Hello my beloved perverts!
It is heating UP in Texas! Monday afternoon we reached 106 in the shade, with heat advisories in effect for the past few days now. If that does not make you stay inside your house and enjoy the mandatory AC, I don’t know what will.
Last week Velvet suggested that I talk about the topic in the subject line. As I was thinking about it, I realized that the way Lee and I have approached our relationship – although it was long-distance rather than social distancing – would have applicable components that I am more than willing to share. I have had other people ask how Lee and I work, how we deal with his notoriety within the Power Exchange Dynamic, how we were able to build our dynamic AND relationship with him being in Denver, Colorado, and my being here in Austin. So – lets take a peek at some of those questions.
When Lee and I met in March of 2019, we had both come out of fairly recent relationships that were unhealthy and did not end well. We were both in a place of having rebuilt ourselves, and still working through some of the issues that lead to the ending of either previous relationship. Lee was in Austin due to teaching classes on Gender/Transgender Issues, and I felt that more education in that area would do me good, given the fact that our community as a whole has a rapid influx of more and more non-binary folks off all kinds, genders, sexual orientations, etc. Knowledge is always good!
Without going into too much detail (those are included in our class Intentional Relationship Design) about the exact way we hooked up, after spending about 16 cumulative hours between Saturday/Sunday together, Lee stated on Monday morning around 2:00am that wanted to serve me. This is an hour before he is getting picked up for the flight home to Denver, and I am pretty sure I just stared flabbergasted for a few minutes before being able to respond in any sort of half-ass intelligent manner.
We both knew that we made a connection worth exploring, and were both wanting and willing to explore it, but I did not expect THAT right off the bat. Or at all, really. Never mind the fact that he lived in a different State and traveled extensively in order to teach at various events and conferences. What the hell is this supposed to even look like? How are we supposed to build a relationship long distance, much less a Power Exchange Dynamic? We had no idea – what we DID know is that we were not going to ignore this connection we made.
Additionally, we were both weary – it had only been a year since my last relationship ended, 18 months or so for Lee. Neither one of us was completely healed and rebuilt to where we wanted to be before opening back up to relationship possibilities, and I have no doubt that neither one of us enjoyed our time together with the expectation of anything lasting and/or long-living. Yet here we were at 2:00 am with those words hanging in the air … “I want to serve you”. Now what?
Starting a new dynamic, long-distance style
I am fairly certain that most relationships start along these kind of lines: Two people meet, a connection is made, lust is there, attraction is there. They get together as often as reality allows them to, they revel in NRE, the sex is all over the place, conversations happen in person, they meet each other’s ‘other people’, social circles, friends. They get to know each other as they go, on the fly, discovering more and more about the new partner over time via actual physical and personal contact. Their best foot is put forward for as long as possible, skeletons stay in the closet for a while, so does emotional baggage. Those sort of things don’t generally come out until later in the relationship. In the beginning, its all roses and smell-goods, and anything that remotely resembles a red flag is ignored for a while – at least until the initial NRE is slowing down.
That has been my experience in the past with my relationships over the years. With Lee being in another State, and as I figured out after he left quite the notoriety in our community with a calendar shock-full of traveling all over the damn globe, I was at a loss as to how to approach this idea of a relationship and/or power exchange dynamic. So I did what all polyamorous folks in the US do – I turned to Google. (grins)
We established shared folders on Google Drive, granted access to each other’s Google Calendars, shared a OneNote notebook – and we started writing. We wrote histories to each other, life histories, health histories (both mental and physical), emotional baggage histories, bad experience histories, etc. If it could somehow impact our budding dynamic or relationship, it got written down and shared. All the ugliness we experienced, where we were in the healing process, where we were still tender, all the skeletons got dragged out of the closet and exposed in all their “glory”.
