On my last post, about what a dick move it is to tell a partner how to feel about trying kink, Miss Pearl left such an interesting comment that I built a whole post around it.
To quote Miss Pearl:
It is a really bad habit that we tend to treat kinks as an ‘extra’ that gets put up with. It promotes the idea that kinks are something that are secondary to say vanilla. It’s the same attitude that treats gay partnerships as less valid than straight ones (for example that’s used to say it’s not worth changing laws to accommodate them because it’s a fringe thing) and it really doesn’t make allowances for the fact that for a kinked person, performing as vanilla may be just as much as a stretch.
Just as much as it’s unfair to tell your partner they have to love kink, it’s unfair to tell your kinky partner they have to love vanilla when it’s just not satisfying for them. Being kinky is not something a person can just turn off when it’s convenient for their partner. Considering what a pain in the ass it can be to find any kinky partner at all, let alone one whose kinks are compatible with yours, don’t you think most of us would turn off our kinks if we could?
Even if it were possible to turn off our kinks, what kind of person would do that to their partner? If you care about someone, you don’t ask them to cut off pieces of themselves. It’s never fun to find out you can’t give someone what they need, but the answer to that is never ever to tell them to stop having needs.
Expanding on that, Miss Pearl also said:
as much as some of the “please make my wife into my fantasy dominate” types make me want to bash heads, I’ve been on the other side of that- and have many friends who have been on the side of “you spanked me so now you owe me”..
If you’re only grudgingly trying kink so that you can hold it over your partner’s head, for fucks sake just dump them. It would be kinder. Kinky people, you do not have to put up with that kind of douchebaggery. You can do better than someone who uses your kink as a handle to jerk you around by. Again, if you care about someone, you don’t treat them like that. Making someone feel like they owe you for indulging their kinks relies on them feeling ashamed of those kinks. Being alone can definitely suck, but I’d rather be alone than in a relationship that relies on me feeling ashamed of who I am.
Where things get complicated is where, as Miss Pearl says:
Additionally, while you can’t make someone feel a particular way, it’s also largely useless to just go through the mechanical aspects of kinks for many people, myself included. If there’s no connection or chemistry through my kinks, it’s depressing and useless and I might as well just go masturbate.
This is exactly why I don’t do scenes with the ridiculously adorable boyfriend. He’s willing to try things he’s not interested in for their own sake to make me happy, and that’s awfully sweet of him, but sweetness is not enough to make a scene work for me. It doesn’t help that his absolutely unreasonable pain tolerance means I can’t get the reactions that do it for me, which makes any scene we might do kind of a waste of everyone’s time. If someone doesn’t react in a way that I can feed on, no amount of willingness to try will create the energy exchange that makes a scene satisfying for me.
While I believe it’s a dick move to tell a partner how to feel about kink I think it’s fair to say “Thank you for trying, but this just isn’t working for me. Can we find another way to get my needs met?” Some partners will be okay with playing with other people, others may need to end the relationship to find people they’re more compatible with. That’s painful for everyone involved, but I firmly believe it’s better than staying in an unfulfilling relationship while your resentment slowly burns away everything that was ever good about your relationship.
It does get complicated when the non-kinky partner is dependent on the kinky partner, though. Everyone has a right to get their needs met, but at the same time I can’t see it as fair to put a person in a position where they either have to convincingly fake enjoyment of your kinks or end up struggling to find a living space, or health insurance, or physical care, or emotional support. It would be great if everyone made sure they were compatible with their partner before allowing them to become dependent, but I can’t see that actually happening any time soon.
There is no shortage of sad stories on fetlife and other forums where submissive men, in particular, describe how they thought they could do without kink, or didn’t realize they were kinky until long after they were married, or thought they could talk their wives into it, only to find that their wives were unwilling to go through the motions of the odd scene, and unwilling to let them play with anyone else. Unilaterally deciding your partner can’t have any kink in his life is at least as much of a dick move as telling your partner how to feel about kink. I also believe it’s as close to open permission to discreetly play with others as you can get in a relationship with those kinds of communication issues. If you don’t want to play, that’s your right. If you’re not thrilled about your partner doing something so intimate with anyone else, that’s completely understandable. But if you want a relationship where your partner doesn’t do anything kinky with you or with anyone else, well, you need to find a vanilla partner or tacitly agree not to ask too many questions when he “spends a few hours with the guys” now and then.
Kinky people’s needs don’t stop mattering just because those needs are often seen as “weird.” If you really want to tell your partner that what they want is not okay, find someone who has never wanted anything the least bit unusual in any part of their life cast the first stone.