Benefits of polyamory

Domina Jen,

I’m dating a single polyamorous woman.  She was up front about being poly from the beginning and I was cool with it.  We’ve been dating for a few months and now she’s looking at this guy as a potential partner.

It feels weird. I’m not a jealous guy so on one hand I’m cool with it but on the other… I don’t know I guess it feels weird because I feel like I’m supposed to not be cool with it maybe?

And the idea of telling my friends and family about it really messes with me. They’ve all met her and think she’s cool. But I know she won’t be cool with keeping her other relationship a secret.

She knows something’s up and she keeps asking me about it. I just don’t really know how to answer. Because I’m mostly cool with it but then there’s like “what if she likes the other guy more than me” and “what if she spends more time with him than me” and “what if I don’t like the guy” and all these “what if” things that just bug me.

And then of course there’s “what if she leaves me for him” and “what if she gets a disease from him that she gives to me.”

But then again she’s also cool with me going out and getting another girlfriend if I want so do I really have the right to not be cool with her if I have the same opportunity?

How do I handle this?  And can you list some of the benefits of poly relationships that can outweigh the negatives?  It’s all just kind of overwhelming.

Thanks in advance.

Hi, and thanks for writing.  These are actually very good and valid questions that a lot of people experience when they first get into polyamory.

It’s a lot to take in, and it goes against everything we were taught a relationship was supposed to be.

You being a man makes it even harder, because of cultural expectations placed the way men are supposed to behave within a relationship.  So we’ll start at the top and go down your list of questions/concerns.

First, I’m going to go through the list of terms, because that will make things so much easier through the rest of the post.

Polyamory: multiple loves

Polygamy: multiple spouses

There are two separate kinds of polygamy.  There is polygyny, which is by far the most common, in which a husband has multiple wives.  But there is a second kind, less common throughout history, called polyandry, in which a wife has multiple husbands.

In the vast majority of the world, all polygamy is illegal and criminalized.  So the terms “polygyny” and “polyandry” refer not to marriages, but to certain dynamics within polyamorous relationships.

Of course these are not the only kinds of polyamorous relationships, but polyandrous relationships consisting of one woman and two men are actually the most common type of poly relationship throughout the US and Canada.  This dynamic just seems to work.

It certainly works in my experience.

And the idea of telling my friends and family about it really messes with me.  They’ve all met her and think she’s cool.  But I know she won’t be cool with keeping her other relationship a secret.

Alright, so first of all, I absolutely don’t agree with trying to force your partner to keep something like that a secret.  The only way to get rid of the harmful misinformation and stereotypes that go with poly relationships is for people to see what a healthy poly relationship looks like.

But while you may know that intellectually, putting it into practice is something else entirely, and I get that.  It would be easier if you had a second girlfriend, but her having a second boyfriend makes things tough.

First, you have to understand that there are those who can just never accept it.  No matter what you say, no matter what you do, they’ll just cling to their ignorance with everything they have.  They’ll attack her, they’ll insult you, they’ll call her a manipulative whore, they’ll say that she’s taking advantage of you, or that she’s brainwashing you, or that she’s forcing you into a life you don’t want.

She’s likely no stranger to this kind of thing.  I don’t know a single polyandrous woman who hasn’t experienced this.  Monogamous men tend to get really upset at the idea of polyandrous relationships.  They, more often than not, are downright hostile to the women in these relationships.  Like it’s a personal attack on their masculinity or something.  The only way they can accept it is to assume she’s evil and you’re weak.

So if she’s experienced with polyandrous relationships, she’s been dealing with this for awhile.  She’s used to it.  But it’s all completely new to you, and it’ll be tough.  You’re going to have to decide how much you’re going to let the opinions of others influence you.

Which sounds like an easy thing to do, but in practice, it’s really not.  Ask any submissive guy.  It’s pretty damn tough.

Add to that the cultural expectations of men in relationships, that they’re supposed to “possess their woman.”  There’s this idea that a man can’t be a “real man” if he doesn’t claim some sort of ownership of his partner.  Which is why so many monogamous men get outright hostile about it.

And while, in my experience, the vast majority of the hostility will be directed at her, not at you, you’ll still get your fair share of it.

You’ll have to do some real soul-searching and decide how secure you are in your masculinity, because it will be attacked.  You have to decide whether you’re going to let those attacks affect you.

You’ve got to be prepared for that.  But, while that will undoubtedly happen, it actually won’t be the majority.

As it turns out, most reasonable people will actually be pretty accepting of it, even if they don’t understand it.  Chances are your friends will be curious at first; they won’t understand it, they’ll have this idea of it, but they’ll actually talk and keep open minds about it.

And with friends, it’s easy.  Even if they don’t understand you “letting” her have a second boyfriend.  There’s just one thing you have to say:

That girl at the bar is hot.  I think I’m going to go talk to her.  Flirt with her a bit, maybe if she’s willing, go back to her place.  Oh, and you know what?  I’ve got to get some pictures of us doing it.  My girlfriend loves that.

I mean, there’s just nothing your friends can say about that.  There’s nothing they can say when random drunken blowjobs and one-night stands are legitimate possibilities.

Nah bro, your argument is invalid.

Family is harder.  And I stay out of family issues, unless it starts negatively affecting me.  For example, living so close to Kazander’s family, and him keeping everything a secret from them, has started to negatively affect me.  So as soon as we get his health issues figured out, we’re moving.

The way you deal with your family is up to you, I’m not going to tell you how to handle that.  But as always, I recommend honesty.  People tend to forget that being in your life is a privilege.  It is not a right that anyone is entitle to, regardless of whether you share DNA.

If you are honest, and any member of your family gives you problems, then do you really want that family member in your life?  Why put up with it when you don’t have to?  You don’t have to let toxic people remain in your life.

Now to go through the “what-if” questions:

What if she likes the other guy more than me?  What if she leaves me for him?

This is a very common and justifiable concern with those who are new to polyamory.  But there is one thing you’re forgetting:

What’s stopping that from happening in a monogamous relationship?

Imagine I’m in a monogamous relationship with Kazander.  What’s stopping me from finding a guy that I like better than him?  A single dad at the park, a cute guy at the bar, anyone, anywhere.  There’s absolutely nothing stopping that from happening.

The difference is in a poly relationship, the forbidden appeal is gone.  And having to make a choice is gone.

I don’t have to decide whether I like one person more than the other, because I don’t have to choose between them.  I don’t have to leave one person for the other, because I don’t have to choose.  That’s literally not a line of thinking present in poly relationships.

Poly relationships have problems just as monogamous relationships do, and poly relationships end just as monogamous ones do.  But poly relationships don’t end because someone likes one partner more than the other.  Because no one is worried about that, because it’s not something you have to think about.

And that also goes for the concern about getting a disease.  In my personal experience, poly people I know tend to be extremely careful about this.  More so than monogamous people.

Because I know that it’s not just my health on the line.  Anything that one partner has could potentially be passed to me, which I could then pass on to my other partners.  I’ve taken risks with my health before, but I won’t do that with other people’s health.

And again, there’s nothing stopping that from happening in a monogamous relationship.  Anyone can go out and cheat on their partner* and get a disease, which can then be passed to their partner.  Monogamous relationships don’t protect anyone from that.

What if she spends more time with him than me?

A completely understandable question, and something that must be discussed.  Time management is important in any relationship, but especially so in poly ones.

Because a partner can feel neglected for a number of reasons in both poly and mono relationships that have nothing to do with other partners.  Your partner may spend too much time out with friends.  Too much time working.  Too much time focusing on the kids or other responsibilities, and not effectively managing time.

Poly relationships are just as vulnerable to this as mono relationships are, because now you have the added strain of other partners who need your time, as well.

It’s something that simply requires practice, and mindful time management skills, which can be learned.  It also requires open and honest communication** so that your partner can be made aware of a problem before it becomes a significant problem.

What if I don’t like the guy?

This completely depends on the situation.  If you’re all living together, this can be a significant issue.  Usually it can be fixed, but it takes a lot of work and a lot of emotional maturity on the part of everyone involved.

If you’re not living together, it’s much easier.  For me personally, if I don’t have to live with the person, it doesn’t matter at all.

I didn’t like Kazander’s girlfriend in the slightest.  Not even remotely.

But I didn’t have to deal with her, so I didn’t care.  He’d go on dates with her and I wouldn’t have to see her.  She’d come over, I’d do the polite greeting thing, then they’d go into the bedroom while I watched TV.  I didn’t have to socialize with her, I didn’t have to spend time with her, I didn’t have to do anything.

Now, if I was in a situation where I had to spend time with her, that would be a problem, and quite honestly, I would not have allowed that relationship to begin in the first place.

Because in poly relationships, your current partner(s) must always take priority over potential ones.  Whenever I begin a new relationship, or am even considering beginning a new relationship, I ask my current partners what they think.  And their opinions and thoughts carry quite a bit of weight.

If you don’t get along with the guy, you need to say something ASAP, so the three of you can figure out what to do about it.  Again, a lot of times, it can be fixed.  But you have to be very open and honest about your feelings and what’s going through your head.  And you have to say something immediately.  Don’t wait until it’s a big problem.

How do I handle this?

Honesty.

It’s so important.  You have to tell your girlfriend what you’re feeling.  If you struggle with it, then you’ve just got to find a way to make it work.  A lot of guys struggle with this, because men culturally aren’t allowed to have feelings, much less talk about them, but you’ve got to do it anyway.

If you struggle with a conversation, try writing her a letter, instead.  I had an ex who really struggled with this, so what we ended up doing was going into separate rooms with our laptops, and literally IM each other.

Yeah, I felt stupid at first.  But you know what?  It worked.  It was a lot easier for him to talk about our problems when I wasn’t sitting there in front of him.  It was easier for him to tell me what was going through his head.  Writing it was easier, it helped him organize his thoughts, it helped him open up in a way that he just couldn’t when we were sitting in the same room, talking to each other face to face.

It’s not ideal, but it worked.  Whatever you need to do to talk to her, do it.  It’s the single most important thing, it’s the single most important responsibility you will have, and if you can’t do it, the relationship will fail.

And that’ll be on your shoulders.

And can you list some of the benefits of poly relationships that can outweigh the negatives?

With pleasure.

First, I’ll use Kazander’s ex as an example.

I’ve got a pretty high libido.  But even I have days when I’m just not feeling it.  I also have days where I just want to be left the fuck alone.  Not because I’m angry or in a bad mood or anything, it’s just one of my quirks.  I need to be left the fuck alone occasionally.

And sometimes, the times I want to be left the fuck alone coincide with the times Kazander wants to get all up on me.

Any other time, I’d be totally into it.  But more than a few times, when I’ve been in my leave-me-the-fuck-alone moods, it’s caused tension.

