Compersion (n): A feeling of joy when a loved one invests in and takes pleasure from another romantic or sexual relationship. Referred to mostly in poly or open relationships.
I don’t feel it. Ever.
I am not a kind or giving person that way.
I am selfish and greedy.
What’s mine is mine and you can’t have any of it. Not just physically, but emotionally. That shy smile he does just before I kiss him, that’s MINE. That vulnerable look he gives me when we are sharing intimacies, that’s MINE. That secret he’s shared with me, that’s MINE. The way he strokes me with his thumb when we hold hands, that’s mine too.
And god forbid a partner of mine should express a genuine romantic or sexual interest in someone else. Aw hell no. ALL of his romantic and sexual energy belongs to me.
When another woman wants my man, flirts with him, comes onto him, I think it’s great. I love it for him. I love how it makes him cocky and confident. I love how it makes him feel desirable. I love it when he looks at me and goes ‘Do you see this?’ And I love that feeling of ‘Yes ladies, I know, I know, but that’s mine’.
I’m not insecure over it: I know my claim on him, and he knows it also.
That kind of thing is innocent and it’s still all about us. He can’t wait to tell me about it later, we giggle about how irresistible he is, I tease him about how I should never let him out into the world on his own, he agrees sweetly that no, I should keep him always locked in my closet, we will kiss and bring that energy into our little bubble.
While I can imagine that compersion might feel somewhat like that (only on steroids and ‘for real’), the kind of flirting I described is about a gazillion miles away from *actual* romantic or sexual interest, or indeed any real engagement on his part at all.
My relationship with my last submissive was the first in which the lines got slightly blurred. I say ‘slightly’ because my rabid possessiveness was never far from the surface. I kept it tightly controlled because I wanted something for him. I contacted a sadist who I met at a play party to thank her for a wonderful caning workshop and needle scene she did. We got talking. It turned out that she was looking for a no-strings masochist. I offered up my boy to her because I knew that she could give him experiences I couldn’t. He was a complete newbie, a masochist, and I wanted him to know what it was like to be under the hand of a very experienced hard-core sadist, which I am not.
I controlled everything about those encounters: I negotiated it, I set the boundaries, I asked her for a debrief afterwards, I redirected if there was an issue. It didn’t hurt that she was a lesbian, so had zero romantic interest in my boy. But it was still a huge stretch for me. I struggled with it and he had to ‘manage’ me, which he did extraordinarily well.
But in the end, while he enjoyed it, he said of the experience:
…she’d sent me off to two different sadists (are you catching the drift of this generosity? It still amazes me about her) to get a sense of how it feels to be beaten by other women, and the sense of how it is to get beaten by other women did not make me happy, and I only wanted her to beat me…
His conclusion there *still* makes me happy: It was just about the perfect outcome for me.
I honestly don’t know how I would have felt if those experiences had eclipsed (or even been equal to, or anywhere close to) what we shared. While I’d not have done it if I didn’t think he would enjoy it, the selfish core of me didn’t want it to be in any way (at all!) close to his experience with me. Not even a little bit. Not even one second of it. Not even the things that I had never done with him and would never do with him. None of it.
I think people who feel compersion are astoundingly generous of heart, and I admire it, but I am both greedy and selfish and in this my heart is small and dark and mean and will share not even a morsel with others.
Like the honesty that you always have.
Thanks Cammies *smile*.
It’s not dark or mean so stop that shit Ferns *frowns*
It’s what makes you you and it’s not wrong or right it just is.
PS they were totally like lame sadists if it had been me you’d have never got him back :P
I don’t mind a bit of small and dark and mean… I know it sounds like a self-disparagement, but I don’t feel it that way: I truly think it fits.
I see a lot of people who are open and generous with everything their heart has to offer. I know I’m not like that. And I don’t think it’s wrong or bad: as you say, it is what it is.
And if I’d been one of those sadists, I’d not have given him back either :)).
