Who’s On Top

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Hello, lovely internet world. Yes, I still live. I’ve..been through quite a bit since my silence, and I will get to what I can, when I can as time goes on..but I am back. I hope some of you are still around, and willing to continue to read my thoughts as my journey continues.

I am very much active still in the local San Francisco scene. James is still in my life, though we are..complicated (as if we have ever been simple). I remain unowned and uncollared for now, but I am far from single.

For now, I’m not talking about James. This entry will be about another partner that I’ve mentioned before, Chris.

Chris and I have had our bumps, but even through me being released we’ve managed to stay together. For a time I was..terrified. There are still times I feel unbalanced, not having a primary and remaining in a relationship that would be considered a ‘secondary’ relationship. Right now, officially, I belong to no one. Emotionally is a different story..but I’m digressing.

It was about a month ago that Chris and I hit our biggest bump in the road. One of the reasons being with him was always so easy was that I felt like I was on an even playing field with all of my met amours. For the longest time, Chris preached that he did not believe in hierarchy, and that he did not have primaries and secondaries. There was no worry about who came first. We were all even, and would be what we would be.

For the most part, I get along with my met amours. Some I want to play with. Some I enjoy a sort of sibling relationship with… there’s a kindred spirit feel. I work to maintain these relationships because these people matter to me, and matter to a man that I call my Sir. I enjoy the family feel that I have with the majority of my partner’s partners. There is..one, however, that does not fit this mold.

Emily, my partner’s parter, is a force of nature. She is a polarizing, creative soul that has frustrated the majority of us from the very beginning. She wants nothing to do with any of us, and that (for the most part) is okay. It’s her personal choice and not something any of us can really impact. Not even Chris can. Their relationship has been..turbulent to say the least, and the only time the lack of contact with Emily has bothered me has been when I’ve had nights with Chris a day or two after a drama-filled visit and my partner was visibly distraught. She has effected him emotionally unlike any of the others; the highs with her are the highest for him and the lows are the lowest.

I suppose, knowing this, I should been able to predict what would happen next. I got a call from my partner informing me that he was going to choose a primary, and that it was Emily.

There were many emotions associated with this decision..still are.. I was so angry at first. I felt betrayed. Hurt. Confused why he never communicated any of this to me. We had just had a very intense, connection-filled camp at Dark Odyssey, and during all of it he could have easily opened up to me. Out of all of his partners, I was one that understood hierarchy and the complicated emotions often associated with it. I felt like I had been slapped, backhanded. Not only had he not trusted me enough to open up and tell me what was going on, he had chosen for his primary the most unstable relationship in his life. One that I had seen almost destroy him emotionally multiple times.

Slowly, the other partners have adjusted. I have as well. I am now the closest partner locally that he has. Emily is next, at a couple hours away from him to my half-hour. I see the little changes the most..and some have them have hurt me.

This world of hierarchy is wildly new to Chris, and I know that… and I’ve watched him struggle with navigating it. For the majority of the summer Emily got all of his weekends, which cut off most of the time he could have spent with two partners that were long distance and only are able to see him about once a month each. The bit of time I got with him was almost always good, especially when we were out and away from his place.

The last couple visits to his home, however, have felt like I was on a day with not just him, but with Emily too. The first real blow came when I walked in one day to see an art piece Emily had made up on his wall. Chris has artwork all over his apartment, including mine, and Emily’s was a rather big piece on a wall that had nothing yet besides it. It framed the wall funny, and I mentioned to Chris just shifting the piece over a tad.

He agreed, but only after going to his front door to look at it on the wall. “I want it to be the first thing I see when I walk through the door,” he said. I winced at the words and looked over at the piece I had given him; a painting I had done a lifetime ago that had meant the world to me. I never thought I could give it to anyone. I let it go to Chris because he had worked on me so much, gotten through my armor. Slowly, he had taught me how to love more than one person. That meant so much to met that I wanted him to have the 2D piece I was most proud of making. In one moment, with a single comment he probably hadn’t even thought twice about, he had thrown that out the window.

