Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Why Doms & Subs Should Not Date Vanilla People

To be perfectly honest... I often wish I wasn't romantically and sexually dominant. I'm single, and regularly meet attractive, vibrant, vanilla girls who think I'm an awesome dancer and appealing gent and want to get to know me. Alas, I cannot date any of these gals and expect it to go anywhere; I know, because I have tried.

A few weeks ago, a reader posted a comment on this predicament:

... A man I feel deep feelings for recently told me he's been a Dom for over 25 years — which freaked me out a little, to be honest. He is 10 years older and we have a great deal in common. Intellectually he is unlike any man I have ever known, and our connection, interaction, attraction, and compatibility are almost magical. My issue mostly is that I am not what anyone would consider submissive ... Even worse, I cannot imagine anyone thinking I would be submissive in the full sense of the word. Yes, there are few things (I think) I would decline to do with this man because I think he's simply amazing, but on the other hand, I don't think I could allow him to actually hurt me, or humiliate me. I'm definitely not turned on by things like that.

I responded to her that, from my own hard experience, the two of them should go separate ways; that each of them would be far more fulfilled by a partner who would love them they way they need to be loved.

Five years ago I fell in love with... let's call her Amanda. She was a wonderful dancer, tall, thin, curvy, with an expressive face that was stunning when she beamed, which she did constantly. Her romantic nature was giving and devoted, and sexually adventurous. We had delightful chemistry from the first moments, and I fell for her rapidly. The second or third time we got together, I told her I'm a dom, and what that means. She replied that she was open to any mutually fulfilling erotic explorations. And suddenly we were spending as much time together as possible.

But giving and devoted and in-love do not add up to submissive; sexually adventurous is not kinky per se. Love does not, it turns out, conquer anyone or anything; it merely makes you believe passionately that you should try, and damn the consequences. Our relationship was delightfully intense, and we took some remarkable excursions, both within the bedroom and beyond it. But ultimately neither of us could give the other what they needed in romance. She could not embrace, or even comprehend, my need to see her suffer in any sexual situation. During the last half of an eighteen month relationship, we had virtually no sexual contact, just periodic platonic snuggling. Given how much we loved, and wanted, each other, that was heart-breaking, daily.

I'll note that one may draw the line between "vanilla" and "kinky" differently. I would not call it kink when partners include occasional light bondage or barehanded spanking in their sex life. To me, kink implies high, sustained physical and/or psychological intensity, which the partners crave regularly. Such intensity usually demands a recovery period, which may include focused care immediately following the experience.

It's tough being a kinky single, especially if, like me, you seek the deep bond which D/s and S&M engender between committed partners — versus alternative sex with whatever curious creature crosses your path, which is easier to arrange. Searching for someone with whom you share compatibility in both kink and vanilla terms can be disheartening, as there's such a small pool of people who both share your kinks, and would also love your everyday personality. The loneliness that results from this dearth of possibility drives some of us to attempt relationships with vanilla people, simply because they're so much easier to find, and flirt with, and fall for. This is a mistake.

It won't feel like a mistake initially. It's exhilarating to feel deeply connected to someone, to see into another's soul, and feel intimately seen by them. But as in any new coupling, it's essential to recognize the difference between infatuation and mutual understanding. The former flares up immediately, the latter unfolds over time. And what unfolds over time in a kinky-vanilla pairing is misunderstanding, disappointment, frustration.

Some submissive women I've talked to who've dated vanilla guys have said that they've found themselves actually taking the lead in those relationships. I surmise that's because they're keenly aware of the value of authority in partnership, and so attempt to fill that vacuum, even though it makes them uncomfortable or even disdainful of their partner.

But suppose you don't discover that you're kinky until... after you're married. I've talked with a few women in this situation. Being married doesn't predispose your partner to being dominant or submissive with you any more than being in love does, even though this seems like the most natural thing in the world, at least for the kinky party. But you do have options here, besides shelving your D/s desires or separating. A surprising number of folks I've spoken with have kink partners alongside a vanilla marriage, with the consent of their spouse. Obviously this requires the spouse to be open-minded and flexible! Another angle is finding some kinky practices which the vanilla partner enjoys. It's not hard to create that sustained physical and psychological intensity I've referred to with someone you know well. And of course some choose to indulge their desires outside the marriage without telling, although this entails significant risk to the relationship.

Based on the conversations I've had with innumerable kinky people over the past seven years, I'm prepared to assert that appetites for dominance, submission, or sadomasochism are innate, not acquired. Many of my sources report becoming aware of deviant desires in childhood, before attaining any education on sex. Vanilla folks simply don't experience a thrill in wielding control over a partner, or yielding it; the roles feel awkward. True, you can awaken latent desires in someone who is kinky but hasn't had partners to explore it with. (Although in our era of diverse and abundant kink porn and erotica, where a D/s romance trilogy became a runaway best seller, the number of people harboring quiet cravings for D/s is dwindling.) But you can't teach someone you love to become dominant or submissive; you need someone who was born this way.

