Kinky dating vanilla? Don’t waste your time.

frustrated young business man

A bird and a fish may fall in love, but where would they build a home?

If you are regular reader of this web site, then it’s highly likely you are kinky. And by kinky, I don’t mean that you like to spice things up with your partner once and a while with some silk scarves. I mean that BDSM is in your blood… your DNA even. And you likely spend a good amount of time playing with it, fantasizing about it, or living it.

You may have always known you were kinky – since before you even knew what sex was, you were drawn to situations and depictions involving power exchange and bondage. Or you may have had a particular moment when your kink was awakened – perhaps with a partner introducing you to BDSM – which was akin to letting the genie out of the bottle (there’s no getting it back in there).

My point is – people are either kinky or they are not. Vanilla people cannot be made kinky, just as kinky cannot be made vanilla.

And so when a kinky person and a vanilla person date (and maybe even fall in love), it can never end well. And yet this is this is a problem that comes up time and time again, played out by almost every kinky person I have met (and I know a lot of kinky people), sometimes over and over again.

Take me. I have had several long terms relationships (each more than 2 years) since my late teens. In each case, we met and felt a strong chemistry and a deep attraction. Each of my exes was beautiful in her own distinct way – and engaging, funny, likeable. Of course, we had ups and downs in the course of our relationships, as all couples do. But they were good women, and each time we laughed together, grew and experienced new things, and traveled to exotic and wonderful places.

And yet in each case, kink was a divide between us. And ultimately, the reason that the relationships could not last.

Don’t get me wrong – none of these women I dated were prudes. In fact, they were quite sexual and adventurous in their own way. They were up for trying new things, playing with some toys and trying out experiences. But with respect to BDSM, there was always a point after which the novelty wore off and they conceded that they just weren’t really that into it.

I, like you, am kinky. When it comes to BDSM, I love every letter of the acronym. And since joining the kinky community, I have met hundreds of kinky people in LA and all over the world. And each time I do, I feel that connection of speaking with someone who is like me, who gets me.

And from my conversations with all of these kinky people I have met, I have heard so many stories just like mine. Of years or even decades from teenage years through adulthood, when these kinksters were figuring out their own identity and sexuality. Trying to understand why they liked these things that were strange and deviant to regular folks, realizing they needed to keep certain desires to themselves. And then reigniting and fully realizing those desires upon the thrilling discovery of the kink community.

All of these people had similar stories of ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, ex-husbands, ex-wives, who they had tried to introduce to kink. Trying to get their man to dominate them, or get their girlfriend to tie them up. So many relationships where ultimately they failed because the kinky person could not get their needs met. Because vanilla people cannot be made kinky.

And it is terrible. When you love someone and love being with them, but know deep down that there is an important part of yourself that your partner just doesn’t understand, and never will.

It had made me question my kinkiness at times. Made me wonder if I can push it aside, forget about it, grow out of it, bury it. Somehow “cure” myself of kink. And now of course I know that is ludicrous – in the same category as trying to “pray away the gay” – it’s just not possible. And of course the other thing I know now is that I wouldn’t want to de-kink myself, even if I could. Because without kink, I would not have met all of the amazing people I now know in the community, or felt the joy and the high of a scene with play partner, or the deep connection of D/s.

So I would say this: if you know you are kinky, don’t waste your time getting into a relationship with a vanilla person. The further into it you get, the more difficult and heart-wrenching it will become for both of you to leave later.

Now, that isn’t to say you can’t go on some dates with people who aren’t overtly kinky. After all, sometimes it takes a little while before someone opens up about things like this. It’s worth getting to know someone well enough to know for sure. But don’t beat around the bush, and don’t hide that it’s an important factor for you in dating.

One caveat is that it is possible that you might meet someone who is kinky but hasn’t discovered that side of themselves yet. They might need some encouragement to “awaken” their kink. I do think that is pretty rare in western culture now though – given the massive publicity and exposure that BDSM has received in recent times.

What to do if you are in a long term relationship already with a vanilla, and either have finally accepted the importance of kink to yourself, or realized that your partner just isn’t kinky? My advice is to end it. Be gentle about it, be compassionate about it, communicate with them, support them. But do it.

No doubt there are all kinds of “what if’s” that might be thrown at me in response to this. And there may be some pretty gnarly ones… not the least of which is marriage and children. And ultimately, no one but you knows the ins and outs of your situation and so I can’t tell you definitively what is right for you.
But what I can tell you is about all the people I have met in the community who finally did realize they needed to embrace their kinky selves. Some of whom waited until they were in their 30s, or 40s, or 50s, or 60s, or 70s, before biting the bullet and doing it and that once they did, they realized that they had finally found themselves, their community, their people. And almost all wished that they had the courage to do it much, much sooner.

There is one exception that I would add to all of this. Occasionally, a kinky person may be in a relationship with someone vanilla where the relationship is so open, trusting, positive and strong, that the kinky person can go out and explore the community and play with others, without it damaging or impacting on the bond of that relationship. I have seen this work long-term in a couple of cases. So if you are in this situation then you are very fortunate and you should make the most of your freedom to explore. But if you aren’t, and you try forcing your relationship into this mold, you may find it very difficult and ultimately unsuccessful.

Have you found yourself in a relationship with a vanilla person that you wished was kinky? I would love to hear about it in the comments section below.

Writer, photographer, hedonist, Dom. After years of at-home BDSM, Dexx finally embraced the kink community and met many fantastic fellow kinksters in the scene. Along the way, it occurred to him that it would be just super if there was a magazine-style web site which catered to people interested in BDSM, and he recruited some of his friends to help create it.

Comments

  1. dalilah34 says:

    This is a really tough question. It is really hard when you fall in love with someone. i think poly is the way to go if you’re lucky enough to find someone open and trusting to it. Add a family dynamic in and it can be a mess.

    • I’m new to the life my would be girlfriend is like 5 years in. She enjoys spanking scenes. I’m still uncomfortable tho. Like feeling like the third wheel. I’m enjoy kink tho. How do I get to pass the betrayed feeling. She tells me it’s me , she’s all mine but then will lay up with other people.

  2. Poly can work for mixed couples, _if_ all parties are on board and willing to do the needed work.

    Don’t assume the mixed state is static, either. For us, a slow drift from a kinkier life to a more vanilla one suited us both for a long time, and then it didn’t. That drift was also from poly to mono, but we never lost the habit of talking with each other rather more fearlessly than most. I’m introspective, she’s not; her communication style is very Amiable, mine is radical Driver; she likes sweet Zin and I prefer dry Cab – but we have always been able to resolve competing choices without descending to compromise.

    That aversion to compromise saved us, I think. We’ve always seen compromise as a shortcut, a way to avoid ‘putting in the work’ to truly resolve an issue, and here that meant lots of tough work mapping a path forward that let us flourish, not just coexist. That work has continued across at least a decade, continues today, and will continue as long as the three of us remain on this side of the grass. What follows are simply some of the truths we’ve learned work for us, YMMV..

    Almost nobody not in a committed relationship will ‘get’ how pervasive that commitment is.
    Primary and secondary are realities, ignore these realities at your peril.
    Poly means putting a piece of yourself on the line every time, more often than not to be bloodily torn off later.
    Tolerance may be enough for an occasional secondary relationship, but living together requires open arms all the way around. Open to start, and staying open.

    Poly is a ton of work, D/s is another ton (at least), and all of that work done while still making a living. For us, the payoff has been a richer, more varied life shared deeply and joyfully.

    • Thank you! I enjoyed the article, but your comment brought it all together.
      “Poly means putting a piece of yourself on the line every time, more often than not to be bloodily torn off later.”
      That statement, that thought, it is what pulled me out of a developing depression I haven’t had for many years. To be poly (and I am new at it) I will have to do the into and beginning many times, with most of them probably failing – quickly or not-so.
      Knowing that people are still people and can get involved when they really shouldn’t have, perhaps will help me to deal better. That will be time-tested. However, I think the idea that I may find 2-3 women who fit the bill and who, each, contribute to me and me to them. Not needing that one person to fill all your needs. That’s the draw to poly, I think. I have been poly since I was fairly young; I just did not know it. Now that I do, it’s time to start living – but knowing it will involve some loss and pain and grief and, perhaps, more than one night of lost sleep. Thanks again.