When he had his girlfriend, he could spend time with her.  It was a relief for me, actually, because I could get time to myself.  Or maybe I didn’t specifically want time to myself, but maybe I just wasn’t horny that day.  Maybe I wasn’t feeling well.  Maybe I was stressed or annoyed or whatever, and didn’t want sex.

Enter his girlfriend.  It took the pressure off of me, because I wasn’t the only source of sexual/intimate companionship he had available to him.

That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but all I can say is that you won’t understand how much of a relief it is until you live it.  It’s one of those little things people take for granted in mono relationships.  It’s one of those little annoyances you don’t even really register.

But the first time you’re not feeling it, and she is, and she can get it somewhere else, and leave you alone, you’ll feel it.  You’ll feel that relief, and you’ll be able to just sit back and watch TV or surf the web or play video games or read or whatever you want to do.  It’ll be a big relief, and it’ll be surprising, because you’ll realize just how much that has annoyed you in the past.

Other women I’ve spoken to, who were in polygynous relationships, expressed a similar sentiment.  For example, one of the girls in a polygynous D/s relationship, had been nervous when they’d first opened their relationship and her Master collared another girl.

But as it turns out, the original girl hated giving blowjobs.  She would do it, of course, because that’s what she was told to do, but she never liked it, and her Master knew that, so he didn’t make her do it all that often.

The new girl, however, enjoyed giving blowjobs.  So all of a sudden, the original girl didn’t have to anymore.  And she told me that she didn’t realize how much tension there was and how much pressure she felt because of it.  Her exact words were, “Nothing prepares you for the relief you feel.  It’s like a weight off your shoulders that you never knew you had.”

So I know it doesn’t seem like much now, but once it happens, you’ll be surprised at what a relief that is.

And there’s another thing.  I’ll use Kazander and Sounder as examples.

As I’ve said before, Kazander sucks at listening when I’m upset.  Venting to him ends up with me being even more annoyed or angry than I was in the beginning.  It’s not because he’s trying to be disrespectful, and his heart is in the right place, but it’s something he’s just never been good at, and he likely won’t change now.  It caused a lot of tension in the relationship.

Sounder, on the other hand, is eerily good at that.  He’s very good at being sympathetic and supportive, and he knows exactly what to say to calm me down.  Like, the first time or two it happened, I was actually taken aback at how effective it was, and how fast I went from full-on outraged psycho bitch to just moderate irritation at the situation I was venting about.

Okay, so awesome.  I don’t vent to Kazander anymore.  I don’t pressure him to be something he’s not, I don’t pressure him to act or speak in a way that doesn’t come naturally to him.  I don’t need to make him be what I need him to be, because I can get what I need from Sounder.  I can talk to Sounder, I can get what I need, whether it’s advice or just a supportive ear, and I don’t have to try to make Kazander be someone he’s not.

And in this specific situation, it also eases some tension in my relationship with Kazander, because I used to get even more annoyed after venting to him, and that doesn’t happen anymore.  Plenty of arguments have been avoided because I go to Sounder instead of Kazander.

Conversely, Sounder is not a super cuddly person.  He’s very loyal and caring, he’s just not physically affectionate.  He shows his affection in other ways.

This works for me, because I’m often the same way.  But sometimes, I want more.

And Sounder is a very good, obedient sissy.  He cuddles with me on the couch because he knows I want it.  He hugs me because he knows I love hugging him.  He bends over backwards to give me everything I want, and of course that includes physical affection.  It’s just not something he necessarily wants, himself.

While Kazander is much more physically affectionate.  He actually says I could stand to be more physically affectionate, myself, that I don’t cuddle enough.  He enjoys lying in bed, just doing nothing but cuddling.  He enjoys lying on the couch, his head in my lap or leaning back against me, resting his head on my chest.

Okay, so awesome.  I can get the physical closeness from Kazander, and I don’t have to pressure Sounder to do something that doesn’t come naturally to him.  I don’t need to try and “change” him, because I can get what I need from Kazander.

Does that mean I don’t cuddle with Sounder?  Of course not.  He’s mine, I love being close to him, and I never pass up the opportunity to do it.  He also would not hesitate to cuddle with me if I told him to, and he hasn’t hesitated when I told him to.  But since I don’t have to rely on him exclusively for it, I don’t have to make him do something he doesn’t necessarily enjoy all the time.

And honestly, it frees me up to just enjoy both of them for who they are.  I can appreciate them for who they are as men and for who they are as my subs, because I don’t need to make either of them fit exactly what I need in any given relationship.  I feel like I appreciate them even more because I don’t have to try to change them.

It takes the pressure off of them, too.  Because they don’t have to be everything to me, every second of every day.

Because no one can ever be everything to someone else.  That’s not how human beings work.  And if I was in a monogamous relationship with Kazander, I’d just have to deal with my problems on my own, without support, or we’d get into arguments because he unintentionally belittles me when I’m already in a not-super-great mood.

If I was in a monogamous relationship with Sounder, he’d have to deal with more physical affection than he wants.  I have no doubt that he’d give it to me without hesitation, but he’s just not the type to enjoy lying in bed, cuddling, for an hour.  But he’d have to do it, whether he’s into it or not.

Poly relationships have their flaws, but this is a pretty glaring flaw in monogamous relationships.  Each partner has to be everything to the other.  They have to meet their partner’s needs all the time, 24/7.  Sometimes, it’s easy, sometimes, it takes a bit of work and compromise, and sometimes, it’s damn hard.

That pressure just doesn’t exist to the same level in poly relationships.

I want to live with Sounder and Kazander, and that has benefits, as well.  I’ve lived with more than one partner before, and both times I did were positive experiences.

First of all, another income coming into the house is never a bad thing.  The second time was when I lived in Alabama, when I was working 90 hours a week and netting less than $600 a paycheck.  I literally had weeks where I had to decide whether to put my last $3 in my gas tank so I could get to work for the next 4 days, or use it to buy ramen noodles so we could eat for the next 4 days.

My second sub moved in, and having another income was pretty damn awesome, and gave me some financial breathing room.

It also helps because now you have another pair of hands to help out around the house, run errands, etc.  If I was exhausted after a long shift and one partner was busy, I could ask the other to run and grab dinner, or fold a load of laundry, or pick up my dry-cleaning, or change the oil in my car, or whatever.

It helped me relax, because I didn’t have as many responsibilities around the house.

Some people worry about raising kids in an environment like that, and it’s absolute bullshit.  When is having yet another person to love and protect a child ever a bad thing?

I have a friend who has been married for 15 years, and has had a boyfriend for… 8, I think?  I don’t remember.  But they’ve all been living together the entire time.  She has an 11-year-old daughter, and she loves that her daughter has two strong, large, intimidating men who love her.

She laments the fact that her husband (the father of her daughter) and her boyfriend often conspire together to think up new ways to freak out the daughter’s future boyfriends.  I wanna think her husband is 6’2″ and her boyfriend is 6’4″ or something like that.  They’re both tall, broad, big guys.

She says her poor daughter won’t get a boyfriend until she’s 30.  Of course, neither her husband nor her boyfriend see a single problem with that.

The only possible negatives as far as the daughter goes is the way some people react when they find out that her parents are poly.  There have been issues with some teachers in different schools when the daughter was younger, but now that she’s getting older, with a thicker skin, those problems have more or less disappeared.  And they call the boyfriend her step-dad.  It’s the easiest way to describe his relationship to her, it doesn’t require a lot of involved explanations (even if her dad and stepdad are together), and people just generally don’t pry.

Step-parents are common enough that no one cares.  Even those who might raise a brow at her dad and step-dad out together with her don’t say anything.  They usually just assume the two men are gay.

As far as assets or whatever, that could get tricky.  Say, if you decide to buy a house, whose name will the house be in?  If the three of you decide to buy a new car, how will the payments be handled.  How will the money be handled in general?  How will bills be divided?

So if you move in together, those are things you need to think about and talk about before you make the move, that’s a mistake I think a lot of less-experienced poly people make, but you’re obviously not at that point, yet.

Another benefit is just the level of support you get.  For example, when Steel and I broke up, I had Kazander and Sounder who were there for me.  Anything bad that happens, I have two men who care about me and will be there for me.

And that goes for Sounder and Kazander, too.  They haven’t spent much time together yet, but they’re both compassionate men, and they share a connection through me.  I have no doubt they’d support each other if needed.

Also, due to the nature of our relationship, there aren’t a whole lot of people either of them can talk to if they need to vent about the relationship, or if they’re feeling anxious, or if one of them got in an argument with me, or whatever.

Their situations are unique, and not a lot of people can relate to anything they might be feeling or problems they may have that pertain to the relationship specifically.  But they can certainly relate to each other.

I mean, the benefits are many, and they’re significant.

*Most monogamous people I’ve spoken to have assumed that we’re cheating on each other, it’s just that we know about it.

Yeah, no.

Polyamory is not the same as cheating, and you’ll likely find that you have to answer this question a lot.  I define cheating as breaking the rules of the relationship.  In monogamous relationships, having sex with someone else (or maybe even just flirting with someone else) breaks the rules of the relationship.

Poly relationships have different rules, but there are rules, and you’ll have to hash out exactly what those rules and boundaries are.  Maybe you’re cool with your girlfriend having another boyfriend, but you’re not cool with her doing one-night stands.  Or maybe you’re cool with it, as long as she tells you beforehand, even if it’s just a quick text.  I mean, the rules are whatever you want them to be.

If either of you break those rules, you’re cheating.

In my relationships, dishonesty and deceit are breaking the rules.  Kazander, for example, has had a girlfriend, and still sees her once in awhile.  If he were to suddenly stop telling me about when he sees her, or if he suddenly started going behind my back to see her, or anyone, that would be cheating.

** Honest, open communication is the single most important thing in poly relationships, and they cannot succeed without it.

But something you’ll very soon realize is that this kind of openness and honesty is hard.

You’ll realize how often you let minor annoyances go in monogamous relationships.  You’ll realize how often something will bother you, but you don’t speak up because you don’t want to start a fight, or you don’t want to be a burden to your partner, or whatever.  You’ll realize how often you do without, how often your needs go unmet, because you don’t want to make a big deal about it, or maybe you just don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

That can’t happen in poly relationships, and it will be tough to do.  It’s not something that comes naturally to us.  It’s not something we’re accustomed to doing.  It will be uncomfortable.  It will be unsettling and unnerving.  But you have to do it.  There’s just no alternative.  The relationship will fail if you don’t.

Do whatever it takes, but you’ve got to be open and honest with your partner, about everything.

It’s a challenging, fulfilling relationship.  It’s not for everybody, but it seems like most of your fears and concerns have more to do with societal norms and what you’ve been told you’re supposed to feel.

