Some while ago, I wrote about the perils of being both a good partner, friend, fuck buddy, and a slut. And not just a slut, but an exhibitionistic, blogging slut.
At any given time, I maintain several relationships. Each is different, but there are similarities. For example – most women with whom I get involved end up sexting with me at some point. I think – think – it’s the nature of sexting that it all ends up being somewhat similar. Sure – there are variations – but structurally, for me, at least, it all boils down to two different interactions:
- You’re hot, I want to do some dirty things with and to you.
You’re hot, I want you to show me your body, your desire.
I don’t want to cheapen or over-simplify – the fact is, I have a seemingly infinite appetite for the various permutations of these two interactions. And they feel infinitely different to me – even if there are certain tropes that recur (I want to direct your dressing, your selection of underwear, your masturbation; I want to see you, to hear you). I can have structurally similar interactions with two (or three, or ten) people, and each feels, to me, completely different. Precisely because as much as I am engaged in the project of objectifying my interlocutor, I’m also having genuine human interactions with genuine humans.
Unfortunately, that’s mostly not visible to someone reading here.
My sext transcripts, my instructions, all read similar to one another. Partially, this is a function of my lack of creativity as a sexual partner; partially, of my weakness as a writer; partially, of the strength of my preferences; and partially, of the limited number of ways one can fit our various parts together. (Really, aren’t there only something like three – or, o.k., ten – different hardcore porn scenes?)
L has been following my blog, and my Twitter feed, even as our relationship has moved into the friend zone. As she wrote here, it is somewhat difficult for her to see me turning to other women and interacting with them much as I interacted with her.
And whenever I write about some woman with whom I’m having these sorts of exchanges – seeing her images, sharing mine, sharing voice communications, orgasms – I’m mindful of the impact it can have on one to read of another.
To a certain extent, disclosure, openness, honesty are a remedy, an inoculation. But they are imperfect. Just as I’m jealous of the distant correspondent of mine who has two other structurally similar suitors, all the disclosure in the world doesn’t eradicate the emotional impact of feeling commodified, interchangeable, replaceable. I feel that jealousy; I know I inflict similar feelings on her.
I try to protect my “flock of Tweeties,” as L somewhat disparagingly, called them, from this. Each (and there are, today, three) is different from the others, each gives me different interactions, each produces different sensations – in my head, my heart, my cock.
Comparison is toxic, always. I don’t compare. It pains me that a seemingly inevitable consequence/by-product of my slutty ways is some occasional hurt feelings. But we all sign up for this, no?
I asked a distant correspondent recently only to send me pictures she sent exclusively to me. (I had been stung to learn that a picture she had sent me had been sent to a much wider audience than simply me.) Because of what excites me, because of how my jealousy works, a picture taken with another person in mind and subsequently shared with me feels bad; similarly, a picture taken for me and subsequently shared with another feels bad.
I try to avoid feeling bad. I try to avoid making others feel bad. Occasionally, I fail.
One of the complexities of sluttiness, of polyamory, of swinging, is that we who participate in it give up the right to expect to be free of some of these bad feelings.
On the other hand, though, we get to have a multiplicity of rich, richly different, relationships, relationships which are unique and distinct, in spite of their outward similarities.
I read L’s post with interest, but wasn’t really sure what to make of it. This sort of feels like seeing both sides of the story, in a way. I’m still not sure what to make of it. Does everything else you get out of it override the feelings of jealousy enough to be worth it, in the cases where jealousy is really in play? I mean it as an honest question, not a skeptical one.
I can’t speak for her. For me? Without a doubt – no hesitation.
I’m always astounded at the enormous power we grant jealousy. We think it’s something that must be avoided at all costs.
Maybe I’ll write something more about this – I’m not sure if I have more to say, though. I feel as if I write the same post on jealousy every few weeks. But yes – no question – I’ll take the richness of a life embracing jealousy over the repression of a life fleeing it (those are my choices – not yours) any day.
For me it’s not about overriding the experience of jealousy- it’s experiencing a part of this whole strange experiment. I’ve never put myself in a position anywhere near this before. All of it is fascinating, some of it incredibly joyous, and this aspect, for me, intense and occasionally painful. I’ll take intensity any day- although some days it’d be a lot more comfortable to curl up with some tea and a good book…
It was easier for me to feel magnanimous about sharing N. when we were fucking- it’s harder to watch from the sidelines. Not that I didn’t feel jealous then too- I mean, come on, he had me, not to mention the awesome T, what more could he want? 😉
What you said….
This is fascinating to me because I don’t feel this way at all. I have long distant buddies and the reason I have multiple D.Bs is for this reason, one provides attention when another doesn’t. It’s a high, it’s comfort, it’s sweet.
I don’t compare because it doesn’t make sense to.Everyone is unique in their own(hot) way. They all make me feel sexy, desired, beautiful. I’m sure I make them feel sexy, and desired ( maybe not beautiful) and that turns me on.I guess I don’t feel jealous because I haven’t had a physical relationship with any of them.I know my response would be entirely different if that were the case.
Sounds shockingly healthy.
I read L’s post as well and it is so amazing to hear both sides. We have very different paths, but yours fascinates me!! I don’t get it at all, but I want so much to truly understand it that I cannot look away. Not your issue, this is mine. 🙂
Keep it up!!
Thanks, as ever.
Based on my admittedly limited experience, how expectations are framed at the start of a relationship may have a great deal to do with how well one handles the reality of being special but not unique.
True, ish. At the end of the day, though, my expectations and my reactions are ultimately (mostly) unrelated. I know that with a “distant buddy,” I have no expectation of uniqueness. But that has zero impact on the jealousy of which I’m capable. Just because I know something rationally, that doesn’t have any implications for the feelings that ultimately arise. Other than, perhaps, providing me with the opportunity to recriminate against (is that usage correct? it feels wrong) myself for the fact of having the feelings I have.
Oh, absolutely. Just because the jealousy is irrational, illogical and unexpected doesn’t mean it’s any less agonizing.