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The green-eyed monster December 11, 2010

Posted by Leah in Gallimaufry.
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I have a story to tell. I had sex last night. But before I share, as I am asked about these topics frequently, I thought I would write a post about jealousy and envy.

I want to distinguish the two emotions. I experience jealousy when I covet what another person has and feel resentful of this success or achievement. I experience envy when I wish that I had the same good fortune as someone else and resent its absence. They both arise out of longing and yearning, but I think the two feelings are subtly different. Personally, I struggle more with the latter than with the former. I am not so much jealous of my boyfriend or his lovers as I am envious, especially now when the Atlantic separates us.

I have discussed aspects of my open relationship before. The boyfriend has a pair of regular lovers, who he sees (separately) a couple of times a week, and the very occasional random hookup as a bonus with any other women he may find. In London, I see Frank when I can, Amadeo about once a week, and have frequent casual liaisons.

Whereas we may be envious of what happens in a one night stand and jealous of the frequency, this is fundamentally non-threatening by virtue of being a transient encounter. The lover is disposable. The sex is unimportant. The cock I find serves its function as an autonomous dildo. He uses a woman as three convenient holes for his penis. This applies even when the date incorporates elements of kink.

When a relationship exists — what I have written about with Frank or Amadeo, for example — or what the boyfriend has with his lovers at home — jealousy, envy, and even rage arise sub rosa. They stab at the left side of my chest. The pangs are momentary. They go away. The feelings dissolve when I intellectualize the set up. I want a diversity of experiences and a stable foundation. My boyfriend wants the same. We are each other’s bedrock. Our others enable sexual variety. One person can’t provide everything. This is a way to scratch the different itches.

In principle, we have discussed a veto over each other’s regulars. In the end, we decided that trust alone suffices.

There are emotional bonds with our steady extras. I want to please my regular lovers in bed more so than I do a one night stand. I am fond of them as people. We are friendly. Our personalities mesh well. I enjoy their company. We do more than have sex. And the sex is more than just fucking. The foreplay and the afterglow and the conversation are integral parts of the whole. This is as it should be. A reason to have a regular is that friendship and familiarity improve the sexual experience.

The boyfriend and I are open at communicating what happens — not all the details all the time, but enough. Personally, I like to know as much as possible. When the boyfriend speaks explicitly about his adventures, I often masturbate. I started the blog so that he would acquire a sense of my London. Our experiences pop up in conversation all the time. Sexuality is so much a part of our personas that it seems normal when they do. The arrangement is weird only in that one of his lovers is also one of my friends. I introduced her to the boyfriend as a fellow kinkster. Though we have messed around as a threesome, most of my interactions with the girl are social and professional. It can be a little freaky knowing, while we are chatting about a perfectly ordinary topic, that on the previous afternoon, she had begged my boyfriend to have her clit spanked while cuffed naked to my bed and had been rewarded for her tears with permission to suck his cock and swallow his semen. I like her, so it’s ok.

Sex isn’t a competition. (People can suck at it though.) I don’t mind that the boyfriend also gets his orgasms from other women, sometimes in the D/s context. There are things that we do only with each other, for example, going bareback. There is a part of him that is reserved only for me, and also the reverse. We are closer with each other than with anyone else. I can live with that.

The line in the sand is love. Both of us fall well short with our others. I am far from monogamous sexually, but I focus like a laser where it concerns the intensity of my affections. If one of us were to fall in love with someone else, then, at that point, he or I would need to make an irrevocable choice between the options. I am not at all comfortable with divided loyalties. I’d rather lose the boyfriend than share him this way. For my part, I am constitutionally incapable of having two boyfriends at once. Polyamory isn’t an option from any direction. Indeed, I worry that Amadeo may be growing too attached to me. We will sort this out in time.

The arrangement I have is unorthodox and irregular and complex. But it works. The human mind is plastic and adaptable. It gets used to the unusual. We have fun.

Comments»

1. Leah - December 11, 2010

This post is based in part on my response to a question on formspring and various e-mail exchanges.

