Tag Archives: open relationship

Ferbrary 14, 2014

“Dear Daddy Kenneth, Can a switch or a man who does not accept the roll of Dominant collar someone who is and has accepted being submissive? If the submissive is the babygirl/boy of one man does the switch need permission from the Daddy to collar his lover? If the submissive is also protected and has a play partner, do the protector and play partner have a say in these goings on or is it between the lover and Daddy.”

Collars are symbols that are given meaning by the people who are using them, therefore it is up to the people who are using them to decide when and how to use them. There are some commonly accepted meanings when it comes to collaring, but I’ve seen kinky people turn those meanings on their heads, and utilize a meaning that was better suited to their own situation. So a Switch CAN collar a submissive if he wishes, and the submissive accepts the collar.

I am not sure why the submissive in question would be interested in accepting a collar from someone who was not dominant, but that is between the two of them. If they want to use a collar to symbolize a relationship between them, they should. He should be aware that perceptions from outsiders are going to place him in the role of dominant, and he will spend a great deal of time explaining why he has a collared submissive when he is not dominant.

In poly relationships, I am a big fan of keeping everyone in the loop, and respecting established boundaries. The submissive should ask the daddy what he thinks about the new development in the relationship, and how he thinks the switch should proceed. If the switch has a strong enough relationship with the daddy, the switch should talk to the daddy as well. If the switch is relatively unknown to the daddy, I would recommend that the switch let the submissive deal with the daddy.

As far as who has say in the relationship between the submissive and the switch, only the people in the relationship have say about what happens in the relationship. The play partner, protector, and daddy may all dictate how their relationships with the submissive go, but unless they are in relationships with each other that include the submissive as well (three ways or more ways relationships) they should stay out of the submissive’s other relationships, and focus on their own. They all have an obligation to respect each other and established boundaries, or get the fuck out, but no one should be dictating the the other relationships.

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December 20, 2013

“Daddy Kenneth, I’ve seen a lot of discussions recently on Facebook regarding open relationships and poly relationships. In many of those discussions it ends up coming down to two sides, one saying it can’t work and one saying it can, though usually there’s some cross over and more details.

“My question, what would you call a relationship that ‘works’? I’ve been in 3 relationships, my first was only a month long when I was 16 and ended badly, my second was almost two years and ended very badly, my third and current is poly and semi-open and has lasted 7 years. None of these relationships do I consider to have ‘Failed’ even though two of them ended and not on good terms. I feel like the fact that I learned and grew from them, and the joy I had from them even in a short time, makes them a success. I guess what I’m asking, do you really have to be with someone forever for it to have been a ‘working’ relationship? Because that seems to be the definition I see used in these discussions.”

Most of the time when people are talking about open and poly relationships, their standard of what “works” is whether or not the relationship lasts. If there is any break up or end to any of the relationships involved, the detractors state that the relationship “failed” and use the break up as evidence that these types of relationships don’t work. If the same standard was applied to monogamous relationships, no one would ever enter into one. The failure rate of monogamous relationships is astronomical. A conservative guess is that 80% of monogamous pairings “fail” to produce life-long committed relationships. Personally, I do not know anyone who is still with their first boyfriend or girlfriend. I’ve had several girlfriends and boyfriends, and in spite of trying to be be in monogamous relationships with them, the relationships didn’t last.

I am coming up on my eighth anniversary with my husband. It is the longest relationship I’ve ever had in my life, the most stable relationship I’ve ever had, a relationship that my friends tell me they envy, and we are about as open as we can be. Of course, if we break up people will say it’s because we were open and those relationships never work out. They fail to realize that it has worked for us for eight years and counting. Is there a chance that we will encounter irreconcilable differences at year 12, yes. Is it likely? No, because we like to reconcile issues as they occur. (Or at least once a year we have a blow up screaming match that brings everything out into the open; afterwards, since we can’t put the genies back in the bottle, we talk about the issues we’re having and work through them.)

