I've always considered myself to be a sexually open person. Although my upbringing was strongly Catholic, as I have grown older, I've surrounded myself with a community of people who support living a sex-positive lifestyle where people feel the freedom to express their sexual proclivities. I've learned the importance of communicating with my partners about my sexual fantasies and fetishes. Because sexuality is such an important and complicated piece of my identity, when I'm not honest with my partners, I feel as though I am repressing an aspect of myself.
We may not always feel comfortable enough with our partners to communicate about sexuality and discuss our fantasies. This may be because of our upbringing and the culture that we live in, which tells us that freely expressing our sexual desires is wrong and shameful. Unfortunately, sexual kinks continue to be heavily stigmatized and it's difficult not to internalize the shame that's been surrounding us.
During a previous relationship with my ex-boyfriend, Derek, I felt that I couldn't communicate my sexual fantasies. Derek was vanilla and only interested in engaging in basic sex positions and desires. We were dating around the same time period that Fifty Shades of Grey had reached its peak of mass popularity. The world was buzzing BDSM. In our discussions about the movie, Derek was vocal in his belief that the BDSM that Anna and Christian had engaged in was strange and he couldn't understand anyone who would be interested in such a sexual proclivity that involved pain. Even though I strongly disagreed with his sentiments, I always kept silent and nodded my head in agreement. I was too afraid to discuss with Derek that I am a Sub and I love BDSM.
I can't be myself unless I'm truly honest about my sexual proclivities.
I think there's a physical and emotional aspect to BDSM play. I've always found pleasure in receiving physical pain, and I am drawn to being emotionally dominated and held at the whim of my partner in the bedroom. While Derek wanted a vanilla sexual relationship, I wanted a 24/7 Dom and Sub relationship. I wanted to use the pronouns "Sir" and "Master" when referring to my partner. I wanted to be tied up, gagged, and whipped. I wanted to feel powerless, helpless, and completely at a loss of control. My deepest fantasies involve being humiliated by being leashed and collared or being forced to beg my partner for sex.
Ultimately, my relationship with Derek ended, in part because I never truly felt sexually satisfied. In retrospect, I wasn't open about my love of BDSM because I didn't want to admit to myself that Derek and I were sexually incompatible and our relationship was therefore never meant to last. I wanted to convince myself that BDSM was a piece of my sexuality that I could hide for the sake of preserving our relationship. Moving forward, I now understand that I should always be honest with my partners about my fantasies and kinks. To act otherwise is to deny myself of my own sexual pleasure and identity. I can't be myself unless I'm truly honest about my sexual proclivities.
But I know I'm not alone. Below, 13 people share the sexual kinks and fantasies they're hiding from their partners:
*Name has been changed