Arts & Culture
Savage Love: Working the Kinks Out
Published: January 29, 2014
Two suggestions from me: Get a copy of Playing Well with Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities by Mollena Williams and Lee Harrington, and follow Mollena Williams on Twitter @Mollena.
I’m a 30-year-old bi girl and have been with my girlfriend for nearly 10 years. We discovered a love of BDSM together and we’ve had lots of fun exploring. Until now. I am a natural sub, but my girlfriend asked to switch and for me to dominate her. I have tried to do this half a dozen times, but afterward—or sometimes during a scene—she tells me it isn’t working. She says that it’s not about my actions but about my “tone.” Hearing this kills my ladyboner, and the scene fizzles and dies. It’s gotten to the point where I’m wondering if I should bother anymore if I can never get my “tone” right. I want to please her, and that usually keeps me trying over and over, but … I don’t know. I feel guilty and depressed because I can’t seem to return the pleasure she gave me when our roles were reversed.
—Giving Up On BDSM
Either your technique and style are both lousy—maybe every fiber of your being is (subconsciously) screaming “I hate this role” during a scene—or your girlfriend is one of those BDSM switches who has a difficult time submitting to someone she knows, loves, wakes up next to every morning, gets into arguments with about bills, etc. It might be better if she subbed for someone else, GUOB, while continuing to dominate you.
I am married to a man who is into BDSM. I am happy to do lighter stuff, but I am not interested in squeezing into an uncomfortable corset and using a flogger on him. It doesn’t turn me on. So I gave him permission to visit a pro. It seemed like a good idea at the time. The pressure was off me, he was getting what he needed, our relationship and sex life improved. But I had no idea how much pros cost! He has been spending hundreds of dollars each month on his kinks! He has been going to see a pro twice a month and spends $200+ on each visit! I was shocked! I expected that he would go a few times a year and that these “sessions” would cost $100 a pop. We are supposed to be saving to buy a home! He spent more going to his pro in December than he did on Christmas! I asked him to cut back and go see someone cheaper, and he became angry and defensive. He accused me of going back on our agreement. I know he reads your column. Please help! What is a reasonable number of times to see a pro? What is a reasonable rate? What about a couple’s budget and plans for the future?
—He Spent More Than I Thought
Two hundred dollars a session—$200 an hour—isn’t an unreasonable rate when you consider a professional dom’s overheard and fixed costs. Corsets, floggers, bondage gear and dungeon spaces do not come cheap. But unless money is no object and/or you’re single, blowing $400+ a month on visits to a pro dom is unreasonable and unfair. That’s $4,800+ a year, which could go a long way toward a down payment on a house. Since there aren’t many pro doms out there who work for $100 an hour—or many partners as understanding as you—your husband should think about cutting way the fuck back, getting a second job or winning the lottery. But here’s something for you to think about, HSMTIT: You say all those sessions with a professional dominant have improved your relationship and your sex life. If your husband were spending $100 a week to see a shrink—$5,200 a year—and you were seeing those kinds of results, would you object?
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