I've been going out with my girlfriend for a month now, and we've had sex a few times. The sex is good, but pretty vanilla, and I'd like to try some things that could be considered kinky, or fetishistic. On the one hand, I really like her and don't want to scare her off early in the relationship with my kinks, but at the same time, I don't want her to feel like I'm springing this on her after we've already established what we both like. How do I ask her and when?
Best, Kinky IN Kentucky
Ah, the honeymoon period. You're still wondering if you and your sweetheart will fight (trust me, you will!), you're eagerly learning the ins and outs of each other's bodies, and you sandwich all time spent together with athletic feats of boning. And I promise—this is still the honeymoon period. One month is no time at all, really. You can't establish your entire library of sexual proclivities in one month. Even if you've left claw marks down each other's backs, you've barely scratched the surface of both of your desires.
Since you're going to have to talk to her about your sexual interests—and you do, because building a relationship on sexual dissatisfaction is the death knoll for any relationship, no matter how much you like each other—you should do it soon.
Whatever you do, do not do not do not spring the question mid-coitus. It's perfectly acceptable to tell your lover that you really want her to peg you while wearing a Martha Washington wig and whistling "Greensleeves," but it's unfair (not to mention possibly very startling) to ask her this while you're in the middle of some entirely different, vanilla sexual act, when that caliber of question has never before crossed your lips. Don't make her feel like she's being cornered! After all, you're asking her, not trying to trick or force her into something
Invite her over, have a nice dinner together, and afterwards, sit down and talk about it. Make sure to emphasize that she hasn't done anything wrong (that is, this isn't a talk about how she's not satisfying you because of some deficiency on her part), but just that you're interesting in trying some new things. Name them, specifically—no euphemisms—just a clear rundown of what's going to make you hot. Give her time to think about it—and I don't mean a few minutes to use the bathroom and refill your wine glasses, I mean as much time as she needs. Also, let her know that if she has any similarly unvoiced fantasies, you're open to hearing about them.
There are a few ways this conversation could unfold. The first, of course, is that she may, in fact, share you fetish. You don't specifically name your desires in your letter, but there are many kinds of kinks with corresponding quantities of practitioners, and who knows? She may be sleeping at your side wondering this same question, planning on writing a similar letter to Dan Savage. And even if that's not the case, there's situation number two: she may not share your kink, but that doesn't mean she's not game to help you explore. She may decide that she's down—but you won't know until you talk to her. (And remember, she may ask you help with her own sexual exploration—and you should be ready!)
There's a chance, of course, that she won't be into the idea at all, and then you two will need to follow up that conversation with one about where the relationship is going. You need to be ready for that one, because it's a possibility. And if it's really not going to work—she's doesn't want to participate in your kink, you really need her to in order to feel sexually fulfilled, you're monogamous and wouldn't be able to satisfy this fantasy with another person while continuing to date her—then be grateful that you've learned it this early, and move on. Some people spend decades with significant others never able to articulate or meet their sexual needs, and it can make for a very sad situation indeed.
Good luck! Olivia
CONFIDENTIAL to Stable Boy in Vermont: This isn't feudal England, even if she is the daughter of a local magistrate. You're both adults. Make it so, but lay down some tarp first, okay? Straw splinters are no joke.
Olivia Glass is not a doctor (but she is the author of Five Stages of Grief, available through Fleshbot Fiction). This column is for informational and entertainment purposes only. For more advice, head over to the Heart of Glass archive. If you have a burning question, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a question about burning, call your physician.
[At top: Lorelei Lee and Diezel, via Men In Pain (meninpain.com)]