The Three C’s

As a newbie in BDSM I have done quite a bit of reading and thinking and discussing. Both about doing kinky stuff and about having a D/s relationship. It did not take long before I saw some words repeat themselves, and I dubbed them the three C’s. The three C’s is probably on the top five list on how to make a D/s relationship work – or any relationship for that matter. For me, those words are the top three on that list. Better yet, they are all on the top of the list, together.

Consent. Compatibility. Communication.

Consent.

Consent is vital for any relationship. From consensual non-consent or blanket consent to enthusiastic consent and everything in between – consent is what distinguish a healthy power exchange relationship from abuse. I read and hear about consent everywhere, and for a reason. It is not easy to be new and not completely get how important consent is and how many shades consent comes in. In the beginning, consensual non-consent sounded awfully like abuse to me. Now I know a bit more and the term does not sound as frightening.

Personally, I like enthusiastic consent the most. It is not necessary all the time, but often enough to hold my doubts and worry in check. A lot of the time, I get her consent by asking her to do something and she does it, and by her sounds and other reactions when I do something to her. It is not as if I find something new and just do it without talking about it or give her a warning first. Informed consent is important. Here is where the two other C’s comes in.

Compatibility.

To find someone that you are compatible with is not easy, but if you find someone who floats on the same waves as you do, the wait is worth it. I am not only talking about kinks. For a relationship to work compatibility is necessary both in a vanilla setting and in a kinky one. It will not be easy to have a relationship when one partner only wants to party in their free time and the other only wants to go on hikes. If there is no middle ground, there is not much for a relationship to grow on. The way I see it, compatibility in a vanilla setting is as important, if not more, than having compatible kinks. (If you want to have a vanilla relationship too, that is, and not just a D/s relationship.)

As for compatible kinks, who cares what rest of the world thinks of your kinks when you have a partner that enjoys them as much as you do? To find someone that you have many kinks in common with can be a hardship for some. I have read about people who just cannot seem to find someone who is into the same things as them. And I have read about many people who have found the one that fulfill their own kinks to perfection, even if they did not think it possible at first.

I think it is important to remember that people are first and foremost not kink delivery systems, but people. Chances are you will not find someone who like all the things you like as much as you like them and nothing else. Do not write a list about all the things that a prospective partner have to be and like; you might miss out on a lot of great people if you do. Then there is the fact that some people might learn to like and love new kinks, because their partner like this kink or that kink so much. They might grow into it, given the chance and the time to get used to it. Then again, they might not. It is probably not smart to begin a relationship on the assumption that the new partner will learn to love a kink that you cannot live without. Talk about it, a lot, and be clear when you communicate. This is where the last C comes in.

Communication.

I have read a lot of post and articles that has claimed another version of the three C’s. Communication, communication and communication. In a D/s relationship, communication does not fix everything any more than in a vanilla relationship, but it is a beginning. There will not be possible to clarify or fix anything if you do not communicate.

In addition, open communication is even more important when one partner have all the authority in a relationship and a green card for giving pain when one wants to. I would think it is good to have a submissive who is a secure enough communicator that she may tell the dominant that she feels like she is coming down with the flu, before the dominant decides to give the submissive an ice cold shower. Informed consent goes both ways. I would feel horrible if I inadvertently made my girlfriend sick, (I would certainly not consent to do so) or harmed her in any way when it could have been avoided by open communication.

I can honestly say that I have never been in a relationship where I have communicated this much. I am not a great communicator. I like to talk to my girlfriend, my friends and my family, but I am not good at talking about heavier stuff. It gets stuck in my head, sometimes in my throat, and I cannot get the words out. If the other part is as bad as I am at communication, little communication will find place. I do not like the fact, but it is a fact.

Fortunately, my girlfriend is much better at communication than I am and makes it possible for me to communicate without having too much trouble. It does not make all conversations easy, but it makes it possible even when it is hard.

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Lack of nerves

The past month I have been at a kinky gathering or a munch almost every week. In the beginning of my escapades in the kinky world I was more nervous than anything else. Stubbornness alone made sure that I got out the door at home and to the munch. It wasn’t really something I looked forward to; I was far too busy being nervous. It was just something I had to do for myself and hope that it would get better with time.

It did get better. A lot better. Now I look forward to the gatherings, to see my new friends again, to begin new friendships, to talk about books, movies and kink with new people. To joke and laugh with people, and to smile and grin when watching someone get a beating or being put in their place. I might feel mildly uncomfortable sometimes, after all, there are a lot of people I haven’t talked to and sometimes someone can act a bit … out of place. Nothing really rude, just weird, and not in a good way. But it doesn’t happen very often and I guess it’s hard to get away from with so many different people at one place.

