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I have been wondering about the BDSM lifestyle a lot lately and I have a couple really big questions about it. My main question is probably really dumb but I wanted to know if it was possible to find someone that would collar me and invest in me emotionally without a lot of hardcore sexual things. I'm not comfortable with sensory deprivation or being heavily bound, nor does the idea of pain interest me at all. Honestly, a lot of those types of things terrify me, but the thought of being taken care of and serving someone who loves me literally brings tears to my eyes. I am desperate to please anyone who might like me which I think is a huge part of my interest, that and the fear of not being good enough for someone to love me, but I don't know if my hopes fit into this lifestyle at all. I'm sorry for bothering you and thank you for reading through all of this.

Answer
Lili -

To answer your direct question, there is no requirement that a BDSM  relationship includes sensory deprivation, pain - or really any other kinky activity. BDSM is a broad umbrella. It includes people  who enjoy kinky sex, and people  who don't (and people that don't have any sort of sex as part of their relationship). It encompasses people who are monogamous, and people that are polyamorous. It covers a broad range of power dynamics, running the full gamut from complete equality to power play in the bedroom to intentional and consensual imbalanced authority based relationships. There is no one set model, nor universal requirements. What is key is that you know what you need and want (like your stated desire for control and provision of service), and focus your search on those wanting the corresponding goals

But before you start your search, I encourage you to work on your self image and self confidence. Worrying that you "aren't good enough" is often the predicate to at best an unsatisfying relationship and at worse an abusive one.

Take time to get out in your local community. Meet people. See how different relationships are structured and operate so you have a broader sense of what you do and don't like.

Enjoy the journey  

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Ben Martin

Expertise

Questions related to power-based relationships in which decision-making authority is intentionally and consensually transferred -- and the resulting imbalance celebrated. I am able to assist those trying to understand where they fit in, and those seeking to structure and thrive in a power based relationships. Specific topics I am able to discuss include: setting and achieving personal and relationship goals, responsible Mastery, the use of protocols and rituals, communication techniques, and conflict resolution. In addition, I am knowledgable and experienced in polyamory, long-distance relationships, bisexuality and a variety of kinky activities ranging from mind games to sadistic play.

Experience

I have chosen to have a power-based structure in my relationships over the past 18 years. This has included a 16-year M/s relationship, several shorter term D/s relationships and various play partners. I am an active participant in various online forums and seek to provide support and advice to those interested in the Lifestyle.

Organizations
Black Rose

Publications
My writings, insights and discussion contributions are available on Alt.com and FetLife.com. On both websites, my user name is BenMartin

Education/Credentials
I do not hold any credentials specific to BDSM, relying instead on knowledge gained from life experiences, reading and conversing with others in the Lifestyle.

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