In today’s culture of immediate gratification, and in society’s “Cinderella Syndrome” take on relationships, people want to meet, fall madly in love, and live happily ever after. Anything less than that is “failure.” They don’t want to waste time with all the things that make a relationship fun: dating, getting to know each other, learning the things that are unique and different about your partner, exploring your similarities and differences, things like that. They also don’t want to deal with the work that comes with making a relationship work. They think if you want it and I want it, then the rest is easy. It’s not easy. Something as simple as what you want for dinner can turn into an argument about you never listening to me. It really isn’t about dinner, or necessarily you. It’s about the fact that I’m not feeling heard. If you’re my partner, you need to acknowledge that I’m having those feelings. I need to discover what it is that is making me feel that way and, if I need something from you, ask for it.

When a relationship ends badly, people often remember the “ending” and the “badly;” they don’t remember the things that were wonderful. People often don’t remember the things that “worked” so when they reflect on the relationship, they only see their “failures.” I guess what I am saying is no, you do not have to be with someone forever to consider a relationship a successful one. I’ve had many romantic relationships in my life, and don’t consider a single one of them to be a failure. The fact that I am friends with most of my ex’s is proof that our relationships, while they didn’t last forever in a romantic capacity, did not fail.

Do you have a question for “Ask Daddy”? Send me a message and I will add it to my queue.

December 13, 2013

“So I’m feeling very single at there moment. My bf has flaked on our two last date nights because he’s drunk and passes out. We’ve had a great time just hanging out the night before our date night both of those times, though.

“Now he’s gone two days without even texting me – we typically text at least once or twice a day, but I always initiated it, so I wanted to see what happened when I didn’t initiate it.

“We’ve been together almost two months and set expectations & rules. I realize this is an open relationship, but I’m feeling more like it’s a failed relationship.

“I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ that bitches a fit over nothing, but I’m definitely feeling neglected – and I feel he’s ‘cheating’ on me with alcohol. So I’m kind if lost. I’ve had enough failed relationships & want him to work out – I haven’t felt the ‘I’m in love with you’ thing, but I have felt the ‘spending time with you makes me really happy’ thing. Should I say fuck it? Should I confront him? You always are strong for open communication & I’ve pushed open communication a lot in this relationship, but right now I’m just feeling… Disowned, despite my calls for communication if we have issues. I guess I don’t know if this is worth the effort or if I should just abandon it.”

For me, I make the decision to end a relationship when the negativity of the relationship outweighs the positivity of the relationship. If I am left with negative feelings more often then I am left with positive feelings, or the negative feelings I feel far outweigh the positive feelings, it’s a signal that things are not working out. That’s when I make a decision to change the nature of the relationship. One of the other things that I’ve learned is that communication in a relationship is not always verbal. Your partner is communicating with you by his actions, whether or not he realizes it. Your response is a form of communication as well. Be sure you know what you are communicating when you communicate with your partner.

Here is what I hear your partner saying in this situation: “You are not currently a priority in my life.” Your response says, “If I am not a priority in your life, I am not going to make you one in mine.” Now you have a conflict which you can resolve, ignore, or allow it to break your relationship. The choice of how you deal with that conflict is up to you. In your case, it could be as simple as sending your partner a text that says, “I miss you” and if questioned about it, make “I” statements. “I feel like I have not gotten enough time with you lately.” “I feel sad because our last two dates were cancelled.” Don’t make your partner the subject of your statements, own your feelings, and let your partner decide what to do with that information.

Remember what I say about cheating. Cheating is breaking the defined rules of the relationship. If there is no defined rules around alcohol or breaking dates, then your partner is not cheating. If you feel that there there should be some defined rules regarding keeping dates once made, then the next time you are spending time with your partner, or in part of your discussion about your feelings regarding the last two dates, propose a rule that says that once made a date should not be broken. Legitimate, death-in-the-family common-sense exceptions aside. Don’t try spell out what those acceptable exceptions are, because then you’ll end up arguing over whether it’s an exhaustive list or a list of examples. And you’ll be focusing on whether or not something is a legitimate excuse, rather than focusing on the real problems.

