How to tell your partner you’re kinky (without the drama)

How to tell your partner your'e kinky

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So you’ve realised you’re kinky but have no idea how to tell your partner.

Or you’re in a new relationship with someone who just doesn’t do it for you like your ex did.

What are you to do!?

Don’t worry.

I’ve got you.

In this article I’ll be sharing my top tips to ‘come out’ to your partner and minimise any drama.

Why is it so difficult to tell a partner you’re kinky?

A common obstacle you’ll face is feeling nervous.

  • How is your partner going to react?
  • Will they judge you?
  • Are they going to kink shame you and run for the hills when they realise just how much of a little weirdo you are?

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Believe me, we’ve all been there.

I remember a time when I would never speak up before, during, or after sex.

I was just pleased to be getting any!

But over time I started to resent the fact I was doing a lot to please the other person, but they hadn’t magically figured out what I wanted.

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I was blaming them for something that absolutely wasn’t their fault. 

How could they possibly know what I wanted if I hadn’t told them?

Eventually I realised that great sex is about great communication, and I had to take ownership of my wants and desires, and express them to my partner. 

Even though I didn’t know how they’d react. 

Even though I didn’t know if they’d be into the same things as me.

Even though I didn’t even know how to clearly articulate what it is I wanted.

Now it’s a natural part of my relationships. 

I prioritise communication and take any opportunity I can to ask for what I want in bed, whilst also expecting my partner to do the same. 

That’s how great sex happens.

4 things to be mindful of when discussing kink with a partner

Before you run off and tell everyone who’ll listen what you enjoy between the sheets, there are some important points you need to be mindful of when discussing your kinks.

1. Be careful who you share with

Telling your partner you’re kinky is a highly vulnerable thing to do, and can put you in an awkward position.

It’s something you should only really be doing with someone you know well and trust.

  • Avoid opening up to someone too early.
  • Don’t do it on the first date (although there are exceptions).
  • Don’t tell someone you’ve been chatting to online for five minutes your entire kinky backstory.

You’ve got no idea how they might use this information against you, or what their motives are at such an early stage.

2. Accept things might feel awkward

Most people struggle to discuss sex, let alone kink. 

Learn to lean into that awkwardness.

It may feel uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.

The more you practise doing this, the easier it will become (and there are some great tips coming up to help reduce the awkwardness).

3. Some people will reject you

I’ve had people reject me when I’ve told them I’m non-monogamous and kinky. They’ve said “that’s not for me”.

Whilst it’s a real blow (no pun intended) – especially if I was getting on with them great – I tell myself that I have to stay true to what I want, otherwise I’ll end up in a relationship where I’m miserable, and start to resent the person I’m with.

4. Your partner may not be into it

There’s a chance – especially if your partner is new or even unknowing about kink – that they won’t be into whatever it is you are. 

That’s ok. 

They are allowed to have their preferences just as you are. 

Don’t try and force your kinks onto them, or tell them to “come on, just try it”.

A little persuasion might be ok, but if they have said no, then you must accept their answer. 

At this point you have a couple of options.

Make sure you’ve explained exactly what the kink is and why you like it

There could be a chance they don’t understand the kink, or have the wrong perception of it. 

Therefore, when you’re explaining to someone what you like, use language they will understand, and follow up with explaining why you like that thing. 

For example, rather than saying “I want you to spank me”, say “I enjoy the slight sting when I’m spanked. It makes me feel a bit naughty and that makes me feel sexy and turned on. I like the show of strength from the other person. However I don’t want to be hit hard – just lightly”. 

Notice how the second version isn’t telling your partner what they should do. It’s just explaining in detail what you like and why.

It’s direct and clear.

If you’re not sure what you like then check out my course The Art of Submission. There’s an entire module dedicated to helping you answer this very question.

If it’s still a no, look for the core desire and substitute activities 

The activities you enjoy are most likely associated with a core desire you have. 

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Perhaps the desire is to feel loved, or cherished, or scared, or owned, or held, or seen, or playful. 

See if you can identify which desires are met by the kinky activities you want to do.

If your partner isn’t into an activity, figure out what other activities that are acceptable to your partner that also meet your core desire and substitute them in.