Another time I had opened the fridge to find it filled with food; a rare sight in the land of the Chris. None of the food was for him. It was all for Emily’s kids, who he loves. Over and over, throughout the evening, he mentioned how much he was enjoying the uncle role and how amazing the children were. I felt like a bitch, staring down at my dinner, upset about him loving something so much that I was unable to touch, or see, or fully understand.

There are many conversations about Emily being his number one, and wanting to be number one with her. Emily getting the most of his time, the most of his energy.

Emily, Emily, Emily.

I felt myself swallowing bitter pills more and more as time went on. Chris, this strong top who is quick to punish me for being five minutes late to lunch, let Emily get away with murder. Rescheduling and canceling things last minute, not showing up to something after a fight when she had made a commitment to, calling and having a fight with him in the middle of a date he and I were having.. More and more, I felt my territory stomped on. And there was always an excuse. If I pulled half the crap she did with him, he would have dropped my ass months ago. I couldn’t understand it. I was so hurt, so terribly sore, and yet even as he bent to her I saw him happy and fought being upset and jealous. I disregarded my feelings, chalking up what I could to a lack of primary and a need for more attention. I was okay, until I saw a photo of Chris wearing a leash and collar.

Chris is a switch, but his submissive side rarely comes out to play. It exclusively comes out with Emily, and I knew this. I was aware of this. But he is my Sir. Selfishly, I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t understand it. I was..disturbed by it. Upset he didn’t give me any warning about it. Angry at the amount of power and control she had over him. Very human emotions.

I asked him to give me a call when he could. He was away, on vacation, and we could not talk face to face. When we did talk I shared what I could about how I was feeling; that I didn’t want to be a bitch and be bitter when he was so happy but that I felt neglected. Shoved to the side. Second fiddle. I am aware that Emily comes first. I don’t need it shoved down my throat. James always came first for me and I tried my damnedest to make sure that Chris was always sure and steady in his importance and his place in my life.

Chris said one very key phrase, and suddenly everything fell into place in my mind about their relationship. Why he gave her so much lee way. Why she could do so much damage to him and why the effects lingered long after a fight with any of the rest of us would have been recovered for. Why he was so greedy for as much time with her as he could get.

“I feel as if I belong to her.”

The moment I heard the words, I felt equal parts pain and understanding. The subby ache inside of me reared its ugly head, and I let a couple silent tears fall. Yes, I knew that feeling well. From the beginning I had belonged to James. I didn’t need a collar to tell me that. He has always been able to touch parts of me that no one else has gotten near.

Chris, as much as he was my Sir, as much as he was a sadistic bastard at times, was not the emotional top in the relationship. He was hers. Emotionally, he was submissive to her.

I had been looking at the whole situation from a top’s prospective. Why was she given special treatment that the rest of us never would have gotten long before she became primary? Why WAS she the primary when she was by far his most difficult partner? Why did he cater to her so much, when so much of what she was would be a deal breaker with anyone else?

Because he was emotionally in service to her, and probably had been for some time. Now, as their relationship develops, he is comfortable enough to be physically in service to her from time to time as well. She is the only one he can do that with; the only one that he can even begin to imagine doing that with.

In a way, I understand. I can call any man who tops me that I respect sir. James remains the only man I have ever felt the desire to call my Master. He is the only one I can be a slave to, as of now.

I don’t know where this relationship with Emily will go. I hope that Chris doesn’t end up hurt, and I’m going to do my best to help him begin to navigate this sort of relationship in a slightly healthier way. There are ways to belong to one partner and still not make the others feel like crap. Partners are partners for a reason. Relationships are hard work. You don’t continue them, especially through conflict, if they aren’t things that matter to you. And I know that, realistically, I matter to Chris. I know he absolutely loves me. I know that I am not Emily, that I do not touch certain parts of him that she touches, but I also know that we have other things in common, and that’s okay too. Other things is different… not ‘not as good’. It’s teaching him how to communicate that (at his request) that will be..interesting.

Poly isn’t easy. But honestly, at this point in my life I can’t imagine being monogamous. Even with the drama, my life is much better with Chris in it. He is a good man, and for the most part a fantastic partner. We’ll navigate this. Nothing is unchanging. Nothing is perfect. Life is change, and development, and growth; and there is so much beauty in that.

Yours, still very much alive and kicking

Rene

 

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