Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Doing It Vanilla

Recently while out on a date with a man I’ve been talking to on a kink-friendly website, he made a comment about how we were “doing this vanilla” i.e., our date. I remarked that this was good, because I know no other way to do it. And indeed, how else would one do a first date, regardless of circumstances?

A date is still a date, no matter what type of relationship is desired. You’re still getting to know one another; still figuring out if you’d be a good match. Personally, I don’t handle a first date (or first few dates) with someone with kinky interests any differently than I do with someone I meet in a vanilla fashion. I meet them in a public place. I want to have time to talk with them. Someone I know and trust knows where I am, who I am with, and they will call or text to be assured of my safety. At the end of the date, I go home. Alone.

The only real difference between initial vanilla dates, and kink related dates, is that I am a bit more open on a kink date. I am willing to talk more candidly about things that in a vanilla setting, I would keep to myself longer. As long as the discussion remains respectful, I see no problem with this. If it is more a “likes/dislikes” or “past experiences” discussion rather than “here is what you must do”, then these types of discussions on a kink date are acceptable to me. I think that because of the nature of the relationship most are ultimately seeking, on a kinky date it is actually better to discuss some of those things up front.

I also find that many people don’t understand this concept of “getting to know you”, especially in a kink related setting. They are unable to be up front about their interests yet still be respectful. Just because I’m seeking a relationship outside the norm, does not mean common sense or decency doesn’t apply. I am not going to meet you at your apartment. I am not going to call you Sir or Master, or engage in any type of physical activity with you. I. Do. Not. Know. You. We have no relationship as of yet. Just because it is my wish to submit doesn’t mean I want to submit to ANYONE. Nor does it necessarily make me weak, stupid, or promiscuous.

So, I don’t think that vanilla dating and kink-related dating are really separate things. I employ the same amount of sense to ensure my safety, while getting to know someone new. I’m not really sure how other people would do it though. What actually constitutes a kinky date, as opposed to a vanilla one? Does anyone else have a different experience, or ideas about dating? Are there different protocols you use for kinky dates than on vanilla ones?

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I’ve been talking with a man that I met on a kink dating website for about a month now, and we met up recently. He’s been a perfect gentleman, which is a refreshing change from how others approach me, vanilla or not. He’s also been very respectful, even when we’ve been discussing our non-vanilla interests. I’ve been spending some time lately thinking more about my interests and limits, hoping they’d mesh well with his interests. What are the things that I really won’t do? I thought I had it covered. No feces, urine, or blood play, which is pretty commonplace. Those were my hard limits. There are other things that I’m not really interested in, but probably could be persuaded to engage in, with the right time, training, and atmosphere. There are also probably loads of things people can do that I’m just wholly unaware about, and the more time I spend educating myself and talking to others, the more my eyes are opened to the variety of this world.

I’ve been spending time finding some blogs that I could relate to, written by people like me. This was really hard for me initially; which is part of the reason I started writing here. I’d been lurking around for months before I actually set fingers to the keyboard. Since then, I’ve actually come across a few that I thought were well written and introspective. I like reading the thoughts of other people that are going through a similar experience, rather than a manual or other books; it’s more real to me. Recently, I saw a post from Intelligent Submission that I found fascinating.

Needle play.

What caught my eye initially was the photograph. I had such an internally violent, stomach flipping reaction that it surprised me. When confronted with the idea of fecal play, though I find it utterly disgusting, repulsive, and in no way would I ever want participate in such activities, I don’t feel like a sense of wrong is visibly fighting its way through my body.

Admittedly, I have a bit of a needle phobia, but I thought I had taken good measures to lessen it. When I was younger, there was one occasion where it took four nurses to forcibly hold me down just to get an injection. Over time, I was able to control my reactions. I would sit relatively calmly and allow bloodwork to be done, though I was freaking out internally. I’ve gotten better. Currently, I am even a regular blood donor. Since my blood type is O negative, they call me a lot in times of need. I even got my ears pierced. I’ve got two holes in each earlobe, plus a cartilage piercing in my right ear. I thought the cartilage piercing would help me overcome this phobia tremendously. I reasoned that if I could willingly allow myself to be pierced with needles, for something recreational and not medical, I would get over it. My next and ultimate step was to get a tattoo, which I’ve done. I’d thought about getting a tattoo for ages, but not only as a tool for overcoming my phobia. I had an idea that I sat on for a good three years before I went ahead and put it on my body. After getting the tattoo, I felt my confidence soar! I definitely felt that my fear was over, and I’ll probably get another one, soon even. After seeing that image, however, I realize that I’ve not come as far as I thought, and I’m not sure I would be willing to go further.

I’m not sure if it’s solely the idea of having the nipple pierced that gets to me. Though I don’t think I would do it, simply looking at nipple piercings does not evoke a knee-jerk reaction in me. It’s actually seeing the pointed ends. I’ve also seen other images where the needles are not sticking out, but I still have those same fearful feelings. Seeing a closed round piercing, or even the ball ended piercings doesn’t evoke the same reaction. It’s the needles themselves.