  3. larry breiden says:

    It took me 40+ years to finally “bite the bullet” and just accept that the “vanilla-normal” lifestyle was never going to happen for me. Looking back over the years at all of the failed relationships, the wasted effort, and the pain, misery and guilt associated with all of that I have come to realize that I must live my life for me and who I am, and the rest of the world’s expectations of who I “should” be can all go to hell.

  4. Polyamory is a solution. I’ve known several couples where one partner is vanilla and the relationships have lasted a long time. Of course mixing poly & mono is as bad as kinky/vanilla. So if they are vanilla & monogamous you might as well give it up.

  5. skotshfem says:

    I have been married for three years and friends with him for almost 20. I have been in quite a few long term relationships that ended because i was wanting more…. I am Bisexual and realized I wanted that kink in my life over 15 years ago. My ex-wife said my kinkiness was disgustingly and when i married my friend/husband I was pleasantly surprised he was willing to try it for me. He definitely leans more toward vanilla. Its hard when he wont step more into the dominant role. I am wondering if my love of women can fill that roll for me? I will never submit to a woman…. I feel a strong pull to dominate a woman and to only submit to a man…. I have lost so much time being with men and women that cannot meet me even half way. Lol its so confusing and frustrating. Thanks for listening.

  6. Very well thought out and in my opinion after being in the BDSM life style my entire life. Completely accurate. Many times however I found the vanilla woman I would date were in fact secretly kinky and it was fairly easy to bring that side out. I would assume because I would unconsciously be drawn to a woman with kink in her soul even though she was unaware of it. Many I have mentored and all say they would not and could not go back to vanilla. I think anyone who is in our lifestyle should read your article. Well done!

  7. So very true. My vanilla wife and I were married for 25 years, most of that time with me suppressing my needs. We tried every possible means to make it work but ultimately the marriage failed. It was a hard breakup because we really do love each other. I wouldn’t wish that situation on anyone. Kinky and vanilla just don’t mix.

    • 25 years! Did you have children?

      How did you break it off? How did you handle the children (assuming you had children)?

  8. Master_Savage says:

    I’m 25 and lucky to have found myself. I know I don’t want a vanilla partner and have started making the changes to find that kinky-one. Vanilla or kinky, finding the one takes time. I hate waiting lol. I thank you Fetlife.com for being a place for kinks like me.

    • Is there anyone that could tie me up i like to be tied up to a chair or bed pole with rope tape whatever u got who wants to tie me up now

    • kinkweekly says:

      Hi Chris,

      While our site is not specifically meant for finding play partners, we highly recommend seeking out events and munches in your local area. Fetlife (though also not a dating site) is a great resource for finding events and connecting with likeminded individuals.

      -anniebear

  9. Bod Beag says:

    I recognized my kinky side when I was 13. I asked for handcuffs for my birthday and would lock an ankle or hand to the bed frame and fantasize. I married a Vanilla when I was 21 and was married (26 years) till she died in February. I agree with a lot of this article. It was difficult being in a monogamous relationship and not indulging my kink. Maybe it’s easer for a sub than someone with domly tendencies but if you make a commitment you need to stick to it. My marriage was not about me, it was about how I treated my wife. I decided that wether or not she wanted my kink side I would consider her my Mistress and treat her as she wanted to be treated. Although I couldn’t talk about or participate in bondage I made my joy serving my wife. My vowel was till death do us part not till my selfishness overcame my desire to be with her. Please remember that weather your partner is kinky or not when you marry you are not your own, you belong to another.

    • You are right. Im sorry for your loss. I am domly been together with wife 18yrs and I honestly think if I cannot express myself much longer I will kill myself because I love her as much as I hate my selfish desire.

    • It sounds like you don’t believe in divorce. If that’s what suits your values, that’s your call, but don’t force your beliefs on others. I personally believe that it cheapens the beauty of marriage to stay in a marriage that doesn’t work for you, for whatever reason.

  10. Lost At Sea says:

    I just got out of a 10 year relationship because of this exact thing. It worked for a while, but our differences finally reaching the breaking point. The trouble is, how do you go about dating in the life-style? Can someone recommend some legitimate sites that have REAL people who want to meet? I don’t mind a pay site if it works. Thank you.

  11. Christopher Buck says:

    A friend of mine that is very interested in the lifestyle wants his lady friend to participate as well. When he broaches the subject, his lady calls him a freak. Other lifestyle friends of mine, and his, have told him that this relationship with this woman will not work, not even if it is a vanilla one. Why? Because he has already broached the subject with her and it will always be part of her mindset. Of course, our friend is a glutton for mental punishment and he will most likely stay with this woman until she tells him to get lost. For me, vanilla and lifestyle do not mix well and should be avoided if possible.

  12. Christopher Buck says:

    @Lost At Sea. If you have not already become a member of FetLife, I would recommend you do. FetLife is how I met my wonderful sub almost a year ago and I do not regret it one bit. I have never had much luck finding a sub on any of the pay sites like Alt.com. Just my opinion.

    Sir Chris.

  13. Christopher Buck says:

    @Lost At Sea. I would also recommend that you become a member of any lifestyle groups in your area. I have belonged to several groups here in the southeast and have made many friends, some of them becoming my best friends. Again, just my opinion.

    Sir Chris.

    • When i was a little kid my friends tied me up to the chair rope tape and ever since then i like to be tied up so right now i am trying to find a parner who can tie me up

  14. Kelly Walters says:

    I was introduced over a year ago to the lifestyle. I have used it to learn more about myself, about others, and to push my boundaries and comfort zone. I have met some wonderful people and some predators. I guess that comes with the territory of being female. I learned to spot fakes and predators very quickly and not waste much time or heartache. Fetlife.com has been exactly what I have needed and I enjoy munches, events, play parties, and am creating my own.

    I always knew I was “different” and always sought out the kids in school growing up who were. I didn’t know about the lifestyle yet, but looking back vanilla was boring and predictable and not the challenge or stimulation I needed. I was brought up very conservatively and religious so being able to break free and find myself took a lot of mixed emotions but has been well worth it.

    I identify as Mistress, pansexual, and can only submit to one man after much trust.

    I wish you all well on your journeys.

  15. I read this article and realized now why all my past relationships have never worked. All the men and women I’ve been with have been too vanilla for me. I’m glad I got on fetlife again after some time off of it, because I met my boyfriend and girlfriend on there, and while they’re not nearly as kinky as I am, they let me explore it with others. I’ve met a few people so far on there who are amazing and really help me explore my inner submissive. It’s a very liberating and rewarding experience. If you don’t have a fetlife yet I highly recommend that you get one. For those of you who already have one feel free to add me @ Ry_James

  16. Mia Rose says:

    my first boyfriend introduced me to my Kicky side, when he was gone i fell in to a relationship that was slowly vanilla. one night however my 2nd got rough with me and i loved every moment of it. but that was it i tired to get him to do it again but he wouldn’t and so we fell apart.

    a happy ending though i met my husband at a local Dungeon here in Colorado and we couldn’t be happier in our relationship. yes we have minor ups and downs but i wouldn’t change it for anything. its funny though when we met neither of us were looking for life long. he wanted a one nighter and i wanted a play partner and fuck buddy nothing more. in the end i got so much more ~~MMR

  17. Gay, bi and straight are not choices. But people can become more kinky. We were not born Kinky. We learn. Just as we do not always start out as kinky as we become. We are exposed to new things in the lifestyle and we chose to like them or not. The reasons we chose are sometimes complicated.

    A kinky woman may introduce a vanilla man to new experiences. If their play leads to sex or other stimulation, due to the nature of human stimulus response, the man may experience a greater orgasm than he has had in some time. The man is more likely than not to try to experience this again. In drug rehabilitation terms they call it chasing the high. Not that the lifestyle is like drug use it is that drug use can activate the pleasure centers of the brain.

    • I love and lust kinky people places and things

    • Being kinky wasn’t a choice for me, any more than being asexual was. I strongly feel that I was actually born kinky, because I’ve been fantasizing about my kinks since I was at least four years old.

    • Holloway06 says:

      I feel this way too.
      I have been this way since I was 4 or 5 years old.
      When I was that young, all I knew was that certain things/thoughts/ideas/sights made my tummy swoop and skin tingle.
      I had no idea what this “feeling” was until I became older and started having sex, learned to identify the physical signs and sensations sexual desire creates in me, and made the connection that my tummy swoop and tingly skin, etc. was, in fact, a feeling of sexual desire.
      So, I wholeheartedly believe I was “born kinky” instead of being made this way over time or through experiences.

