I want him to know I can relate to his dark side but how to bring it up after the fact?
October 14, 2009 6:25 PM   Subscribe

How do I properly initiate contact with a person who dumped me because he thought I may not sexually accept the way he is? How can I let him know that I'm the same way too?

This is hard to ask but I am not sure how to go about it. For anyone who has advice... how would you go about letting the friend who dated you but distanced away due to dark sexual matters, know you are actually into the same thing? You see, I lead on to make him believe that I don't have the capability to be into S&M, however, part of me really is. I just need to trust them first. I noticed he was trying to incorporate some subtle hints but was too scared to go all the way with me. He never bothered to ask. It was less than 4 months of dating but I truly feel he doesn't know that I totally get him. I was just scared to go there with him. We check on each other once in a while but I want to go to the next level to tell him I can relate to his dark matter. Is there anyone here who understands the distance and embarrassment of what he might be going through? I know I may not be asking correctly but if you need more detail you can email me at IamNotHere87@gmail.com
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are you sure you're not just convincing yourself that you're okay with it because you really want him to like you? Because that's kind of how this sounds.. otherwise I don't see why you couldn't just let him know that you needed time back when you were still together. If he respected you and cared about you he would have completely understood.
posted by june made him a gemini at 6:33 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yeah why not just sit him down and explain everything you typed into this AskMe?
posted by ian1977 at 6:34 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

What do you consider "being into S&M"? Are you talking light bondage and spanking, or blood sports and heavy medical play? There's such an enormous spectrum of activities and motivation I don't think you can truly know whether or not you're "on the same page" with anyone without an enormous amount of emotional intimacy and explicit communication.

Your idea of "going all the way" and his idea of "going all the way" could be worlds apart-- and until you talk it over, you'll never know.
posted by aquafortis at 7:07 PM on October 14, 2009

My understanding is that a lot of S&M has to do with really, really open communication. He may feel the same way. In order to get there regardless, you need to talk to him. Did you sleep with him or have any kind of sexual relationship before? Can you find or create the opportunity to start that again? That's when you ask him to do what you like and see how it goes from there. You can be really specific (pull my hair) or less so (please take charge/let me take charge) and I think you may be able to push things in the direction you (both?) want pretty naturally, assuming you've read his signals right.

I guess I'm a little unclear on what you're asking for here. Do you want some literal script suggestions for how to talk about it, or are you looking for something else?
posted by juliplease at 7:22 PM on October 14, 2009

[I'm going to assume that you're using the term S&M correctly, for sadism and masochism--that is the enjoyment of giving pain, or of receiving it. And that you haven't confused it with bondage or D&s.]

You see, I lead on to make him believe that I don't have the capability to be into S&M, however, part of me really is.

What does this mean? Did you lie to him? Or did you not realize at the time that you had the "capability to be into S&M"?

The people I know who're into S&M (and I know a lot) don't have "the capability", they have a need. They can go a long time without indulging their kinks, but there comes a point where they just have to. Do you feel this way, or do you just feel like you could probably put up with what he wants in order to have him?

And do you really know what he wants? As aquafortis mentions, the spectrum of S&M is very wide. If he wasn't clear about his specific desires, you have no idea what he wants. Like one fellow I know of, he could quite literally want to dissect you over the course of years--your left nipple on your birthday, your clit hood on your anniversary, and so on.* Or he could just want you to flog him on the weekends.

If he only hinted, and you never communicated about it, you don't know if you're compatible. In fact, even amongst people who know they're into S&M, and have a history of practicing it, it's an everyday occurrence to find that you and another S&M enthusiast are incompatible. I don't think I've ever met somebody whose constellation of kinks matched mine exactly; although my wife comes closest.

Basically what I'm saying here is that it sounds like you have no first-hand history or experience with S&M, and so have no experience in negotiating such relationships. It is not, in any way, as simple as saying, "You're a top? I'm a bottom. Let's do it." One of my friends actually has a form she gives to new lovers that lists nearly every named kink with a 1-5 scale.

So the only way to figure out if you're actually compatible, and not just in your fantasies, is to call him up and have an explicit talk about what turns you on. You need to be able to clearly express your turn-ons, not hint at them or hide them. Just be able to come out and say, "I like being beaten or whipped with any tools, having play piercings on my various pussy bits, tit torture. But I really hate bondage."

And if S&M doesn't turn you on, actually make you all wet, then it's a pretty bad idea to claim that it does. Even if he's a bottom, and so you think you won't be the one to endure the pain so you can just fake it, you had better enjoy the concept of hurting your lover. Because there's nothing so unsatisfying as a top who isn't actually into it.

*The fellow I mention has a totally willing wife, and they apparently have enormous fun together. But it's not for me. It's not for many people at all.
posted by Netzapper at 7:38 PM on October 14, 2009

I would start it out as a "hey can we get in touch" then during that convo, maybe best done in a more secluded spot, tell him what you told us. I say secluded because all of Starbucks does not need to know you like to be _______ when he _________ while you both wear ______. I also second the "be direct about it" because safety is a HUGE part of S&M. It can be funny and sexy and dark and great but first you all need to establish limits and safewords in the unsexiest, most boring place ever so you both are clear. Good luck!
posted by ShadePlant at 7:39 PM on October 14, 2009

If you haven't talked about it, how do you know the "real" reason he dumped you?

