To kink or not to kink? New relationships often bring lots of questions on whether or not to share fetishes. But what if you and your other half have completely different fetishes? Here are our tips to ensure your sex life (and relationship) doesn't suffer.

Seeing somebody new that you just cannot wait to break into the BDSM lifestyle? Or are you at the point of wanting to share kinks with a long-term partner? If you have a kinky mind, it can be impossible to hold back the raging torrent of fantasies that you keep under control on a daily basis. Facing fear or outright rejection from a partner is a very real experience for many people in the bondage community.


We're all different with different fetishes

Not everyone is as liberated as we’d like them to be and we all struggle at one point or another to come to terms with our own sexuality, never mind the deepest recesses of their lover's mind. People’s different fetishes are strange and complex; a part of our make-up that’s influenced by our childhood, social pressure and other, more elusive factors.

Acceptance of something new and untested could take time, but embracing each other’s unique sexual preferences is more likely to happen in a patient, loving and communicative relationship. As you'll know, the beauty of the S&M lifestyle and the people that make up our community is that we celebrate difference.

Despite the image of BDSM shown in pop culture and the press, it’s not all seedy clubs, chains and nurses uniforms, though they certainly can be fun. Sharing a fetish is not obligatory; we have many distinct and unconventional ideas about what turns us on, and how we like to play out our sadomasochistic scenes. Therefore you can’t expect everyone you meet at S&M events to share kinks or vice versa. If kinksters were all down with the same fetish, the world would be a far less interesting place.

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Share skills and communicate

In all likelihood, you’ll have a lot of fun teaching each other your signature moves, but in the early stages, neither you nor they have to do anything you’re not comfortable with. As always, consent and negotiation are vital. Don’t leave it until you’re hungry for their body to have a frank conversation about what you both want. It’s doubtful you’ll be particularly lucid in the heat of the moment, and if emotions are running high, a quick chat can escalate into a row.

Instead, start a conversation on mutual territory, with the TV off and no other distractions. Opening up about your innermost feelings takes courage, but use a relaxed approach to share kinks. Familiar ground is a good starting point, so kick off with something like, ‘You know how I’ve always loved your feet?’ or ‘That time we ended up having a row... well, you looked totally hot’, and see how the conversation flows. Avoid divulging every detail, but be open and answer any questions they may have honestly.

When someone is anxious about a fetish, discuss why that is and reassure them that you take their fear seriously, even if it makes no sense to you. Explain that you’ll accept a ‘no’ at any point and won’t start anything without a ‘yes’ beforehand. Ease them into the idea by steering the conversation towards less intense versions of your kinky habits that they may be more receptive to. Even people in the vanilla community can become BDSM curious, starting with a little verbal power play or gentle spanking is playful initiation, leaving the door open for more.


Couple with different fetishes
Getting to know your partner's different fetishes.


What about with a vanilla partner?

Sometimes to share kinks with a vanilla partner can be more complicated. They may have preconceived ideas about how things work in a kinky situation and worry about how life outside the bedroom will be affected. Point out that the S&M community call it "play" for a reason; we know it’s not real. Acting in a dominant or submissive way for sexy kicks doesn't have to translate into an unequal or destructive relationship. Reassure them that you have no intention of being more aggressive or subservient in other situations.

Being a sub in the bedroom doesn’t mean a person appreciates being bossed around any other time unless you both like the idea of that. If a vanilla partner is curious and wants to explore with you, then respect the boundaries they lay out, slipping away from mainstream sexuality is a big step for a newbie, so go at their pace.

Keep it in perspective; there are plenty of different fetishes to explore, so try not to fixate on one thing. If your partner was into BDSM when you met, then the chances are they love to experiment as much as you, so even if they don’t want to join in with your first suggestion, they may have an alternative that keeps you both satisfied. There’s more than one kinky way to play, and with a partner from the S&M community, your combined sexual repertoire and different fetishes will be pretty impressive.

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Do you and your partner share the same kinks? If not, how do you negotiate sex having different fetishes? Tell us all the juicy details in the forum. BDSM forum

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