Thoughts On Exclusivity

Some time ago I wrote a blog about Priority in non-exclusive relationships. In that blog I said:

When you have an exclusive relationship, that privileged position is clear and obvious. How you show them they’re your priority is well defined.

To me it seems an obvious line:
In priority, you put someone First.
In exclusivity, you put someone Only.

It seems that it should be obvious which behaviours would break exclusivity. But in truth, different assumptions can leave bear traps for you.

Back then, I also spoke of the desirability of having flexibility in a relationship to express yourselves in a manner that didn’t threaten the real world exclusivity of relationships. The anonymous and geographically diverse world of naughty Twitter being a good place for that.

But how does that relate to exclusivity when the anonymous and faceless friends of twitter step out of the Timeline and into DMs? Or further, into WhatsApp, or the real world? When those simple and easily defined boundaries become blurred.

What happens when the kind of flirting and exploring that is entertaining and fun with anonymous nobodies on twitter happens elsewhere with real people? What happens to that behaviour on twitter when the friends there become friends we meet in bars or restaurants – when they become flesh and blood? Is it ever just “Dinner and drinks“? Is that flirting, sharing, sexting still alright? Even if it’s only still happening on twitter, when the friend is now a ‘real world’ friend?

I’m not a fan of negotiating and niggling at details. I prefer to let those details evolve and grow as the relationship evolves and grows. That’s easy with good communication and trust, and crucially with a recognition that you both put each other Only, that no wronghood was intended.

But it does lead to the – hopefully rare – occasions when one or other of you does something that doesn’t match the expectations of the other. So you’re sexting someone on WhatsApp that you meet in the real world who has expressed his sexual intentions toward you, rather than a friendly twitter account? Are you sure that’s okay? Are you sure they have no agenda? Are you sure that’s not going to harm your connection? Slowly erode your bond?

There’s a sliding scale, and where you draw the line on it is going to be different for everyone. Which is why I prefer the obvious limits, the easily defined ones. There’s little chance anyone thoughtful would imagine they can be stretched. The danger arises in assuming that what you think is okay will be okay with your partner. Or assuming that even though it’s not okay when someone does it to you, that it’s okay when you do it to someone else.

Talking about sex with anonymous twitter accounts, exchanging pictures, sexting in DM, sexting on WhatsApp, meeting for drinks, flirting, encouraging sexual attention, sexual contact… There are many points on the sliding scale, and the line isn’t always as clear as you might think. Keeping it clear becomes sensible, so you don’t let each other down.

Making sure you stay on the right side of the line requires caution. If you’re not sure if something’s okay, best not to do it. That’s likely to involve some sacrifices of passing whimsy, but if you can’t make those little sacrifices and you’d choose that moment of whimsy over a committed bond, then clearly you don’t really care that much about your relationship.

Because remember, you relationship once began as just such a passing whimsy.

While no Dom should ever tell his sub that she can’t be friends with someone, choosing a friendship that troubles your Dominant or submissive over their feelings is a red flag for your connection. Encouraging it is worse still. There shouldn’t be any whimsy or friendship more important than your bond. And if it is, well, there’s no bond.

I think the line is clearly crossed when you decide you had best keep what’s happening to yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable mentioning it – particularly if that type of behaviour comes up in conversation, then you probably know you’ve crossed the line. It’s like an alcoholic who hides his vodka.

If you think it’s okay – or even defensible – you’d tell the truth. You only keep it hidden of you think it’s wrong. Why keep it hidden otherwise…

As a Dominant man, I put in a lot of time and effort taking care of my sub. Far more than she would ever realise. The understanding being that her attention and interest is then directed at me, Not someone else.

I don’t like to blow my own trumpet (no, really!), but I’m a good Dom. I’m caring, thoughtful, attentive. I’m not demanding. I’m not bossy. I encourage and guide. Draw out desires.

All I ask in return is to be my sub’s sole focus, her only, and for her to please me – not someone else – a key element to a sub’s fulfilment, anyway.

© Charles Rochester 2016