How to not appear too kinky to new partners
March 24, 2009 11:37 AM   Subscribe

How to not come across as too kinky in new relationships despite being a little bit kinky.

I've kind of had a less than perfect time dating recently.

I've dated around a lot in the past, enjoyed casual sex and some mind blowing relationships.

Now I'm a little bit older and a little bit more settled down. I don't go out clubbing 3 times a week like I used to. So I get in to fewer random situations and I'm happy with that.

I've had some pretty open minded relationships in the past and I enjoy slightly kinky sex. A bit of throwing around, biting, hair pulling. It's just what i enjoy. Sometimes I'll talk to my last ex and we'll chat about how much we miss the great sex life we had.

In that relationship and others I had in the past we would be pretty experimental. A bit of kinky stuff, enjoying porn together, threesomes, picking up girls at lesbian bars. It was just a small part of the relationship though.

When I meet new partners now though - and this has happened three times in the last year - I come across as too extreme.

I end up getting asked the same questions. The same thing has popped up where it is insinuated that I have slept with too many people. I never talk about that kind of thing but I'm pretty open that I enjoy sex and sexual experiences.

Also it is insinuated that I may well have an unhealthy attitude to sex and women. I'm completely comfortable with my sexuality and how I treat people. I'm open minded and enjoy sex and I'm honest about what I like.

Thing is the last three girls I've dated. It's started well. Then as we progressed and started the sexual side they have ended up being a bit shocked and the relationship has ended.

I think part of the problem is in the past I would go out a lot and meet lots of people and you'd usually hook up with people in clubs and soon know if you were in to the same things. If not there be someone else next weekend.

Now I'm slowing down and meeting people through other activities. Sports clubs, friends of friends, online dating. I seem to be stuck in this rut of coming across as too sexual when I honestly express myself.

So has anyone been through anything similar? How do you handle that?
posted by aTrumpetandaDream to Human Relations (25 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
No past experience, but just a thought: maybe get all the back-history explanation out in the beginning, and deal with it then? The clash people perceive could come from the juxtaposition of how you initially come across and how your history sounds. If things crash and burn, they do so early on, with less build-up of expectations.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:50 AM on March 24, 2009


don't make too many presumptions about the tastes of the people you meet now dependent on where you met them or how you met them.
posted by iamnotateenagegirl at 11:50 AM on March 24, 2009


I end up getting asked the same questions. The same thing has popped up where it is insinuated that I have slept with too many people.

stop dating prudes! mention some stuff up front and let that thin the herd. you may end up with less dates but quality trumps quantity.
posted by lia at 12:03 PM on March 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think it is unfair that they claim you're kinky only because youve "slept around." I have had *VERY* few sexual partners, didn't lose my virginity till my early 20's, and I would consider myself quite kinky. Also, as a woman, i disagree that such desires are unhealthy or reflect anti-feminist attitudes. Forcing such actions on someone who was not comfortable with them would be, yes, but discussing ones desires with a partner and enjoying them in a safe environment is the height of trust and intimacy, no matter what genders are involved.
posted by CTORourke at 12:23 PM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I end up getting asked the same questions. The same thing has popped up where it is insinuated that I have slept with too many people.

I'm not understanding why you think it's a bad thing that your relationships with these people don't work out.

Wouldn't it be better and easier to find people who share your views, values, and philosophy about sex than to try to pretend to have different views and values and philosophy?
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:45 PM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Remember when you dated younger women how none of them judged you?

Now you're older. You're dating older women. Older women are looking for husband material. Most will tend to frown on wanting to pick up lesbians for threesomes.
posted by Zambrano at 12:53 PM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


... so date younger women.
posted by Zambrano at 12:54 PM on March 24, 2009


Zambrano: I couldn't disagree more. If anything I have found that most early 30s single women are more comfortable with their own sexual perversity and less likely to judge someone else's, whereas a higher % of mid-20s women are likely to go "Ew I don't do that and you're gross for asking."

