Last night, many of the members of our local poly community decided to invade a kink night at a swing club. This was pretty boundary pushing for several of the attendees, as they'd either never been to a club that identifies first and foremost as a place for people to have sex out, or had never been to a public event that was geared primarily towards bdsm play and energy. I've done both, and find that mixing those types of activity work well for me, but had plans to play with others that were in one or both of the above camps.
My interest in kink has been something that has kind of tweaked PG when I started exploring that several years ago. Initial explorations were often within the context of the bi/lesbian community, as that coincided with the point in time that I was most interested in delving into connections with other women. That didn't seem to hit as many buttons for him, I'm guessing largely because I did most of the topping at that point, so didn't have a lot of marks, or power dynamics that bled into his sphere of interaction with me. Out of sight, out of mind.
S and I have been going around since the very beginning of our relationship with bdsm conversations. His initial impression when we started dating was that my experiences far exceeded his own, and that would translate out into not be satisfied with "normal" sex, or that I would constantly be pushing for something new, bigger, more flashy, to do in bed. After noticing that I do just fine with vanilla stuff, that concern seemed to subside. Right up until I started dating in the past several months, and without exception, all of the others I'm dating share an interest in kink. As a matter of fact, I'd say that they're all probably more versed and experienced within that sphere, and that it is a positive factor in my decision to date them.
While I wouldn't consider either PG or S to be pure vanilla, neither are they avidly interested in bdsm. This is one of the things I find helpful about having poly relationships: They don't need to be, because I can enjoy that with others. S would like to understand more about what that looks like for me, and how I interact with others, and I find myself a bit reluctant to expose myself that way. I think this goes back to the fear of being seen differently by my partner, as perverse (in a bad way), or otherwise damaging the emotional components of our relationship by showing my dark side.
I'm clear that I do have a darker side. Causing pain doesn't bother me in the least, and I enjoy the challenge of seeing how far I can push someone consensually towards the limits of what they can handle. Being in charge feels very natural, and can be at odds with my egalitarian ideals within my poly relationships. At the same time, I'm switchy. Receiving sensation, putting myself in the hands of another trusted partner, has a great deal of appeal. As does someone "making" me do things that I would cringe at as being too slutty to embrace on my own power.
So I go to this event last night, and I have solid plans to play with D in a specifically negotiated way. This was going to be a first experience playing together. S was going to be joining us later in the evening, and had originally requested that my scene with D be completed by the time he was due to arrive. Late in the afternoon, he changed his mind, and opted to come along for the whole event, and to try to understand more about what I found appealing. The three of us arrive together, and I split off to begin the scene with D, not having assimilated that S really wanted to watch the scene. So he felt excluded and disconnected about something that was already a bit scary/new.
I emerged from my time with D, which went very well, and noticed that S wasn't looking so happy. We talked a bit, explored what happened, and decided to attempt to move forward with the evening. Apparently, that involved some penance and punishment for my "transgression", and I was most heinously made to regret my lack of understanding, with an audience. Yeah, he isn't kinky at all. :P
The rest of the evening passed in a haze of sensation, connection and community. There is something very comforting to me to be held down and seen by others while enjoying the attentions of my partner(s). We got a big cuddle pile going in a group area, and I was floating from all the places I'd been energetically and physically in a short few hours. I topped, dominated, bottomed and submitted, exhibited, was shown off, and took the energy of the place and people around me and tossed it back with explosive response. At the end of the night, I felt connected to most of the people that I wanted to be connected with that evening, and expressed firm intentions to make up the lack with those I missed out on. It was a great night, even with the misses in communication early on, and I am looking forward to exploring more, and getting past feeling discomfort around this topic. I'm a lioness. If you're brave, you can put yourself at my mercy, attempt to guide that wild energy, or both!