Telling Your Partner About Your Kink(s)
One of the most common problems people come to me with is around kink. The problem is presented in a few different ways. Tell me if one of these hits home for you:
1. I am super kinky and my partner isn't kinky at all
2. My partner and I are kinky, but I'm worried I'm way too kinky for them and am hiding some of my kinks
3. My partner has no idea how kinky I am and we have been together forever
4. I'm worried I will scare my partner away if they find out about my kinks
There is so much shame around any kind of sex in mainstream society, it's no surprise to imagine how terrifying it is to have an open conversation about how much you love being kicked in the balls, or the fact that you spend a lot of your alone time wearing a diaper. There is also a strongly perceived heirarchy of kinks; it's easier to tell someone you love pantyhose than to tell them you want them to peg you while shoving your head face down in the mattress.
As the kinky person in the relationship, it's daunting to have to roll this conversation out, especially when your partner doesn't identify as kinky at all. It feels like a scary, black hole that would likely result in losing your partner. Any negative backlash from your partner only further deepens the shame we have about our own kinks. These aren't baseless worries, either. People really do lose their partners over kink. What people don't understand, though, is that this problem can usually be navigated, not just with communication, but with the right kind of communication and a little insight about yourself as a sexual person.
Let's take the example of the couple where one person is kinky and the other is considered not kinky. Whatever the kinky person's kinks are, let's pretend the "vanilla" partner isn't into them. We know the vanilla person isn't into doing the kinks, but we also know something they are into, and that's knowing their partner and feeling close (emotional intimacy), so let's start there.
We want to be in relationship as our authentic selves. But how do you show that when your partner isn't into your thing? If our partner is into intimacy, that means they want to know who we really are. They want to know how to love us. They want to know what makes us feel safe, loved and turned on. Think of your kink in your head. Amid all of the hot things about it that turn you on, there are thoughts and feelings that come up that are the reason the kink is so exciting. If you do love wearing diapers, you can love the feeling of being helpless, or of having to help someone else who is helpless. If it is feet, you may get turned on by seeing a mainstream bodypart that is often hidden from view. If your kink is crossdressing, you may be in love with feeling beautiful, stylish, seen and admired. Separating the kink from the feelings surrounding it can make it much easier to explain to your partner. First talk about how you like to feel during sex, and that will make it easier for your partner to then digest the activity that you like to do that allows those feelings to come forth. Remember that your first goal in this isn't getting your partner to do your thing, but to teach them something about yourself.
It is these feelings, which your partner has felt themselves in different situations, that will allow your partner to easily relate to you. No, they may not be into peeing on you. But if you are able to communicate clearly what feelings come up for you when this happens (feeling humiliated/naughty/controlled/helpless/degraded/etc), they can be educated about you in a way that isn't scary. The number one reason kink is frightening for non-kinksters is because it isn't understood. They don't understand why their partner likes these things, and all of the sudden their partner feels foreign to them. They look at the kink as something they simply can't relate to, and it then becomes a dividing factor rather than an opportunity to learn about the other person. A perfect example of this is BDSM. A non-kinkster can look at the floggers, the restraints and spreader bars and feel intimidated. But explaining to your partner your need to relinquish (or harness) control can be relayed in such a safe manner, allowing your partner to get excited about all the ways they can make you feel that way. The various tools used are only there to help bring about the feelings we want to have. Remember that every kink has the same major toy in common: the mind. Taking the mystery out of the kink by educating your partner on how it makes you feel is the first step in getting acceptance. You're giving your partner an opportunity to learn about you. You're proactively taking steps to increase emotional intimacy and by doing this, you're creating a safe, non-intimidating environment to discuss your kinks.
Often, we don't always know why we like something. Other times, the feelings that we enjoy having feel too scary to divulge to a partner in a way that feels safe. We sometimes aren't even in touch with the feelings that go along with the kinks, making it very difficult to discuss openly with our partners. A coach can help you discover all the feelings behind the kink and find the right language to communicate to your partner. It can also be immensely helpful to have your partner come with you to a session for help in communicating your kinks to them. In addition to helping yourself, it will give your partner an opportunity to release the shame they may have themselves around sex and kink. You're not only creating space for your partner to learn how to love you, you're allowing space for their own self acceptance and exploration of their sexuality.