Focus on yourself, and what you need and want out of this relationship. Then you can communicate to your partner whether or not you’re needs are being met. Remember, use I statements. “I need a partner who will [blank].” “I feel that my need for [blank] is not being met.” Since you’re already in an open relationship, explore the possibilities that your needs could be met elsewhere. See if you can find a respectful way to inform your partner that you are getting, or looking to get, your needs met elsewhere. Your partner may take the opportunity to start meeting those needs for you.

Remember also, communication does not always require partners to sit down and have a serious conversation with each other. Anything you tell your partner in words and actions is communication. If you don’t want to be “that guy” then don’t. Just let your partner know how you’re feeling. You don’t have to make a huge ordeal out of it, just take the openings you’re given. When you see your partner out at the bar after two days of not texting, give them a kiss and say “I missed you.” When they propose another date, casually ask if they are sure the date works for them, as you don’t want to be stood up again. Don’t be passive aggressive, don’t be vindictive, just be communicative.

Do you have a question for “Ask Daddy”? Contact me with your question and I’ll give it my best shot.

December 11, 2013

“I’ve a question what is an open relationship. is that dating two guys at once?

“At 33 I have no idea of what the hell it’s.”

I define an open relationship as any relationship where complete monogamy is not expected, therefore dating multiple people at once would technically be considered an open relationship. That said, in my personal relationship ladder, dating someone is a relatively low rung, and comes before monogamy is even a factor. For me, dating is testing the waters to see if you even like someone and have similar interests, life goals, sexual compatibility, get along outside the bedroom, things like that. You could, in theory, be in this relationship stage with multiple people at the same time, and not be cheating on any of them.

Common language is a funny thing however, and some people use dating, boyfriends, boyfriend/girlfriend, girlfriends, partners, and seeing someone interchangeably. That’s why the “dating scene” has gotten so convoluted and confusing to a lot of people. many people do not know exactly where the boundaries are between one type of relationship and the other are, so these people don’t actually know what the exact rules of the relationship they are in are. That’s not even factoring in the people who jump from meeting someone to married without taking the time to climb the whole ladder. Everyone just assumes that they are on the same page with whomever they are in a relationship with, but you know what our dads say about assumptions, right? (If you’ve never received the assumption lecture from a family member, please message me privately and I’ll fill you in.)

Many people interpret “Open Relationship” to mean “allowed to fuck other people.” This is vastly oversimplified, and successful open relationships have rules and guidelines that are constantly negotiated, discussed, and revisited. Some open relationships don’t allow kissing. Some open relationships don’t allow sleepovers. Some open relationships don’t allow 1 on 1, and require that both parties in the relationship be present when an additional party is introduced. Open relationships can include every degree between allowing outside sexual relationships only, to allowing full fledged romantic, emotional and sexual relationships. The latter are usually referred to as polyamorous relationships. Although, just to add additional confusion, there are such things as closed polyamorous relationships. This is when a small group of people share love, sex, commitment and intimacy with everyone in the group, but only with those in the group.Open relationships operate on the theory that no one person can be everything to any other one person. In theory it’s okay for someone else to meet the needs of the person I am in a relationship with, when I am unable (or unwilling) to meet those needs. The way the theory works is that honesty and trust are placed above complete monogamy. It states that if you are honest about what your needs are and whether or not you can meet the needs of the person you’re in a relationship with, then you should both be free to get your needs met by people who are willing and able, as long as you are honest about who’s meeting your needs and when.

December 9, 2013

“I recently started dating someone. It’s my first open relationship and I’m still sort of learning the ropes. Other than ensuring clear communication continues between us, what is some other advice you can give to foster & maintain a healthy open relationship? I often look at your previous post about open relationships for inspiration and to boost my confidence as I navigate this uncharted territory.”