YMMV.

As to the question, it just sounds like bad luck. If they ain't a freak, you're better off finding out early so you can move on anyway. One thing I would recommend having a good bit of normal sex before you break out the hair pulling and whips and such. That way they know you're not a fetishist, just a good old fashioned pervert.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:23 PM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


You definitely don't want to come across as less kinky than you are. Gently let partners know early on that you are open-minded when it comes to sex and enjoy some rough/kinky practices, that way you can weed out people who either aren't into kink or aren't interested in trying it.

As a kink-positive woman, I have sometimes declined rough sex with partners because I don't feel comfortable with their attitude towards women or their ability to know when to stop. Making it clear that you respect your partner and are interested in exploring your kinky side together and finding things she enjoys will help her feel more open.

It mostly sounds like you're just finding closed-minded women unfortunately. Keep trying!
posted by teraspawn at 1:33 PM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just because someone asks you a question, does not mean you are required to give them an answer.

I dated a guy, and asked how many people he slept with. It was (for me, a very shockingly) high number. I did quick mental division to make an assumption that, based on that history, I wouldn't be in his life long (because with a number that high, nobody was around for long... just not mathematically possible, even when you say that the numbers might have been racking up in groups).

I learned not to ask that question, ever.

If someone asked me, I'd tell them I'd rather not say. Yes, be honest, but there's no need to go into all that. If I'm with a person, I'm focusing on them... so the details of sex with others is not important. Complete and required honesty are for questions about STDs, marital status, existing children... but never required about how many partners you've had, and how fabulous the sex was with them.

Note, I'm not at all saying you should lie. I'm saying you should not say. Instead of talking with New Person about Old Person, just talk to New Person about New Person.
posted by Houstonian at 1:37 PM on March 24, 2009


I'm a bit unclear what we mean by "kinky" here.

If by "kinky" you just mean "I've slept with a lot of people," well...personally, I don't think that's kinky. And a number of other people wouldn't. I wouldn't...boast about the number, but I also wouldn't try to dodge the question, either; people will either be cool with the number of people you've had sex with, or not. Best to be with someone who will accept that.

Same too with what I really think is kinky, but there's some compromise that COULD happen here...if by "kinky" you mean something like S/M, bondage, dominance, or what have you, that's the kind of thing that can come with trust; some people may not be ready to cop to that until they trust you a little more, so if you're trying to spring that on someone from the get-go, that may be scaring people off people who may have been willing if you worked up to it later and they trusted you a little better.

Your mileage may vary, of course, but it seems that only slowly raising the freak flag could be the way to go here.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:58 PM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the answers so far. Just to answer some questions that have cropped up.

I'm not understanding why you think it's a bad thing that your relationships with these people don't work out.

The sex is only one part of the whole thing and it's kind of sad that the whole things goes because of the sex. There have other things that have clicked in these relationships and it's just sad that it's a no go because of my sexual preferences.

Also it's just kind of bewildering that the activities that made up part of the exciting, wonderful, joy inspiring sex life I've enjoyed in the past are suddenly being viewed as unhealthy and weird.
posted by aTrumpetandaDream at 2:02 PM on March 24, 2009


I guess the question is, are these women getting the wrong impression about what you currently want in your sex life?

I mean, are these things you've done in the past, maybe not enjoyed much, and you're not looking to do again? Are you finding yourself scaring women off with old stories about whips and chains when now you'd be content to nibble on their ear a little? (I'm exaggerating, but you get the idea, I hope.)

Because it sounds like you'd still like to have an adventurous, somewhat kinky sex life, and you should definitely be open about that — even if it means missing out on otherwise good relationships.

