Posted on | April 26, 2011 | 9 Comments |

I am pleased to introduce a post penned by m’Lady, Tethys.

If you’d told me five years ago that i would find myself in the position of working on creating an owner/property (o/p) relationship with someone, i’d have found the thought perhaps amusing, but not likely. Yet here i am!

It’s only in recent years that i’ve begun to call myself ‘kinky’; i’d not felt comfortable doing so previously due to “kinkier-than-thou” attitudes i’d encountered over the course of a number of years. So i hadn’t been sure that i was kinky enough to call myself ‘kinky’; and even if i was, i didn’t like the idea of being associated with people who seemed to think that being kinky made them so much more sophisticated than, and superior to, everyone else, or that if sex was involved, it wasn’t really kink anymore.

My possibly-kinky interests were, primarily, bondage and spanking. i had no interest in 24/7 top/bottom arrangements.

And all this was in the context of sex-positive feminism.

When i first started identifying and living as poly, it was my then-partner who was the first to develop an intimate relationship with someone other than me. However, though i knew i was definitely poly, it didn’t mean i didn’t experience both envy and jealousy when my partner went off to spend time with her other love; and the thing that i constantly kept in mind during this period was my belief, grounded in feminism, that my partner was not my property, that i had no right to make claims on her time and/or energy as though she was.

Since that time, i’ve worked through most of my issues around jealousy and envy (indeed, a big breakthrough for me was simply distinguishing between jealousy and envy). i’ve come to identify as kinky, regardless of how the kinkier-than-thou types feel about it; i’m not as interested in bondage (though i’m not uninterested in it), but i’m still very much interested in spanking (and impact play more generally), and am also interested in vaginal and anal fisting. That’s in addition to things i don’t necessarily regard as ‘kinky’ (though i’m certainly aware that some feel otherwise); for example, group sex/orgies, and double penetration.

You might notice that i’ve not listed “o/p relationships”. That’s because, until meeting Dee, and following on from how i’d approached poly, it was not something i’d considered. Other people doing it? Fine, if they were all consenting adults. But for me? No. Not least because, over the years, i’ve developed a sense of wanting to anticipate my other partners’ needs and wants so that i can make them happy – which is much closer to being a service sub than to being an owner.

So it now feels rather bizarre to be working out the details of being the owner of another person!

At the moment, Dee and i are at what we’re calling the “lease-to-own” stage. Sadly, we’ve not had physical contact yet; and neither of us feel comfortable with the idea of me owning Dee prior to this happening. Behaviourally, however, we are increasingly working as though Dee is already in some sense my property. Hence, “lease-to-own”.

Of course, this is not an actual legal construct. i will not, in any legal sense, ‘own’ Dee. It’s simply an agreement, negotiated between two (theoretically!) compos mentis adults, to behave in certain ways which we both feel suggest an owner/property relationship. Fundamentally, Dee will certainly not lose the ability to leave the relationship for any reason at any time. And beyond that, we’re going to have a written agreement – in the form of a Title Deed – via which we hope to lay out not only our responsibilities to each other, but to our other partners as well.

Developing this requires much thought and communication, as Dee and i explore what we want to get out of such an arrangement, and how it might work. The dynamics of our play via instant messaging – which has been very intense and hot – offer some guide, but there are, of course many practicalities to deal with. Such as, for example, the fact that we live thousands of kilometres apart. :-)

We’ll get there eventually. And in the meantime, i’m very much enjoying learning how to make the best use of my property.

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9 Responses to “Lease-to-own”

  1. unicorn on a motorcycle
    April 26th, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

    Very interesting post!

    I’d like to read more about the concept of partner-as-property. How does this differ to a “normal” D/s relationship? By describing yourself as Dee’s owner, how does this affect your relationship with her and how you view your power dynamic? What does the concept of “owning” an individual mean to you? What will this title deed contain, and how do you imagine actual physical time together changing your relationship?

    sorry for all the questions, your post is fascinating and left me wanting more!

  2. Amie
    April 26th, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

    Unicorn summed up exactly what I was about to type!

  3. Tethys
    April 26th, 2011 @ 11:14 pm

    @Unicorn @Amie

    No apologies needed! Those are indeed good questions, and ones we ourselves are still working out the answers to. We’ve both been surprised by the spontaneous development of this dynamic, and how it resonates with both of us so strongly that just talking about it gets us terribly hot. :-)

    “How does this differ to a ‘normal’ D/s relationship?”

    Well, i can’t say i know what constitutes a ‘normal’ D/s relationship, so i’m not sure how to answer that. :-) What i can say is that neither term ‘D/s’ nor ‘M/s’ seems to resonate with us in the same way that ‘o/p’ does, and we’re still exploring why that is.

