Tips to Help You Talk to Your Partner About Kink | 30 Days of D/s
You know you’re kinky, maybe you know you want a power exchange relationship. It’s on your mind, and you can’t stop thinking about it. You know you need to talk to your partner but you don’t know what to say or how to say it. I can’t tell you exactly what to say — that depends on you, your kinks, and your relationship. But hopefully I can share a few tips to help you have the conversation in a more productive way. There’s nothing worse than pulling together all your courage for a hard conversation only to discover your partner didn’t get what you were trying to tell them.
If you’re ready to tell your partner you want to kink things up, whether that’s moving into a power exchange relationship or just some fuckery in the bedroom, here are some tips to make that conversation more productive.
Set a Time to Talk
Bringing up your desire to try power exchange probably shouldn’t be done while you’re both rushing around to get ready for work, chasing after a toddler, or five minutes after you walk in the door from work. Because everyone will have their own unique reaction to the, “Hey, let’s get kinky” request, it’s best to do this when you’re both relatively calm and focused on each other.
Ask something like, “There’s something I’d like to talk to you about. When would be a good time for us to chat?”
And if you’re with an anxious partner, you may need to follow up with, “Nothing’s wrong. Actually I want to talk to you about something kind of sexy/fun/potentially great.” (This is what John Brownstone has to do for me so I don’t freak out about upcoming conversations.)
Try to Eliminate Distractions
It won’t always go according to plan, but when possible, make sure your conversation space is as distraction-free as possible. Go get a coffee. Wait until the kids are in bed. Talk after you go to bed (assuming your partner isn’t the type to immediately fall asleep). Sit in the car outside of your home if necessary. (Who cares if the neighbors look at you funny??)
This might be a simple conversation, and your partner is immediately ready for it. But they might also have a lot of questions so things could get intense (hopefully in a good way). The last thing you need is small children, cranky teens, and random strangers walking up to you in the middle of your conversation.
Figure Out What to Tell Them First
Depending on how much research you’ve done before talking to your partner, this may be fairly simple…or not. For those who’ve gone down the BDSM rabbit hole and have figured out a laundry list of needs and desires, you want to be careful not to overwhelm your partner. For kinksters who only know, “I’m definitely not vanilla and I want to be ‘not vanilla’ with my partner,” you might think you don’t have a lot to say.
In fact, the simplest approach is often the best.
“I’ve figured out I’m kinky. Would you be open to exploring that together?”
A lot of people have an idea of what they think “kinky” means — ranging from “that 50 Shades thing, right?” to “that freaky sex thing, right?” and everything in between. Starting with that simple statement can lead to discussing what you mean by kinky — and what your partner thinks it means.
Consider How Your Partner Processes New Information
Many relationships transition from vanilla to D/s after years, sometimes decades, together. In that time, you’ve learned a lot about your partner including how they handle the unknown. Before you dump all of your kinky desires in their lap, consider how they usually process new information.
Do they need time to think about? Are they going to want to do their own research? Will they have a lot of questions?
Whatever their style, try to be mindful of that as you talk to them.
- For the researchers, have a list handy of websites, podcasts (ahem), books, and other resources that may help your partner. Consider their learning style when sharing resources. If you know they prefer to listen, start with podcast or video options. If they’re a reader, steer them in that direction first.
- When you’re with a partner who needs time to think, remember to stay calm and try not to be too impatient with them. Pushing for an answer may cause them to shut down and reject the idea because they’re not getting the time and space they need to figure out what they think and how they feel.
- Know you’ll get questions? Do your best to think through what you want to share and anticipate the kinds of questions you might get. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know. Let me get back to you on that.” Bluffing your way with an inaccurate answer will likely backfire on you later so just be honest.
Remember, You’re Already a Few Steps Ahead
Depending on how long it takes you to finally tell your partner you want a power exchange relationship or to explore kink with them, you may have been learning, thinking, and fantasizing about this for a while. In some cases, people wait months or even years to finally tell a partner. It’s highly likely your partner is going to need time to process the information and figure out how they feel about it.
Ideally, your partner will hear, “I want to get kinky with you” and be mostly on board, but they might not. That could be because it’s not their thing at all or they may just need time.
Let’s assume they’re interested but need time. This is where you’re going to need something I hate…patience.
Don’t Let Impatience Get the Better of You
Transitioning to a kinky relationship is almost never a fast one (unless you’re in the unique position of both finally confessing kinky desires). It’s even slower when one person didn’t consider D/s, kink, or BDSM until it was brought up to them.
Yes, you’re going to want this to move faster. And no, it probably won’t ever move fast enough.
Not only are you ahead in your journey, but also, switching from non-kinky to kinky is rarely like turning on a light switch. It takes time to ease into things in a way that’s sustainable for both partners.
Rushing your partner to make a decision might keep them from being comfortable with the transition. Pushing them to adopt more Dom or sub tendencies too fast could overwhelm them. In the end, you both end up frustrated and wondering if this kink thing is even for you.
Take your time and remember this isn’t a race and there’s no actual destination. You don’t hit level 10 of kinky fuckery and win a prize. What you’re trying to achieve is built, brick by brick, step by step, in small ways over days, months, and years.
Ready to make the transition from vanilla to kinky in your relationship? Here are a few resources to help you out:
Making the Switch From Vanilla to D/s (episode 16)
You Can’t Make Your Partner Be a Dominant or Submissive (blog post)
When the Submissive Leads the Transition (episode 96)
How Do We Transition from a Vanilla Relationship to 24/7 D/s? (blog post)
Want to figure out what Dominance, submission, and power exchange mean to you? You can do 30 Days of D/s, too. Get the 30 Days of D/s workbook here!