- Take time for yourself. It’s okay to step back from kink if you need/want.
- Labels belong on soup cans, not people.
- Take care of yourself. You cannot be an effective dominant if you are not feeling well.
- Communicate your needs, but know the difference between needs and wants.
- Don’t worry if others don’t understand. The only one that needs to accept you is you.
Phoenix calls me his Lady, and he is my knight. That is currently my only title, though I have been called many things in the past: kitten, princess, little one, Miss, and Ma’am. Of all the titles I’ve resisted the most, Mistress just strikes a raw nerve with me. I can’t disassociate it from the vanilla use of the word.
As far as my current title goes, I am his Lady and he my knight, because while he is sexually submissive and generally acquiescent outside of the bedroom, he is not submissive in all things. I view him more as an equal, following medieval standards of chivalry. Our relationship is patterned after the romantic legends where a knight would swear fealty to and serve someone for life (in our case, his Lady). For some knights, this could include sexuality. The important factor, however, was the strength, protection, loyalty, and chivalry.
I used to place a lot of stock in titles; however, I am learning that a dynamic that works for the people involved is far more important than the title attached to it.
This is one of those questions for which I don’t really have a simple answer. I do not wear the stereotypical “fetish” wear. I can’t stand the smell of leather, and I cringe to think of what I would look like in latex.
On the other hand, I am a little. So I suppose some of my attire could be considered “kink” related. I am comfortable wearing most of it in vanilla public however. Some of these things include hairbows and sundresses. I also have a few one-piece pajamas/costumes – namely a minions one, and a wonder woman one (complete with cape).
For me, “little” attire is simply an outward signal to those around me of what headspace I am in. As I am also dominant, it is important to me to signal to my partner when I am more little than dominant.
Some elements of my relationship do not look abnormal to a vanilla observer. Phoenix and I have a Female-led relationship (FLR). As such, to a vanilla person, this may sometimes look like Phoenix is doting, “never tells me no”, and is very attentive. The only thing that I would define as kinky would be my sex life, and I do not discuss my sex life typically, in vanilla or BDSM company.
Personally, I think the internet plays a growing role in introducing potential couples. Therefore, I don’t think that on-line kink can be ruled out. However, I believe that a successful relationship that begins on-line must have clearly communicated benchmarks that will ultimately culminate in a real-time relationship. I am not a big supporter of relationships that are strictly on-line, as there is no definitive way to really know someone until you’ve had face-to-face, meatspace interaction with them.
I discovered kink when I was in my early 20s, and when my sexuality was still forming. I got married very young, to someone who was extremely vanilla, though I was a traditional stay-at-home wife. It seems strange to me that being a homemaker is considered a kink to some. In any case, I did not discover the more extreme kinks until after my marriage was ending.
My discovery of kink was through a friend who was initially just seeking acceptance. He told me he was into “weird” stuff, and was worried I would judge him for it. When he shared those things with me, my initial reaction was one of intellectual interest. I couldn’t really say whether I would enjoy them, but I did want to know more. I eventually became his dominant, and together we explored many kinks. Some I discarded as being “not my thing”. Other’s I became enthralled with.
My experience as a dominant lasted many years. Eventually, I wanted to experiment with being a submissive, and through my exploration of “the other side of the slash” I discovered the Daddy/little dynamic. It is one that I enjoy thoroughly, but being dominant is much more a part of who I am.
I have been fortunate to find a submissive man who accepts my little nature and revels in my dominance. He is also a wonderful service top. With him, I don’t have to worry about labels or roles. We fit together well.
I have very few vanilla friends, so in my social life, I am largely “out”. I do not, however, believe in sharing my kinks or my sex life with those whom I would not ordinarily have such a conversation. I am not ashamed of my lifestyle; however, I believe there is a line between being proud of who you are and imposing your kinks on those who have not consented.
When I was looking for a submissive, I’d made a list of the qualities I wanted in the partner. For me, this was a list that seemed rather contradictory. For the sake of this writing, I’ll see if I can recall that list to some extent.
- Kink compatible
In short, I wanted a protective, alpha male, who was submissive in the home. He and I had to share enough kinks in common, and his hard limits could not be kinks that were important to me. It was also important to me that he be intelligent enough to hold intellectual conversations with me.
Agreeing on politics and religion were not as important to me, as I do not find these things to be indicative of an inability to be compatible as partners.
Now that I am not single, I can say that my partner meets these things.
There are a number of things that are vital to the maintenance of a healthy relationship. These things are also important to a vanilla relationship; however, it is my experience that a vanilla relationship failing does not have the same intense emotional impact that the end of a kink relationship does. Yes, there is pain and grief at the end of a vanilla relationship. A kink relationship, however, is one of intense extremes. There are times when you may be quite literally trusting your partner with your very life. I believe there are three things that are absolutely required for a healthy kink relationship: self-awareness, trust, and communication.
Self-awareness: Some come to a new kink relationship with years of experience under their belt. Others come with nothing kinkier than doggy style sex. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have. What matters, is knowing yourself. As you explore your sexuality, be open to your own thoughts and emotions. If you don’t like a specific kink activity, that’s okay. If something triggers a negative emotional reaction, that’s ok. What is important is being aware of the reactions and being accepting of yourself. Don’t try to force yourself into a box you don’t fit in. No matter how hard you try, the square peg won’t fit into the round hole unless you shave some of it off. Don’t shave some of yourself off just to fit into a label.
Trust: Trust yourself. Trust your partner, but first trust yourself. Self-doubt is absolutely toxic to any relationship, but perhaps more so in kink relationships. Regardless of which “side of the slash” you identify with, you must trust yourself. It is only then that you can be psychologically okay with some of the more extreme aspects of kink.
Communication: This one is the one every one talks about. In a vanilla relationship, communication typically is about things like feelings, finances, home decorating, careers, etc. A kink relationship has all of those same things, but more. Communicate your desires with your partner. Let them know if you want to try something new. Let them know if you didn’t like something done in a scene. Let them see your vulnerability. Let them see you.
Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. I love the fairy tales, and adaptations of them. This is one of the best kink adaptation I’ve ever read.