6/8/10
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.

152 Comments

  1. I’m in a relationship where he is vanilla and I am not. I can honestly say that it is not what I want. It’s been super hard to stay in, especially because he is trying to change me to vanilla. It honestly just isn’t going to work. I hate to be harsh, but you should find someone who will take you for you.

  2. I am a happily married male; 20+ year relationship. I am kinky, wife is vanilla. The kink need has not been met since before we got married. I would like to respectfully pose a question to the experts here:

    “Why does a partner need to be ‘into it’ to help meet the need?”

    I will say that for a brief period my wife had a brief isolated sexual (quasi-kink) need that I was not into at all, but I obliged (wholeheartedly) because I knew how much she enjoyed it. In fact I would do anything (except perhaps scat) to meet her sexual need because I enjoy seeing her satisfied. As most women and men do, i do a lot of things in life to support my spouse’s (wife’s ) wants, needs, and interests that I have absolutely no interest in. I do it because I enjoy seeing her happy, and I try to enjoy the time I spend with her on those things along the way.

    I would like to ask why kink is such a tall ‘ask’ for the people described here who “refuse” to participate if there is no unique disqualifying systemic trauma in their history like a rape.

    We are well educated and (by the grace of God) relatively successful parents of multiple children. This is not a dire breakup situation or anyhthing like that. But, the unfulfilled BDSM need is freaking killing me. I can’t imagine being in a situation where my partner desperately needs something of this nature and not being willing to help out, because sometimes (most times actually), it’s not exclusively about what I want.

    1. I wish I had answers for you. You are clearly excited to see and help her get off on her kinks or otherwise. Apparently she’s not into that either. You aren’t alone…

  3. Recently got into a relationship with someone that is a dom. I myself was totally against it. Suffered some horrific abuse when I was younger and battled with the idea that he took joy in “hurting” someone else. We started only having vanilla sex, but as I learnt to trust him and know what it’s all about, I’ve actually learned it’s more consensual that most sexual relationships – if he’s a good dom – it’s about talking and explaining – I’m only exploring and I’ll never go as far as he has but we’ve experienced a bit and everything we do he talks to me and tells me what’s going on first. He can tell purely by my body labgauage If I’m not into it and will stop and be ok with that. If he loves you then you will work with each other to work out a happy medium. It’s not doomed by any means! I hope it’s worked out for you both..

    1. I have a happy marriage and I am the kinky one. My wife doesn’t get anything from spanking but that’s fine. I do ask her to spank me but that is all. I am not asking for domination. If she does the spanking I am kind of leading it and I love her for it. We have a lot of ordinary sex as well it’s just that spanking really switches me on in a special way for some reason.

  4. You could learn more about BDSM. Read some BDSM erotic books. See if there is anything that turns you on and try those things. You can participate in bdsm without necessarily being a submissive. I am a bottom, that means I take the submissive role in sex and play but in other aspects of my life I am in control. BDSM encompasses so many things and the practices are meant to be safe sane and consensual. Do these things with baby steps and who knows you might be surprised to like some practices. When I started I thought I was going to like bondage and hate pain… turns out I am a masochist who hates being tied down lol but I had to try the stuff first.

  5. This relationship is doomed. You are a woman with normal sexual needs. He is a pervert, maybe because it is in his personality or because his sexuality has been poisoned by watching too much porn. Even if you would try to go his way a bit, it will never be enough. It is never enough for these kind of guys. I guess they will only be satisfied if they can beat their sexual partner in hospital, or to death. Probably it won’t be even enough then.
    I think that these days these extreme sexual behaviour is often considered normal because we are supposed to be open-minded. It is not normal and the people who have such extreme needs in order to feel satisfied have become desensitized to the things which are a real turn-on in bed.

    1. EXCUSE ME!!

      That is such a terrible accusation to make about some one and an entire lifestyle you know nothing about

    2. So I am a pervert too even though I don’t watch porn but like to be spanked? My wife is very comfortable with it and I love her for it. We have been happily married for over thirty years and have a very good relationship. Of course we do other things as well but the kink aspect is exciting when it happens. We have never seen a problem with it. She actually encourages me in it when I sometimes say why am I like this?

    3. Normal, I see you’re the type that lives in your own fantasy that if someone is different than you they are not normal and is always suspicious that men are abusing you or discriminating against you because of your gender.

    4. I am insulted that you call yourself normal, preaching hate over acceptance. You are about as normal as a sickness, for you are what is wrong with … I don’t know why I’m typing this, you will most likely never read this, w/e. *Rolls up newspaper and swats your nose* Bad Bitch

  6. Honestly, the relationship is doomed. Get out before you fall in love. Love cannot save this situation. It’s a big deal, and you are not right for each other. As a person in a boring sex relationship, with a ld spouse, life sucks a lot of the time. I made a big mistake. Thought love solved all. I was blatantly ridiculous.

  7. I am in a marriage with a guy I love very much. Before we got married he was willing to do kinky stuff that I am very much into. I get turned on by being submissive. Since we got married he pretty much only wants vanilla sex. It is turning me off and bores me to death. I rather watch tv… Sad. I think you should get out of this relationship before it is too late. Find someone you are compatible with! Sex is a big part of a relationship.

  8. My bf is into bdsm and I’m more on the vanilla side. So recently I’ve decided to let him sleep with other women to get his bdsm urge out, I told him it’s fine as long as it doesn’t affect our time together and our sex life. So far it hasn’t. We are both allowed to sleep with girls (I’m bi and we sometimes have 3somes) but thinking of him doing it behind my back upsets me. I went thru his phone the other night and saw that he started doing it, deep down I thought he was but wasn’t sure and was hoping he didn’t. I try not to bring it up tho because Im the one who let him do this. So idk if we are doomed or not. We are very in love and I wanna spend the rest of my life w him but idk if I can picture us having this type or relationship forever. Am I being manipulated and abused? Every other part of the relationship is great, our sex just doesn’t line up. we are the type of people who can seperate sex from love. Sex is just sex sometimes. Yet I’m still bothered but I feel that if I let him get his urge out every once in a while then he won’t leave us.

      1. I don’t know how old you are, but you are making a big mistake. Sex is a big part of the relationship. If he wants bdsm and you dont, you aren’t going to want him forging another relationship with a girl. That’s what happens when you sleep with someone else regularly. Love and friendship don’t make a marriage. You need basic sexual compatibility. Please think it over. Love and friendship will deteriorate when the glue of sex is not present. There are other men who will want you for you and not go with other women. Hugs.

  9. break up. my husband casually mentioned his interest in kinky sex but didn’t push it. our vanilla sex marriage was a little boring but we got along pretty well. 23 years later and with 2 kids, he is leaving me because he was seeing a dominatrix on the side (unknown to me) and fell in love with her. he is convinced they have this amazing connection together that we never had or will ever have. wish me luck as i navigate divorce knowing my “love” is madly in love with someone else.

    1. Speaking as a guy heading down this route. Dont think he doesnt love you, he fought his sexual urges for years because he loved you so much. You also played a huge role as well. Tell me you couldnt have tried to adopt his fantasies more. I bet you just waved it off everytime he mentioned it and would just wait until the next time he mentioned it to make small changes. This is currently what is happening to me. My girlfriend of many years is just resistant to any type of growing sexually, i love her, but i know i wont be able to do this forever. It eats away at me everyday. ( im not even that kinky, i just want a little)

      1. I’m a male who is into BDSM while my girlfriend is not. I love her deeply and I have no desire to break-up with her. The key thing here is to give it a try. I know you have been through some terrible things and you are scared that BDSM might bring those feelings to the forefront again, but it might. Futhermore, the one who truly dominates is you becasue it’s you who gives the consent, its you who can say the ‘safeword’ and put a stop to his aggresive actions immediatly. I think you should have a discussion with him about this. Relationships are about compromise, and that means that both of you should meet each other in the middle if you want it to work out. If he loves you then he will not break up with you, but he will get annoyed if you are unwilling to try and do not tell him why.

    2. NO, this lady or grandma is CRAZY. IDK WTF this lady was thinking. If you don’t listen to anyone on this shitty website, please, listen to me. Most of, the replys are bs on your post, or what I’ve read. If someone has an interest in something, and b/c of your response; they completely drop it. They will go back to their interests, sooner or later. NO MATTER WHAT. Even if you both love each other. The partners needs are unmet, undesired, thrown aside. If a partner mentions something. Understand it, completely, and fcking DISCUSS it. In depth. Over a week or so, not all at once. BDSM is ALOT, it is ever-changing, it supports ALOT of kinks, not just ONE MAIN fetish. TONS of a persons fetishes can be involved in their view or kinks of BDSM. It is VERY important to understand: your partner, their ideas/kinks in bed, and who they are outside of the bedroom or behind closed doors. Outside of the bedroom can be COMPLETELY different from inside the bedroom. TALKING with them is it. Plain and simple. Hope this helps. Let me know. If anyone has hate mail, you can go fuck yourself and learn that this is a culture, that needs to be understood. It is not nasty, wrong, or against any religion or belief. This may or may not make up a person. For example, not my desires at all, If someone chooses to be gay and likes men or women, don’t you think, they are ‘allowed’ to HAVE and ENJOY what they like? If it goes against anything, you have no idea on life. You have to be happy with your partner, no matter what, they are YOUR partner in crime, they have your back, no matter what. 🙂

      1. Pete, I couldn’t and haven’t said it better, myself. This advice is excellent. I wish someone told me this many years ago. I had a bf who laughed at my kinks. I was dumb enough to marry him. Scared to leave, but unhappy. Thought love and friendship were good enough. Suppressed myself because I thought I was weird. I was just insecure.

  10. I agree. You must get out. I don’t think kink should dominate the bedroom as the marriage is for both not one. Find an ordinary guy who you feel safe with.

  11. Get out. Run, do not walk, to the door and get out. I’m completely regretting even allowing a taste of it into our relationship because now he wants it all the time. Daily. With at least one plastic appliance involved. Just today I took the afternoon off work to relax. No demands. Just chill time. Because I knew he had somewhere to be and was guaranteed at least an hour or two, I could enjoy some precious “me” time. No, his instructions were to watch at least one porno with a butt plug up my ass and to orgasm hard. I visibly let my shoulders slump, which may not have been the best action in hindsight, which upset him. Now I’m accused of “not seeing the bigger picture here”. Of what? That if I’d wanted another task to do, I’d have just stayed at the office? This relationship is doomed as of our son’s 18th birthday, and I will likely never enter into another relationship in my life, because I’ve just been drained dry with this one. My husband’s biggest fantasy is “feeding” me to another couple. Mine is having hot sex without one single sex toy involved.

    Like I said, get out. And do it quick. Sure wish I did umpteen years ago….

    1. You sound like 98% of US women: i.e. Completely clueless – “I ABSOLUTELY refuse to perform, but I had better NEVER catch you with another woman…” An outrageous scam that is more common than not. Worthless oxygen thief– why wait until the kid is 18 to get out….sounds like you’d be doing him a favor to hit the door ASAP.

    2. I’m sorry you ended up with someone who you were not sexually compatible with; that’s a really frustrating situation for everyone involved.

      As someone who is kinky, I can say that it is not a choice. I spent years ashamed of my desires, wishing I could be “normal” before I accepted that this is just who and how I am.

