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I am a 41 yo male and I am looking for some guidance or help as I am just starting to realize I am a Dom.  Recently, I have started a D/s relationship from a woman I met on an online game.  To tell you the truth, I am not sure how we got to that point.  Regardless, she is a new submissive and was interested in me being her Dom.  I know many people are not in favor of online D/s, but I also have a big problem.  I am married, in a vanilla marriage, to a woman who will not indulge me in my needs.  I do have two kids under four, and greatly love my family.  My wife has always told me she would divorce me in a nano second if I cheated, so the online appeared safer option.  I joined FetLife and plan to attend a slosh or mosh, if I can somehow convince my wife I’m going out with some friends.  Since I have young kids, going out has not been a normal circumstance.  Anyway, I love my kids, and started this process to learn better Dom behaviors.  Through this journey, I realize I must have always been a Dom.  I had a first wife who was submissive, but we were not meant to be.  As I said, I love my (second) wife and family, but this online request has spurred tons of old feelings.  I am not sure how to handle this or how to go about it. I know I have zero chance of my wife indulging or agreeing for me to pursue, so I have to do it on my own.  But I do not want a divorce or lose my family.  I am open to suggestions, thoughts or any help you may offer.  But seeing this site and all around makes me wonder why I never sought this out before.

Answer
Hi, Scott--

This is a very interesting letter.  In the "It's a small world" department, I have just finished writing (and am currently editing) a book titled: "Exploring the World of Kink: A Modern Guide to BDSM".  Your story is one of the situations I describe to explain why Internet D/s can make sense.  

"Munch"  On Fet, I'm Dr_Bob -- feel free to send a friend request.  Nice English; you're well educated. I'm 68 and only discovered the world of kink when I was 56.  Part of why you didn't find it before is that people couldn't find one another until the Internet and it took a while for folks to get together in large enough numbers to form local clubs.

Of course, "50-Shades" has now made a sea-change in public curiosity -- which is one of the reasons I wrote the book.  You are the intended audience.

+++

I'd caution you against doing anything behind her back - you may hold it together for a month or six, but sooner or later you're going to get completely caught.  She'll discover your online presence or your mood will change suspiciously (you'll become happier) or...  My father used to say: "Don't do anything that wouldn't be okay for your wife to read on the front page of the newspaper."

Unfortunately I don't have a good idea about how in the world you explore this part of who you are without your wife's understanding/acceptance.  I have some thoughts, but you'll have to see whether any are helpful. Not knowing your wife's background, religious position or mental/emotional flexibility, I'm shooting in the dark...

1) She either does or does not believe in her pledge to love you for better or worse; she either does or does not support your personal growth and exploration.  If you wanted to go back to college and study a course because you felt drawn to it, she would support you; what's the difference?  The difference is that she has imagined what BDSM is and her imaginings are negative.  Books such as: "Screw the Roses", my new book, and "The Loving Dominant" would lay the groundwork for a more even discussion.  [I will caution you that when someone lays down an ultimatum as she has, you've got a problem that goes way beyond this topic and starts the two of you down a path with a predictably bad outcome.  Great quote in Time Magazine a few months ago (I collect quotes): "Show me a guy who won't compromise and I'll show you a guy with rocks for brains."  -- Alan Simpson, co-chair of the US National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform)

2) For years, I worked for a CEO who maintained that if she was negotiating and got a "No" she knew that she hadn't explained her points clearly.  She was indefatigable in going back and checking her assumptions and studying the benefits/negatives of every point she was making and then starting back in to the negotiations. Relevance: find ways to explain this differently to your wife.  Try this: Some people are short, some people are tall.  Some people like the color red, some people prefer the color blue -- none of this affects who you are in your soul; none of that affects how good you are as a husband/father or how responsible you are as a contributing member of society.  None of that affects the way you relate empathetically with others.  In the process of maturing, in the process of getting from one end of life to the other one learns of many paths.  Some paths call to you; most don't.  You have found a path that seems to call to you and in the same way that you would support her exploration of a path that she felt she needed to explore, you're asking her to suspend her judgment long enough to learn something about it and support your exploration.  Let me add this: personally, if my partner came to me and said: "Bob, I've found a Path but it's not your Path and I've learned enough about this that I'm asking your support to enable me to explore further" I'd encourage her even if it meant the end of our relationship: we're put on Earth to help see others through, and we're supposed to be partnered with those whom we support and who, in turn, support us.

