Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Today my all-time fellow fetishist sent me a very sweet text. She is a former lover, now married and there is no chance of our reuniting, at least not romantically, but we remain great friends. And I’m very fortunate because, as it turns out, we share similar tastes in fetishes.
My readers may disagree with me, but I think it’s important to have friends with whom one can speak of such things openly and frankly. Not all friends are like that, and it’s equally important to respect such boundaries. I’ve seen many memes, and heard many friends say that when you’re in a relationship, you should sever ties with all past girlfriends. I disagree. It’s important that you don’t hide anything from your current spouse, but I’ve had such marvelous friendships sprout out of past romantic and physical relationships.
My ex-wife was very jealous of my female friends. She forced me to give them all up. As it turns out, as now I know more about the subject than I did then, this is a form of spouse abuse. Dictating who s/he can and cannot be friends with is a form of control. Like I said, it’s important to be open and honest, but it’s also important to give a little bit of leeway. My fetish friend and I periodically do have rather explicit conversations. Our friendship is so much deeper than these conversations, but it’s a fetish her husband doesn’t enjoy. I do not know if he knows that we talk so graphically on occasion (actually, they’re texts), but I can tell you that she would never cheat on him, and I would never get involved romantically or physically with a married woman as I want a full relationship, not a part of one. When we do chat, though, he is the one that reaps the benefits. I’m sure she has attacked him more than once because of me.
How much leeway a relationship has is truly a subject that should be discussed by each couple. I’ve never had a problem with the concept of my significant other finding others attractive, talking with ex’s or even having graphic conversations. Inappropriate touching is where I draw the line. On the other hand, I had a friend recently drop me because her then fiancée didn’t like when she even spoke with me. I personally find this to be a double standard, however, as she went so far as to invite him to find a fetish girlfriend to bring into their relationship. I do not believe in unequal boundaries, as this one certainly seems to be, but if it’s their relationship, it’s also up to them to figure out where those boundaries lie.
I believe it was Dr. Joyce Brothers, a famous psychiatrist who made many television and movie appearances in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, who spoke of flirtations even outside of marriage. She said that flirting outside of your own relationship is a psychologically healthy act, for a couple of reasons. First, it acts to remind us that we are virile, sexual beings and that we are attractive to others beyond our own spouses. Additionally, flirting with others helps to keep us practiced in the art of seduction. It keeps our instincts sharp, and our wit strong. Of course, there are boundaries that must be respected. Acting on such flirtations or hiding our marital status from those with whom we flirt is just not fair. But, neither is it fair to deny flirtatious friends.
Now comes the point when I have to pretend like I had a purpose in writing this post. I suppose that if there must be a purpose it is that we need to be open and talk with our partners. Or maybe the point is that we must avoid double standards in relationships. Maybe it’s that trying to control who our significant others keep as friends or talk with is an unacceptable form of emotional abuse. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just singing the praises of flirtation and fetishes.
Most importantly, we must avoid judging others. I’ve lost too much because people have made assumptions about me on topics that, frankly, were none of their business. Let people live their lives as they see fit. If it’s not hurting others, it should not be subject to judgment. I guess this is a difficult thing for me to accept as well, as I still don’t understand how my friend can suggest that her now husband could have a girlfriend when he seems to block her friendships. Maybe it’s not as easy as it sounds. And, maybe, that’s the point of this blog.