This is why your kinky relationships keep failing

crying girl

This is the first half of a two-parter article addressing a topic that’s just too complex to be reduced to one single post. This is about the reasons behind failing kinky relationships: the solution will be the subject of an upcoming article.

You worked so hard to get there. You struggled to accept your odd erotic fantasies until you found out that other people out there shared your desires. You sought information and studied a lot; you learned the jargon by heart; you made the SSC motto your own. You practiced the techniques until you felt confident; you mustered the guts to actually try all that; you suffered the whole dating ordeal and all the wrong people you met. And then – finally! – you found your perfect play partner.
A person who embodied all your ideals and shared all your kinks and enthusiasm. Someone so good at experimenting new sexy, dirty things together that you both couldn’t believe your luck – so much that your dates became something more, blossoming into a real relationship. You fell in love with each other and you laughed at all those Christian & Ana Grey wannabes, since your dream life was so much better than theirs.

Then, just out of curiosity… How come your story didn’t last more than a few months – or a few years at best? And come to think of it: what about all those other failed idylls of yours? What went wrong?

 

The bitter tears of kinksters everywhere
First things first, if a trouble shared is a trouble halved, rest assured that you are not alone in your pain. Kinky relations are notoriously volatile for almost everyone – so much that this has even become the subject of a whole artistic subgenre. Acclaimed movies like The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant or The Duke of Burgundy are all about disappointing sadomasochistic liaisons, not to mention a cornerstone of pervy culture such as Venus in Furs, penned by no less than the person who gave masochism its name. And they all share the same underlying concept.
Fact is, when it comes to kink and sex in general, we all fall in love not with a person but with a persona, as in “character played to elicit specific reactions from others”: the manly and brooding Master, the cruel and teasing Dominatrix, the Stud, the selflessly servile Slave, the Slut, the picture-perfect Fetishist and so on. Sooner or later, however, we are bound to glimpse the mere human behind the mask, inevitably flawed and occasionally distracted as real people happen to be – and that’s where our dreams start careening and eventually crash headfirst into the ugly bollard of reality.

A similar shock is normally part of the experience of debuting onto one’s preferred erotic scene. Be it your local swingers’ community or a BDSM club, when people finally find the courage to participate after countless hours spent fantasizing about it… they are usually underwhelmed to find pretty normal fellows, if not even the very opposite of what they had expected. Sometimes this is the result of a fundamentally broken culture, but more frequently the simple reason is that outside of fancy porn sets people tend to have wrinkles and all sort of shapes, to goof off and make small chat, to be occasionally awkward and not to always wear your favorite fetish gear. They are not posers or wankers (not most of them anyway): they are just people. And there is no reason to despair. Let me show you why.

 

The science behind the meh
Comparing all the research ever done on the subject, the wonderful book The Social Dimension of Sex confirms what most of us had probably already gathered by sheer observation: the secret to keep your partner interested and aroused – especially if she is female – is mistery. I’m not talking about some sad “pickup artist method” or anything like that; this simply means that people enjoy peeling away the enigma of a stranger and learning new things about their sex partners, even if it’s just a small personal fact. This also means that when no more “secrets” are left to uncover boredom sets in. It’s just a consequence of how our brain is wired: new discoveries and growing intimacy are exciting, while habits may be pleasantly comforting but are always a turn-off.
In other words yes, familiarity does breed contempt, and this is why when you’ve been hanging out with someone long enough the sexual frenzy of your first meetings often just isn’t there anymore. That’s human nature and not necessarily a bad thing: not fucking like rabbits all the time allows couples to find the quiet and energy to focus on the practicalities required to make a relation actually work. That in turn paves the way to the kind of stable rapport parents need in order to procreate and raise a child… which is all fine and dandy for genetics, but not exactly aphrodisiac. In fact, you can easily see how our ancestral programming seems designed to doom our beautiful, perfect, sexy relationships and mush them into mind-numbingly bourgeois companionships.

Unfortunately, things are even worse when it comes to unusual sexualities. BDSM in particular, but all kink in general is founded on communication and trust. Far from being sex-crazed maniacs, those into leather and whips take pride in negotiating, discussing and dissecting every aspect of their sessions into their minutest details.
This is of course just the opposite of keeping a mysterious façade up. The net result is that, as the quality of play gradually soars to unmatchable new heights, the growing connection between the partners also messes things up for them on another level.

 

Tough love
If vanilla couples find it already difficult to have great sex when they are distracted by a thousand daily annoyances like bills, screaming children, troubles on the job, minor health issues or whatever worries may easily get in the way of romance, lifestyle kinksters have yet another additional obstacle to deal with. The unmatched allure of extreme eroticism derives in fact from its pull on our collective unconscious: its timeless archetypes tickle something deep within our souls and feed our fantasies with dreamlike imagery that’s often more abstract than rooted in reality. A perfect example of this is the famous masquerade scene from Eyes Wide Shut that, no matter how exciting it is, appears just laughably absurd when analyzed in earnestess.
Coupled with the familiarity issue mentioned earlier, this disconnect steadily eats away at the oneiric ideals that motivated every BDSM enthusiast when they first approached kink. Rituals, rules and discipline sure are hard to conciliate with everyday lives, but even more is keeping the attitude required of a “proper” dominant or submissive. When you have been living together for a while and seen Lord Ineffable Sadist yelp after stubbing his toe like normal people are wont to do, the shivers you feel as you kneel to kiss his feet may well be not of awe but of suppressed laughter as you recall the incident. And vice versa, putting your whips, clamps and other wicked devices to use on the body of Worthless Slave with any actual cruelty becomes more and more unnatural as the perplexed voice in the back of your head keeps remarking that it is also the body of the person you love, who nursed you when you had the flu or you made two children with.

As a kinksters’ personal coach, I often meet people struggling with this dissonance between their actual relationship and the ideal erotic behaviors they want to fulfill. My first suggestion is normally to give a chance to role playing in order to distance themselves from their usual perceived identities, or to wear masks until they reclaim a mental playspace free from mundane burdens. These, however, are just quick and dirty temporary remedies, tricks of the trade to defuse a degenerating situation in order to more serenely work on solving the underlying issue. Which is a simple one, but requires much more courage to be addressed than you ever put into those first, scary meetings with strange play buddies.

 

Curious about what the solution is? We’ll get to it in the next article. In the meantime, what about sharing this one and helping me to make ayzad.com popular? Thanks for your help!

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