An Absinthe-Loving, Polyamorous, Kinky, Sex-Positive Couple talk about all things Sex, Kink, and LGBTQ.

Everybody Needs A Break Sometimes

As I mentioned in my 6-month Anniversary post the other day, I took a brief sabbatical from the blog due to a continuous 11 days of work and the need to recuperate afterward.  I’m noticing this is a growing trend among many of my fellow bloggers; if I work from the top down through my blogroll I can find at least 3 examples before I hit the midway point of people who are taking a break in one form or another.  Between burnouts, changes in lifestyle, work requirements, or what have you’s these fine people need to step back, catch a breath, and recover.  Recognizing when to do so is, I think, one of the keys to living a long and happy life.

Here in the United States, taking a break is not encouraged.  It is not mandatory.  To some of my international readers, this may come as a shock, but there is no mandatory vacation/holiday time in the United States.  Employers have no requirement to provide paid time off, for any reason.  For recent parents, the Family Medical Leave Act assures that a mother may take up to 12 weeks off from work to care for her newborn child, but those 12 weeks are not required to be paid time off.  Yes, you read that correctly; a mother may take unpaid time off from work for up to 12 weeks to care for her newborn before she must return to work or lose her job.  In my current job I am offered no paid time off for any reason; not sickness, not for a death in the family, and certainly not for a vacation/holiday.

Yet sometimes it is not simply work or blogging or video games or bad habit from which we need a break.  Sometimes we on the fringe need a break from aspects of our non-vanilla lifestyles.  Something may need to be put on hold, be it swinging or BDSM play or seeking an extra romantic partner.  Perhaps only one specific aspects need be paused, such as only playing soft swap or eschewing impact play and heavy bondage.  The needs for these breaks are as varied as our styles of play, and all equally important.

One reason for taking a break I often see cited is the need to reconnect with a partner.  I do not think the importance of maintaining a good connection can be stressed enough; no good relationship builds itself, but instead requires commitment and dedication from both parties to engage and maintain that connection.  This loss of commitment can happy in any relationship, but I believe the warning signs of it can be magnified when the couple is engaged in non-monogamy.  Whether it’s realizing that all of your play lately has been only with another person or in a swinging environment or realizing that your conversations have slowed or stalled unless talking about going on a date with somebody new, the evidence becomes apparent faster when somebody from outside the relationship is involved.  Taking the time to talk, evaluate how things stand, and make a concentrated effort to rediscover what each person loves and adores and appreciates about the other is an appropriate and sometimes necessary step toward maintaining that relationship.

Another reason is everyday stress.  As much as we on the fringe revel in our “outsider” status, we still have the daily trappings of life with which we must deal.  Work does not stop during the week just because we like to tie each other up and flog each other at night.  Children do not stop needing help with homework after school just because we go out to clubs on the weekends to strip and beat or fuck each other in front of others.  Cars still require maintenance, family still needs attention, clothes still need washing, and groceries still need purchasing.  Unless you’re living a BDSM lifestyle full-time that incorporates these elements than engaging in the non-vanilla requires additional work, which means scheduling additional time.  Some weeks that time just may not feel available.  Sometimes it well and truly isn’t there at all.  Putting things on pause until the schedule lightens up is always acceptable if everybody involved agrees to it.

Finances can also be a big reason by the non-vanilla needs to be put on hold.  Maintaining an alternative lifestyle brings certain expenditures.  Whether going to a swinger club, dungeon event, a munch, or on a date with a new prospective partner the outings cost money, and sometimes that money isn’t there.  This ties in with the stress of everyday life, wherein unforeseen expenses or simply seasonal expenses mean that the funds needed for a night out exploring all things fringe just aren’t available.  This as well is a perfectly acceptable, and sometimes unavoidable reason, to take a break from engaging in alternative lifestyle activities.

This is not to say that every break should be permanent.  Making changes to one’s lifestyle, whether temporary or permanent, should always be a decision made after careful consideration of priorities and personal needs.  Some people simply cannot return to vanilla life after having tasted the more varied flavors of life.  Other people need only to sample the darker flavors from time to time before returning to a more vanilla way of life as the de facto standard.  Every approach is different and personal, and provided nobody is harmed in the process every unique approach is perfectly valid.

It all comes down to staying happy and well-adjusted in the end, however that picture develops.


Stay SINful, friends.

