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He’s Kinky, She’s Vanilla – Is the Relationship Doomed? (with thanks to Em & Lo)

He’s Kinky, She’s Vanilla – Is the Relationship Doomed? (with thanks to Em & Lo) dating polls  kinky star wars0001 300x223I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that Em & Lo is one of my favorite , dating & relationships sites.  Well last week they ran this letter in their Your Call section.

Dear Em & Lo,

I recently started dating a wonderful man. He’s smart, and interesting, and handsome and the sex has been delightful.

But not outstanding. But we’ve been working a fairly brisk learning curve and we can’t seem to get enough of each other anyway, and I’m stupidly happy in his arms so everything should be coming up roses, right?

Except for the GIANT black-leather-studded elephant in the room, which is his propensity towards BDSM. He hasn’t really trotted it out to me in a big way, but I know that I am decidedly NOT into whatever he’s into, eg: humiliation, manipulation, extreme bondage, violent spankings, etc. He’s brought it up a few times as something that he engages in as a significant part of his sexuality.

I’m definitely not that girl. I can’t imaging enjoying anything about it. I’m the type to be playful in bed, or silly, or just rut like an animal. But always as an equal to my partner. I don’t want to dominate OR be submissive as a defined and absolute role. Humiliation and manipulation, feeling powerless or at someone’s mercy…well, the thought of it frankly terrifies the out of me. And being scared does NOT turn me on. I might be the only woman in the world who doesn’t have  a fantasy.

I suppose it bears mention that I have a history of manipulation and abuse in my childhood. So having gone through many years and many thousands of dollars of therapy, I’m loathe to have someone assert control over me all over again.

So…is this doomed? The more I think about how this is an integral part of his sexuality, the more upset I get and want to run away. We’ve been having pretty much sex, and it’s good. But it’s not great. Not for either of us. For me, I think, it’s because I’m perpetually wondering if he’s going to do something that makes me ill at ease, or put me in a position where I will feel scared or somehow terrorized. And I know that’s what he wants, and that by my unwillingness to engage in BDSM, I’m robbing him of his desires. I mean, hell, it’s the only porn he has.

Should I break up with him? I’m definitely not the girl who will satisfy this for him.

– Vanilla Girl

Okie Dokie. So there’s our question. My opinion, in case anyone cares, is that they will never work unless a) he’s not nearly as as she thinks he is or b) they have an open relationship and he can go get his kink on with other people.

What do you think?  

Should Vanilla Girl break up with Kinky Boy?

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14 to “He’s Kinky, She’s Vanilla – Is the Relationship Doomed? (with thanks to Em & Lo)”


  1. pansophy says:

    I said other. So a woman who has a history of manipulation and abuse in her childhood falls in love with a man who is into humiliation, manipulation, extreme bondage, violent spankings, etc.

    “Coincidence? I think not”! – Bernie Kropp in the INCREDIBLES

    This is why I think there is some developmental critical period during childhood where ‘what love feels like’ gets laid down in our biology. Therapy is place to heal but it doesn’t seem to erase our attraction to people that are the very thing we are going to therapy for.

    She could dump this guy, but she would either find someone similar or be with someone that would be ‘better’ for her but she wouldn’t feel as in love with him.

    I don’t know that I am right about this, but I think the only way out of the pattern is through it. If she has found a guy who doesn’t want to actually hurt her, he might be the perfect guy to work all this out with (because obviously he is working out flip side of the same issue).

    Oh, and option c) is that she believes he gives up that part of sexual experience to be with her while he goes behind her back to get that need fulfilled.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I think there are a lot of people in the BDSM community who would strongly quibble with your statement, “he is working out a flip side of the same issue”.

      People who are into kink are into kink. It’s not (usually) a reflection of some deep childhood trauma that they’re working out. At least, not in my experience. That’s my extra 2 cents, here.

  2. jackie says:

    Freaks can’t be with non-freaks. It isn’t fair to either and puts undue strain on a relationship. Sex isn’t the most important thing but it matters. Sooner or later someone is going to go looking elsewhere, and then trust is shot.

    JFB

    • Simone Grant says:

      Darling,
      You know I agree with you on this and all, but I get a little iffy on the language. Not that I don’t abuse the English Language as a matter of habit. But “freaks”?

      Yeah, ok.

  3. E, Seantrice says:

    I think that when it comes to sexuality we are who we are and we like what we like. We can try to supress certain urges and certain needs but eventually they will surface again. That man needs to be able to express himself sexually because eventually he is going to get his needs satisfied elsewhere. So I think if she is unwilling to satisfy his needs then she should leave before he seeks it elsewhere. Or she should allow him to get his kink on with other people.

    Blog: http://www.boysbagsandshoes.com

  4. Skye Blue says:

    From what little I have learned about BDSM from my kinky friends, if someone has a desire to explore and/or delve into such things there really is no stopping them. They can only do without it for so long, as without indulging in their particular fetish sex for them is in a word…BORING. So, unless Ms. Vanilla is going to let him play elsewhere, I don’t think they’ll be last much longer.

    • Simone Grant says:

      My experience/knowledge mirrors yours (with some very personal/painful experience tossed in for fun). Like Jack said, sex isn’t the most important thing but it matters.

  5. black iris says:

    I said break up with him because I don’t think it can work. She is never going to want BD/SM. I find the comments interesting, though. Why don’t we even consider that he might give up the BD/SM? Why do we assume that he can’t and will cheat on her? Why are we so sure it’s part of his personality and not a issue he can deal with?
    Also, why does the woman feel the need to justify her preferences by saying she had a history of abuse? Why can’t she just say, no way, I don’t want to be slapped and insulted? That’s how most people feel, there’s nothing wrong with it.

    • Simone Grant says:

      That’s a lot of whys :-)

      Seriously, I think we’re all assuming that his needs are set and her issues are deep. And with that being the case….

  6. Fiona says:

    I voted other…
    It could work – maybe is more of a MILD KINKY and she could relax a bit – it’s unlikely that he wants to strangle her to withing seconds of life?
    Vanilla Girl seems pretty clear that she isn’t willing to compromise AT ALL though, so why should the Kinky Boy?
    Unless they’re both willing to give and take and actually TALK about this issue properly there’s no future though, in which case I vote break up.

    • Simone Grant says:

      That was one of my “ifs” – if he wasn’t as kinky as she thinks he is (which is possible, but not likely). And yeah, it would help if they talked. A lot.

  7. D says:

    I said Yes. The only exception is if she’s willing to let him to get release outside of the relationship i.e. with escorts who specialize in BDSM. Sexual predilections are a thing of lifelong importance. People into BDSM at 30 will still be into it at 80.

    Telling him to just shut down that part of his life is like telling a musician to stop listening to/getting excited about music.