      I’m not alone; a lot of people into BDSM are uncomfortable with that side of themselves at some point in their life. Some of them to the point that they try to repress it, and hide it from their partners.

      I told my last partner on our fourth date about my “dark side.” I told her who I was, what I was into, and how I saw it as a part of me. She was hesitant about some of it, but also seemed eager to try and please me.

      A couple of months later I found out she had seriously pushed her boundaries without communicating that to me, and that she was never really comfortable with my kinks but made it seem like she was to make a good impression. She let all of the anger build up without talking to me about it, until she couldn’t handle it anymore and downright accused me of grooming her for abuse.

      Those accusations devastated me; I tried so hard to be clear and upfront with her about who I was so if she wasn’t onboard with it we could go our separate ways before anyone got attached — but that relied on her being honest with me about her feelings from the beginning, which she wasn’t.

      It sounds like you cared about your husband, and you pushed your boundaries to try to make him happy. I’m sorry; I imagine that’s particularly tough when you are married to someone and have known them for so long. While it may be a cruel awakening to find out now that you two aren’t as compatible as you initially thought, I hope you know that there is someone else out there for you.

      The important thing for all of us to remember, kinky and non-kinky alike, is that honest communication is everything in a relationship. If you aren’t comfortable with something — let your partner know. If you have needs you want a partner to meet — let your partner know.

      Talk, listen, and try to determine along the way if you are capable of fitting into each other’s lives or not. That’s all you can do in a relationship.

      1. You should have told her about your deviant sexuality on date one. By only doing this on the fourth date, you did it when she already bonded with you so yes you groomed her. And she probably really liked you so thought it could work out. You should understand and you probably do understand that a person who has normal sexual urges can’t even begin to imagine what weird and perverse scenarios you have in your head.
        Perverse people like you should use specialised websites to meet someone and leave normal people alone. I was also dragged in some kind of relationship with such a sicko, thanks god I quickly understood what I was getting into and got the hell out of that situation.

    3. Woah reading this- my husband is the same. He says the most frightening sexual things to me and when I tell him, “That scares me,” he gets mad at me! Reading other people’s comments too I realize other BDSM people would say: Ok you’re not into that, I respect your boundaries. I think you and me got men who just want to dominate rather than connect- or as someone mentioned below- our husbands might be ashamed of their BDSM and taking that anger out on us.
      Currently my husband and I are in therapy because I confessed an emotional affair. The way he talks about me “My wife is just boring vanilla” I am losing hope the marriage is going to work. Reading your entry I’m thinking maybe I should just leave and not look back. I’m still on the fence.
      Thank you for sharing your story. I feel relieved to know I am not the only one who’s husband needs plastic involved in every situation and who dreams of a day with hot, toyless sex!

      1. So sorry to hear that SS. Good luck with therapy (though it sounds like your husband might be beyond it). However it works out, we hope you find happiness and your husband becomes a more responsible dominant.

  12. for fucks sake- the idea is NOT to TORTURE or abuse soomeone against their will… from a male perspective, we really want to find a soman who FEELS secure and trusting of a lover trough all sorts of errotic/ sesual/ violant/ and emotional fantasies. .. we want a parter who knows we wont hurt them more than they are able, and wants to share in a journey to explore the hidden worlds of interpersonal intamacy….

    but FOR FUCK SAKES;- you have to allow yourself to trust your partner and surrender as much as HE is trusting you and surrendering his secrets… or else intamcy is fucked and dead,m adn never left grouns. dont be a pre-pubecent doll terrified of living. pinoccio anyone?

    1. Nicely said. Unfortunately though, for most of these women, it’s not about the kinky part anyway– it’s really about control, and the ability to make someone else miserable– while squandering their earnings.

  13. Gross. Dump the bastard. Accommodating a sexuality that isn’t part of you is being seduced to a degrading act that you can’t take back. If you never fantasized about it, don’t accommodate it because of love. If he can’t switch off his desires for bdsm in order to deserve you and make the commitment to be turned on only by normal things, then he doesn’t love you. And he’s a man, so you know he won’t, so dump him. His logic may be that you should change yourself to accommodate him instead, then we’re back to square 1.

    1. “Gross. Dump the bastard.”

      Gross he has a sexual interest and explained it without pushing it. Gross you are a horrible person Alison Carter

    2. Don’t judge people because they finally come out about something that they like? That’s like blaming a dog for sniffing dog ass. It’s weird to some but they understand and like it. It’s not easy telling someone in a vanilla relationship. No, they aren’t meant to be with each other because it’s 2 conflicting desires that they can’t control.

    3. Right on! I suffered for 9 years being forced to do things I felt were so degrading and terrified me. I am finally leaving. Run don’t walk! Never let someone do something sexually with you that you do not enjoy, let alone you are terrified by! My husband is good to me otherwise, but sorry that is a fatal flaw. Run!

    4. You are a perfect example– of the PROBLEM. “If he can’t switch off his desires for bdsm in order to deserve you and make the commitment to be turned on only by normal things, then he doesn’t love you.” <–COMPLETELY DELUDED, AREN'T YOU?

    5. You are joking right? You tell this person to refuse to accept what he likes however, if he is to refuse what he likes then he doesnt love her? Are you so deluded? What live is to someone and how deep it goes is their choice and no one can tell them otherwise. Maybe he has been in relationships before and has never been in love enough to disclose what he likes. Maybe she has been in relationships before and never been in love enough to be truly her own person. Run for the door…dump his ass…she is a gold digger. So far every commentor on this subject highlights whats wrong with our society except the person who identifies sex withput love. Love and sex are two different things and should always be treated as such. Ypu dont associate love with food do you? But the human race needs food to survive. Why is sex any different?

  14. Do him and yourself a favor and break it off now. I’m that guy and I made a mistake and now I’m committed and unhappy

    1. I second that emotion. I’m a woman who likes rougher sex and married a vanilla guy. I am also unhappy. Big mistake. Sex is very important in a marriage.

      1. I’m married to a woman with the same name as you and an unhappy too, because I am vanilla and she is Dom. I like the “square” stuff in sex and she gets turned on by flogging her live in partner. Why I agreed to that whole mess shows how far I will go to put her needs above my own happiness.
        Stand your ground!

    2. Well said, John…She needs to pull the handles NOW– not wait until it is advantageous for her to pull the handles. The fact is, she entered the relationship FRAUDULENTLY.

  15. One word: dialog.
    You say he’s mentioned it a few times, but it doesn’t sound like the two of you have really sat down and talked. Seriously. Clothes on, at the kitchen table, cards all laid out. Kink and vanilla are terms with fluid meaning. I think I’m fairly vanilla; my friends think I’m the kinkiest fucker on two legs (on my back is too easy). Tell him what your fears are. And your desires. And listen, really listen, to his. There may be some common ground that will make both of you happy (maybe not handcuffs, a silk tie loosely wrapped – the illusion can be a powerful aphrodisiac) . If not, give him a get-out-of-jail-free card to explore that side of his sexuality without you. Or better yet, visit a dungeon with him and watch (set ground rules on what you *think* might squick you out). You never know…

  16. I’ll say what I think the biggest challenge is and you can tell me if I have it right.
    Whether you’ve just met or been with each other for years, let’s assume that you are ‘in love’, but have fundamentally different ‘triggers’ when it comes to sexual response.
    The real problem is that when you’re in this kind of warm, loving relationship – both of you will be interested in making the other happy. His ‘trigger’ comes from ‘darker’ impulses/acts – which she might agree to… But at the end of the day, unless those ‘darker’ impulses/acts turn her on and help her achieve a stronger orgasm etc… Then it’s just abuse.
    She will know it.
    He will know it.
    I think this situation is doomed.

  17. This should settle the matter. Answer the questions, and you will know your true decision. Are you reckless? As in, would you want to risk having your anus ripped or intestinal damage? Do you like knowing that you are an object? Being slapped around while women get raped because of watching pornography like this. This being said. I am sadly not against bdsm. I wish I were. It is so degrading. People can say what they want defending bdsm, but I personally wish that it was not something that I enjoyed. Gagging women with hand, appendages, or any other item can cause damage. Just look it up. It’s addicting, like cigarettes or any other drug, it is harmful, and has led to death on some cases.

    1. Whoa. You’re doing it wrong. Violent play should be SIMULATED. Torn anuses and intestinal damage are way over the line.

      Your cognitive dissonance on the subject of S&M is its whole own subject, but first things first: you should not be walking away from sex with a perforated colon.

  18. You most definitely should or you will end up like me shedding tears on my pillow for years. If i had know his bdsm kink is serious, if i had educated myself more on the subject i wouldn’t have married him, have children just to suffer emotionally without the closeness of having normal sex. It’s not fair for either of us. Good luck.

    1. I understand your bitterness at ending up with someone who is so sexually mismatched, but it seems unfair to refer to what you do in bed as “normal sex.” Who gets to decide what “normal” is? Some people think that simply using birth control makes sex dirty, because it separates the act from procreation. Even if you don’t want to get your kink on, there’s no need to call someone else abnormal. There’s no such thing in bed as “normal” — there’s simply what you like, and what somebody else likes.

      1. I define normal sex as that which doesn’t require special equipment or a safe word. To me, having normal sex does indeed imply closeness and a connection with your partner, while kink implies a separation. Look at the entire bdsm role play and scripting of scenarios activity. The planning and ritual that goes into that seems anal and a bit obsessive-compulsive. With the focus on the script and the scenario how can you not lose sight of any natural feelings and desires as they arise? I’d find that very distracting. Em, you illustrate it best when you describe it as “what you like, and what somebody else likes.” LB was talking about a relationship, not which “technique” turned her on more.

        Face it–kink focuses only on arousal and “getting off”, and relies on more and more technology to do that, like a drug addiction. It takes more and more technology, because of the void in the soul that the lack of emotion leaves behind. While “vanilla sex”, as kinks like to call it, is deeply satisfying to the emotions, as well as the libido. It’s like breastfeeding versus bottlefeeding. Completely portable, all natural, and you don’t need a diaper bag to carry extra equipment.

        1. Others might beg to differ. I’m not a kink or BDSM kinda guy in the slightest, but just have to point out that the egocentrism in your thinking.

          You find it to be too much planning. You find it distracting. You feel it focuses too much on the script and scenario, and loses site of “natural” (to you!) feelings and desires as they arise (within you). I feel pretty much exactly as you when it comes to my own needs… but I wouldn’t in a million years think that my own, personal needs and desires should be applied to the massive numbers of people out there who enjoy kink and BDSM.

          Should we tell them all they’re doing it wrong–according to us, that is? I think they’d probably say that they’re not super interested in how you define “normal sex”, and that they’re doing just fine, thanks, without someone outside of their bedroom deciding on their behalf what’s “deeply satisfying.”

