vanilla - sub relationship - can it work?

Discussion in 'General BDSM discussions' started by vanillawife, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. vanillawife

    vanillawife New Member


    I am vanilla and my wonderful husband of several years is, as I just found out, a submissive. This appears to be an important part of his sexuality which he has been supressing/hiding so far for a fear of my reaction. I am very open and tolerant of his sexual preferences, I love him dearly and am otherwise very happy in our marriage, but I have no interest in participating. It just doesn't turn me on; if anything, I myself am a bit on a submissive side.

    Can our relationship last? Would it work if he would occasionally visit a Dom and/or various clubs where he could satisfy this part of his sexuality? More egoistically - can he ever really enjoy a vanilla sex with me? Will he always need to imagine he is somewhere else in order to have an orgasm? Will he get bored with time?

    Any advice, personal experiences, honest opinions... would be very helpful. Thank you!
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  2. Sparrow69

    Sparrow69 Moderator

    Yes, yes, and yes.

    It can work, and it would be very acceptable for him to visit a pro domme or a club, because bdsm is not exclusively about sex. I commend you for being open to the subject and willing to learn on the subject for his sake, its a very strong relationship that has such a trait.
    I'd say talk to him,openly,no holds barred,and find out exactly what hes looking for... look up dommes in your area and interview them together to see ifyou feel comfortable with it. let him know you care about his needs, and your willing for him to indulge them but not at the expense of your own comfort.
    By being open and honest,you'll find that the "love" you share will be stronger, and he will most definately still enjoy sex with his vanilla wife. you may find that by asserting the need for you to be comfortable as well, and by talking to the dommes, that you wouldnt mind joining in, as either a sub, and may possibly find a dom streak as well...
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  3. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Have you asked him specifically what elements of being submissive turn him on? You might find some things in there you would enjoy, or at least not find unpleasant to do. For example, if he enjoys foot worship, that's a relatively easy service to provide him, even if you don't find it arousing. Or perhaps you might require him to spend the day doing your normal chores or treating you like a queen in order to earn the reward of pleasuring you in bed that night. You may not find these things particularly satisfying, but if they meet some of his needs, indulging him occasionally is a small price to help maintain your relationship. My ex has no particular interesting in biting nipples, but I love having it done to me, so he got in the habit of doing it periodically just because it was something I enjoy.

    In a different vein, you might look for John and Libby Warren's _The Loving Dominant_, a very good introduction to d/s play. It includes a chapter directed toward vanilla spouses, designed to help them understand what d/s is and isn't. It's available in mainstream bookstores (I found my copy at Borders) and through Amazon. You might find it helpful both in addressing your own feelings and in understand your husband's desires.
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  4. vanillawife

    vanillawife New Member

    Wow, thank you for quick and informative replies! Regarding what turns him on, he says he likes to keep his sub side in the bedroom, meaning, he doesn't like playing this role in the rest of his life. So unfortunately no free slave for me ;)

    Thank you also for the recommendation for the book - will get it right away - and for the idea to visit doms together. I am pretty skeptical about me ever being into this lifestyle - i am very bad in experiencing or giving pain. But I agree that it's good to be involved in some way, at least to know what's going on.

    My biggest fear is that he will lose interest in having sex with me, especially now when he will feel more free to explore his sub side with others. He already admitted that he often fantasized being in a bdsm scene while having sex with me, and I myself often noticed that his mind is wondering elsewhere while we're in bed together. He says this could be changed, that he still enjoys doing it with me, and I know he means best and wishes that it will be so - but - is it really possible? Isn't vanilla boring for true bdsm people? Or are there many individual differences?

