How Did I Get Into All This Kinky Shit Anyway?

It’s a valid question. Once upon a time I was in a vanilla (i.e., non-kinky) monogamous heterosexual relationship. We met through mutual friends, dated for 4 years, and got married. After another 4 years of being together, we opened the relationship up to other people.

There was a party we threw back in January 2009 before the big move, the shift into polyamory, the weight loss. My ex-husband Seth, Megan, Dan, and I lay down on the grass together, Seth holding Megan’s hand, Dan holding mine while we looked up at the night sky, and I talked with Dan with profound awe about how minute we really are. Wrapped up in our conversation, I don’t know what Seth and Megan were talking about, only that every so often Seth would loudly announce that he was up to no funny business.

Those were different days, on the cusp of big changes. That was before we knew that Megan had opened up her marriage with Pete. Before Seth and I took our own leap of faith. Before Dan and his wife started experimenting.

Looking back now, that moment sticks out as a send-off to my own journey.

Opening My Marriage

In April of 2009, we found out that friends of ours, Megan and Pete, a couple we had known for about 5 years, were polyamorous. I had noticed that Pete was acting strangely with a female coworker of his and suspected he was having an affair (so close yet no cigar). I was at a party with Megan one night and voiced my concerns (we were both drinking, and it seemed like the right time), and she told me that they were polyamorous. Because of childcare issues and her work obligations, their schedule really only allowed Pete to have relationships, but she assured me that she was happy for her husband and that his seeing other people added a lot of passion to their relationship.

After being together for 8 years (married for 4) and strictly monogamous, Seth and I rushed to judgment of them. We pretty much took the attitude of “How could he do that to her?” and were really passively aggressively angry at Pete and felt bad for Megan. This led to us trying to be better friends with Megan because she did seem really lonely. We took her out to dinner, had her over to watch movies with us, and would spend long nights until the sun came up talking to her about everything. Through getting to know her better, we realized that their situation worked for them and that she was actually happy, and we were both falling for her. Seth had joked about me getting with her for a while as I’d had a crush on her for over a year (but I was a good married woman and didn’t say too much about it and certainly didn’t act on it) but had never really thought about her that way himself, and then all of a sudden, we were having discussions about whether he and I wanted to bring up the idea of a relationship with her. It was very scary. I was concerned about jealousy and tend to lose myself in people when I’m in a relationship, and I worried that our marriage couldn’t take that kind of drama, but Seth assured me that no matter what, we’d work it out. Worst case scenario was couples therapy. I also turned to my best friend for advice, and he enthusiastically encouraged me to take the plunge.

Megan and I didn’t have the right chemistry and broke up a few months later, but Seth formed a bond with her and continued to date her on and off over the years. Last thing I knew, he is with her and resumed dating her when he moved back to Maine when he and I became legally separated, and he left Ohio.

The Kinky Shit

Talking to folks via online dating, I noticed a trend that many people who were interested in polyamorous relationships were also into BDSM. I was initially very irritated by this.

First off, I had the misfortune of the first few kinksters from the Maine scene that I corresponded with being really not my cup of tea for a number of reasons. They were paradoxically more socially conservative than would have been my taste and anti-intellectual to boot, and I found the mere way I expressed myself seemed to offend. I’m a nerd, and in particular, I’m a word nerd, and it was off-putting. Not only that, but I tended to ask questions about the lifestyle from an academic standpoint, which I know now would have been tedious to all but the geekiest kinkster and probably came off as judgmental, like they were being cross-examined. So things went pretty badly, and I started to develop a distaste for the BDSM/polyamory crossover. Thankfully, I ended up talking to a few people who I clicked with a little better and found myself growing more intrigued even as Ex-Husband remained confused about and disdainful of my newfound interests.

Media portrayals of BDSM sadly are often very cartoonish and silly (e.g., the Reno 911 episode “Wiegel’s New Boyfriend”), and I just didn’t get it. I had a strong kinky streak in me, felt passionately and carnally about sex, but thought the leather costumes, the dungeon, the chains, etc, were all a little unnecessary and comical. It wasn’t until I visited an actual dungeon and felt the intensity with which the partners connected that I really got it. And I was immediately, hopelessly hooked. I realized that the leather, the floggers, the cuffs weren’t something that aroused because of the way they looked – they were something to became sexually attuned to. Indeed, I used to really dislike leather, thought it was boring, overpriced, and flat – but after the first few sessions strapped to a table, struggling against the pain of impact play in leather cuffs, I found leather arousing. I found that putting the cuffs on before a session aroused me. The ritual of it – my body knew what was soon to come, and it let me no in no uncertain terms just how excited I was.

I first visited a dungeon and started exploring kink with an ex-boyfriend out here in Cleveland, but while we kept the fantasy alive the 6 months or so that we were long distance, when I moved here, we fizzled out while still in the preliminary stages. Meanwhile, the D/s dynamic with Skyspook has naturally evolved over the time that we have dated, even though neither of us set out to have this happen.

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