  18. I actually am not sure anymore– I find many of the kink situations I have been in, even long-term ones, to have been emotionally and intellectually lacking. I find vanilla relationships sexually dull after a while. I dislike the overall “community” because of its overall tendency to do things that make me generally roll my eyes. I think that a real connection is out there that fits on multiple levels. Truthfully– I want what I perceive to be the best of both worlds, and I don’t have a problem saying that.

  19. This article confirmed my suspicions about kink/vanilla relationships. I’ve had few relationships and only one with a fellow kinkster, but we were both doms and just couldn’t make it work. The other two were vanilla men and it fizzled, luckily before things got serious. Recently though, I realized a fledgling attraction to a friend who is vanilla and I started searching for anything about mixed relationships working and the consensus seems to be that it will end in heartache. I reconciled the sadistic dom in me only over the past couple of years and now that I don’t feel likea freak, a future serial killer or just generally dirty for the things I want and need, I can’t bury or ignore it for anyone, even if I think we could’ve had something good. Now I just to figure out how to pull back without losing a friend. I don’t know if explaining my needs and why it wouldn’t work would be a good idea or not. Any tips on how to go about this situation?

    • kinkweekly says:

      I always think honesty is the best policy. I’d tell them your true feelings and needs in a partner and gauge the reaction after that. You never know, maybe they want to try some things out. However, I’d definitely emphasize how important this aspect is to you and that is not their fault in any way. You’re just hardwired differently and into other things but it is a necessity in your relationships. Good luck to you! -anniebear

  20. Yeah I’m feeling this. Very much a sadistic type that is in a very good and long relationship with a rather vanilla girl. She tries hard for me I know, but will never be 100% compatible in the bedroom. She wants to get married too… It’s tough because on one hand I really do love her, but on the other, she just doesn’t understand that other side of me nor can handle it.

    • Holloway06 says:

      It’s hard for us masochistic subbies as well :/
      Finding men that aren’t just “service tops” and only doing it to make us bottoms happy is just as bad if not worse.
      Can you imagine how awful it is for us subbies when trying to train/show/teach a Dom how to be Domly? It ruins all our subby fun because we’re now “topping from the bottom” :/
      It’s just plain awful being a sub and trying to introduce potential partners who are vanilla to the lifestyle because, for us, “training” someone to be or do what we desire is the exact opposite of the role we naturally fall into within the partnership and it feels….so utterly wrong and unnatural.
      Vanilla men don’t seem to understand the role of a sub at all and can’t seem to wrap their brains around why “topping from the bottom” or “training” them to dominate you would make a sub go a little green around the gills due to the fact that it violates the very essence of what we are and how we achieve satisfaction and fulfillment.
      They also can’t seem to understand the concept of “I want you to hurt me because YOU want to hurt me…. Not because I want you to hurt me”… And I get really tired of talking in circles trying to explain it to men who just don’t/can’t “get it” :/

  21. I am looking for some advice or guidance. I have been in a relationship for 8 years and my significant other just revealed to me his craving. Which is to have a toy and pet. I guess I should begin by saying I have never tried or expermented a whole lot sexually only because I didn’t find myself introduced I guess. He first brought up the general idea of BDSM, so I did some reading. Some of it scared me, some turned me on but mostly I became curious about what I would or wouldn’t like. The aspect of losing myself especially. He had me take some online test and I guess decided I wouldn’t make the cut for him so he has asked permission to be with another person to fulfill his desires. He has put me in a position in which if I say no I will lose him but I feel if I say yes I will lose along with destroying myself as I do not have a desire in sharing the man I love. I very much want to explore this with him, I want him to raise me or create me if that makes any sense. I don’t know that I will fulfill all of his needs but wouldn’t a partner want to try? Why would I not be good enough? If in the end I did not meet his needs and we worked on our relationship I would be more open to someone else in some aspect. I am just confused and feel like this is more that he wants to leave and live a different life not what he is actually telling me. I am just looking to gain as much insight as I can if anyone can help.

    • That’s great that he asked before stepping outside the relationship but it is not okay to bully or coerce you into doing things that aren’t comfortable and aren’t just as much your choices. It appears that he has put a lot on you. Bravo for speaking up and discussing his actual needs but not cool to press you into doing something. Remember, you are not his servant put on this earth to serve his needs at the expense of your own. Don’t even begin to think about remaking yourself so he gets what he wants. You’ll just resent him later if not right now. You probably are in need of a knowledgable person to talk to so that you can sort out what YOU want.

      I recommend couples counseling. You should go together with a positive, healthy intention (as opposed to figuring out how you can give him what he wants). Your joint intention should be examining ALL needs and figuring out how to meet those needs. I don’t know your guy. Perhaps, he just didn’t frame talking about his needs in the best possible light. Maybe. Whether you stay together or not is NOT all on your shoulders.

      One more thing. I recommend that you, two, curl up in bed and read More Than Two together. It contains excellent relationship advice that will help you to know better where you are as a couple (and help you to think your way through having other partners or not).

    • Hi Curious

      Sorry to hear about your situation – it doesn’t sound like he handled it very nicely. After 8 years together, I would think that it would be fair that he give you a decent chance to digest and understand his kinks, and see if they are things you might find you like too.

      I will say that if you are doing kinky things just to keep him happy, and they aren’t things that you really enjoy deep down (or even worse, things that make you feel icky or shameful), then that probably won’t be a good long term arrangement – it could lead to building up of resentment. Ultimately, if both people aren’t into kink it won’t be enjoyable or satisfying for either of you and will become a source of tension instead of joy. Happily, kink covers a massive range of different activities and sub-genres. That’s why – as Mistress Sky suggested – talking openly is really a great first step. Figure out what each of you really is into or curious about trying, see where the overlap is, and go from there.

  22. Thank you so much, you helped restore some faith in me and the how I feel is important. I just have so many question. I am trying to learn and understand. I am just not sure where to turn.

  23. Savannah Thompson says:

    I left my husband two years ago, we have a 6 year old together. We were two completely different people, sexually. I have known I was kinky from a young age but I was with my ex from the time I was 17 and I always thought it would still be okay. Well needless to say, when you get into a fight weekly because our sexual frequencies are so different, you end it. I learned recently that no matter how hard I try, being with someone vanilla will never satisfy me the way I need to be satisfied. Now I’m bummed because I met someone that I was thinking could actually be my soul mate until I realized he was judging me for my choices.

  24. I dated my husband on and off for 10 years before we decided to get married. At that point I had told him some of the stuff I was into and tried to hint at other things. I tried to get him to want to participate in some bdsm activities with me but he resisted. We have been married 7 years and I finally told him he needed to start to help me satisfy my needs or we may need to separate. I thought I could do without, and just get him to try it, but he kept refusing. My needs only became more important. He gave it a good 2 weeks of great sex. Tried a bunch of stuff said it was great. Now it’s back to mostly vanilla. He says I want too much, too often. But I feel like the vanilla sex only makes me want the good sex not that crap, and he is just being lazy. I’m tired of asking for attention. I should not have to beg. He treats me like I ask him to do so much.

    • Oh my goodness, this sounds soo familiar!
      I left my, over 10 year, marriage for similar reasons.
      Now I’m dating and completely upfront about it. Deal breaker for sure.

    • Oh my God. Just like my story plus we have a kid. I cannot tell you how hard this relationship is for me. I don’t know how much more of this pressure I can take. He told me I’m A submissive that I’m a freak that I have no self respect. And that my needs, they’re just not normal. I’m trying so hard,so hard because I don’t want my child to suffer because of me. I shift my submission nto my work. I tried to set aside my submission. But I always be that and no matter what he said to me I’m proud of myself I know what I’m doing

    • James Duro says:

      I think these are tremendous examples of how the love between a kink and vanilla can be so authentic. Look at how much patience you gave him: years before marriage, all the way passed the 7-year itch! I think this is the tragic nature of not connecting about this stuff, because the faith in each other is clearly there and you both deserve a win in life

  25. After getting out of a ten year relationship I hooked up with a kinky man in my early 30s and it was like coming home to me. Everything I’d always thought about from way, way back and wanted was finally realised. We didn’t last but since then I’ve always been upfront and honest with people I’m dating – on the third date, it’s my system. I wasted so much repressing this part of me I refused to do it again.

