Vanilla Dating

Benefit of dating – being introduced to new bands, books, TV shows, etc. For one – I’m LOVING Steep Canyon Rangers, courtesy of my most recent date. I’m especially loving a Pandora station created with Steep Canyon Rangers, Luke Bryan, Phillip Phillips, and Bruno Mars; I highly recommend it. (Ron Pope)

Awkward things about dating vanilla guys when you’re kinky (or maybe just when you’re me):

  • Explaining how you met your friends

In most vanilla circles, you meet friends from one of the following avenues:  college, grad school, work, through a family member/friend/coworker, through an alumni/young professional group, through a religious or ethnic association, or through intramurals/a class.  Saying you met through Fetlife or a dungeon event is totally out. Happy hours and classes work, but prompt the “what kind of happy hour/class” “can I go to those happy hours,” leading you to potentially incriminate yourself.

  • Explaining hobbies

I love to write, and it is one of the few hobbies that I engage in regularly. Unfortunately, letting slip or disclosing that I love to write prompts the “what about” question…but my writing primarily consists of a regularly written-in intimate blog and erotic fiction. My fiction isn’t romance and flower erotica either, but rather explicit and very obviously kinky (teasing and denial, M/s dynamics, bondage, and sadomasochism are frequent themes). Sharing erotic stories with a lover isn’t a stretch, but sharing these with a vanilla lover would be incriminating.

  • Explaining collections or items in your house

As a result of my interest in bondage and shibari, I know a lot about knots and own a helluva lot of rope. Unfortunately, while I’ve crocheted I don’t have many crocheted items as proof, and while I’m interested in sailing, I haven’t done it much, leaving me with a lack of ways to explain all the stuff. I can hide it, but that only goes so well.

Most guys love to find their girlfriend’s sex toy drawer, and some of the items are fun for two no matter the kink level – a feather, lube, vibrator. The nipple clamps, paddle, and wartenburg wheel might get some questions, though. Again, I can hide it, but that sucks.

  • Explaining the difference between furry handcuffs fantasies and participating in the kink community

That awkward moment when you have to explain that being kinky isn’t just handcuffs in bed, but involves parties where sex could be happening, whips and knives abound, and the outfit of choice is lingerie.

Explaining multi-day kink events, and trying to figure out whether or not it’s cheating/lying to not disclose the type of event before going on a prolonged “camping trip.”

Wanting to be spanked lightly during sex and wanting someone to beat you until you’re bruised is different. Wanting someone to enjoy beating you until you’re bruised – even more different. Sadomasochism opens up a whole new can of worms.

Being interested in D/s or M/s with a vanilla partner is tricky, even if they’re into it – explaining the responsibilities of being dominant, the nuances of power exchange, and trying it out as the more-experience submissive partner can be a communication nightmare.

  • Explaining your sexual history

Do you count play partners as sex partners when there was no direct sexual contact, but you were almost fully unclothed? Where’s the line? Discussing how some kinks feel sexual but don’t involve direct sexual interaction is complicated and can go quite poorly.

  • Hoping to find someone open-minded and into it, but not too into it

I want someone to whom I can confess – with little to no embarrassment – “I want you to have me helpless, torment, and hurt me” who may actually want to do that, but also who isn’t keen on punching me in the face or raping me in a back alley.

Drawing that line of “Just because I’m interested in X,Y, and Z and I may have done X, Y, and Z with other people doesn’t mean I’m interested in doing Y with you.”