As the Primal “fetish” community grows, I am noticing a rather disturbing trend to oversimplify our relationships to Predator vs. prey. It’s like people are trying so hard to fit us into conventional BDSM boxes.
Prey is what you eat or farm to consume. Some like to play with their food, but the food understands that its primary purpose is to be food.
A mate is who you fuck and might even bond with. That relationship is based on mating, and perhaps someday when you age out of sex, leftover chemistry and the memory of and good faith gained through the years of mating.
A pet is who you…pet and might fuck under certain circumstances, but doesn’t have the gravity or “rank” of a mate.
For some reason, people keep getting these confused. To add to the confusion, there is plenty of overlap, and there are many other ways Primal people relate to one another.
Some are even like a strange family of spiders who enjoy making babies, as many as possible, and the male enjoys his endless toil as he sacrifices his life to please the female(s) and their many children.
Some are like a cluster of serpents, with a a group of males clinging to a female or sisterhood, circling mesmerized by their scent or something.
Some are like wolverines who are both too hostile and overly independent to be around most of the time, but meet every few months to fight and shag.
Some land in the middle of a party, shag their way through a “herd” and then go away with a few trophy panties in their pocket…and are welcomed again at the next party.
It can go many ways, not just “predator and prey”.
What is a serious relationship for Primal folk?
Like the rest of the BDSM community, what constitutes a serious relationship is highly personal. The difference is the overlap into conventional “vanilla” relationships. Sometimes a Primal relationship will seem conventional due to lack of props and the usual D/s structure. Sometimes it seems conventional because the people involved are from a pro masculinity culture, and their tribe or coupling is led by a patriarch “alpha” male or Daddy of any sex. The culture may be very pro femininity, and the tribe or coupling led by an “alpha” female. What makes it different beneath the surface is that the level of livable violence or intensity is still going to be comfortably and preferably higher than what has normally been considered ideal since the industrial revolution.
So in contrast to the conventional “vanilla” standard for “serious” which stresses the formal recognition of a couple to the utmost importance, where the essence of the relationship is irrelevant aside of a romanticized Disney ideal; in BDSM/Primal relationships, the essence is important and formal recognition is near irrelevant. The relationship is deemed serious by the people involved in it considering each other more important than general human relations, and acting on that by whatever means available or appropriate to them, not based on the state or church authorities.
Some BDSM/Primal relationships are even secret. Some are even non penetrative or NBFE (no body fluid exchange), but quite serious. So you are bound to see among us differing definitions of “in a serious relationship” and even different meanings for “had sex”, but things like “mating” will still generally involve some penetration, at least oral sex, or genital to genital contact.
A serious relationship will still be considered long term, whether or not it leads to formal marriage. Many Primal relationships lead to marriage partly because there is usually actual mating and all the responsibility that comes with that. Just as many don’t lead to marriage because Primal people tend to walk a different path than the norm, and are politically opposed to the idea of the state controlling relationships between consenting adults.
Some serious Primal relationships are monogamous, but in my observation this is unusual. Quite often, people form tribes, and also common are polygamous men or women towards whom their partners are monogamous while they are not. Of those in either tribes or polygamous groupings, some may be open, but usually not all. Most allow people to be free to determine their own level of openness or sexual generosity.
One thing that is fairly standard though, is protectiveness of partners. Whether Primal people are polyamorous or monogamous, most are fiercely protective and involved in their partners’ wellbeing. It is not about jealousy, but about concern both for their partner as an individual and for the family/tribe as a unit.
One reason Primal relationships often end up as they are is that many, if not most Primal people are demisexual to some degree. They are attracted to people they trust, and not attracted to people they don’t or who they don’t know well enough. Once someone is in their circle, they are considered safe and therefore attractive. In a polyamorous tribe, being in a stable, trusting situation with one person in the tribe opens them to others. Someone unsafe becomes repellent, not only to the person or people they personally hurt, but to everyone in the tribe. Whether or not others in one’s tribe find them attractive may have some bearing on whether or not the relationship continues because lack of attraction indicates lack of trust.
We are keenly aware that some conventional people don’t understand us and may lure our partners into either monogamy or a more “healthy” relationship with gentler sex. Because many of us are against state marriage or just not that interested in it, and walking an alternative path can be difficult for some, the lure of the paperwork gets some. Then there is the problem of abusive relationships. One of the things an abuser or exploiter does is to isolate their prospective victim.
