I said in my last:
I *really* wish that I enjoyed casual playthings because I think that would open up some very interesting opportunities…
I’m defining a ‘casual plaything’ as a boy who is attractive, fun, appealing, and temporary. Someone with whom a long term relationship isn’t possible for whatever reason, a short term fling who I would primarily treat like a treasured toy for a time.
Sounds great, right?
But it’s not. I can’t.
For the most part, I am either interested enough in someone to WANT them (I mean WANT in all senses of the word: physically, emotionally, intellectually, to have/own/keep), or I’m really just not interested at all.
For me there generally isn’t an in-between of ‘I like him enough to be sweet together and play, but not enough to want more’.
There are a number of reasons for that.
The most obvious one is that I’m an introvert, and spending time with people is exhausting to me. There is a special exception for the person who makes his way into my heart: my love, my boy. When we get close enough, he becomes like part of me, and that sense of dreaded social energy expenditure goes away.
So that being the case, a casual relationship where he is NOT that close to me (and never will be) is exhausting to even contemplate. The idea of having to conjure up a bunch of social energy on a regular basis in order to meet up with someone, build the foundation, get a strong enough connection to want to play, then to get into the right headspace for the play itself, all the while knowing it will NEVER be different or better makes me want to crawl into a hole. I would have to throw a lot of energy at it every single time I saw him, and the return would just not be worth the work. Just the thought of it is exhausting. Oh hell no.
The second is that play and sex for sport, amusement, release, kicks is actually not much fun for me. I was never one for casual hook-ups on the whole. I need to get a lot more out of play than just the physical pleasure of it, so outside of a relationship context, it’s mostly just ‘going through the motions’ to me. I’d rather go and read a book.
The last is about feelings: vulnerability, emotional cost and ego.
For play to be worthwhile for me, it has to be intimate, and that means I need to feel safe enough to make myself vulnerable and to bring out his vulnerability. I don’t do that easily. I can actually *create* that sense of intimacy when I play if it’s working right, so in the moment, we *have* something special, sweet, meaningful. But it’s not ‘real’: the emotion in it is temporary, play-based, an illusion, and it dissipates quickly as normalcy returns. In the aftermath it hurts my feelings. I come out of it lonely, bereft, empty.
The ego thing is interesting to me. I have a pretty big ego: robust and hard to impact. But the truth is that when I give of myself like I do when I play, I struggle with the idea that it’s not enough to make him want more of me. I mean, how is it even possible that after I create these amazing intimate experiences that crack him open, he doesn’t just naturally fall at my feet in paroxysms of joyful devotion?! *laugh* That’s pure ego. My ego demands a depth of bonding and desire and feeling and meaning out of that kind of intimacy, and I’m not going to get that from a plaything.
I’m going to put a teaser here and say that despite *all of that*, I HAVE done it. When the stars aligned and the circumstances were just right, I have. For every rule, there are exceptions. More on that later…
Well I can’t wait to read about the exception, and I understand about casual relationships. My sis excels in these, and I have long lost the taste for them. Still, sometimes the appeal still creeps up
I understand the appeal and I would LOVE to be able to enjoy them. I think it would be awesome.
But yeah, it’s so rare that it’s not on my radar.
I’m not sure what to make of this comment.
On the one hand ‘Aw, hell yes!!’ If it’s not fun for me, I’m not doing it. And if that makes me picky, then a hundred times yes.
On the other hand, there is an implication in the comment that perhaps I should be ‘less picky’. Because then I’d get… um… what exactly? Something that I don’t enjoy!! And probably lots of it!! I mean, yay!! Right?
I just don’t get how that works.
I’ve had my share of play things and they are just that toys, You can’t really feed the deep down urges with a casual partner, you can have intense fun but not the true core “thing” That’s just an IMO of course
See, I’d absolutely settle for ‘intense fun’ for a good long while. That would be awesome.
