I'm currently delving into the world of other people's open relationships because the latest addition to my fold is a wedded chap. More on him and how that's working out later, this post is about words and contexts.
A Mistress is the female lover of a married man. It's also a popular title for a dominant woman. In this situation I am both at the same time, and once again looking at my own thoughts on this particular term of address. It's not as perfect for me as Fox, but I have found myself revelling in it a little - I'm smirking to myself when I roll the word around my head - and so I set to wondering why.
I've always been extremely careful of how I mediate and control relationships where there are other significant others. I don't play without the explicit consent - in writing would be ideal - of the other parties. Although I accept that it is not my direct responsibility if someone else chooses to cheat, if I know they using me to do so then I would not be able to derive any enjoyment or satisfaction from the experience. Since I could never trust or respect someone who chose to cheat they would make poor partners for me anyway.
There is another angle of course. My own ghastly experiences of feeling fucked over by an unseen force outwith my control during my last major break-up means I'm wary of the dangers posed by multiple connections and the minefield of potential communication and emotional complexity. Add in any sort of D/s power dynamic and the danger of someone ending up failing to serve two masters increases.
Aside from clarity and good diary management in this situation there are two points that turn these troubles around. First, and most important I know that the consent has been given by his wife and that she is also engaged in her own kinky explorations. It would be harder, I think, to feel comfortable if someone else's partner merely approved and turned a blind eye. The more open, the more honest the better and the safer. Second, he is submissive to me. He actively sought me out as a dominant woman because he wanted someone with whom to explore his submissive side, which he doesn't really get elsewhere. Aside from the natural power that this gives me over him, it's important (as with any of my partners) that I occupy a particular space - whilst in discussion with Majeste I called it "The only X that does Y". It gives me clarity, direction and security. All of which are necessary to form the bedrock of domination.
I find that I am deriving all of the advantages of the Mistress position with none of my perceived drawbacks. There is a sense of relief over the understanding that this relationship will not be my Next Big Thing. Like with Ten, where we both know that the future holds naught but delicious dalliances - there is none of the attendant stress that can come with open-ended situations. We can both simply enjoy what we are doing. The removal of prospects for domestic emotional entanglements allows me to concentrate my attentions, and affections to kink, kink and more kink (as well as nice sunny afternoons in the park). It's fun. I get to play a star role in someone else's (sex) life, participating in the icing and ignoring the cake - there are dinners, dates, drinks and hotel rooms. There are no shared laundry lists or any of the many daily requirements of a deep, committed relationship.
I turn up every once in a while, a fleeting apparition whose arrival is (hopefully) hotly anticipated. I can be mysterious, dangerous and dashing. Those women for whom poems were written, or the historic legion of "other women" who crop up time and time again with trappings of sexual power, writing themselves into legend. As you can tell, I'm certainly enjoying romantic thoughts of entering into a grand tradition of seduction, assuming that one is technically allowed to call it seduction when the fucking has already happened.