Though most of the BDSM community has a cooler attitude about this, Primal folks are more likely to react more…intensely to threats to their partners. If someone actually wants to leave us, we may grieve and be heartbroken, but we’re not usually going to react with violence towards the partner. If you ask, many if not most (but seriously, every one I have ever spoken to) can’t hurt their partner(s). They can hurt them physically during sex or some of the sports and “horseplay”, but they can’t assault them nonconsensually or harm them on purpose.
It is quite common though, for us to take the law into our own hands to some degree. This is especially true of us in the Pagan community, as we are not usually the “new age” sort who don’t believe in harming people who mess with our loved ones. So Primal people are not the right address to look for someone to mess with. We tend to be the type who will fight an enemy with our fists or our furies.
On the other hand, we are generally very comfortable with not-serious if there is no reciprocation. One of the key features of most Primal people is that we compartmentalize very well. Serious isn’t a word Primal people will generally use to label a relationship they are not willing to bleed in battle for. If you make a point of being not-serious with a Primal, they will probably not let you die in the street, but they will calmly watch you suffer in some ways in order to show you respect for your space. Generally for us, the violation of space is considered very disrespectful. We have usually had many “demons” to struggle with, and understand a need for people to just back off. The consequences of people not backing off when we really needed them to, have sometimes been verbally or physically violent outbursts that one can’t take back once one has let out. So if someone says they need it, we give them space the same as we would want if we needed space. We will not hold it against them at all, so long as there has been adequate communication. We usually won’t see simple absence as neglect as long as it is honest. The line where we do start to feel neglected is very clear. If, on the other hand, you ghost without explanation, do not expect your spot to be there when you return.
Again, generalizing, here are some indicators of where you are to a Primal.
When a Primal person says, “I would have your babies,” it means that you are pretty, strong, and have some personality features they like. It does not mean that they actually want to have your babies today. It is just a compliment.
“What is that bitch’s/bastard’s name?” means they feel protective of you. If it is said with a sort of a laugh, then you are being offered protection. If it is said with a serious tone, this question is best answered by you with some instructions as to whether or not you would approve of protection. They will likely follow your lead. If it is growled then no matter how you answer, this person will be found and dealt with.
…but when you are under protection, this means your relationship is serious or about to be.
“I am going to _____. Do you need anything from there?” This is a combination nurturer/provider situation. They want to start doing things for you in the course of their activities because they are thinking about your needs. The next step is, “I see you need _____. Let me take care of that.” Then at some point things you needed may start simply appearing.
Aside of the intense sex, if a Primal person loves you more than in a general humanitarian way, they will want to actually do actions and practical things to express their affection. Unless or until they do or offer to do something practical, you are basically still in the Primal “friend zone”. Actually, since we tend to consider friendship a serious relationship, it’s more like the “sexually interesting acquaintance zone”.
About the friendship thing…most of us at least that I know of, will have sex with our friends. We just don’t claim them as more than friends. It is not like vanilla people’s “friends with benefits”, but not like their being in our tribe. They are just fun to hang out with and safe to have sex with. Sometimes these relationships take on a romantic tone, but not always, and we tend to be cool with that. One of the reasons we’re cool with it is because it’s hard to not know when you don’t have a very intense chemistry with someone, even if the person makes you feel nurtured and loved in a humanitarian way.
We get that not everyone is a match, and even if we are, sometimes there are other concerns. I’ve had relationships that were quite intense and with people with whom, were it a different time and place, we could be together long term, but there were things they needed to do in life without me. In some cases, in a way I was their training partner or teacher-girlfriend, and in some cases I was a reminder of what sex with someone who cares for you is like. Those were, and some still are, serious relationships, albeit sexually temporary.
It is very common for non sexual or not-directly-sexual friendships to intensify to a level of Primal friendship. The people involved either graduate to a level of being very physically comfortable with one another, or don’t lose the physicality they were comfortable with in childhood just because they become adults. This is not the same thing as bullying where a so-called friend takes non consensual liberties with others or uses physical intimidation. Things work both ways, and friends will both give and receive what looks like aggression, and at times perhaps even punish one another physically. In some cultures where no one would dream of hitting a child, adults will have a sort of physical discipline with one another. In Israel, this is standard.
One good truth that Diva told me is that all relationships end. No matter what kind of relationship it is, it ends someday. Sometimes it is with death, but sometimes it’s just life.
Primal people…we tend to take life and sexuality by the balls, and we learn when to jiggle gently, and when to squeeze. We don’t always fit in a box. So even though I did my best here to provide some sort of definition and guide, the best person to define your relationship is you and your partner. Just please treat each other’s hearts with care out there.