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60 Comments:

At August 08, 2013 6:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I only knew and listen to my friend. He kept on telling me I might be interested in S&M. sigh.

Don't get me wrong. I do love my husband but unfortunately he doesn't like role playing. I think if he let me be a "DOM" for few times I think it will satisfy my "curiosity". He say it hurts when I hit him...hahahaha. Geez! After few days he show me the black & blue. Laughing. In the meantime I am "stuck". I doubt he will like the idea unless he "cheats" on me.

I will be patience...but thanks for this post.

Annie (NJ)

 
At August 08, 2013 6:52 PM, Blogger saturn2013 said...

Hi Thank you for writing this. I'm still pretty new to all of this but I can see how it could cause a problem. :)

 
At August 12, 2013 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a very helpful and important article. As a submissive, I've tried over and over to make a relationship work with non-kinky folks. I've tried to settle for a little light kink in the bedroom once a month. I've even taking the role of authority in a vanilla relationship like this article mentions. This made me and the other person very unhappy. I've realized that I can't diminish my sexual and relationship needs.

I also really appreciate how the author warns about sexually adventurous partners. Sexually adventurous is NOT the same as kinky! I fell into this trap with someone I was dating. I was thrilled that this person wanted to do kinky things with me, even if it meant I was switching (See? Trying to settle for less than my needs) most of the time. After a year, with the sex becoming increasingly more vanilla, my partner flat out told me, "No more kinky sex." I was heart-broken. Seems that person wasn't really kinky.

Seriously, heed these wise words. I'm not willing to settle for less anymore, I'm being upfront about being a submissive and the kind of relationship I want, and suddenly kinky people are coming out of the woodwork!

 
At August 17, 2013 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This hits so close to home. I've been with my husband for 8 years and we've mutually explored the kinky side of me over the past year. But at his core I know he's not Dominant and never will be. He can act it out just fine I suppose, but I don't truly feel it.
He naturally defers to me, putting me in the dominant position in nearly everything no matter how much I encourage him NOT to do that. But at the same time, I feel like I have to take over and do everything myself (I'm talking about our day to day life) and I wish he was the Dom that I need in my life. I need someone to take care of and nurture that side of me. I'm very independent and capable of taking care of myself and willing to do so. I just wish I didn't have to.
I wish so much that he was the type of Dom I fantasize about and that I could let myself be who I am, instead of living out of realistic necessity because there is no other option. I'm not willing to end our relationship out over my own selfish needs and I certainly won't be unfaithful to him so it would seem that I have to settle for this and hope for the best.

 
At August 20, 2013 9:02 AM, Blogger David F. said...

"I'm prepared to assert that appetites for dominance, submission, or sadomasochism are innate, not acquired" - I sincerely believe that I could quote you on this.

However, I myself did the opposite whole my life. Though, to tell the truth, if I were single man now I would follow your advice and look for a woman who is clearly submissive.

Just to go back for a second, whole my life I was more or less successful in turning my vanilla girlfriends into more or less motivated submissives. That is how I got married to my wife at the end. She didn't know anything about the D/s before she met me, and now she is almost a perfect sub. And when I think back, when she became one I decided to marry her.

Before her, I did initiate more than a few women into the kink and lifestyle. But I also had rather many painful separations. I had to break relationships with women who were a great match to me because they could not see themselves as submissives.
Bottom line, thank you for this great post. I believe that you are right in practically all the points. And some of your observations further prove you right.

 
At August 27, 2013 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello
Read all your posts today. I enjoyed reading your journey & learning along with you :)
Thank you.

 
At September 09, 2013 4:18 AM, Anonymous Leanna said...

Hello,

BDSM was my first introduction to porn- I think I was 12 or 13 when I found a ‘dungeon’ website- for a while I think I thought all kinds of sex looked like that, and BDSM was pretty much what I envisioned as a norm. As time passed, I think I ‘conditioned’ myself to increasingly rougher porn- I’m 18 now and I literally cannot get myself off on anything other than very rough sex or bondage. I cannot envision myself in a relationship without BDSM (be it the TPE variety or in small doses)

And it is this exact problem that has prevented me from getting into a long-term relationships. I know I’m only 18, and that I shouldn’t dismiss partners just because there’s a possibility they’re not into the stuff I’m into, but I don’t know how to tell if people are interested in BDSM, and I don’t think I can be in a relationship with someone who isn’t-my problem is that “Hey, would you be ok with being my Dominant” isn’t exactly a thing that you’d ask someone! To top this off i’m also a virgin- I don’t even know if I should be *sure* that I am confident of wanting BDSM in my life, at some point in the future.

Any advice is welcome and much appreciated :)

 
At September 09, 2013 9:31 AM, Blogger Will said...

Leanna, it sounds like the BDSM porn you found as an adolescent awakened your kinky self. I think the earlier one discovers that, the more likely you are to have fulfilling relationships as an adult.

