Do you think that compatibility is necessary in a relationship?
I don’t regret not having fucked the lovely, lovely woman who asked me this question. I did fuck her. Many, many times. I do regret, however, that I’m not fucking her right now. And the fact that she’s fucking someone else right now exacerbates this regret. Because of how my envy and jealousy work.
I responded, “I think ‘compatibility‘ is a sort of… IDK, way of avoiding thinking.” I continued, “I’m not sure. It’s something that confuses me.”
I’ve been pondering perversion lately, written about how I understand it, on some level, to be an inability to tolerate difference. Often, what I mean when I use the word “compatibility” in a sexual or relational context is, “Someone who wants precisely what I want.” Even a slight departure from what I want, in another, can send me spiraling, can turn me off, can leave me feeling rejected.
As I think about it, I understand compatibility to be something other than this. I think that my compatibility with another has more to do with how someone thinks, with someone’s openness to thinking, than it does to do with what she wants.
If she wants what I want, sure, that’s helpful. But because every woman I’ve ever fucked, ever had a relationship with, has been a human being not me, I inevitably have had to confront the reality that our alignment – however great it may be – necessarily, ineluctably, becomes a misalignment from time to time. Maybe just because I want pepperoni and she doesn’t. Or maybe because I want her thighs wide apart, and she wants to close them just an inch or two. Maybe because she wants me to press my thumb in her ass, and I wanted to do that a minute ago, and may well, in the next minute, but don’t want to right now.
Compatibility, then, for me, is not wanting what I want, always. In the context of the “dominant/submissive” relationships I tend to conjure and write about here, what I mean by “compatibility” is a commitment to, a prioritization of, what I want. An agreement to elevate my desires in any given moment and to subordinate hers.
And in a fully three-dimensional relationship? Compatibility means, I think, an ability to think together, to navigate the moments of misalignment in a way that is, itself, aligned. To find paths to compromise, to optimization, to problem-solving.