I personally, would be delighted with that sort of possessiveness. The feeling of being ‘owned’, along with the intimacy that goes with it, is a lot more satisfying to me, than casual flirtations, or random encounters.
One time, I began a relationship with someone who described herself as: “The least jealous person, ever”, and it fizzled out quickly, in part, because it seemed that we would ever be important enough to each other to bother putting a lot of emotional investment into it.
I would not care to be lent out, like a public service, nor would I want to offer my vulnerability to anyone other than the one I have committed myself to.
Ahh, that’s interesting to me because I can relate.
If I was being ‘generous’ with someone, then it *would* be because I just don’t care much. So it’s not really generosity or compersion, it’s a lack of interest. And I think if that’s the case, the other person would feel it as such. It’s a different thing from those who are actually capable of compersion.
I think there are some people who mistake one for the other (on both sides), and I suspect that their poly or open relationships must fail because of it.
That is, someone might THINK they are being open hearted when the truth is that they just don’t care all that much and they honestly and genuinely don’t realise this UNTIL they find ‘the one’ and fall deeply in love and all of a sudden they are no longer open hearted because ‘MINE!’ I imagine that can be really hard to navigate.
Ditto on the other side. I think if you aren’t poly-wired, generosity of heart can FEEL like a lack of care. I think we are taught for a long time that love = possessiveness and it’s hard for many to believe that it’s not necessarily so.
But yeah, if you’re wired for a kind of monogamy, then stepping outside of it is not going to work for you.
You are so open and thoughtful it is amazing and really nice to read. I agree with Coug and Slapshot, it does not make you seem selfish, dark, or mean. Instead it makes your desires clear.
I am not sure exactly why, but that makes you very desirable from my point of view.
*smile* Thank you. I know it’s hard to see ‘small and dark and mean’ as anything but negative, but I do think it’s apt.
Perhaps ‘selfish’ would have been a better choice of words than ‘mean’.
And I definitely need to be with someone who feels the black hole of my heart as intensity and love.
I’m much more Poly than not. Which is odd. I really struggled with it, wanting to be more like what you described. I wanted to be possessive and yell MINE and truly feel it. But in the end, I simply had to admit that wasn’t me. I couldn’t maintain the jealousy, couldn’t invest in keeping things super tightly controlled to between only us. After the initial “I don’t know about this…” Wore off, I really liked having other people around and it didn’t diminish what I felt for him or him for me.
So I guess what I’m saying is that we all view the world in the ways that we view it. I’m not inherently more generous than you because I can feel that, I’m just different. So from someone who is on the other side, I promise the most important, beautiful thing you can bring is to know yourself and you do that very well.
Thanks so much for your perspective.
It strikes me that it must be quite difficult in a largely monogamous world to ‘play act’ the monogamy thing as the default until you find your kin.
I’m imagining comical fist waving while pretending to be emotionally impacted by your partner flirting with someone else until finally your pretend-jealousy act peters out and you go ‘Aw, look how happy they are! Sweet! :))’
And thank you for the lovely compliment.
Interestingly i didn’t see ‘small dark and mean’ as negative. It’s powerful intense bundled up tight and raw.
But I am not that, I am mostly poly. I like the energy of others and the differences of feeling and experiences. No connections are the same. To me love and sex and other good things are plus sum entities the more there is the more it grows. It’s not a zero sum, fixed resource, where giving someone else a piece of the pie means I get less. I don’t see polyamory or compersion then as more generous or open hearted as I don’t feel I am giving anything away.
But I love the way you express it and your love how you see it is awesome coz it’s your way of owning and caring.
I don’t really mean it as a negative either (by that I mean, I don’t feel bad about it), and I seek out partners who WANT that.
But in an objective sense it does seem like some miserly greed that is not at all generous of heart. Mostly in the sense that to love someone is to want them to be happy, but for me if that happiness includes loving someone else in addition to me, they can fuck right off *laugh*.
So yeah, ‘small and dark’ seems about right.
I’m the same! No compersion here whatsoever…. he’s MINE all the way, lol.