30 Days of Kink: BDSM Relationships?

Day 22: What do you think is important in keeping a BDSM relationship healthy?  How does it differ from a vanilla relationship?

Although ‘vanilla’ relationships are already hampered by problems like differing base expectations, kinky relationships don’t even have the weight of cultural tradition to turn to. Pretty much all the established tropes and cliches in BDSM are both incredibly regional and incredibly fuzzy in their precise meaning. What, for example, does a collar mean, anyway?

I think BDSM relationships are particularly guilty of escalating quickly and are more likely to fall under the influence of an unhealthy scarcity mentality. There’s a joke about lesbians moving in together on the first date that applies here– and as well as over commitment, lot of people seem to enter into kinky relationships with stronger expectations than normal. Kink forums reflect the result in an endless stream of questions about why it isn’t working, where the problems are generally just that both people never really looked beyond the fact that they shared roughly similar fantasies.

On the other hand, if you’re kinked in vanilla land, you may have compromised on your sexuality and decided getting your way just wasn’t that important to you or perfection just didn’t . For me, a guy who actually gets me going properly is such a rare bird that he’s liable to get the full weight of my attention. I worry about labels later.

And the meat-and-potatoes (or legume and potatoes for vegetarians) is going to be those day to day things. I don’t subscribe to the idea that BDSM takes extra, extra communication or something- all relationships succeed and fail on respect and gloopy brain chemistry. My sex is no more or less fancy than anyone else’s. There’s so many ways to do vanilla properly its hubris to expect only my sex life takes additional instruction.

Day 23: Since you first developed an interest in kink, have your interests/perspectives changed?  How so?

Well, I discovered I was a femdom! I mean, I always knew I was kinked, but trying to put a finger on the role that felt most comfortable has always been challenging. Is it bad to say I don’t think I evolved much from my starting place? My approach to relationships have gotten more mature, but that’s more a thing about self esteem that would apply even if I was a trigendered otherkin leopard or vanilla as cheap soft serve.

BDSM relationships, I admit, are always something that I think have to come secondary to human relationships. For example a gay couple are humans first and gay second. On the fetish front, I don’t think I’ve been particularly inconsistent- but as I’ve talked about the inherent challenges of femdom identity VS femdom stereotype extensively elsewhere, suffice to say my primary evolution is just ruling out things I’ve tried that I don’t like- but this in no way has meant I’ve run out of new things to try or old things to try in new ways.

Day 24: What qualities do you look for in a partner?

Playfulness and open minded- strong communication skills. Being flippant, I like my men sensitive, nerdy and needy, but I have a preference for ‘wound’. In a world of people drooling over Captain Jack Sparrow I’m more of a Norrington person. I also tend to like my men on the switch-y side, and like 99% of dominant women seem to, the mating call of “I’m the MOST pathetic!” does not do anything for me. Ironically I find a guy’s need to get into your head for counter insurgency more attentive than a guy delivering up ready-to-serve fantasies.

Physically, I like a lean build, longer limbs and consumptive poet-esque aesthetics. However I’m more likely to over look the physical for good intellectual chemistry. Cybersex is one of the quickest ways to dampen my knickers. One of the social characteristics that most attracts me to a guy is homeliness- a certain ability to make things feel like a proper nest. Guys who cook and understand the need to be comfortable gel well.

With Wildcard, one of the things I particularly like is how seriously he takes me. It goes beyond submission, and into considering even my foibles and particulars interesting and important.

If my tastes have a flaw, its that I like to tidy and improve a man’s life. This is mostly an outlet for my controlling streak and I’d never pretend otherwise.

Go on, say what you think!

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