3) The world of BDSM is a one-way door.  Only the smallest minority of those who enter can turn around and go back.  Reason -- and I know you don't know this yet and it is going to sound really off-the-wall -- you will come to realize that those who have mastered what are called "sadomasochistic techniques" and know  WHY we've mastered them -- understand that BDSM is about sex.  BDSM is the path to what has historically been called "sex magic"; BDSM will enable you to take a "bottom" (person receiving the stimulation) to a transcendent/ecstatic sexual state that will leave her trembling and take her 10-20 to recover from.  Message: if you really start down this path, she either has to come with you or you'll have to leave her.  BDSM solidifies or destroys marriages.  My second wife could follow me into BDSM but couldn't follow me into the world of Master/slave that I found about three years after finding BDSM.

4) A long shot, but...  I'm also the author of, "Squirms, Screams, and Squirts: Handbook for going from great sex to extraordinary sex".  That book is only about advanced foreplay and the psychological setup that supports transcendent sexual connection.  You may be able to start there and work into sex with more/varied stimulation.  My next sex book will be about "rougher sex" -- using the techniques from Squirms and adding in the BDSM techniques that multiply a woman's sexual response.

5) Go on to Fet and look at the many GROUPS.  I'm sure you can find one where you can ask folks about ways to approach your wife.

Using the "man-bites-dog" analogy, here's an offer for you.  Within a few days I'll have a pretty good draft of this book completed.  It's hovering around 60,000 words and it all reads about the way that I'm writing to you -- I speak directly to my readers.  I am looking for a few people to be outside readers, people who either are completely vanilla or new to BDSM who can tell me where I need to explain further or add material or have written something they can't quite understand.  I have a 22-year-old woman in Edmonton, Alberta CA reading -- she found me on Fet.  If you would like to be a reader, go on to Fet and look me up and send me your regular email address (you can't send attachments through Fet).

Didn't expect a reply like this, did you...

Hope it helps and I hope you choose to contact me on Fet.

Bob

PS: I was just re-reading your question and your comment is that your wife would leave you if you cheated.  Issue: mutual understanding of the working definition of "cheating".  Is it physical or can it be psychological?  As I explain in the book, an online relationship is still a relationship and must be disclosed to your partner in order that it's an ethical relationship.  That said, there are LOTS and LOTS of people who have spouses who are uninterested in this subculture but support their spouses' BDSM explorations including online and physical relationships.  In my experience, it depends whether the spouse feels that what the two of you have together is sufficiently special to maintain the bond in the face of your outside interest.  By the way, what if you developed an outside interest in some solo activity such as water skiing or mountain climbing?  Or is it that this outside interest puts you in direct contact with women and she's alarmingly threatened?  If so, why is she threatened?  I think that's the pressure point -- The minute she realizes your interest in BDSM, the threat would be the idea that you would be in a power exchange structure with another woman and she intuits that you couldn't do that without bonding with that woman and THAT is a violation of your marital vow.  And, in truth I should warn you: a power exchange bond with another woman is likely to mess with your head.  If you go down this path and find a submissive, you'll get to the point that you'll want to collar her.  Collars OFTEN carry more emotional impact than a wedding ring because you're older, more experienced, and know why you've selected this submissive and SHE knows why she'll follow you to the ends of the earth.  BDSM is potent stuff and very cerebral.  I've heard BDSMers described as sex geeks -- we go to conferences and read books about it.

I'll stop.

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Robert Rubel (Dr. Bob)

Expertise

Anything related to BDSM or Master/slave relationships or activities.

Experience

See: www.KinkMastery.com I live 24/7 Master/slave lifestyle and have since 2002 both as Master and slave. My Owner and I present and do "weekend intensives" internationally and at BDSM conferences practically every month.

Organizations
Masters And slaves Together (MAsT) National Leather Association - International (NLA-I) National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)

Publications
+++ BDSM Mastery—Basics: your guide to play, parties, and scene protocols. +++ BDSM Mastery—Relationships: a guide for creating mindful relationships for Dominants and submissives +++ Master/slave Mastery: Updated handbook of concepts, approaches, and practices +++ Master/slave Mastery--Advanced: Refining the fire; ideas that matter +++ Master/slave Mastery--Protocols: Focusing the intent of your relationship +++ Is THAT What They Meant? A book of practical communication insights

Education/Credentials
PhD, Urban Education Policy Studies with a minor in criminology, U of Wisconsin, Madison. EdM, Boston University with specialty in urban education Presented 80+ BDSM weekend conferences worldwide since 2007.

Awards and Honors
Pantheon of Leather Community Choice - Man, 2008

Past/Present Clients
Not applicable.

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