Having gotten to a place where I don’t think of sex, or any other specific activities as exclusive to serious relationships, I’ve been thinking about what the idea of a serious relationship means to me these days.
I’ve had a lot of casual things happening lately. Casual BDSM, sex, cuddling, make-outs, etc. I enjoy these. In most cases, I feel like I’d like them to go on indefinitely. Still, none of them feel Serious.
So what’s the difference? If it’s not in what I want to do with a person, and it’s not in how long I want what we’re doing to last, what makes the difference between what feels like a serious relationship and what doesn’t?
Yesterday, I think I finally hit upon an analogy that hits the nail on the head.
Say I have a watch. It’s a nice watch. It’s stylish, comfortable, and the time on it is easy to read. Maybe I can play games on it. I have fun with this watch. That’s what a casual relationship is like. It’s nice, it works well, and I’d be totally cool with wearing it regularly indefinitely. Maybe I have a few casual watches I wear on different days.
A Serious Relationship Watch is ideally all of those same things, plus one more. This watch is comfortable and readable as well. On top of that, though, I madly, desperately want to know how this watch works. I want to look inside and see how each and every piece fits together. What it does, how it does it, what it’s made of—how each piece fits with the others it touches.
When I do knife-play in BDSM scenes, I regularly pause to run the blade I’m using over my finger, to see how it feels. Is it sharp, dull, scratchy, smooth, pliable, firm? How does it feel, what will it do on skin?
That’s what I would do with the cogs of that watch. Look and touch, see and feel. Understand, insomuch as it is possible, how the parts of the system work, which pieces go where, and to learn how they feel. Touching each part so the understanding isn’t just in my head, it’s married to the tactile signature of each little gear, lever, and cog. Of all the simple machines from which, when stacked just so, you emerge.
You are a beautiful contraption. I want you to show me how you work. I want to know how it feels for you to work.
That is the difference.