My impression — a little like Potomac Avenue's — is that peoples tastes solidify as they get older. Your early 20s are for trying something wild and crazy, even if you don't necessarily enjoy it, because, hey, what the fuck, why not? Beyond that, people who don't like the kinky stuff are more likely to put their foot down and say no, but people who do have specific kinks or who like adventure for its own sake are more likely to actively seek out the stuff they're into. So there are definitely still women your age who will like the stuff that you like, but maybe you need to change your approach a bit? It sounds like your old approach was based on the idea that just about everyone would be game for everything, and that's probably getting less true as you and your dating pool get older.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:14 PM on March 24, 2009


I agree with the advice not to hide who you are sexually. That's a huge part of who you are, as others have said before me.

But I also think you may be rushing into the kinky stuff--hey, you may even be rushing into any sex at all with a new partner--because your past history means you are ready to open up to new things sooner, while others without your experience may need to kind of sidle on into some of the kinkier stuff. It's a matter of what you are used to.

And, about sharing: the absolute worst thing to do, if a new partner is a little hesitant, is to say, "Well, my old girlfriends a, b, c, d, and e had no problem with this!" So that may be where the, "Wow, you've had a lot of girlfriends!" comments are coming from.

A woman doesn't want to be compared and found wanting (does anyone?). She wants you to start anew with her.

Also, when you are talking about "a bit of throwing around, biting, hair pulling" --who is doing what to whom here? Women who have just met a man might be fine with doling it out, but they are much more hesitant to be the recipient until they have gotten to know and trust that man.

That makes sense, right? Physically, that's just the safest way for them to be.

By the way, maybe you didn't experience this so much in the past because you were part of a couple, looking for a third woman, which made you a lot less threatening than just This Kinky Guy. This is why a lot of fringe clubs welcome couples, but prefer not to have unattached men come in for swinging parties, etc. It's like the woman sort of vouches that the man is okay with women in general, so he is less of this scary unknown factor.

So, my advice is to be open, but don't rush things. You don't need to be in a big hurry to introduce sex in the relationship. That way, by the time you do, hopefully you will know that you have found someone who is open-minded and accepts your kinks, instead of being shocked and judgmental, because you will have taken the time to get to know her first.
posted by misha at 2:16 PM on March 24, 2009


Also it's just kind of bewildering that the activities that made up part of the exciting, wonderful, joy inspiring sex life I've enjoyed in the past are suddenly being viewed as unhealthy and weird.

By some people. They were viewed as unhealthy and weird by some people five years ago, and they'll be viewed as unhealthy and weird by some people five years from now, and so on and so on. There are people in the world who think that everything except two opposite-sex married people having missionary-position intercourse is "unhealthy and weird."

The point many of us are trying to make here is that you'll probably have better luck with relationships if you fish from a pool of people who don't think that your views, philosophy, orientation, and preferences vis-a-vis sex are "unhealthy and weird."

The sex is only one part of the whole thing and it's kind of sad that the whole things goes because of the sex.

I think that incompatible sexual preferences and orientations are pretty much a deal-breaker in most dating relationships.

What do you want to happen? Do you want to stop acting on your kinky side, or do you want to find partners who are compatible with your sexuality as it is? I think this is probably the key question.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:23 PM on March 24, 2009


I like Sidhedevil's key question. But if that isn't enough, is your question more like "how do I talk about kink in a way that will convince this really cool person I've met to do it with me even if they're not already into it?"

You might find a way to seduce them into it -- in fact, that would be a real ego trip and pretty exciting to boot. So if you want to play that game, more power to you. But what a lot of comments here seem to be saying is, when it looks like you're getting rebuffed, quit wishing you can convince them to be different and move on to someone that is much more likely to like your likes.
posted by buzzv at 3:57 PM on March 24, 2009


The level of kink you're describing doesn't sound particularly unusual or shocking--most people enjoy an occasional bout of biting and hair pulling from time to time, or at least don't mind participating in it with someone they care about. I really think you're just dating the wrong women. Keep looking.
posted by tomatofruit at 5:09 PM on March 24, 2009


If you're not up front about what you want, what makes you think that you'll ever get it?