My advice is to trust your gut and trust your partner.  Be honest with her, expect her to be honest with you, and forget about what society says you should want.

To reproduce or not to reproduce

Jen,

Long time reader, first time writer.  I really love your blog and how matter of fact you are with everything, it’s so refreshingly honest.

I’m 28, my husband is 26, and we’ve been married for about three years and both of our parents have been pressuring us to have kids.  Aside from the fact that we’re two gay men and that process is a bit more involved than with a straight couple, there are a number of things that make us hesitate to go through with it.  Most notably, and maybe most selfishly, we like our life.  We like having time to ourselves.  We like being able to do things on our own schedule.  Most of our friends have kids and it’s all “I need to check with my sitter” and “I need to get back and relieve the sitter” and “I have a soccer game that day.”

And that’s not to mention the kink aspect.  I’m mostly submissive to my husband and one of the things I love is the spontenaity.  I could literally be sitting on the bed folding laundry and he’ll walk in, grab me by my hair, and just start fucking my face, just without a word.  Or I could be putting dishes away and he’ll walk in, bend me over the counter, and just start fucking me.  It’s one of my favorite things about our sex life.

You’ve talked about having a kid and how it has impacted your kink life.  I’m really just looking for an honest, matter of fact answer because everywhere I look all I see is stuff about how kids are the most amazing thing ever and “Oh I wasn’t complete until I had kids” and “You haven’t lived until you’ve had kids” and honestly, it’s all just overwhelming.

I need someone who can be honest with me, who can tell me the good and bad, and can tell me if it’s worth it.  I need someone who can tell me what life as a kinky parent is like without all the ooh-ing and ahh-ing that everyone does.

Please, anything would help.  And thank you so much.

Will

Will, dear, I actually take quite a bit of pride in saying this: You’ve come to exactly the right place.

And before I get into all this, I do want to do the obligatory I-love-my-kid thing.  In my specific case, yes, I think it’s worth it.  It comes with some pretty major fucking caveats, and some massive fucking disadvantages, but at the end of the day, I’m glad my kid is here, and if I could go back 7 years and do it again, knowing all the disadvantages and bullshit that goes along with parenthood, I’d still do it exactly the same way.

But what’s right for me may not be right for you.  And the only one who can make that decision is you.

Yes, having a kid will have a massive impact on your life, including (and perhaps especially) your kink life.  That spontaneity will all but disappear.

I mean, it won’t disappear completely.  You’ll learn, and your husband will learn, to be more opportunistic.  The kid is taking a nap.  Cool, come ride my cock.  Quickies in the bedroom while the kid is watching Barney, a quick blowjob in the shower in the morning before waking the kid up, a hurried, frenzied fucking before work while you’re making the coffee, I mean, there are ways around it.

But nothing really prepares you for that kind of loss of freedom.  Even when I was pregnant, I could still go where I wanted, when I wanted, and do what I wanted.  I could get up and go to the grocery store.  I could go out to dinner.  I could go to munches and play parties and doctor appointments and whateverthefuck I wanted.  I mean, I had limitations placed on me because of the complications with my pregnancy, but you get the general gist of it.

I had no damn idea.  And that was the first big revelation I had about my new reality as a parent.

Once she was born, even things like running out to get a quick lunch at a drive thru became an event.  It took planning.  Forethought.  And going out to dinner?  Yeah, that wasn’t something we could decide to do on a whim.  At 5:30pm, I couldn’t turn to my husband and say, “I don’t feel like cooking.  Let’s go out instead.”  We had to make arrangements.  Plans.  All the shit your friends say about sitters?  I’ve said those exact words so many times, it’s comical.

And let me just tell you right now: babies fucking suck.  I mean, you’ll either be adopting or using a surrogate, so there are some things (like breast-feeding vs formula, and then breast-feeding in public) you won’t have to worry about, but that doesn’t mean you get a free pass.  Midnight feedings, lack of sleep, exhaustion, frustration, resentment of the baby and/or each other, I mean, it’s fucking brutal.

Neither of you will be feeling very horny those first few months.  Newborns are the worst kind of baby.  They suck the hardest.  Every spare moment you get, all you’ll want to do is sleep.  Luckily, that part only lasts a few months, and then things start getting easier.

I love my kid, okay, and I loved her when she was a baby.  But I can also be completely honest.  There’s not a whole hell of a lot about the first six months of her life that I can look back on as a positive memory.  I mean, her first smile was awesome, her first laugh was amazing, watching her personality develop was fantastic, and really helped me bond with her.

That’s one thing you might actually be spared from, I’m not entirely sure.  Unfortunately, I don’t know many gay men who have kids, so I don’t know.  But for me, and many mothers, there’s this assumption and expectation that you’re supposed to be completely, 100% in love with your kid from the moment it leaves your body.  I don’t know if you’ll experience that expectation, but I imagine you’ll get at least a portion of it.  If you go through a surrogate, you’ll likely be expected to love it just as much as a biological mother would, from the moment it’s born, and if you go through adoption, you’ll likely be expected to love it just as much as a biological parent would, from the moment you sign the papers.

Either way, I’m going to do you a favor right now, and tell you that it’s completely bullshit.  I mean, I know even less about adoption than I do about surrogacy, so I’m just going to write the rest of this assuming that you decide to go through a surrogate.  I’m also going to write it from the perspective of a biological mother, since that’s the only perspective I can speak on with any degree of authority.  Obviously there will be things that are different with adoption, and with you being fathers, but I imagine the gist is about the same.

But there’s this expectation that you’re supposed to be completely in love with the kid from the jump.  And for some people, I guess that’s what happens.

It sure as hell didn’t happen for me.

I mean, I wasn’t completely indifferent to her, it wasn’t like that.  I’d been waiting for her for 9 months.  I’d been feeling her growing and moving around (and kicking the shit out of me, consider yourself lucky you don’t have to deal with that).

The point is, some people fall in love with their kids right away, and some don’t.  I didn’t.  Hell, I didn’t know her.

And then of course there was the guilt, because I didn’t fall in love with her instantly, that I must be a terrible mother, and then all the baggage with my own mother made its way to the forefront of my hormone-crazed mind, and what was I thinking, and what have I done, and how badly am I going to fuck up this poor kid?

Now I know it’s all bullshit.  You may not feel anything for the kid right away, and that’s fine.  I personally was reassured when the IV they had in her leg (she had to stay in the NICU for a week) started causing her pain.  I saw it, I recognized the IV burn, and I told the nurses.  Who promptly ignored me.

And then the mama bear instincts kicked in, and I went on a rampage until her next scheduled dose of antibiotics, where they realized, “Hey, it’s an IV burn,” and moved the IV.

She still has a scar from it, by the way.  Almost 6 years later.

So that was reassuring for me, because even though I didn’t really love her the way people say a mother is supposed to love her newborn, she was still mine, and I would do whatever it took to protect her.

So that’s something I tell new mothers, and it’s something I’ll tell you, too.  You may not be completely smitten with your kid right away, and that’s fine.  You don’t have to be.  You don’t know anything about the kid.  It’s a complete stranger.  It’s fine.  Because if something happens, if the kid needs you to protect it, those instincts will kick in and you’ll do what it takes without a second thought.  It’ll just come naturally.  Whether you’re a mother or father, whether the kid is biologically yours or not.

Because even though you didn’t carry it, and even if you don’t share a biological connection, you know that’s your kid, and if it needs you, it’ll flip the same switch in your brain that it flipped in mine.

We carry so much guilt as parents, because we put having kids up on this pedestal, and it’s all just stupid.  I’m glad I had my kid, I think she’s worth all the bullshit that comes with reproducing, but I can admit that there are parts of parenthood that just suck.

But while I didn’t feel that connection to her immediately, and I resented her more often than not, I did enjoy watching her learn, watching her personality develop, and that’s where we really started bonding.  That was really special, and for me, that’s the one thing that made all the other hell worthwhile.

Once they leave the baby stage, it’s easier.  And now, she’s almost 6, and she can do things independently, she does chores, she can hold conversations and she’s actually really into politics, interestingly enough.  I mean, it’s all got to be watered down, she’s fucking five, so there’s a lot that goes over her head.  But she does not like Trump.  Which is an opinion she formed on her own, independent of my thoughts or Kazander’s thoughts of the man.  I mean, she knew he was the president, and she’d seen a couple of interviews and speeches from Obama (most notably his Thanksgiving speeches, with all the dad jokes), but that was about all she knew.

It started when we were in NC, in the hospital room with my mom, who was watching a press interview with Trump.  I didn’t think she was paying attention, I was too appalled and disgusted to notice that she was actually watching, until she said, “Mommy, he’s mean.”

I said, “Yes, baby, he sure is.”

“I don’t like him,” she declared.  “You’re not supposed to be mean to people.  Especially if you’re the president.”

“You’re absolutely right.”

“I miss the old president.  He was nice.”

“I miss him too, baby.”

So she, quite proud of her new opinion of the president, started telling everyone she met.  Which was fucking adorable, okay.

The problem is that a small town in North Carolina is probably not the best place to voice that particular opinion.  Reactions ranged from awkward silence to dismissal to feigned cheerfulness.  And she picked up on that, and started to doubt herself, so a few days later, she said, “Well, I like him a little bit.”

“What?  Why?”

“Well, he’s the president.  You’re supposed to like the president a little bit.”

“No the fuck you’re not,” I corrected.  “You’re supposed to respect him a little bit.  There’s a big difference.  You don’t have to like him at all.”

“You don’t?”

“Not even a little bit.  I don’t like him, either.  And neither does Daddy.  You absolutely do not have to like him, and you don’t have to support him or stick up for him.  He’s a cruel man, and I will never like a cruel man, even if I have to respect him, or even if other people like him, or even if I feel like I’m supposed to like him.  If you want to like him, that’s your choice.  But there has to be something more to like about him than him just being the president.”

That made her feel better.

So I mean, it’s fun now.  She can have these kinds of conversations, she can develop opinions of her own.  She says she wants Michelle Obama to be the next president, and she was quite irritated when she found out that she won’t be allowed to vote in 2020.

Seeing the world through the eyes of a little kid is pretty fucking awesome, too.  You kind of realize how jaded and cynical you are, and it’s so refreshing to sort of let go of that for a little while, and look at the world completely differently.

But there is one thing I’m noticing here, in reading your email.  And I mean, forgive me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like you don’t even really want to have kids.

So if that’s the case, I’ll do you a favor now, and tell you this:

You do not have to have kids.  At all.  Ever.  Like, literally ever.

I know exactly that attitude you’re talking about, and I despise it.  Every time someone said that bullshit to me, about how I’m “not complete” until I’m a mother, I wanted to hit them in the face with a chair.