    However I have got caught out yet again with my present partner. Very sweet, inexperienced woman who said she was willing to keep an open mind when I broke it to her. I was taking it slowly introducing her to things. This week she drops the bombshell that while she is happy to ‘compromise’ with bondage, she feels she won’t be able to hurt me and can maybe just ‘learn to like’ certain things. To me there is no learning, it’s latent inside you in some way or another, the compromise is once more repressing certain aspects of myself and won’t last in the long term. I understand where she is coming from and would never ask her to do anything she’s not comfortable with at the same time I don’t want to feel resentful and stifled a year down the line when the newness wears off and she won’t want any kink at all.

    I’m gutted as it will break her heart to break up and I don’t want to myself but I’m failing to see another option unless I take a play partner also and I would only do that with her blessing, which I can’t see her wanting me to do. Tomorrow is the ‘big chat’, make or break.

    • Hi Jessica

      Sounds like a familiar situation! I hope you are able to work things out one way or another. Life’s too short to ignore your kinky needs.

      Dexx

  26. Children. I have two princesses whom I love to pieces. I love my wife (their mother). We have great lives… Except for my own kink. My wife won’t let me go down on her because “it’s just strange.” Anything besides traditional missionary is out. Does anybody, anybody out there in the internet universe have some real, helpful advice, more specific than “communicate” and more realistic than “just get out”?

    We are serious people with serious lives and everything non-sexual is a dream family situation. My wife is an intelligent, fun, and half-independent woman who takes amazing care of our children and makes sure I do, too. She is truly the woman of the house and my “domme” in a completely asexual sense without knowing it or intending it.

    10 years of sexual repression, though. 10 y-e-a-r-s… And what is the one thing – the ONE THING – a husband cannot seek from a non-wife? Sex! I can be friendly with friends, have family relationships with other family, have intellectual conversations, fun activities, Conrad Erie and even companionship with others… But sex? No. Marriage is like intellectual property – it is the right to exclude another from something, in this case from having sexual relations with another.

    Divorce would sever our family – sharing children separately and such – and sounds so extreme, anyway. I would never even mention an open marriage to my wife, purely out of fear – she is quite traditional. I love them all, and don’t want to hurt them! My wife is already hurt because she knows I have sexual leanings she isn’t comfortable with.

    Yes, I have talked to her. I communicated. Yes, outside the bedroom and not during sex. I didn’t express resentment or expectations – merely mentioned an interest in being held down or being allowed to service her… She was so repulsed by my initial “light” ideas, I didn’t even dare jump to “medium,” let alone “heavy.”

    Does anybody have any real advice for a husband who loves his family but is 10-year pressure-cooked!? Oozing volcano situation here, and I can’t turn to real-life support unless I get back in touch with pre-marriage girlfriends! My kink has always been under wraps.

    • Hi jack

      Sorry to hear about your situation. I suppose the whole point of this article is that people are either kinky or they aren’t. So if she isn’t, it’s unlikely that she can be persuaded to “get it”. Having said that, I think the best place to start would be therapy sessions with a kink-aware therapist (it’s important to Google this specially as many therapist also don’t get it). Talk it out, help her realize how important this is to you, and how valid it is for you to have these desires. There is a myriad of outcomes from this, so it’s difficult to give further advice without knowing how this pans out.

      Dexx

    • I suppose I could mention therapy, but that might sound extreme. As far as I can tell, she doesn’t see a problem – it’s all a very minor part of life to her. I also agree that other things, like lifelong taking on the world together and raising our family well and adhering to all our other values are probably more important than my personal sexual interests, so I feel selfish and tangential even writing any of this. Also, I already know she thinks marriage therapy is mostly a joke – reserved for rich Hollywood stars who can’t live in reality. I suppose I could mention it, anyway – she has surprised me in the past.

      I did mention this all to a friend of mine who is a part-time pro domme, and her response was basically, “She’s your domme. You have to do what she wants.” That mental attitude actually helped me quite a lot – I would even feel that tinge we subs love when she would do or say simple, mundane things, like, “The sink is full of dishes, and you never even vacuumed.” It only lasts so long, though, because I know she doesn’t any sensuality behind it, and it is mundane – nothing in the bedroom.

    • Only you can really know how important this part of yourself is to you. In my experience, truly kinky people (which I suspect you are) will never be completely fulfilled without regular kink in their lives. Those that do eventually embrace it wonder why they didn’t do it sooner.

      There is something of a catch-22 in that you are submissive-inclined, so your desire to please your wife conflicts with your ability to recognize the validity of your desires and feel justified in understanding and exploring them. You should not feel selfish for thinking or talking about your needs, and I would hope that your wife would not think that also.

      With regard to your last paragraph… I think you answered your own question – while that might provide you with a hint or a spark of the type of interaction you crave, it will never progress beyond that if you stay on your current trajectory. Your pro-domme friend does not seem to appreciate the reality of the situation – if one person unilaterally declares a relationship a power exchange, it’s never going to give that person what they are seeking.

      Sorry my friend, but if you want to break your cycle of frustration and also have a shot at preserving the aspects of your relationship you cherish (including your kids), then you have to communicate with her about it properly. This must start by taking yourself and your own needs seriously instead of trivializing them. A kink-aware therapist can be a great help in this process, as a neutral professional who can help provide independent validation for both her and yourself. If you happen to be in Los Angeles, I can recommend some excellent kink-aware therapists. Otherwise, you can check the web site of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, which has a directory of kink-aware therapists (https://ncsfreedom.org/resources/kink-aware-professionals-directory/kap-directory-homepage.html).

    • Hi Jack,

      I’m essentially you, but in female form- I lived the same situation. Married for ten years, together in total, for sixteen.

      There are no easy answers. I stayed faithful the entire time in my relationship without being fulfilled. It was like living in quicksand, or sometimes a pressure cooker. I was literally starved for physical affection. I ended up in a deep clinical depression, on and off for years. I completely understand the unfairness of being denied the ONLY thing you are unable to receive outside of marriage, which is a satisfying sexual connection. You are being asked to give up and deny a basic biological urge; like eating, drinking or breathing. It’s possible to do it- but only for a limited time until it has severe consequences on your life and welfare.

      The one “gift” (if you could call it that, gallows humour) after my marriage ended was that it made me far less judgemental about marriages, and what people do to keep them alive & working. There are no black and white answers in a grey world. Sometimes making the heavily-considered choice to step outside your marriage with another mature, respectful, kink-minded person will be the one thing that allows you to remain married, so you can give 100% of yourself otherwise to your spouse. Looking back at my life, I wish I would have done this. It would have saved me years of deep, unspeakable unhappiness. Those are years I will never get back. Neither will you. If you cannot leave- because of children, or a family situation, or an illness/caretaker situation or something equally as serious… and you have explored all other options and talked about it, and nothing works or changes… I think you need to give yourself some compassionate permission to find a lover who shares your need & desires. And keep it private.

      Again, no easy solution. But sometimes doing the “wrong” thing for the “right” reason will allow something otherwise intolerable to be made peaceful.

      As for my own story? My marriage ended with a whimper rather than a bang. The next 2 years that followed were very difficult. I doubted my decision many times, the guilt was consuming. But the light at the end of the tunnel finally came, and today I am with the most loving man, who also lived through the same situation. We are matched as friends, lovers and kinky people. Because we are talking kink here specifically, I will say our physical connection is out-of-this-world. Blinding, speechless, places I never thought possible. We fulfill each other so profoundly.

      Happiness is out there. Everything is possible, but not easy. I wish you a life of joy, happiness and understanding.

  27. * “Conrad Erie” in my other post should read “camaraderie.”

  28. Isn’t there a way to compromise between full-on kink and vanilla, in the spirit of matrimony and family? Maybe I could tone myself down instead of trying to tone her up?

    I understand that this forum is largely saying, “Once vanilla, always vanilla,” but what about “once kinky?” I mean, maybe on a 1-10 kinkiness scale I could drop from an 8 or 9 to a 3 or 4? It can’t all be black or white – there must be shades of grey, heh. Anybody have any anecdotes or advice about “downgrading” successfully? Digesting it down without repressing, somehow?

    • I can’t help with any anecdotes of people being succesful this on a long term basis. I can tell you I have met and spoken with many kinky people who had had a similar thought at some stage, and found that they might suppress it for a while, but never truly make themselves “un-kinky”. “If you could take a pill to make you not kinky, would you do it?” has been a topic of conversation a few munches over the years. Obviously such a think does not exist, but in any case the consensus was that kink brought kinky people so much joy, that of course they wouldn’t. Having said that – the fact that those people were at munches and other community events suggests they had already at least begun to embrace it, so they were typically past some of the more difficult earlier vanilla relationship quandaries such as yours.

