“So… what do you want?”
When dating, the question is inevitable. After all, you want to make sure that you and the person you are connecting with aren’t going to experience a serious disconnect down the line.
Saying what you want is easy when you think others, and especially the person you want it with, wants the same thing.
Yet, for some it can be the hardest question to answer.
Until last year, when someone asked me what I was looking for, I’d mumble something along the lines of “meeting new people and seeing where things go,” then quickly change the topic.
Inside, I knew what I wanted. I just wasn’t ready to admit it.
In an ideal world, all parties on a date are clear on the other’s intentions: “a long-term monogamous relationship,” “rebound sex,” “someone to hang out with at Coachella.”
But what happens if what you want is less socially accepted?
If the relationship fairy were to wave his magic wand and grant me my wish with zero social judgement, my dream scenario would be:
A long-term, emotionally-committed, sexually open, live-in relationship with two creative, intelligent men who are my best friends, swing with me as well as separately, and occasionally have sex with each other. One of these men would be my dominant; a man who ties me up, spanks me and does all sorts of kinky shit to me. The other would be a sweet little submissive that I use for my pleasure. Oh yah, and I’d also have a number of close friends with benefits that I see on my own.
Of course, this is a fantasy. In reality, I’m not so sure I could take two guys being all over each other 24-7 and, really, who has the time or energy for this many partners?
The essence of what I want and want I need, however, is someone who is kinky and open to a non-traditional sexual relationship.
For a long time I doubted there was a man alive who would go for such a thing.
Inside, I was terrified that if I put my kinks up front, men would only see me as a sex object and I’d never meet someone who also loved the rest of me.
So, instead of coming right out and saying “How comfortable are you with rope, a dick in your face, and watching your girlfriend screw other men?” I dated guys who seemed open minded and hoped for the best.
Inevitably, this strategy backfired. After a few dates, I’d hint at my less than mainstream desires. They would say, “That shit’s just weird.” And I would run.
It was a good way to keep the wrong men away from me, but a crappy way to attract the right one.
After one vanilla man too many, however, I’d had enough.
I updated my OkCupid profile to include the fact that I was looking for a kinky swinger.
I expected a deluge of messages asking for sexual favours. Instead, I got radio silence.
The number of men messaging me dropped from five a day to one every 10 days. (Sure, the guys who didn’t read my profile kept contacting me but I continued to ignore them as I had always done.)
I did meet one man. I liked him a lot. He liked me. We had a lot of fun together.
Assuming he had read my profile and was okay with it, I once again left the discussion about my need for kink and non-monogamy until six weeks after we started dating.
Turns out, he wasn’t okay with it. Feelings got hurt, and I learned a big lesson.
If you want something that deviates from a standard monogamous long-term relationship, you must tell people as soon as possible, up front and in person.
After Mr. Vanilla ended it with me, I cancelled my OkCupid account and turned to Fetlife, a social networking site for kinky people (a lot of kinky people: 4.5 million according to Wikipedia).
Through the groups on this site, I’ve met swingers, dominants, bisexuals, submissives, and all combinations of the above.
I also met my boyfriend. While he’s not bisexual or into swinging, he is very kinky, open to me playing on my own, and knows that I will never be satisfied in a purely monogamous relationship.
Together we are consciously co-creating an open relationship were we both get to express other facets of our sexuality.
I’m kinky. I switch (I need to dominate someone and also be submissive), and I like to occasionally have sex with strangers.
I told my boyfriend this on our second date.
He didn’t take this as a sign that I was easy or only looking for sex. He took this as a sign that I was as interesting and complex as he was.
And, like the responsible kinkster that he is, he took his time getting to know me before acting on any of it.
Honesty isn’t always easy but if you are kinky, non-monogamous or otherwise deviate from the norm, it needs to be your policy.
There is a huge spectrum out there of what people really want between the polarities of a monogamous marriage and a one-night stand.
The more we recognize and accept this, the more people will feel that they can honestly and publicly answer the question “What do you want?”
Because one thing I’ve learned is when you admit what you want, very often, you get it.