Not to say that what you mentioned isn't the reason, but just something you might want to think about before embarking on a conversation he might not be anticipating. Are you *sure* you are not reading into his behavior - including while you were dating, why he broke up with you, and your current friendship?

And, while I don't know much about S&M, I do read enough Dan Savage to know that if you don't/didn't trust him, there's a reason for that (whether it is you or him), and you may need to sort out some issues or feelings for yourself, prior to talking to him about incorporating any form of S&M into your relationship.
posted by lesli212 at 8:16 PM on October 14, 2009

Are you sure you're really comfortable with the idea of engaging in BDSM? I ask because, in your question, you referred to kink as "dark sexual matter(s)" twice. I'm not trying to say that you're not interested in experimenting, but it sounds like the thought still makes you somewhat uneasy. Maybe you need to come to terms with your own desires before trying to reconnect with your ex.

Also, you don't really mention whether your ex has experience with S/M. If he does, maybe you should just casually mention that you're interested next time you talk to him, and ask him for more information on the subject. At the very least, he'll probably be flattered that you trust him enough to ask.
posted by arianell at 8:17 PM on October 14, 2009

S&M is a delicate subject, assuming he is 'S' and you are 'M', if you appear too eager it may kill the mood, might even be total turn off for him. You should find a way that he is in fact forcing you into it. However the desperation coming through your question is indicative of the fact that you can be a good 'M'.
posted by neworder7 at 8:18 PM on October 14, 2009

I noticed he was trying to incorporate some subtle hints but was too scared to go all the way with me. He never bothered to ask.

I'm just going to be blunt here. In my experience, boyfriends are not so much into the "subtle hints." "Subtle hints" are instead things that we (I'm assuming you're a girl, although I have no real basis for this) read into the situation afterward, during the months-long post-mortem.

A guy who is really into X and also really into you will - again, in my experience - just flat out ask one day, "Hey, would you be interested in X?"

PastGuy clearly wasn't that motivated during your original relationship. Trying to go back and build a Relationship 2.0 will only make things awkward and creepy, and make you seem desperate and needy.

You miss him. You blame yourself for what happened. You feel that you can fix it, if only you can get that magic Second Chance. I get that. And it's okay, it's what makes you human, it's what we love about you.

But leave PastGuy IN the past, and move forward.

If you're into doing X, find someone else who's into it, too. If you just want to try it and see what you think, then find someone who'll let you.
posted by ErikaB at 9:44 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

I agree with ErikaB and lesli212 above - it's possible that you are looking for reasons why he dumped you, and the "not into S&M" is one that you could fix yourself. Did he specifically mention this when you two broke up?

I think what's important here is to ask yourself, completely independent of this guy, how serious you are about S&M. How much of your sexuality is it a part of? How much experience have you had with it?

Then, further questions include, would you still pursue S&M activities right now even without this guy? Why didn't he bother to ask you directly?

It seems like issue here wasn't trust, because there is no reason you should trust him more now than you did while you were dating. It seems like you are lowering your standards to get this guy back. What you are saying is that you would talk to him, tell him that you are into S&M but didn't tell him because you won't do it without trusting the person enough, and then... what? Tell him that you trust him now? Tell him that you possibly could maybe be into it with him in the future, but maybe not?

Were you scared to go there with him because you were too embarrassed to admit it, or because you didn't want to put your physical and emotional well being into his hands?

There is so much about S&M that requires communication, and it doesn't seem like you are able to do that with this past guy or with anyone else at this point. It might be a good idea for you to research more about your kinky interests, read advice from people who have been doing it for years, and perhaps attend an S&M event in your city if you live in one that offers them.

You need to be with someone that you feel comfortable enough during the relationship to talk about these kinds of things. You need to know yourself well enough that you can explain what turns you on, what doesn't, and what your limits are. Leave this past guy alone, and look for a new boyfriend that will tell you directly what he wants.
posted by amicamentis at 6:53 AM on October 15, 2009

OK, in my experience, most of the guys who are into SM, especially the bottoms/masochists, are pretty well terrified of telling partners unless they're SURE the other person is into it. It's a huge risk, since most women are not into it beyond a little spanking. I've known guys who didn't tell their partners for years and ended up living two lives. The fact that you know means that he trusts you. Trust him back.

I would be very, very direct with him that you are accepting of his desires, and that you're willing to try X, Y, and Z when you get to know him better. If you're not honestly eager to try these things (whatever they are), then DON'T LIE. Leave him to find someone who really is into those things. His need is not going to go away, he is not going to be satisfied with not having those things, and you'd be doing him an incredible disservice to pretend. "Dark sexual matters" is a really odd way to put this, and like others above, makes me wonder if you really are comfortable with SM.

Finally, read Netzapper's answer several times. I agree with every word.
posted by desjardins at 8:23 AM on October 15, 2009

june made him a gemini, Netzapper, amicamentis and other have laid things out pretty well here.

So a few things:

Being into "S&M" is so vague, so extremely broad that it is akin to saying "I'm into sex"
A lot of people are into sex that isn't a ticket for compatibility.

You need to be discover for yourself what you like/need when the lights are out. If this was an intense and sexy part of your life, you would have probably brought it up. If this is really a need of your than maybe you can fulfill it with someone more forthright.

all 31 flavors of S&M require incredible frankness and intense trust. From what you wrote, this relationship lacked both.
posted by French Fry at 2:09 PM on October 15, 2009

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