Uh, no.  I was not an incomplete human being before my spawn was born, m’kay.  I am more than just a baby-making machine.  That is just as true for you and your husband, even though neither of you will actually be carrying the baby.  You are two whole, complete, autonomous people.  You do not have to reproduce in order to be human.  You are more than a series of chemicals and DNA that must be passed down to another generation.

That being said, I’m my father’s oldest child, and he came from a very old-fashioned Mexican family.  Legacy was and is a big deal.  He could trace his roots back a dozen generations.  He instilled in me the spirit of our family, and that as his eldest child, it’s my job to carry that on.  I mean, shit went a little sideways, so that fell off a bit, but the attitude is still there.

The point is, having been brought up like that, I mean, family was everything, legacy was everything.  So yeah, I felt obligated to carry that on in a way my little sister and my cousins never really understood.

Because I’m the oldest child of my grandparents’ oldest child.  In an old-school Mexican family.  Yeah dude, I was told basically from birth that it was my job to carry on the family line, and have lots of babies.  I have male cousins to carry on the name, but it was my job to carry the legacy.

So that was great.

But there’s this pressure to reproduce, this idea that reproducing is the end-all, be-all of existence, and that’s all just utter bullshit.

“Oh, you haven’t lived until you’ve had a child.”

“Your life isn’t complete until you’ve had a child.”

“I didn’t know what love was until I had my child.  You have no idea what real love feels like until you have a child.  Your life is just empty.”

Jesus Christ, shut the fuck up.

I mean, honestly, how much does your life has to suck to think that you were incomplete before you had a kid?

I kinda liked my life before the kid was born.

Sure I like who I am as a mom, I’m damn good at being a mom, it’s a role I take a great deal of pride in, but I also liked who I was before my kid was born.

And some of the bullshit was ridiculous.  I remember, early in my pregnancy, before I even started showing, I wore a T-shirt that had Cartman on it, from South Park.  My mom saw it and said, “You know you’re not going to be able to wear that once the baby is born.”

Um, what?

“Why the hell not?”

“Well, that show isn’t really appropriate for kids.  And you won’t be able to curse, either.  You have to change a lot when you have kids.”

Yeah, fuck everyfuckingthing about that.

I’m not going to stop being who I am just because I made a person, m’kay.  I don’t lose who I am, I don’t become reduced to nothing but my spawn’s mother.  I still curse, I still watch South Park, I still drink, I still party and have fun, I still am who I am.

And my kid understands that some words I say are “grown up words,” and she will be able to say them when she’s a grown up.

Which works.  She just doesn’t curse.  Even though I curse all the time around her, and even when I’m talking to her.  I talk to her the same way I talk to anyone else.  I don’t pretend to be something I’m not around her, and I’m not going to change who I am as a person because she exists.

I haven’t changed who I am, I just added “Mom” to it.

And I’m still not a kid person.  I still hate other people’s kids.  I love my kid to death, I think she’s fucking awesome, and I get compliments on her behavior all the time, because I believe in discipline, goddammit, and I’m not going to raise an obnoxious heathen who cannot sit quietly in a waiting room, or who annoys the hell out of people on an airplane, or who screams and throws tantrums in a grocery store, or who whines and throws shit in restaurants.

So I love my kid, but I am not and will never be a “kid person.”

You don’t have to change who you are when you have a kid, because there is nothing “missing” without them.  I mean, if you want kids, and you honestly do feel like something is missing without them, then cool.  But not everyone feels that way.  I didn’t feel that way.

There’s nothing wrong with not having kids, if you don’t want to have kids.  You sound like you’re happy with your life, like you enjoy the life you and your husband share.  If you don’t want to change it, then don’t.

You like having free time and disposable income?  Feel like giving it up for the next 18 years?

Right now, you can literally be driving in the car with your husband, and you may drive past a new restaurant that just opened up.  And you can turn to your husband and say, “Hey, that place looks nice.  We should check it out.  We can go literally any time we want to.”

Giving all that shit up is not something you should do on a whim, or because your families tell you that you should, or because you feel like that’s what people are supposed to do when they’ve been married for a while.

If your families are pressuring you to have kids, tell them to fuck off.  I got it when my kid was about 2, and everyfuckingbody and their damn dog suddenly were all like, “Well, it’s time for a sibling!  You’re going to give her a little brother or sister, right?  Isn’t it time to get started on that?”

“Uh, no.”

“What?  She needs a sibling!”

“She really doesn’t, actually.”

“Kids are always happier with siblings.”

“They are?  Well shit, I never got that memo.”

“They’ve done studies.  You need to give her a little sibling.  It’s better for her developmentally.  Besides, you’re not really a parent until you have more than one.”

“Oh wow, I’m not?  I never knew that.  Well fuck, and I’ve spent the last two years raising this thing for no reason, then.”

Holy fucking shit, dude.  And no, none of that is even remotely an exaggeration.  I literally did have people try to guilt me into reproducing again, and I literally had people tell me I’m not a real parent because I only have one.

Just ignore them, or tell them to fuck off.  They’ll shut up eventually.  After about a year of those kinds of conversations, I started getting less and less tactful.  They stopped after awhile.  I haven’t heard any of that bullshit for… shit, probably 2 years, now?  Something like that.

Don’t let people pressure you into having a kid if you don’t want one.  You don’t have to have kids.

I mean, I can’t tell you whether you should or shouldn’t.  That’s not a decision anyone can make except you and your husband.  And for me, yeah, it worked out, and I love it, and I think my kid is one of the coolest people on the planet, and she’s more than worth all the disadvantages and all the limits it places on my time and my kink life.

For me, yeah it’s worth it.

Is it worth it for you and your husband?  That’s not something I can answer.

When you live in Vegas…

… What do you do when you want to get away?

I mean, we already live in the tourism capital of the world.  I was born here.  I was raised here.  It’s nothing new to me.  Nothing special.

So Kazander and I were looking at places to do another stay-cation this year.  We considered the Luxor again, but honestly, that place has just gone so far downhill, neither of us wanted to go there again.

Which is sad.  I remember when it first opened, when I was a kid.  I loved that place.  I loved staying there whenever my parents did a stay-cation.  The first time Kazander and I stayed there, I was shocked at how bad it had gotten, but I was still nostalgic.

After the second time, though, even I had to admit that it wasn’t what we wanted.

Where, then, would we go?

He suggested the bustling metropolis of Laughlin (pronounced lof-lin, like in “loft”), NV, population, 8,000.

And I promptly laughed.

But then he said, “Well, they’ve got the river, and a couple of beaches, and jet skis and things.  It could be fun.”

Hmm, that’s actually a good point.

I’d driven through Laughlin a million times, but never actually stopped in the town.  I never gave it much thought.  It was just one more tiny little town in the middle of the desert.  A couple of casinos and a post office.

Big deal.

But the Colorado River is pretty cool, and I haven’t been to any part of the Colorado River since I was a kid.

So I looked it up.  And sure enough, there’s enough other stuff to do there to keep us entertained for a few days.

Who knew?

Hell yeah, actually.  I could definitely go for that.  It’s out in the middle of the desert, which I love, in a nice, climate-controlled room, which I love, literally right on the bank of the river, which I love.

Hell yeah.

So we made the reservations and drove out today.  We’re going back on Sunday.

And it just feels so damn good to get away.

Things are quickly reaching a boiling point with us living so close to his family.  I’ve been wanting to move out for years, but never really pressed the issue, because I don’t work, and that wasn’t fair to him.

Then, in the last year or so, I started pressing.  Because I need to get away from them.  I know myself well enough to know my patterns, and they’ve been pushing me and pushing me.  When I break, there will be no going back.

And his MIL and SIL (Mother-in-law and sister-in-law) have officially gotten me to my breaking point.

I have a friend, who used to be SIL’s friend, until he realized the kind of human being she is.  But she did introduce us, and we hit it off great.

I was hanging out with him the other day when he got close and said, “I have something I need to tell you.”

My curiosity was piqued.  “What is it?”

“SIL has been asking about you and Kazander.”

“What do you mean?”

“Like, she’s been asking if you’re into any kinky or freaky shit.”

At first, I brushed him off.  “She’s done that before.  She’s just bored and nosey.”

But the friend was not so easily assuaged.  “She wants to find dirt on you to take the spawn from you.”

“WHAT???”

“She and MIL want you out of the picture.  They want to find a reason to declare you an unfit mother.”

“She said that?”

“Not in those words, but she might as well have.”

He’s not known for lying or exaggerating, or drama-mongering, so I completely believe him.

“But they’d never want to take her from Kazander,” i protested.

“They think he’ll side with them.”

I started to laugh, then stopped, thinking back to all the times MIL just insisted that Kazander would side with her on different things, or agree with her, or take her (poor) advice, etc.

Yeah, she absolutely would think Kazander would side with her.

Holy fucking hell.

So I got home and told Kazander what was going on.  He was shocked, but dismissive, and that angered me.

And I mean, I could see where he was coming from.  He would never side with them over me, so there’s nothing they would ever be able to do.  They could talk to lawyers if they want, but I have no record, I don’t do drugs, I volunteer with homeless veterans, I’m a total, upstanding citizen and all that jazz.  I mean, there’s not a lot they could use.  They’d have to do some serious digging to find anything remotely close, and he pointed out that they’re not intelligent or creative enough for that.

Okay, so cool, I’m in no immediate danger of losing my child.

That’s not the whole point, though.

Because we are living in an environment where people are conspiring behind my back to take my daughter from me.  Whether or not they can succeed is irrelevant.  I don’t want to be around that, and I don’t want my daughter around that.

That’s toxic.

So I told Kazander, “We need to move.”

He scoffed.  “We’re not going to move.  They can’t do anything.  There’s no point.”

“I don’t care if they can’t do anything.  It’s the fact that they want to do something!”

But he remained dismissive.  Even after I said, “Either we need to move out, or I do.”

So I started looking at options.

I wasn’t going to play tug-of-war with my child.  If they want her so bad that they’re willing to destroy her entire world, then fine.  They can have her.  Losing one parent would devastate her, but if Kazander’s family went through with this, she would either lose both parents (if his MIL and SIL won), or every member of her extended family (if he and I won).

That would hurt her so much more.  God, that would crush her.  I don’t think she could easily recover from that.  It’s been so central to her whole world, her whole existence, ever since she was born.

God… That would… That would just kill her.

I could never let that happen to her.

And I have faith in my daughter.  I have faith in the way I raised her.  I have faith that, even if she’s brought up around those pathetic, terrible, small people, she will know the truth as she gets older.

It was Sounder who suggested another tactic, one that would keep my family together.

