. It does give us a greater hope of empathy.

One of the biggest challenges H faced is that negotiation and communication about what relationship structure he's hoping for seem awkward and challenging especially at the beginning. Of course he's absolutely right. Negotiation gets easier with time, but it starts out hard. We need to be vulnerable enough to ask for what we want at a point where we may not even be comfortable admitting it to ourselves. We don't know whether our desires will come across as strange, or how they will be received. We don't even know if our vulnerability will be greeted with compassion. Yes, some of that is always true, but as we get experience and confidence, it gets easier.

My vassal and I didn't have any easy answers. But we were able to help H think about the different options for how poly might work, and give practical examples of how communication worked. We were also able to tell our stories of how negotiation worked in practice both around scenes and around relationship boundaries. We didn't make it easy, but we walked away feeling like we'd managed to demystify some of the hard work of being a lover.

If it ended right there, I would have been happy with a job well done. But a couple of weeks later, H wrote to my vassal to explore the possibility of getting together for some play. And so H got to practice negotiation and he worked with my vassal to see what was possible. I found myself teaching an introductory rope class.

So many things worked well. It was gratifying to see H picking up on negotiation skills and asking for what he wanted while being clear about his boundaries. This also required more advanced negotiations from my vassal and it was neat to see how far she's come in the kink community. For myself, I realize that my rope skill has reached a level where I can confidently and safely introduce someone to rope. It felt really good to acknowledge that growth. And it felt good to see H begin to take strides in something he had wanted to explore for a while.

All around that was some good Sacred Lover work. Intimacy comes in many flavors. I'm glad that as we traveled the world we reached out to see whose lives would cross our path.