Check in with each other. This is part of the clear communication bit, but it deserves to be highlighted. Make sure that you are taking time every day to reinforce your relationship with each other, even if it’s only a few minutes. Be present with each other, create and maintain eye contact, and just be with each other.

Meet your partner’s needs. Don’t assume because your partner has other opportunities for sexual or emotional gratification that you are not required to meet your partner’s needs. You are supposed to be there for them, and vice versa. Otherwise you’re just fuck buddies. (Note: If it is impossible for you to meet a specific need, don’t try. Tell your partner that you are unable to provide for that specific need, and why, and then meet all their other needs.)

Just because you are allowed to sleep with other people, does not mean that you should sleep with every other person who shows an interest. You’re not single, you’re in a relationship, make sure you remember that, and put your partner high on your priority list.

Make rules, and follow the rules you make. Many people operate under the assumption that an open relationship has no rules, and that’s just not the case. I would argue that following the rules of your open relationship is more important to the relationship than following the rules of your closed relationship, but only slightly so. I think that it’s important to follow the rules of any relationship you’re in, but if it’s your only relationship, or your partner’s only relationship, there’s more incentive (albeit misguided) to stay with a person who’s a liar. It’s more work to start over than it is to forgive, or move past the transgression. In an open relationship, the partners see a world of possibilities and are constantly starting new relationships (be they sexual, romantic, emotional, mental, or a combination of all of the above) so there’s less pressure on any one to be the one, and liars and cheats are easier dismissed from the mix.

Treat all of your partners like they are unique and wonderful human beings. No person on this earth exists to be your dildo or your sperm receptacle. Even if that’s the role they play in your relationship; playing that role for you is a wonderful, unique gift that a human being has given you. Cherish that gift the way you expect your gifts to be cherished. I don’t care if he’s a trick you picked up at the bar, she’s a lady you met at the bus stop, or they’re a couple who has been good friends with your partner since college. All of us are human, and deserve to be treated with all the respect and love that comes with that title. If you wouldn’t want someone to treat your mom that way, don’t treat them that way.Have fun! I don’t care if you are in a monogamous relationship, or a boundary-free, free-love, fluid-bonded commune. If you are not having fun in your relationship, if the bad times outweigh the good, if you are unhappy more than you’re happy then you are doing yourself, you partner(s), your future partners, and your partner’s future partners all a disservice. Make the choice to be happy in your life, even if it means ending an unhappy relationship. Please note, I am not suggesting you bail at the first sign of trouble, I am merely saying that if your relationship is two months old and you’ve spent a month and a half fighting, perhaps this relationship is wrong for you. Move on and put everyone in the relationship out of their misery.

November 25, 2013

“I had someone move in with me last year, and I love him and love being around him, but sexually it’s just not working. I want an open relationship, but only for me. I get extremely jealous if he goes to meet someone else, but because I’m older (by 28 years) and have been around the block so to speak, I know there’s a lot of fun out there that I could be having. Is it wrong to have a one-sided open relationship?”

Right and wrong in relationships is subjective to the people who are in those relationships. Cheating in relationships is breaking the defined rules of the relationship. I suggest that you sit down with your partner and discuss with them what is working for you, and what is not. Then you should listen to them tell you what is working for them and what is not. After that, you will be in a better position to discuss what you want to do in the future. In my relationships, I always believe that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. With that in mind, I would be careful what you ask for when negotiating your relationship with this person. If you are unwilling to let them have permission to play outside the relationship, you have to be willing to let them put the same limitations on you.

As the older partner, it is your responsibility to make sure that this relationship runs its course (whatever that course may be) and that when it ends, your partner is in no worse shape than when they started this relationship. This means: No new (unwanted) children, no new diseases, and no new scars (emotional or physical.) This is Dan Savage’s campsite rule, leave the campsite in better shape than you found it, and leave your younger partner is better shape than you found them. Cheating on your partner when they have put trust in you, especially when that partner sounds as vulnerable as yours does, is creating new emotional scars that could be with him long after you’re gone.