So I talked to Kazander again.  I told him I wanted to move out.

He said, “What if I want to stay?”

I shrugged.  “Then you can stay.”

That angered him a bit.  “You’d break up with me over that?”

“Over your family having ridiculous amounts of control over us?  Over you choosing them and that control over me and your daughter?  Yes the fuck I would.”

So we agreed on a six-month trial run.  We’ll get an apartment for six months, and then reassess and decide if living away from them is worth the inconvenience of not having them there.

And of course we won’t be going far.  The family is still so important to the spawn, so we’d absolutely bring her over 2 or 3 times a week to spend time with them, or even spend the night once in awhile.  But she won’t be spending weeks with them anymore.  I told Kazander, in no uncertain terms, that’s coming to an end.

I want to be moved out by the time the spawn starts school.  So I’m looking at apartments and Kazander is talking to his dad about how he’s going to manage the finances without living there.  It can be done.

It will be done.  Because staying there, keeping the status quo, is not an option anymore.

I’m stressed.  All the time.

I’m on edge.  All the time.

I’m short-tempered and irritated.  All the time.

I can’t do this anymore.  And I hated having to give him the ultimatum, but I was literally at a point where it was either that, or I would have to walk away.  I’m not going to live in a place where people conspire to take my family from me.

It’s just not happening.

So due to the financial burden that moving out will be, we decided not to go to Cancun, as we’d planned in October.  We’d need that for moving costs and rent.

But Kazander said, “With us not going, you really just need to get away for a few days.  You need to get out of the house.”

Yeah, I really did.

Okay, so Kazander and I have very different ideas of a perfect vacation accommodation.  I want a nice room.  I want a suite.  I want… not crazy expensive, but definitely not Motel 6.  At least 3 stars.

Kazander hates paying more than he absolutely has to for a room.  He’d do Motel 6’s the entire way.

And I get where he’s coming from.  When we go on vacation, we have a budget.  He’d rather spend the money on activities and cool things to do than the room.  Where I would rather do cheap or free activities and be comfortable in the room.

So we’ve always compromised, and met in the middle.

Not this time.

We’re staying 4 nights, in a casino that has two separate kinds of suites.  The second-tier suite, and the first-tier suites.  He said we could get the top-tier suite.

You guys don’t understand.  He has never agreed to anything even remotely like that, much less offer it himself.  I was blown away.

And I appreciated the hell out of that.  So I looked on the casino’s website, juggled some things around, combined a couple of promo packages, and found something that was $300 cheaper (I’m really, really good at doing that.  I’m good at finding deals when I need to).

We’ll stay the first two nights, tonight and tomorrow, in the second tier suite.  Then, on Friday, we’ll check out of that room and into the top-tier suite, where we’ll spend Friday night and Saturday night.

After him going so far as to give me the best suite in the hotel, I’m more than happy to have the second best for two nights to save him some money.  It’s definitely worth the minor inconvenience of checking out and then checking back in.  And the packages I combined come with some nice benefits and coupons that save us even more money on food and activities.  So all in all, we’re looking at saving about $500.

Hell yeah, I’ll take the second tier suite for that.

So we drove out today, checked in, and walked up to our room.

And the room isn’t bad.  I mean, you have to understand, it’s Laughlin.  This is not Vegas.  This is not even close to Vegas.  The casino resort we’re staying in is, according to what I read, the nicest one in Laughlin.

…… That doesn’t really say much for Laughlin, m’kay.

Without the promo, after taxes and fees, the second tier suite would have cost $5 more than the pyramid suite at the Luxor for the same nights.  And it’s about that quality, just without the big tub that the Luxor suite had.  Or without the 12 years of dust hanging from the air conditioning vent that the Luxor suite had.

I mean, it balances out.

Still, kinda disappointing when you’re under the impression these are the “elite” rooms offered.

But it’s nice, it’s comfortable, we had a fantastic view of the sunset from our room, and the river is beautiful, and brings back so many memories.  We’re going on a river cruise, we’re going to one of the beaches, we’re thinking about renting jet skis, I mean, it’ll be a really awesome stay.

 

Sounder is coming out this weekend, too, to spend some time with us.  And honestly, both Sounder and Kazander are doubtful, but I promise, promise, promise that my reason for wanting him to come out to spend time with us is not to play, but to just hang out.

Kazander and Sounder are complete opposites in a lot of ways, but they’re almost eerily alike in other ways, especially regarding their senses of humor.  I think they’d get along really well.

And my dream is to have all of us live together one day.  Sounder and Kazander will have to spend way more time with each other than the occasional drink at a bar or the occasional cock in Sounder’s mouth to find out if that’s a possibility or not.

These are two very strong personalities, in two very strong men.  It could turn out wonderfully, or it could turn out badly.  I’ve had enough tense roommate situations to know that I don’t want to jump in to one again, without at least an idea of what we can expect and how we can all put in concentrated effort to make it work.

The only way to be able to make any sort of educated prediction about that is to have them spend more time together.

That’s why I want Sounder to come out.  Not to play.

Although, of course, while we’re in the room, I’ll expect him to wear girls’ clothes.  I mean, that’s just a given.  He should be wearing girls’ clothes 24/7 when he’s not in public, anyway.  Obviously he’ll wear it here, too.

And I mean, should the opportunity for play present itself, I won’t stop it.  As I told Sounder earlier today, I will never pass up the opportunity to put a cock inside him.

But even if we do play, that’ll just be a small, short part of the evening.  That’s not going to be the bulk of our interactions while he’s here.  For the most part, it’ll just be chill, seriously just innocent hanging out.

So yeah, y’all…. I am beyond looking forward to the next few days.

And for someone who lives in Vegas, who has done the “Vegas tourist” thing over and over and over again, this is a welcome change.  Hell, this might actually turn out to be my new favorite stay-cation place.  Who knew?

Kazander often has good ideas, but he hit it way out of the park with this one.  That was just sheer fucking brilliance.

Who would’ve guessed, Laughlin?

Babies lower libido

Jen,

You mentioned your kid having an impact on your sex life and I was wondering if you could help me with a bit of an issue with me and my wife.

We both identify as switches and our play often encompasses a wide spectrum of different kinds of power dynamics.  Most people don’t get it but we’ve been together almost five years and it’s always worked great for us.

Six months ago we had a baby.  Our first.  And I couldn’t be happier.

But my wife’s sex drive tanked after she had the baby.  It still hasn’t come back even a little bit.  And nothing I do seems to help.  I’ve been taking on more and more of a Dominant role hoping to get interest and it really hasn’t worked.  About half the time she just isn’t interested at all.  The other half she’ll engage but the play is always really short and just sort of bland.

We’re definitely in a rut.  I don’t want to pressure her or anything.  I know she has a lot on her plate but I just don’t know how best to help her.  Any advice you may have would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Oh, dear.

Well, I don’t know your wife, so I can only speak for myself, but you’re not going to like my answer.  Hell, even I don’t like my answer.

And the answer is…..

There ain’t shit you can do but wait it out.

After I had the kid, my libido outright disappeared.  From what I understand of other women’s experiences, that’s relatively normal.

Because think about it.  Take away the physical crap, and the fact that it takes months to feel yourself again physically, but let’s just look at the hormonal stuff.

Because hormones play a pretty big role in libido.

For months, her body was affected by the baby.  And most guys don’t really get just how much the baby affects the mother.  I mean, a lot of people have heard that if the mother is injured or sick, the fetus will send stem cells to the affected area of her body (this is horrendously oversimplified, btw, but that’s the gist of it), but that’s just one thing, and that doesn’t really affect her in the day-to-day.

She’s literally got foreign DNA in her body.  The body, as a general rule, doesn’t like foreign shit in it.  Which is why rejection is such a big deal for organs or implants or literally anything put in it that was not in it when we were born.

Of course we have progesterone to help deal with that, but the higher amounts of hormones in our bodies, coupled with the hormones produced by the fetus, is a big burden.

Over 9 months, those hormones build and fluctuate as needed.  It’s a gradual thing, and it adjusts depending on how far along the pregnancy is and a number of other things.

But then, she has the baby, and it’s the sudden absence of the baby’s hormones, plus the more or less sudden cessation of the production of her hormones, and just as it took months for the hormones to build and help her body normalize while she was pregnant, it’s going to take months for her to adjust now that the baby is born and go back to normal levels.

There’s nothing you, or she, or anyone can do about it.  There does not exist a quick pill she can pop, there does not exist a sex therapist or psychiatrist or whatever who can fix her hormones.

I know what she’s feeling right now.  Pretty much every woman who’s had a kid knows what your wife is feeling now.  It’s not great.

Because we’re not idiots, and neither is your wife.  We know that there’s something off, we know that we have no libido, we know that our partner isn’t happy with what’s going on, and we know that there’s nothing we can do about it.

What sucked sweaty, hairy rhinoceros balls was how long it took for my libido to come back.  Granted, there were a couple of other things that contributed (one or two of which I’ll get into here), but it was a good solid year, maybe even a year and a half, before my libido started getting back to normal.

Don’t want to wait that long?  Tough.

Well, there may be some things you can do.  But I make no promises.

First of all, stop trying to get her interested.  Stop it.  Just stop.

Sex is not a part of your life right now.  At all.  Just accept it and move on.

Why?  I’m happy to tell you why.

Because she knows that you’re unhappy, she knows that she’s letting you down, and every time you mention it, every time you come on to her and her stomach turns (because yeah, no matter how hot you are, no matter how much she loves you, that’s about the reaction), and she’s faced with the decision whether to fake it to satisfy you or to be honest and let you down again, it’s going to be a step backward, and it’s going to put her in a bad mood, and it’s going to take longer for her libido to come back.

Because right now, on a subconscious level, she sees sex as a negative thing, because of all the baggage that’s attached to it right now.  Because every time you try to engage her, she feels hugely pressured, and it’s just another reminder that she’s not herself and it’s almost like her body is betraying her.

She feels pressured to be the person she used to be, when she’s still trying to figure out how to live in her new body.  It’s an unnerving and uncomfortable experience, and it lasts months.  The more pressured she feels to be who you want her to be, the longer it’ll take for her to feel normal again.

You want to help her?  Take the pressure off of her.  Stop focusing on the sex.  It sucks that you’ll have to do without, and I get the impression that you’re monogamous, so going outside the marriage isn’t an option (*note* if you are monogamous, do NOT broach the subject of opening the marriage right now.  Yeah, she might be open to the idea, but more likely she’ll be hurt.  This is temporary.  You can go without sex for a couple months.  You’ll live, I promise).

Once she feels relief from that constant pressure and negativity associated with disappointing you, she should be able to turn her focus to herself, and figuring out her new “normal.”  The sooner she can do that, the sooner her libido will rise.

