Alchemising Jealousy: Too Much Information?

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Alchemising Jealousy: Too Much Information?My core relationship is with someone who, like me, is still navigating the ins and outs of non-monogamy. Neither of us are seasoned in this, and although we’d both played around with it in the past, and I had been openly non-monogamous for several months before I met him, we are still finding plenty of things to negotiate, discuss and ponder. And one of those things is – yes, I’m going to talk about it again – jealousy. I have written about jealousy here a couple of times before, about how I personally handle it, but of course, my way is not everyone’s way. And it is not his way.

Due to the nature of our relationship – he is the top, I am the bottom – we have found a way for him to deal with his jealousy through play. That’s not to say we just pretend it away, or purely sexualise it – we do discuss it as well, and check in with one another – but we have found that our dynamic is conducive to some interesting navigation. Our sex life spans quite an array of kinks, but the one thing that remains constant is that he is my Daddy and I am his daughter. Although I am not collared, or marked, or even ‘owned’ in a BDSM sense, the paternal role he plays automatically implies (for us) some sense of possession. I am his daughter, not a daughter. Don’t get me wrong, I am fiercely independent and given the darkness and depth of our kinks in my day-to-day life he actually has very little control, and that is how we like it. But still, I would be lying if I said our bond didn’t make jealousy something of a hot topic.

But to the point at hand! We have found that often when I go and see my other partners, it helps him “alchemise his jealousy” (his phrase) if he sends me to them. Daddy sending his little girl out to be used by, or to please others. From his point of view, this perfectly offsets jealousy and means he is able to enjoy the time I spend with others whilst looking forward to my return.

However, despite the way it sets his mind at rest – which is important to me – it does raise a few ethical questions. There are moments when I wonder if I might actually be using my secondary partners to keep my core partner happy; a thought which does leave a slightly unsavoury taste in my mouth. After all, none of my relationships are for the amusement of anyone outside those individual relationships, and there does need to be some respect for the boundaries of those intimacies.

Having said that, it’s not like I go back to Daddy and tell him all the details and private moments I’ve shared with others; far from it. I share about as much as I would be willing to share on twitter; that seems to be my barometer: “Would I share it on twitter?” If the answer is yes, then I will share it with him. If the answer is no, then I know it’s something that belongs exclusively to my other partners and me. Besides which, my partners all know that while I may not be all that voluntarily forthcoming about my sex life, I am hardly a prude, and I do have bouts of lustful over-sharing, especially when questioned. I am also careful about how I discuss things; I speak very much from the “I” and actively avoid talking about my partners. If I share a story, I share my experience, not our experience. It can be complicated, but the way I use language helps a lot here. I might playfully mention a fantasy that flashed through my head in the heat of the moment, but I am not going to discuss the connection I shared with someone else, or even the heat itself.

Similarly, when I am with my other partners, I don’t consider myself to be there to please Daddy. I am there because these are people I adore and enjoy spending time with. I am there for me and for us, not for him. And I try to make that clear in the way I treat everyone.

But, even with my boundaries and my filtering, and the way I distinguish ‘me’ from ‘us’, and a liberal dose of moral judgement, I still don’t feel entirely comfortable with this set-up. I feel that I am doing everything I can to strike a balance, but perhaps no matter what I do here, this dynamic just isn’t as ethical as I’d like to pretend it is.

So what do we do? Is there a way to make this kind of sharing and openness more moral and ethical? Or is it something that should be avoided? And if it really doesn’t sit right, where exactly do we draw the line between being open enough and being too open?

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Harper Eliot is a writer and podcaster whose work mainly centers around eroticism and social observation. You can find an archive of work, and links to all her other projects, on her website Harper Eliot. Harper lives in London, but rarely sees her own house, spending most of her time on public transport, listening to podcasts and tweeting too much. Her vices include cigarettes, lubricant, Earl Grey tea, opera, nail polish, and pinwheels.

3 Comments

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    The first question that comes to my mind is, “why do you feel that it is unethical”? If you are telling something that your secondaries would not like you to share, then that is unethical. If they are fine with you sharing what you are sharing, then there is nothing unethical about it. It is possible that some general idea of public perception of what is ethical may be creeping in on you here. Again, I think to free yourself from worry you should ask each individual secondary what their boundaries are. You may find that they like the idea of their sexual experiences with you being hot enough to excite others.

    I’m in a similar yet different situation. I’m a secondary to a married woman that has 2 other secondaries. I’m a switch, but with her I feel that I cannot remain a dominant over all. Her other sexual partners do that better in my eyes, so other than topping, I’m a service sub. I also really like cuckold fantasies, and she enjoys sharing things that she’s excited about having done with her other secondaries, especially her newest which she is so excited about right now.

    Well, I do feel jealous and even inadequate. Her telling me the main highlights, some of the times, helps me to feel closer to her and still a major part of her sex life even if I’m not the one giving her the most orgasms. Also, I suppose I’m a little bit of a masochist, so this gives me some satisfaction.

    What she has done to be sure that she isn’t being unethical is she’s asked her other secondaries about what they are comfortable with her sharing. They have very little limits, but she does adhere to those. Otherwise, the general how it started, a position or two, a toy, or how many times she came is all info that is shared with me at certain times (not every date they have). We feel that we are being ethical. There is no deception involved, and we know that many people wouldn’t agree with “wanting to know” or “wanting to share”, even though they are non-monogamous. Everyone is different.

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    If it feels unethical for you, that’s something to think more about – you’re usually the best barometer for your own actions, unless you’re someone who gets horribly guilty about every imagined indiscretion.

    From my point of view, the *possibly* unethical part is where you create a story with your primary partner about how he is sending you off to play with/please other partners. I have been involved in an M/s relationship for the past 2 years (i’m the lowercase type), and my Master has at time “given me away” to other people (logistically this usually looks like him inviting someone over, blindfolding me, not telling me in advance, and then bringing them in to beat/tie/fuck/with me) or told me to play with specific other people at parties. In these cases, he is in charge, he is responsible, and he is ultimately accountable.* It’s part of the eroticism for everyone that I am his property, part of the scene for all involved.

    On the other hand, both of us have other partners and in these relationships we are not involved in each other’s sexy times. We do tend to share stories, but nothing that I wouldn’t share with my best friend (who I do share a lot with… I like to talk about sex). I understand what you mean by distinguishing your experience vs. you&your partner’s experience vs. your partner’s experience. The part about your situation that’s a bit iffy, inho, is that you’re folding your kink dynamic with him into your sex with other people. When I’m sleeping with/fucking/playing with/etc. my other partner, I trust that she is having an experience with *me*, not with *me* and vicariously her primary partner. (I hope that sentence made sense as written). It’s about authentically being present with someone when you’re with them. Time is scarce, and when my partner is with me (which is only once a week, if we’re lucky and work/kid schedules line up), I’d be hurt if she were thinking about us as something she’s been told to do by her primary partner. It kind of reminds me of that icky thing where a woman approaches you to play and you know that it’s because she wants to look hot in front of her boyfriend, not because she really wants to play with you independent of her other relationship. Like “oh, you’d be a pretty pawn in our otherwise hetero relationship!” Now, I know that’s not what you’re doing, but just my association of being involved in someone else’s relationship dynamic.

    And it sounds like you are present with your other partners, in that you say that your experience with them doesn’t feel like it’s “for him,” you’re maintaining this other story with your primary partner. So then the question becomes whether you’re lying to him…

    *Except for safer sex practices — those I determine for myself and let him know if they change vis a vis other people in general or another partner in particular.

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