Unrequited love is usually concerned with a love which is not reciprocated for whatever reason. It may be that the object of your desire is unaware of your feelings, or indeed unavailable to you. It might happen that your love for them has continued beyond the point where you were able to be in a relationship with them; perhaps they have moved on somehow but you just can’t. But what if it is the sort of love you want that is unrequited? What if your love of kink is something that is misunderstood and not reciprocated. Perhaps it is even looked at with some disdain and rejection?
I am pleased to see that kinky (non-vanilla) play is becoming more mainstream than it ever was before. While not all that we do is acceptable to the majority, and much is still very misunderstood, it does seem to be an area which many are more likely to explore that in the past. The vast range of different kinks displayed in porn gives an indication of this change. What was once taboo and likely to be classified as mental illness if you did it, is now seen as taboo more in the sense that it provides an exciting, slightly naughty edge.
The trouble is that what is taboo enough to make it exciting, thrilling and turn you on could be so taboo for someone else that it is shocking and not something they could ever consider. So what if your kinks don’t align with those of your partner? It is make or break or can you find a compromise? How can you explore that part of yourself without making them feel uncomfortable? I think that this is a real issue and a position I have found myself in at points in the past, so although I feel lucky to have found love in kink now, I do know how hard it can be when you have an unrequited love for kink.
I didn’t just raise it once and accept that things were wrong either. I actually raised it quite a few times with a few different people but the response was never favourable. In the end I learnt to keep my weird thoughts to myself and just let whoever I was with lead things their way. Although I was always submissive in the bedroom, I didn’t understand that part of me at all and so it wasn’t that I was being submissive in the way that is exciting and consuming, more that I followed instruction and direction and focussed on keeping them happy, despite my own needs.
Understanding my own kinks took a long time. I knew that I wanted to do things that others didn’t and I also I felt that I shouldn’t want the things I did. But although I knew that something wasn’t right, I wasn’t able to put my finger on what it was. I enjoyed sex so it wasn’t that I had no interest, I just found it hard to feel that the reality matched up with the thought somehow. It was like I was looking for something I never quite found. And when I didn’t think about it then it didn’t seem as bad so I just didn’t think about it and it wasn’t as bad.
When I met HL all of that changed and I found someone whose thoughts really did align with the sorts of things which turned me on. No more unrequited love of kink. We had a match. I still didn’t know what it was that was my thing exactly and that is something which has taken much longer to be able to articulate and understand, but we were experimenting together with all sorts of things quite happily before the penny dropped about the fact that I was sexually submissive. Things moved pretty quickly from there!
I have chatted to a number of people who identify as Dominant or submissive but are not able to explore this with their partner. There was a good article published by two members of The SafeworD/s Club last week on this very topic. So for some, the answer may be to look beyond their current relationship. This can be done with consent or without and although I know there is a lot of judgement from some corners, I really feel that it is not fair to judge the decisions another person makes. There are so many elements to a relationship and people don’t always want to give it up for the one area that doesn’t work if it works in others.
Exploring online and having an outlet to express your kinky side with other likeminded people who you feel understand and don’t cause you to feel shame, might help to scratch the itch that you feel. Perhaps blogging about your thoughts or engaging on twitter or in a chat room helps you not just to express but also to learn more about some of the things which interest you. It can also let you find out more about other dynamics, learning more about what you might want and what you don’t.
There are lots of groups on Fetlife which cater for those who want to explore online, as well as being a good place to find out more about local groups and munches where, post COVID restrictions permitting, you might be able to meet up and learn to tie rope etc. Some groups will meet for social chit chat with likeminded kinksters and others will have more of a teaching slant but often there are many options which don’t involve play if that is not an area you are able to explore at that time.
Even though your partner might not want to try to do the things you would like, perhaps they would be willing to use roleplay to explore. Using roleplay and narrative is a great way to add things into your dynamic without actually having to do them. Admittedly it isn’t for everyone and you do need a fair modicum of imagination, but this was how HL and I first stated to play around with the idea of playing with others. We would add characters into the scenario and although they weren’t actually there, the effect meant that the feelings came, despite the reality.
This is really something which is continued from fantasy, for in our fantasies we often tend to let our minds wander in ways which allow us to enhance, elaborate and build on the details which are actually there. Whether you are doing this while with a partner, or whist playing on your own, it can be an effective way of trying in your mind, the things that you can’t or wouldn’t actually do. If you feel your imagination alone is not up to the job then it might be that sex toys can help with this, as could watching of pornography or reading of erotica.
Kink gives us something we want or are missing and working out what that is may help to find away to meet that need. Often we focus on the specifics, for example wanting to be tied up, when it is actually the thrill of being vulnerable and exposed which is what hits our buttons. If you are able to work out what it is that excites you, then if tying yourself up so you are unable to move isn’t something you can try, imagining being placed in honour bondage while you are tease yourself with a toy, might help you to access the headspace you are looking for.
It took a long time for me to identify that the kinks that excited me actually worked because they leant themselves to humiliation of some kind. The Dominance that came out in HL when we explored kink was also a huge turn on but that wasn’t really clear at the start. I think if I had sat down and thought about what it was about each thing that appealed to me, I might have been able to manage my unrequited love for kink much better than I did. As it was, mine lay frustrated and ignored until I met someone what wanted to rush through the sweetshop, grabbing from the top of each delicious jar as we went.