Terms Of Engagement / The Marie Kondo Effect

Of course I checked my WordPress Reader yesterday to see another post from Bill. It makes me smile, in a way, that we’re both writers and bloggers, both sharing our thoughts and feelings on our budding relationship and with our own audiences, but also simultanously with one another. I think of it as somewhere between having a journal that’s sort of also a very open book, and the propaganda that goes on between two warring states. Not that I consider Bill and I to be warring in some any way, of course, but this is almost like our public communication platform, whereas Signal acts more like our back-channel, track two communication.

Well that went off on a tangent to start!

For the most part then I think I agree with everything that Bill had to say yesterday. We are both busy people, both busy people doing busy people tthings, but then I think in a way that our busy people-ness is also a part of the reason we work. We text a bit sometimes and then we stop and do other things, we’re not dependent on one another for attention and instruction (although I’ve no doubt that Bill would find the idea of that quite fun!). If Bill isn’t around me, or I’m not around him, then we can both function and do the things we need to do. It’s nice to have one another around but neither of us are dependent on one another in order to live. It’s just as it should be.

Have I noticed that Bill is a bit more rapid with his replies as of late? Maybe. It doesn’t bother me in the least, you know, it’s nice to actually have a conversation sometimes. It’s like Bill said, we don’t really do it often enough. I don’t think that it’s not prioritising one another, but maybe there is a smudge of taking one another for granted and assuming we’ll be around, or something. We’re both considerate people, we both accept that the other has things going on and so neither of us pushes for more from the other than what the other already gives. That’s just who we are, and that might be a part of the appeal a little bit – not that he backs off and leaves me alone, but that he too is considerate. Who wouldn’t want a considerate partner?

But then we come down to the subject of rules, and for all of the “you should have rules in a BDSM relationsiship!” camp, there is also the fact that Bill and I don’t live together and so implicating rules or coming up with rules that work for us can be a bit hard to do. I’m sure that Bill would agree with Matt, that rules shouldn’t be arbitrary. They should make sense, be practical, functional and easy (or at least relatively) to remember. Matt and I had a list of about 22 rules at one time, but we could only remember six of them that still remain today. What good are the other fourteen, then, if they are so hard to remember?

Of course that doesn’t mean to say that we should instead scrap them completely – I probably wouldn’t really want to anyway – but they have to be right and meaningful to us. Whether it’s being available at a certain day/time, performing a particular activity each day/for a set number of times each week or wearing a certain piece of clothing/fragrance/hairband/jewllery, whatever it is. it – or they – has to work for us.

On the subject of lectures and telling off, I have to be very, very careful here. On the one hand, how can a girl possibly be told off if she doesn’t know what she could do wrong? How can she possibly be expected to follow the rules if there are no rules to follow? That seems a lot like setting her up to fail, and I’d have thought that my good Sir (and fellow mentor) is a fair and honourable man who would know far, far better than that – tsk tsk!

Oops! Someone forgot that I used to be a Domme, too 😉

Then on the other hand, we have The Golden Rule. That blasted fucking Golden Rule that, sometimes annoyingly, keeps a girl in check. The Golden Rule states that – and incidentally also in unwritten terms – that if I wind up another Dominant then Matt will not protect me from the consequences of my actions. He might intervene if he feels a punishment is too strict or unreasonable, but The Golden Rule states pretty much that, if I make my bed, then he will personally make sure that I lie in it!

So like I was just saying, I am one between two darling sadists who seem to be almost making the rules up as we go along. I love them both dearly, though.

The situation wuth Red is difficult, I am aware, and for as much as it’s frought with challenges then it’s also an extremely sensitive situation to be in. I suppose being an empath who has been through similar conversations about non-monogamy and physical contact then I do understand the way Bill feels and I do see and understand it from Red’s side, too. It’s an extremely complex situation and with no easy answers.

In my own situation, then things are a little bit different. Matt’s first girlfriend cheated on him, in his bed and with his then-best-friend. Of course that sets someone up for a deep level of mistrust! That Matt even opened up at all to the idea of non-monogamy I find startling and frankly very humbling. He could have just as easily said “no, never” and that would have been that.

But he didn’t, he also considered me.

There is the added layer, that Matt also sees sex as a “between man and wife only” thing. Even if that view is rather archaic to me, that’s his view and I do understand it and sex is not important enough to me for me to be arguing against it. I like sex, but it’s not so essential for me to be having sex with other people as long as I’m permitted to form deep, meaningful connections with others and maybe snuggle and kiss them a little bit, too. I suppose I share Bill’s view there, that respect = trust, and trust = respect. That will come up again in a moment.

Being the friend, the third party and the interloper is, like I was saying, extremely challenging. First and foremost I consider Bill as a friend, a very good friend, so when I see this situation is bugging him then it leaves me chomping at the bit a little bit. I want to intervene and help him of course, but alas, it’s not my place.

