One of Woody Allen’s first films was a clever and deliciously offensive look at the secret desires of people and the questions they were afraid to ask. One observation I have now is that, in truth, any of the questions regarding sexuality in the film were ones that we generally ask ourselves and, what’s more, already have the answers to. A question I ask myself is, “What really turns me on?” and, more importantly, “Why?” I believe that everyone asks themselves the same questions, but the why of it becomes more important because in all honesty most people are afraid of what their desires really mean.
It’s no secret to any partner of mine or even many of my friends that I am into rope bondage. I’m no expert, nor do I frequent the myriad of sex dungeons operating where I live – I want to, but they are often expensive and have odd schedules – but I enjoy tying people up and sometimes doing a bit of role-play. People who’ve gleaned this from me more often than not have something negative to say, or they try to tell me they would never be into BDSM. Recently, I was in an open partnership with a girl who would frequently go to clubs and pick up one or two guys at a time. She casually stated once that she’d slept with an inordinate sum of men, and had even been involved in group-play.
However, when I pulled out the ropes, she balked and wanted nothing to do with it. Although she had had much experience, more than me statistically, she was not an enjoyable partner for very long. In short, each time was radically similar – nothing changed.
And then, after some failed attempts to spark more romance, we became friends and she confided in me that sex with me had felt off, and her past promiscuity was sneaking up on her in an emotionally painful way. She’d never maintained a good connection with a partner, and having me made her feel vulnerable toward her past actions. At the same time, I was looking more into kink and swinging, and I met a girl who’d admitted cheerily that she loved group sex and some rape scenarios, but didn’t enjoy some other forms of BDSM. She said this rather clinically, as if it were any other preference.
This struck me as significant, as my ex-partner could have avoided some of the distress by admitting to herself what she liked and not feeling guilty about it. We all enjoy certain things, and must face the idea that these kinks or passions may scare us, but ultimately lead us to a partner, or partners, that satisfy us and inspire us to satisfy them equally. For some people it may take longer – the difference between finding a drunken hookup and a rope bondage-play partner is somewhat significant – but it’s always worth the wait.