        2. You really should refrain from speaking in an authoritative tone about that which you clearly know nothing about. The practice of BDSM *absolutely* requires trust, respect and connection with your partner. My sexual experiences on the kinkier side have been some of the most emotional, erotic and DEEPLY satisfying I’ve ever had.
          It’s fine that you don’t think kinky sex is for you, but quit speaking about it as if you have any idea how it’s enjoyed by those who do. Carry on with your missionary.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    1. I have stumbled on these comments and so glad I have. I married 10 years ago. I am the vanilla girl and he – on a slow drip drip if discovery is heavily into BDSM and kink – or is this the same thing? Who knows? It’s not my thing. We separated a year ago and stayed very much in touch and as we had been – except we were deluding ourselves. I loved him as my rock. He resented me for the sex he didn’t get. But he didn’t show his emotions but I showed him mine. It would seem that over 10 year he has increasingly been involved with the kink scene. He uncharitable blames this on me and the lack of sex…. ‘ you drive me to it’. I am a master of self delusion and so could ignore almost anything.
      We are at a horrible point. I have to muster the last ebbs if self esteem I have on the floor whilst frantically trying to work out how I could be so lacking in what it takes to be happily married with a decent sex life. He on the other hand declares that he doesn’t want to be monogamous anymore and want to get back to how he was in his 20’s ( he is 58). He is off to London tomorrow for some munch/ meet up and more. I truly hate it – no I can’t be non judgemental or tolerant. These lies have wrecked 10 years of my life, and taken the chance for kids, my home and the future I was building. And all for sex. The hurt and pain is immense but tonight I know I need to write him out of my life forever.
      It is so good to write this. -it is the first time I have described these feelings and I think I will start to do much more .
      So what can I say for others? The deceptive and lies is like a cancer. Don’t tolerate it – get real – and get out. I wish I had many years earlier.

        1. god, enough already… you are being such an ass. Somebody somewhere hurt you or whatever and now you’re a raving misogynist. Get some therapy, already, ya poor, pathetic schlub.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

    1. Omg i feel you here, my last relationship didnt went great at all. Me and my boyfriend were quite the opposte he just wanted normal dull sex while i wanted it to be kinky and i was way hornier than him. 🙂

  23. Contact information can also be provided for parents with questions or concerns regarding a policy.
    If you just want to hop into a season with your favorite football club and their correct rosters, then that’s what season mode is for.
    Weblogs or blogs as they are known are here to stay.

  24. Powerfully Defenceless:
    You have a lot of courage to come here. It is obvious you are hurting.
    Remember that strength comes from knowing who you are. It is terrifying to think of leaving someone you have been with for so long… But only you know if you should stay or go.

    I have interests in kink- but many of your responses above have made me ponder a lot. No one teaches you that people change and when you marry- that person may change too. It is scary to think of leaving the one you are with because you may never find the one that matches you sexually, mentally, and relationship wise.

    It’s a tough world out there.
    Remember that love starts with yourself.

  25. I was reading these posts and had to drop in. I’m kind of sad and broken feeling right now. I have a wife who is a beautiful lady and best friend. Not the cliché my girls my friend but seriously the one person in the world I can decompress with. I’m away from home a lot due to work but she’s my world. That all said I have been spending all night researching divorce and psychology of dysfunctional relationship sites. We’ve been together 6 years and honestly we always had sexual incompatibility problems but she is such a baddass that I stuck with it and compromised. I have had a lot of power play in my past as well as “vanilla” though I hate that term. It’s all so beautiful saying its one flavor or that really does it injustice like saying it’s a flower or tree. There are so many varieties.
    I don’t need power play all the time nor do I want it. I think there’s a time and a place. I don’t want to beat my wife or have her do what I say. I’d say 90% of the time in day to day life I just defer to her judgment on things cus I love seeing her smile the other 10 I instantly get my way cus she appreciates me giving her the rains most of the time. We don’t have kids though we’ve tried. Stress for another day. Due to trying we have a ton of sex. She’ll try almost anything I want… here’s the rub.
    When we started I was clear on my past. I use to be a man whore. Not literally. Didn’t get paid but I had low esteem and low standards. I was abused as a child. Not sexually just choked out bottles broken on my head tossed down stairs. You know the usual… sorry bad joke. I inappropriately joke a lot, wife does to… We like it… anyway. I was abused like that but I suppose some can’t laugh about it after.
    I was crazy as a teen-early 20’s drink fight and fuck every night. My first few apartments looked like Swiss cheese from all the holes. I’ve never hit a woman though I have remodeled a couple walls next to them under extreme provocation. I met a Dom in my early 20’s and that was my first adventure into the world of kink. She was kind and cruel. Heartless and all encompassingly caring. Readers digest she, over time, broke me down to the point I snapped and regressed to that scared little kid in a corner with the 300 lb gorilla cracking his bones over and over. But shed bring me back. And did that over and over. One day I didn’t cry. Another I didn’t scream. Another I didn’t flinch and magically I lost my fear. I have not once even had to fight back rage since then. See my rage was really fear of being powerless. I thought power was either given or taken with no in-between. Now I know true power is restraint courage and conviction. The man who takes 5 to the gut but still defends his family and friends ignoring the pain, not the shooter. My dad had no power, just fear dumped onto a little defenseless child and his mother. My Dom gave me this gift and set me free.
    I went back to vanill…. No I’ll just call um strait relationships. Like strait or kinked not the other way… stupid words have too many pointless meanings…. Anyway… relationships life rinse repeat, found a girl broken and scared. Fast forward my relationship with my Dom roles switched she was fixed set her free. I’m still friends with my Dom and sub by the way. Were all doing awesome in life kicking ass and taking money =b confidence and a lack of fear is awesome. So all that said I wouldn’t have married any of them. We just weren’t compatible in other ways. So back to the now.
    My wife has been with 3 other people and has an amazing family. At first she would try anything but isn’t into kink at all. In fact she loves sex but only quickies. Takes her maybe five min tops to get off then she’s done. She’ll let me finish but it’s all me at that point. I have skill let me tell you… and I’m not lying and to prove it, not hung. No issues with it. Can make any girl squirt with 2 fingers and my voice, bam! But one she’s done. She can have more but they hurt her 3 or 4 and she’s hating life. She just seizes up to hard when it happens. Me I’m an all-night man. Quickies are fun but I love foreplay. She is getting better but honestly doesn’t see the point. Her hitting on me is turning and saying we should fuck. All the romance is for me to. She doesn’t get it but trys? Ish? I like dirty talk, ya, fuck my daddy pump that hot cum in mama. She trys that to but basically I need to tell her what to say most of the time and she always feels and sounds awkward.
    The biggest thing, the bdsm thing. We use to try. Couple times she started crying. I’d stop but she’d say keep goin, get what you need. Sometimes I was like fuck this, not out loud, and tried to cool her down. She was broken for days thinking she failed. Couple times I was like ok I got this and pushed her through it. No dice either. She basically said you’re an asshole and locked herself in the bathroom to cry… I don’t like feeling like I actually raped my wife. I domdroped hard a lot when we had sessions. I eventually stopped trying. I want her to smile. She doesn’t like blowjobs, or even me going down on her. All she wants is missionary or doggy quickies constantly. 2x a day on average. Sometimes more sometimes less.
    We fought a lot at first which for us is calmly talking, we don’t yell. And almost split but settled on me going slow and her having time to grow into it but she just instantly gives up and makes me feel it’s hurting her. Well that’s supposed to happen but not that way, a bad way. This made me stop trying to push her and stop trying. But we stayed cus were as close to sole mates as I’ve ever even met in a female anywhere. The best friend ever out of everyone. But 6 years later our sex is stagnant. I have trouble keeping it up sometimes and mostly just get her off then just tell her I’m tired and we stop. Its starting to distance us. I don’t even know how to talk about it anymore cus we have over and over and she always just says sorry I’ll try harder and nothing happiness…. I don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t see it as evil or an addiction. It saved my life and I have friends that have entire play rooms dedicated to role play that have wonderful kids and happy compromising lives. To me it’s a physical statement of love saying I want to control every aspect of you you beautiful person as you cry and cum in my arms. Or I want to give myself to you cus you are the one I chose to control my everything.
    O btw I’m a switch. She’s not dominant either and thinks its awkward. We talk about everything but I just don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t think I can meet anyone like her again… but I know on this road I might eventually cheat and I hate cheaters. Or I’ll just continue to die inside. Which I feel like I’m doing. Shriveling into slow isolation cus I can’t express myself the way I need to to the only person I care to express myself to.
    I don’t know what advice I’m asking for by putting this out into the aether. I just can’t lose her but I can’t stay this course and talking about everything works for everything except this even on pain of separation. She just makes me think she’ll try then does but doesn’t cus her hearts not in it. No matter how much she wants it to be.
    I can walk from anything but I can’t walk from her… or myself…

    1. What a self absorbed narcissist you are. Life is so much more nuanced and interesting then getting your fantasies met. Try to do something for others that does not involve sex and it might make you understand what I mean. Good Luck!

      1. That is probably the most insensitive reply I think I have ever read. truly. Congratulations on turning this into a shaming session as opposed to a place of healing.

  26. Vixen-

    I am so sorry for what you and your daughter are going through. I wanted to wish you strength, peace, blessings, and light.

  27. My spouse of 15 years has just told me that he has been cheating on me for years and doesn’t love any of the other women, still loves me, but wants an open marriage. For a few years, his bedroom fantasies have been kinky, and he said he wanted to ‘share me.’ I agreed to these fantasies only in the bedroom. I thought that is what his desires were, just fantasies. They didn’t do it for me, but I desired to be intimate with him, so I entertained them. He has a high stress career and is always told what to do, so I figured he needed a little Dom control to cope. We never had a conversation about his desires. Or mine, which I guess are vanilla. Although I do think had he communicated with me, he might have seen I have some vixen in me, too. So he went outside of our marriage to act out his fantasies, yet, he still doesn’t seem happy. He recently met a married woman on Ashley Madison.com and had a couple of “angry sex” encounters. Her husband found out and informed me. It is a mess. Now we are separating. I hope he will agree to counseling. He said he did not feel this way until 8 years into our marriage when our daughter was about to be born. I wonder why he didn’t just talk to me about his feelings or ask for a divorce then? I would have been crushed, but now 7 years later am just beyond words devastated. I haven’t worked in a year because we moved due to his job and I haven’t found one. So, now I have to move away from him to another state and find a job and with our daughter live in my Mom’s spare room until I can get on my feet while he gets his act together and hopefully finishes up his assignment do he can join us in a year or two. Which means no counseling for all that time. I have stuck by him, and I thought we were friends, as well. Now I have lost my husband and my friend. I am wondering if all of this behavior change could be PTSD, sex addiction, fear of retirement, mid-life crisis, and alcoholism. He said he was sorry that he hurt me with the affairs, but was not sorry he had the affairs. He did finally admit to being an alcoholic. Maybe this whole experience of being discovered by the lover’s husband and telling me will at least get my husband into alcohol treatment. I can’t imagine him having visitation with our daughter during our separation while he is in this state of mind. All he is thinking about is himself. And to think that I have laid awake at night wanting him and he claimed he was too tired. And our little girl wanted to spend time with him and he was too tired. Yet, he had alter-ego. He has always been the most level-headed, soft spoken man. None of this makes sense. I want to help him, but I feel so betrayed and unattractive.

  28. I am a submissive. Always have been. Much like my cousin knew he was gay as a young child, I knew I wanted something different then what I saw in the ‘real’ world.

