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.



162 Comments

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your past. I cannot imagine what you have gone through. As for your current situation, communication is key, if you are dead set againt something that’s ok but let him know where you stand. Most people in the community are very understanding, listen and communicate very well. If all you want is vanilla sex that’s great but don’t cut him out of the choice to be with you as you are. Give him a chance to succeed in the relationship. Ask him detailed questions. You may be surprised by the answers. Good luck! I hope you find joy and happiness in all aspects of your life.

  2. If your boyfriend is so overwhelmed by your sexual past, that you two can’t sit down and calmly discuss his issues, then maybe it’s time for him to move on. In the future it might be a good idea to be more forthcoming about your past when you get seriously involved with a man. As a rule most people don’t like being blindsided.

  3. Do you know exactly how “non-vanilla” your partner is? If you do know and whatever “it” is absolutely unacceptable then it’s probably best for you to move on for both of your sakes.

    If you don’t know then you both need to sit down like adults and have that conversation. You both need to listen to each other and then with the truth out there you can together make the right decision for both of you moving forward.

  4. Sounds like he is into dominatrix and you’re not….sorry don’t mean to sound horrible but you should find someone else, because it won’t work and your only end up getting hurt….I’m speaking from experience as I married someone that was into this and my marriage was very controlling, for years. I thought I could change him but over the years his behaviour got worse and now I’m in a really bad situation where he left me and I’m going through hell….If I could change the past and my decision to have not married him, I would. It was kinda doomed really became of him being into dominatrix and controlling ways…I wish I had spoken to people about his ways and got advice before marriage. My life would be so different now and most likely would have had a better one…..

  5. I’m a business college student who’s been in a relationship for over 2 years. I’m in love with this girl and do nearly everything for her. However she isn’t satisfied with my lack of kinkiness in the bedroom. She loves the sex, but doesn’t think I know how to be kinky or foreplay. We’re in love with each other and I’ve been working to improve on this to try and save the relationship but we’ve talked about it and it’s not enough no matter how much I do. I feel in my heart like she is the one and I don’t want to lose her but I also don’t want either of us getting hurt. What should I do?

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

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