This entry is part 15 of 26 in the series Blogging from A to Z

The term “no surprises” is actually something I remember first reading about in a book called the The Ethical Slut.  

I’m not sure if that particular wording was exactly how the idea was presented by Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton, but it was the idea of complete disclosure that the authors stressed.  I think the first time I heard it boiled down to the “no surprises” concept was in a presentation by Dan and Dawn at Kinky Kollege.

In the end, it seems that polyamory is about communication as much as it is about sex.  The more souls you try and fit into a relationship, the more communication it is going to take.  I think that’s a law of nature somehow, it’s really inescapable.

Trust is at the core of all relationships, yet it’s somehow one of the hardest things for people to give, real trust.  And, it’s far far too easy to erode too.

That’s where the “no surprises” rule really comes in handy.  One of the worst things that can happen in a relationship is to have a revelation come, not from your lover but from another source, and catch you by surprise.  There’s a particular sort of embarrassment that can come from that kind of surprise, and a very particular type of anger.  It’s not pretty stuff.

So, at the core of the way we practice poly, is the “no surprises” rule.  I am as transparent as I can be with Serafina.  To assure that she’d never be hurt by some surprise revelation dropped by a friend, we have no secrets.  There’s nothing about who I am, or what I’m thinking, that I hide from Serafina.

I don’t play the “Master knows best card” either, even my decisions are transparent.  If Serafina wants to know why I made any particular decision, all she has to do is ask.  Usually that’s not even necessary, as I do pride myself on making the reasons behind rules and decisions clear.

Of course transparency goes both ways.  As far as I know, there’s nothing Serafina would care to hide from me either.  It almost goes without saying, most slaves are expected to be transparent to their Master, but it’s not as common for Masters to be completely transparent to their slave.  A poly relationship works best when all the streets go both ways, when transparency is a universal rule for all.

Serafina and I have this down pretty well.  We aren’t perfect by any means, but our M/s relationship is as solid as any I’ve known.  We are already exceptionally close, but transparency and the “no surprises” rule really does bring us closer still.

Like most kinds of alternative lifestyles, polyamory can be practiced many ways.  All I can really address is how it’s done here, in my own nascent leather family.  It’s the solid nature of our core relationship that allows Serafina and I to dip our toes into the murky waters of polyamory.  It’s our communication skills that will prevent those adventures from biting us in the butt and causing problems.

And, it’s the no surprises rule, that’s at the core of it all.




Series Navigation<< “M” is for Masochist“O” is for Outlaw No More >>
Blogging from A to Z Challenge “N” is for No Surprises
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