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BDSM/A question unrelated to self-esteem.

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Question
Hello there.

I had two questions about BDSM psychology. I'm 22, a straight male, and an Army Veteran. Gender roles in terms of masculinity and femininity are a paradox to me as to how they relate to me.

My sense of my own self doesn't seem gender-specific, I'm just an individual. I don't play the ego-game, nor do I ever use power without a 3rd or 4th thought. I'm pretty much describing a robot, I know. It gets better. I am completely and utterly sexually submissive but only when I'm turned on and when I'm turned on, my legs shake, my heart palpitates, I can barely think straight or speak, or even keep my eyes open. I have fetishes of course; enjoying partialism and bondage in particular which have been a part of the thought process of what turns me on since the beginning of my adolescence. Loving being helpless sexually, it's a very specific frustration that I do not relate to any other part of my life.

Question 1: So when you add all of this awkward conjumble up, how do I proceed in finding a woman with the same interest as I, that won't take advantage of me?

Question 2: What sort of role would be best to categorize me if BDSM had one and what kind of woman/role if you will would I be looking for in particular?

Thank you for reading!

Answer
Christopher -

First, while you may not know others like you, I want to assure you that you're far from alone!  Nor would I describe what you've presented as robotic or an "awkward con jumble."  There are many people that don't conform to binary gender roles (male/female).  I'd encourage you to do some research on terms like "gender fluid."  But I'd also discourage you from feeling that you need to conform with gender stereotypes (males are aggressive, ego-driven while women are demure, weak).  I suspect that it's those stereotypes that have you feeling so flummoxed.  

What you describe in terms of your sexual interests and fantasies are also normal.  There are many people with BDSM fantasies.  And plenty of men that enjoy submission, bondage and partialism.  

With that out of the way, let's address your very thoughtful questions.  As a preamble, I'd encourage you to take time to explore yourself more -- what drives you and what role you want "all this" to play in your life.  With that in mind, here are some questions to ponder:

1. Is this a kink to explore on occasion with your partner to "spice things up," or do you want to be central to your relationship?

2. Do you see your submission to your partner as limited in space (just in the bedroom), time (only when we have time on the weekend), and dimension (when we're having sex), or is this something -- the submission, obedience, and service -- that is a constant?

I could go on with the questions, but just those two will help you start this journey of determining what you want -- and are integral to answering your questions.

In terms of finding a partner, there are some that would say to just go and meet women and in the early courtship face say "I kink of like it when my partner ties me up" or start licking their feet when you're watching TV.  In my opinion, in this age of "50 Shades", that could find you a partner that either shares or is willing to indulge your occasional fantasies.  If, however, you are looking for more than the occasional kinky romp, then I think you need to switch your strategy.  Just like you wouldn't go fishing in a parking lot, you won't have much luck finding someone that seesBDSM as a "lifestyle" at the bar or harmony.com (yes, I know people that have found kinky partners that way, or on OKCupid).  But your best odds are in spending time in kinky settings.  There are "munches" (casual get-togethers at restaurants), classes, workshops, conferences, and dungeon parties.  Besides swimming in the right pool, the important advantage of this approach is that you will simultaneously:  receive affirmation that there is a whole community of people like you; develop friendships with people that share your interests……and LEARN about the lifestyle, different relationship models, and various kinky activities.

Which gets us to the second part of your first question -- finding someone who won't take advantage of you.  A BDSM relationship is still a relationship.  The same gut checks you would do with a woman you met at church apply here as well:  are they secretive?  do they have references? do they treat you well? are they looking to get more out of the relationship than they offer? Do they communicate in an effective way for you? Are they honest?  Are they pushing you to do things you aren't comfortable with? Then add on the BDSM questions:  if it's play, do they have the requisite skills for what they propose to do?  Do they ask you your limits and respect those? Does their relationship interests match yours? And……anyone that says you need to pay them "tribute" (unless financial domination is your kink) is interested in your wallet, not you.

BDSM relationships are typically defining by complimentary roles - Master/slave; Dominant/submissive; Daddy/boy; Top/bottom.  As to your role, my advice is to resist labeling yourself at the beginning of your journey.  While it appears your interests lie on the right side of that relationship "slash", you don't know enough about yourself to know what that is.  If you feel you must have a label, just call yourself "exploring."

To find some of those events I mentioned, you might want to look at FetLife.com.  It's sort of a kinky Facebook.  There is a tab for "events" that will show things in your area.  There are also discussion groups.  Those can be useful.  But remember that not everything said is gospel or applicable to you.  It is NOT a dating site, but some people have met partners that way.

It is wonderful to discover who you are -- what makes you tick, aroused and happy.  And you are blessed to begin the journey at a young age.  Understand it is a journey.  You won't find your "perfect match" at the first event you go to -- and you don't need to.  The most important thing is to find yourself.

Enjoy.  

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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.

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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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