Drama versus Life Stuff

When we got started swinging, we noticed quickly that most profiles included a line about drama. No drama allowed or of the like. In talking to people as we met people, we discovered quickly that drama included many things – things that are normal things – things that are not usual included in my definition of drama.  Now that I’ve moved more into the kink realm, I’ve noticed the same issues with definitions.

You see, there is a fine line sometimes between something that is drama versus life. Life stuff includes things like PMS, bad day at work, being out of synch with the spouse, miscommunication issues, and even larger things like a screwed up childhood.

What makes a life thing like “a screwed up childhood” not drama is the recognition of the problem, the desire for fixing, and the demonstrated desire for fixing. The last one is the most critical in that list as it takes full ownership of the issue and its resolution.

Drama, on the other hand, is usually just like in the movies or a television show. There is usually an antagonist who brings forth to those around them a drama that they are suddenly a part of – sucked into, is more like it. The difference is that the antagonist rarely realizes or acknowledges his/her role in the events playing out. They either are the asshole who is like “this is who I am, deal with it” or the victim who is claiming that everything always happens to them with a side of “I expect everyone to solve this for me”.

Just like in the movies, the drama only concludes when people are injured, relationships are destroyed (or nearly destroyed), and there is a large event that results in that person being expelled from the lives of those they are affecting. Later, you tell a story about that one time when that woman tried to steal your family by manipulating the relationship with your husband, but lost (or pessimistically speaking, won). That – is drama.

Why do I talk about the differences?

As I’ve noticed people including more life stuff in the “drama bucket”, I feel people (including myself) start becoming more acceptable of drama in general. Why? Because drama isn’t really drama to most people if it includes PMS, bad days, etc. So, instead of taking a hard stance on the “no drama” policy, one has to back off of it and take a “drama happens” stance. By taking the “drama happens” stance, one begins becoming more acceptable of real drama. It’s almost giving permission to those antagonists by saying “drama happens” by putting out the welcome mat and inviting their drama in.

In the end, the good people are punished. The drama bunnies are accepted into social circles that would normally expel them. And drama becomes more common place than is acceptable. We do just the opposite of discouraging drama and those bringing it, we give them an excuse – and easy out.

And for those with life stuff that happens, we create a situation where they continually worry that they are “bringing drama” into relationships. The added stress they feel that they could be expelled from a relationship because of an ill-defined definition of drama is quite real. As a result, they could accidentally bring drama tendencies into a relationship simply because they feel the need to over compensate for the perceived drama.

It ends up being quite the tangled web we weave.

How do you untangle it? You ask what you are looking for in the open relationship. If it is the one of the spectrum which is to fuck anyone you want with no relationship or strings attached, then no drama = no life stuff. You just want to fuck.

If you are looking for “friends with benefits”, then life stuff is going to be included. Think about your regular friends. You share your job stresses with each other. You share how your kids are doing. You share how things are generally going. In an environment like that, life stuff is going to pop up. In this case, no drama = no drama + maybe personal boundaries we all tend to have with certain friends.

If you are polyamorous, assuming your definition of course is that poly means love and friendship and relationship, then no drama = no drama. Life stuff happens. You are more accepting of the ups and downs. You expect it from someone you truly care about.

Obviously, these are not the only three categories of things. The idea is to think more about the relationship you are looking for – define it well – and define what is in your definition of “drama” clearly. Whether you are a swinger or a kinkster, make sure you spend as much time defining those relationship parameters as you do on your list of what you will or will not do sexually or your fetish list. And when you are meeting people, make sure their objectives are the same as your own. I have seen too many people end up out of synch because the work was not done up front – or one of the people decided into the relationship that what they wanted was something different than what the other person could offer.

I am upfront about what I am looking for at the moment or long-term. I like long-term partners because there is a freedom to explore that comes with knowing someone who knows you. I am more willing to try something new with someone I trust completely than someone I just met. That being said, I look at people’s actions more than their words. If they say they want one thing but demonstrate with me and others that this is not true, then I believe their actions. Their actions are where the true drama will be if they are bringing drama. People who don’t bring drama will always make sure their actions and words match – and if they don’t will explain why. And it will be a rare thing versus a common thing.

To summarize, define drama to exclude life stuff. Define relationships desired and think through what that includes in terms of real life interactions. Be clear in communicating this upfront with potential play partners. Look for drama through actions when they don’t match words. And flee the drama bunnies before they suck you down their rabbit hole. Cause while that may sound fun initially, it will never end well.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. waywardrider says:

    I’ve always held in high regard the idea of “Consistency in thought and action”. Seem apropos in your missive above as well.

    I’ve also noted a tendency in -all- society recently (not sure if it has been there all along or I am just noticing now); tendency to very rigid ideologies, ways of thinking which are black or white and make no allowances for any variables in shades of grays. This way of thinking seems to permeate every bit of the American cultures today, from politics, to religion, into sexuality, and just mere day to day ways of living and thinking. Sometimes things aren’t just right or wrong, this or that… but sadly, it seems that dealing with the complexities of life takes too much thought for most people, and we just revert in to the easy buckets of polarized thought.

    But drama, drama comes from discordant behaviour and the inability for all in the relationship to communicate feelings and emotional responses. And I don’t just mean relationship to mean sexual in nature, I mean ANY relationship in the purest sense of the word, as drama can be found (as you noted) in all of life’s little bumps… and those little bumps can cause drama between anyone we connect with at any level. Being able to articulate and communicate what the issue really is will go a long way to reducing the effects of drama to be hugely inconsequential.

    All that said, I am sorry you are encountering issues which inspired you to post on the topic. Good words which need to be said, I’m just sad that you felt pushed to the point where you had to say them.

  2. When I think “no drama” I’m thinking along the lines of “please don’t tell me that you’re 5 minutes from getting divorced and are counting on this to save your marriage.”

    Or huge jealousy issues, or even though they say they are fine with our dog, they start screaming at the sight of our beagle like its a snarling, rabid chow.

    However, babysitting issues, time crunches, sick kids, or a case of food posioning, is just life.

    Also, how hot does someone have to be for their “drama” to be tolerable?

  3. Jeez. Explaining and explaining is drama too ;-p

    But seriously. I hear what you’re saying and agree that most people tend to define drama as ‘any details of your life that I’m not really interested in.’
    Butt here’s my cynical take on things. EVERYONE wants SOME drama. Drama’s fun. And exciting. And agitating. And gives you something to talk about. Thing is, like most things, people want it only when they want it. Unfortunately, drama’s hard to stop once it starts. Me? I just focus on the boobs.

What do you think?