The Expansion Pack of Love
The Deviant Nerd
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So I’m a sixteen-year-old lesbian in my first real relationship with another girl. It’s also my first BDSM relationship. I’m seeing a nineteen-year-old bisexual submissive, who’s only done BDSM relationships her entire life. And, while I really like doing what we’re doing—spanking, role-play, power-exchange, and sex better and hotter than I could have ever imagined—I really like this girl and would really like to have a relationship that’s more than just the kink.
But, when I ask her, she says that she doesn’t do those kinds of things, that dating and romance and stuff is for vanilla people and would ruin what we have for her. That she couldn’t see me as her Domme, if I was her girlfriend. That the roles just wouldn’t fit for her.
She told me that she sometimes goes through that phase too, when she wants a real relationship, but that kink always calls her back. Last night, she told me that, if I really want to date someone, I should go find someone else to be vanilla with; she’ll wait for me when that fails and I come back to her. Does it have to be an either/or kind of thing or is it possible to have both? Do I have to give up dating if I want to be kinky?
– Is Romance the New Taboo?
Pip: Hey Romance,
I find it odd that you say that the only relationships your submissive has ever had are kinky ones, yet she doesn’t seem to know much about how most successful kinky relationships—or how most healthy kinky people—work.
She seems to be under the impression that BDSM relationships aren’t real relationships. That kinky sex and play are completely separate from—seem to almost negate, in her mind—romantic love. And, while not every BDSM relationship is a romantic one, to say that no BDSM relationship involves romance is just not true.
And I get it, I do. It’s a common issue for kinksters—particularly beginners—who can’t conceive of the D/s roles unless they keep them completely, all the time. It’s that desire for the 24/7 D/s relationship that everyone hears about so often but seems like Bigfoot when looking at the actual landscape of kink. It’s like we can’t envision ourselves as kinky unless we see vanilla people and vanilla life as our polar opposite. But the two aren’t quite so black and white.
In fact, none of us—or at least a negligibly small number of us—started out our dating lives as kinksters. Most of us didn’t even know we were kinky until later in life. It’s true that a lot of us had inklings toward kinky things (I read books and played out very kinky scenarios with my toys from as young as three years old), but none of us are born with the knowledge or terms.
Like being gay, it’s something that we grow into, that we learn about ourselves over time. The number of vanilla partners I’ve had vastly outnumber the number of kinky ones I’ve had. In high school, I dated boys who knew little to nothing about sex at all, much less kink (hey, we all have to start somewhere). In college, I dated guys and girls who were just figuring out how to please women sexually at all—I didn’t even know to expect more. I didn’t even identify as kinky until I was twenty-two.
And, even now, as a kinky person, my love life…it doesn’t look all that different from anyone else’s, over all. The fact of the matter is kinky folks—despite what we and everyone else in the world like to think—are just like everyone else. We have relationships. We have the same banal dating histories and past experiences. We go on regular dates. We have regular sex. We kiss. We make love. We fuck like bunnies. Hell, we even cuddle and use condoms! For the most part, we lead fairly normal lives and all that entails. We aren’t dark fairy tale characters who live and love outside the regular world, like the movies and books would like us to think. We’re chiropractors and stay-at-home moms. We’re next-door-neighbors and school teachers.
We just have…leather-wearing alter egos and toy bags shoved in the back of our closets.
Think of kink as essentially the advanced expansion pack of relationships. It isn’t the entirety of the game and it certainly isn’t a starter set. It’s not something that you just pick up and play. I’m of the belief that it should exist in your head and your fantasies for a good long while before you ever crack open that toy box.
Because this lifestyle takes real thought. It takes preparation and extra effort to make into a reality. And it puts you—top or bottom—in a place of vulnerability and you want to know before you’re whip-deep in a scene that you’re ready for it. To just jump in without that time, effort, experience, and thought would be like trying to fly a plane before ever learning how to ride a bike, much less drive a car.
And, while you’re taking all that time, effort, experience, and thought, get good at the vanilla stuff. Because a kinkster needs to already be good at the regular stuff—dating, kissing, non-kinky sex—before ever even considering playing around with the more complicated stuff.
Like I said, kinky relationships consist mostly of the everyday, normal stuff. So if you haven’t got that down yet, if you think that that’s for other people to worry about, you haven’t really got a relationship worth having. Moreover, if you don’t understand the basics of how to make a relationship work, you really aren't equipped with enough knowledge about yourself, others, or the world, haven’t gained enough experience, or developed enough emotional tools to move on from the starter set to the next level of this highly stylized and very complex lifestyle. It would be like building a fancy roof without having a foundation, a structure, or even a plan for your house. It’s nice to have, but what the hell do you do with it?
So, yes, Romance, you can and should have both the romance and the kink that you want, but maybe not right now. Not until you know a little more about love, kink, life, and yourself. And, if she can’t or won’t give it to you, you should definitely not be looking for it with this girl.
– Pip, Your Resident Deviant Nerd
* If you have a sex, kink, love, or life question for The Deviant Nerd, email Pip at PipJones.DeviantNerd@gmail.com.
And read more about Pip’s story in Brought to You By.