But for me it’s more like ‘lots of work and a bunch of emotional fallout’, which is about as far from ‘intense fun’ as I can get!
Well thought out and stated. Not many can be this introspective. Knowing yourself this well is highly valuable…for both you and any potential partners.
That’s kind of my point Ferns it’s intense but short lived for me it just can’t be long term because what I like deep down needs a bond and level of trust only time can forge
Right, I do understand that, and I agree about needing more.
The difference between you and me is that the short term thing is not ‘intense fun’ for me or I’d *totally* go there. Over and over. And over. Heh.
Do you think your feelings about casual play have changed over the years? As I recall, your “origin story” is about a casual play encounter, yet it ignited a hunger that still burns today.
For me, play and D/s are separate things. Each can exist separate from the other, which may not be ideal I am the first to admit. Your post suggests that for you play and D/s are intimately connected in such a way that play is no longer enjoyable without a viable D/s relationship. Has it always been that way? Perhaps once you have it all – great play inspired by genuine unbounded desire – your thirst for casual play is quenched?
“Do you think your feelings about casual play have changed over the years? As I recall, your “origin story” is about a casual play encounter, yet it ignited a hunger that still burns today.”
I know you are talking about this play (what a good memory you have!). And that’s a great question, and the answer is yes.
I didn’t realise until much later (when I had a lot more experience) how incredibly lucky I got with the boy I played with that very first time I went out (though I should have realised since up until him, the play I had that night was all kinds of interesting and fun, but a bit ‘eh, whatever’ overall).
“Your post suggests that for you play and D/s are intimately connected in such a way that play is no longer enjoyable without a viable D/s relationship. Has it always been that way?”
For me play and *intimacy* are linked for all the emotional reasons I described above. I equate it to the way sex and intimacy are linked for some people (and not for others).
For those who can separate it, there is huge fun to be had in casual play (or casual sex). For those who can’t, the value of the physical pleasure on its own isn’t high enough to outweigh the cost.
“Has it always been that way?
I played casually and publicly a bit when I first started out exploring. For kicks, for the experience, for the theatre of it, but it was so ‘hit and miss’ (heh… see what I did there?!) that it became less and less worthwhile. And the misses started to outweigh the hits (i.e. it stopped being fun and started being something that cost me in the aftermath with bad feelings).
Catch 22 for me: I need to (and can) create the feeling of intimacy in play, and that will make the play amazing for me and for him. But if I create it out of nothing, it WILL end up making me feel bad in the aftermath.
If I *don’t* create that feeling of intimacy, there is no cost afterwards, but then play is just a kind of mechanical physicality and that’s just an “eh *shrug*” level of interest for me.
“Perhaps once you have it all – great play inspired by genuine unbounded desire – your thirst for casual play is quenched?”
I think there is some of that, for sure. But I also think that some people are just not wired for casual.
You have made me curious whether the people who love casual play are also the people who love casual sex. Whether there is a correlation between the concept of ‘physical joy separate from intimacy’ that runs the gamut of activities.
Great questions, thank you for them.
I wouldn’t say I love casual play, but I do engage in it – whereas I have no interest whatsoever in casual sex. For me, the casual play serves a completely different purpose then play with a romantic partner. It’s about testing my own boundaries, seeing what I enjoy and don’t enjoy, ect.
Devoid of sex/sexual contact, I am still aroused by play with a romantic partner but not with a casual play partner.
I had a little chat with a friend and I realised that was kind of a dumb thing to ask.
There are PLENTY of people I know who love casual play, but don’t do casual sex. So yeah, a brain glitch there. Heh.
I purposely waited to respond to this blog post because I wanted to sort out my thoughts and feelings on it.
I have never been anyone’s plaything but I have been involved in a friend with benefits arrangement which I think is similar to what you call a plaything. I’ve been in it, it has ended messy as you know, and I won’t be doing it again.
