from the Submissive Guide Newsletter 3/5/16

I don't know about you, but I'm monogamous. I am not shared with anyone else and that suits me just fine. But if you go to any online discussion group you may get an impression that the opposite is true; that sharing your submissive with others in a play setting is the norm. But really, it's just not as prevalent as you think.

There is this misconception that everyone shares everyone else in play or sex such as a party and that needs to stop. It's scaring the neighbors. Heck it scares me. This idea has no business growing within the BDSM community and I'm going to voice my dissent right now.

When you attend a play party or dungeon event it may look like a lot of random people are hooking up and people are playing with people other than those they came with but look harder and start asking questions if you are confused. There are couples playing that only play with each other. They are very possessive perhaps, or have no interest in sharing themselves with others.  And that's perfectly acceptable. Are there people there that are polyamorous and have more than one play partner? Polyamory doesn't mean they just go around playing and getting freaky with just anyone. And they could be bonded to their partners so they don't play with random people.

I do admit that more casual play happens at a larger play event than a smaller one and that could be where a large majority of people get this idea that everyone is free to play with anyone and everyone. Or just because of the sheer number of people there it could look like a free for all. I myself have seen it happen. There are play bunnies (people who bounce from one partner to another to get as much play in as possible at an event) just as much as there are tops willing to play with as many as they can. These people are usually more obvious, less inhibited and definitely clearly free to explore with whomever they wish.

But I'm a part of a couple and as a couple, I am not anyone else's playmate. I attend play parties to play with my partner only. It may be to experience a piece of equipment that we've never used before or to mingle in the atmosphere that public play tends to bring out. But share we do not.

Another reason that it may feel like people just get passed around for play is that we encourage novices just to try it, go for it, head to a party and ask for it. Is that really right? In some situations, it could be, but for others, it could confuse someone even more. Play isn't just casual for many. It has a huge element of intimacy and closeness, trust and vulnerability that for many, myself included, just can't happen in the span of a 10-minute negotiation. So, what do I have to say to novices who want to know what a certain play activity is like? Find out your connection to kink and relationships first. If you feel you can play without needing a connection, then give it a go. If you consider play to be intimate and you don't want to do intimate things in public, then don't go play at a party. Save it for a private moment with a partner that you trust and have a connection with. Sure it will take you a bit longer, but it will be well worth the wait.

Ultimately this is one of those things that you need to build your own personal opinion about and not listen to everyone chiming in with the opposite. Sure it's an easy thing to push people to just go for it and try it and then have a relationship later, but if they aren't wired that way it comes off as the only accepted way and the new person has to somehow ignore their own preferences.

Don't ignore your preferences. If you prefer to explore only in a committed, monogamous relationship then seek that. You don't have to be shared with others unless you agree to it and playing at parties is also optional. You can be a great submissive without ever having played with someone who isn't your committed partner.