One of the most common questions that seems to come up in online forums related to BDSM is:
“Well, I’ve never thought about it and I am not into it, but my SO is into BDSM and I love them, so…”
I am not an expert at anything. I’ve just been in the scene for a really long time. It doesn’t make me a relationship guru and only you know what is right for you. But here is what I have noticed:
First, I am pretty sure this whole kink thing is The Way We Are. I have been fantasizing about pain since I was 5 years old, so I am pretty certain it’s just a personality trait, and I don’t think it will go away because someone else is not interested. I’m sorry, but I can’t change my hair color either.
Just understand that kink isn’t something that I think people typically choose. Maybe some people do- if they’re just bored with sex. However, I’ve been to a lot of play parties where we all started talking about how we got to be kinky, and all of us remember fantasizing about kinky things as kids.
So just take that into account.
However, let’s be honest: The kink community can come with a lot on nonsense in terms of dating. You meet people on fetlife.com or collarme.com and they can be nice people- or they can be people with serious issues who act like their kink is the only acceptable kind and everyone else is sick. Sometimes we get tired of dating “in our scene.”
There are all sorts of ways a relationship can go when you meet someone in the community. For example sometimes you meet someone that you only play scenes with and the dynamic is really good; and you don’t want to make it a relationship because it might alter the dynamic.
Also, as I mentioned before when I talked about how to hit on a girl- just because a guy is kinky- does not mean he has game. Some of the people you meet are awkward enough that it can turn you off to kink completely for awhile. I have met a lot of girls that felt that way.
Worse still- sometimes you’re stuck living somewhere that the scene is mostly dead. Imagine that there are only six other people that ever meet up and they are all in monogamous relationships, and it’s just you all alone with no one kinky to date. And even if one other person showed up, and if they were of your preferred gender, and if they had kinks similar to yours, you still might not like them as a person. Or, to put it another way, just because the only male a of species left on Earth meets the only female of a species left on Earth, does not mean they will fuck.
The point is- dating in the scene can be complicated. Maybe a person doesn’t always feel like they have that option. And so sometimes we date vanilla people- for whatever reason.
So then various forums end up flooded with vanilla people asking one of two questions. They either want to know about kink and maybe get into it, or they want to know if their SO can live without it.
If they want to know more about it, there are great books like S&M 101 by Jay Wisemen. There are people who do workshops like Midori. There are people who do how-to videos like Twisted Monk. And there is loads of places to read up online like the FAQ section of reddit’s BDSM community. Learning about kink is as simple as spending some time reading.
Note that I didn’t recommend watching porn. There is good stuff out there, like the stuff at kink.com. That’s worth paying for- and I don’t often say that about porn. However, the majority of porn that is labeled BDSM is actually just porn, but with vinyl clothes. That’s not really going to help anyone learn about kink.
Anyway there are lots of resources. If you want to learn, it’s easy.
The other question is harder. What most vanilla people dating someone into BDSM really seem to want to know is- can they live without it. I have met too many people who were dating someone who often pushed them to get freaky and they just didn’t want to. They had no interest in whips, chains, spankings, or even a little light bondage. And they wanted me to tell them that their SO didn’t need those things.
Like I said at the start of this post- I am pretty sure I was born this way. I don’t think there was ever an option for me. I think I have always been tweeked a bit- and I don’t think I can change it any more than I can change my hair colour. That’s just me. Maybe your significant other is different. Maybe they can be happy with vanilla sex forever. Talk to them about it. And if they say they are sure they can quit kink cold turkey and never ask you for anything out of the ordinary, then maybe that is the case.
Only you know how your relationship is doing and how your dynamic is. Only you know what you can live with, and what you can live without. I think more than anything else, what’s needed in such situations is soul searching. Because if your SO is into BDSM and you’re sure that you’re not- then sometimes the relationship is probably not going to work out. Sorry to end on a down note; but it had to be said.