Rules and Boundaries: Reserved Powers for the Primary Pair


Rules and Boundaries: Reserved Powers for the Primary PairA forum on a swinger dating board that I frequent recently had a question as to what the couple kept back to be special just for them. The most common answers seemed to be along the lines of kissing and anal sex.

Personally, I have a rule on passing on no kissing couples. To those who think it is too intimate, I say, that is the point. I generally also disagree with those who want no emotional involvement at all and say it is too intense and risky to their primary relationship. I look at them as just wanting a living blow up doll. Which I guess is fine, in a way, I just want no part of it.

My initial gut reaction to the thread on what was held back just for the spouse was that my answer was “Nothing.” There is nothing sexual that I will do for Mr. Scarlet that I wouldn’t do with someone else. However, after further consideration and other events I have come up with several items. I am going to enumerate a few reserved powers for myself and Mr. Scarlet although I am quite sure that this list is incomplete so I reserve the right to add anything else as I go along in this adventure.

So here is the list of things that never get to be done with others besides Mr. Scarlet. Now, I should never say never. For instance I feel like I will never at this point have sex with or see Old Flame again, but I suppose anything is possible even if highly unlikely. But, at this point I feel like the following will never be ok with someone other than Mr. Scarlet no matter how poly we lean on the poly-swinger scale.

1)     Living together.  I can’t see ever merging households. I can’t see ever wanting to put up with anyone else’s idiosyncrasies or BS to the level you have to when living together. I can like someone or even love them and still want some distance. It is hard enough to live with Mr. Scarlet sometimes (I’m sure this is vice versa) and we have 17 years of practice. And we started shacking up when we were younger and less set in our ways. I do not want one or two more people to argue with about which way the toilet paper goes on the roll or whose turn it is to take out the trash.

2)     Finances.  This is kind of along the same lines, and if households aren’t merged then there is really no point. But even if they are, I know several vanilla couples who don’t merge their finances. This requires a whole other level of trust and transfer of power to give another person access to all of your financial resources. I trust Mr. Scarlet that way. I can’t see ever feeling comfortable enough to do that with anyone else.

3)     Children.  If I have any control over this (knock on wood) then we are done with any more kids. And the one we have is just ours and not shared with either responsibility or authority to anyone else. There aren’t going to be poly step-parents. They are going to be at best the same level of authority as any aunt/uncle/family friend. And if fate somehow steps in and adjusts my plan of never being pregnant again, then that kid will also be ours regardless of who the actual sperm donor might be.

4)     Swinging.  I have been asked by one of the couples that we see (I shall call them Mrs. and Mr. Bear) if I would consider permitting Mrs. Bear and Mr. Scarlet to swing together. Not as in playing with each other. As in, letting them play with a third couple. This is because she really likes “trying new dishes” as she puts it while her husband really doesn’t want to see anyone else. My visceral gut reaction to this was along the lines of “Hell no, absolutely not!” Having given it a few weeks thought, my response is still “Hell no, absolutely not!”

I am not ok with what is essentially trading my spouse to Mrs. Bear for her to then trade him to someone else. I originally thought I might be ok with that as long as I was at the club and they asked permission and I had veto power. But really, I am not ok with that at all. Partly this is because I am not giving up swinging myself. So if Mr. Scarlet wants to swing, then he already has a swing partner in crime and we can do that instead of seeing Mr. and Mrs. Bear for that particular evening. Partly it is just because I am a control freak.

And partly I just can’t explain but I am just not fucking ok with it. I guess it has just butted up against what my personal limits are and the level of intimacy that I am ever going to permit Mr. Scarlet to have with another person and vice versa. My gut reaction is that this is a serious threat to my primary relationship. So maybe this really isn’t any different than what others do with their no emotions or no kissing. Perhaps, my line is just drawn in a different place.

I know this is not going to make Mr. and Mrs. Bear happy. I’m also not ok with Mr. Scarlet and Mrs. Bear going to a swing club alone together. And honestly, I don’t have to justify the reason for my feelings are on this. The general first rules of swinging are that “No, means No” and that you go at the pace of the slowest person. I can’t see ever being ok with this.

Also even if they are not happy and though I tend to be a people pleaser, this is not my problem. The way I look at it is that this is Mr. and Mrs. Bear’s issue to work out as to how their swinging can continue. Mr. Bear can permit Mrs. Bear to be an occasional unicorn or let her find another trusted male to swing with her. Or he can swing with her and watch or whatever his comfort level permits.

So there you go. Where ever you are on your journey, good luck figuring out what is just for you and your primary partner if you have one.


Ms. Scarlet is a newbie non-monogamist. She lives in a really Red part of fly over country, hence the name Ms. Scarlet. She likes contact sports, massages, rum, fast cars, ice cream, and good oral sex - not necessarily in that order. You can find her discussing the latest sex news and other things on Twitter as @MsScarletBlogs

1 Comment

  1. Excellent article Ms. Scarlet … thank you. Lots of what you had to say resonated with me, but I think the phrase that really struck me is … “Perhaps, my line is just drawn in a different place.”

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