Well I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I admit I didn't see it coming.
I've had the luxury of playing while my Primary Partner had been away out of town attending to personal and business matters. We are in an open relationship, (and now after further discussion and attending a workshop on Polyamory and Non-Monogamy- we have changed our dynamic to Polyamorous), fully negotiated, boundaries discussed and communication on an ongoing basis. So for the next several weeks, when the opportunity arose and convenience worked, I saw said Play Partners with the full knowledge and consent of my Primary Partner.
My Primary had his Play Partners, and through it all we always made "us" a priority. We always made sure the other knew what we were doing, for us it is about respect and consideration for the other's feelings. Me being who I am, I don't need to know the details of what he does, but I know if I want to ask I am at liberty to at any time.
I learned something very valuable at a recent workshop held at @Libido Lounge recently by Jennifer Skrukwa http://fetlife.com/groups/2020/group_posts/1542185. I learned about Compersion.
I was recently reading a forum regarding Compersion and I found after some very in depth reading and understanding a simple paragraph that resonated with me, and it explains why I do not feel jealousy towards my Primary Partners' lovers/play partners/friends
"Overcoming the fear of losing your SO to someone else by knowing that what they get from you is solely from you and what they get from others is solely about the others. As in no one person can be everything to another, poly is about getting your needs met by more than one love." -courtesy of VanillaAngel
Yet I am at a loss of the behaviors of others, whether it be due to unknown boundaries that were not known or discussed, immaturity on the part of the other party, strong emotional feelings developed by either party . I am not sure, but the minute my Primary Partner returned from his trip, my Play Partners who I had been playing with suddenly and without warning, decided to disappear. You know how that goes, not returning phone calls, emails, text messages, suddenly it dawned on me that something had changed dramatically and it wasn't just my imagination.
I think the biggest thing I have learned about stepping outside of the box, is that being a swinger and a Kinkster apparently the two are clearly different; or at least it appears they are. I've been Sex Positive for many years, 12 to be exact.
I came into this community originally a Swinger and the definition of Play Partner was pretty easy to comply with, you meet and see if there is chemistry, very seldom is there play the same night you meet someone, as with BDSM there are negotiations, but instead of scenes they are regarding play (aka sex).
I think what is different that I have seen and noticed is the level of respect. While it is true that people interpret respect to be different for some individuals, I know for myself that if I have decided to cease a continuation, that above all else, communication would be paramount, no matter what. I would never leave someone hanging, left to wonder. I think that is just plain disrespectful and shows a loss of class to the person who is doing the leaving.
Unfortunately, the learning curve for my Partner and I is that not everything on the cover of a profile is as accurate as you read, even after talking and negotiating. The truth isn't always as it seems.
But Cest la vie! Onwards and upwards!!