The way your question is worded gives me pause, and makes me wonder what’s really going on in your head. You are 28 years older than your partner. You know what’s out there, and what’s fun, and you want to have fun without your partner. Meanwhile you expect your partner to stay at home and not have fun. What is the purpose of limiting his options while opening up yours. In my experience that is a classic control mechanism that send up red flags to me, and should send up red flags to anyone with the emotional maturity to recognize them. Which brings me to the HUGE age discrepancy in a relationship, and very difficult to navigate under normal circumstances. But you have set up a world where your partner relies on you for a place to live, and is presumably is emotionally and financially dependent on you. Now you want to make this person sexually dependent on you as well, all the while keeping your options open for other sexual and emotional outlets.

Personally, I don’t like this story at all, but I also accept your premise that he is there by his choice. I also accept that he presumably has equal say in the relationship, and you are going to listen to him when you have that conversation I mentioned earlier. My advice in this situation is: Open relationships work when everyone’s needs are met by the relationships they are in. You know what your needs are, he knows what his needs are. Little rules tend to make big differences when assuring your partner that they are still number one in your life. Not sleeping over with your tricks, and always returning to your partner can help you make sure that your partner still feels loved and wanted. Many couples have “No Kissing” rules because they reserve kissing for only each other.

Whatever the rules are, make sure you keep them! Breaking even the small rules, or the rules that you don’t think are significant can lead to a deterioration of trust. Without trust, there is no relationship. I would also advise you to learn to curb your jealousy and learn to trust your partner. In my experience, jealousy destroys more relationships than it saves. You can talk about times when you are feeling jealous, and discover what makes you feel that way. You can discover if you have a legitimate reason to be jealous, like if your partner is spending 75% of their free time with someone who is not you and you are feeling left out; or if you are merely projecting your insecurities onto your partner’s behavior. Once you’ve decided the root cause of your jealousy, don’t try to change your partner’s behavior, because it will never happen. Change your behavior so that the things causing your jealous reaction go away.

July 30, 2013

“So I have fallen for this guy. He seems to feel the same towards me. When we hang out, people assume we’re a couple. His friends & boyfriend both picked up on our feelings, and I’m afraid it’s causing tension between him & his boyfriend. They’re in an open relationship, but the bf doesn’t like having emotional attachment or social interactions with his playmates; whereas the guy I like seems to love the emotional & social attachment. What can I do so I don’t damage their relationship, but remain an active part of this Guy’s life? I like his bf too, and wouldn’t be opposed to a threesome situation, but the bf doesn’t seem to want to associate with me more than he has to.”

Guy and Boyfriend have their own set of problems in regards to their relationship and communication, and you would serve yourself and Boyfriend best if you stay out of them. Guy is actually cheating on Boyfriend. It seems as if they have defined rules in their relationship, and Guy doesn’t agree with them, so he is passive-aggressively breaking them. Boyfriend knows this, and while he is trying not to blame you for the situation, he can’t help but blame you a little bit. He’s smart enough to realize that if it wasn’t you that Guy was cheating with, it would be someone else, therefore he is tolerating you as “the evil he knows and can see” if you are not in the picture, then he has to try to discover who Guy’s next “other man” is.

You sense the tension between them because it is present whenever you are around. Boyfriend knows that you’re the other man. You know that Boyfriend knows about you, and Boyfriend and Guy are having a silent argument about you that they think they are hiding from everyone else in the room.

To keep your status as the other man, and protect the relationship that your cheating partner is in, insist that social interactions with your cheating partner take place with your friends. Do not verbalize your emotional attachment, to each other, any of your friends, or any of his. Insist that you avoid people who are mutual friends with him and Boyfriend whenever possible, and make sure that you are making a conscious choice to send him home to Boyfriend. If you give him these subtle hints that you are onto him and his game, he may lose interest in you. That means that he didn’t really love you, just the idea of what you represented. If he accepts your terms you may save both relationships. On the other hand, Guy could turn around and start cheating on both you and Boyfriend with a fourth guy.