Raising the topic of kink with someone you're interested is a lot easier since the runaway success of "50 Shades of Gray". Now you can simply ask, "Hey, why do you think those books sold so well?" If the someone knows what unfolds in the stories, and has positive opinions about that, it's a good indication you should keep digging. Another leading topic is gender roles in marriage, e.g. comparing contemporary practices with the 1950s and even Victorian era -- "Have you heard that some modern couples enjoy a 1950s (or Victorian) lifestyle?"

I hesitate to suggest online sources for someone with limited dating experience... But have you tried Fetlife and OKCupid as a way to connect with people? (See also Online BDSM Dating Tips.)

Regarding your lack of sexual experience, I think it's unlikely that your fantasies are leading you in the wrong direction. As far as kink goes, they seem to be a good guide to one's interests/needs.

 
At September 17, 2013 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh this was disheartening...my bf of over 4 years recently told me he'd been into kink for over a decade. And I had no idea. So now I'm left with all these feelings of betrayal and frustration while we try to figure things out. Since he "confessed" we've been a lot more open but I'm paranoid he'll leave for someone in the lifestyle. I'm giving it more time (we have a child together) so maybe we'll be the exception! :/

 
At October 20, 2013 10:10 PM, Blogger tri4me said...

I appreciate your honesty and have to agree. My issue as a single female is trying to figure out when to let someone know I have these desires. It seems once any type of sex is mentioned that is all they think about. For someone like me who wants a long term relationship that includes D/s it is dis-heartening.
I am going to go back to read more of your blog. I just found it searching for types of Doms for someone.

 
At October 28, 2013 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had written a lengthy reply - as a sub no longer willing to settle for a non Dom man, it is lonely. But it is better than being in a relationship that has no chance of being truly fulfilling for either partner.

 
At November 08, 2013 2:33 AM, Anonymous Crystal Alison said...

i am in a relationship with a wonderful man who loves me and is perfect. he even cooks for me, takes care of me and is great in bed(for someone who just likes vanilla sex), but i am feeling so frustrated.

i am a sub female, have been since i started having sexual fantasies at pre-teen and maybe even before then too. when i was a kid and there was a boy i like, i would let him catch me at tag just to feel grab roughly (small details like that). before i even know how most people had sex or were intimate with each other i imagine fantasies with some rope and choking or some type pain involved and this to me was not a bad fantasy.

Now i am with this man who if i am lucky will spank me and put his hand on my throat. i have talked to him about it but he has says things like "we'll get there" or gives me a awkward expression that says "wow!". we have been together for three years with him knowing what i want. i feel so guilty and dirty for even bringing up with him and pressuring him. i have stopped requesting to not pressure him but i feel so frustrated. i don't know what to do other than try to forget how i am, but then i do shit like look up the BDSM poor or look for advise on how to deal with this on the internet and find this blog.
one of my guy friends one time said as a joke "hey if u dare i'll freakin tie u up" when i was pretending like i was going to spill soda all over him. i got arouse then later when i was alone felt guilty about it and cried. things like that shouldn't make you cry.
i found that i don't want to be around as much and i have been doing things behind him. if he find me watching the BDSM porn he would not be happy and say that i am getting too much into the weird sex and should prob watch the normal porn. i hav recently put up a account in fetlife but would never cheat on him ever i just wanted to see what was there and if there was any advice i could get. i really don't know what to do. maybe i can just find a way to not want it anymore(hypnotist, trying over time)? has anyone succeeded in vanilla/kink relationship?

 
At November 08, 2013 3:21 AM, Blogger Will said...

Crystal, beyond what's in the article, I don't have further advice for you. But Shakespeare does: "This above all: to thine own self be true."

And I think perhaps you've already decided what to do, but not yet admitted it to yourself...

 
At November 18, 2013 7:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been with my bf for 9 months this week, actually.. He's submissive... And I'm his Dominant and Mistess... I guess I was "Vanilla" or still am, but I'm definitely finding out that I really enjoy being Dominant... Some of it has been really intense... Bc of the Kink we do... It's not the lifestyle, as I don't think I could handle it, just in the bedroom... And we both love it... I also have a fetlife profile... I'm under BeautifulXoXo. :) Check me out if you want! :)

 
At November 18, 2013 9:34 AM, Blogger Will said...

BeautifulXoXo, if being your boyfriend's domme or top is satisfying for how it makes you feel, versus how it makes him feel, then I'd guess your kinky relationship will be sustainable. And if this romance doesn't extend into eternity, you may find yourself seeking a similar role in future relationships. First contact with a kinky partner is how many of us discover a latent taste for kink...

 
At December 14, 2013 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen ...
I concur 100% with your point of view.
I'm a married man in the mid 40's... Love my vanilla wife for 20 years but shelving my true D nature is very painful. It is like living life at third or less than I'd like to.

I remember recognizing the "kink bite" way before adolescence... Sometimes I think of it as a curse but it is what I am...

