My fiancee has recently started seeing a new metamour, and they’re heavy into the NRE stage. The new beau and my fiancee are hugely kink-compatible and it seems like everything’s pretty intense with them – but we’ve been together for years. I’m noticing that our own BDSM stuff has got a bit slow especially by comparison. This is inspiring me to step up my game as a Dom, but I don’t want either of us to feel like I’m just repeating good times they’re having elsewhere. How can I juggle these two conflicting worries, especially while my fiancee is so massively into someone new?
Dear Abi #16:
Adjusting to a New Metamour
I reckon there are two things going on here, and your BDSM concerns are only half the story. Is it possible that you’re feeling a little twitchy about the extent to which your fiancee is basking in the warm glow of New Relationship Energy?
I’m going to let you into a ‘new metamour’ secret:
Pretty much nobody has zero reaction to a new metamour. Even when you’re happy as can be for the two of them, everyone’s needs are being met and it’s all going well. There are usually a few flickers of doubt or insecurity to contend with every now and then.
Think about this:
The important thing is to remember that it doesn’t actually matter very much. This is how you’ve chosen to live your life: it’s important to you, and you enjoy it. If we backed out of everything that was good for us the moment it gave us the slightest second of discomfort, we’d never go anywhere or do anything. Parties and holidays can leave you with a bit of a hangover. Theatre seats can make your back ache a little. Furniture can catch your arm or stub your toe. Those things are all still worth having, and we still want to keep them all in our lives.
Now that I’ve noted that, we should move on to the meat of the question. Which is:
How to keep a BDSM dynamic alive in a long-term relationship, particularly one in which other parties are occasionally involved.
You’re far from the first person to have this concern about new metamours, and there are plenty of ways to approach it. One of the reasons I’m currently so enthused about the role of solo polyamory in my own life is that non-primary partners are perfectly placed to keep a dynamic like this alive. It’s a lot easier to focus on something like that when you’re not on the escalator and you aren’t spending every single day together.
That doesn’t mean it’s not possible, though, and one size never yet fit all.
The trick is to deal with this consciously and intentionally.
Complacency is the death knell for a long-term sexual connection of any sort, particularly in BDSM. The good news is that BDSM comes with a few built-in options for getting around this than vanilla relationships just don’t have.
You describe yourself as being the dominant partner in your dynamic. Have you ever had standing rules for your fiancee, and if so are you still enforcing them? Have a talk with them about what kinds of rules you might both be interested in. Then see what a difference it makes when you’re sticking to them consistently rather than letting the whole concept slide.
Make time in your schedules for sex, in a way that works for you both. Which doesn’t need to mean nominating particular days, but does generally mean doing a little forward planning. Schedule in some of the big scenes you always wanted to do but never actually got round to. Have a conversation about fantasies as yet unfulfilled that you might be able to set up.
It’s like apples and oranges…
I do understand the worry about doubling up on good times your partner is having with their new beau – but please, try not to let it trouble you too much. An established dynamic built up over many years between two people committed to riding the escalator together is a wonderful thing. Exploring uncharted territory with an exciting new person in a sex-focussed, non-primary way is also a wonderful thing – but it’s a completely different one. Trying to compare one to the other is apples and oranges. All you’ll do is cause yourself unnecessary worry! Focus on making the great stuff you’ve got the best it can be, and you’ll both find that everything in your lives finds its own levels naturally and easily.
My suspicion, honestly, is that you guys are doing just fine. Keep communicating with each other and being honest about your feelings. Keep taking internal note of what your own feelings actually are. You’ve already one at least three-quarters of the battle here.
Got a burning question for Abi? Send it to AskAbi (at) fuck (dot) com