    I find release when I give up control. I find peace when I’m doing a scene and I’m being humiliated or gagging on a cock. I don’t know why. But I do know there is nothing wrong with me.

    I graduated summa cum laude. I have several degrees. I come from a nice family with no abuse. I explain it to my vanilla friends that they may find dark haired guys attractive. Or tattoos. Or business suits. Or whatever. But I find submissiveness attractive.

    Most of the dominants I know ARE ‘real men’ and sometimes struggle with their need to humiliate, control, or give pain to their submissive even though she wants it because society tells them it’s wrong. Look up Dom drop. It’s real and can be scary for them.

    I am currently in a relationship with a pretty vanilla guy. I had to sit him down and explain what I needed and if he couldn’t give it to me every once in a while we were not going to make it. So he’ll tie me up once a year, spank me when I need it, and he even once told me to ‘taste it’ when he put himself in my mouth. I adore him for it.

    I told him he doesn’t have to like my kinks. He can say no to anything he finds too extreme. But he can NEVER make me feel like I am disgusting or that something is wrong with me because my needs are different from his. I can never feel scared to ask him for something.

    He’s trying but he still slips up. I’m willing to compromise with his vanilla but he must be able to compromise with my mint. He doesn’t have to like it but he has to do it sometimes. I don’t like driving him to the airport during rush hour but I do it every month. He can spank me and tell me why every few months too.

  29. I do have to agree with the possibility of sexual addiction in many of the above situations. I know the concept of sexual addiction can be debated and many professionals have not reached an agreement on this topic. I myself do not buy into the “highly sexual” description many people use to define their sex drives. My husband uses this term a lot–he has a high sex drive–not an addiction. Except that his “high sex drive” has enticed him to “hook-up” with married women on Ashley Madison (Yucky Yucky women on that site–talk about SKANKY), view pornography almost daily, visit adult video stores frequently, and pressure me constantly about BDSM–as he says “just light bondage with ropes, blindfolds, collar and dog leash” and ” we’ll see where it goes”. I have so much resentment about his infidelity that I have no interest in being a sub. He has been seeing a counselor at my insistence, and I understand the counselor has been trying to convince him he has an addiction to sex, so he found a counselor who has told him what he wants to hear–that he is not addicted to sex, but his sexual energy is “out of control” Whatever, it’s all semantics to me. The point is his behavior has ruined our intimacy, has probably broken up our marriage, and caused an immense amount of pain between the two of us. He says that BDSM is “advanced sex”–I say that is not true. He wants to restore the power in our relationship by tying me up in the the bedroom–because he doesn’t feel he has it anywhere else in his life. No thanks. I told him that I feel like “Real men don’t need to tie women up” men that are comfortable, confident and capable and don’t need to intentionally dominate another person. That is what turns me on. My husband was “hooking up” with married women from the Ashley Madison website (take a peek, there are some very SKANKY women on that website). Of course these people are looking to “get out of a situation” or take care of their own sexual addiction issues. As I have said, a REAL MAN doesn’t have to “do it” with someone else’s spouse and/or tie up some vulnerable person who had sunk so low as to advertise herself on a cheaters website. It has given me a very bad impression of BDSM. It’s not happening with this chick. Not with this guy…

    1. “I have so much resentment about his infidelity that I have no interest in being a sub” Here’s a newsflash: Why do you think it **might** have happened?

  30. Money, sex & kids are the 3 make-or-break things in every relationship. A spender will have a hard time being with a saver. Two dominants or two submissives will have a hard time getting along in the bedroom. A breeder with a non-breeder usually won’t work out. And … a vanilla will have a hard time being with a bdsm’er.

    If you are not happy in all 3 of those major cateogries (money, sex, kids/ parenting style) then there will be major clashes and it won’t last.

    It’s better to break it off early, amicably.

    Find someone else you click with on those 3 things. Everything else you get along on is just icing on the cake.

  31. I’m going through the same thing with my guy. He’s the nicest most sweetest attentive guy. We get along great and share so many interests. We’ve been together for 4 months and have not really had sex yet :/ I think he’s afraid of scaring me away. What little I’ve experienced with him choking me has been scary. I don’t think he’s even capable of having vanilla sex anymore he’s been living that lifestyle for so long. He’s highly sexual, so I strongly suspect he has been finding it elsewhere already :/ Eventhough I he’s very sexually attracted to me, he can’t seem to have actual sex with me.

    I did a Google search to see how others are handling it. I think as much as we like each other we are going to have to split up.

  32. Pardon spelling/grammar errors… towards the end of my comment, should have read “then yes, that person will continue to feel unfulfilled sexually. What a shame our society is basically turning a blind eye…” Otherwise the my reflections are accurately conveyed.

  33. Bravo, Nancy, for conveying the reality of the deeply meaningful, pleasurable and beautiful aspects of sex without BDSM. I am sorry that your husband stumbled into this and the very negative impact it’s had on your marriage. Personally I do not buy the concept that the majority of people into BDSM were just wired that way. Sorry… it has so many qualities similar to addiction, including the “endorphin” rush of pain that gives the amped up orgasms which is called “sub space” or “top space” or “floating” etc… and then there’s “bottom”ing afterwards needing “aftercare.” And, much as the folk into it say you need great communication, trust, and the sub is the one with the “power”, it simply seems like you are hiding behind roles and engaged in “play scenes” instead of the real beauty, creativity of “unscripted” non-BDSM sexual intimacy. Sure… maybe the intensity of orgasm is heightened with BDSM, yet, no one talks about the real negative impact of BDSM on the individual (emotional, physical, etc) and on the couple where one person has “dabbled” into it and then is “in deep.” And, honestly, are we that self-centered a society that we have to get our fix come hell or high water? Yet, as the article so aptly suggests, if a person is then really into BDSM– AND not willing to consider re-learning the incredibly powerful and beautiful, pleasurable and intimacy-enhancing aspect of non-BDSM sex– then yes, that person will continue to fill unfulfilled sexually. What a shame our society is basically turned a blind eye to any discussions on how BDSM is possibly harming people’s sexuality (especially with it being so ubiquitous on the internet such that younger people (16-26) whose brains are still developing,… now their brains will only be able to get off on BDSM sex. Now that is a very sad thought indeed).

  34. These are interesting and helpful comments. I have been married for 17 years and recently discovered my husband’s infidelity. He started with a porn addiction which affected our sex life negatively and now is in pretty deep in the BDSM world–of course never communicating to me about his desires. I knew something was “up” for about six months, and then started having him followed. Such a sad way for me to discover his alternative lifestyle. I had to have answers for his behavior and mood changes so I am not really sorry I did the surveillance thing. His personality changed in a negative way I might add. He became very disengaged from our children and myself. Irritable, self-centered and defensive about any kind of inquiries about his life. (I realize these are behaviors that anyone would demonstrate if having an affair). After I confronted him about his activities, we had huge communication sessions about what led up to this. We love each other dearly and have three wonderful children who deserve both parents in a loving household. It probably won’t be possible to continue with our relationship. He cries and says he wants a committed, loving, monogamous relationship with me, but knows in his heart the BDSD charge is very strong and admits it will be next to impossible to maintain fidelity in our marriage. I am sick about this, but don’t have an answer for any of it. I was sexually, emotionally, and verbally abused much of my childhood by an abusive stepfather. My mother was an extremely submissive person who “looked the other way” and accused me of lying when I would complain. I have worked extraordinarily hard to overcome the scars and damage from this. I am proud of myself for who I have become. I look for the light and positive in everything I do. My life is devoted to helping other people. BDSM has cast a very dark shadow over my children, my marriage and my future. Yes, I did try and be open to my husband and play the “sub role”. It sucked. Sorry, I don’t want to be spanked, tied up and blindfolded. I don’t want my husband to stick his penis in my mouth when I am in a vulnerable position. Doesn’t do it for me. I am not excited by the “confusion” that BDSM brings into the complicated division of “power” between a man and a wife. So, we will be divorcing soon. It is a no-win situation. My husband cries every day and says he knows he will not find happiness with a sub, but he is “just in too deep”. I have a hunch he is not going to make BDSM a lifetime commitment. I am looking forward to getting out of this mess and begin a life either on my own or with someone who will love me in a way that shares gentleness, warmth, care light and love. I want my children to experience what a relationship looks like from that perspective. I always wonder if people that are so enthusiastic about BDSM would want their children involved with this. Would you really want your daughter being a sex slave or sub to a dom? Would you want your son whipping his wife? Not me. Life is so full of wonderful things that include kindness and gentleness. I have walked both sides of the fence and there is nothing to me more exciting than a gentle caress, a supportive hug, a loving gaze, a meeting of the eyes while love-making, my husband’s head on my breasts, an equal say in decisions involving the household etc. It is not a boring vanilla lifestyle to experience these things, I promise you. Thanks for letting me vent.

  35. D/s relationships are a very amplified version of the sexual polarity that *usually* exists in intimate relationships anyway. The masculine partner in a vanilla relationship is still typically more assertive, conquering, and providing while the feminine is more acquiescent, feeling, and nurturing. It’s the interaction between these opposites that generates attraction as by their very natures they tend to seek each other out.
    Forgive me if I speak in generalities here. The world is full of all kinds and more power to us all. I’m generally speaking of the 80% or so of relationships between masculine (usually men) and feminine (usually women) partners. Also, there are egalitarian relationships of equals out there, but the sexual spark is never as strong; the attraction there has been established above the neck. And that’s great… if that’s your thing and all you need in life.
    But consider the similarities between vanilla and kinky folk:
    A Dominant, a good one -just like a good vanilla man (or whatever gender is the partner who generally takes the “masculine” roll)- is assertive, trustworthy, honest, attentive, caring, and focused on the needs of his partner. A good sub, just like a good vanilla “woman” (again, YMMV regarding gender) is yielding (generally-except when it’s time to push back a bit for good measure 😉 ), a beautiful magnet for his desire, craving of the Dominant’s or “man’s” strength, conquest, and steadfastness.
    The “yen/yang,” opposites attract magic that happens here is something to be cherished. And the kink, or any other type of relationship for that matter, can happen or even strengthen the bonds of the relationship where trust is built and honored constantly. Hard limits should be respected and soft ones should be pushed in a measured way that simultaneously demonstrates the The Dominant’s power and his care, the two of which have earned “her” submission.

    Sorry for the essay on D/s vs vanilla sexual polarity, but I get a sense from your post that you’re giving kink very short shrift here, possibly holding it at arms length. Clearly going into a committed relationship involving marriage and a family is a bad idea if it’s something you just can’t work out. But ask yourself: Is he a good man? Is he’ just another instance of bad choices on your part? Does he truly understand and can he demonstrate his responsibility to care for you in your submission? And can YOU – this will heavily depend upon how you answered the questions above – trust him enough to truly and openly submit?
    Leave no topic undiscussed between you. Be clear on all your understandings of hard/soft limits, safe words, etc… and how your interaction will take shape. But I think you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t do some exploring and experimenting and see what power and beauty a D/s or BDSM relationship might have to offer.