 
At December 22, 2013 3:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have no idea how happy this article made me. Thank you for writing this. I found your site through google and I'm certainly looking forward to browse through everything else with given time.

I've dated vanilla men and well, there's always something that keeps us apart despite the great chemistry. I know now that it's always because of me as I always want more than what vanilla men could offer. I too learned, albeit painfully each time, that love doesn't conquer everything.

I think there are so many occasions when a person who's not mature enough and have low self-esteem think that they could be happy if they change who they are as a person in order to be accepted. Things would obviously blow up sooner or later. Again, I can say this because I've experienced it. But I wouldn't take back any of those past relationships because they all had made me grow and be a better person. I'm a much happier person today than I was back in my adolescent years. I now have a pretty good idea of what I expect for in a partner, which makes me happy and sad at the same time.

It is difficult to be a single submissive woman as I know it is difficult for you to be a single Dom. It does get lonely but I would rather wait because I believe that when the time and place is right, I know that I will find him.

It's soooo nice that this is not just another site that only details graphic BDSM sex. I love exploring the psychology part of relationship as it fascinates me. Thank you for writing and sharing your insights and feelings. And please keep writing! =)

T

 
At December 27, 2013 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This rings true for me, "Sexually adventurous is NOT the same as kinky! " I thought it was the same. I am not a prude, have been pretty adventuresome sexually, so when my BF said he was kinky I thought I knew what he meant. Clearly I did not, early in our non-sexual relationship the reference he made to a woman he "played with" had no meaning either. As soon as we became sexual and I brought up being exclusive he told me about his Dominant role with this woman. I am not and can never be submissive and like others here have been the victim of physical and sexual abuse. The thought of violence and pain getting him aroused is revolting. I tried to understand, I can't and I see only frustration and sadness in my future. I was momentarily delusional thinking that if he cared enough he wouldn't need to dominate a woman… from what I read here I was wrong. It is painful to say goodbye to someone I care about and enjoy. We are done!!

 
At January 01, 2014 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is late. I've only just found this blog and think it's fantastic!
In reply to the poster above, oh! Do I feel your pain!
I'm in the same position myself, after recently leaving a long-term (not kinky enough by half) relationship. I have the same trouble with the men I meet, and I'm also sick of being 'My First Submissive' for guys who become progressively more vanilla.

 
At January 01, 2014 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I'll try again, I pressed publish way too soon...

So, if you (Will) or anyone else have any ideas, I'm all ears, thanks!


 
At January 10, 2014 11:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In every article I've read about bdsm lifestyles, it mentions that people are born with it, just as this article does. And if anyone protests that reasoning, it is because they are experience in their position(sub/dom) and have "awakened" their other half.
But do you think it is possible for two inexperienced lovers to explore this? Recently, my partner revealed that he is interested in domination(having only researched it online). After I did my own research and dispelled all of my previous biases, I started to realize that many of the thinks that get me excited or make me happy are in line with the submissive personality. We've tried a few little baby steps and so far have enjoyed them. Do you think it is possible that we could make a sub/dom relationship or do you think we are just adventurous?

 
At January 11, 2014 2:33 AM, Blogger Will said...

Yes, I think it's perfectly reasonable for lovers who are inexperienced with kink to explore it together. Just make sure you both do some research on new interests before diving into them. As they say, "Safety is no accident!"

Do you need to know right now what your explorations will reveal about yourself? I'd urge you to do what feels arousing and bonding, and ponder what to call it later. Enjoy the process of discovery, wherever it leads. See also Discovering, Embracing, Revealing the Self.

 
At March 03, 2014 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That makes my heart hurt. Guess im shelving it. :-(

 
At March 22, 2014 9:28 AM, Blogger vanilla.influx said...

i have 2 questions for any men/women out there: i am female/str8
1) how do you spot a kinky man? not the arrogant player who thinks throwing you around the bed and slapping you twice is oh-so-kinky but the man who is willing to go beyond vanilla and truly play the part. i find most just pretend to be kinky in order to justify rough but passionless sex.
2) is it possible for a good man who is into bdsm to have a life-long relationship with a woman who is submissive to him? will be respect her despite engaging in forceful/degrading activities in the bedroom? how do you reconcile treating your woman as a slave and then kissing her good morning?
thanks for any replies-

 
At March 24, 2014 2:44 PM, Blogger Will said...

vanilla.influx, you ask "How do you spot a kinky man?" I'm not sure you can sight them from a distance, but when you meet someone and discover chemistry with him, you can bring up the topic of kink in clever ways, for instance asking his take on the 50 Shades books and why he thinks they sold so well. Next you ask, "How do you reconcile treating your woman as a slave and then kissing her good morning?" Any person is a diverse collection of beliefs and behaviors, and contradictions among them are inevitable. For more, see Discovering, Embracing, Revealing the Self.

