Lesson 1: Three Sides to Every Argument

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Somewhere around May of 1995 I met a girl we'll call Jordan on a MUD we both played. After chatting a bit, we realized we were at the same college, and had some common interests.

One night I mentioned I was about to make some dinner, and she asked if there was enough for two. Twenty minutes later we were eating what was supposed to be chicken breast and rice pilaf, but ended up being more of a chicken and rice soup (my culinary skills have improved slightly since then). Twenty minutes after that we were fucking.

She was adventurous, and I was enthusiastic. We'd take turns tying each other up with whatever was handy (this is about when I started pilfering bits of line from the theatre I worked at), but it was clear that she liked being tied up more than I did, so that's what we'd do most of the time.

On one particular occasion, a good friend that had moved several hours away came back to town for a visit, and needed a place to crash. I was a little unclear on exactly when his bus was getting in, so I told him that I'd be home all night, and that he should just buzz when he got there.

Jordan came over to keep me company, and needless to say, we end up in the bedroom. The previous time she'd been over, she had tied me down and teased me for more than an hour (that's a long-ass time when you're 19), so that night I was determined that she would get hers.

We had realized, after a thorough scientific study, that either strong vibration or penetration would allow her to get off, but light vibration would never quite push her over the top. With that in mind, I lashed her to the bedposts, blindfolded her and started teasing her. I started with caresses, licks, and nibbles (a few of you in the peanut gallery might be saying, "Gee, this sounds familiar..."), and gradually worked my way up to using a vibrator on a low setting. At that point, it had been around 20 minutes since she had been tied down, and she was really starting to stew.

Of course that's exactly when my buddy buzzes at the front door. My apartment was four flights up, and I had to go down to sign him in (university housing rules).

So, I did what any reasonable person would do. I cackled, slowly inserted the vibrator the rest of the way (while keeping it on low), and left her there to stew some more while I went to retrieve my friend.

After briefly explaining the situation, and making sure my friend was comfortably ensconced in the living room, I went back into the bedroom and asked her if she was ready to come. She responded frantically in the affirmative, and so, after fifteen or so more minutes of teasing her, I pushed her over the edge. This was my first experience of having a partner unable to speak afterward.

Our relationship grew. We were spending more time together in and out of the bedroom, and, in little ways, things were taking on more of a D/s dynamic.

One night, when she was to fly home to see her family, I decided to see her off and we took a cab together to the airport. She had a suitcase and just her purse as a carry-on, and she had dressed up a bit (by mid-90s college standards) with low heels, a nice silk blouse and a knee-length skirt.

The plan was for me to say goodbye to her at the security gate, so when I told her in the cab to hand me her panties, I knew she would have no opportunity to surruptitiously replace them until she was already back to her parents' house.

For me it wasn't about having a souvenier. It was about continuing to exert control even when I wasn't present with her.

The embarassment she had at trying to be subtle about taking them off without the cab driver noticing was palpable, but it was offset entirely by how hot it made her feel. She later told me that she was horny the whole trip, and it wasn't until she was in bed that night after a long flight and a family dinner at the other end that she was able to take the edge off by masturbating.

I tell these stories not (solely) because I still find them hot, but to illustrate that in a few short weeks I had become fully invested in her, and that we were beginning to play around with some potent stuff.

So, it was incredulity and anger that I was overcome with when a close friend broke the bad news. She was cheating. On her long-term boyfriend. With me.

If I knew then what I know now, I still would've dumped her ass. Even if I had already arrived at accepting that polyamory was for me, which I hadn't done at all at that point, she had broken a trust. She had lied to me about him. She had, presumably, lied to him about me. And, perhaps most damningly at the time, had lied to me about my standing in her life.

That is a large part of why I can't function without honesty in a relationship. If I have my way, everybody involved knows everything.

In practice, this means that everybody involved will be given adequate and ongoing opportunity to know everything that is going on. I phrase it that way, because sometimes other partners don't necessarily want to know the details of a particular encounter, but I insist that they know at least that an encounter occurred and roughly where a relationship stands.