If they're not into it, why would you want to date them? Best to find out right away and keep from wasting both of your time.
posted by Ookseer at 5:20 PM on March 24, 2009


I end up getting asked the same questions. The same thing has popped up where it is insinuated that I have slept with too many people. I never talk about that kind of thing but I'm pretty open that I enjoy sex and sexual experiences.

Are these conversations happening before you've starting having sex with the new women? Can you clarify exactly what type of questions keep getting asked? I think that might help.

I'm kind of wondering if you're misinterpreting the questions that they're asking, and in turn giving them an answer that they're misinterpreting. Like, they're just making some getting-to-know-you conversations about dating history, which you're interpreting as questions about sex, and when you talk about the number of partners you've had or things you've done, it's coming across to them as a weird non sequitur. Alternatively, they may be doing a bit of light flirting, kind of verbally walking around the subject of "what turns you on?", and then getting this really detailed response when they were expecting a little coy flirtation in return. It's easy for me to see how getting more information about a new date's sexual proclivities than I was really asking for or expecting could be unnerving, and it's not even about the kink aspect of it; it's the perception that the only reason someone would really lay it out like that when it's so early in game is because they're (1) pretty sexually aggressive or (2) fishing around to find out whether I'm okay with the more vanilla stuff and will only reveal bigger, more kinky proclivities if we keep dating. ("Oh, remember how I said I liked to pull hair? Yeah, I meant only when I'm wearing diapers and calling you Mommy.")

I dunno, just throwing this out there to see if sounds right. You may need to re-calibrate your bluntness meter; I'm not a fan of game-playing, but being too blunt or too explicit right out of the gate is going to raise questions in some women's mind about why you feel the need to push things that far. Some women are probably going to take it as a worrying-enough sign to break up with you (even those who are open to kink but who worry they may be biting off more than they can chew).
posted by iminurmefi at 5:46 PM on March 24, 2009


Also it is insinuated that I may well have an unhealthy attitude to sex and women. I'm completely comfortable with my sexuality and how I treat people. I'm open minded and enjoy sex and I'm honest about what I like.

Maybe you're conveying the message "You're uncool/unfeminine/unsexy for not wanting to do thing x, y, z that I used to do with my last girlfriend"? That could very well lead to the impression that you have an unhealthy attitude towards women and sex -- if you act like they're obligated to do certain things.
posted by footnote at 5:53 PM on March 24, 2009


The level of kink you're describing doesn't sound particularly unusual or shocking--most people enjoy an occasional bout of biting and hair pulling from time to time, or at least don't mind participating in it with someone they care about. I really think you're just dating the wrong women. Keep looking.

I would agree that isn't very kinky and shouldn't be hard to find . . . but going out and picking up random girls for threesomes? Not something a lot of girlfriends would agree to, in my experience. I know plenty of women who are fairly kinky, certainly into rough-ish sex or watching porn with a boyfriend, but only interested in monogamous relationships.

aTrumpetandaDream, do you know whether it's just that part scaring away dates, or whether it's the whole that they don't like? And how willing would you be to compromise?
posted by booksandlibretti at 6:46 PM on March 24, 2009


. . . but going out and picking up random girls for threesomes? Not something a lot of girlfriends would agree to, in my experience.

Yeah, that's not exactly a "normal" thing to do. So it's understandable that some people are weirded out.

I think it's best that you get all this out in the open fairly early. I'm with the crowd that thinks you should go ahead and thin the herd. But what you may be finding is that, whereas in earlier years the things you did were not a dealbreaker, as people get older and want different things (kids, a settled family life, etc.), to hear you crowing about all the threesomes you had with random lesbians might be a big turn-off. That is, some people may regard it as too risky to get involved with you if you are still speaking fondly of all the crazy-ass sexual shit you enjoy doing, because they're in a stage of life when weird, risky sexual shit doesn't fit their plans.
posted by jayder at 7:09 PM on March 24, 2009


People go to clubs specifically to find other people looking for this kind of activity. That's what clubs are, basically - you have yacht clubs and book clubs and then there are dance clubs that are really basically hook-up clubs. So if that's where you used to meet people, no wonder you didn't have trouble finding others looking for hook-up style sex - a little adventurous, a little playful, sometimes multiple partners...