I prefer not to have casual sex because it leaves me lonely afterward and just wanting what I am truly looking for even more. However, I won’t say I would never do casual sex again. It would depend on many things. When I did casual sex I didn’t do it for fun or sport I did it for a physical, emotional and mental release.I do consider it once in a while, casual sex again, especially with finding my interest in bdsm play as getting stronger it seems. Who knows what the future will hold. I much prefer to find my long term partner.
I think FWB is close, yes though I used the term ‘plaything’ specifically because I was thinking in BDSM terms of the inequality of the arrangement.
“I do consider it once in a while, casual sex again, especially with finding my interest in bdsm play as getting stronger it seems.”
This sounds like you don’t separate the two at all. Or haven’t. I think that’s not uncommon.
Can you find some physical, emotional, mental release in casual play (as opposed to casual sex)?
“This sounds like you don’t separate the two at all. Or haven’t. I think that’s not uncommon. Can you find some physical, emotional, mental release in casual play (as opposed to casual sex)?”
I can, could, would. *laughs* I do separate them. However, I think that casual play for me would be different than it has been with casual sex. What I mean is I think the inequality of the arrangement as you said yourself in D/s requires a deeper trust between the two having that play than that of a casual sex arrangement.
If this makes sense what I mean is even though it is casual play I am still submitting to them, which requires me to trust them on a deeper level than I would have to trust someone I am just having casual sex with.
Yes, that makes sense. Thank you for coming back to clarify.
“But it’s not ‘real’: the emotion in it is temporary, play-based, an illusion, and it dissipates quickly as normalcy returns. In the aftermath it hurts my feelings. I come out of it lonely, bereft, empty.
The ego thing is interesting to me. I have a pretty big ego: robust and hard to impact. But the truth is that when I give of myself like I do when I play, I struggle with the idea that it’s not enough to make him want more of me. I mean, how is it even possible that after I create these amazing intimate experiences that crack him open, he doesn’t just naturally fall at my feet in paroxysms of joyful devotion?! *laugh* That’s pure ego. My ego demands a depth of bonding and desire and feeling and meaning out of that kind of intimacy, and I’m not going to get that from a plaything.”
You know… I never considered it might be an ego thing for me as well. But I certainly relate to that “not enough” and “empty” feeling after casual play. So perhaps it is also my giant ego.
I also relate to the vulnerability thing. I have a very hard time sleeping around people I’m not extremely close and intimate with. In addition, I don’t like people sleeping in my house unless I know them at least some. I’m highly territorial. ;)
“So perhaps it is also my giant ego.”
*laugh* For me, my giant inflated overblown ego is certainly a factor, though not the only one.
“In addition, I don’t like people sleeping in my house unless I know them at least some. I’m highly territorial. ;)”
I can relate to this also. Maybe if I just pee on everything, that might help!
“Maybe if I just pee on everything, that might help!”
LOL, good one.
But that got me thinking. As a very strong introvert, I can easily relate to being territorial. I am. I do not easily let people inside, it takes a while to feel comfortable around people, etc.
Interestingly, however, my submissiveness and desire to be controled gives a Domme a very effective way to heighten my sense of being controled or of being submissive. Could be very subtle, yet very deep, now that I am thinking about it. Simply playing mentally with percieved alone time….
Having a Domme linger in my “inner circle space”, or pulling me and keeping in her space can be deeply controling, and leave me feeling very exposed and opened to her. “Space” in the broader sense, not necessarily just physical space.
And, curiously, I seem to have some overiding desire for this, so much that it seems to blunt (in a way) the loss of energy that I feel when around people too long. Maybe my sexual energy overides my introversion energy that is leaking out?
I need to process this some more, very interesting to think about…
I find this interesting.
What I find is that with my partner, I bring him into my space *with* me, so he becomes a part of me, and is no longer ‘other’.
So all of the introvert feelings that I have with other people, I don’t feel them with him.