  29. Thanks for writing this, truly.
    So many of these responses read like I could have written them myself. Sadly, I’m not sure if I find more sadness or comfort in that. I’m 31, and have been with my husband for about 7 years. Before this relationship I was primarily in bdsm relationships with experienced doms who I meshed well with sexually but beyond that it was difficult to connect. When I met my husband I thought that he had at least a small interest in it and that I could make do without the the strong D/s connection. As our marriage has gone on he has become even less interested and open (apparently that’s possible) and now openly tells me I shouldn’t want those things. He doesn’t even know the half of what I actually want, and now whenever it gets brought up at all in any context he makes it very clear how “pathetic” he thinks it and the people who want such things are. It’s gotten to the point where I avoid all sexual contact with him as much as possible because I know I will only be unfulfilled and depressed as a result. I love my husband but I feel like he doesn’t even know me. It’s awful and life sucking and I wish that no one else should ever have to endure it.

    • Hi Anne

      Really sorry to hear that. I can relate very much with your situation, having been there myself. Please know that your desires are not at all pathetic, and there is a whole community of millions of other kinky people that fully appreciate the types of things you are into. I hope that you are able to get to a happier place one way or another. Would love to hear from you in the future about how things pan out – and I’m sure our readers would too.

      Dexx

    • There is *nothing* lonelier than being completely alone, but married.

  30. I’m with a Dom I wasn’t roped into nicely he tried stuff I don’t like I will never like it i don’t know how this is going to work cause his type of sex is all he knows so now we have no sex which sucks I’m so sad cause for the must part we get along I tried to go along with what he liked I think I’m more of a Dom them a sub cause I can’t stand to be tied down and called names I get angry I was also abused as a teen raped so this could be the problem flash backs triggers I just want him to be like me but I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s out looking for what he likes

  31. You know, I’ve not had an issue with vanilla relationships interfering with the lifestyle. It may help that I’m also poly, but current vanilla bf knows all about Mr. Dutchie, and seems pretty okay with it. He does worry at times that I may try to spank him, or pull out the paddle on him, but he’s getting more and more comfortable with the fact that I’m an ethical sadist. As in, I will never do anything without specific consent. I have plenty of boys willing to submit to me, so Mr. Vanilla doesn’t need to. Communication is key.

  32. I am on the other end…I am the vanilla. My partner of almost 5 years and I have just split. It has been catastrophic to us both and there is soo much love and connection. I originally thought he was just into open relationships…something I struggled with but I had my own curiosities. We never got far enough to explore that as in the beginning we had day to day struggles outside of our relationship..and then he stopped loving me right…I lost trust and faith..well not completely. I had planned to talk about what was going and before I could he hit a breaking point…I was and still am saddened and hurt as I feel he wasn’t totally honest with me about his desires for bdsm. Of course I try to convince myself we can make it work…but lately I realize it’s not possible. After we broke up, which has been 2 months now. He hopped into a D/s relationship. I have been aware and we are still friends..this hurt soo bad however I have tried to understand. I realize he has longed for something outside of what I could give him…but this quick process was undeniably painful..still is. Neither of us want to let go..and I know he loves me and wants to be with me…but he has said out loud that “he’s is not for everyone ” without knowing the depth of his needs I have no thoughts. I am not like most women…I know I am special..and the support and love it gives him is something he feels undeserving of. ..even as his friend. I don’t want to loose him for he does me bring me joy but can we possibly be friends…I wanted to explore my kinky side with him…if we were to get back together it would take so much time to trust him….
    Any books for the vanilla and coping with the ones they love in this world.
    Heart broken and confused.

    • James Duro says:

      How are you doing a year out now? I’m just a few days into what appears like an indefinite cool off with someone I immediately connected with. Me vanilla (and what other ice-cream would you really want to go down smooth, taste soft to the tongue, not load you down with sugar, and just be that right amount of cool for any hot occasion? Okay, chocolate’s not bad either.) We don’t have 5 years of relationship, but I hadn’t felt this connection with more than 3 people over my 47 years in this lifeform. I’m a very healthy person, so I am grateful that I had the courage to be a teen again, but this divide is devastating.

  33. Hi Rose,
    I take a bit of a different stance, in that I believe it is possible for a kinky and a vanilla person to find a relationship that works. Here is an article with some examples: https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/how-to-make-sex-and-relationships-work-when-only-one-of-you-is-kinky
    However, from what I can tell from your comment, difference in kink level may not have been the primary issue. It seems that honesty and trust was at the core of the problem. (even if it was honesty and trust *about* kink)
    With transparent communication there may have been an opportunity for growth and exploration, however, it doesn’t seem like that’s what happened. If things are over you may need to start exploring your own self which may or may not involve kink. Work on you. And I am sorry you’re hurting.

  34. justagirl says:

    I completely agree with the article. The belief that you can gently convert a vanilla partner or friend to kink is widely spread yet totally delusional. At most, like you say, you can get your partner to occasionally try out some kinky games for your own sake, and I fail to understand how any kinky person could find such an arrangement fulfilling. It almost feels like forcing the other person into something they have no desire for.
    Enjoying D/s or s/m is a personal taste that you can’t acquire, and you are right that today’s exposure to bdsm makes it pretty impossible for anyone to not be aware of their own leanings.
    So yes, finding kinky matches is the only way. Too bad that’s unbelievably hard though, which is why many end up trying to “use” the vanilla people they have at hand.

    • It may not be so hard. I suggest looking in kink-oriented places – munches, play parties, classes, and on bdsm web sites like Fetlife. It can be tougher (but not impossible) to look on vanilla dating web sites for kinky people.

    • I suppose it is like with anything. In my early teens, I used to collect models from Games Workshop and the only person I really felt comfortable talking (I was very shy) to was not into it- I liked the overall aesthetics of the models and the stories behind the characters but could not get this unshakeable feeling that I wasted my money.

      On this topic, is there an article on how to meet people/ get confidence?

  35. I’m currently finding that difficulty now. My partner, though semi-vanilla (he has his mini kinks but nothing that would be really called kinky in the bdsm sense), seems to be open about listening to what I have to say, however, I do not know how to broach this topic with him. How does one tell a partner that being naturally submissive, you need the Dominance in your life to feel complete?

  36. Vanilla Dom says:

    I suppose I feel the need to stand up for successful vanilla/kink partnerships. I am the vanilla half of one such relationship, and we have been together 9 years and married for five as of last week. We had a deep friendship long before we got together or before I heard about his kinks, and I was attracted to him for a long time before we were available enough to be together. When my husband and I got together, I quickly learned my then-boyfriend was interested in hypnosis, and I was happy to play with him and be GGG, even though his kink was not my own. I love him and I take pleasure from giving him pleasure, and in addition to his kinks, he takes pleasure from pleasing me. I indulge his kinks to make him happy (and because it’s fun), and he’s enthusiastic about meeting my mostly-vanilla needs (because he thinks that’s fun too). But it was not until we were married for a couple of years before he got really into the online hypnosis scene and started attending events and parties with other hypno-kinksters. Now that community is a major part of his life, and is something we’ve had to negotiate together. Something we had shared privately in our relationship is now a common ground he shares with a multi-national group of friends and confidantes. Now that he’s in the scene, a whole new world is open to him. That takes some negotiation.

    As the author concedes, having a degree of openness in our relationship and being willing to let him have play experiences outside our relationship helps relieve some of the pressure: the expectation that I should be the sole outlet or provider for his erotic/spiritual/self-expression is off the table, and we both are entitled to our own erotic private lives. It takes constant open communication and love to bridge the divide that sometimes separates us when it comes to the differences between the things we need to get ourselves off. Also, as time has gone on, I’ve had to become more comfortable with being the top more and more frequently, as he has gotten more in touch with his subbiness. There’s a lot of give and take there, because one of the things I insist on is that outside of the bedroom or play situations, we are in a partnership of equals. I give, by overcoming some of my natural inclinations to be submissive myself in order to be the Mistress he longs to serve, and he gives back to me by giving equal time and attention to my needs and talking things over with me, a lot. And, I daresay, discovering the dominant woman within myself has been a thrilling development that never would have happened if I hadn’t married into kink.

    So, in short, it’s not impossible to make this work, but it helps to have an abiding friendship, trust and love already in place before you start doing anything sexual together. Of course, your individual results may vary.