 
At April 08, 2014 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a straight female submissive and I have tried vanilla relationships but they never last. i tend to get bored and the sex well...i'm sorry but it really is bad! so these days i am in a D/s relationship but he is married however we have wonderful but rare play dates...he is in a vanilla marriage and i am single. i view it as a little fantastic is better than a lot of bleh!
haha as far as 50 shades of grey, if he says he liked the book i would probably run, because i hated it! it portrayed the BDSM community as people that needed to be fixed, if he agreed with me or had a similar viewpoint i would be very interested in him :)
Funny thing about all of this is, is the Dom who basically showed me who i was and made me realize i was a sub, is about ready to marry a vanilla woman! he told me that they pretend they are fucking another person, i hope it works for him but somehow i see hearts breaking really soon.

 
At April 22, 2014 7:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't run from what you enjoy, indulge in it. You will be free one day.

 
At May 22, 2014 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog has great information and insight.
I am new to the whole D/s lifestyle. Your blog has some awesome advice. Thank you for posting your ideas, experience, and words of widsom. I know a few people that could benefit from reading your blog.

 
At May 25, 2014 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im really struggling I was/am sexually adventurous and was vanilla till i met my partner of 3 years, he was a submissive but his main relationships were with vanilla women. I played at dom and sub and he is sub but mostly doms with me, but we hardly ever have sex, every 6 weeks, when we have normal sex he seems uninterested and only maintains a hard on because i do stuff that to keep it that way ( squeeze it really hard at his base) for a year and a half everytime I have tried to initiate sex it has been no but then he tweaks my nipples or whatever but my self esteem is so low now he has never really looked at me with desire so physically/visually I know he isn't attracted to me (i'm not a latex model) and mentally I'm not a real dom my heart is hurting because despite talking and his reassurance that he desires me he shows no passion or desire for me except very very occasionally when drunk or when he is aroused when in his cat suit but this feels like it has nothing to do with me and us, our passion.

 
At May 25, 2014 1:12 PM, Blogger Will said...

If your frustration or disappointment has reached the point where you're reaching out for help, it's probably time to re-evaluate the relationship. Ask yourself why you've continued in it, what its benefits and downsides are, whether those benefits make it worth the downsides...

 
At May 31, 2014 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got out of an 18 month relationship which was vaguely centered around power play. He knew that I was submissive in nature and since he was rough and could satisfy my need for dominating sex it worked well for a while... But in the end he didn't feel like a dominant. I was eager and always trying to bring new ideas to the table, and instead of trying to take control of those ideas or take control of me he felt like he wasn't in charge because I was the one starting everything. What was worse was that, as it was mentioned in this article, I topped him from time to time. That simply wasn't satisfying for me, not really. It aroused me but it didn't feel right and afterwards I felt weird. I'm not even completely sure of how kinky I truly am simply because I've never had a chance of having someone truly take control of me in a knowledgeable and patient manner. And now I have entered into a simply sexual relationship and although my partner is willing to explore and take a rougher approach to sex, thanks to this article I realized that this will wane and not last, and won't be as satisfying as a true dom/sub relationship would be. Being young and single in a college of people who are only exploring and trying things out is exciting... but also disheartening.

 
At June 04, 2014 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had only realized this 12 years ago. And from my personal experience. You will wakeup one day. You will keep trying to bury this part of yourself. It will always feel like a piece of you is missing. You can try and you can make it work. But you live an exist of constant frustration. That makes you like. it is a betray to person you are suppose to be loyal.

 
At June 08, 2014 12:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank so much for your encouraging words. I have always known I was different. Ever since I was 5 I wanted to help. I have constantly been taken for granted by my family, community while volunteering, and of course all of my relationships. For many years I haven't been able to understand why others do not help the way I do. I never said anything but felt sorry for them so I would try even harder to make up for what they couldn't do. I have been single 7yrs now because of bad choices that I do not want to repeat. The past 3 years I became self destructive by letting my body be sold and I was constantly in dangerous situations. I couldn't understand how I let this happen and so quickly. When I began my research on my feelings is when the sun came out. I finally understand who I am and all the pieces are coming together. But now I'm fighting urges to serve and it's painful. I need guidance and have none. I have been looking for a strong man in the vanilla world but am just so frustrated. I am scared to communicate with a Dom because my body trembles. I do not want to be fooled by a Master because I may not heal for a long time. I am overwhelmed but you gave peace of mind with your words and I will sleep. Thank you. Sincerely, Vida

 
At June 08, 2014 8:50 AM, Blogger Terry said...