So I enjoy looking forward to the gatherings, almost counting down the days, starting at the evening of the last gathering. One reason for my lack of nerves, nerves that were very much there not so long ago, might be the fact that I now meet up with my new newbie friend before the gatherings, and we travel the last bit together. This way, neither of us has to go there alone and sit alone until we find someone to talk to. It’s easier and funnier. I have yet to experience that we run out of things to talk about. Another reason for my lack of nerves might be that I become more and more curios the more I read, learn and see, and I want to learn and see more, and do things myself. I get more and more curious about doing every week. It’s a really hard thought to get out of my head these days. I have got kink on the brain!

This weekend I’m going to a kinky birthday party and I really, really look forward to it. I’m sure it will be a lot of fun! Oh, there will be new people there, and I believe the crowd will be smaller than on the kinky gatherings I’m usually at … and yes, I’m a bit nervous, but I’m a lot more excited! And I know that I already have talked to some of the people who will be there. It will be fine.

Besides, the birthday party isn’t all that I have to look forward to this weekend.

I also have got a date!

No, I’m not thrilled, not at all. No, I don’t look forward to it, not even a bit, of course not. (< Notice the ton of sarcasm I used here. < Notice the fact that I have never done something like this before.) I’m absolute calm and gathered. I’m not jumping up and down while clapping my hands. I wouldn’t do that, ever. (Geez, there’s that sarcasm again.)

Now I’m losing the thread completely, best to put an end to this post.

Flirting

Flirting is a great mystery to me. I neither understand it nor see it. Not only do I not see if someone is flirting with me, I don’t even know when I’m doing something others would consider flirting. When it comes to flirting, I’m completely blind.

Some of it might be inexperience, but some of it is also the fact that I have a hard time believing that anyone would flirt with me. (Low self-esteem, much?) When I’m in a situation where I think there might be a possibility that someone is flirting, I consider it carefully and then end up with a: “Nah, surely not. Why would she?” It’s better to believe that no one is flirting and be wrong, than to believe that someone is flirting, and be wrong.

It’s not a conscious thought either; it’s just the way it is. “No one is flirting, don’t get your hopes up, move along now.”

Of course, it’s a bit worse when I don’t realize that I’m flirting myself. I might talk to someone I like, and later stop and consider if I was flirting or not, without really figuring it out.

(You should know when you do these things, right?)

I have a feeling flirting should be fun, but unless I know what’s actually going on, it’s more bewildering than anything else.

Hugging

I don’t get causal hugging. The type of hugging that happens between people that just have met, or maybe have met once or twice before. The type of hugging where you don’t know for sure that the person you hug is someone you like, trust or even want to hug, no matter how causal.

There are some people that I like instantly and don’t mind hugging at all, but they are few and far between. In most cases I have to use some time to get to know people before I’m comfortable with hugging them. It doesn’t always happen either; sometimes I can like people, even be friends with them, without ever feeling that hugging them is a normal part of our relationship. In the meantime I’m expected to hug everyone I talk to, anyway. I’m not okay with that. Not by a long shot. But it’s really hard to say no or to take a step back when people move forward to hug you, or even ask for a hug.

How does one deal with that? Maybe it’s just me?

On one occasion I became a bit desperate and told him flat out that I didn’t want to hug him. Of course he was taken aback and had to ask why. I told him that I’m not good with intimacy. Not a total lie, since I’m no good with being intimate with people I hardly know, and a close up hug goes far into my personal space. After that I haven’t been that desperate again, but I’m quite often uncomfortable with hugging people I don’t know much. Regrettably, I’m too shy or simply anxious about other people’s feelings and about making a possible scene that I’m unable to say anything.

I don’t understand the gesture of hugging everyone when you greet them or when you say goodbye. Friends, family and lovers, sure, in those cases a hug or two is natural, even for me. (To cuddle up with my girlfriend is on the top of my to-do list when/if I find someone. That kind of intimacy I’m rather good at and it’s addictive.) A couple of weeks ago I even asked for a hug from a new friend. Afterwards I felt bad; what if she is like me and don’t like casual hugging and don’t think hugging is natural yet, but wasn’t able to say no to me? It gave me a pause.

So … if the trend that commands that everyone have to hug everyone else, would pass soon, that would be great.

Some people probably like all the hugs, but some are not all and not everybody are able to say no thanks to the hug. Next time you are about to hug someone, ask yourself if you know the person you are about to hug well enough to know if they actually want a hug or not.

Not everyone is a hugger.