  36. I have known my husband for 9 years. We dated for about a year before getting engaged, and married a year after that. We have 2 children under 5. I knew about some of his BDSM interests when we were dating, but to me at that time they were just that; interests. I was in love, somewhat insecure and wanted to make a lasting relationship. So we experimented, and the result was that he wanted more and I didn’t want anything other than vanilla. Sadly, the truth of this has only come to light after years of marriage. If he tries to compromise his desires (this doesn’t happen often) and keep our sex life vanilla, he eventually gets frustrated and we have a huge fight. If I compromise and let him do the kinky tying up, power play, spanking, punishment stuff that he wants then I don’t enjoy the sex and feel really awful about myself afterward. It also makes me feel extremely resentful of him. I want ME to be enough. What ends up happening is we have no sex at all for long periods of time. If there were areas of overlap in our interests, then maybe that would help, but after all this time they are few and far between. Our relationship outside of the bedroom has suffered and we are to the point of living like roommates. When we do have sex, at least one of us ends up unhappy because we aren’t getting what we want. His interest has only deepened over time (or at least my knowledge of it has) and he now wants a 24/7/365 relationship of my submitting to him. Not just in the bedroom but in all aspects of life. I do not feel like my giving in to these demands will empower me in any way. I understand that there are people out there who have these relationships and both partners are completely happy. After 9 years of trying to get interested, I think its safe to say it won’t happen soon for me. I feel like I am objectified and not appreciated for being who I really am. And I feel extremely stuck in the relationship because we have children, he works and I stay at home, etc. I never imagined that my marriage might result in divorce and I believe that the work it takes to keep a marriage together is worth it. BUT we don’t have much left at this point, and it seems like neither of us is likely to change as much as would be needed. Do yourself a favor and don’t get in as deep as I did before you admit that there is a serious problem. It is no different than being incompatible in any other aspect, as some other posters have pointed out. It is better to open your eyes to the problem now. BTW if anyone has any advice for me I would really appreciate it. I feel like my love life is over at 31 and that is very depressing.

  37. I have always been into the kinky side of things. When me and my wife meet we had a lot of fun and conversations about weather she was into it or not. I enjoy subbing more so she wasn’t the one getting tied up and beat and stuff. But after we got married I started pushing for the attention (me and my first wife would switch) which she realized wasn’t what she thought. After some time and trials and near divorce she holds the keys to my chastity which is a good start.

    I said all this to say that if it is that big a thing for him and you can’t come to a agreement in for filling that part of his life it’s not worth it. The fact you came online to ask is a good indication you should break it off. If my wife wouldn’t of done something then I would I found it else where

  38. Rarely will his need fade and you already admitted <>
    my thoughts here are that he may be satisfied with mental imagery, but from your words, I doubt it. You are uncomfortable and best advice is to open the door and maneuver through it before you get further entangled or hurt.

  39. If you’re vanilla and he’s not you will either both compromise or you will both be unhappy. I can tell you from personal experience if he can’t get what he needs (and believe me…it IS a NEED) from you he will get it elsewhere, no matter how much he loves you.

    My suggestion is to allow him to keep a sub outside of your relationship (or in it if you’re interested). That way he has an outlet for his kink and you can concentrate on more important aspects of the relationship.

  40. I can tell you most assuredly that after 20 years of trying to get into, come around, being open minded and participating in BDSM because your partner digs it and you don’t is a huge mistake.

    We are at a place now where while I love him I am pissed at him a lot of the time because of “this”.

    We are in therapy now to work out all of this because this stuff seeps into other areas of your life.

    I have invested many years with this guy and am raising a family with children. The idea of divorce is just off the table for us. It’s so important to work this out.

    Are we having sex now? Nope. I just won’t comply and engage in BDSM anymore.

    It’s not my thing. I don’t like it. I hate it. I have never liked it — and for a long time I did it happily to please him. When I should have been true to myself.

    I’d say have an HONEST conversation – don’t do what I did. Don’t please him because you think you need to.

  41. Thank you all for the various ideas, thoughts and suggestions. I have just met an amazing man after years and years of dating losers. Its a fairly new relationship and he has opened up to me that he enjoys being a sub…I do not know if I am capable of inflicting the pain he desires but I’m willing to try slowly and see how things go. I hope this can work because he seems truly perfect for me….I just hope I can be perfect for him!!

  42. I don’t find rape role play sexy either. The thought of it doesn’t really do it for me. However, I do enjoy having my hair pulled and being spanked, being called somewhat derogatory names, and a few other things that may be a little off the beaten path. Would I enjoy sex with a man who didnt / couldn’t do all that for me? Probably. Would I be disappointed that he wouldnt be able to fulfill that part of my sexuality? Yes. Would it be a deal breaker? Probably not, but that’s just me. Then again, I dont think that my preferences are so very kinky that many men wouldnt be willing to try them.

  43. You’re not alone. The idea of rape role playing is repulsive to me and i strongly believe it sets feminism back a few thousand years. It disgusts me actually to hear that rape fetishes are common among women…and then i also see how commonly women whine about date rape…it is so hypocritical. You can’t have a rape fetish but then act like you don’t enjoy rape…

    Anyway, this guy seems like he has major issues to work out. Was he hospitalized a lot as a child? I have read that men who experienced a lot of pain in childhood tend to fetishize the pain, and thise type of fetish is the result.

  44. Damn Renee, you really nailed it there. Kink will not be suppressed. Kink will find a way out.

    My only gripe with your statement is that you attribute this behavior/mentality to men, instead of to everybody. That’s the ol’ fantasy of female purity right there, which in my mind is thoroughly debunked.

  45. Go for it. If you do not mind sharing him with mistresses, prostitutes, crazy sex toys and on-line kinky people etc. (because eventually- he will yearn for the things he desires). Men will often give up love for sex. unfortunatly-thats the way they are. all that leads to sex addiction that is really hard to stop.

  46. I have been married for nine years. I very much enjoy “regular” sex and believe that sex is an important way to be intimate and bond with your partner.

    That being said, I also do have a kinky streak in me and I do like (need) some variety in my sex life. I am not into hard core BDSM, but I do find things like spankings, being tied up, and things like that to be fun, and it is something that I need as a component of my sex life to feel fulfilled in that area. In addition to the “turn-on” factor, for me a big part of the appeal of that stuff is that it is like “playing” with your partner and is a fund, bonding experience that makes me feel closer to her.

    I was married before and when I got divorced I promised myself that if I got married again I would make sure that me and my new wife were sexually compatible. When we first started dating, and for the first two or three years of my marriage my wife and I had a great sex life. She was open minded and seemed to really like both regular sex and playing around with more erotic things. I was open with her about the fact that I liked some kinky things early into our relationship and she seemed to be perfectly ok with it.

    Now, nine years later, we have hit the marital doldrums and our sex life it terrible. We have sex about once a month (if that) and when we do, it is always “regular” sex.

    My wife is now telling me that she doesn’t like he kinky things and isn’t comfortable with it.

    I feel very, very betrayed and I feel like I was lied to and misled about a very important, fundamental thing. I also have a lot of resentment because I feel like I have basically just been told “you are never going to be able to have those things that you really, really enjoy.”

    If she had been up front with me about it in the beginning, then I could have made a choice as to whether this was something that I could live without and still fill fulfilled. But that choice was taken away from me through what I feel was deception. Now I am in a marriage where I am feel like I am never going to be sexually fulfilled and it is really hard not to feel resentful of that.

    For anyone who reads this . . . please be honest with the people you are in relationships with right from the start. And if you are with someone who has needs that you find distasteful or that you really don’t like, that person has a right to know that this is something that you do not like and may not be able to live with.

    1. Im in the exact same boat except for the fact that we’ve only been married for 6 months no kids. He said he was into adding more kink as our relationship progressed, we’re married and now he’s saying he’s just not into it. Wtf…. I feel lied to as well. I hope everything works out for you. Gl

  47. I know this is an old post, but for anyone reading this who is in this situation, the answer is yes – you should break it off because it is not going to work in the long term.

    Even now, at the beginning of the relationship when your desires to make each other happy are at their strongest, you are not wanting to engage in this kind of thing with him. As your relationship grows and gets more mature, your willingness to tolerate is going to get weaker and weaker, and eventually you are going to end up telling him that you want nothing to do with it.

    On his side – these desires are obviously very strong and represent a need that is going to need to be fulfilled. If you get married and then one day, a few years later, you tell him that you hate it and that you want nothing to do with it, he is going to feel abandoned by you. And if you have not already told him that you do not like this stuff, he is going to feel that you deceived and misled him (and he would be right).

    There is certainly nothing wrong with either of you – you just aren’t designed to fulfill each others needs and are not going to be compatible in the long term. If you get married you are both going to end up resentful of each other and you will be misereable.

  48. Jim.. I have a similar situation. I love my wife and would also never leave her. When we first met and got married, sex was GREAT, OFTEN, sometimes kinky. Then she realized she was an alcoholic and stopped drinking. She said the drinking is what made her lose control. Sex just kinda went downhill for a while then we saw a marriage counselor and helped her get some of that kink back. Then she started taking hormones and things were GREAT again. But.. now she stopped because apparently she was taking too much and had to back off. So instead of backing off, she slowed and stopped. Now, we don’t have sex. I feel like I have a roomate than a lover/wife/friend. I feel sex is a critical part of a relationship. I am currently out of town and I am craving sex and am frustrated. Hopefully my marriage is not doomed but I am very frustrated and unhappy.

  49. I cant say if a relationship is completely doomed however, my wife has never been anything but vanilla. As the years have past I have slowly introduced her various things and while she now seems to enjoy being tied and teased she has no interest in reversing the roles. This leaves me feeling less than satisfied. She leaves me feeling embarrassed by asking which I find to be quite hard to swallow. So now by her getting everything she needs and wants I am still left with this hole that needs to be filled. I cant imagine ever leaving my wife and would never cheat on her. So is the relationship doomed? No, I will spend my life being unsatisfied but still with a good woman.

  50. I am a submissive, with a man who cannot Dom me… and just feels like he cannot see me as a submissive. Our relationship started very vanilla, with the hopes of moving into a D/s dynamic, but over a year later i’m miserable. i am missing that part of me more and more everyday.

    If he is a dominant… If i were you, i would ask him to play lightly with you. Maybe just try it out. If he is a good Dom he would NEVER go too far with you intentionally. Remember, he knows you have never tried this kind of thing. Its all a learning process for you, and him to learn what you like AND won’t take. My first partner introduced me to this, and i did not even know it all existed! i too was terrified, but it was fun. Started light and went from there. Many times it is just a mind matter, right and wrong. Once you can break through that, you never know.

    If he is a submissive, Maybe try it out, and see the pleasure your demands bring him. You might like it after all.

    And if all this fails….

    If you two aren’t particularly attached to one another, i would end it. This lifestyle is very hard to forget, and nothing but an internal change will make it truly go away. Forcing yourself to be vanilla, after time, will just make it worse. Talk with him about everything and explain why you think this is best. Maybe you two can remain good friends.

  51. bondaries? boundaries change over a lifetime. What might be not so appealing now may be appealing later. I read a few books by David xzenre lately and found out that boundaries to in deed alter through ones life. I think at this moment you are in two different zones work on finding a middle.

  52. I too know that this is a very old post and I am currently in a relationship where my partner likes to have handcuffs, gags, blindfolds, rope, duct tape and whatever else used during sex.

