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Hey Lina! 

First of all, I’d like to say that I absolutely love your page/online presence. It’s great to find a BDSM page that is as thoughtful and accessible to (relative) newbies! 

Here’s my question: I’ve always known that my sexuality leans hard towards kink. I’ve explored this a bit with past partners, but never to the degree that I’d like. I’m in a place right now where I’m looking for a healthy, solid, monogamous relationship and I know that I need kink to be a part of that in order to be truly satisfied. I’m concerned about laying the foundation of a serious romantic relationship while simultaneously exploring a D/S relationship with my potential partner. It’s important to me that the relationship is solid in it’s own right, meaning boundaries and equality and deep connection exist with or without kink. I know from past experience and a basic understanding of psychology/neurochemistry that D/S relationships result in strong emotional connections rather quickly.

I suppose I’m wondering how to nurture both a great romantic relationship as well as a great D/S relationship at the same time. Something I absolutely love about BDSM is the way in which communication, boundaries and consent are explored and honored. However, I’m worried that I will get my emotional wires crossed and end up with BDSM that leaves the bedroom, which is not for me, or confuse my love for kink with my feelings for my potential partner.

P.S. I am interested in playing a submissive role, if that is helpful to know. She/her; queer.

Hello Cutie Pie! Thank you for the sweet words and your thoughtful question. I really appreciate you pointing out the intense feelings that BDSM inspires. Because for people outside of it, it can all look like fantasy and role play, and seemingly it would be easy to not conflate that with where a relationship stands. But for us subs, the recipients of all those endorphins and post-scene cuddles, we can fall hard and fast. And that can be hard if you’re exploring a real relationship with someone!

Once you’ve established with a new partner what you need and what you’re looking for, make sure to do some introspective work alongside your kink play. My first suggestion is to treat yourself to a kink positive therapist who knows your shit and can help you keep everything in perspective. Beyond that, another crucial strategy is journaling. Write everything down after you see the person you’re seeing, good and bad, and revisit the way you wrote it down when your crush feelings start popping off like crazy. Another excellent tool to have in your back pocket is to read about attachment styles and be clear about the ways you attach to new partners. All of this can help keep things in perspective and lay a firm boundary about bedroom-only kink.

When it comes to the person you’re dating, however, the pressure to be cool or make yourself into the person they want you to be, ESPECIALLY as a sub, can be overwhelming. You want to please your Dom and be their dream sub, but it’s important to remember that not being yourself is not sustainable. You are glorious exactly as you are and any relationship - BDSM or no - should support you in flourishing. If you’re making yourself smaller, it’s not right.

You are glorious exactly as you are and any relationship - BDSM or no - should support you in flourishing. If you’re making yourself smaller, it’s not right.

Last thing - as you explore an ongoing D/s connection with a partner, be prepared for your limits to change. Whether they expand or contract, as you gain real experience what you like will shift. And that’s ok! Communicate changes with your partner and continue to impartially journal everything. Oh, and be super clear with your partner that you’re not interested in 24/7 D/s play. If that’s what they’re looking for and you’ll never go there, that can be a dealbreaker. So get that out of the way before wires get crossed.

Wishing you the best of luck in your blooming!