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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.


Saving Ourselves -- Part 3

This is the 3rd part of a series of discussions about ways to recreate relationships (especially BDSM relationships) after surviving a major "bump in the road."  For the first two segments, look here and here.

Continuing with thinking about the work of Mark Gregston, today I want to discuss the idea of "Looking for opportunities for discussion" with your partner.

We are quick, in the lifestyle, to exhort each other to "talk" with our partners.  We pride ourselves on being more open, more honest, more transparent.  We learn skills that help us to negotiate; to state our needs; to define our limits.  We make checklists and contracts and mantras.  Oh yes... we are big on talking, and we create relationships that are awash in words.

So, what would be different if we looked for opportunities for discussion?

Discussion is more than talking.  It is inquiry and examination.  While talk is about conveying information, discussion goes further, looking to explore, examine and discover things that might not be contained on the surface of our words.  The word comes from Latin, and the stem, discussio, means "a shaking."  Literally, to discuss is to "strike asunder," or "break up," from dis- "apart" + quatere "to shake." While the usual meaning of the word is to "talk over" or "debate," the early sense seems to have evolved from "smash apart," "scatter," and "disperse."  So, when we discuss, we break things down; we shake up our assumptions; we smash through our biases and preconceived ideas.  We inquire and examine.  We talk things over, and we debate.

I am reminded of the ancient and traditional practices of divination -- "throwing the bones" (and comparable techniques). In bone divination, bones of various sorts (and sometimes, other small objects like shells, seeds, and nuts) are ritually tossed onto a mat, an animal hide, or into a circle drawn in the dirt.  The resulting patterns are interpreted to provide information and guidance about travel and love and fortune.  It seems to me that discussion, as opposed to more casual conversation, might be the path for us to divine the deeper mysteries and fortunes of our relationships.

In discussion, we'd ask questions of our partners, and keep digging -- searching with them for answers and ideas that might be beyond what we anticipate and expect:
What is important to you?
Why do you feel that way about _____________________________?
Where did you learn about?
What would you do about this problem or that challenge?
Where would you go?
Explain that to me... 

Our discussions, whatever the subject matter, might well be the pathway into journeys of the mind.  Together with our partners, we could find ourselves amazed at the places we might go together.



  1. Swan, this whole series is excellent and applies to not only saving relationships in difficulty, but also for helping some of us prevent getting to the extreme point that can (almost)destroy a relationship.

    I'm so proud of you, T and Tom....You're doing an awesome job.

    Also, please convey my hopes for a continued smooth recovery for Tom.

  2. I couldn't help but think.... while reading this part of the series....... those are the tools we give our children to deal with life in general. The questions we get them to ask themselves.

    I needed to be reminded they aren't just questions to teach - they are questions to practice.......

    thanks swan

  3. "Throwing the bones" is a great analogy because we do so much interpreting of what is "thrown out" and take so much meaning from it - much more so than in our everyday conversations. We dig for that deeper meaning in a discussion and learn about the other person and ourselves.


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