N.B: This blog post was inspired by an email from the Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s. If you haven’t listened to their podcast yet please do so, you can also check out the website for great resources and links on how to listen or follow on social media.
The answer to this question for most of my life has been, ‘not well’. My nature is to keep my feelings to myself, deal with them by myself and not let anyone help me with them until they burst free and cause a crap load of problems. This was exactly how I was managing things pretty much up until I joined the kink scene.
When I joined the scene it felt like everyone was talking about communication. How to do it right, and how to do it wrong. I saw situations implode where I thought to myself ‘huh, if they’d just talked things through, that might have gone a little different’. Slowly but surely it started to dawn on me that talking might not be my enemy but my saviour.
For probably the first 8 months of my relationship with Bakji I was terrified to talk about anything serious. I enjoyed his company so much and I was so keen for us to keep exploring together that the idea of saying anything to rock the boat was just unthinkable. So all the things I was keen to discuss just got buried, I figured if he ever brought them up then it would be okay. The tricky part? He felt the same so we just didn’t talk about the things that mattered. Or at least not as much as we should have.
Eventually I realised that when thoughts came into my head, instead of dwelling on them I needed to go straight to Bakji with them. I told myself that when this inevitably doomed our relationship and possibly our friendship too that at least I’d know, instead of pretending things were fine. As it happens I used my words and things were fine. No relationship implosion, no arguing, just a chance to clear the silly thoughts out of my head.
We’ve had a few ‘let’s talk’ chats now, and they’ve never gone how I imagined them in my head. It almost makes me wonder if I should just not let my head have a say at all, until we are actually face to face with Bakji and doing the talking.
When it comes to communicating kink needs, we are much better at this. We found a way that works for us and we have run with it. While we did initially fill out Fetish Checklists with each other in the early days, once we knew each other a little better we moved our sexy communication over to Trello. Trello is a project management app that allows you to create and share ‘boards’, and within each board you can create ‘cards’ which can contain all your ideas, lists and plans.
While we are capable of discussing our sexy wants and needs face to face, sometimes when you’re suggesting something new, or you’re in the early days of a relationship that fear of getting rejected, or seeing that scrunched up face that tells you someone isn’t impressed can quite off-putting when it comes to opening up to someone.
Luckily when it comes to communicating our kinks neither myself nor Bakji have been met with anything other than ‘hell yeah, let’s do that’ upon sharing our kinky thoughts, but we still find the magic of Trello alluring. It’s exciting to see the little blue dot that notifies there’s been an update, and wondering what kinky goodies are waiting there for you.
I’ve learnt so much about communication since I joined the kink scene, mostly thought I’ve learnt that communicating my feelings is always okay, and that doesn’t mean someone else is in the wrong. ‘I’m upset’ doesn’t mean ‘you’ve upset me’, it usually just means ‘I need to talk, without judgment and maybe have some support while I heal or to find a resolution.’
I think the sooner we learn how to effectively communicate with our partners, the better. I wish I’d saved myself a lot of tears and negative emotions by just being brave enough to own my feelings and not be afraid that they would create drama and doom.
At the end of the day none of us are mind readers, we can only use the information we have at hand to conduct ourselves, so if we aren’t willing to let our partners hear our thoughts and feelings how will they ever know that they exist?