It's often true that when people are younger, they're more likely to be willing to give things a go, but it has to be the right point in their lives, after they get over being too shy / scared and before they get over having experimented and are ready to settle down. If you're the same age, you might be going through this with them, living in the same dorm or whatever; if you're an older man it could be hit or miss.

If you meet someone at the right kind of venue (maybe a show or a bar instead of a club if you don't like that anymore - something more alternative or funky) you have a better chance of getting someone with the right mindset. If you're meeting people through sporting events or online dating, I don't think it's too surprising you're running into more vanilla-ish people.

Although, it could just be the way you talk about it, too, as many people would find grouping "watching porn" and "threesomes" to be a little oblivious. Even someone up for a threesome would consider it a much bigger undertaking than the other things you list.
posted by mdn at 8:28 AM on March 25, 2009


I didn't read the above answers thoroughly, just skimmed, so my apologies if this has already been addressed. but here's my personal take on it.

So . . . yeah, the women who have been scared off maybe are a little prude. Believe me, you wouldn't scare ME off. but five years ago, you probably would have. I don't think it's a matter of age, it's a matter of confidence. my sex life now is more awesome than it's ever been, and I am open to way more things than I used to be. and I really have my partner to thank for that. not because he's a kinky freak that tried to drag me down the kinky freak path the first week, but because he's built my confidence to a level where I'm more comfortable sexually now than I used to be. trust me, when a girl is naked you can never give her too many compliments. the sexier you make her feel, the more she'll want to get naked! Win-win!

Of course, I don't disagree that some women may just be prudes. Some are. But lots aren't. But with any woman, you have to build up to the kinkier stuff. I like all the things you mentioned, but if a new guy busted it out on the first date, I'd probably feel weird about it. For me, it's the kind of thing that comes out naturally as I get to know and like someone and feel comfortable around them, and trust them.

i'd say focus on getting to know the women you really like, and see how it develops. i find it hard to believe that your average woman who is dating a guy that makes her feel incredibly sexy, but also comfortable and safe, would object to the things you mentioned.

and upon preview- i think Houstonian is on the right track. Perhaps you're coming across as too focused on your past. "i'm used to this, so i hope you can live up to my past hookups." ew. don't tell new partners how high your number is, unless they ask. even if they ask i'd ask them if it mattered, or if they really wanted to know. this is just a wild guess based on myself, but i think a girl who's more open sexually won't ask or want to know anyway. so this might be a good indicator?
posted by lblair at 6:02 PM on March 25, 2009


I think it's the context in which you're meeting them.

The one time I seriously dated a woman I met in a random "mainstream" bar, she ended up thinking I was the most disgusting perverted man in the universe.

Then I met my current s.o. on the Internet in a slightly mainstream area, and she doesn't think that about me.

Sounds like you're meeting your current dates - especially in London - in mainstream areas, where people do mostly mainstream thinking. Which is fine - many of us look mainstream on the outside, but have hidden kinks on the inside. But you're just getting too many of the 2.2 children types.

The answer? Look outside the mainstream. Go to slightly quirky dating sites like okcupid.com . If you feel like it, go to BDSM munches and meet new people that way - although of course, being a single man at a BDSM munch is like being the 10,000th spoon when what they want is a knife.

But good luck!
posted by almostwitty at 11:32 AM on May 3, 2009


« Older 5's a crowd in a 747-but it's time to move abroad.   |   I'm kicking around a concept for a theoretical... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.