    He also watches videos on bondage (which doesn’t bother me as I don’t have to participate in it) and I have recently caught him chatting up a gay male friend in a sexual way about this subject.

    I have tried some of the soft core stuff mostly to please him but I am finding that I am really NOT comfortable with any of it at all, it feels weird to me and to be honest I miss the vanilla sex which two exes from previous serious relationships were into and as much as I love my current partner I don’t see my relationship lasting much longer if I don’t say something and set out boundaries now.

    OP: As a woman I would advise you to speak with your partner about it, be honest about how this makes you feel and do what is right for YOU and if that means parting company with this guy then so be it!

  53. ^ I feel you man. I’ll pretty much try anything as long as it doesn’t involve blood, poo, or CBT. It’s an utter disappointment to discover that your partner doesn’t feel the same way.

  54. I would like to point out also, that I, in no way, condone abusive relationships, and I don’t classify having someone beat the crap out of you as being FUN (unless that’s what you desire)

  55. It’s fascinating to read so many responses from people who are just not interested in variation in their sex lives! I am up for ANYTHING my lover might suggest, not just BDSM or DS (reversed roles would be fine!), or licking whipped cream off her kneecaps…..whatever! ALL sex between people who love each other is emotional fulfilment! Vanilla sex is great, I might not enjoy certain positions that are demanded of me all that much ( especially the semi-missionary, weird angle to the right thing, that while giving my lover intense pleasure, is akin to doing one handed push ups for me!) , but ultimately, my real pleasure is in giving pleasure! I have dominanant fantasies, but the torture I envisage is not inflicting pain (although a light smack on the butt at the right time can cause some intensely pleasurable reactions!)but in stimulating my poor helpless subject to the edge of climax over and over again to the point of her begging for release…..and then letting her have it!I myself enjoy, occasionally, being denied for days,then finally being “allowed” relief, teased, let us say, to the point of insanity….being “forced” to pleasure her with no reward!For days!Yay!
    The point I’m trying to make here (and I could go on and on with a myriad of variations) is that sex can be FUN, people! It’s playtime for adults, and the more FUN you have with your partner, the more you enjoy being with them and the happier you are all round!
    And yet I find myself with a vanilla lover, constantly craving sex that is “emotional fulfilment and reaffirmation and closeness and security and romance” which is fine,like I said, I’m up for anything and I can enjoy being that lover. But I see this attitude throughout so many of the posts above,an attitude that if sex is somehow dressed up, or role played or involves having fantasies acted out, then it’s just not love!And the sheer meanness of a lover whose attitude is “we are going to do it my way or not at all”…..how is that love? Haven’t you ever gone to the movies to see a show that you thought was the crappest show on earth just because your lover wanted to see it? Haven’t you ever gone to the work function/Christmas party from hell, or sat through the visit to old Aunt Whatshername or a myriad of other tortures….shopping for instance? Yes the experience is harrowing at the time, but isn’t the aftermath wonderful? You can see how much your lover has appreciated what you have done for them, and in all these shared experiences is LOVE……why then is the bedroom (or wherever!) suddenly this different ball game? Why isn’t the reaction “the poor bastard sat through Aunt Whatsisname for 6 hours, I’m going to take him home and smack his butt all night cos that’s what HE’D like”? (for example ha ha!) It beats the shit out of me! Why is it so segregated? Why is sex so different to any other aspect of being in a relationship? I’m not speaking from the perspective of “oh I did this for you, so you should do this for me” but from the perspective that “I will do this because it will make you happy, and I would hope that you too would be looking for things to do that you KNOW would make ME happy!I have told you my fantasies, I have shared with you my kinks and desires, you KNOW what I like…..I SHOULDN’T have to ASK.( I saw you admire that dress, so I bought it for you!) Look at the smile on my face afterwards…..can you feel the LOVE now? I’m happy and I appreciate what you have done!
    Is it not possible for some of you people to derive pleasure from GIVING pleasure?! Ok, lets see…..we’ll do it your way every third time!Two to One, what have you got to lose…..and maybe you’d see how much you have to gain!

  56. You are by no means the only woman in the world without rape fantasies. If BDSM is his primary outlet and it’s not yours, it’s better to end it amicably and each of you get your needs met with other partners. Because if you are, as you put it, not the girl for him, then he is also not the guy for you.

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  58. I’ve been reading all of these responses. I’ve been married for 13 years. I have always suspicioned that my husband had a “dark side” but it had never been addressed. Enter the 50 Shades of Grey series….I read the books and the more I read the more I realized that he could very well be “that guy.” He has always wanted me to dress up in various costumes but I never felt comfortable with that. It makes me feel like he wants me to be someone that I am not. Within the last six months he has admitted to me that he is a sadist and has been in a BDSM relationship in the past. He has purchased crops, whips, a cat of nine tails, ball gags, blindfolds, wrist and ankle braces, has all sorts of cords and ropes for bondage. I’ve tried a few things and have ended up feeling humiliated and left with some bruises. Honestly I don’t trust him in this area. When he gets into that “zone” it’s like he becomes another person. We are currently seperated, not just because of this issue but others as well. I’m not totally vanilla but I am certainly not into things to the extreme that he is. I feel like it’s not fair of him to ask me to do things I’m uncomfortable with, on the other hand it’s not fair of me to ask him to do without something that he seems to enjoy. I guess I just don’t understand why it took 13 years for him to show this side of himself to me, or maybe it was there all along and I just didn’t see it, or didn’t want to see it. I don’t want to see my marriage end, we

    1. “I feel like it’s not fair of him to ask me to do things I’m uncomfortable with, on the other hand it’s not fair of me to ask him to do without something that he seems to enjoy.” WOW. That’s a gigantic admission coming from…a woman. I salute you. Good job seeing the “big picture”– 98% of your sisters could care less about anything other than themselves, extorting money, and their simmering hatred of men.

  59. Thank you everyone for you thoughts here, I have been going though this for a long time now. my husband and I have been together for 13 years. the first 5 we were ok, and sex was ok although never really great. but we had so many other things going for us that I over looked it. after 5 years he started to let me know how much he wanted to be a sub. I tried this, many times and all it made me feel was bored and stressed. trying to be a dom when your heart is not in it, is very stressfull. I told him many times that I really didnt enjoy any of this, but he couldnt or wouldnt hear me. This was his dream I guess. after a few years of this I just gave up and stop trying. now I feel disconnected with him sexually. even when he tries to please me, I feel he is faking it. right now I am at a crossroad. leave my husband because I am not sexually satified or continue to live without. I love him and in many ways he is a good husband, but the sex was never good and now its a chore for me like doing dishes. I have always enjoyed sex and even a little spice but now Im completely cold. This is breaking my heart just writing it. I cant talk to anyone about it, but I dont even look at him the same now.

  60. I’ve been in a 5 year relationship with someone who is a submissive. Unfortunately as much as there is love and respect in the relationship and even with all my efforts in trying out various kinky things, I think we’re pretty much heading for a break up. I liked the kinky stuff but he just wanted much more extreme humiliation and there was only so much I could do. At the back of my mind, I always felt the relationship was doomed even though he tried to reassure me many times. It’s really, really hard and I really feel for the women who have been in the same situation. It’s a feeling of never being enough for someone that really gets me.
    Relationships like this should come with a warning. Experimental sex life is fine but a constant compulsion for harder stuff needs to be avoided if you’re not into it.
    Also you have to be careful if you’ve suffered abuse before, I had just come out of an abusive relationship and when I was trying out things with my submissive boyfriend, it would freak me out if we went too fast.
    Next time I meet someone I will be asking the question about whether they are into BDSM (probably on the first date)

  61. I was in an almost 2 year relationship with a very loving boyfriend. I was aware of his fondness for BDSM, but had no idea how strong his need to be submissive was. When we broke up for a couple of months, he met a woman who is a Dom, as well as very successful and intellectual. He and I got back together at one point, and I was more than willing to try things kinkier than my normal ‘vanilla’ self, but I think that he could sense my hesitation. Not long after we got back together, things went South and he ended up leaving me for her. I am beyond devastated abd am finding it difficult to love forward, as I loved him more than anything, but I realize that this fundamental sexual difference between us was too large. Love did not conquer all.

  62. I am vanilla my husband into soft bdsm. I have tried it but feel disconnected emotionally, like im acting in sex and he doesnt really want ME. Even though he says its very connecting to do that. We are at a point after 18 years where the only option seems to try having him have outside sub relationships with

    In earlier years I might have left sooner, but we truly love each other and have much going in other ways. We are going to a therapist to work on communication issues (which ave at least in part, manifested due to resentment about getting our needs met). I’m personally hoping with increased communication, more trust and emotional intimacy, I might be able to adopt enough of the play – without it feeling fake – that could satisfy him.

    Footnote – has always participated in self-bdsm – he’s not very social. He says he just needs the domination and its not about sex. Is this really possible? Does bdsm necessarily have to involve sex? Have others been able to approach it this way?

    I am 59. After so many years together (no kids) with care, love and friendship – breaking up seems very hard to do and if this can work, I’d like give it a shot. But am I just fighting the inevitable with this open lifestyle? Will this inevitably lead somewhere else emotionally for him? I want him to be happy bdon’t also don’t want to drag through years more of hurt either. I need sex with emotional connection, and I’m hoping therapy combined with an outlet for now might work … Thoughts?

  63. I am just recently out of this same exact situation. I dated my boyfriend for 4.5 years and discovered he was a Sub. He speaking to dom’s and engaging in internet sexual activity on a bdsm site..(sending nude photo’s to dom’s etc). I had strange feelings and found his registration in a secret email account. My heart sunk. I was able to read all his emails. I confronted him and he had no idea what to say. He tried to convince me that he could forget about BDSM. But I knew this was a big part of who he was. We talked about why he liked it etc. It took a LOT for him to open up about it. He struggled with feeling ashamed. He was in law enforcement and felt tired of always being dominant and in control. For him being a sub was a release from everyday life. It makes sense to me.

    I tried some mild BDSM things with him to be supportive and have an open mind but deep down I felt disapointed and weirded out. I wasn’t happy pretending to like this new role. I also felt a lack of trust because he had gone behind my back and in my opinion “cheated”. When we first started dating I had just gotten out of another 4.5 year relationship and felt dispointed because I had hoped to be married and starting a family already..I think I started to focus more on wanting to get married then I did on my compatibility with the new guy.

    We dated 4.5 years and it was in the last 8 months I discovered his fondness for BDSM. Among other things I felt unhappy with where we were living, the lack of a job market there, lack of being in a city etc. It seemed like a no brainer. He begged and pleaded and said everything he coulf to try to convince me we could fix this but I just felt it wasn’t true. I know he loves me. But I think he was definitly having an internal struggle. I support and love him but I know who I am. I am vanilla. I feel that I gave it the benefit of the doubt by trying some of it (I even used a strap on).. oh jeez my stomach turns as I think about that. Anyway, I gave it a try because I felt bad that he felt like such an outcast and because I loved him. But this stuff BDSM is just not me. He was a great guy for the most part.