The second munch

Today I’m going to my second munch. I have to admit, the nervousness from the first munch is still there, even though I had a great time. I’m not really surprised that I’m still nervous, just a tiny bit disappointed. Because I remember that it was fun, I remember that I was greeted with warmth and that it wasn’t a scary person in sight. I didn’t ice up, I didn’t lose my ability to speak, I didn’t sit alone with no one to talk to and I wasn’t forced to speak about things I don’t like. I couldn’t find anything to complain about, or to be nervous about, if I tried! But I’m still nervous. So I know that the nervousness doesn’t have anything to do with something that actually happened or something that I have a reason to be nervous about, it’s just my own insecurities. And those I’m used to, unfortunately.

However, I have taken a small step in the right direction. Last time I went to a munch because I had decided to go, and because I’m too stubborn to back out. This time I have also decided to go – and I’m definitely not backing out – but I’m also looking forward to it, just a bit, behind the nervousness. I’m hoping to talk more with some of the people I have begun to get to know, begin some new acquaintances and maybe even friendships. Not even my own anxieties can cover up that hope.

Maybe, just maybe, I can get rid of some of those social anxieties if I continue to do things like this, and if I admit that the gain from meeting new people is far bigger than my own fear of doing just that.

First munch – assessment

Yesterday I was at my first munch. I ranted quite a bit about the fact that I was frightened of meeting new people and the closer it got to the time the munch started, the more nervous I got. I’m pretty sure I was pale the last minutes before I went in to meet the others, my hands was almost shaking. It was that bad. And it lasted all of ten minutes when I first got there and was met by smiles and warm greetings. The official greeter (I believe it was him was, at least) started talking and joking right away, getting me into a conversation.

Two hours later my face hurt from all the smiling and laughing. I even got to talk about books at one point! Yay! Not as an icebreaker though, since the ice already was broken between the guy and me. When the people next to me went out for a bit, this guy seated himself next to me and started talking. The chat was about where we lived, movies, TV series, kinky stuff, books and more. When I discovered that I had to go I was a bit choked, the time had gone by so quickly.

I can’t help but call this first munch a success. I got there, I talked to people and I had fun. Does this mean that I will not be nervous before the next munch, or before the play party later this week? No, not at chance. I’m still going to be nervous, very nervous, but maybe I will be a bit less nervous next time. And bit less nervous the time after that. It will take time and a lot of experience before I stop being nervous. Maybe I always will be a bit nervous. I don’t know yet, it’s too early to say.

At the very least I can now state for certain that I can have a good time, even if I’m a nervous wreck before I get there. Now, if I just could remember that part.

Sometimes I wish I could turn my thoughts off, just to make it quiet in there and let me do things without fretting about it for days beforehand. Gah!

First munch

Today is the day. Munchy day. I have worried and fretted and worried some more, and I have come to a conclusion. Three conclusions actually. One, worrying doesn’t help. Two, I can’t stop.  And three, I worry too much. Like I didn’t know that already.

No, but seriously. The reasons I worry are these:

One; I don’t really like to meet new people. Every time I do, I have to force myself out the door. It’s a bit different if I’m going to a party where I already know someone, but even then; new people are scary. I don’t know anybody at this munch, so there will be only new people. My biggest worry with this is that I won’t be able to talk to anybody. That I will ice up because of fear and push people away. I do this sometimes; play the ice queen (never on purpose, it just happens), most often if there is someone I don’t like, but sometimes it happens when I’m nervous too, and then I don’t know how to turn it off.

Two; people are exhausting. Even if I already know them, even if they are family and friends, I get exhausted after spending time with them. An evening with friends mean that I will have to plan both the day before and the day after so that I won’t be too busy and try to spend energy I will use, or already have used, being social. Some situations are of course better or worse than others. Vacations can be as trying as they can be fun, but if I sleep well and get some hours with down time every day, everyone will survive. They have so far, at least. This is something that I can’t get away from, it’s just the way I am, so I have to plan around it to make the strain on me as small as possible. That the munch will leave me exhausted is something I have to accept, or I’ll have to give it up. And I’m not giving up.

Three; look at number one and two again. That pretty much covers it.

This is most definitely a ranting post, and most of what I have said here, I have mentioned earlier. I had hoped that ranting a bit would clear my head and maybe take some of the worry away. After all, I do interact with people, both new and known, almost every day. I smile, exchange pleasantries, answers and ask questions and just talk. It’s not that hard, if I don’t think about it. It’s really not that hard, promise! … Nope, that didn’t help. I didn’t believe myself, even though I know better. *sigh* I might end up having a good time, but right now my head is to preoccupied with worrying, so I can’t even contemplate that outcome. Oh, well, time will show, I guess.