I have a lot of posts coming up that detail a lot of the adventures that Paul and I shared while we were at the cabin together. I’m not going to share everything that happened: some stuff is personal and intimate and wonderfully just-between-us. Before I move on with those stories, I want to talk about something amazing that I discovered in the first few days that we were together. Because I’m me, I’m going to talk about this by way of a complex extended visual metaphor that involved me doing a small arts-and-crafts project.
This is the fact that Paul and I are amazingly compatible as partners.
The most basic way of thinking about compatibility in the spanking scene is to look at compatibility of roles. When I first made my Fetlife profile, when I was just a sort of lost 23 year old spanko bottom living in Los Angeles and trying to meet Tops because I hadn’t been spanked in about 6 months, I got a lot of messages from people who didn’t know anything about me except that I liked to be spanked. I was presenting myself like this:
|In case you can’t tell, this is a very simple looking puzzle piece which reads “I want to be spanked.”
The men who were messaging self identified like this:
|The text reads “I want to spank someone”
Therefore, in their mind, the puzzle of compatibility worked like this:
|I want to be spanked/I want to spank someone. Fits together perfectly.
There are times when this is actually the way that the world is, such as when playing casually at parties. When it comes to having a relationship with someone, though, my puzzle piece looks nothing like the gray piece I was presenting originally. It’s more like this:
|“My needs are both complex and specific”
I have all sorts of weird things about me. I have a lot of very specific things that I like in the scene. I need to be spanked, but my spanking needs are not entirely straight forward. I sometimes need to be very seriously disciplined. Other times, I need to be beaten just because my Dominant partner wants to. Sometimes I want to be able to pace the scene myself, asking for the next stroke when I’m ready for it. Others, I want to be entirely overwhelmed and out of control. In still other cases, I want to be treated very tenderly, spanked in a way which is more of a love act than a painful proceeding. I have my entire sexuality, which is a very complicated thing. I have all the intricacies of my personality, vanilla interests, tastes, personal history, habits and behaviors. Sometimes I’m incredibly childish. Others, I’m fiercely independent. I think that I’m pretty wonderful, but wow, I’m weird, and there’s no denying it. All that zig zagging shows different ways that I want to interact with a person that I love.
Occasionally, I meet someone who sounds like they might be a good match, but in reality, it’s more like this:
|“This works, right?!”
The pieces looked relatively similar at a distance, and they do KINDA fit together. Some of my bumps are too big for the the openings on the other side, and vice versa. There are whole areas at the top that are just differently shaped. (Note: this isn’t meant to be any particular person from my life, it’s pretty hypothetical). This is a person who I can be friends with, and I can play a bit with, but it’s never quite fulfilling. Maybe this person wants really deep, BDSM-y D/s, which is similar to what I want but just not the same. None of my weird flanges at the top are being met, but that’s okay, because I don’t need everything from everyone. There’s an empty space on the orange side, too, where I just don’t fulfill that need. No, this doesn’t quite work. It’s not bad, but it’s not quite there.
What a lot of my scene relationships end up being like is this:
|“This DOES work!”
All the parts that mesh do so properly. There are just areas that aren’t fulfilled. In this case, the other piece is a lot simpler than me, it’s someone who happens to have less complex needs, but this could work with another crazy looking piece, too (honestly, it’s mostly artistic limitations -_-). The parts that work, work really well. The parts that don’t can always be fulfilled by someone else, some other relationship. That’s the beauty of poly, right there. No one is expected to be everything to everyone. There’s also no reason why I need all the bumps being bumped against at once. This is a really nice way to be compatible with someone.
Once in a while, I meet someone like this:
|This is awesome.
EVERYTHING on this side is lining up perfectly and working really well. I’ve experienced this a few times in my life. It’s a wonderful, fulfilling relationship where neither partner is left wanting for something within the expectations of the relationship. (The top parts on both pieces aren’t closed in with something, but based on the shapes, there’s no way that was possible. This might be a really nice D/s relationship without a sexual component, or a vanilla romantic partner, for example. There was never the expectation that the other side WOULD work). I totally cherish these sorts of relationships. You can see the way that the pieces look almost seamless together, and you can try to imagine how that feels. For a long time, I was quite sure that this was far more than most people could expect to find. I think that even these kinds of relationships are probably pretty rare.
There’s something else that’s possible, though:
|I realize this is super hard to read. Worst handwriting/photography skillz ever. “This fits! This fits! This fits! This fits! Even this weird bit here fits! and this, too!”
This is basically a visual representation about how I feel regarding Paul and I. As the first few days that we spent together went on, I was in a haze of disbelief at just how well we worked together. We’re so compatible that it’s eery. He likes the things that I like about myself. The little weird habits that I have are cute and endearing to him. Even things that I’m shy to admit are usually met with “I like that a lot.” Not only do all the different sorts of things that I want to have in a relationship work, but Paul has an uncanny ability to know what sort of interaction I want when. This will be obvious in some of my later posts, but he seems like his understanding of me is magical.
NOW THE METAPHOR FALLS APART: what this doesn’t mean.
– First, no people are actually perfect for each other. I’m not delusional. I know that we will sometimes argue and get annoyed with each other, because that’s what humans do. We’re also not the same, just complimentary. This is especially obvious in terms of our everyday interests. I know the location of all the pandas in domesticity in the entire world, and can tell you way more information about them than you want to know. I’m quite sure that Paul doesn’t actually care about pandas. But what being compatible in this way means is that he likes that I like this. He finds it cute. He encourages it. He’ll sometimes ask me panda related stuff and listen to me talk about them. He’s gotten me ridiculously adorable panda related gifts. Likewise, Paul is really interested in dams and hydroelectric power. That doesn’t actually rate particularly high on the list of “things I’d ever care about normally.” When we were together, though, I really enjoyed going to the places that he was interested in because there were aspects of it that were neat to me (outdoors, the ability to learn about something, he possibility of meeting some sort of animal on the way, et cetera) and, more importantly, because I like that he likes that. I can’t describe why. It’s just so… him. He would like something like that. I also enjoy seeing him interested. I like watching him do the things and listening to him talk about the things that make him happy.
-In the images, there is no longer any room on the puzzle pieces. I didn’t suddenly start believing that there was one person for everyone, or having some sort of monogamous feelings. This isn’t meant to devalue other relationships. This is insanely important to me. My existing relationships didn’t lose any value to me just because I started another one that I’m really excited about. There isn’t a way to show the overlap of gratification, the enjoyability of the differences between each partner, the nuances of my amazing set of relationships. I’m not trying to say that my relationship with Paul is better than the other relationships that I’ve had before/currently have. It’s just that this is the only time that I’ve had a single partner that’s ENTIRELY compatible with basically all my needs. This is partially because we respect one and others’ needs to have other people in our lives.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed my complex visual metaphor and that it makes some sort of sense to you. Making the puzzle pieces helped me to better understand the way I felt about these things, so it was at least good for that!