    Here I am 29 and feeling bummed about this whole thing. But I am feeling comfort in reading a lot of this feedback here. Thank you to everyone who shared here. I came to this website because I wondered the same thing the poster did..Is a relationship really doomed if one person if vanilla and the other kink? I knew the answer but needed reassurance. It is just one of those days for me..and I miss him..But I know i’ve made the right decision. I hope that he finds happiness and makes peace with who he is.

  64. I realize this post is very old, but someone in similar situations might find it and read the insight of those who responded.
    I don’t know what the OP did, but I will throw in my two cents on things.

    The LESS likely scenario is that the vanilla partner will have bsdm needs awoken in them with time. But I would not bet on that scenario. The other very important thing to note is that even people into bdsm can be at very different stages at different times. Someone just starting out might never DREAM that they will grow to love and even crave certain activities that they actually will down the line. So someone seasoned and the kinds of things they are into might scare them off and they would not even understand why those things are craved, EVEN if they are later wired to get into it.

    The much much MUCH more likely scenario is that the vanilla partner will grow to maybe enjoy a few mild bdsm centered activities but not need or crave or even tolerate more than that. Meanwhile the one into heavy bdsm – just the fact that they are into heavy bdsm to begin with already means it is NOT gonna go away. In fact they are eventually going to be frustrated with unmet needs and start seeking outlets – often behind the back of their vanilla partner.

    If a vanilla person finds themself in the situation of the poster, hedge your bets on scenario two, and END the relationship before you both get much more emotionally vested, get married, have kids and then inevitably face a MUCH greater issue down the line when you discover your partner is cheating on you. The risk here is GREAT.

    Yes, there is a tiny chance that one day you might grow to appreciate and need his needs and then regret breaking it off. But honestly, the chance is so tiny that its not worth considering and even if it happens, you can fully excuse your decision to flee with the very big fact that you were not ready for that kind of badm intensity at THAT stage of your life. The pain suffered will be SIGNIFICANTLY less than if you stay in the relationship and grow it into a HUGE problem later.
    This is one scenario in which love does NOT conquer all.

  65. I was in exactly the same situation. My partner told me from the off that he was really into sM sex and relationships. As a very innocent girl I was really scared but stuck around because I loved him. Over time I was willing to try some things (like spanking, verbal power-play, tying up and eventually asphyxiation). All the while I thought I was doing it only because he liked it, but I DID cum pretty hard from some of it and started to ask for it.

    I’m now with someone else and have discovered that I don’t like vanilla anywhere near as much as I enjoyed mild sM activities. I really regret the barrier I put up with my first boyfriend because it caused the break up of our relationship.

    I understand that you have valid reasons, but from experience I would say to try some of the things he is suggesting on as mild a scale as possible. You might find you like it.

  66. I don’t believe in sex outside of marriage but the scenario is the same as my marriage. My wife is vanilla I am not. However I don’t think any punishment or domination is right, but spanking works a treat as foreplay and it’s something I ask for which adds the spice for me. After twenty years she says she is switched on by seeing me switched on so it can work.

  67. I just recently got into the same situation and I agree that things need to be established early on in a new BDSM relationship no matter what type it may be. Expectations, roles, and rules need to be taken into consideration so both can agree on terms of the relationship when exploring boundaries.Talk things out and don’t flip out and assume something about your partner always take their feelings and beliefs into consideration if u can bare to in some cases if you love them you will overcome them if not then it may not be the right BDSM relationship or partner for you. Goodluck and Hope my relationship blossoms into a wonderful thing. BDSM relationships can last a long time and have benefits that traditional benefits lack in assuring trust respect and honesty.

  68. Hi
    Just found out my husband of 8 years has been cheating for 6 of them with various dommes. The last one he fell in love with and screwed him for a load of cash. He started off with porn, then bdsm porn then eventually the real thing. During our marriage we tried ‘light bdsm- handcuffs, cropsm blindfolds etc’ but he wasn’t interested – guess by then he had got too used to the real thing. He’s now in therapy for sex addiction as this is just one of his ways of acting out and my marriage has been revealed as a sham ( he was into bdsm porn before I met him but never told me)

    My advice, get out now while you’re safe and sane
    K

  69. Wow, this story is exactly like mine, only I spent 7 wonderful years with my man before realizing that his passivity in bed is because he is actually a sub and craves to be dominated, bonded, and whipped. I love him with all my heart, but am completely vanilla, and although I absolutely support different sexual preferences I just don’t see anything arousing in being a dominatrix (no negative past experiences – I am just so). He knew that, and he was keeping his real needs away from me all these years because a) he didn’t want to make me feel obliged to do stuff I don’t like and b) it wouldn’t be fun for him if he new I was only pretending.

    All this I’ve found out only when our relationship broke – after I cheated on him with another guy. I really didn’t mean to, but somehow it happened and I suddenly realized everything I’ve been missing in bed for so long: the connection, the feeling that I am enough for the other person, that he is not somewhere else in his thoughts. I am ashamed of myself for leaving my beloved partner for what is essentially ‘just a sex problem’, and some of my friends can’t understand that. But I don’t know what else to do – although I love my ex dearly, and we have wonderful connection on all other levels, can we pretend this can all work out without a true connection in bed?

    Anyhow, based on my experience so far: it’s probably doomed. But I would appreciate other opinions. Vanilla Girl, what did you do at the end?

  70. For me, “kink” is much more than sex or desire. It IS a way of communicating that is part of the fundamental conversation between me and my lover. It is as much a part of my core identity as my bisexuality is. People can make loving relationships with all sorts of “non-compatible” sexualities between them, but one can also build incredible emotional intimacy through all kinds of sexual behaviour.

  71. I’m going through the same thing with my lover. What started out as me trying to be open and adventurous in trying out his kink came to a screeching halt just this past weekend when we went to an all-kink/all-the-time weekend together. The scene in the dungeon made my flesh crawl and I felt like I’d suddenly descended to the 7th layer of hell. I didn’t even realize the extent of my cognitive dissonance over this, just knew that I was becoming increasingly tense and fearful anytime we started to become intimate. The problem is, we’re great friends, totally in sync in the default setting, really enjoy each others’ company. But I can’t go there and he wants to live there.

    Soooo, we’ve opened up the relationship, and we’ll see how that goes. But I have to say that I’m not confident that we’ll last longer than a few more months. We have commitments we’ve made, artwork we’re collaborating on, but once it’s delivered, I’m thinking we’ll both just sort of lose interest and move on. Needless to say, I’ve put my heart back in its hard shell so as to prevent further knocks. *sigh*

  72. amathema, you make a very good point. For the OP and for Jane and some others, seeing a D/S relationship in the bedroom and a connection between the partners in said relationship emotionally is impossible. For them it won’t work whether due to unresolved abuse issues, actual abuse in the current relationship or simple personal preferences.

    I agree with you, however, than some of us can have a sometimes (or always) “Kinky” side to our relationship sex and still have a very very deep connection with our lover. Respect and D/S activities are NOT mutually exclusive. In fact, in most healthy animated exploitative sexual relationships, respect has to be there IN ORDER for the “kink” to be accepted. In most D/S relationships (meaning “Dominant/Submissive” as opposed to the more judgmental “Sado/Masochistic”) the TRUST is so deep in order for the activities to take place and for the members of the couple to feel SAFE and often the trust becomes even deeper, when one knows one’s lover is ‘that close’ to the edge and still can respect, love and honor you, and you can do the same with him/her.

    I don’t think people who haven’t explored this variation of sexual play are going to understand, and I guess that’s OK. A D/S sexual relationship or even mild D/S play is certianly NOT for everyone. One has to have one’s head on straight, one has to trust one’s partner and the partner has to be the same. One also has to desire these activities and know how to participate in them in a safe sane manner. (Although to Outsiders, it may not appear safe or sane, it certainly can be, and IMO SHOULD be.)

    I understand why some people don’t want kink in their sex lives and that’s perfectly OK, but I think if D/S activities are an important part of someone’s Love Map (as Kinsey called the complicated web of what turns you on and keeps you turned on) exclusively “Vanilla Sex” is not going to keep them happy, and if someone wants nothing to do with D/S activities, then even contemplating these activities may make then not only resentful, but scared and even physically ill. D/S is simply not for these people. Although, it is healthy for many of us, someone who has these reactions to is wouldn’t be healthy if participating either emotionally against their actual will, or not understanding WHAT D/S is about.

    There are all kinds of sexual styles and the way I see it, a hard core D/S aficionado and a vanilla lover will no longer make it together than a relationship where one partner is GLBT (and trying to suppress it) and gets involved with a Hetero person of the opposite sex.

    There’s nothing “wrong” with D/S play, nor is there anything “wrong” with vanilla leanings, but the two don’t usually work together. Both partners eventually start wanting then needing something else, resentment builds, and honestly, if the OP thinks her partner may do something to “scare” her, she is simply in the wrong relationship.

    I hope they can both find people whose sexual Love Maps are more in tune with what works for them.

  73. The answer is Yes, you should break up with him. The two of you are not right for one another, and if you don’t break up with him, he will with you, probably sooner than later.
    He will not change, and you will become increasingly unhappy with one another. Face the unfortunate truth and meet someone else you can be truly happy with. Not this guy.

  74. @Jane. Um . . . wow. We are all entitled to our own experiences, and I certainly get that *for you* kinky sex with this person was not communication. But it seems a bit much to extrapolate from your one experience to all of human endeavor.

    Human experience is rich and varied. What works for me doesn’t have to work for you. But to posit that indulging ones desires and building an emotional connection are polar opposites? That’s just . . . odd to me. That implies that when one is building a connection, one is not fulfilling desires. And that just sounds counterintuitive and a little sad. I want the filthy perverted sex *and* the emotional bonding, and don’t think I’d be too happy in a relationship where I had to choose one or the other.

  75. I was in a similar situation with my boyfriend of 2.5 years who I broke up with last year. When it comes down to it, if one person looks at sex as a way to emotionally bond, while the other looks at it as a way to act out his/her desires, it’s just going to be difficult. It was difficult for me to separate the man who called me slut and begged me to use nipple clamps in the bedroom from the man he was in his day to day life. When I sat down and thought about it, I realized that I use sex to connect with another person, and I couldn’t compromise on something that was so important for me.

    If it’s important to you to have more run-of-the-mill sex (and that’s TOTALLY ok!), don’t tolerate someone degrading you in the bedroom. It will just make you resent him more outside of the bedroom.

  76. I would run the other way from a guy who was into BD/SM. I think she needs to talk to him about it and probably break up with him.
    I absolutely, positively, do not think she should try being kinky. Given her history, she could make herself completely frigid. But I also think she shouldn’t have to justify her preferences by saying she had a history of abuse. Nobody should ever feel weird saying that they don’t want to and will never, ever want to try being slapped or humiliated. There’s nothing wrong with feeling that way.

  77. “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. ”

    Almost all practitioners of BDSM follow the “Safe, Sane, and Consensual” credo. Based on how he has acted thus far, I think it would be unlikely that he’d break that and try to force you to engage in any sort of activity that would make you uncomfortable.