I've been avoiding this discussion for a while. I've had strong submissive/masochist desires since I was a little boy. I was always ashamed of it. I tried to evade asking to be dominated by women. I always thought that if I suppressed these feelings, they'd eventually go away. Ironically, the more I try to avoid them, the stronger the urges become. If I avoid any thoughts on this for long periods of time, I go through a frenzy of doing things to myself every day for about a week. Now, I'm ten years married to a woman who has no interest in this. I have no idea what she really thinks about it all because we don't talk that much, period. She has accepted that it's apart of me because she's caught me doing these things to myself and I tried to tell her before we married. I guess it doesn't throw her off enough to leave me. I've loved her since the day I met her. Leaving her over this now would seem wrong as we've grown used to eachother and we depend on eachother in other ways. She doesn't want any sex anymore and I'm overloaded with my needs. As a rational person who sources out all my issues at the root, I've come to accept this as a part of who I am. I have to act on it or I will lose mind. Sucks

 
At June 09, 2014 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I read this with great interest. I had a recent experience that being submissive which lead me standing on the edge of a precipice not knowing why or how. I have been struggling since to understand whether I am submissive as a victim of my sexual history or because it was innate. I've just started to join the dots. I'm so relieved to begin thinking that I'm not a victim with a consequential desire to be a submissive. I gave myself to those situations when I was younger because I am submissive, I wanted to submit to my desires, my lust. The fact that no-one pleased me made no difference. I've avoided sex for 21 years not because, as I previously thought, I am virtuous or loyal to some ideal guy I've never met, but because vanilla sex doesn't have the power over me that it has over vanilla women. I'm beginning to see the light. I don't feel ashamed and I think the fear is receding.
Thank you.
Jemaplay
Derbyshire

 
At June 11, 2014 3:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found this post and it something that really hits home with me.

I've been with my partner for 6 years, he's wonderful and not entirely vanilla but he isn't a Dom. When we met I had just gotten out if a bad relationship and I need to be with someone who would demand anything from in the relationship. I love him, he's an amazing person we have a wonderful relationship.... but he isn't a Dom. We've spent the last two years goingvng back and forth with this...he tries for me but it's never quite there. I've taken the lead throughout our relationship and now I just can't see him as my Dom.

He's not willing to let me try a Ds relationship outside of ours (yet)... I don't think he ever will be. He's kinky but not a Dom. I can't imagine my life without him, I adore him and he is truly an amazing person.

I honestly don't know what to do. I don't want to hurt him. I also don't want to be wrong and lose him for something I may not end up being to take how I imagine it.

 
At June 12, 2014 2:31 PM, Blogger Will said...

Vida, I'd suggest you find kinky confidants by befriending some other submissive women. Fetlife is a good source for such folks; see the regional discussion forums for your area. Also, given the "self destructive" behavior you've been through, a kink-aware therapist could be a big help. You don't have to go into details of your D/s desires with a counselor, but you at least want them to be OK with BDSM sexuality.

 
At June 14, 2014 6:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As so many others have said, thank you for such an open and honest post. I'm in my late twenties and have been married to my amazing husband for 2 years (together for 6). I suppose that deep down I've always known that I'm a sub. It's funny that other people mention playing tag because I have a very vivid memory of doing the same thing and trying to get the boy who caught me to tie me up with my skipping rope. Too bad I ignored the signs all along.

Now I'm married to an amazing man who isn't a Dom. The most I've gotten is a light spank or hair pull. Don't get me wrong, I haven't tried playing a true sub role yet, but mainly because I've been shut down by my husband when I bring it up. It makes me want to broach the subject of possibly having a Dom outside of the relationship, but how do you bring that up without crushing your partners self-esteem?

L

 
At June 15, 2014 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

20+ years as a submissive Daddys girl. This is my second time trying to go vanilla because of how heart breaking the ending of my Ds relationships have been.. After a year now.. I just can't keep trying to be vanilla.. but not sure I even want to try to wade the Dom waters again..

 
At June 18, 2014 11:00 AM, Blogger Will said...

L, you write that you "want to broach the subject of having a dom outside of the relationship, but how do you bring that up without crushing your partners self-esteem?" It's a delicate subject, indeed. You might be able to couch the concept as a way to exercise your inner masochist, in SM sessions that would preclude actual sex. Kink play partnerships often have parameters like that.

 
At July 03, 2014 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, what if you're somewhere between vanilla and sub? See, I'm not into serious discomfort, humiliation, ropes, or blindfolds...but I am only turned on by a very sexually dominant man. I find that vanilla guys tend to want me on top. I don't like being on top- ever. But Dom guys want to use tools and props, and that doesn't turn me on at all. What I want is an extremely masculine man who will push me down, hold me down, pull my hair and give me what I want by taking what he wants. It has to be organic- no props. I can't seem to explain that to anyone. *sigh*

 
At July 04, 2014 3:54 PM, Blogger Will said...

What you're describing is often called a "sensual dominant" (as opposed to "sadistic dominant"), and they certainly exist. However they may think of what they like as rough sex more than dominance. Knowing whether you want such a guy to dominate you in ways outside the bedroom as well as within it would be helpful in your search for him.

At the end of the day, most of us form a lasting relationship based on chemistry and general compatibility, more than specific sexual interests. You can certainly ask a new lover to start with just his bare hands. But assuming you have magic together, don't rule out most forms of kink before you know how it feels to try them with him.

 
At July 04, 2014 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Will, where is your email, I can't seem to find it, I would like ask you a question via email. If that's cool.

 
At July 05, 2014 12:21 AM, Blogger Will said...

