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Gina Answers: Introducing BDSM Into a New Relationship

Posted by Gina Pure Pleasure on

Bri Asks:

I am a 25 year-old woman who is in a very vanilla relationship. My man has a very dominant personality outside of the bedroom, however this does not seem to carry over into the bedroom. I have read many books about BDSM relationships and seem to be very turned on by them. My tastes seem to run towards the submissive side. I'm very confused about the way I feel or should not feel about my submissive side. I can't talk to my partner about it and more and more it seems to confuse me. How do you know if  D/S is for you?

Dear Bri:

I commend you for being proactive in seeking some support for this dilemma.  I hear two main threads in your letter: that you are confused by your feelings and that you feel unable to have a conversation about this with your partner.   Fortunately, you are not the first to experience either of these when considering BDSM.  First of all, give yourself permission to feel absolutely, perfectly ‘normal’ for feeling curious by the prospect of exploring BDSM.  Try to let go of any self-doubt and judgment about your feelings and just allow yourself to explore them.  Even the confusion you feel is normal.  If you’ve yet to explore this part of yourself, how could you possibly be anything other than confused?  My guess is that once you do begin to explore, some of your own questions will be answered, and your specific desires will become clearer.   This is the only way to know if BDSM is right for you.  Try to see this as something exciting and new in your life.  You are, at this moment in time, on the edge of a new frontier of self-discovery.  How exciting is that?!

As far as your partner is concerned, I hear that you do not feel comfortable talking about this with him, correct? Without knowing more specifics about the attempts you might have made to discuss this, I can only start from scratch here.  It sounds like you’ve already done enough exploration and reading to figure out that you are drawn specifically to exploring the sub side of the BDSM dynamic. The first thing I’d like to caution you against is making any assumptions, based on your partner’s behavior outside of the bedroom, about which side of the D/S dynamic he’d likely fall on in the bedroom, and even whether it’s a dynamic that he’s ready to explore at this time.   You may find that he is enthusiastic and willing to learn with you.  However, be prepared for the possibility that he may not be able to be the supportive partner you hoped for as you explore this, and ask yourself how you will balance your curiosity with the needs of your partner and your relationship.  You will only know once you find a way to broach the subject with him.  Onto how to do just that: talk about this with your partner.

First, I would caution against keeping this from your partner any longer.  Many people keep secrets about their sexual desires instead of sharing them with their partners.  This can be very detrimental to trust and intimacy in a relationship.   If you choose to explore this without informing him, you aren’t giving him the chance to truly know you, and you aren’t giving him the chance to grow with you.  What do you mean when you say, ‘I can't talk to my partner about it…’ Have you tried?  If so, what have you tried?  Are you afraid that he will react negatively or judgmentally if you share this?  How do you think he might react to something along the lines of “I have something I’d like to share with you.  I want you to know that I’m confused by some of the feelings I am having about this, and I’m concerned that (state your concern – that he will judge you?), so I feel vulnerable sharing this.  I want to trust that you’ll be supportive…”  This is just one suggestion for beginning a conversation that might be challenging.

Another possibility is to find a context in which to bring it up.  For instance, you could come into Pure Pleasure just to explore, and while there, wander over (alone or with him) to the book section, begin picking up books on Kink/BDSM (I recommend 'When Someone You Love Is Kinky', by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt), and then try to engage him in a discussion about it.  Ask him if he’s ever wanted to explore BDSM or some other dynamic.  Ask if he’s ever had a partner who had specific desires or turn-ons that might be considered ‘kinky’.  Ask him how that felt, or how he thinks it might feel to explore kink with a partner.  Then let him know about the thoughts and feelings you’ve had about BDSM, and your desire to learn more.  Ask him if he would feel comfortable with that, and if he’s willing to explore with you.   Hopefully, he will respond positively, but if his reaction is to judge, criticize, shame or tease you, this is good information about his limited ability to be supportive in future challenging situations.    Remember, your feelings are normal and you deserve the opportunity to explore this; don’t let a disapproving partner shame or stop you.

In closing, I’ll offer up some resources that might be of use for you as you explore, and for him, once you have the conversation.  The first is a series of articles for those wishing to explore BDSM, written by Tamar Kay.   There is a lot of good information here, for both you and your partner. The second, by xeromag, might be especially helpful if your guy is a good-hearted, respectful guy who might have a hard time understanding why you want to explore being a sub (it may also help you with your own feelings of confusion).

I hope you find these helpful and I encourage you to continue your explorations.   Remember, Pure Pleasure carries some good reading materials and light BDSM accessories to assist you along your journey.

Gina


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1 comment


  • I have run into this issue myself. And I second everything Gina has said. I have found that when I’m going to bring this topic up it is best to do so on a walk. That way you are side by side, rather than face to face. It reduces the awkwardness factor tremendously, and allows your partner to react without having you watch every detail of their expression. This helps them relax and listen instead of worrying about how you are processing their reactions.

    Best of luck to you!
    Michael

    Michael A. Moran, PhD. on

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