And help out around the house more.  Changing dirty diapers and waking up at 2 am to the sound of a crying hungry baby doesn’t turn anyone on, okay?

I don’t know if she works or stays home, but regardless, it’s exhausting.  And I don’t know how active you are as a parent, but just statistically speaking, mothers do most of the work.  They also do most of the housework.  If your wife is working, she’s got to do all of that with holding down her job.

If she’s not working, then most of the time she doesn’t even get to interact with another adult until you get home.  She has no escape.  She has no breaks.  She has no sick days.  She can’t ever step away.

She feels that pressure weighing down on her, and she resents the baby, she resents you, and she hates herself because a “good mother” wouldn’t feel what she feels.

I flat out hated Kazander for the first 5 or 6 months after the spawn was born.  He could get up every morning and go to work, and have discussions with grown ups, and for the first couple months I was breastfeeding, so I couldn’t drink, I couldn’t go anywhere without a pump, I couldn’t leave her with a sitter for an evening and just get out and relax, I couldn’t get a break.

And then of course I hated myself for hating him, and for resenting the spawn.  I knew I was being ridiculous for blaming him for everything (even though he’s the one who wanted her, while I was leaning toward adoption).  I knew intellectually that millions of women feel what I felt, and that it was okay, and it’s normal, and temporary, and everything would eventually be fine.

Intellectually, I knew all that.  It didn’t help me in the moment, though.

Working mothers also deal with guilt from a different place.  Because after maternity leave, they struggle with leaving the baby to go back to work.  Because if they breastfeed, they have to work pumping into their work day.  And there are a number of moms I knew who worked and breastfed, and particularly for those who had male bosses, there was always that fear that eventually the boss would decide accommodating her pump schedule was just too inconvenient.

I know a woman who works as a private secretary who would literally pump in the car, while she was driving, doing errands, so her boss wouldn’t decide it was too inconvenient.

Of course, in her case, her boss found out what she was doing and immediately put a stop to it, and firmly let her know that there was never any errand he needed her to run, there was never anything he needed her to do that could not wait twenty minutes.  She only had to pump once each shift anyway, so she had nothing to worry about.

And I’d go out on a limb and say that the vast, vast majority of male employers are the same way.  People generally aren’t assholes.  Chances are there’s nothing to worry about.  But there’s still that tiny nagging fear.

Many working mothers also feel guilty for leaving home.  They struggle with missing their kid, and missing such a big chunk of their kid’s day.

I mean, regardless of whether your wife works or stays home, it sucks.  She deals with all of that, all day, every day, and then she comes home and cooks, cleans, and takes care of the baby, and even without hormonal imbalances, it’s no surprise she has no libido.

So it sucks for you, in that you’ll have to just do without for awhile, but if you can suck it up and wait it out, and help alleviate some of that pressure, you’ll be able to cut down at least some of the time you’ll have to wait before her libido returns to normal.

And trust me, she’ll see the effort you’re putting in, she’ll see how you’re working to help her, and she’s not going to forget it.

Let me clarify

So based on comments, messages, and emails I’ve gotten, it appears that I wasn’t quite as clear in my Wake-Up Call post as I could’ve been.

So to clarify: No, I am not saying that a submissive man should have to come out to his vanilla friends, or his family, or in his professional life.

Who he is in the bedroom really isn’t anyone’s business, and if he doesn’t want them to know, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I was talking specifically about a submissive man being out at a kink event only.  Such as a munch, or a play party.  A place with other kinky people.  Not vanilla people.  Not people he knows.

And no, despite (extremely) popular opinion, going to a kink event as a submissive man will have no effect on a man’s vanilla life, either personally or professionally.  Kazander learned that, himself, when he saw one of his coworkers at a munch.  Literally zero effect on his professional life or on his career.

I mean, if someone were to see their parents or something at a munch or play party, that might be awkward, but you’d actually be surprised how often that sort of thing happens.

Because think about it:  If you’re at a munch, everyone at the munch is there for the same thing.  It’s the same reason I’m not worried if someone I know finds the blog.  Because they’d have to read a lot of the blog to figure out who I am, and at that point, they can’t judge me when they’re spending that much time reading a Femdom blog.

Someone at a munch cannot judge you for being at a munch.

And also, despite (extremely) popular opinion, you are not required to write “SUBMISSIVE MAN” on your forehead when you go to a munch, m’kay.

I mean, 99% of the people Kazander and I spoke to at munches knew what our dynamic was, but most of our conversations were just vanilla conversations about normal things.

For example, there’s a woman at the mixed group that I don’t talk to a lot, but only because we hang around in different smaller groups.  I love her to death, she’s adorable, and I love talking to her.

Four years into us going to the munches regularly (and to the local dungeon, when it was open), she hugged me as we walked in.  Kazander went to the bar to get me a drink, and when he left, she said, “So what do you call him?  Your Sir?  Your Daddy?”

I laughed and said, “I call him my bitch.”

Four years, I’d known her, and after four years, she thought he was the Dom, and I was the sub.  Because he is large and intimidating, and can be rather intense, while I’m more laid-back and relaxed.

And also because it’s just not advertised.  I don’t need to lead him around with a collar and leash, okay.  I don’t need to make it obvious.  A munch is in a vanilla place.  No one makes it obvious.  Obvious shit like leading someone around on a collar and leash is actually frowned upon at munches.

So you can go to a munch without shouting from the rooftops that you’re a submissive man.  And again, everyone else at the munch is there for the same thing.

And the vanilla people at the venue, who aren’t part of the munch, don’t know what’s going on at all.  I’ve been to tons of munches at bars, restaurants, even a coffee shop, and none of the vanilla people ever knew.  We don’t dress in leather or fetish wear, okay.  We’re just a group of people hanging out.

There is literally no negative effect on one’s vanilla life.  There just isn’t.

I mean, think about it.  In Nevada, BDSM is illegal.  You cannot consent to be hit, in any way, shape, or form, under any circumstances.  Which is why we don’t have dungeons here.

So forget about submissive men for a second, and just look at Dominant men.  If a negative effect on one’s vanilla life were possible, it’s actually the Dominant men in this state that would suffer the most for it.  Because they’re the ones who are literally committing crimes behind closed doors.

They still go to munches.  Because going to a munch no effect on one’s vanilla life.  Like, I’m not making this shit up.  It’s true.  Going to a munch will not have any sort of impact on your vanilla life.  Going to a munch as a submissive man will not have any sort of impact on your vanilla life.

It just won’t.

The other thing I take issue with is a submissive man refusing to introduce his significant other to his friends or family because she is his Dominant, and he has an irrational and unfounded fear that someone will find out.

Which, unless your Dominant is completely psychotic (in which case, why did you offer your submission to her in the first place?), is not ever going to happen.

For example, when I moved in with Kazander, I would’ve had a serious issue if he refused to introduce me to his friends or family, despite the fact that we were living together.

And no, that doesn’t mean I would expect him (or any submissive) to introduce me as his Dominant.

I mean, what are people expecting?  How do you think that conversation would go?

“Yeah, Jen, these are all my drinking buddies.  Guys, this is my Mistress.  She owns me.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you all.  Yeah, I totally bent him over and fucked him up the ass last night.  Did we get here in time for happy hour?”

I mean, seriously?

But this is apparently what a hefty chunk of submissive men actually think is going to happen.

When Kazander introduced me to his family and friends, he introduced me as his girlfriend.  When I introduced him to my vanilla friends and family, I introduced him as my boyfriend.

There is no negative effect of introducing your girlfriend to your vanilla friends and family, y’all.

And again, what we are and what we do in private is no one’s business.  Kazander’s family knows that I’m the one “in charge,” but that’s not a novel or unique thing.  Plenty of vanilla relationships are more or less “run” by the female partner.

I’ve never let anything slip about him being my sub, in the seven years that I’ve been with him.  As I said in the post, I will go out of my way to protect him from being found out.

And actually, I was talking about that with Sounder recently.  As I’ve said, I am transforming his bed into a pink, lacy, sissy bed.  The bedset actually just got in today, and I can’t wait to put it on his bed.  And eventually, I’m going to turn his entire house into a sissy paradise.

Which he won’t be able to hide from vanilla friends and family.

So I had a couple ideas for things he could tell his vanilla friends and family to explain all the pink.

His friends were easy, and it doesn’t even require outright lying.  Just stretching the truth with a couple little white lies.

Here’s something he could potentially tell his friends and his guy buddies:

Yeah, my girlfriend has a thing for pink.  She keeps bringing stuff over because she likes the way it looks.  She says it turns her on.  Yeah, it’s a little weird.

But you know what?

She’s a woman barely out of her twenties, with the most insatiable sex drive I’ve ever seen.  If she only makes me cum 10 times a week, it’s a slow week.  It’s hard to be upset about pink throw pillows on the couch when you’re mid-blowjob, about to have your 8th orgasm of the week, and it’s only Wednesday.

And aside from the blowjob thing, all of that is true.  Sissifying and feminizing him and his house turns me on.  Forcing him to live in a sissy house is fucking hot.  And I am barely out of my twenties, and my sex drive is pretty damn insatiable.

And because he has multiple orgasms (like a girl), it’s common for him to have more than ten orgasms when I fuck him.  Him having his 8th orgasm of the week on a Wednesday is completely feasible and realistic.

It’s all true.

But a couple weeks ago, he had his adult niece in town, and I realized that the story wouldn’t work for everyone.  Female relatives, female friends, some more conservative guests… there are plenty of potential situations where he probably shouldn’t talk about his girlfriend giving him multiple blowjobs.

So he’d need something else.  And while the story I came up with is not even remotely true, and a bit more involved, it would be much more appropriate for things like sisters/mothers/female relatives/professional associates/whatever.

So I met this girl awhile back.  She was in this horribly abusive relationship, and every time she tried to get away, he just made her life hell, and he threatened to hurt her or her family if she ever went to the cops or got a restraining order or anything like that.

She felt stuck, and didn’t know what to do.  I couldn’t just do nothing, you know.  I helped her get away, I protected her from him until she could get on her feet, and eventually he left her alone.

But we started hanging out, and started seeing each other.

She’d been with him most of her adult life, though, so it’s like she’s still not even sure of who she is outside of his influence.  And she’s so nervous about having her voice heard.  So when I found out that she liked pink, and always wanted a place with a lot of feminine touches, I encouraged her to go for it.

But she still doesn’t feel really safe or comfortable at her place, so I let her do it at mine.  And she was just kept down so much, you know, for so long, I wanted to just indulge her with this, and let her go nuts.  Having a pink house is annoying, but it’s definitely worth making her feel validated and helping her figure out who she is as a woman.

