Q&A: Can I Give Up My Kinky Nature to Be With a Vanilla Partner?

We received a question that I don’t actually have a clear answer to, partly because I don’t think there’s ever a clear answer to this one, but it’s worth think about: Can you go back to a vanilla relationship once you know you’re kinky?

In this case of this question, the relationship is solidly vanilla. One partner knows they’re kinky. The other partner knows they’re very vanilla and has no desire to explore BDSM. The two love one another and the kinky partner wonders if they can give up their kink desires and stick with a completely vanilla relationship.

Anything is possible, of course. Life, circumstances, and a million other factors may make your decision for you.

But what if you’re definitely kinky, and your partner is definitely vanilla? And opening up your relationship to other partners isn’t something either of you want to explore?

What do you do?

If I ever figure out a definitive answer, I’ll let you know. But, as with all things, it depends. When asked this question, it mostly lead to more questions.

Do you feel incomplete without kink?

For some people, kink is what they do. For others (myself included), it’s who we are. If being Dominant or submissive (or switching) in a relationship is how you feel fulfilled as a human, that’s important to acknowledge. Walking around feeling like a big part of your identity is missing can lead to a lot of negative emotions, including resentment, especially if you don’t have an outlet to express yourself.

Feeling incomplete doesn’t mean you have to kick this partner to the curb. But being honest with yourself about kink’s place in your life will inform the decisions you make in the future.

Can you get your kink on without opening up your relationship?

If you see kink as only available to you through the context of a relationship, the answer may be a clear “NO.” But if exploring kink outside of a romantic and/or sexual relationship is an option, it’s worth considering.

  • Hire a pro. Both pro-Doms and pro-subs are out there — though you may need to look long and hard to find the right person.
  • Seek out your local BDSM community to make friends. One of those friends could become someone who explores power exchange and/or kinky fuckery within the bounds of a friendship.
  • Consider a mentor or kink group (for subs. Doms, both, etc) where you can express your kinky self outside of a power exchange relationship.

Ideally, if any of these are the right fit for you, you’ll do them with your vanilla partner’s full consent. Nothing ruins a relationship quicker than lies and the hoops we jump through when we actively don’t admit what we’re doing.

What’s more important to you — the relationship or kink?

For some, the answer to this question is easy, and for others, not so much. There’s also no right or wrong answer. In fact, today, your answer may go one way, and in six months or six years, you may change your mind.

I think it’s most important to be honest with yourself in the current moment. If you want to see where this relationship may lead, then follow that path. But if you feel like a piece of you is missing without the kink, that’s something you’ll have to grapple with, sooner or later.

Some kink/vanilla relationships find their way through this and make compromises to make sure both partners feel fulfilled. And some people find they can put aside kinky needs to focus on the relationship in front of them. Of course, some relationships can’t reconcile the differences. There’s no single right answer to the conundrum.

Your relationship doesn’t have to look like other relationships…

It’s worth remembering, though, that kinky or vanilla, there’s no script we have to follow in life. Your relationship doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s, like what you see online or in the media, and it certainly doesn’t have to gain the approval of anyone in your life in order to be valid. If that means you, the kinkster, find a creative way to be with the love of your life, someone who’s fully vanilla, and other people don’t understand it, it’s okay. Do what works for you, and ignore what the “world” thinks you ought to do.

Have you ever found yourself in the situation? What did you do? Keep the relationship and give up kink? Find a creative way to get your kink on? End the relationship? Something else? Feel free to share your experience below!

2 Responses

  1. Marcia says:

    I told an old vanilla boyfriend I am kinky. He then asked me if I would give it up if a found /fell for someone vanilla. I said NO.
    I have 4 years in kink, but they are the best years of my 58 years. It came so naturally and I am at peace that this is who I am. I would rather be alone then out of kink.
    I agree every person and relationship is different. Only you know you.

    • Kayla Lords says:

      I feel much the same way. I can’t imagine giving it up at this point. But I also have learned to never say never, lol.

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