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Monday, 10 December 2012

Does BDSM ever really take over a marriage?

Kinky couples seem to become more rather than less kinky over time.

BDSM gets around most of the issues that
get in the way of vanilla passion
Even if the intensity hovers round about the same level, the ratio of kink to vanilla in the bedroom usually shifts in favour of the kink.

At first glance, it looks as if the BDSM - OMG!  Like a sinister erotic mind parasite! - takes over marriages.

But, how much sex would the couple be having without the BDSM?

Married couples don't have as much good sex as we'd like


Most of us go through dry patches. Something like 15% of us  have drifted into sexless marriages. The average for people in general in their 40s is supposed to be about once a week, but that means something like half of us are having much less sex than that.

How much of it is good sex?

How truthful are people being anyway?

Poke around online - listen to the jokes people tell at work and in the bar - and you find the default assumption is that married couples don't have much sex at all. It's commonplace for couples to slip away on second honeymoons and find other ways to rekindle the passion. Look at all the vanilla self-help sex guides on Amazon.

No, the sad truth is that marriage and lovemaking are structurally incompatible - for reasons of Evolutionary Psychology, delightful intimacy gradually destroys excitement. Unless you are part of a drama-prone relationship, the longer you are together, the less good sex you will have.

Married couples simply don't have as much good sex as we'd like. 

The war against bedroom boredom is unwinnable and unsustainable


This structural  incompatibility explains why many vanilla couples are locked in an intermittent war against bedroom boredom: try this spice, try that form of yoga, go to this class, escape for romantic weekends...

Some couples enjoy this as an adventure or a hobby. Others don't have the time and the energy. And, I bet, most end up feeling discouraged and ultimately self-conscious.

After all, it's like fighting coastal erosion. Doable, but not winnable.  You can build a house on the edge of the storm-battered cliff, but don't expect it to be there in the Summer! Passion can never become routine, or it would not be passion.

This war is not really sustainable at any intensity. Sooner or later, most couples must give up and accept that sex will only be exciting once in a blue moon, drift into joining that 15%, or simply split.

So, BDSM is a replacement for marital passion, not an alternative


BDSM gets around most of the issues that get in the way of vanilla passion:
  • Taps different areas of evolutionary psychology: Capture bonding, and conditioning get around the whole "in the mood" problem for the sub. Consensual exploitation gets around the same problem for the dom, e.g. "this isn't sex this is slave-assisted masturbation".
  • Generates excitement by tackling it directly: You can't revisit the thrilling fear of that first kiss, but the prospect of a whipping can make sex feel dangerous again. In general, BDSM creates distance, which restores excitement.
  • Eroticises bad sex: A lot  of subs want to be used, exploited and denied. Throw in a power relationship and a chastity belt, bad sex becomes darkly kinky sex.
So when it seems to take over, isn't BDSM really just occupying the space left by the inevitably retreating vanilla sex? Aren't kinky couples really choosing, not between kink and vanilla, but between kinky sex or no sex.

For adding some BDSM to your sex life, see my Femdom self-help guides....

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