    Also, fyi: I was bummed that this gloomy article was the top result Google returned for “vanilla-kink relationship”. I hope our positive experience is helpful to other readers and balances the scales a little. 🙂

    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment. Sorry if the article came across as gloomy – I think it’s important to be realistic about these things for the long term benefit of all parties. It does sound like you fit well into the “exception” category that I mentioned towards the end of the article… congratulations of achieving that level of trust and openness in your relationship.

  37. The more I read the comments and replies the more heart broken I am… I am ‘vanilla’ and my Boyfriend is a Dom. Marriage is on the table. He tells me he has a mental block with me and can’t bring to punish me or verbally abuse me and all he wants to do is pamper me instead. I know how it’s so important to him and I like to please him so I’ve been asking for it but he can’t do it to me.. and said he will want to try vanilla with me… I’ve done many things before with my exes such as breathplay choking restraints and I enjoy those so much.. even then he couldn’t do it to me… because he said I am not a sub and just maybe kinky and he doesn’t want to change me… what should I do? I am heart broken every time I think about why he just can’t do it to me and I really love him.. I don’t want this relationship to be doomed…

    • It sounds to me like you aren’t actually vanilla, but rather a sub, but for whatever reason your boyfriend doesn’t believe you. I feel that refusing to believe your partner on something that only they can truly know is a sign of a serious lack of trust and respect for your opinions. He doesn’t get to say if you’re vanilla or kinky, only you can say that.

  38. A couple of months ago I posted my experience with my husband who is vanilla. About how hard this relationship is. So right now I just want to say that we decided to split.
    The differences between us was the main reason why we broke up. Not just sex thing. And the thing that I am submissive. And now I am free but I am afraid of being on my own. But I know that my decision to leave him was the best thing I ever done in my life. And I just wish that life will give me someone who is just like me.

    • Having been there myself, I know how difficult it must have been for you. Make sure you take the opportunity to connect with your local kink community – go out and meet people and have fun. Resist the temptation get back into another vanilla relationship!

    • James Duro says:

      Yassmine,
      this submissive thing is just so frightening to witness if you’re a vanilla like me. I like looking into my partner’s eyes and seeing an equal, and not understanding deep kink has sent me into an identity crisis being with someone that I am so passionately in love with. And it’s not going well. Technically since Friday it’s not going at all. I did everything in my power to keep my heart open and be attentive to my partner and to my own needs. Even if you could steer a situation like this for a while it just has a tendency to crash and burn. What I hope happens now is that my ex (I’m having a hard time accepting that) and I can talk candidly as two people who can take pride in caring for each other. That way, when she or I do meet partners that fit (and even if it sounds like that could be me one day), we’ll at least have practiced and heard what it sounds like to be forthright about these needs

    • Yassmine says:

      I’m a pureblood submissive. That’s all I ever been. A people pleaser, when I think about my early age I always was submissive. I was raised like that in my family.
      Dex: i’m definitely not going to hoop in a vanila relationship. That’s just not something that could make me happy. I need someone who can be my opposite in a good way a Dom, Master. I need to be Me. Those days of torture are gone.

  39. StehtImWald says:

    Yes, I am in a relationship with a vanilla ma. And when I hit the evil 30 last year it shoved me into depression.
    My boyfriend, we are not married, but we have a child and home together, thinks it’s a midlife crisis. But I know it’s because I am sexually frustrated…
    All my relationships failed. Not because I chose bad men (the opposite, really), but because you cannot live a life where you have to battle your feelings. It just invites resentment…

    Very gently I tried to introduce him to some of my kinks and he thought it was great, but – as you said – he is more the “spice it up”-kind of guy …

    It is hard for me to stay faithful, to be honest.
    I think that is something you can’t understand if you weren’t born with this… disposition. The longing and frustration, no matter how great your vanilla sex might be. And no matter how much you are in love.
    I only wish I would have been more honest with myself when I was younger. When I still thought about my desires as some kind of deviation. You can’t tame what fills you with passion. And you have to accept all of you – the light and the demons alike.

    A frustrated person from Germany (sorry for my bad English).

  40. Great comments and article — thanks. I am a vanilla guy and prefer straight up, traditional vanilla sex. But my gorgous partner does not appear to enjoy sex at all — she even covers her eyes and looks away until it is over — like she is just a doll — no passion. Well i put this down to her autism until she mentioned that she is into bdsm – or is beginning to research it. She does like it rougher, but then she has asperger and is hyper touch sensitive — so little skin contact.

    Anyway, i was wondering whether her clearly not enjoying sex with me was down to my poor manhood or whatever or is this typical with bdsms – they just are not into the standard thrust and shove of vanilla sex?

    • No, I don’t think that it’s the case that people into BDSM do not enjoy regular sex. 99% of kinky people I know love to have regular vanilla sex at least sometimes. Sounds like there are some other issues at play for you – having an open conversation about it would be a good starting point.

  41. I feel that everyone vanilla can be turned kinky with time and it is well worth the gradual conversion of that person if you love them. I am currently teaching my wife bdsm and am learning myself as well as we go. I’m starting SLOWLY with tickling and very mild spanking. I also get rough at times and give orders. Other times she gives orders and gets rough and pins my hands behind my head and tells me what to do or sits on my face and forcefully tells me to eat it with a commanding tone. Sometimes I’m the teacher and she’s my student in roleplay. Sometimes I’m her slave. We are both switches and both have dominant and submissive sides. I think everyone CAN be a switch but just gets hung up on ONE side of the spectrum. That is a limiting belief I don’t buy into. It is all just roleplay in the end and it is stupid to insist you can only play ONE role dom or sub. I plan to gradually work ourt way to real hard spanking, am buying tons of lingerie and bondage gear and am getting books on bdsm to explore together. We will get kinkier and kinkier together with time. It is not a race. You people are just going WAY too fast which is why your vanilla partners are calling you freaks! Exercise patience! In a hot sexual encounter, implement some MILD forms of bdsm and control and make it FUN for them. GRADUALLY add to it with time over many months or years and eventually you will get to the crazy bdsm dungeon madness at the end of the rainbow. It is all about creating small building blocks of positive experiences and mental conditioning and a slow exploration. The anticipation of increasing the kinkiness more and more with time can be a huge turn on too. I can’t see any vanilla person being averse to something extremely gradual and fun that EVOLVES over a long period of time into extremes of kinkiness but it seems you all just want to go from missionary vanilla to full blown tied up cutting each other with knives and pooping in each other’s mouths I mean WTF you need to ease into things for decades, not overnight WOW!?

  42. James Duro says:

    I will go back and read the responses, because I could use as much support in this as possible. But I am the vanilla partner in this equation and I’ve done a targeted search to get the experiences of such a scenario into the daylight. I’ve been dating a bisexual woman, literally a generation younger than me, who has introduced her interest in biting, choking, and other things I have yet to bring out in her trust with me. None of it feels familiar. And whenever we have a more carnal exchange/session I just feel gutted and empty. Where I sense she likes carnal, I like sensual. I like confirming our connection; which for me is a thing of beauty. She likes things raw, and I am conflicted to my core about expressing this with her, because it feels like I’m objectifying the one person who means so much to me.

    The last time we left a morning when things got raw, I sort of drifted into a mood and then she left, leaving me feelings entirely abandoned to my experience. And what experience could I offer her without her feeling a degree of defensiveness and shaming? No one wants to see their partner struggle as if they feel betrayed after sex, right? Most people, I think, would feel like crap.

    When we had our first encounter and she whispered “bite me” “harder.” “HARDER” I was frighted and also thrilled that I was hooking up with someone that just moments earlier I thought was queer and completely beyond access to me. But I knew I just couldn’t bite her as hard as I think she may have wanted, and as hard as I would if I lost my own sense of conscience, which would probably be too hard. And there? Really?

    But even with my face between her legs I thought “what a healthy conversation it would be if we could come clean about this, in a friendly conversation-just as we were simply friends only an hour ago-and be able to say ‘you know, I wonder if you are looking for someone who can relate to this stuff better than I can? I’m even afraid of blood, and this is bringing up trauma for me. And even if something in me broke through, I’m afraid I wouldn’t even know how to be kind and considerate in a situation where I could loose control, and really hurt you.’ Can you see how that situation could make a grown man cry?