    One of the most fundamental precepts of BDSM, as I understand it, is mutual communication about what both partners are comfortable with. I was in the same position as you are about two years ago: a guy with whom I was very interested in starting a relationship was completely honest about his interests in bondage. I, like you, was completely terrified of the prospect of being with someone who wanted to sexually subjugate me. I chickened out, but some time later, I got a second chance to be with him, and took it; a year later, I am still with him and couldn’t be happier. I do participate in BDSM with him, because of the sense of mutual trust and safety that we have created through extensive communication. That said, if you don’t feel that you’ll ever be able to be fully honest with this guy, and able to trust him, you will never reach a state of sexual compatibility. Do you really want to be with someone of whom you are afraid?

  78. He’s made it clear that hard core BDSM is “a significant part of his sexuality.” YOU have made it clear that that is NEVER gonna work for you. You have mentioned not just spankings, but, “violent” spankings, “Extreme Bondage” (Whatever that is) and other things you seem turned off by and even frightened with thinking about.

    It doesn’t mean he’s wrong, or that you are, just that the two of you are on completely different pages, sexually. He didn’t say, “I like a little light bondage and mild humiliation with my sex, but I don’t need it.” He said it was “a integral part” of who is is.

    You seem to think that BDSM is about “being scared” (and it isn’t, in fact, the Bottom has most of the control in most S/D relationships, and if done right, there is NO fear, but you have to BE that person who want that, but that’s an other page) and you don’t seem to get what he’s about either.

    He’s keeping it totally vanilla for you, for now, but if that what does it for him, eventually, he WILL get bored. And, you will get either tired of hearing about it, or get tired of fending off his “suggestions.”

    Sexual compatibility is SO important. If this is his thing, his complete thing, and HIS thing is something you can’t even think about without feeling ill HOW is this going to work? He’s NOT going to stop wanting hard core, and I don’t see you wanting it ever. Both of you are compromising, in a way that isn’t sustainable, won’t last and will not turn out for the better for either of you, not to mention both of you.

    My opinion? Get this over with and move on before someone gets hurt or falls in love and both of you are left wanting. IMO, this is not a “fixable” situation.

    You may also need to think about WHY you let yourself fall for a man who is lives a Lifestyle which is exactly what you are most frightened of.

  79. Perhaps you would feel more comfortable if you were the one spanking him or tying him up?? Then you would be in control of the situation and it would not feel scary to you. If you can see yourself as a dominatrix, then it might work for him too. You should talk to him about your feelings and fears. Also, I think that if your past is still generally hurting you and affecting you in a negative way that you should consider trauma counseling. Good luck.

  80. Relationships, even the best-seeming ones, are hard. So much so, that without any other information at all, my response to “Is my relationship doomed?” defaults to “probably.” It probably is, even without any kink/vanilla incompatibilities. Spes made a comment above, bringing up a good point that friendship is what keeps things going. A common theme with the vast majority of the healthy (whatever that means) relationships I have enjoyed / observed is communication. Open, honest communication. If this is a big deal, the best advice I have would be to talk about it. Maybe you’ll compromise (trying a “softer” scene as recommended above) and realize you actually CAN get into some of this. Maybe you’ll try it out and hate it. Maybe you are firmly against trying anything else out. Whatever the case may be, talk it through. Once you’re both clear on the issue, then you can decide what the next steps are-whether it be breaking up, just being friends, being friends with occasional vanilla sexual play, or sticking through some sort of relationship. Talk about it. Don’t guess at what he’s thinking.

    Is the relationship doomed? Probably.

  81. This guy certainly doesn’t sound like ‘Mr. Right’; at least for you. My opinion is that you are vulnerable to being hurt in more ways than one. I suggest you end it and do it sooner rather than later.

  82. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many relationships fall apart because of this very issue. If his need for kink is as strong as you think, then maybe you should try something mild as others have suggested.

    He is being “vanilla” for you right now, but this fetish will resurface and cause problems later. It always does. Plus, you will always know that you are not satisfying him completely, which will make you insecure in the relationship. He has given you fair warning already.

  83. Simple. Sit him down and make him read this. It seems to me that you haven’t had the entire conversation with him, and if you intend to continue a relationship, you’re going to need to have it anyways. In fact, for a real relationship, you’re going to need to tell him a lot more than this, so if he doesn’t know everything that we do now, you’re missing information. Why don’t you ask HIM if this relationship will work?

  84. I think the only way this can be solved/saved is if you go nonmonogamous and let him get his kink needs solved elsewhere. That way you don’t have to participate (and don’t feel forced to in order to keep him), and he doesn’t feel neglected/pissed/frustrated/whatever because he can only get it from you and you don’t want to.

    Yeah, 99% of the population, probably including you, would not be okay with this. But hell, it worked for me.

  85. Sex is an important part of a relationship – just like friendship, trust, spiritual values, moral ideologies, etc. It would be difficult to be in a relationship with a person who’s fundamentally different from you morally. It would be difficult if your money habits are very different. In the same way, differences in sexual tastes do pose a challenge in the relationship.

    The question is how much the relationship is worth to both of you. Is your vanilla attitude important enough to him to tone down his kinkiness? Is his desire to experiment important enough to you for you to try it in small doses?

    Just like any other fundamental difference, this needs to be addressed. And getting serious in a relationship requires moving out of your comfort zone in some areas. Decide how much each of you are willing to budge. If you’re both willing to try each other’s worlds, do it with respect and trust – in the same way that you would address a big difference in any other aspect of your relationship.

  86. Spes brings up a very good point that subs often control the way that things go, as a good, sane dom is at least as responsive to their partner’s needs as a typical vanilla lover. You may also be over-estimating the effect of some BDSM play…as Dan Savage says, for most people it’s ‘playing cops and robbers with your clothes off’, and for a lot of people, it is very much just play.

    You certainly have good and valid reasons for not wanting to explore this kink, and you should not feel guilty about having them. As to what it means for the future of your relationship, as everyone else has pointed out, it could be a major problem. It is very difficult for someone who has very clearly defined kinks to face going without them for a long period of time, regardless of how much they might love their vanilla partner. Is it possible that you could talk to him about ways that he could satisfy this kink within whatever boundaries the two of you find acceptable for you as a couple? Some couples manage to have a great relationship when one person can act out their kinks away from the other, or perhaps you can find ways to do it together which don’t bother you- attend dungeon parties together where you don’t have to participate in the play except in encouraging him to watch, verbally participate etc.

    Not all couples can or want to go that way, but if you really care about each other and just can’t find a way around this issues, it might be worth exploring.

    I’m sorry for what you’ve been through, and I hope that you can work it out. If nothing else, tell him that you are afraid that he is all of a sudden going to do something that makes you uncomfortable, and why.

  87. My dear Vanilla, Oh how I know how you feel. Or at least somewhat. I myself am a product of past events in my life that now affect my present & future. Those events being raped at age 16 and molested by an uncle in my youngest of years. That being said my biggest hangup you could say was something as easy as a blowjob, even if it was with a man that I was or am in love with.

    What I have found is that the more they harped me on “their needs” of this sort of thing, the more I felt the same manipulative feelings that I have tried for so long to get over. You cant get over it, you can try to forget, but it is always there in that little space in the back of your mind.

    So what I have done, is basically tell any of the men that were previously in my life or currently (my current boyfriend) that I know and I am fully aware of their wants and “Needs”, BUT they also need to be fully aware of my past. And by them putting pressure on me about what they think they need/want so badly, they are not thinking about anyone but themselves. So in the end when it comes to a blowjob…I do it on my own terms and when I am comfortable with it as well. It may not be everyday or even every week, but I do make an effort. As long as they keep in mind the emotional turmoil I went thru as a child & teen, and fully understand what that has done to me – then they might deserve that extra treat to fulfill their desires.

    Another solution is to possibly come up with a safe word. And tell him what you have gone thru. If you are honest with him, that right there might bring you closer than anything sexually would. And maybe he has never had anyone go thru anything like that before that it was ever an issue.

    I know my past has definitely influenced the sexual appetite I have today in a perverse odd way, thats not saying its good or bad, Just Odd.

  88. Friendship, not sex, is what keeps a relationship strong for 50+ years. Also, sometimes, though rarely, those kinks do go away, but not because they’re being denied or repressed, it’s an internal issue. I found myself in the awkward position of having the man who awoke my love of kink suddenly lose his interest in it. And when one loves to sub, it’ just plain weird to suddenly have to take the upper hand.
    I agree with Paul and Johnny, talk to you S.O., consider some super soft BDSM play, and do just that play! Run naked giggling around the house and then let him catch you and put some loose fluffy cuffs around you wrists. Remember that dominating has everything to do with power play, so just the satisfaction that he knows precisely how make you squirm with pleasure may be enough in and of itself for him. Doms don’t just humiliate and beat their partners, many also love to toy with their partners through pleasure not pain. And bear in mind this: in BDSM the sub is really the one with the true power; they ultimately determine and set the boundaries of the dom. At their word (or other signal) they have the power to stop everything cold.

  89. I have a guy friend in this situation. He is kinky, she is not. His experience makes me think you are probably a bit doomed.
    I asked him as a fellow kinkster how vanilla was working out for him. Initially he thought it was fine he could give that up for a great girl, but it slowly wore on him. When she wanted to spice things up, his ideas were not well received to say the least. She had zero interest in his kinks.

    So instead he substitutes with among other things a secret online personal ad (that says he is single btw) he checks daily. It’s good that you are ok with his porn, but it can move beyond that and he will keep it from you.

    Also, as someone who is into BDSM (but by no means a die hard) I will tell you those fantasies & desires never go away. Mine ebb & flow, but the idea of never being able to indulge that part of my sexuality again? That would be hell. You don’t mention your/his age. However if he has engaged in bdsm in person (ie – not just online or porn) I can tell you it’s not something that is going to go away for him. Consequently the elephant isn’t going away.

    If kink or anything else in your sexual relationship is already causing a disconnect it’s probably doomed. Sexual chemistry is what makes a relationship not just a friendship. So what happens when you are a year in? or two? when all that stupidly happy newness wears off. Are you guys really going to be able to (pardon the cliche) keep things hot in the bedroom if you can’t even agree on what’s hot?

  90. You wrote, “I can’t imagine enjoying anything about it…”

    I take that to mean you haven’t tried this out. Perhaps you could entertain a softer-core S&M session, just to see what it’s like and to satisfy your partner? Like, no pain, no humiliation… maybe just soft fuzzy cuffs and/or a blindfold?

    But maybe the answer to that is no. Maybe you just absolutely definitely don’t want anything to do with it. In that case yes. Your relationship is doomed.

  91. I wouldn’t say it’s doomed…yet.

    I think it definitely shows a fundamental difference in one of the most important aspects of a relationship. So I would think it needs to be addressed head on and early before you get to deep and it becomes very difficult and complicated for both of you.

    I’d recommend talking to him about it and see what he likes about that “flavor” of sexual relationship. Maybe hearing him explain it to you will help you understand it and him a little more. You might not want to jump in full force, but maybe you could try a few things you do feel comfortable with and see how it goes.

    But, I would say after talking with him and you still feel uncomfortable then it’s probably best you guys part ways. To have a disconnect on that level I think would slowly spread throughout the entire relationship over time. That is, unless you can allow him to fulfill those desires apart from you (whatever that would mean), which probably wouldn’t bode well with you.

    I think in order to travel down that rode [you] need to be either very detached or very secure. Secure being the more healthy I imagine, and cultivating that kind of security takes time.

    Paul

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