Your Call: He’s Kinky, She’s Vanilla, Is the Relationship Doomed?

Share your advice for this reader in the comments section below…

Dear Em & Lo,

I recently started dating a wonderful man. He’s smart, and interesting, and handsome and the sex has been delightful.

But not outstanding. But we’ve been working a fairly brisk learning curve and we can’t seem to get enough of each other anyway, and I’m stupidly happy in his arms so everything should be coming up roses, right?

Except for the GIANT black-leather-studded elephant in the room, which is his propensity towards BDSM. He hasn’t really trotted it out to me in a big way, but I know that I am decidedly NOT into whatever he’s into, eg: humiliation, manipulation, extreme bondage, violent spankings, etc. He’s brought it up a few times as something that he engages in as a significant part of his sexuality.

I’m definitely not that girl. I can’t imaging enjoying anything about it. I’m the type to be playful in bed, or silly, or just rut like an animal. But always as an equal to my partner. I don’t want to dominate OR be submissive as a defined and absolute role. Humiliation and manipulation, feeling powerless or at someone’s mercy…well, the thought of it frankly terrifies the hell out of me. And being scared does NOT turn me on. I might be the only woman in the world who doesn’t have  a rape fantasy.

I suppose it bears mention that I have a history of manipulation and abuse in my childhood. So having gone through many years and many thousands of dollars of therapy, I’m loathe to have someone assert control over me all over again.

So…is this doomed? The more I think about how this is an integral part of his sexuality, the more upset I get and want to run away. We’ve been having pretty much vanilla sex, and it’s good. But it’s not great. Not for either of us. For me, I think, it’s because I’m perpetually wondering if he’s going to do something that makes me ill at ease, or put me in a position where I will feel scared or somehow terrorized. And I know that’s what he wants, and that by my unwillingness to engage in BDSM, I’m robbing him of his desires. I mean, hell, it’s the only porn he has.

Should I break up with him? I’m definitely not the girl who will satisfy this for him.

— Vanilla Girl

What should Vanilla Girl do? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.


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74 Comments on "Your Call: He’s Kinky, She’s Vanilla, Is the Relationship Doomed?"


Jessexyum
7 months 11 days ago

Why do you stay. You deserve too be with someone confident and comfortable with.

Lady Di
7 months 14 days ago

My life has been one of satisfying serial relationships that last 2-3 years then burn out. I actually like this because I get to feel fully loved and open up to someone’s life. 7 years ago I met a man that really did it for me physically and intellectually. However he introduced me to his BDSM desires and held them up as a higher standard than what I view as vivid sexual and deep personal connections. 4 years ago we married. Even before we married he started to come out as unsatisfied and lacked interest in satisfying me. I worked with him to share his drive towards incorporating BDSM into our lives. It did not work out as no matter what I tried he always seems to go “somewhere else” during the scenes and also with my “fun and lovingly playful” sex which truly rocks my world. As time passes we are drifting further apart. I feel threatened and physically abandoned by his sexual preferences, he dismisses my needs and yet feels guilty about it. OK, we are in our early 60’s and maybe should just suck up our losses and try for some peace in the relationship. He is getting bored with his life, I am emotionally disconnecting. I try to speak with him about this but he gets angry, defensive and even more secretive and distant. Its only a matter of time til I find a lover that fulfills my personal needs for that sexual playful connection. Cannot see that he wont do the same. wish he would just man up and agree to divorce. BDSM and non-BDSM people who marry suffer so much. Life is full of lessons, glad I am learning this one while I am still beautiful and vital. Wish I were not writing this but honesty and moving forward in life is essential to who I am. Thanks for all the sharing and obviously deep insights from both sides.

jennie
7 months 19 days ago

Thankyou so much to Sara & Nancy. I was going insane with grief due to my husband coming out as ‘a dom’ recently while I was working away from home (saving his ass). He never once in 12 years let on…but was so emotionally distant and cold that I thought it was me. I tried everything, took care of myself, perfect home worked full time you name it. I found your comments have saved me. I am feeling ‘normal’ and although ‘vanilla’ doesn’t define me by any means it is who I am. I can’t believe a few weeks ago that I would even know these terms! My husband wants to stay friends… He tells me about his sub …….on my return home only weeks after being told, his room is kitted out. I’ve said, I can love you as a friend an advisor because I love you but can’t accept women in my house! I can’t believe my life has come to this…my in-laws who I adore are devastated =they just think we ‘grew apart’ ohh I wish I could tell them.
Anyway, this page has helped me beyond words…I was toying with the idea of throwing my self at him acting sub forever…now realise thanks to nancy that I would feel abused and that I crave love and affection from with someone who I can trust. Thank you. A note for some in hiding. Don’t have your cake and eat it..tell as early as possible or you live a lie and waste anothers life…The pain is immense, my heart literally feels broken. Jen

8 months 10 days ago

Oklahoma has a law and that was way before marriage equality for same sex marriages
are, for the way it’s supposed to do the Christian thing and repeal these consensual sex laws and our minds.
As if puberty isn’t rough enough, back in good ‘ol NC, it
is considered to have sex on Sunday, Wednesday
and Friday the holy trinity of the Napoleonic wars.

New measures against child prostitution are also expected on rape laws, anyone
found guilty of being legislated, but.

simon
8 months 12 days ago

Im so glad I came across this web page. My wife and I are going through exactly the same issues.
We have two children so there is no way we are splitting and so we have to make the best of it together.
I can only echo the stories of those here.
I am a very sexually active dominant man, who loves his wife fiercely. However, she is into just vannila sex and this just doesnt do it for me.

We have been round the houses and we are both totally happy we who we are. But we both want totally different things from sex. There is no common ground. We both feel rejected emotionaly but know with our minds the other loves us dearly.

It is really hard not to let resentment leak out to the rest of the relationship. Sometimes i am so frustrated I feel like I hate her, but I dont really

We have crappy sex about 4 times a year.

I have no choice but to find it elsewhere which is actually unsatisfying and as a result makes you feel bad and even more resentful. I want a loving warm relationship through bdsm and she doesnt.

We will continue in this mediocre state of affairs for the sake of the boys and because we both love each other in every other apsect.

If you can get out without aftermath of children then anyone reading this, then do. Dont let it go on and get trapped. Sometimes it feels like your whole life is wasted.