Our wonderful host this month is Katherine Deane. I remember once I didn't take part- something specifically about domestic discipline- and she was bummed. So while I was unsure what I'd say at first, I got myself to buckled down and writing. Her topic is: The Vanilla Spouse: What happens when your significant other doesn’t share your fetish?
So I admit that I mess with a lot of Katherine's questions by the very fact of having lived as a polyamorous person from my teen years, even before I knew there was a word to describe a way of living other than the monogamy that I felt wasn't for me. I'm going to answer her questions thinking of my last polyamorous relationship that lasted more than a few weeks, more than "seeing if this will work."
A quick summary: I married a man who knew I identified as polyamorous and a BDSM submissive. He agreed to live with an open marriage that allowed me to meet my needs or for him to meet his needs in ways that worked for the both of us. So by fact of my reputation, I never had to have a "I want you to spank me" conversation with ex.
Interestingly the conversations we did have were about what needs we had that we could meet for each other. He didn't have a specific fetish identity although he found it interesting to see me engage in my interests. We also enjoyed a variety of each others' kinks- for instance, he would enjoy my exhibitionism while I'd enjoy him being the voyeur while I enjoyed sex with other women.
Early in the relationship with my ex, he had to walk me through the emotional issues of Tom (the dominant who was the first inspiration for The Queen in Vala's Story) deserting me; that isn't a story I want to tell here. Thankfully we met my Master at a goth club, although I already knew of Him by reputation. He gave me a few months of time to stop waiting for Tom to change his mind, but eventually His message of "shit or get off the pot" reached through my growing desperation around "Tom doesn't want me." It started off as vanilla sex. Then the day happened that I was riding Shaman, ex in the room watching, and in the middle of orgasm, I murmured, "Master." We were on our way to the collaring at that point.
Now I need to step back just a moment into those months. Part of my depression was the lack of my BDSM fetish needs not being met. Ex and I tried. We tried me acting as the Top and as the bottom to ex, not at the same time of course. Neither worked. I couldn't respect him as a dominant and I didn't gain anything more than a crass amusement as dominating him- so yes, for those who wonder, I'm not a switch, even if I can write them :D.
So to answer 2 of Katherine's questions, I understand what monogamy should be (happy, healthy, fidelous coupling), but I would never choose it for myself. It has never been at all a positive experience the few times I've tried it. However, if someone is monogamous or if they decide to break the agreed upon boundaries for their polyamory (that failure to keep poly-agreements is part of why ex is an ex), I feel that is cheating. Considering my strong feelings about what cheating is and against the act itself, I wouldn't get involved with someone who is not open to my kinks from the very beginning if monogamy was expected. At the price of losing my virginity to rape at 13, I figured out quickly what I actually wanted, both sexually and in life in general. And while it has made me a "sexual outlaw"- to borrow Pat Califia's phrase- I refuse to disavow what I want sexually, even if in the face of current relationship struggles with my Master, He isn't meeting the needs He could meet.