I'm at thejourneyofwill on gmail!

 
At July 07, 2014 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I discovered that I am a little after I got married. My husband isnt into anything related to bdsm. I tried explaining what I need but he is too uncomfortable to listen fully, and he is acting according to what he thinks I need and being too dominant (mean, not understanding or listening to my side, telling me what to do). I dont know what to do anymore and I'm scared my marriage is doomed.

 
At July 09, 2014 7:57 PM, Blogger Will said...

I listed a few possibilities in the second to last paragraph of the article on what you can do if you discover your kinky side after you're married. However if your husband won't engage in open-minded conversation, your options may be limited. You can be persistent in raising the topic with him in hopes of wearing down his resistance, or you can consider finding a separate BDSM play-partner.

 
At July 13, 2014 5:30 PM, Blogger Shelby Richards said...

I absolutely love this piece. I am a submissive and do take the lead in vanilla relationships and like you said it makes me feel uncomfortable. Its not my place to lead I want/crave to be led.

Now to if only there was a way to spot single dominant men. ;)

 
At July 21, 2014 1:18 AM, Anonymous Mysterio1966 said...

Loved the article, but it didn't address the issue of being a "S/switch" -- where we take turns being Dom(me) or sub with each other.

We've BOTH had serious issues with either being forced to be "in control" or forced to be submissive as a survival mechanism in the past. We have amazing communication however and over the 13 years we've been together, we've explored many ways of dealing with our issues in a healthy manner (and a safe one!) that allows us the mutual choice in the power structure and nurtures what we each need from the other, which can change from day-to-day, going from days to weeks/months and even years!

Now, I've been told that there us truly no such thing as a S/switch; that you're just afraid of admitting to actually being a 100% Dom(me) or submissive. After 13 years with this man, and after almost 19 years with my ex-husbands, I can tell you there really IS such a thing and it works very well.

We also don't count exploratory or adventurous sex as being part of our S/switch lifestyle. That's separate from the power and control issues.

My two shekels worth!
Mysterio1966

 
At August 17, 2014 2:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that the guy who also made me realise I was sub also is about to marry his vanilla gf. He's been a Dom for 16 years... I don't understand how that will work.....

 
At September 15, 2014 1:40 PM, Blogger Katrina Johnson said...

Hi my name is Kat. Thank you for sharing! I am still young and fairly new to the idea of being kinky or a sub.
I met a guy 2 years ago and the first time we had sex was incredible! We were very physically attracted to each other from the start which made sex that much better. His txt messages after that started to change and be a little for aggressive when he would talk about sexual acts. The next time we had sex he wanted to role play, I was the slave and he was the Master. He was firm, strong and rough, but still gentle with me. Things soon started to progress extremely fast. He wanted to get rougher and had the desire to "degrade" as foreplay. I thoroughly enjoyed that as well, but I still had/have trouble understanding him. He's never found a woman interested in letting him do those things to them.
He now wants me to dominate him for a change. I am very excited for that and we txt and send videos to keep the excitement going but I'm worried about him possibly getting bored with me. I am not sure what he might want next. We get rough with bondage, spanking, gagging, and other things, but I don't know how far I would be willing to go? He likes to make me cry, and I very much enjoy it, but what if he wants to make things more painful? I have a very low tolerance for pain so maybe he'll like that he can make me cry easily, but maybe he'll want to keep going until he's excited. We aren't in a relationship nor are we exclusive with each other. And I know he has his doubts about me. I really like him and want him to be happy, but I don't know how long I will be able to do that for him.

 
At October 01, 2014 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this so explains my heartbreak of falling deeply in love with a sub. he taught me a few things and slowly brought out a few things I enjoyed but then when it came time for me to inflict pain and other "stuff" I balked and could not perform it. Our sex life came to an abrupt halt and we have been having issues for the last 8 months. I realize now I can never make him happy the way he needs nor him make me happy or fulfilled. a shame cuz he is a great guy otherwise.

 
At October 02, 2014 6:14 PM, Blogger Lady Allora said...

As a sub woman who is fairly young many people believe that finding pleasure in pain is a phase that I will eventually grow out of. My partners up until now have somewhat catered to my kink but the crave for someone to truly push me is still there. They don't understand that there is a difference between rough sex and true domination, which is what I crave. They all think a little hair pulling and light spanking is enough but it's not. I want to be humiliated and degraded and pushed to the point where pain and pleasure are one in the same. I don't crave to be at the same level as my partner as most vanilla women do because it brings me no joy. I don't want to have to tell my partner what I like or fake pleasure just to appease vanilla men. I derive pleasure from pain it is a trait that I was born with and will never out grow.

