I'd like to politely ask your opinion on something I've come across and I'm asking you because nowhere else have I read someone writing about BDSM and everything around it with better accuracy and insight.
A female friend of mine (she's very vanilla and wonderfully sensitive) was recently confronted with the 'dark' past of her new boyfriend: he hasn't had a relationship before without BDSM and after being together for two and a half years, he's starting to miss it. So he asked her if she's okay with him starting a dom-sub relationship with someone else.
To get to the point: I don't want to help her or him, what they do is their business, but I'm moved by my curiosity. How were your experiences? Do you know about people who have dom-sub relationships without sex? If so, do you know what it was like for them, specifically?
I know what it’s like for them very well, because one of them is me.
And not just me, either. I have known many people who have dominant/submissive relationships without sex. It’s not uncommon.
What’s also quite common are relationships in which sex is not strictly off-limits, but very infrequent. I had a woman named Jae, who I have written about before, in a dominant/submissive relationship with me for a couple of years, and we had sex, oh, maybe half a dozen times?
And it wasn’t because she wasn’t sexy, it was simply – not what we were about. Being someone’s Mistress is different from being her/his lover.
Non-sexual doesn’t mean cold and distant. I was affectionate and loving with Jae. It was very definitely an intimate relationship. We did a lot of physical BDSM. I simply found it more… effective to not have sex with her very often. It made the occasions on which I did very special and meaningful.
But my hunch is that none of this will be helpful to your friend. I’m guessing that she is not polyamorous. If she was, the non-sexual question would not arise. My experience of monogamous people is that many of them would be highly uneasy about their partner having an emotionally intense, intimate relationship with someone else, even if it did not include sex in the very strict and literal sense of the word. (I have known people who got aroused and could achieve orgasm from certain types of non-genital stimulation - like spanking. So there’s the whole issue of defining what, exactly, the word sex even means.)
The uneasiness is apt to be even more pronounced in the case of a vanilla person handling his/her lover having a type of partnership they don’t understand, like a D/s relationship.
So my prediction is that this will be a relationship challenge that they will have to work through in some manner. It’s do-able, and I wish them the best of luck, but I imagine that it will be tricky. Tell your friend she can write me, if she wishes.
Now, my response to you: That “confronted with the 'dark' past” remark? I want you to hear me saying this to you in a mild, gentle tone of voice: Knock that shit off. Really. Do not empower, even as a joke, negative attitudes about BDSM - especially when you are talking to a BDSM person.
You probably did think you meant it in a kidding way, but it's also gauche, at best, to make that sort of joke to me, because it presumes you and I have such a level of intimacy that you can abjure politeness about my sexual orientation. We do not. As you are a stranger to me, I must entertain the idea that you're indicating your literal feelings on the matter. That seems in contradiction to you writing me in the first place. But I say this to you so you can understand how people might misconstrue what you say, and sharpen your communication in the future.
That’s my accurate insight on that matter.