    I am wondering whether we should just call it quits and allow each of us to develop in our own separate ways... or stay together now only to split in a few years... (frequent passionate sex with equal involvement of both partners is very important for me). Any predictions on how this dynamics could develop?
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  5. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Vanilla, I'm not very experienced (only recognized my dom side for what it was about two months ago), but I was married for 8 years to a guy who had all sorts of sex issues (he was both distant and controlling about sex but tried to meet my needs), so I know a few things about what you're wrestling with. We both found sex dissatisfying, but I loved him deeply and was willing to forgo a truly satisfying sex life because everything else in our marriage was very satisfying. He eventually decided that he wasn't willing to make that same commitment to me, although he tried. We would still be together if he had made the commitment I did, and we would have broken up much sooner if I had decided I wasn't willing to make that sacrifice. So my point is that there's no way to predict how it might go. With love, commitment, flexibility, honestly, and compromise on both parts, you may be able to make it work. Is a fully-satisfying sex life worth losing all the other things that make your relation good and satisfying. No one gets everything they want in a relationship. My guy was 85% of what I wanted, and that seemed like a lot to me, so I decided to sacrifice the 15% that was sex. Evidently, I was less than my ex's 85%, and he couldn't do it. But only you and your husband can figure out whether you can make it work. It is possible. I know of someone on another site who explores d/s in non-sexual scenes outside his marriage because his wife is vanilla but he's committed to the relationship, and he's not the only one.

    I guess my practical advice would be to find out exactly what your husband needs. It might be bondage. It might be pain. It might be humiliation. It might be verbal abuse. Or it might be some combination of them. Then decide for yourself if you can provide any of those things for him, even if they might be uncomfortable for you. Yeah, spanking your husband and calling him a dirty slut might not excite you, but you might find that it's not so bad that you can't do it occasionally if the alternative is giving up a meaningful marriage. When I jack off, I love to play out a fantasy in my head, complete with dialog. I told my ex that, and he reluctantly started telling me stories as he stroked me. He struggled with it--it really didn't come naturally to him-- but he eventually got to be ok with it, and did it well enough that it satisfied me. And I saw it as a gesture of love--he was trying to meet my needs even though it made him a little uncomfortable. So find out what he wants and dip your toe in that particular pool.

    Part of what is hard to understand about a sub is that they want things that the rest of us find to be unpleasant. For example, I find the idea of men wearing women's panties sort of icky--I'd never do it. But a sub who enjoys feminization may find that being ordered to wear panties gives him a chance to set down the burdens of masculinity for a while and feel free of the need to be in control. So what I as a dom would find unpleasant if it were done to me is something that a sub finds a liberating release. Thus if I order him to wear panties, I am not being cruel to him but being kind and caring. So your husband is not asking you to actually be cruel to him; he's asking you to express your love for him in a language that means something very deep and visceral to him. "Ich liebe dich" means nothing to an English speaker and sounds rather harsh, but to a German it means "I love you". So if your reluctance is that you can't see yourself being mean to the man you love, domming him isn't actually mean; it's loving.

    But please don't think I'm telling you that you should do this. If what he wants is something you know deep down you don't want to do, don't do it. You need to maintain your own hard limits. But you might find that some of the stuff you think you won't like isn't so bad. I grew up chubby, and had to learn to be very accommodating and pleasing in order to get attention from guys. So I tended to see d/s stuff as sort of extreme. But the first time a guy offered to let me have total control over what we did, with no regard to what he wanted (in the scene, at any rate), I found myself totally turned on. Prior to that, I had always thought I had vaguely sub tendencies. So you might find (and note, I said 'might'--no guarantees at all with sex) that once you wrap your head around it, you might enjoy some elements of domming. Who doesn't want a sex partner who does exactly what you want? Even subs want that; it's just that what they want the partner to do isn't necessarily what the sub wants on the surface.

