"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policies: Merged threads/General discussion

ladyjools

New member
I read on another thread and didn't want to hyjack it,

so i am curious about this, becuase for me I want to know I do ask lots of quetsions (mainly because im nosey) and even if sometimes the answers make me react a certiain way. I may feel insecure or jelous i think thats ok because then i can actually deal with those feelings and talk them through and usually resolve them,

I also don't want sex to be taboo subject and in past i have always been very free in regards to talk about sex.

I am aware though that Montianboy doesn't want to hear detials and i try to respect that even if i don't fully understand why.

What are other peoples opinions on this?

Jools
 

crisare

New member
I thought about starting a thread on this too. :)

As I mentioned, H and I have a don't-ask-don't-tell policy.

H knows I have (had) other relationships. He knows *who* (in the sense of knowing their names, knowing a bit about them, how we met, etc.) I'm in a relationship with. My first b/f was someone he'd never met, but heard me talk about. My second b/f was someone who he knew and had met, but wasn't friends with himself (we'd been social as couples and "double dated" a couple of times both before and after M and I became intimate).

Right now I'm actively looking for another relationship. I meet people for coffee or drinks after work and H knows when I do. I tell him both becuase I want him to know what's going on in my life in that sense and for safety reasons (he knows where I'm meeting and what time and knows if he doesn't hear from me after a certain amount of time, there might be a problem). He will ask how the date went, but I don't give any more detail than "Oh, it was fine, but we didn't really click." or "He was a nice guy and I think we'll meet again." H doesn't want more detail than that, really, he just wants to know generally where things are.

When I was dating my last b/f, I would tell him "Oh I'm having lunch with M today" or "M is going to Denver in April and I think I'm going to try to go with him" or something like that. But again, other than asking "How's M doing?" he didn't want details of our relationship or our dates.

When M and I broke up, he was super sweet and comforting and gave me lots of space and time. He was willing to be a shoulder if I needed one, but honestly I needed time to hide and lick my wounds, and I was feeling awkward about accepting comfort from him in that situation.

He has no desire be involved with the people I'm involved with, although he'd like to know about them. If he were to decide to have another relationship, I think I'd feel much the same way. I would be happy, wouldn't mind meeting her, wouldn't mind having him talk about her, but don't really need details.

It really works for us, and that's the important thing.
 

DrunkenPorcupine

New member
I read on another thread and didn't want to hyjack it,

so i am curious about this, becuase for me I want to know I do ask lots of quetsions (mainly because im nosey) and even if sometimes the answers make me react a certiain way. I may feel insecure or jelous i think thats ok because then i can actually deal with those feelings and talk them through and usually resolve them,

I have a... well... I think it's "unique". Perhaps there are parallels to other people's stories.

But basically, I'm a political activist. I moved from my place of work, life, love to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project (http://www.freestateproject.org/)

It's a project to move 20,000 people to one place for peaceful objectives. It's not a short term thing, it's a long-term, set down roots kind of thing. We intend to influence a social dynamic through persuasion and constant activism.

Right now, there are about 800 people of those 20,000 who have ALREADY moved, and in the kind of philosophy we have, there's also an increased likelyhood of polyamory or tolerance for it.

I have an overarching philosophy in my life that guides my political activism. I won't go into it, but basically speaking, it's so ingrained in me that the combination of what I "Like in people" and what I "view in politics" create a much smaller dating pool for me than normal. If someone walked up to you and said that they enjoy torturing animals and making elderly people weap in their dreams, you'd probably not leave that conversation thinking "Wow, this person would be a great partner for me!"

So... my relationships are great and wonderful to me, but so is my philosophy. My wife fits both.

My biggest fear, at the time, was that one of us would date within this community and burn bridges, and that it would affect "us" as activists. I don't want to resent any of the people who have made the move here, and I don't want to resent my wife.

So, we agreed on a don't-ask-don't-tell policy.

Ultimately, it didn't work for us.

Like the OP, I realized I cared FAR too much about my wife to let her keep that important aspect of her life to herself. Or... more specifically... I'm nosy. :)

Not being able to share that was creating all kinds of tension for us and we discussed it and rescinded it. I think it was the next day, perhaps the day after, that I met one of her partners.

Hope that helps.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
We have a bizarre and somewhat twisted "policy" in my opinion.