Do I agree with their arrangement, as a non-monogamous person? No, not really, but I accept it because I have to. If Bill was asexual or didn’t want any physical contact with others then that would be one thing, but he’s not and that’s why it makes me so uneasy. To me it seems a bit black-or-white, physical or non-physical, whereas in my own relationship then we have more of a traffic light system. Hugs and handshakes? Absolutely fine, Matt won’t even bat an eyelid. Kissing is also okay, as long as it’s not in front of him. Mutual masturbation and oral sex? A little bit uncomfortable, definitely not right off of the bat but still generally bearable. Sex and spending the night away from home? Absolutely not, although I have been reassured that they would not result in a divorce.

So you see? Having this gauge, understanding how my husband feels about each of these activities and having him understand my views has us coming from a place that feels more respectful and empathetic. I’m not being told no to anything, in fact and really then I could do absolutely anything I wanted to, if indeed I wanted to. Knowing how my husband feels allows me to gauge whether or not I want to do something though, and what impact it will have on my other relationships. Will I hug, kiss or snuggle with someone? If it feels right, of course! Will I jump into bed with someone and have sex with them? I wouldn’t be able to shake off the guilt and so no, probably not.

But for as much as I consider Bill as my friend and partner, I also consider Red as my metamour. Red and I may never be close, but that doesn’t mean to say that we can’t at least be respectful to one another and our feelings. It’s not that I don’t like or even hate Red but we don’t always see eye to eye, both inside and outside of ethical non-monogamy. I also end up grinding my teeth a little bit at the idea of being held to the standards and ideas of a Christian marriage, as someone who had non-religious wedding. “I promise to be faithful” was a part of my marriage vows, but “forseaking all others” was not.

Still, even if I have a great and wonderful relationship with Bill, I’m not so disrespectful (and entitled) as to tell him to rip up the rulebook and do whatever he wants to do, regardless. Even if I have great fun messing about with a “not cheating” kink with Matt sometimes, there is a world of difference between roleplay games and reality. One is for fun and everybody consents, the other is unethical and causes terrible emotional damage and mistrust.

Plus, there is always the caveat that Red and I could partner up yet and wreak some havoc for these darling Dominants in our lives. Never say never, you know? 😉

Catch-ups are a fun one, and like I mentioned in an earlier post, our last attempt didn’t go so well. May is always a possibility, for our ten-year wedding anniversary, though what the plan is exactly? That still remains very much undecided. Dinner and a night on the tiles was one idea, but I’m an old lady now and I usually want to be in bed (to sleep) by 12:30am. A pub meal is looking more probable, but Telford to Bristol seems a bit far to travel for food.

It depends entirely on what you’re eating of course, I do realise, but more to the point.

Will we behave? I think the term for that is “brinkmanship”, and I think there will definitely be some play! Certainly I have a plethora of tricks up my sleeve. and after the torment of last time? Well then again, all is fair in love and in war right, Mr W?

It makes me think of this song, which I quite happen to appreciate. That I have Avril Lavigne’s “Wild Rose” perfume in my fragrance collection? I find that interesting. It could become a purposeful favourite of mine yet. Hmm hmm… ideas.

The cube unit arrived yesterday and went up, so the next step will be moving the printer and organising (some of) my office crap into there. I did use my Bit 360 screwdriver and I notched out a few holes on two of the back panels to feed cables through too, just as my father taught me. It looks good and it fits perfctly in the corner with an identical colour match to the bar and an 80cm gap between it and the bedroom door for a desk. The corresponding desk measures 70cm wide, has one full-width storage drawer and costs £37, it would also allow me to fit my chair properly underneath when not in use, unlike my existing table. Guess what’s on order for next week?

I am replacing the existing framed wall picture from our wedding with the black wire baskets that were above my desk before too, even if Matt wouldn’t want me to. One of the baskets that I had over my desk space has some artificial ivy in it which gives the place that whole feng shui, modern minimalism feel, and the other basket is my “paperwork crap to organise” basket that completely destroys the look. We all have one, okay? Don’t judge me. Mine is jsut pinned to the wall.

Matt has Dave Grohl above his desk too, who doesn’t at all go with our bedroom decor. It’s my desk out here though, and so it’s my rules.

There is a lot of crap to sort out in the lounge, and I showed Bill what that looks like yesterday. It’s frankly and honestly quite depressing, and I can feel the negative energy in the room.

“It’s fine, it just needs some tidying up” Matt argues, but it’s not, it needs much more than that. The gap between the sofa and the TV is only about two feet, crating a narrow, uncomfortable galley-style space that is rather difficult to navigate. The TV is right in front of the window, blocking out a lot of light and the view from the room. I’ve got an idea, but I need to play with some cut-out paper shapes and deliver a convincing presentation before I’m allowed to put it into practice. I want to put a cube unit on the sideboard as well, creating some sort of cubby holes that we can use for… stuff.

“You have a cube unit addiction Mrs S, have you considered some therapy?” Matt laughs. He’s probably not wrong there.

But the TV-sofa fiasco proves to be much harder to resolve.

“I’ll just throw out the sofa and tbe TV, then we’ll have plenty of room” I suggest.

“No, you’re not doing that.”

“Okay, then I’ll throw me out instead, because I can’t live like this.”

“No, you’re not doing that either” he sighs.

“Okay, then what?”

“I don’t know” he says.


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