I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, prompted in part by Matt’s Shadow Lane advice post which he ended (well, almost ended anyway) with the tempting line:
Now maybe this is all just me. Ladies, what do you think?
Since I’m coming up on attending my sixth (good lord!) Shadow Lane party, it seemed like I should find time to answer him. Especially now that we’re only a couple weeks away from this year’s final Vegas party.
But you know how it is with good intentions and all that. But then this week Bonnie’s Brunch question asked:
Have you participated in spanking activities outside your primary relationship? If so, how did you feel about the experience? What was your partner’s reaction? If not, have you any desire, real or fantasy, to play with a different partner?
The short answer to Bonnie’s question…
Yes, I’ve played with people apart from Paul, both before he and I got together (sparkle’s husband, Fireman Chris, was the first person from the scene I ever met / played with. We got to know each other as friends when we were both on soc.sexuality.spanking and discovered we were both students at the same university) and since. Likewise, my partner has played with other people, though geography and personality have combined to make that more limited. There are some dangers to playing with other people when you’re in a committed relationship, but mostly it’s been a great experience and we’ve both been happy for the other person.
The longer answer…
We’ve always tried to be honest with each other about what we’re doing and early on agreed to have a sort of limited veto over each other’s secondary scenes. That’s not really be something we’ve done much with in practice, mostly because now that we live together communication is a lot easier. But when we were apart I had a harder time both with feeling insecure (Scotland to Los Angeles is a lot of distance) and those feelings would only be more intense when Paul played with other people. It was less mistrust of either Paul or the people he played with then my own longing to be with him made more intense by the thought of him being with someone else.
If it’s so hard, why do it? Well, mostly because there’s a lot of different types of spanking and one’s partner can’t always do all of them. An example of that is role play. Although Paul does role play school scenes with me sometimes, the best experiences I’ve had doing school scenes have been with someone other than Paul. Not only because they were very experienced and very into the scene (and I knew it wasn’t just happening for my benefit) but also because the emotional distance between us was very right for a headmaster / school girl scene. The lack of familiarity added a wonderful level of tension and embarrassment (on my part) to the whole scene.
Now that I’ve written this about playing with other people, I’ve got some further thoughts.
First, note that I mentioned being honest. This is, in my opinion, key. There’s a wonderful book from Greenery Press called The Ethical Slut which is about sexual (including kinky) polygamy. Being ethical, to me anyway, means being honest about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. I don’t sneak around on Paul, he doesn’t sneak around on me, nor do I play with people whose primary partners aren’t aware of what they’re doing. Why not? Because it feels wrong — like I’m caught up in someone else’s infidelity. I don’t want to get all heavy into judgments (well, not in this entry anyway) but I really really discourage anyone from getting caught up in dishonesty — either your own or someone else’s.
Because in my opinion it’s already hard enough to feel good about one’s kink and self and all that entails. Why add feeling dishonest or unfaithful to the mix? A number of vanilla spouses come with their partners to Shadow Lane. Others don’t come, but know where there husband / wife is and why. As a woman, I’ve found there’s no shortage of men who are actually available out there — and the same is true, by the way, for women who are seeking available spankers. Given that, why would anyone knowingly get involved with someone that’s already demonstrated that they’re dishonorable and a liar?
Since spanking is a fetish for me and not foreplay (it doesn’t lead anywhere else for me — it just is), playing with other people doesn’t mean I’m sexually involved with them. This is the thing I make really clear from the start. For the last few years I’ve only played with people I know well, either as friends or friends of friends who understand what spanking’s about for me and who I don’t worry about getting overly "touchy-feel-ly."
That leads me to another bit of advice for people topping. Do find out before the scene starts how far you can go in term of rubbing and the like. And likewise for the person bottoming, letting someone know ahead of time what’s okay and what isn’t, is a really good idea when talking about limits.
I probably have a lot more to say, but this has rambled around enough. 🙂