    How's this? Blindfold your husband and just explore him. Tell him that you will decide what happens. He has to just lie there and do what you want. Then do whatever interests you. You can caress his body, kiss him wherever you want, go down on him, and mount him--objectively you're probably doing things you do during sex anyway, but you're making him passive, which is probably at least a taste of what he wants. If you enjoy that or find it unobjectionable, slowly branch out. You can talk dirty to him or tease him about wanting to be submissive if he likes abuse, spank him or pinch his nipples if he likes pain, maybe tie him to the bed with scarves if he likes bondage. Or make him serve you. He has to pleasure you any way you choose, and after he's done, you decide if he did a good enough job to deserve a spanking or something else he wants. The first time he does it, tell him it's not good enough and he'll have to wait until tomorrow night to try again to get that spanking. Lots of male subs love that sort of sexual frustration, and you're getting a lot of sex. Do you like a rough man to take you aggressively--tell him that's how he has to please you, and tell him afterward it he wasn't man enough for you (even if you loved every minute of it). My point here is that there are lots of ways to integrate elements of d/s into your love life that don't involve black leather corsets, japanese bondage, and tit clamps. They may not be everything your husband fantasizes about, but they might be a way to meet some of his needs in a way that you can be comfortable with, and they allow you to find out if there is anything in d/s for you. Don't be put off by the darker elements of d/s--lots of d/s couples never go near them.
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  6. I just wanted to say that while there are a LOT of people that incorporate pain into their BDSM relationships, but I think there are a fair few who don't. Like me. I can't get past the mental barrier that I have that says "pain bad". I have zero interest in any quantifiable PAIN being incorporated into playing. Just thought I'd throw that out there :)
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  7. vanillawife

    vanillawife New Member

    Sebastian, I am deeply grateful for your generous, thoughtful advice. I really don't have anybody to talk to about this - a few friends I can share this sensitive issue with are all vanilla and can't provide an insider's view. So your thoughts and great ideas for further exploration are immensely helpful in this life-changing moment in our relationship. Thank you.

    InnocentFacade, how interesting. Glad to hear that pain is not essential (although I know my husband does like pain). I like Sebastian's analogy with expressing love in different languages. That could be a good way to approach our different preferences.
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  8. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Vanilla, I'm glad you found something helpful in it. I'm not personally very experienced in bdsm, but I've known many who are, and I think I have a fair grasp of human psychology, so I'm only too glad to offer whatever insight I may have, and I hope I'll be wise enough to admit the limits of my knowledge and experience. And don't hesitate to talk to me or anyone else on the forum who is willing to listen--that's what the forum is for. Unless you're in a major city, a forum like this is one of the few places to seek information and guidance. Feel free to send me a private message if you want me to elaborate on anything.

    And IF is right, pain is not an essential element of bdsm, just a very common one. Control is what excites me. I love the feeling that my (perhaps now ex-) sub will obey my commands and that I can use him as I please. I do like pain, but at least at this stage, it's mostly pretty mild stuff, like nipple pinching and ass slapping. On Sat, I played with another dom and a sub. The sub has zero interest in pain or humiliation--he just wants to be immobilized and intimidated. The dom likes a wide range of bondage, but doesn't like inflicting pain at all, although when he subs, he does like a little pain. A while ago I played with a sub who likes to be humiliated and controlled and treated like a dog--led around on a leash--but has no interest in pain other than being spanked with a rolled up newspaper. So bdsm play is all about negotiated activity. With puppy guy, before we met, we discussed exactly what he wanted from me and what he didn't want, and I told him what turns me on and what I wasn't willing to do with him. Another guy I'm talking to is interested in electro play, and that's something I won't do--I have neither the desire to do it nor the experience to do it safely nor the equipment necessary. I asked if he would do puppy play, and he doesn't think he wants to. Every d/s pair has to map out the limits of what the sub is willing to receive from the dom and what the dom feels comfortable doing to the sub. For example, you might decide that you could become comfortable with controlling and humiliating your husband, but not with inflicting pain. So there isn't a rule that says that every d/s couple has to do these particular three activities or whatever. And couples renegotiate their rules periodically. After you become comfortable with some basic activities, you may find that you're curious about something else that you had previously ruled out.

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