In my case, my Leather Family each gave their accounting of my last relationship in writing to be shared with Lee, and that one turned into 15 pages written by the people closest to me. I wanted him to be crystal clear as to what he was potentially getting into, and what he could expect to run into if he hooked up with me. Given our past relationships, we agreed that there was no room for anything but utter honesty right from the beginning. We shared information with each other during those first 4 – 6 weeks that most couples don’t share until years into their relationship, if at all.
We gave each other names of close friends that really knew us, and contacted them respectively for character and personality references. Yes – you should always do that, but how many of us actually do it? This was the first time I did it and insisted on doing it. We wrote down what our ideal power exchange relationship looked like, what we wanted from a long-term relationship – be it the romantic aspect or a power dynamic or both combined. We shared our dreams for the future, our passion for teaching, and found a foundation on which to build a vision – help our fellow kinksters, and in Lee’s case, humans in general, by sharing our experiences and teaching at events.
I made Lee take the Myers Briggs test, and compared our results in terms of compatibility and potential longevity. I made him take the Gallup Strength Finder test and looked at our results and how they would fit into each other’s live in terms of a positive influence/addition. Hell – I even looked at Zodiac compatibility! In short, I approached this possible relationship as rational, cool, and almost business-like as I could manage. While I allowed myself a bit of lust/hope, I stayed emotionally distant until further notice.
Except for three days in early April at Oklahoma Leatherfest, where we tried the “Lee is in service to me” for the first time, we did not see each other again until the middle of May, 2019. Lee came to visit for a week, spending time with parents, poly family, and myself. He met my mother whom was visiting from Germany, my husband’s mother whom lives in the property with us, and my son. Thrown into the deep end of the pool, as it were, and he swam like a champ. We managed to have sexy/kinky fun as well, but this visit was more about realities and looooooooong conversations about what this is going to look like, and whether or not we felt that we had something to build on.
We literally did not spend enough in-person time together to truly fall into the trap of NRE, and I for one saw – and still see – that as a huge plus. We had all the sex and fun and kink while we DID see each other, but in between visits (anywhere from 3-8 weeks long) we had time to emotionally cool down and evaluate interactions, compatibility, what worked and what did not while we were actually together. This allowed both of us to be very level-headed and intentional as we moved forward, and I believe that THAT has served us more than just about anything else.
Now, over a year later and after Lee moved to Austin in December of 2019, we are adjusting to him actually being in town and “just down the road” as we Texans like to say (’tis a 35 min drive). At this point, due to COVID, we are closer and more on top of each other than either one of us anticipated, and that too took some major adjusting. When you go from seeing someone every few weeks to living in the same house for 8 weeks (during the outright shut-down) – it will become seriously obvious whether or not you are compatible, and where adjustments need to be made.
We continue to learn about each other, our needs, wants and desires, our individual ways of life, and how to move forward as a not only romantically involved, but also D/s couple. Utter honesty and continually growing trust is our foundation, and has been from the beginning. I see us many years in the future, solid and hopefully an inspiration for others in their journey to build a healthy, solid relationship.
What should you take away from this?
Well – that is really up to you and how you approach new dynamics or relationships. In all reality, dating in COVID times is not that much different than any other time. Instead of going to the bar or restaurant, you go to a park or the beach for a picnic, instead of engaging in somewhat immediate sexual and/or intimate contact, you get an additional test done to add to the (what should be mandatory) STI testing before engaging. The waiting time gives you more opportunity to talk and get to know each other intellectually, socially, emotionally. Not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion.
We have all learned that the internet is for more than just porn – we can meet up and talk to each other face-to-face, we can engage in sexual stimulation through commands or exhibitionism, we can even watch TV ‘together’. There are ways to connect that do not involve physical contact, and there are ways to engage in D/s without being together. We all know this; we just may not have had to apply them to ourselves. Does COVID cut down on the one-night stand? I would certainly hope so. Does it prevent new relationships from developing if both parties are interested? No, it does not. We just have to find a slightly different way to go about them. 🙂
With that, my beloved perverts, I leave you to your upcoming weekend. Hopefully I gave you some food for thought here, and if I did – let me know! 🙂