My hubby's kinky. I'm not. Please help us figure out a fair way to compromise in the bedroom.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (46 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
About a year ago, my wonderful husband told me he was interested in BDSM. Since then, after many attempts at "getting into it" myself, I've realized that I am, sadly, not at all a kinky person. I'm willing to humor him in the spirit of being GGG; but I'd like to know how to draw some fair boundaries.
He's an enthusiastic guy, and since the initial revelation has gotten pretty far into things, to the point of buying some expensive special equipment, doing a lot of internet research, etc. We've done about ten "scenes" total, but the frequency seems to be increasing. Lately, he brings it up about once every two weeks or so, or roughly every ~5 times we have sex. He's not so into roleplaying, humiliation, or psychological submissiveness, but he really likes the bondage and the physical/torture aspect of things (with him being tortured).
I've got a couple of issues with this, including:
-- While it's kind of hot when he's getting off at the very end, I have a visceral objection to causing him too much pain, or tying him up in obviously uncomfortable positions. For me, sex is about feeling good and/or loving somebody, and it's kind of a turnoff to have to do things that feel intuitively cruel or unloving.
-- His preferred flavor of BDSM is very him-centered: he lies there, gagged, blindfolded, bound, and it's on me to figure out stuff to do to him for however long it takes to get him off-- frequently an hour or more. Frankly, it's boring, distancing, energy-intensive, and a drag. Plus, it's frustrating, because I feel as though I have to be able to plan and execute a fabulous experience from his end when I really have no idea how anybody could enjoy any of this.
-- We have a young child, and my energy and creativity is in short supply. Although I'm not proud of it, I'm a little resentful that now we have to devote a ton of time and energy to his fetish, when I have no comparable fetish that demands his time. Our regular vanilla sex is satisfying, and he's ok at foreplay and great about oral sex, but really, you're talking 20 minutes of fairly mutual pleasure, compared with 60-90 minutes of entirely one-sided pleasure for the BDSM sessions. I frequently feel as though it's not fair that I'm having to give so much more than he is. Then I feel guilty for feeling that way, because, really, he's my partner; shouldn't I want to do things that will keep him happy? And there's really nothing me-centered I can imagine wanting him to do for 90 minutes in return.
-- I also worry about how far this is going to go. Already, within a year, we've gone from zero to electrodes and ball thrashings. Does the slope stop being slippery at some point?
-- Lastly, we've been together for 11 years, and with the exception of one very mild experiment in college, this is the first time any of this is coming up. I sometimes worry that the sudden recent dive into kink could somehow be an early warning of eventual problems or cooling in our sex life or marriage in general.
I know the answer to all this is COMMUNICATION, and my husband and I have already had some good conversations so far. But I'd like to have some sense of what other people regard as fair and reasonable in these situations-- to calibrate my internal normalcy meter, as it were. How often does it seem fair to indulge in this pastime of his? How far should I let it go, and where's a decent place to draw a line? And does anybody have any good suggestions on how to get over the resentment I feel about this, or to think myself a little more securely into a role that doesn't come at all naturally to me?
Oh, fwiw, I have read The Topping Book and The Bottoming Book, and, while interesting, they seemed predicated too much on a standpoint of authentic enthusiasm to be of much use to me. If anybody needs followup, throwaway email is reluctant.top.2 (at) gmail (dot) com. And if possible, please no links to Dan Savage columns-- killer way with an acronym and all, but the self-righteousness sets my teeth on edge.