Strictly Bedroom: A Letter From A Reader
(Note: I edited this letter down a bit for length.)
Dear Mistress Matisse,
I love your blog. It's fantastic. I like the way you think, and I have a question that I don't think you've ever addressed directly…
I'm a straight woman who has submissive/masochistic fantasies, but I'm strictly a bedroom kinkster. I have never had a problem getting a man with whom I am already having good vanilla sex to start doing kinkier things to me. Generally, men are pretty cooperative about this stuff, and I introduce things a piece at a time - depending on the guy and how I read him, first toys, then tying me up with scarves, then spanking, and so on.
There is not a thing wrong with being a bedroom kinkster. Lord knows there are vastly more kinky people fitting that description than there are people doing 24/7 dominance/submission.
And I agree that getting men to do kinky stuff isn’t usually a big problem. “Honey, if you tie me up, it’ll make my pussy wet and I’ll want to have sex.” Boom, he’s there with the rope, or whatever. You have to love boys for that.
My problem is keeping it in the bedroom. I'm an intelligent, educated, professional woman - I may get off on getting bossed around in the bedroom, but I absolutely want a guy to treat me respectfully outside of it. I've had guys who treated me very well while it was vanilla sex only (and before it was any sex at all) suddenly start to feel like they are the boss everywhere. The change in their demeanor varies but is generally more or less subtle, but I do not like it at all, even subtly.
Ah. An interesting problem. Frankly, what I hear about more often is submissives who want their top to be dominant all the time - often to a degree that I see as unrealistic, and which I think would not really make them as happy as they imagine. So this is a twist.
I really don't believe it has to be an either-or - either a decent relationship as equals or a chance to indulge my kink. I would think that the trick might be to date men who already had experience as dominants, but two things stop me. One, which you have addressed before, is that it can be hard enough to find a guy with all the absolutely mandatory qualities - intelligence, integrity, chemistry, etc. - without then adding a sexual acid-test The other is that, from what I read on your blog, a lot of dominant men in the BDSM community seem to have problems keeping it in the bedroom, too (or no interest in keeping it in the bedroom in the first place). In your blog, sometimes I get the impression that Max and Roman are exceptions to a general trend in dom men to have exactly the personality defects I'm trying to avoid.
You are quite right, it doesn’t have to be either/or. And while of course I think Max and Roman are the very highest examples of kinky masculinity, unparalleled in any way, I must admit that I’m rather biased there. There are some silly twits with bad boundaries in the BDSM community, but there are also a lot of good men. Just offhand, I can think of several cool guys I know who would like pretty much exactly the arrangement you're describing.
You have bottomed to men, though, and I can't begin to imagine that those men then think they can start treating you as a subordinate person in general (as opposed to just a sexual bottom in bed). Has this just never been a problem for you?...Max is actually the only man I’ve ever done any D/s stuff with. I let a few boys tie me to the bed, way back when I was very new to kink, but that was about it. Roman and I switch, and while we do some physically heavy play, our BDSM is much more about rough sex and intense sensation. We sometimes play at dominant/submissives roles a little in bed, but not very seriously, or very often.
(Equally, while I bottomed to other women when I was younger and newer in BDSM, there was only one woman who I really felt was dominant in the relationship with me. She and Max are very much alike in many ways.)
And while Max is definitely not just a bedroom dominant, he doesn’t treat me “as a subordinate” in any way I find bothersome. We would not have been together for over seven years if he had. In fact, the most experience I have had with this was when I first started dating Max and was hanging out more in his branch of the (heterosexual) BDSM community. I was, in fact, a pro domme and had been playing for years at that point. But all the straight male tops assumed that since they didn’t know me, I must be this new little subbie girl, and a lot of them condescended to me and acted like I should fetch them coffee and fawn on them generally. Needless to say, I did not do that. And Max was actually great about setting those boys straight about exactly who and what I was. It sure annoyed me, though.
(While) I'm generally nice and polite, it is not as though my personal demeanor or energy invites people to act superior to me, in relationships or out of them.) What do your non-switch bottom friends do? Would switching help? I've had a dominant fantasy or two before, but it is the kind of thing it might be harder to break some vanilla guy in on. And I prefer bottoming.
I don’t think you should blame yourself for this. Most of the bottoms I know are also assertive people in their non-kinky lives, that’s not at all unusual. A woman I know, a very heavy bottom, used to wear a T-shirt that read, “I may be a submissive but I’m not your submissive.” The perfect sentiment.
I disagree that it’s harder to get guys to bottom in bed, I’ve never had the slightest difficulty with that. But that may just be me.
As for switching – well, I think it’s a good and educational thing for kinky people, but it’s not for everyone, so if it’s not what you want to do, then don’t do it.
A question, though: is it possible that these guys would have gotten bossy and controlling even if you hadn’t bottomed to them? Everyone is on their best behavior at the beginning of a relationship - but that can change as time goes on and old habits reassert themselves. Are you sure the undesirable behavior is connected to the kink?
I'm at a loss, frankly. If I'm going to have a relationship, it has to be as an equal - but egalitarianism, while great in the real world, can get pretty monotonous in the bedroom.
P.S. Oh, and for the record, I'm not Ms. Defensive - at least, I hope not. I like liking what I like, damn it. I just want a way to keep up reasonable boundaries while I'm not doing it.
No, you don’t come across like a Ms. Defensive. Believe me, sweetheart, I am so right there with you on the boundaries thing. I am the Princess of Personal Boundaries.
It just seems like you haven’t met the right guy yet. Now, I’m always firmly of the opinion that if you’re kinky and you know it, you should be shopping for a sweetie in kinky circles. BDSM personal sites like Collarme.com are rife with pretentious weirdos, but the real-life BDSM community has a lot of great people in it. In your case, I think getting an already-kinky boyfriend would be beneficial because it would hopefully ensure that he had a basic understanding of the difference between a full-time slave, and someone who’s a submissive in bed and an equal everywhere else. I think there are plenty of guys around who want the latter. Roman, for example, is married to a fabulous woman, Tammy. She bottoms to him, but she is definitely not his full-time submissive, and that’s the way they want it.
I tell pretty much everyone who contacts me that the kink relationship they want is out there, they just have to do the work to find it. I think that's true, but for some people, honestly, it is going take a lot of time and work. Fortunately for you, what you want seems very attainable. Put yourself in the right place, and communicate with everyone else as clearly as you did with me, and I predict you’ll find a well-balanced kinky relationship.