2. SapioSlut - December 12, 2010

This is a lovely differentiation between the two complex set of emotions of jealousy and envy. I split them by jealousy means I want to get rid of/take apart/destroy what is there (fear driven) and envy is the “oooo, I want me some of that” response. Sometimes I flip between the two. When I am tired and stressed I find it difficult to intellectualise the process and separating my emotions. Congratz to you on doing that to date.

Having spent a number of years with many casual sex partners I realised I wasn’t particularly attached to that sort of experience. These days I prefer the at least friends with benefits state of affairs rather than casual sex. I think anyone that has taken the time to examine their relationships and live outside the expected winds up with something that is unique to them…which is where I am too.

Leah - December 12, 2010

I want me some of what you have, but I hesitate to call it envy because I am not at all begrudging. I am happy to read about your life. The way you play — adventurous, bold, and oh! so sexy — arises organically, nourished as it is by love. I am still picking my way through the frontier, whereas you have built a homestead. I hope I can thank you someday for providing a peek at the life ahead.

3. JP - December 12, 2010

I left the question, thanks for the extended response.

It does make more sense, I’m just not sure I’m able to intellectualize as well as you. My GF and I are semi-open, but we discuss everything we do without the other, so far it’s been pretty much only threesomes together with other women. I know she’s turned on watching me fuck other women, but I’m still not sure how I feel about her with other guys. The snuggling and warm afterglow part make it that much harder.

It might be different if we lived an ocean apart though.

But still, thanks for the response.

Leah - December 12, 2010

You’re welcome. It’s hard initially, but it gets easier, especially when you know that both of you are snuggling and afterglowing with your respective others. In fact, as I wrote, when the liaison is a one night stand and therefore exclusively about sex, it becomes straightforward to compartmentalize as just another hookup that yields a few hours of naked pleasure. You miss out this way on the intimacy that can be achieved with a regular play partner, but from your point of view this may be a good thing.

Thanks for commenting.

4. Innocent Loverboy - December 12, 2010

While I understand the ease of compartmentalising sex as just sex when it comes to one-night stands, does it become more complicated when you sleep with regular partners, such as Frank, et ceteri? I mean, that’s a regular thing. Yes, it’s sex and not a relationship, but is it more difficult to do so when you’re seeing each other on a regular basis? You’d probably do the same if it were a casual boyfriend, except you’d probably do more than just fuck.

Not a criticism, a genuine question!

Leah - December 12, 2010

For my part, I consider the relationships with regular partners as friendships with a sexual element. I like the guy. I enjoy hanging out. We talk and laugh together. The sex makes me happy. I may expose my submissive self to the man. We might see each other frequently. Emotions are implicated. I care about him. But as a friend. We are not dating. He isn’t the man I absolutely need to talk to and turn to for comfort and reassurance when I have a really lousy day. This isn’t the man I share my dreams and hopes with. We can go a week without speaking or e-mailing or texting, and that’s cool; there isn’t a void in my life. I am not in love.

The mental challenge is to realize that the boyfriend’s relationships with his lovers have the same essential quality. This is where my envy and my jealousy need to be tempered by hard logic and trust.

5. Tania - December 13, 2010

Like I’ve said before, I have so much respect for anyone who can pull off an open relationship. I know it’s easy to be hypocritical and think that it’s worse if they have other partners because they’re regulars and all that.It’s really cool that you can intellectualise it all…I think we’d all be so much better off if more people could manage to do that, but it’s so much easier said than done.

Leah - December 13, 2010

I think we are able to do this because we started out as casual partners, knowing that we each had sex with others, and when the boyfriend/girlfriend coupling took place, we managed to become close while still sleeping around on the side. It does take some mental adjustment to know that the boyfriend is busy playing with someone else and not dwell on it while it happens. Thinking makes it tractable. And the other side of the coin: that’s nice, too.

I have been lucky in my sex life and choice of partners. Knock on wood.


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