I have such respect and admiration for the strength and trust that it must have taken for Melissa to willingly have this experience. I can’t currently imagine being in a place where I could do the same, and I’m not sure it’s something I would ever want to confront.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Finding Wisdom in Unexpected Places

For a novice such as myself, there is a lot of overwhelming information to be found on the internet concerning D/s relationships. As I feel I am naturally more outwardly analytical than introspective, thinking inwardly doesn’t come naturally. Organizing my thoughts for use here has been a great tool for me to get in touch with them. I’ve found that there was positive information or something to at least think about with nearly everything I’ve read, even if I didn’t necessarily understand the whole of it, or agree.

 Today I found a website called Taken In Hand. It’s not really a BDSM website; it’s more about a type of marriage philosophy where the husband takes complete control over his wife, almost like a TPE relationship, and the wife wants him to do so. They do have an FAQ section that addresses BDSM, but they don’t feel that TIH really fits into that umbrella. I don’t think I quite agree with it, but there were a lot of articles there that I related to, and gave me thinking material. I think the main reason why I don’t think I could personally accept it is because of the themes of complete power, dubious consent, and practices that, in my mind, seem more like abuse, even if consent is implied. Stating that rape could be a gift to your wife; it just doesn’t jive with me. I also find that the tone of some articles places women in an unequal and less-than role, though I realize that’s not the intent.

Then there were some articles I definitely found I could connect with. An article written by a newcomer to Taken In Hand relationships says that one of her first signs that this type of dynamic is what she wanted, was her enjoyment of the missionary position. I can completely relate with this. Missionary is actually my favorite sexual position. I used to think that it perhaps made me pretty boring, or vanilla, but through discussing it with my last partner I came to realize why I love it so much; it’s the sense of control. I enjoy it particularly because I feel safe, protected, and controlled by my partner. I enjoy the feel of him over and around me. I like feeling his strength. He can easily manipulate me as he wishes; he can grab and hold my arms above my head for example, and I love feeling that power. I also feel a closer connection to him in this position than in any others.

In another article, the author talks about how she doesn’t want to just submit; she wants to be made to submit, to the right person. He should earn her submission. This is a theme that I've seen in a few other articles on the Taken In Hand site. I have similar feelings about earning submission, except I of course, do desire to submit. But I don’t want to submit to just anyone, and that person should earn the gift of my submission.

This reminds me of a passage in Part II of Jeff  Mach’s GIVE: Theft. Submission is given, but it’s also stolen, taken, and won as a dominant gets to know you. They use their intimate knowledge of you to earn more of your submission, piece by piece. Besides, who wants, or can submit to just any one at any time, always? Would there be anything to submit to, if it was always so easy?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

A Bit of Backstory

I don’t remember always being this way. Many people will look back into their past and realize that even in childhood, the roots were there. Through childhood games, cartoons, or movies where a character was tied up or kidnapped, and the way they felt about that, they realize that somehow it was always lying under the surface.

I have no such striking memories. Perhaps with time they will surface, but as of right now, I’m not exactly certain of why I feel the way I do; just that it’s there. And it's gotten to the point where I can no longer ignore it.

I was always very aware of my sexuality, even at a young age. I can remember being in first grade and going into the bathroom just to fantasize about my classroom crush. One would think that being so young and aware of that side of myself, I would have pursued it early, but that’s not the case. I didn’t get into a relationship until I was 18. I’ve had a few relationships since then, and though I definitely cared about each partner, I always felt as though something was missing. On a few instances in each relationship, my partner would behave in what I now identify as a “dominant” fashion, which I always enjoyed. I would wish that the dynamic would continue, but I wasn’t sure about how to get it. For various reasons, each relationship didn’t work out, but those instances always stick out in my mind.

There was also another relationship I had that sticks out in my memory. This person wasn’t quite a lover; we weren’t exactly in a romantic relationship. Yet there definitely was a sexual edge to our dynamic. I’d admired him for quite a long time, and we ran in the same social circle. We had an odd relationship. We would play games and struggle with power. He would try to get me to give control to him. I would resist, but I secretly reveled in these games we would play. He had a way of making me do just exactly what he wanted, and inside, I was happy to give it to him. I thought constantly about how I might be more pleasing to him; of gaining his approval. It wasn’t technically a D/s relationship, but I see now that it showed me a lot about myself and that type of dynamic. In the end, this particular relationship wasn’t healthy for me. I became very infatuated with him, and there wasn’t enough trust between us to sustain the dynamic. He did some very hurtful things, and I’ve ultimately suffered for it. I’ve since ended our friendship, though it's years later, and I'm still not quite over it. I often think about him, and wonder if we could ever resume a friendship, but it probably will never happen. And that’s probably for the best.

For the future, what I would ultimately be looking for wouldn’t be solely sexual. I admit, I can be a very physical creature, and I can be easily ruled by touch and pleasure. In a sexual role, I don’t enjoy being in control. It makes me feel very anxious, and I like it best when my partner takes control of me. However, I think I would desire a D/s dynamic outside of physical intimacy as well. I would want to work it into our day-to-day lives, but in a non-obvious fashion. It’s hard to reconcile this with my nature, however. I have worked hard to become more confident and outgoing. I’ve worked hard to pursue my goals, and I continue to do so. I would want somewhat of an equal partnership, but also want to submit to my partner. I would want to retain all that I’ve worked for. This proves for an odd dichotomy. How do you walk that line?

Hopefully with time, I’ll find out.
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