    “By describing yourself as Dee’s owner, how does this affect your relationship with her and how you view your power dynamic?”

    i’ve felt greatly honoured that Dee is willing to gift herself to me like this; it’s increased my love for her, but also made me very conscious of the great power -> great responsibility issue. That is: i’m now in the position where i’m able to ask of Dee many things that she might not otherwise do herself, but will do due to our dynamic; and whilst i do want to push and expand her boundaries, i don’t want to do so in any cavalier way that would put her physical, emotional and psychology well-being at risk, or create problems for her relationships with Apollo and Hylas.

    More generally, our interactions have continued to be casual and warm, and have not moved into a space where a continuously high level of formality is expected, i.e. in every utterance either of us make. i have a graciously democratic approach to consorting with my property. 😉

    “What does the concept of “owning” an individual mean to you?”

    i’m still thinking this through. The main thought i have, at this stage, is that, within the bounds prescribed by the putative title deed (more on which below), her body is mine to do with and direct as i wish.

    “What will this title deed contain”

    Things such as: (a) Me respecting Dee’s physical, emotional and mental health; respecting her existing relationships, particularly with Apollo and Hylas, and life commitments; and respecting her hard limits. (b) Within the bounds described in (a), Dee recognising that she is mine to do with as i will; that my pleasure is her pleasure; that she needs to keep my property, i.e. herself, in a condition that will diminish obstacles to my use and enjoyment of her; that she must make use of herself such as i direct her to.

    “how do you imagine actual physical time together changing your relationship?”

    i strongly feel that it will confirm that we are one smokin’ hot couple. :-)

  4. Dee
    April 26th, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

    From my point of view, this is very definitely a different dynamic to the previous relationships I’ve had where I’ve been the submissive partner. I was the one to bring up the notion of ownership (I’d never wanted to be owned before!), because it really felt right for the dynamic we’ve been creating.

    In person, I suspect there will be broken furniture, wet towels, sore body parts, impressive bruising, and a lot of smiles :)

    xx Dee

  5. unicorn on a motorcycle
    April 27th, 2011 @ 12:48 am

    Tethys, Dee, thank you so much for your responses. I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about the nature of relationships and power dynamics, and this has been very illuminating.

  6. viemoira
    April 27th, 2011 @ 1:12 am

    This is a great description of what many go through when they are “coming out” as kinky. I know I definitely had similar feelings about the whole community and some being all “kinkier then thou”. Eventually I was able to push all of other people’s standards out of my mind knowing that only my Master’s opinion matters. It makes one feel quite free to embrace only the opinions of those involved and have the ability to block others expectations that do not matter. :)

  7. Miss Magenta
    April 28th, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    Loved this post Tethys- I’ve got to admit ignorance as to the owner/property dynamic of a BDSM relationship but you’ve explained it quite clearly and it’s quite fascinating! All I can say is have fun, both you and Dee- I’m sure you will 😀

    xx MM

  8. unicorn on a motorcycle
    April 29th, 2011 @ 12:46 am

    I would love to hear from Hylas or Apollo about their thoughts on this arrangement, does the notion of having a partner being “owned” by another individual impact on existing relationships and how one might view the partner being “owned”? Can any of you foresee any potential pitfalls, or do you think it doesn’t make any difference?

  9. Hylas
    April 30th, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    UOAM, I’m not sure I could objectively give you my thoughts on just the notion of Dee being owned by Tethys, as I am still struggling with the concept of her having another kinky partner. Rationally, I can tell myself that struggling with this is silly, because when our relationship started she was still involved with Adonis, so why should the relationship with Tethys impact on our relationship any differently?

    I guess these thoughts could all be because I am still a relative newcomer to polyamorous relationships. This is the first new partner that she has gained since our relationship started, so the uncertainty of how things are going to change for us is playing on my own insecurities and making me fear the worst. These feelings are still present despite constant reassurances from Dee that I am still loved just as much as before. Of course, emotions are rarely rational, which makes this difficult for me, as I like to think that logic and rationality are traits that I identify strongly within myself.

    Perhaps I am mourning that the NRE stage of our relationship has passed, or perhaps I’m a bit jealous, as I perceive that she is getting more kinky action than me. :) Both of these are silly things for me to feel but that doesn’t stop the thoughts from running around in my head.

    While the title deed will take into account Dee’s existing relationships with Apollo and myself, Dee’s time and energy are finite resources. Logically there has to be an impact to at least one of us, either Apollo or myself or Dee’s alone time. This would happen whether the nature of the new relationship with Tethys is owner/property or vanilla though, so probably isn’t what you were getting at.


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