14 responses

  1. I think this post is comforting. I don’t have as much time for adventures as I’d like to, since student teaching is eating up my life lately, but it’s good to be reminded that the other parts of life have to be seen to as well.Sometimes, I’m grateful enough to have time to occasionally lay down with the wife and hug, but I know someday soon we will have time for more. Thanks!

    October 8, 2012 at 9:26 am

    • I’m glad I could help, and yes, I completely understand not always having the time to do more than just lay down with the wife. Sometimes finding our balance is difficult; holding it even more so. Sometimes I think having the patience to not reach out prematurely is the hardest part.

      Stay SINful
      Mr. AP

      October 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm

  2. As an aside, the FMLA act applies to you as well – you can take up to 12 weeks off (unpaid) for a family member’s illness (or your own). But you are right, it is not encouraged.

    Yes. I took a break in August, but what I found was that blogging was my break from other things. And it is no good taking a break from something that is giving you positive benefits. So, I won’t be doing that again in the foreseeable future. I would say though, that I sometimes do too much of it. It is possible to get on here for a whole day and I realized that I am missing some other important things.

    So, moderation is a key here for me. If you do a little of it, then it should never be so intense that it has to go. Easier said than done. My therapist mentioned that the new DSM was released and did not have an internet addiction component in it, which was extremely upsetting to her professional community, because they are frequently dealing with the fact that people are bombarded by media.

    Um. Sorry – a lot to say. (I am glad that you are back posting things BTW.)

    October 8, 2012 at 9:59 am

    • No need to apologize for having something to say around here, Kitty. I certainly don’t! 😀

      You make an excellent point that taking a break from something that is a positive aspect of one’s life should be handled with caution. Moderation, balance, patience; all things of which we all could use more in our lives, I’m sure.

      Stay SINful
      Mr. AP

      October 8, 2012 at 7:13 pm

  3. Emen

    Wonderfully insightful and perceptive, and tender. You have such tenderness, cher. In the flame of your passion and your intellect. Such tenderness to all the world around you.

    October 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    • You remain far sweeter and more kind than I oft think I’m due, Emen, and I cherish every word. Merci.

      Stay SINful
      Mr. AP

      October 8, 2012 at 7:16 pm

  4. Hey Man… you know I understand. Sometimes you need to step back and take a breather, in anything in life, I couldn’t agree more. All the best.

    October 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

    • Thank you, my friend. I know the best is yet to come, but yes, a prolonged break from a great many things sounds fantastic right now. I think I need a holiday, and a long one at that.

      Stay SINful
      Mr. AP

      October 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm

  5. I fucking hate the US for this very reason. I am not looking forward to moving back to a life of employment slavery. In the US it’s all about living to work, not working to live. Your job is not protected. You are made to feel guilty if you take off for just 5 days. I hate it. In the US you aren’t supposed to enjoy your life till you retire. Oh goodie! I can enjoy my life and tour the world at the age of 65! My move here to the EU was truly a blessing in so many ways. I get to enjoy life in ways I never would have thought possible being held down by the US workforce. The underpaid workforce at that.

    October 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    • I’m starting to feel this more and more as of late. Mrs. AP and I have been talking off and on about moving out of the U.S. for about 2 years now. The problems we seem to face in that is so much of the EU member states are terribly restrictive on who can get in without advanced degrees and highly specialized positions that cannot be filled by locals. With the sky-high unemployment rates across the EU right now that becomes even more difficult. Plus, the financial requirements for funding our own move across the Atlantic are exorbitant.

      However, there are some countries in the Western Hemisphere that are starting to look rather attractive and obtainable, so maybe…

      Stay SINful
      Mr. AP

      October 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm

  6. I sooooooooooooooo miss our post!!! I’m hoping to be back on track later. Right now work is killer and internet issues still. But I also went though a month stage where I had lost interest in all things sexual. Thank god that is over!!

    October 10, 2012 at 12:21 am

    • Oh, how those internet issues are always a killer. I’d be screaming bloody murder if my internet was down for more than a few hours. I’m really not equipped to handle being without it anymore. Ever.

      Glad you’re back to your normal Freaky self!

      Stay SINful
      Mr. AP

      October 10, 2012 at 2:54 am

      • wow you is on break:(

        October 15, 2012 at 1:31 am

      • Yes. No. Fuck if I know right now.

        Stay SINful
        Mr. AP

        October 16, 2012 at 1:00 am

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