People have said that I am not very good at a breaking up. I’ve never been told this directly, but most of my partners have been warned about my bad breakup mannerisms. But as one of my sweeties told me, “No one should be good at that.”
I’ve had a few poly breakups now, and none of them are really pleasant. I have never had another go at a romantic relationship breaking up with (or being broken up with) someone. Usually, for me, whatever it takes to break us up is enough that I am done and checked out. It is rarely a resource famine or a failure to launch – in fact, a few of my launch aborts have become good friends. I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about the fighty, angry, hurty breakups.
My most recent one was just a week or so ago. We’d been dating for a touch under six months. I had just reached a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t want to use the d-word – we poly folk tend to overuse the word, “drama.” She was prone to emotional outbursts. She cried a lot. I had major trust issues with her, especially when it came to her sexual relationships outside of ours, both from a partner selection and a safety standpoint. Of course, she kept asking what was bothering me, and I told her. Then she got upset that I had a “laundry list of [her] flaws,” and proceeded to tell me where to go and what to do with certain parts of myself. I don’t blame her. Breakups suck.
This is not my first breakup that has involved not being able to take safe sex for granted. In our lifestyle, we have a responsibility to an entire network of partners. So going unprotected with a new partner that you met on the internet and are having your first face to face with… People say that taking things for granted is a bad thing, but there are certain things that I really need to rely on. That’s my health being gambled with, too.
Even as a man whore, I very rarely have full-on, penetrative sex on a first date – specifically on a first date from an internet date. I see quite a lot of people, so I am quite picky about my genital-to-genital contact. Sure, I’ll play and fool around and have very acceptable sexy time, but by the time we cross the streams, as it were, we have to really know each other.
Before we broke up, I remember having a conversation with the now ex. She was talking about her first date with a guy she met online. He was trying really hard to be very Dom-y and she is not into BDSM at all. They met for lunch and went back to his place, he tried spanking her and telling her she was a bad girl and she was totally not into it. She said he kind of creeped her out and she really felt uncomfortable with him touching her. I asked her how he reacted when she pulled away, then, and she told me she didn’t pull away – she had sex with him.
This pushed every one of my open-relationship sexual buttons. They had unprotected genital to genital contact (but no penetration, she said, just rubbing and external contact), and sex within hours of having met, and sex with someone she didn’t even like! She said he creeped her out.
She got very defensive when I talked about it. “Maybe,” she said, “the issues with [all of this] are your issues, not my issues!” YES! Absolutely, positively, these are my issues! Unfortunately, I just can’t deal with putting these issues aside. I know that what she does is her business, not mine, and there were other issues that reduced our compatibility, but the encounters she had like this one are the ones that really stuck with me.
I can’t expect every partner I have to match up with my own very specific view of sex and sexuality. But I do have standards, and I do expect that some discretion and, most importantly, safety concerns, are in my partners’ minds.