Maca can't handle knowing some specific details-so I don't share.

Mostly, if it were me, I would want to know based on what I was ready to ask. For example, I might only ask "did you have fun" the first time he had made love to a girlfriend. Only want to know yes or no.

But maybe the next night we're being playful and sexy and suggestive and I say "did you do xy or z with so and so" then I want a little more info... could lead to GREAT sex for us.

But I don't really need him to give me a lab report on each date... if you know what I mean??

I certainly wouldn't want the same silence he wants though. If he's going to be making love to someone else, i want to have the knowledge so I can also have the opportunity to enjoy the thought if that's the mood/space I am in....

:eek:
 

DrunkenPorcupine

New member
But maybe the next night we're being playful and sexy and suggestive and I say "did you do xy or z with so and so" then I want a little more info... could lead to GREAT sex for us.

This, at least on your side, is party why I do NOT share specifics, or expect them. My wife and I have different sexual kinks. Maybe that's a bad word. Tastes?

The reason we first began exploring poly (or more specifically, being "open") is that we have a sexual disconnect. She seems to see out partners in the extreme. She's into BDSM and comes how from R's place bruised up. That's her stuff, it's fully consentual. When she tells me things like "He has a nipple pump", it's somewhat... odd... to me. It's a world that's so far gone from me I can't, and sort of don't WANT to relate to it. I don't detest it. The fact that it matters to HER matters to me, but the details... I honestly would rather NOT know since I find them a little odd.

I still think we've rescinded the don't-ask-don't-tell rule. We don't share details but we share feelings. The details don't matter to me. How she FEELS about her experiences do, and she can convey that without a play-by-play.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
THAT I understand too Drunken!!!
Because Maca (husband) and I are MUCH MUCH more kinky than my bf is. Greengecko (bf) isn't interested in knowing ALL that we do much less details! So I wouldn't subject him to them, but he and I do NOT have a don't ask don't tell policy-we just agree that we share the things that are either:

A. important enough we need to (for any reason).
or
B. are exciting and going to make for even more fun between us.


Whereas with Maca-he doesn't want to know when, how, where I have sex with my boyfriend. We have an agreement that we don't share beds or showers (ie maca has a bed and gg has a bed, I don't take either of them to the others bed EVER and maca and I share a shower downstairs, gg and I NEVER EVER share that shower).

I think it would be hard to make an "across the board" rule in our relationships-as we are all three SO very different.....:confused:
 

crisare

New member
It's a world that's so far gone from me I can't, and sort of don't WANT to relate to it. I don't detest it. The fact that it matters to HER matters to me, but the details... I honestly would rather NOT know since I find them a little odd.
Yeah, same dynamic here to a degree. Not quite as extreme, but similar.

I guess for us don't-ask-don't-tell is probably an extreme definition of what we have. We do share feelings and generalities, but not, as you said, the play-by-play. Neither of us wants that.

And I think just in general, neither of us is "nosy" in that way :p I'd just as soon not hear the details of anyone else's sex life, nor share the exact details of mine with anyone else. So it works well for both of us.
 

DrunkenPorcupine

New member
I'd like to say, for the sake of continuing discussion...

Crisare, my inspiration to drop the DADT policy was you. So... I don't ask for specifics, but it's a world more communicative and honest and sharing than what existed before you and I had our discussion.

So, there are some similarities between what you and I (and our partners) DO share and what we DON'T share. And yet you call it a Don't-ask-don't-tell and I feel that my wife and I have rescinded that. So... A lot of the dynamics are the same in each of our relationships, but we seem to feel we're on the opposite sides of this issue. :p

How's THAT for clarity, eh?

[Edit: Added the thoughs below]

Do you know what might be the hardest thing about poly? Having discussions about "couples" or "groups" in relation to other couples or groups without sounding to the rest of the population like you're partners with each other. I WROTE this, and I know what I mean, but I'm confused, and it seems to look like I'm dating crisaire. :p
 
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Ceoli

Guest
I think it's important to understand why such policies are in place.

