Guest post by Lady Jane
What is normal? And who gets to determine what that means? I’ve lived most of my adult life in denial about my sexuality. Even as a teenager, I had a higher than average sex drive and felt embarrassed, ashamed, and afraid to talk about it. I was too nervous about how people would judge me, change me, and was even more afraid to be labelled as “easy,” “slutty,” “weird,” or “abnormal.” I thought to myself, “If I could just turn this part of me off, I could live a perfectly happy and normal life…” It wasn’t until my late twenties that I began embracing myself and learning that my urges, desires, kinks, and fantasies were in no way wrong and that they weren’t going away, no matter how hard I tried to curb them and fit myself into the norm.
The truth is, I am not alone. Many people find “normality” too limiting. In reality, there are so many more ways to experience intimacy and be in relationships with others.
Yet we rarely see any of these options presented to us growing up. Raised to aspire to the traditionally monogamous marriage model, it was well outside of my grasp that other relationship structures even existed. All of my boyfriends had lower sex drives than me and I was sexually incompatible with many of them. I couldn’t understand why I felt so out of place, afraid to reveal my desires, and couldn’t be honest with the men that I loved. I noticed that as time went on in a relationship, it became more difficult to be forthcoming about my real needs. For whatever reason, I was fearful that no one would embrace my kinks, accept me for who I was, and I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find someone who could keep up with me.
In retrospect, it would have been better to reveal kinks early on in relationships and to have just been myself. From personal experience, it is much better to live life in honesty with yourself than to hide your desires for the rest of time by staying in a relationship where you can’t be truly honest. Chances are good that your partner, if they love you, are committed to you, and compatible with you, will want to help you fulfill and meet your sexual desires any way that they can.
Of course, sometimes particular sexual behaviors are incompatible, thus rendering the relationship impossible. In those instances, it much better to find out at the beginning before one or both parties has invested a great deal of effort into the relationship.
I once dated a man who couldn’t stand the thought of me sleeping with someone else outside of our relationship. Me being prone to non-monogamy and group sex just wasn’t something we could agree on. Our relationship eventually ended because he didn’t fulfill me sexually, plus, he wouldn’t let me get those needs met outside of our relationship. It was a lose-lose. We were at a stand still and the relationship could not have worked long term. I’m certain that if I had stayed in that relationship, it would have led to further dishonesty, frustration, and eventually, cheating.
Another man I dated identified as “monogamish.” He was into swinging and group sex. It was my first formal exposure to this kink-scene and it was a relief that the lifestyle came naturally to me. I approached my first sex party with a totally open mind and was excited about the fact that if my partner orgasmed too soon for me, there would be a whole party full of people there to help fulfill me. Sure enough, there was a team of dedicated, helpful men and women whose sole focus was getting me off. It was a wonderful thing and I finally felt that being female and having a high sex drive was more of a blessing than a curse.
A wonderful side effect to embracing my partner’s kink was being able to recognize that I wanted those same things. That’s what I like to call a win-win. Two and half years later, I’m still in a fulfilling, albeit non-traditional, relationship with this man and I never have to feel embarrassed or ashamed of introducing new fantasies, desires, or kinks. In fact, he will go to great lengths to find events or situations that play to my particular wants and he allows me to explore new facets of my sexuality without feeling weird.
By being open to our partner’s kinks rather than cringing, thinking they are gross, bizarre, or not normal, we welcome a shared vulnerability that actually brings us closer to our partners. By not discussing our deep down needs, we drive ourselves apart from our significant others.
The next time your partner says something like, “Honey, tonight I’d really like it if you handcuffed me to the bed frame,” instead of thinking this is something only done in cheap romance novels, consider giving it a try! You may uncover a whole new level of intimacy.
It’s not always easy, I’ll admit. Recently I started dating and sleeping with someone new who has a really interesting kink, one that I have never heard of or experienced before. At first, I was resistant and my inner monologue told me, “This is dumb, why would anyone want to do this?” But after my initial reaction came and went, I was filled with acceptance, respect, and curiosity for this new person so I decided to give it a shot.
He really enjoys having sex with as many clothes on as possible whereas I immediately remove all of my clothes to have sex. It is taking some getting used to, however, I am open to trying just about anything. He enjoys the naughtiness and feels like he’s sneaking around by having sex fully clothed, like he’s doing something he’s not supposed to be doing. Gradually, he removes clothing and also relishes in the textures of the different fabrics as they move across his skin.
At first, this was strange to me, but now that I have experienced it a couple of times, I can understand how this would be a huge turn on. He also really enjoys the process, the fine motor skills needed to remove difficult items, and the final “surprises” at the end when he sees me fully naked. To him, it’s like unwrapping a present every time he has sex. As his partner, I am constantly thinking, “how can I help make this better for him or as good as possible? What interesting textured fabrics can I wear the next time I see him?”
If we all approached sex with that thought in mind, sex would be a lot more mind blowing!
If anything, discussing and experiencing this new kink has brought us closer together and made us even more sexually compatible. So the next time a partner reveals a hidden kink, fantasy, or desire, see if you can work it into your sexual routine. Think how nervous they may be, or how exposed they may feel, by sharing a personal truth. If we can accept our partner’s truths with compassionate curiosity, it will lead to more honest and comfortable relationships. Embrace your partners for all of their wonderful kinky selves and unlock your deep desires together.
Featured image “Fetish” by NuclearSeasons