    I’ve been in a silent crisis for three months, and reading into things and not inherently understanding her sexuality has led me to fall apart, snap, push back, and the like. And it’s led her to withdraw, withhold, stonewall, and put me on probation. So early in a relationship it hardly feels right to be working with a handicap and paying back someone’s trust. Did I mention there’s PTSD, anxiety, and non-prescription xanex thrown into the mix? So I doubt this kind of power struggle is what anyone really wanted in real life. Even the ding of a text message, or the minutes between them, is now making me sick. It’s terribly addicting to feel such raw need for a person. But now neither of us knows what to do about it because our sense of trust has crumbled and because, I suspect from reading this article, our inherent cues for relating to each other is very different.

    Well I’ll leave it at that, and elaborate if anyone would like to carry the torch and help me…

  43. My wife either was or just pretended to be kinky before we were married. I have been kinky since my early 20’s. Dom/Sub, willing to try/do just about anything. Now I am in my early 40’s, she is 10 years younger than me, and yes we have children. She loves reading and watching 50 Shades of Gray, however, she has suddenly become sooooo vanilla. It got worse after I found out that she had had affairs. She went from slut to prude. These weren’t normal affairs either. These were outdoors, in a truck, in a park and up against the outdoor wall of a building. She told me about them once and now refuses to ever speak about them again, or do anything even remotely like it with me… We even both took a quiz today… I am a kinkster and she is vanilla. However, judging by the questions asked, I’m guessing that she lied with some of her answers. I’m just not sure what to do at this point. I buy her toys, lingerie, naughty board games, etc. Everything is still in their packaging. Any comments, opinions or suggestions?
    Thank you all.

    • James, it sounds like your wife might have deeper issues. You must be a very strong person to keep your relationship alive after her affairs. But I’d be willing to put money on the fact that her infidelity had a HUGE impact on her self-esteem and confidence. Guilt can be an interesting depression. And the types of affairs she had could indicate other issues such as self-respect or even self-hatred. Not knowing your whole situation but at a glance, I would highly recommend she seek counseling and try to work through it- even if her issues are far buried in the past. I would also venture to guess that a more serious discussion where you can just basically vent about how you feel and remind her that if you cant do these kinky things with her- than who can you do them with? Tell her how lonely you, how important she is to you, and how you want the relationship and love to keep growing as your marriage keeps maturing as opposed to being complacent co-habitants.

  44. SlaveBunny says:

    I am sorry to hear what you are going through, James. That must be really tough.

    The first thing I would suggest is to try and have an open discussion with your wife about it. I think it would be a good idea to schedule time to sit down with one another-when you are both able to be mindful/focused, sympathetic towards one another, both actively listen to one another, have enough time to discuss the issue, and are both calm.

    To me, that is the first step- communicate, try to understand each other better, and come up with some sort of compromise/solution.

    I hope this helps. I am happy to give more communication advice if you would like.

    • Thank you slavebunny. I’ve tried communicating before and it just ended with hollow promises. We even tried marriage counseling and turned out that she lied to the counselor in her one on one sessions. I suppose I can try another sit down with her when we have no kids around and see where it goes, but against my usual optimism, in this case, I am not optimistic. It seems that she reserves her kinky self as a trap of sorts. Only allowing it to surface when it can be used as a tool to impress or keep someone interested. I am already in her marriage clutches so that tool is no longer needed in her eyes. I, on the other hand, am now secluded to pleasuring myself while fantasizing, with the rare occasion of missionary in the dark, with no foreplay…

  45. Great piece and great and powerful comments. I am in a vanilla kink relationship with me being the vanilla. I’m very open and happy to try most things, my partner is a sub and was open very early in our relationship and apart from smacking an arse now and then during sex I had never ventured into Dom/sub before we met. We played about as I explored it and she guided me to some good books to increase my knowledge. I can smack her or use paddles and other toys on her and would enjoy seeing her red arse but it was never really my thing enjoying inflicting pain, I could enjoy seeing her enjoying me doing it to her though. We both knew quite quickly that there was no Dom to awaken in me but could still play. Problem is that my partner needs the pain I can’t do, she needs all controll taken from her, tight restraint so she can’t move and have ‘the shit beaten out of her’ as she says. We have been together 7yrs, I had 2 kids from previous relationship and she had one and we now have a 2yr old together. She hadn’t seriously indulged her itch for years before we even met but over the last year and a half her itch came back and was getting stronger for her. I realised when she told me how she felt that it had taken allot of courage for her to tell me and be so honest and open, it brought us even closer mentally with how honest and open we were being with each other and made our bond very strong. It was because of this that I felt comfortable agreeing to her scratching her itch with someone who had first awoken her kink, the fact he lived in London and we are central Scotland I admit was also helpful. It went great, she got to release and we could discuss it openly afterward. I trust and believe in her that it is not about sex when she needs to scratch her itch, that did take a bit of learning listening and reading on my part to seperate the sex. I realise that it can happen without any penetrative sex what so ever and sex was not what she was going for. My struggle has always been and still is the sexual side of it, she wasn’t wanting sexual gratification but it’s difficult knowing the Dom can get sexual gratification. To do it right the Dom has to enjoy inflicting the pain and be skilled and that was his mental set up just as hers was to be beaten but as I explained to her that if during it he cums then in my head he has had sexual gratification with her. So it’s down to our love and trust in each other that I told her I was ok for her to scratch her itch and my only no go was her mouth. He did take her analy and although he got joy she also got the extra pain. That was a year ago and the itch has come back, after discussions between us decided traveling to London each time was too expensive so looking for something mire local made sence. We hadn’t discussed it much since she had last scratched but I felt hurt when she said she had looked into it and had found chats with like minded people and she thought she could maybe find someone local quite soon. I told her how I felt and when she did it before I still felt i had some control. She apologised and explained she had only been saught to chat with like minded people about the feeling of needing to scratch an itch and controlling it, she knew it’s not easy for me to give her permission to do it as there is a chance the Dom will fuck her. We talked it all through and she found someone local, they had met for a coffee ant then it went ahead 4 days ago. It all being new and someone new made me worry about her safety which made me think about someone else fucking her, I know she is not doing it for sex but I am honest enough to admit there is a bit of gellousy in me at someone fucking her. There was no sex but told be she had never been beaten like that before, it had don’t the job and as we say reset her mind but had been to a level over anything she had had before. Her head had been reset but the last few days she has been so tired and almost seemed low. She said her marks are severe and she is sore.We are having problems though, the last time it took the itch away but this time she feels she wants to keep scratching more regularly. They have discussed it and she asked if monthly is ok, she wants to use it to make her self better as if she is being lazy or late for work then she would note down her missdemeaners during the month and let him know and that would determine the severity of her punishment. Now it’s not someone having sex with her that’s my worry, it’s that it has suddenly become a part of every day life then going for punishment and as she said it could take up to a couple of weeks for her marks to recover and I’m selfishly thinking that’s possibly 2 weeks when if we have sex or make love then it could be painful to her, as I know that’s not my thing my mind is suddenly all over the place. Told me yesterday she felt exhausted with me wanting to talk more about it and her having to try to make me understand her deep strong urge to scratch her itch. Am I wrong to be a bit scared at the sudden increase and feeling that reporting her bads to him feels intrusive on our home life and this time rather than Inhance our sex life it feels like it damaging it.
    This is the first time I have told anyone about this in my life. I feel I need to talk to someone but I don’t want any friends or family knowing. Seems easy enough to find chats for those with a kink but feel I would like to be able to chat with someone in the same position as me, a vanilla whose partner is a kink and how do they work letting them do it. Any advice welcome x

  46. I by no means think any Vanilla/Kink relationship is doomed. In fact, I can attest to several success stories. But I do think it can create a communication gap between couples since they speak different sexual dialects. It can be difficult for the kinky partner to express their needs to a vanilla partner as their threshold for specific sex acts is likely undetermined. But I think there is a difference between vanilla partners who choose to be vanilla and vanilla partners who are by nature “pleasers” and just lack experience and guidance to find their kinky side. The trick for the kinky partner is how to help course and encourage the vanilla partner into “culturing” themselves so that they bring something to the table (or bedroom so to speak) so as to create dialogue and a comfortable trust level for sharing the secret mind of the kinky partner. It’s important for vanilla partners to recognize that their lack of contribution to their sex life prohibits the kinky partner’s ability to be their true self with you which will cause them to be lonely. It’s likewise important for the kinky partner to have patience and confidence in themselves and the vanilla partner as well as be as encouraging as possible. Getting frustrated with your vanilla partner will set your relationship back and destroy the vanilla partners confidence who is only trying to please you.

