Before I get to the obvious – this was something raised to me as a question as a suggestion for a blog.
The backstory goes as follows.
“There was a Mistress who made some posts about being poly and celebrating the virtues of it. But, she insisted her subs remained mono. She admitted she had double standards. It seems strange?”
Some of this unpacks some of the myths around poly and other shades of non-mono.
I’m also unsure if she was Pro or not, but then that gets into a whole new topic of the boundaries between “sub or client?” which is one for another day.
Most of us reading are, or have been, in some form of non-mono arrangement. But let’s unpack some basic terminology.
In a mono relationship you are exclusive to the person you are with. So for example you might start dating someone and decide despite being early days you won’t date other people or sleep around.
It could be said in D/s if you have a Dominant or submissive and you have no other relationships, including romantic partners, and aren’t looking for others, then that is mono.
In a Poly relationship you are likely to be in different relationships with more than one person. So for example if you have a Dominant and a romantic partner then that would be poly. But it doesn’t have to be different types of relationships.
A poly structure could see you with more than one romantic partner, a sub and/or Dominant, other casual partners. It can be complex.
Poly is a form of non-mono, but there are so many other variations.
So for example you might have a romantic partner and have no desire for another romantic, but might sleep around with others (ideally with your partners consent!)
Here on in, when I refer to non-mono I am including poly within that.
USING MYSELF AS AN EXAMPLE
In my structure. I am married. My wife has a girlfriend. Whilst I have no other formal relationships – I enjoy D/s casual play with different people. This includes two subs I play with semi-regular. This has previously included a Mistress.
In the future it might be either myself or my wife expand our relationships.
From my perspective it might be that there becomes another Dominant I have semi, or regular play with – or – possibly look at owned sub again. I don’t know, because I’m moreso open to the suggestion rather than actively looking.
Perhaps at a party one or both of us might indulge with casual play or sex. I don’t know, we live naturally rather than over-planning.
NON-MONO HAS BOUNDARIES
A big myth is about lack of boundaries with non-mono. Your partner(s) will still have expectancy from you and may have their own restrictions or boundaries.
If you live with a partner and pay into a household budget, they might not wish you to do something that impacts your ability to pay.
A partner might want you to see them at least a certain amount of times per month. Another might have to impose a maximum.
One partner might want you to be open about what you do with other partners. Another might strictly not want to know.
Some might have caveats, “you can have/see a Dominant/submissive but you cannot do x, y or z” with them.
Obviously one person’s boundaries might contradict others, that is something to manage.
Therefore “I can have multiple partners, but you cannot” is a boundary. If you don’t agree with it, you simply do not serve them.
SO WHY WOULD A DOMINANT OFFER EXCLUSIVITY THEY WON’T OFFER THEMSELVES?
Different people have different ideas on how relationships should look – or – specifically – how they would like their relationships to look.
So. The idea of a Dominant with multiple subs, all working in coordination for the happiness of the Dominant is a common trope.
If you are spending on another Dominant, be that cash, time or energy then you are arguably not fully devoted to your Dominant.
That’s the trope.
But also. If your Dominant needs something from you, as their sub, and you’re not available because you’re doing something with someone else – then you are not meeting the needs of your Dominant.
But also. Your Dominant sets rules and boundaries for you, and if that rule and boundary is that you don’t take on another relationship, or serve other Dominants or whatever – that is their rule and boundary.
Like many rules you can decide whether this is one you will accept as their sub – or – whether another Dominant would be more suitable.
Again different Dominants have different rules and different expectations. But another common trope is the concept of working hard towards a goal. This could be something like proving your dedication to earning a collar.
But there could be something else you want. So someone with multiple subs might not be able to have them all accompany on a night out, or to a premium event or opportunity. It might also be something like a certain activity you want to do which it’s… not a no… but a thing that would only be allowed with trusted subs.
So there can be extra motivation to earn this.
However, if the sub is always casting one eye over to look at other Dominants to serve it could very well be that they are less motivated.
Because the Dominant they serve might want to make them work for the opportunity or reward, but another might not.
A POTENTIAL AWKWARDNESS
Let’s imagine this. An amazing event is announced and you ask your Dominant about accompanying them.
They say no. That they do wish to attend but they only wish to attend with one or two other subs and so there are others they are going with. However, the event is likely to be repeated so if you continue to serve well, as the other subs did, you would be given first refusal next time or maybe to an other event of similar opportunity.
So. You can of course accept this decision and work hard to earn the opportunity for the following time.
Or. You can float from Dominant to Dominant until one agrees you can accompany them.
In some ways, sure, you don’t get to miss an opportunity. But on another, there’s now less drive for you to earn it.
It also becomes less about *accompanying them* and more about attending the event.
It could also make things awkward if you’re supposed to be their sub and they see you doting around someone else.
Of course, there would be Dominants who are happy for their sub to go to the event in accompaniment with someone else – but context is very important.
THE PROBLEMS WITH NON-MONO
As a final note. Non-mono can be wonderful, but can bring it’s own challenges.
I had a previous blog about being one of many – and that looks at some pluses and negatives.
But let’s look at something. If you approached a Dominant and said you wanted to serve them but also wanted a non-mono arrangement it already sounds non-committal. Like you’ll be going into a meeting but it felt like you’re already thinking about someone else.
And you might feel, can this not be the same the other way round? That your submission isn’t going to be enough and they’re going to want more?
Of course. But. Ironically, the more you can do for them – the less they’ll need others and the more time and opportunities you’ll continue to get.
AND THE OBVIOUS
I touched on this above. But, yeah. They’re the Dominant. A little “do as I say, not as I do…”
Just like, say, just because you’re in chastity doesn’t mean they’re not allowed to cum 😉
BUT EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT
But, this doesn’t mean every Dominant is against the idea of some form of non-mono arrangement.
Be it criteria where you are permitted to do things with others (possibly with pre-approval of persons or circumstance) or some form of guidance on how they should be treat in align with whatever you do.
People have different ideas. It might even be a Dominant wouldn’t want to lose you as a sub if you got a romantic partner and so you were only going to find a romantic partner if they were ok with you being someone’s sub.
Circumstances and context can vary so wildly. And that’s a beautiful thing about life, sometimes.