Single & Caffeinated Episode 008: When should you introduce your weird fetishes to a lover?

by Megan Harris

Another early post.

My friend, who for the sake of privacy we’ll call N, is a girl who has went through one of the most intense adventures in discovering her sexuality. I can proudly say that I got to witness a lot of it and a lot of it I did not want to see/know. Perhaps I will delve into N more fully in another post. But for now I will pose a question that she asked me with a little background. Then I will give my opinion/advice that I gave to her.

“I went out on one date with this guy from OkC. Things went really well and everything seems okay. My one concern is that he won’t be up for or into the same weird and freaky stuff I’m into. How should and when should I tell him?”

By weird and freaky stuff she means bondage. N is very much into it. She met a married man who told her he was living with his wife and kid and was going to leave his wife. He told her that his wife knew about her and that he and his wife didn’t love each other/were just friends. She got involved with him sexually and eventually he introduced her to his bondage fetish. I don’t really know how he did it. I chose not to ask how it came up when she told me about it in January. For months they would mess around and whenever she posed a direct question about him leaving his wife he would be evasive about it. Mostly, “can’t afford to get a divorce/we live with her parents/I’m too poor to be alone/we have a kid who is too young” kind of excuses.

I can see the “can’t afford to get a divorce” argument. But other than that when she would tell me of his excuses I would just kind of judge him internally and mention casually that she could do better. But this was the first guy she’s ever been seriously into and wasn’t just using for sex so I just kept my opinions about him/gut instinct to myself.

Eventually my instinct turned out to be correct as it usually is. They recently broke up after making plans to go to a concert together. He ditched her and took his wife instead. When she asked him who he took he said it was a “old friend he hadn’t seen in a while.” They aren’t friends on facebook but I suppose he forgot most of his posts were public because up popped tons of photos of him and his wife looking “more than friendly” at this concert.

So she broke up with him.

She’s been talking to people online for a while mostly looking for guys to include in a threesome with her and her married ex. But now she has been seriously using it. She met someone we used to know back before she became a wild sexual beast. He had moved away and then came back to Ohio. Now he lives like 4 hours away in Columbus. They met for a coffee date. Things went well.

She stalked his questions on OkCupid and became concerned about his opinions on the fetish lifestyle after noticing how he answered some of the questions about sex.

Now…my friend is funny. She ONLY answered the questions about sex. Which makes her compatability with this guy look really low. Like 60% or something. But for sexual compatibility that isn’t that bad. Especially because sex lives can be something that is fluid and evolve based on a comfort level and pre-existing chemistry.

Anyway, she was unsure about how/when she should tell this guy about what she’s into. She is already afraid he’ll become weirded out by it and then ditch her.

Anyway this is what I told her:

“Okay, maybe you should wait until you’re both really comfortable with each other. ‘So, do you want to tie me up and roleplay a rape fantasy?’ is not something you bring up when you’re out on your next coffee date. But at the same time you want to do it casually and probably not in mid-sex. I always think people saying, ‘So I like when people do this…” mentions during sex are really awkward and usually an instant turn off for me. Perhaps, when you are comfortable and a few dates in when things start getting more serious and you’re connected more on a emotional level, you can say something. I would just pose the issue like this, ‘So hey, name here, I have something I want to tell you about myself. I don’t want it to freak you out or anything.” Then say something like, “But I really like this kind of sexual lifestyle and I was curious what your thoughts on it were/would you be interested in experimenting in it with me?”

If they say yes/positive things then you’re good to go. But I would caution that if they’d never tried it/done it/thought about it previously that introducing more vanilla things into the situation first to ease them into the more scary things might be a good idea. The latter advice was from my other friend who is into these things to N.

If they say no/negative things, be like, “Well, okay I am sorry if that freaks you out. Can you explain to me why you don’t like it? Is there anything that you like sexually that may be a little weird?”

Her worry was that he would be totally against the idea of anything at all. Which is kind of irrational really. But still it is her fear because after getting involved in her fetish she “can never not do it in a relationship/this fetish has to be a part of her life.”

She showed me his answers in his sexual questions part on the website. After reading them I seriously doubt he won’t be open to trying anything with her. But having not had to deal with this before, (I am not wholeheartedly into anything fetishy/never been with anyone who was into a fetish lifestyle all out.), my views are not very developed. I would imagine for a guy in a similar position, (one who doesn’t really know anything about it) it might seem kind of off-putting at first but if you’re pretty open minded and interested in making the other person happy then it wouldn’t be that big of a deal to try once.

My only experiences with fetishes are these:

When I was 20 I was in a relationship (about 5-7 months long) with a guy who was really just bad for me. We were polar opposites, he was too argumentative, negative, and could be really mean/say the absolute wrong thing that would send my, at the time, healing-from-extreme-depression-mind into relapse mode almost immediately. He wasn’t purposely like that. In fact, he was a close friend of an even closer friend and all my experiences with him prior to us getting into a serious relationship had been pleasant.

But after about 4 months into our short relationship we started having sex. After one time he told me about some fetish he had, that I can’t remember specifically, but I remember it utterly repulsed me. My reaction was probably something really immature. Like, “Ew, are you fucking kidding me?” But I also remember he posed the question after sex and included, “My ex and I used to…and I really liked it when my ex did this.” Which is probably what repulsed me the most. Nothing is more unattractive than talking about the things you used to do sexually with your ex that you enjoyed after you just got done with/during sex with your partner.

That was like my one first hand experience, that I can remember, dealing with someone with a pre-existing fetish.

My first boyfriend/sex partner and I would try a bunch of weird stuff because we thought it was fun. We were together for a long time though and we were probably just getting bored with each other really. But all the stuff we tried I don’t remember really liking or feeling like I needed to do again. Could be that I just really didn’t like him. I don’t know.