I generally don't get involved with people who have DADT policies with their other partners. I always feel much more secure when there's open communication between partners and metamours. I can't help but tie withheld information with protecting insecurity. As a person who is usually the outsider dating people in established partnerships, I've found that DADT is usually the tip of an iceberg that usually causes larger problems for me when getting more deeply involved. If my partner's partner can't handle that kind of information about my involvement, then that usually means that, on some level, they can't handle my involvement period. So it ends up being the same drama, just buried underneath the surface where it simmers and builds rather than being evident and out there for everyone to address. For me, DADT ends up limiting how involved I can be with a partner.

The guy I'm currently getting involved with actually has a philosophy of "There's no such thing as too much information." And he means it. There's nothing I can't ask him about his other relationships, including all the details. The same for his partners- I can talk to them about anything without reservation. That's much more proactive and open than I've ever encountered before. It's also pretty lovely to experience.
 

crisare

New member
I can't help but tie withheld information with protecting insecurity.
I think as long as you recognize that's YOUR perception, then we're cool. When you're saying that DADT is always a symptom of insecurity, then we have an issue. :)

For us it's not about insecurity. It's about respecting the privacy of each relationship and allowing each permutation of relationship to have it's own level of intimacy.

I personally would be VERY uncomfortable knowing that my guy was talking about the intimate details of our relationship with his wife. I know my H would be extremely uncomfortable thinking that I was comparing dick sizes (metaphorically or literally speaking) with my guy.

In fact I'd go so far as to say that if my guy's wife or my H demanded blow-by-blow details or required that everything we did or said was open to her, I would see that as a sign of insecurity on their parts - that he or she is not able to allow us a private intimate relationship, which could create problems down the road.
 

crisare

New member
Crisare, my inspiration to drop the DADT policy was you.
[...]
And yet you call it a Don't-ask-don't-tell and I feel that my wife and I have rescinded that. So... A lot of the dynamics are the same in each of our relationships, but we seem to feel we're on the opposite sides of this issue. :p
Heheh. Go figure, huh?

I think it all depends on your level of comfort in what you call it as well. I think we probably have very similar setups, just different terminology
 
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Ceoli

Guest
I think as long as you recognize that's YOUR perception, then we're cool. When you're saying that DADT is always a symptom of insecurity, then we have an issue. :)

For us it's not about insecurity. It's about respecting the privacy of each relationship and allowing each permutation of relationship to have it's own level of intimacy.

That's why I said that it's important to understand the reasons behind having such a policy. Though I've yet to personally encounter a DADT policy that didn't involve some form of insecurity. That's not to say that they don't exist. I just haven't seen it.

I personally would be VERY uncomfortable knowing that my guy was talking about the intimate details of our relationship with his wife. I know my H would be extremely uncomfortable thinking that I was comparing dick sizes (metaphorically or literally speaking) with my guy.

What exactly is it that bothers you about such things being talked about? I'm not asking this as a challenge. Also, wouldn't being uncomfortable being compared with another lover constitute some form of insecurity?


In fact I'd go so far as to say that if my guy's wife or my H demanded blow-by-blow details or required that everything we did or said was open to her, I would see that as a sign of insecurity on their parts - that he or she is not able to allow us a private intimate relationship, which could create problems down the road.

Nobody in this relationship that I'm exploring demands blow by blows of anything. I agree that needing to know everything is just as much a sign of insecurity as needing to not hear about things. However, knowing that I can ask about something without fear of overstepping boundaries goes a long way. If someone specifically doesn't want a detail shared, then of course they have the right to ask that it remain private. But it means proactive communication has to happen on everyone's part and not leaving things unsaid. So far, I haven't felt the need to keep what goes on between us private and it still feels just as special despite that.
 

DrunkenPorcupine

New member
I generally don't get involved with people who have DADT policies with their other partners. I always feel much more secure when there's open communication between partners and metamours. I can't help but tie withheld information with protecting insecurity.

I've got to say, for me... This was the case.

Now... I think there are SOME people who can do DADT just fine. I mean... Every relationship or group of relationships is different and should be honored, but for me, there WAS insecurity.

My wife began exploring outside sexual partners because of a disconnect between her and I. The fact that she felt stimied to talk about her sexuality outside of us made me seem even more of an unconcerned ass to her. She really did think I was disgusted with her which is not the case.

Likewise, I thought sex and realtionships could be too powerful to be addressed within the confines of my other non-sexual (even non-loving) relationships.

So yeah, there was lots and lots of insecurity on both sides for my wife and I.

