So you have realized you are kinky. Great! Now what?
In a typical vanilla relationship, you have a set of rules. You don’t have to follow those rules, and in fact, you can act in the opposite way all the time if you want. However, the rules are there.
This is sort of a holdover from a time when there were clearly defined gender roles. Women stayed home. They cooked and cleaned and had babies. Men went to work. And if they were gentlemen, perhaps they opened some doors or helped with things around the house.
Many people no longer follow those rules, but they still persist in TV, Music, Movies, and popular culture in general. As this is a US election year, I’ll just go ahead and point out that they still exist in politics too, which is really tragic.
(Maybe that’s just my opinion, but I think traditional gender roles are damaging to everyone.)
However, us kinky folks don’t have rules that have been established over time. A Master/Mistress/Slave/Submissive does not always act in any particular way.
This can be very freeing, because obviously the oppressive gender roles of the mainstream are a bummer. And yet, it can also be scary. If there are no established rules, how do you know what to do?
I would only point out that it’s entirely up to you to decide how comfortable you are with things, and what you want.
Take the example of my husband and myself. We are both switches, but not in our primary relationship with each other. In our personal relationship, he is my Pet, and I am his Mistress. We do not do this 24/7, but we do observe this at home. This can get really confusing sometimes. Last year for my birthday he got me a cake that said “Happy Birthday Mistress.” I didn’t even think about it because I am so used to be called Mistress, and I posted a picture of the cake on my Facebook feed.
I forget that his friends and co-workers can see things that he is tagged in, and that he’s not “out” in his public life. Not to mention he was talking to a few girls at the time who thought of him as a Master and I think he might have been friends with them on Facebook.
We didn’t make a big deal about it or anything. It’s not like it caused a fight. But it was one of those awkward moments where we had to think about boundaries. It’s always hard to know where boundaries are, and they may not be in the same place for both parties in a relationship.
That’s just one example, but there are so many more.
As another example, think of how relationship dynamics change over time with a vanilla couple. That can be a huge cause of stress on a relationship, and they don’t even have kink roles added in. They can just have a situation where one party used to make more money, and now the other does, and that can ruin a marriage.
But we have the added complication of evolving kink roles over time. Sometimes the person who is dominant wants to do a submissive thing. This can cause the person who is usually submissive to suddenly see their Master in a whole other light and can ruin their psychological ability to feel properly submissive later (since kink is mostly about the space in your head and not the toys or bonds, this is a very real concern.)
So what do we do?
Well, that’s the part I hate to tell people: I don’t know. No one does. We just negotiate and re-negotiate and try to figure it out.
Yes, that sucks. I wish there were easy answers. But the truth is, in kink, you just have to feel things out and hope that you can find places where you agree on things. I actually think so many of us are poly because it’s very hard to find someone who you can have as a partner and also have compatible kinks with. Hence, play relationships outside the primary tend to crop up a lot of the time.
As I always say, there is no solution outside of good communication. If you can do that, you should be okay.