One kinky, One vanilla, One roof

heart love stones in the quarry

Often times an already established couple enters the scene together. Perhaps they’ve been dating a while, living together, or even married. They start going to a few classes and a munch or two. Perhaps they make it out to a party and start including kink during their “sexy time”. Unfortunately, after giving it a good shot, one partner just isn’t feeling it. Partner A feels like they hit a jackpot of new experiences and is so excited to plunge into the deep end of kink. Partner B has given a genuine effort, yet nothing they’ve learned about or tried has interested them. So now what? Well, in this case both partners are aware of what’s out there and kink has been put on the table. At this point partner B has the decision to either swallow their disinterest and attempt to “play along” because they see partner A’s excitement or to have an honest conversation with partner A about how they feel. I know this won’t shock you, but I suggest the second option. Many people may choose the first option because they are afraid if they let their partner know they aren’t interested that they’ll lose them. The problem here is that kink isn’t something you can fake for long, especially as you delve deeper. It will eventually surface and when it does it is bound to not end well. At the very least the kinky partner may feel resentment about their partner not being really honest with them. It’s better to have a frank conversation and evaluate what’s most important and how to handle the difference of interest.

Another scenario is when one person starts to research and explore kink but doesn’t bring their partner along at first. This is usually due to them assuming their partner won’t be into it or they are simply ashamed or embarrassed by their kinky interests. Given this situation there are several options. One option I don’t recommend is continuing to explore kink in secret. They end up almost living a double life and it usually still gets revealed eventually – and by then there is much more betrayal that has happened. Another option is to come to the conclusion that they can live without kink and continue to suppress their desires. This option is less than appealing due to the fact that they are possibly living a life that is less than satisfying. This can lead to resentment eventually as well. I do recommend communicating the interests with the partner. This option can lead to several outcomes. The best outcome, of course, is revealing the desire to explore kink and finding out their partner is interested and willing to explore with them. Another positive outcome is if their partner isn’t interested, yet is willing to negotiate ways for the interested partner to explore kink without them.

The saddest outcome, of course, is if they can’t find common ground or room for compromise and the relationship comes to an end. Keep in mind there is a lot of wiggle room before they have to get to this point. There are many possibilities for making it work in some way. However, if they just can’t make it work it’s probably better to part ways. If the kink partner has realized that kink is that important in their life and the vanilla partner really wants nothing to do with it and can’t be a part of their partner exploring outside of the relationship then this may be the best option. If not, I believe the relationship will still end, but it may be more like removing the bandage very slowly as opposed to ripping it off and hopefully parting in a friendly way. To end this article on a positive note I will say that I have seen many couples in my therapy practice where one person thinks their partner won’t be into kink find out that they were wrong and that their partner is totally willing to check it out and may even love it!

Bottom line is be true to yourself and your partner!

Jennifer Masri is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in Alternative Lifestyles for individual and relationship issues. She also teaches the BDSM 101 class series at Sanctuary LAX in Los Angeles every Monday evening. Read more about Jennifer on her blog, A Kink Shrink.

Comments

  1. good point on being true to yourself and relationship abilities

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