Recognizing it mattered, because we're coping with those now and I have to say... she smiles very big when I tuck her in at night. Almost immediately "Love" returned to our vocabulary.

So it ends up being the same drama, just buried underneath the surface where it simmers and builds rather than being evident and out there for everyone to address. For me, DADT ends up limiting how involved I can be with a partner.

It build for my wife and I for a week or so, maybe two at most, and man... Those issues surfaced pretty quickly. The tension was NOT good. But in retrospect...

We've made mistakes in our relationships before, and we're still together. We have the amazing capacity to learn from out mistakes and fall deeper in love and grow close together as we work past them. The DADT policy has been no exception for us. Despite our sexual disconnect together, she now knows that I really care for her and that her sexuality matters to me. I couldn't express that with my cock (forgive the crudeness) but it pushing the boundaries of our relationship we've shared that, and I wouldn't trade that.

The guy I'm currently getting involved with actually has a philosophy of "There's no such thing as too much information." And he means it. There's nothing I can't ask him about his other relationships, including all the details.

There's something there. :) We're at the point now where there are limits... Interests. My wife doesn't like all of my hobbies. I'm really into a game that she doesn't like at all. She asks "How'd you do" or "Did you have fun" but the specifics of the game... they'd bore and annoy her. She can have that boundary without HIDING anything or feeling ashamed about them. If there was something I wondered, I could ask. It's not an off limit zone. It's just that there's no interest there. But I could ask.
 

crisare

New member
What exactly is it that bothers you about such things being talked about? I'm not asking this as a challenge.
In many ways, I'm a very private person. And I believe that what is intimate between two people loses it's intimacy when it's public fodder - or when either person feels free to just talk about it to anyone who asks. For me, respecting my privacy - and OUR privacy - is part of what I ask of a partner. And it's part of the respect I give my partner with his other partner(s).

That's not to say I ask my partner to hide anything or to lie. I just have a reasonable expectation of privacy within my relationships.

Also, wouldn't being uncomfortable being compared with another lover constitute some form of insecurity?
I think you're talking in absolutes, and I don't believe in absolutes. :) No one wants to be compared and found wanting by someone they love. If you want to get technical, then yes, I'm sure it is some form of insecurity, but you know ... people aren't machines. We all have feelings and fears ... and yes, insecurities.

And in the long run, it works for me, and I don't feel it's insecure of me or of my partner to respect each others' privacy and to not want to know all the gory details of what we do with other partners in bed.
 
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Ceoli

Guest
In many ways, I'm a very private person. And I believe that what is intimate between two people loses it's intimacy when it's public fodder - or when either person feels free to just talk about it to anyone who asks. For me, respecting my privacy - and OUR privacy - is part of what I ask of a partner. And it's part of the respect I give my partner with his other partner(s).

That's not to say I ask my partner to hide anything or to lie. I just have a reasonable expectation of privacy within my relationships.

Just to be clear, being open among partners does not automatically mean making something public fodder for anyone who asks. However, I will say that this guy is very public and writes a lot about polyamory with details about his relationships. But that is always with the consent of everyone involved and most of the time doesn't involve specific names. And for me, sharing the lovely things about my experiences or my partner's experiences doesn't feel disrespectful.

I think you're talking in absolutes, and I don't believe in absolutes. :) No one wants to be compared and found wanting by someone they love. If you want to get technical, then yes, I'm sure it is some form of insecurity, but you know ... people aren't machines. We all have feelings and fears ... and yes, insecurities.

I don't think I was talking in absolutes at all. I asked if it was some form of insecurity and you agree. Pointing that out doesn't mean that I view people as machines or expect everyone to be magically insecure or that I don't respect people's feelings and fears. We all have feelings and fears and insecurities to deal with. For me, it's more important to deal with such things rather than set up policies that protect them and allow such things not to be dealt with.


And in the long run, it works for me, and I don't feel it's insecure of me or of my partner to respect each others' privacy and to not want to know all the gory details of what we do with other partners in bed.


And in the long run, having a partner who is open and shares about his other relationships works for me. :)
 

ladyjools

New member
I think it's important to understand why such policies are in place.