Example: Core desire activity switching

My core desires are to be adored, craved, accepted, seen, connected, worshipped.

(Want to figure out your core desires? Read my article A Five Minute Core Desires Exercise Which Leads to Hotter Sex)

I enjoy giving facials (ejaculating on someone’s face), but my partner might not be into them.

This activity meets my ‘worshipped’ and ‘craved’ core desires because only if someone REALLY enjoyed receiving facials from me, and craved them, would they let me do it.

If my partner doesn’t enjoy facials then I wouldn’t feel worshipped and craved so the activity loses its appeal.

But as a workaround, I can substitute in an activity such as cock worship or cockwarming which my partner loves. It meets the same ‘being worshipped and craved’ desires to some degree. 

Finally, consider if the person is right for you

If you continually find that your core desires aren’t being met because your partner has wildly different sexual preferences to you, then you might have to consider if they are the right person for you. 

I acknowledge this is not an easy decision, or one to be taken lightly.

And I’m not saying you should leave a marriage of 20 years just because you’ve discovered you’re kinky and your partner won’t do this one special thing for you. 

What I am saying is that it is critical you uncover your sexual desires early so that when you enter a new relationship you can already be testing compatibility from the get go, rather than waiting years to find out what you’re into. 

This is why it’s really important to learn how to communicate with your partner about sex.

If you are in a long-term relationship and are struggling, then I highly recommend kink-friendly talking therapy or couples counselling before you make any big decisions.

4 techniques to overcome nervousness, shame, and improve communication in D/s dynamics

Now you’re aware of what might happen when you share that you’re kinky with a partner, what are some ways you can get better at communicating and overcome any fear you might have about doing it.

1. Use a sex menu

For anyone who doesn’t know a sex menu, it’s a, essentially a spreadsheet where you’ve got lots of sexual activities listed out and you rank them on a scale from ‘hard limit’ to, ‘yes, I must absolutely have that’.

You can use the Kinky Event sex menu template to get your started, available here. Download my sex menu template here.

I’ve written an entire guide to why a sex menu is beneficial and how to use it called Sex Menu: A Beginner’s Guide for Doms and Subs.

The summary is:

  • A sex menu gives you plausible deniability. Because someone else has already written out all the kinky activities, you can feel less guilty when talking to your partner about them. You can frame it as ‘look at this kinky list I found online’ rather than ‘here’s all the kinky stuff I want you to do to me.
  • A sex menu gives you ideas. Above we talked about substituting one kinky event for another. If you’re new to BDSM you might not know what kinky activities there are. With a sex menu you just need to look down the list and pick one you like the sound of.
  • A sex menu helps you find compatibility. If your partner is open to it, they can complete a sex menu too. By comparing yours with theirs you’ll quickly see what you’re both into. It’s an easy way to get on the same page fast, and concentrate on your similarities rather than your differences.
  • A sex menu gives a framework for discussion. Going into a discussion about sex with no plan is what causes anxiety. With a sex menu, you can frame the discussion as a chat about some ideas you found online and wanted to share what you thought about them. This takes some of the pressure off.

The sex menu is a great starting point for beginners to get the conversation flowing when you’re new to the BDSM world.

2. Share porn and erotic fiction

My partner and I show each other porn we’ve enjoyed whilst masturbating, and explaining what parts we found a turn on (and just as importantly, what parts we found a turn off).

Even though your partner may not like the video you’ve watched or the image you’re looking at, they’ll appreciate knowing what it is about it that you like. If they don’t then your partner might be a little close-minded and judgemental, and perhaps your relationship needs work.

Perhaps it isn’t the activities a couple are engaging in which turns you on, but instead the energy they bring to the scene, or the outfits they’re wearing, or the situation they are in.

If you don’t feel brave enough to send a link to your top Pornhub find, then why not share an arty black and white photo which got you going?

Of course, do not send the pornographic image to a person that has not consented to receive it. This is not something you do after a first date. This is when you have been dating for months and are pretty sure your partner will be okay receiving such an image.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:  Sex Menu: A Beginner's Guide for Doms and Subs

If it’s the first time you’ve sent them something explicit, get their consent first.