 
At October 06, 2014 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been married for 20 years half my life to a wonderful man. He is the only man I have ever been with and he has never been with anyone else either. Sex has alway been difficult to initiate for both of us. I don't think we ever new how to label our roles just kinda figured it out together. He preferes me to take the lead and I have done so even though it goes against my inner desire to be submissive. Two subs in a marriage for 20 years.......Its crazy how much you can put up with for love. I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. I recently talked to him and put it all out on the table. I asked him to tell me what he really wants and to be honest with me and I will do the same. Turns out he is vanilla and likes looking to me for guidance, and I am definately a sub. So while he has been satisfied all these years I have been growing to resent him and am starting to feel anger towards him. Remember that we have never been with another partner and he is quite happy with the status quo. I asked him how he felt about starting an open marriage where I am free to explore my submissive side. After lots of truly respectful and calm discussions he feels like he is alright with that as long as its not with anyone he knows and he dosn't want to know anything about it. I feel free and scared. Can he truly be alright with it? I don't want to end our marriage but I also feel as though I'm dying inside. Sex is becoming more and more infrequent (6 months) I am willing to continue in my role as lead to his vanilla but am scared that if i satisfy my urges with someone else it might ruin our marriage. I truly wish I had had several partners before marriage so I could have discovered my sexual tastes. As much as I love him and am commited to him now, I would not have married him. Had I known.

 
At October 11, 2014 1:46 PM, Blogger Will said...

Hm, "I would not have married him, had I known" is a a strong statement. You might benefit from further exploring your feelings for your husband, possibly with a counselor.

That said, open marriages are not uncommon. A LOT of kinky people find themselves in your shoes — married to a vanilla person. But many open-minded vanilla spouses can understand and support their partner's need for a separate kinky relationship. Sure, it is possible that finding a compatible kink partner could cause you to question your marriage further; or it might make you a more appreciative, affectionate wife!

 
At October 12, 2014 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have corrupted my 46 y.o boyfriend into a DOM, for at least a few minutes here and there. Vanilla was not fulfilling. I think he is appreciating the idea of taking control beyond the physical response from me when he does. It will never be the same as with a true dom, but at least I'll get off .......

 
At October 17, 2014 11:05 PM, Anonymous Spooky said...

I am begining to think the thrill I had in childhood games, of being the "damsel in distress" and always volunteering to be tied up in those sort of games was my sub side waiting to be explored. I am very interested in the scenes, sexually, and the 50's sort of lifestyle as well. How do I go about finding out more? My fiancé and I have begun exploring this but I don't know what to do. I have this deep craving for someone to be the kind of Dom I read about in a different article and in articles like these.

 
At October 18, 2014 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article is very useful thank you. It confirms what I feared though. How do you just say to someone that you don't want to be with them anymore because they are too vanilla? How do you explain to somebody that sex with them feels awkward because all you really want is to be collared and called a dirty slut? Guess it has to be done though :/

 
At October 19, 2014 4:24 PM, Blogger Will said...

Spooky, I've heard many subs describe childhood damsel-in-distress experiences. BDSM blogs, porn, and discussion sites are a great place to start your explorations. Browse them together with your fiance and discuss what you find intriguing!

 
At October 20, 2014 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I was a dramatic person I'd say that your article has changed my life lol. My boyfriend and I are 24 and 23 respectively and we have been together for 8 years. Predictably, we were virgins before our relationship began. I spent the first six of those 8 years pleasing him and he spent them enjoying the pleasure I gave. The subject of my orgasm never came up and I never had one. Now I masturbate during sex to get my orgasm- he is either disinterested in my pleasure or to inexperienced to take my advice on how to give it.

We had sex again today and I felt upset and resentful afterwards as usual. Until today I always wondered why I felt unfulfilled after sex. Unlike many women I can achieve orgasm very easily and very quickly. I thought that my feelings were because his pleasure still takes presidency over mine all of the time but now I realize that it's because I need to be dominated.

I've actually always liked kinky sex, always wanted to submit. Even before I was a teenager and really understood sex, my porn choices were not vanilla. Bondage, torture, choking, pissing, asphyxiation, even (embarrassingly enough) scat, were common things I masturbated to. Now I read BDSM erotica and I imagine being dominated by men in those stories when we have sex. If I don't imagine it I either can't orgasm or it takes forever.

He is aware of most of my fetishes. He has chocked me once or twice but he doesn't have a dominant bone in his body and I end up resenting him more when he seductively tells me that he is going to spank me and then it's sex as usual.

He finds BDSM weird and your article made me realize that it is something I need if I'm ever going to have a fulfilling sex life. I'm not willing to leave him but I will try to get up the courage to ask him if I can have a dominant outside of our relationship. I wouldn't even need to have sex with him. All I would need is a few hours of someone taking away my control. Then I could carry those memories back with me and have satisfying sex with my boyfriend. Do non sexual D/s relationships exist?

I apologize for the long post.

 
At October 30, 2014 3:16 PM, Blogger Will said...

Non-sexual, or not-so-sexual, D/s relationships do exist. Just note that if you feel really turned on by the kink, and close to your top, you'll likely want him to do you in the process. And if that's out of bounds for your vanilla relationship, then it might be worth re-evaluating what a romantic partnership means to you.

 

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