I mean, who could possibly fault him for that?  Not only is it plausible, but it totally makes him look like the hero.  He could tell that story, and everyone who hears it will think he has a pink house because he’s a knight in shining armor who rescued the damsel in distress, and sacrificed his own comfort and personal taste to help a woman feel good about herself.

But of course, he would know the truth.  He’d know that he has a pink house because he’s a sissy bitch.

The point is that I don’t expect any submissive man to come out in his vanilla life, to his vanilla friends.  There’s no point to it.  I’m not out to most of my vanilla friends, or my family.  Because why?  Whose business is it what I do with my subs behind closed doors?

None of Kazander’s friends or family know what we do in private, and I have no desire to change that.  As far as everyone thinks, I’m his wife.  And as far as everyone thinks, it’s a normal, monogamous relationship.

When I meet Sounder’s vanilla friends and family, none of them are ever going to know what we do in private.  As far as everyone will think, I’m his girlfriend.  And as far as everyone will think, it’s a normal, monogamous relationship.

Well……….

Except for one, that is.

Because I’m going to meet his guy friends, and get to know them a bit.  Then, I’m going to pick one.

I have a specific set of criteria he’ll have to meet, a specific personality type, a specific physical type, a specific mentality and attitude.

Once I find the one who meets that criteria, I’m going to pull him aside, when Sounder isn’t around.

And I’m going to arrange something very, very fun.

Allow me to set the scene.  I’m at Sounder’s house, with him dressed in his lovely sissy clothes, kneeling on his pink sissy bed.  I’m going to blindfold him and put noise-canceling headphones on him.

Then, I’ll go and open the front door, and let the friend in.  I’ll lead the friend upstairs, to see Sounder tied up, dressed up, and on his knees.

And Sounder will suck his dick.  And swallow his load, obviously.

Then, I will leave Sounder there and walk the friend out before untying him and taking the blindfold off.

And Sounder will have no idea which of his friends have shot their load in his mouth.  He’ll never know which of his friends have seen him in all his sissy glory.

And, as he pointed out when I described that scenario to him, in great, glorious detail, even if he suspected who it might be, it’s not like he could ever ask the guy about it.

So I mean, one of his friends will know.  Which is going to be so amazingly, wonderfully, incredibly awesome.

But, you know, no one else will know.

My point is that no, you don’t have to out yourself in your vanilla life.  That’s not what I was saying.

I was saying that refusing to go to or accompany your Domme to a kink event is a dick move.  And I was saying that refusing to introduce your girlfriend to the other people in your life because of your D/s dynamic is a dick move.

So basically, I’m saying don’t be a dick.

So I don’t need caffeine anymore

So did you know that Hal Sparks is in a kids’ show now?

Because I didn’t know he was in a kids’ show now.

Which is why it was funny to walk in to see my 5-year-old watching TV and hearing Hal Sparks’ voice.

Why is that funny?  Because, while he’s done other stuff, to me he will always be Michael from Queer as Folk.

You know Queer as Folk, right?

It’s the show about a group of gay men (and women) that features such wholesome themes as teenage prostitution, huge amounts of homophobia and homophobic slurs, brutal hate crimes, unbelievably high amounts of unprotected sex with strangers, illegal drug use, overdosing on illegal drugs, a 30-year-old having sex with a minor, gangbangs of a man who is high on drugs and passed out… not to mention the fact that it’s practically softcore porn.

It is the literal opposite of family friendly.

I’ve seen every episode of the show like 6 times.  Seriously one of the best shows ever made.

Brian Kinney was my first love.  And to this day, there does not exist another character (or real person) that is more like me.

We have so much in common.  We’re both hot, we both have a robust and healthy self appreciation, we both have a robust and healthy sex drive, we both drive really, really fast, we’re both heartless assholes, and we both find it incredibly hot to see men on their knees (or, you know, bent over).

The differences are that I also find it hot when women are on their knees (or bent over), I’m more manipulative than he is, and I’m tougher than he is.

That, and he has a penis.

Oh and his cancer was testicular.

No apologies.  No excuses.  No regrets.

I remember always looking forward to watching the show every week when I was a teenager.  It came out when I was 14, and I watched every episode without fail.  Thank God my parents never paid attention to me.  It was two years before they realized what I was watching, and when my mom tried to tell me I couldn’t watch it anymore, she knew just as well as I did that she was wasting her breath (by 16, my parents and I weren’t great friends).

The point is that, while I adore the show, I was not totally in love with the idea of my 5-year-old watching it (it’s on Netflix, which she knows how to get into, so while it’s unlikely, it is possible for her to turn the show on if she gets in my account instead of hers).  Also, I know everything she watches when she’s at my house (my inlaws do not share my desire to be aware of what the kindergartner watches.  Which I discovered when she quoted Fry from Futurama to me.  That was a fun day).  So when I walked in and heard Hal Sparks, it got my attention.  He wasn’t on any show that I knew she watched.

But the worst part wasn’t hearing his voice.  Sure, that’s what got my attention, but it wasn’t his voice that started my mini heart attack.

It was the words he was saying.  Which, in that moment, sounded awholefuckinglot like the QAF scene in which Michael is arguing with his boyfriend, Ben, after the teenage prostitute living with them was caught bringing his johns into their home.

Not exactly suitable for my kid.  And naturally, I freaked the fuck out, ran around to the front of the TV, and reached for the remote before registering that it was a kids’ show, and I guess the kids on the show had a garage sale or something without telling Sparks’ character, and sold some stuff in his house, and something about someone taking a nap in his bed.

I don’t know, I stopped paying attention when I realized my kid wasn’t about to watch Ted “strongly urge” Emmett to continue pleasuring him after Emmett said he was done, or Michael telling Ben (who is HIV positive) to keep going when the condom breaks, or Justin giving Brian a blowjob in an alley, then spitting the cum on a poster of an asshole politician, or Brian almost dying from an attempt at autoerotic asphyxiation, or Justin’s dad ramming Brian’s car, totaling it, or kicking the shit out of him, or Ted overdosing on drugs that a stranger gave him after bringing the stranger to his house, or Justin being bashed in the head with a baseball bat.

But I certainly didn’t need any more coffee.  I was completely awake.

And I learned that Hal Sparks is in a kids’ show.

D/s and depression

Domina Jen

I’d first like to introduce myself, my name is (*edit, we’ll call him Jake from State Farm, because that’s what’s been stuck in my head all day, and he asked to keep his real name anonymous), and I’d like to let you know up front that I’m a male Dominant, relatively new to the scene, I’ve only been really active for a couple of years or so.

I know I’m far from your target audience but your blog is wonderful and I’ve learned a lot from reading it.  It’s quite a bit more honest and open than places like Fetlife.  If you don’t mind, I’d like your advice on a minor situation.

I’m in a relatively new full-time D/s relationship with a wonderful girl who is also a bit newer to the lifestyle.  We’re both sort of learning as we go.

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety off and on throughout my life, was diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder about ten years ago, and have more or less managed it on my own with little or no help from a professional or medication.  I like to think I’m very self aware and I know my patterns, and the last couple of weeks or so, it has been much harder than usual to manage, and I’m worried that it’s starting to affect my relationship.

I’ve gone all this time without needing to see a doctor or take medication and I really don’t want to break that streak, but I think I might have to.

As of now, my girl doesn’t know.  We’ve only been together about four months, and I’m worried about how this will impact our relationship.  I know I need to tell her, do you have any suggestions for how that conversation should start?  And I know you’ve talked about Dominants being held to high standards, how does mental health figure into that, and should I take a break from the relationship for now?  I really care about her and don’t want to end the relationship, but I’m very worried about hurting her unintentionally.  She deserves the best of me, and I feel awful that I’m failing at giving her that.  If you’re willing, and have time, I’d be extremely grateful for any advice you might give.

Thank you in advance,

Jake

Oh hell…

Well Jake, you’ve stumbled into one of the hardest, most complicated, most convoluted, and ultimately unfair aspects of D/s relationships.

Yes, Dominants should be held to a very high standard.  It’s not supposed to be easy all the time.  It’s supposed to be a challenge, it’s supposed to challenge us to be the best versions of ourselves.  Our subs give us the most precious gift one human being can give another, and they deserve our best selves.  We can’t fail them.

But we’re still human.  We, like all humans, have moments of weakness.  We have moments of doubt.  We have moments where we stumble and fall.  When that happens, it’s our responsibility to make sure we don’t take our subs down with us.

It’s a delicate balance, though.  Because we can’t (and shouldn’t) shut our subs out, and we need to be as trusting of them, and allow ourselves to be as open and vulnerable with them, as we expect them to be with us (much, much easier said than done).

And yes, you do need to tell your sub.  It’s important for subs to understand that we are human, we are going to fuck up once in awhile, and we should not be placed on any sort of pedestal.

This is something I actually learned the hard way, with one of my very first adult relationships.  My primary sub at the time was a very sweet girl a year younger than I was.  She was strong, but a bit fragile and sensitive, and I was 18 or 19, and stupid, and reckless, and dumb, and about as emotionally mature and wise as you’d expect someone that age to be.  I didn’t realize that she’d started to idolize me, and put me up on this pedestal in her head (she was 17 or 18, and about as emotionally mature and wise as you’d expect someone that age to be).

Or maybe I did, but just liked the ego boost, and didn’t realize why it was a bad idea.  It was a long time ago.  I don’t remember.

And, as was inevitable, I fucked up.  I made a mistake (I was so dumb back then), I made a bad judgement call that caused her to feel like I’d let her down.

She was upset because her parents were super pissed off when they found out she was dating me (she’d only recently come out to them).  I consoled her, I supported her, and then I assumed it was over.  She turned to me for support, and I gave it, and then (I thought) we moved on.

Again, I was an idiot, in a whole lot of ways.  But I went out the next night with a bunch of friends, while she stayed home.  The next day, she was inconsolable.

It was insensitive, and cold, and self-centered, and just basically stupid and mean.  I don’t try to defend it.  Yeah, I could say I was a dumb teenager, but that’s just a cop-out.  I was an asshole.  I wasn’t intentionally trying to hurt her, but my intentions didn’t matter.  I’d let her down.

A vanilla relationship might’ve survived something like that.

She was crushed.  Completely devastated.  Her image of me was shattered.  And I was young and dumb, I didn’t know how to fix my mistake.  Our relationship ended because I’d let her build me up in her head, and I didn’t see it, didn’t think to adjust it, and didn’t know how to fix it.

Since then, I’ve been more careful.  Her age had a lot to do with her putting me up on a pedestal, but she’s hardly the only one, and there have been people much older than her throughout the years who have tried.  And I’m not (usually) an idiot anymore.  I know better than to ignore it, or to not do anything about it.