  47. Well this is something for all the people of this page to be proud of… your comments, stories and replies have all been written so well with such intrigues, passion and intelligence that for the first time ever I have actually read every single post on this long but most enjoyable thread. I have something that might just help its long though.

    After reading the roller-coaster of negative kink/vanilla heart breakers of painfully unfair stories, I felt most relieved to come across the few positive experiences of those who managed to turn the vanilla kinky!! Well done and thanks for the inspiration 🙂 Nearly all of us needed it !! Now I have developed a serious VERY POSITIVE conclusion for many but not necessary all kinksters, which should help at least a few. God I only hope it could help all.

    This is a long one and is only for those who have time or are in a desperate state of crisis over this matter.

    Firstly I must clarify that I am, simultaneously extremely optimistic yet very realistic in my approach to understanding reality accurately.
    Being an optimist I sure do believe in the impossible and I have too many stories to back up the fact that if this wasn’t true I probably wouldn’t be here today or at least where I am currently.
    The good news is; that despite the overwhelming majority of kinksters being thoroughly convinced in the ‘Doom’ status of a vannila/kink relationship… I have understood that there is basic chink psychological rigidity of the vannila mind. (I fully understand that I could be very wrong and the expert and more experienced kinksters are right, time will tell for you and my own experiment will be published her to determine the outcome of my case).

    The mind is very malleable and can be influenced, moulded or even changed to many degrees; change is a fundamental constant in the universe and any intelligent mind evolves by the week with the influx of new knowledge and experiences ;)… some minds are harder and more closed than others, the real hard cases may be possible to evolve so this is not going to work on everyone realistically.

    Firstly, you need to establish what type of mind the person in question has – are they open and growing, do they like transformative experiences or challenges ? or are they abit dead and helpless ?
    The bad news is that most ‘ordinary’ people, those who have been brainwashed by social norms or televised media/ education system are often really well set in their mental though processes and programming… they can be deprogrammed like a computer with a virus and their firewalls can be hacked… but you may need to be at least a level 2 grade psychologist, as in, above professorial level, so i would, like the posts; give up if your partner cares is a societal norm and is sexually vannila.

    Your chance of changing your partner lies one two fundamental foundations — the depth of your connection and the logic of their mind. Most people despite their own believes are not able to think too logically, they make up the majority of the populations, they have not transcended their animal instincts and impulses, nor have they transcended their bondage to psychological/ social conditioning and information programming… they function of emotions and impulses that they do not consciously choose exist, again don’t waste much time with these unless you are a serious thinker/ recreational psychologist/ well outside the box computer programmer or you are absolutely and I mean bat-shit insane in love with each other.
    If you have a mega deep love for each other you are more likely to ‘make things work’ and if not, your hormones/ brain chemistry will definitely help you, these emotions may over ride existing psychological barriers certain activities or fetishes. It’s not going to be easy, you will need to understand your partners ‘logic’ and work with it, I am currently running out of time and totally distracted from my bullshit studies so cant go into too much detail… please reply and I will respond with some ideas on speech based approaches.
    In other words your approach is the not what you say but how you say it cliche.
    There are ways, believe me, there are some serious out of the way ways of saying and suggesting things that mitigate: the weirdness, darkness, incompatible nature of your kinks and make them sound almost unbelievably soft, simple, interesting and tryable, You are your own best psychologist, so think what cleverly structured sentences or requests have made you do things that you were never too much for and now try to work out how your partner would react, then try to structure your request in a simple, causual, soft and fun way… FUN the most important word for the human brain… brain loves fun… brain + fun = good news.
    My partner, in the introductory stage responds very well to the ‘you know how you like feet (for example), I’ve really started to feel incredible when you bite me, or sit on my face and smother me to the point at which I cant breathe… it sounds so crazy but it’s really started to turn me on unbelieveably ? what do you think of that… is that totally bizzare or what… it feels so strange but I think i’m developing abit of a thing for it… do you think you could help me explore it more at all? no worries if not.’

    Despite the initial suprise reaction (not as often as I thought) she always says something like ‘yeah its not that weird at all, not compared to any of the crazy shit on the internet or sexetera tv show.
    Then you try it, go soft go easy, probe, encourage… show her just how much you love it, then back off… dont mention it for a few days, see if she naturally brings it up again take it from there… but go sloww !! unless she proper loves it then you’ll know.
    If she doesnt mention it, then well easy… mention it again a few days or even a week or two later but not too late so its stale in here mind to the point where you need to jog her memory that may be a little arkward if she didnt like it and will decrease the probability of her being enthusiastic in her response.

    Say something like, ‘darling I can’t help but think about that night where you tied me up and teased me for so long and sat on my face, smothering me untill i coulnt breathe… its must sound so strange but I had the most ubelieveable orgasm to date… i never thought it could happen like that but you are always so amazing but those things you did have really blown me to the next dimension… im sorry if this is all sounds a little too weird but how did you feel when you did it ? Would you like to try it again ?’ or if she says no, try something’ well… yeah if you didn’t like it the way I did I sure understand, you dont have to try anything like that gain of course… but would you at all be completely detest trying that again ?’ it is imporatant to phrase requests in a way that would reduce the chance of a negative response by employing words that are delibarately chosen to be overly negative/ strong… they oven invoke the opposite response 🙂
    Try to keep it sounding: light, fun, interesting, optional, open to doing it some other time etc

    Then once you secure a yes!! REINFORCE REINFORCE REINFORCE with POSITIVE feedback and expand step by step like a slow algorithm to your hearts content and remember to use lots of good fun descriptions of what happend, how beautiful she looked, how insanely aroused you felt, how much fun she is and how great it is that you have such a beautiful connection where you try these things… nurture here good responses, transmute and heal her negative reactions, grown and evolve that vannilla bean into one big kinky tree that makes you beg for her to stop getting more kinky than you yourself can bear… the whippings, the suffocation, the ball torture the chastity, the excrutiating tease and denial for months… you’ll wish you never started <3

    sorry to cut it short… its almost 0300 and I have to sleep, exams coming soon… please reply with any requests if you find this basic short approach to this usefull 🙂

    • My boyfriend and I are beyond in love. We have been together for a long while and have a child together. I say this because leaving him is NOT an option. I’ve never been so loved or respected in my entire life.

      I’ve always been kinky. When i was a child I even experimented with bondage before I knew what it was. It in innate in me. For a while he was into it… He dominated me so beautifully and I was so incredibly satisfied and content. Now he has more of a stance like he doesn’t want to be “mean” to me. So instead he tries to dominate by restricting me in other mild ways… But I miss all the other things he used to do. Knowing that he has this potential in him and doesn’t use it, saddens me.

      He is the best I’ve ever had both in kinky ways as well as just generally he is an amazing lover, but no matter how good the sex is I never feel completely satisfied because he doesn’t do what I really need. It doesn’t have to be an every time, but it being never now or super rare is distractingly unenjoyable.

      I don’t want to make him feel like he has to do those things because he says he “just wants to be nice” and if he does things to me that make him feel badly that’s not my goal, but if only he really understood what I have explained to him, I love it.

      I feel panicked. Like how can I ever feel satisfied or whole when he holds back on me? How can I convince him that I like the bad things he does to me? He looks at it so differently than I do. It’s a need… Not just a fun little toss in.

  48. Ropemistress says:

    So I agree with this, but I feel like something else might have been left out. So me and my boyfriend of two and a half years broke up. We are both kinky. But our kinks where not compatible, and in the end it didn’t work out. We are both dominants. For a while we tried to make it work, I told him the idea of fighting for control in the bedroom turned me on. Sometimes id try to argue for fuel, but I mean I couldn’t tell him that last part because then it loses it’s charm. So each of us would try to make the other submit, and some of it worked at the moment , but then it didn’t – one of us would get a turn to eventually be very uncomfortable. Yeah after a while the sex life died. And then every thing else went to sh*t. So, compatibility is also a must. You should have seen my face of anger and heartbrake to see him get with my ex best Friend – a sub and become her daddy. It’s been 4 months of hell, but at least he can finally express himself the way he wanted and I’ll probably get a kinky subby boyfriend or girlfriend once I move on.

  49. What if you fall out of kink?
    The current guy I like is really into bdsm
    I used to be but fell out of it after a few doms went too far
    Any thoughts if I should try again or just give up ?

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