So we don’t often talk about this because we take these (very strange) truths to be self evident, but running into your ex at a sex party is a common thing on the scenes I roll in. Which also means that you might see your ex having sex (or doing other sexual things) at a party, or they might see you. Which is, or could be, admittedly awkward. Or, depending on the people or situation in question, painful, even. As poly, schmoly, open or whatever you might be, it’s probably still strange to watch someone you were once deeply involved with have sex with someone else, especially if there are any latent feelings of hurt, anger or resentment lingering.
This exact thing hasn’t happened to me yet, I don’t think, but it could. And in some cases (depending on the ex, or ex-type-person, in question), I’m either OK with it or not (so much for making a point, huh?)
Many of us have been involved in some or all of these scenes (be it poly, fetish, burner, or whatever-you’re-doing-these-days that still involves sex/play parties) for a while and have collected many friends there, as have I. Many of us don’t want to leave (although some still do), and shouldn’t have to, just because of a failed relationship.
One of my friends did voice this concern to me recently and said, “You know, I could actually see my ex boyfriend having sex with someone else at a party?! Like, that’s actually a thing in the world we live in!” (And I said, “mhm.”)
Another one of my friends is a firm believer in the “time heals all wounds” mantra and that once years have passed (and whether/to what extent you’ve resolved your issues), seeing your ex at a play party probably won’t matter much. And I suppose she’s right. Though in five years time, I doubt I’ll still be seeing my exes at play parties, or even going to them. And I don’t mean this in a judgmental way or anything, it’s just that I do hope to one day wind up in a monogamous (gasp!) relationship, which will probably omit the option of play parties, so one way or another it will be a moot point for me
In the meantime, this past weekend, for example, when my ex girlfriend showed up at a play party very late at night with her current partner, a bunch of people asked me if I was OK. But, yes, I was actually fine in this case, because a) we’re friends and on good terms now and b) being that we were in a polyamorous relationship before, we saw each other have sex with other people multiple times when we were together, so between those two things, I think it’d be fine. (Though she recently had sexual reassignment surgery, so I doubt she’ll be having sex in public any time soon, although I could be wrong).
Personally, I don’t mind seeing this particular ex at the parties, but tend to avoid other… not-really-exes, but people I’ve had bad experiences with cause … ick. There were some events, where I knew that one or more of the ick-conjuring people would be there and I contemplated going anyway, as though to prove something to myself or others. But then I opted out. Who needs to prove anything to anyone? I don’t. I’m weak sometimes. We all are. There you have it.
I do see plenty of other people run into their exes at play parties, though, and I’m not entirely sure how they handle it. Depends on the situation, I’d guess. Some ignore each other altogether, if they’re no longer speaking at all. Some exchange fake pleasantries and move on. Some exchange genuine pleasantries and move on. Others have ex sex. Some have hate sex. I’m sure some like to actually show up to sex parties with a new beau or gal pal to prove that they are “fine now, thankyouverymuch.” Others try to avoid theirs at all costs. Still others want to see their exes at the parties, even though they know they’ll be with someone else and it will probably hurt, but most of us still choose to play this dangerous game. Conclusion: Masochists “r” us or I think too much?