I’m telling you this because you’re new-ish, and your sub is new-ish, and particularly in your situation, it’s very, very important that she keep her feet on the ground and that she not put you up on a pedestal.  She needs to be very, very aware of the fact that you’re not perfect, and you’re going to make mistakes.

It’s up to you to make sure she understands that.  You’re the one responsible for setting the tone of the relationship.  It’s crucial.  Make sure she understands it, not just logically, but emotionally as well.  Because if you don’t, and her picture of you is shattered to the point that she can’t recover, that’s going to be on your shoulders.  Just as my relationship ending was on mine.

Okay, so the subject of a Dominant with a mental health issue is a slightly loaded one, at least for me, anyway.  I’m sure a lot of people won’t agree with me, but I’ve discovered that a lot of people are really, really, remarkably stupid (that’s not just one link, by the way.  Each word is a separate link to people being really, really, remarkably stupid.  Just in the past year or so).

Right, so I recognize that everyone’s brand of D/s is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for anything, and a lot of this is my personal, strongly-held, based-in-facts-and-common-sense opinion.

Still opinion, though.

I don’t know you, and I have no idea what kind of relationship you have, so I’m going to do a lot of speculation, and project a lot of my own type of D/s onto your situation.  Take what you will of it, discard the rest.

Depression and anxiety are a couple of real sons of bitches, man.  They can fuck shit up pretty good on their own, and combined, they’re just fucking nasty.  And they don’t discriminate, no one is immune, it can affect anyone.

Dominants included.  Hell, even myself included.  The brain is the most complex organ in our body, and disorders of this particular organ are common across race, creed, social status, economic class, etc.  If you have a brain, you’re susceptible to disorders of the brain.  It happens.

The first step is accepting that it happens, that there’s nothing you can do at the moment to change it (well you can, but that’s not exactly what I mean, and I’ll get to that.  What I mean is you can’t just snap your fingers and not be depressed anymore), and that it doesn’t mean you’re weak, or in any way less.  Would you consider someone who has asthma, a disorder of the lungs, weak?  Fuck no, you wouldn’t.  So don’t think of yourself that way, because you have a disorder of the brain.

Does it suck?  Yeah.  Can you snap your fingers and make it go away?  No.

You really do need to accept it, accept this part of you.  You’re carrying a lot of self blame, thinking that you’re letting your sub down because you have these disorders, and that needs to stop.  Again, you set the tone for the relationship.  You’ve got to let go of that blame.

There’s just no option, you’ve got to do it.

Of course, I know that’s easier said than done, especially with depressive and anxiety disorders, but truly, there is no alternative if you want to be a Dominant in a D/s relationship.  Buckle down, grit your teeth, and get it done.  It’s not going to be easy, and you’ll backslide a bit, and it’s going to suck, but you can do it.

Now, there is a bit of a controversial edge to this subject.  Because BDSM relationships are known for being really, really intense.  Your sub is so vulnerable to you, so open to you, so yielding and accepting of everything you say and do.  With that kind of openness, that kind of vulnerability, you’ve got to be so careful.

A sub sacrifices control for freedom, and a Dom sacrifices freedom for control.  You don’t have the freedom to lose your cool.  Your influence over her is too great, the potential to hurt her is just too much.

A Dominant must, mustmust be in control of himself before taking control of someone else.  With mental health problems, that gets difficult.

Does that mean someone with mental health disorders can’t or shouldn’t be a Dominant?  Eh, that really depends on the individual, but yes, I do believe there are instances where someone is simply not mentally sound enough to take control of another human being.

I don’t think that’s the case with you, but you’re a better judge of that than I am.

The first step is figuring out how to manage it.

Again, you can’t snap your fingers and make it go away.  But you can take steps to manage and treat it to the point that it doesn’t necessarily have to impact your relationship.

*Note*  I am not a doctor, take any advice I give with a grain of salt, and talk to an actual doctor.

I know antidepressants are no joke, man.  SSRI’s are some serious shit, and come with a pretty nasty set of side effects.

But if you’re getting to the point where you can’t manage it on your own, you need to, at the very least, talk to a psychiatrist.  Maybe you don’t need SSRI’s.  Maybe you can do okay with something like 5-HTP or SAM-e (seriously, talk to a freakin’ doctor though).  Or maybe you only need a low dose SSRI for a few weeks, and then you can wean yourself off and be fine managing it on your own again.  I mean, you never know until you talk to a doctor.

But you’ve got to manage it.  If you’re a victim of that toxic masculinity bullshit, with the mindset of “real men don’t need a shrink,” ditch that shit now.

Real men handle their shit.  Real men don’t lie to themselves about what they can and cannot (or should and should not) handle on their own.  Real men aren’t too much of a pussy to ask for help.

You’ve got shit that needs to be handled.  Recognize that managing it on your own is not currently working to an acceptable degree.  Get the help you need, not just from a stranger on the internet with a blog, but from a licensed professional capable of prescribing medication (if necessary).

Hard truth time: Not managing it and being a Dominant is not acceptable.  At-mother-fucking-all.

And sure, there will be people who will disagree with me.  There will be people who think I’m being unfair and discriminatory to Dominants with mental illnesses.

Honestly, those people can suck it.  You don’t have the right to be fair when you’re the one who made the decision to take control of another human being.  If your sub opens themselves up to you, lets you in past their defenses, past their walls, and you unintentionally hurt them because of an untreated mental illness that you knew about, you’re an asshole.

And you’re an abusive asshole.  You knew better.  You knew you needed treatment.  You didn’t get it.  And because of it, you caused another human being, who trusted you, serious harm.

No, that is not, and will never be acceptable.  Dominants are better than that.  You have to be better than that.

And no, it’s not fair.  Submissives don’t necessarily have the same problem when it comes to a mental illness.  They can lean on their Dominant in a way that their Dominant may not be able to lean on them.

But submissives don’t get off easy, either.  They have their own responsibilities to meet in the relationship.  The problem is that meeting those responsibilities makes them more vulnerable to be hurt by a Dominant who is not in complete control.

A submissive must put his (or her) Dominant first.  The Dominant’s needs come first.  Period.  That’s a hell of a lot harder and a hell of a lot more complicated than it sounds.  It’s not easy to do, and in doing it, they trust that their Dominant will take care of them, and make sure their needs are met.  The ability to do that may be negatively affected in a Dominant with a mental illness.

If a submissive isn’t focusing on her needs, and her Dominant isn’t focusing on her needs, that’s a problem.

A submissive is also expected to open up for his Dominant.  Vulnerability is the name of the game.  There is no part of himself, no piece of his mind that is off-limits to his Dominant.  This is an extremely, extremely difficult thing to do.  It takes a lot of trust, a lot of courage, and a lot of strength.

And it doesn’t take a lot to irreparably shatter that trust.

You cannot be in control of someone else if you’re not in complete control of yourself, and if you’re suffering from depression and anxiety, you’re not in complete control of yourself.  You’re at the whim of the chemical imbalances, faulty mood regulation, and seratonin deficiencies in your brain that are fucking up your perception, your motivation, your mentality.  You cannot control it.

You can’t be dealing with all of that, not manage it, and be in control of someone else.  It’s unethical and dangerous.  You can cause serious mental and emotional harm not only to your sub, but to yourself.  Don’t do it.

Does that mean you need to break things off with your sub?  Not necessarily, again it depends on your situation.  If you’re taking steps to manage it and she’s aware of the situation, and aware that there’s the possibility that you may say or do things you shouldn’t, or aren’t feeling “like yourself,” and you both agree to keep things going, then great.  Go for it, I mean it.  PDD is a very treatable condition, anxiety can be worked around, it’s a very doable situation for a lot of people.

There is hope, and you’re far from the first Dominant to face this sort of situation.

I’ll say that again.  There is hope, and you’re not alone.  This can be done.

So after you decide to manage this and deal with it, you’ve got to talk to your sub.  Which won’t be an easy conversation.  It needs to happen when you’re both calm and in neutral moods (don’t start this conversation if she’s had a bad day at work), and don’t have anything on the agenda for the evening.

Sit her down, in private (don’t do this in a restaurant or at a bar or whatever), and be direct and calm.  She can handle it.  You can start off by telling her the same way you told me.

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety off and on throughout my life, was diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder about ten years ago, and have more or less managed it on my own with little or no help from a professional or medication.  I like to think I’m very self aware and I know my patterns, and the last couple of weeks or so, it has been much harder than usual to manage, and I’m worried that it’s starting to affect [our] relationship.

You can start with that.  Write it down and read it to her if you have to.  Or write it down and have her read it while you sit next to her.  Don’t feel dumb if you have to do it that way, I have literally done that before.  I can organize my thoughts better in writing, and when I’m struggling to say something that needs to be said, writing it and just letting them read it has worked when I’ve been unable to put it in words.

Let her know that you care about her and don’t want to lose her, and you want to be the Dominant she deserves.  Let her know that you’ve got an appointment with a doctor, and you’re going to get it under control.  Ask her to be patient with you while you get it figured out.  Ask her what steps you can take to assure her that you’re there for her.  Ask her what she needs from you.  And if there’s anything you need from her, now’s the time to ask her for it.

So in summation:

Step 1: Get it under control.  Call a psychiatrist today and set an appointment.  Do this and take a concrete step forward.  Trust me, you’ll struggle to find the motivation to do it, but it’ll feel good once you’ve done it.  It’s an accomplishment, and one that will set everything else in motion.  It’ll make you feel good.  Do it.

Step 2:  Talk to your sub.  Write down what you want to say beforehand so you don’t get flustered and forget.  Keep it short and simple.  Read it to her if you have to, or have her read it.  Do whatever it takes to let her know what’s going on, because you owe it to her as her Dominant.  Answer her questions honestly, let her see your vulnerability, even if it’s uncomfortable.

Step 3:  Go to your appointment.  Tell your sub when it is.  If you’re worried about finding the motivation to go, ask her to hold you to it.  Give her the ability to withhold something from you (something that you want) if you don’t go.  Hell, have her drive you.  Just get there.  Do whatever it takes.  Because you owe it to her as your Dominant.  Let her become your motivation.  Let caring for her and being the man she deserves keep you moving forward.

Step 4:  Be honest and frank in the appointment.  You’ve been diagnosed with PDD, so I’m guessing you’re familiar with psychiatrists.  Great.  Push yourself to be as honest as possible about what you’re feeling and what you want.  Make a realistic plan for the immediate future, whether that involves drugs or other kinds of therapy, or both.

Step 5:  Follow the plan.  It’ll take time before you start seeing significant improvement, and your motivation will falter.  You’ve dealt with this for years, you know it’s not going to be easy.

But you’ve dealt with this for years, you know that you can.