PolyCat.org: Talking About Details

When, where, why, and how much

Polycat says…

Someone asked about disclosure differences: how do you negotiate how much to share with existing partners about new partners, especially around intimate details?

Here is what has worked for me: There is some level of sexual detail that I ‘need’ to know and share – What’s going on from a safer sex perspective? Has something new and significant happened in your relationship?

Beyond that, the most important thing is to check in. Ask first, “Are you in a mood to hear details about my date?” Or “I’d like to tell you some fun stuff we did, is this this a good time?”

Keep in mind that chances are very good that your partner is not ever going to want to hear details about how much better someone is at some activity in bed than sie is. So before you glow about your new partner, think about how you’re going to talk about it!

Another thing that is very important to me is “Am I going to hear about this someplace else?” Really, I don’t want to find out details of what my primary partner is doing in bed from hir new sweetie’s livejournal, or worse yet from some third party entirely. So if I might hear about them someplace else, I should hear about them from my partner first. Certainly not everyone is quite as sensitive to this particular issue as I am, but it’s something to consider and discuss regardless.

All of this is going to vary depending on how much detail you like to share and like to hear, and how much detail your partner likes to hear. For some people it’s really hot to hear stories as foreplay in bed, while for others the last thing they want to be thinking about in bed is what you do with someone else.

As with most other things, my advice is to talk it out with your partner, and be gentle and respectful of hir space as best you can.