I generally don't get involved with people who have DADT policies with their other partners. I always feel much more secure when there's open communication between partners and metamours. I can't help but tie withheld information with protecting insecurity. As a person who is usually the outsider dating people in established partnerships, I've found that DADT is usually the tip of an iceberg that usually causes larger problems for me when getting more deeply involved. If my partner's partner can't handle that kind of information about my involvement, then that usually means that, on some level, they can't handle my involvement period. So it ends up being the same drama, just buried underneath the surface where it simmers and builds rather than being evident and out there for everyone to address. For me, DADT ends up limiting how involved I can be with a partner.

The guy I'm currently getting involved with actually has a philosophy of "There's no such thing as too much information." And he means it. There's nothing I can't ask him about his other relationships, including all the details. The same for his partners- I can talk to them about anything without reservation. That's much more proactive and open than I've ever encountered before. It's also pretty lovely to experience.

I think i feel much more comfortable with this philosophy, though i do understand that not everying who chooses not to share detials is ultimitly insecure I think in my own life i feel that if i am avoiding talking about something then its usually because i have an underlying issue around it.

and with all 3 of the men in my life if they do have another partner I would like them to be able to share things with me. I don't need every single detail and i do understand that as a couple they would need privacy too but i think being able to generally talk about how things are going both in and out of the bedroom is important, i hate the idea of me feeling like im not allowed to ask certian things so its not that i am going to ask for a blow by blow but i don't want to feel restricted in what we talk about or ask each other.

:)
Jools
 
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Ceoli

Guest
and with all 3 of the men in my life if they do have another partner I would like them to be able to share things with me. I don't need every single detail and i do understand that as a couple they would need privacy too but i think being able to generally talk about how things are going both in and out of the bedroom is important, i hate the idea of me feeling like im not allowed to ask certian things so its not that i am going to ask for a blow by blow but i don't want to feel restricted in what we talk about or ask each other.

Yeah, that's the same for me. For me it's not about needing to know everything or requiring my partner to share everything. It's about having that platform of openness and trust. I trust that my partner's partners will be appropriate in what they want to know just as I'll be appropriate in what I want to know. But being able to talk about his other lovers with him allows me to feel even more connected. And knowing that his other lovers might talk about me also just keeps that connection going.

I've also found that I actually like being compared to his other partners, which was kind of a surprise to me. It reinforces that sense that he chooses to be with me for my unique qualities. I also have lots in common with his other partners and it's nice to see that too, because I happen to think his other partners are pretty amazing people.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
For me I obviously have no problems with the detail of sexual information Redpepper shares with me about sex with her husband (threesomes and total compersion), although I don't want to hear things if they are negative in any way.
I do consider the stuff they do, as belonging to both of them so the information shared has to be agreed upon by both of them.

As far as her tersiary goes, I don't want to hear any of the sexual details and Redpepper respects this although she doesn't get it either LOL! She does know that it affects my energy, which usually renders me impotent so unless she has a headache I think she prefers me capable:eek:
(We have played together at a BDSM event but I don't consider that to be sexual for the most part)

What happens between Redpepper and me, I feel belongs to both of us and as long as we are aware of whom we are sharing that information with and are comfortable with that then it is all good. But if she decided to say "no details to anyone" I would understand and respect that.

Redpepper likes to share more details with other people than I do but she likes talking about sex and sexuality more than I do :rolleyes:
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
For me I obviously have no problems with the detail of sexual information Redpepper shares with me about sex with her husband (threesomes and total compersion), although I don't want to hear things if they are negative in any way.

Ha! I was just talking in PM with someone in this thread about this very exact thing!


This is what my husband is like; I think I understand why, and it's ok with me. I have lots of other ways to vent my frustrations and other people I can talk with, although if push came to shove and I felt that he was the only one who could help, I would MAKE him listen to me. :p
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Ha! I was just talking in PM with someone in this thread about this very exact thing!

I have lots of other ways to vent my frustrations and other people I can talk with, although if push came to shove and I felt that he was the only one who could help, I would MAKE him listen to me. :p

I just cover my ears and say LALALALALA over and over until she gets bored or angry.

If there were things she found negative about our sex I don't mind her talking to her husband about them. I don't want that in return though..unless he knew exactly what she was telling me and was ok with it. I wouldn't be comfortable with her talking about things like this to other people unless she talked to me first. I find it an invasion of privacy to share some details that are part of a shared experience especially when it is easy to ascertain who the people you are talking about are. Sometimes it's hard to talk in generalities.
 
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