A simple “Hey, I found a really sexy image online that turned me on and I wanted to share it with you and tell you what I liked about it. How would you feel about that? Would it be ok?” will work.

Sharing erotic fiction also works.

No matter which you share – images, stories, videos – you may find it nerve-wracking at first. But I promise once you get over the initial hurdle, and see how effective a communication tool it is, you’ll be doing it every week!

3. Establishing a judgement-free zone

The judgement-free zone isn’t a place – it’s a state of mind.

Practise active listening

It’s about listening to your partner and not judging what they have to say. Not jumping down their throat when you disagree, or simply waiting to have your time to speak.

It’s about active listening, about putting yourself in their shoes, about really LISTENING to not just the words they are using but the message behind those words.

What are they telling you with not just the words but their emotions, their body language, their entire being.

It’s about listening even when your partner is saying something you don’t like and you feel your anger rising. It’s about staying in control of those emotions – allowing yourself to feel them, but knowing you don’t have to act on them.

And likewise, it’s about your partner doing the same for you.

Developing the skills necessary to do this well takes time. There are many, many books on the subject, and I suggest you pick one that appeals most to you if you struggle in this area.

Drop the power dynamic

When you want to communicate effectively with your partner, you should drop all power-play dynamics.

This site is all about Dom sub relationships. You can’t effectively communicate if one person is coming from a place of power and the other as being submissive.

The submissive might feel obligated to say they enjoy something just because the Dom wants to try it. And likewise, the submissive might not want to speak up about something they want to try.

So drop the power dynamic.

If your partner isn’t cool with you stepping back into an equal power dynamic to have these sorts of discussions then run – they don’t understand how healthy dominance and submission style dynamics work. Read 7 Ways to Spot a Fake Dom (and Why You Should Avoid Them) for more information.

Talk in a neutral setting

Another tip is to have the conversation outside of the bedroom environment.

Some people like to do it whilst on a walk. Apparently, psychologically, there’s something about both people facing forwards that makes them more likely to speak freely because they’re literally moving forward.

You’re also not looking directly at the other person so it can seem less confrontational. You don’t have to watch the horror in their eyes and the blood drain from their face when you mention you want them to tie you up, bend you over, and not stop until they can’t walk!

Walking outside also puts you into a neutral space. It’s not your house. It’s not your partner’s house. There’s no kids around (perhaps don’t have this discussion in a playground). And you can concentrate on the conversation.

4. Make compromises

We spoke earlier about substituting one activity for another if your partner wasn’t into it.

That’s an example of a compromise.

All relationships involve compromise, and a Dom sub relationship is no different.

How much you are willing to compromise (and how much your partner is willing to compromise) is a matter of personal choice.

But compromise will always be there, like it or not.

Give and take.

The key is to know where your hard limits are.

Don’t try and push your partner to change or break their hard limits, just as you wouldn’t appreciate them doing the same to you.

But know that anything within those hard limits is up for discussion.

If you don’t know what your limits are or your partners, then refer back to the sex menu section of this article. That’ll give you a good idea of the boundaries within which you must play.

And as also mentioned before, if you have a core desire that you can’t find any way to get met because it crosses a limit of your partner’s, then you have to seriously consider your next move.

Summing up how to talk to your partner about kink

Well that turned out to be another mega article.

The main ideas I want you to take away are:

  • Pretty much everybody feels nervous discussing sex and kink with new (or even long-term partners) at first
  • Communication is key to a healthy BDSM dynamic.
  • Practising talking to your partner about sex is a skill which you can learn and improve over time
  • Your partner may not be into all the kinks you are, and that’s ok. Work on activity substitution (make sure you know your core desires) and compromise
  • Use a sex menu to help get the conversation started and reduce some of the anxiety, and talk in a neutral setting where possible
  • Always drop the power dynamic when having these discussions or one person may feel coerced into saying yes when they really mean no
The Art of Submission. A course for beginner submissives
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Dean

Thank you you are so helpful . It is hard to bring this Topic up when she says why is every thing having to do with sex. I am in complicated relationship. We useually meet in the car somwhere with little. Time to get anything close to what i want.