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...profanity, sexually explicit dialog andadult imagery.
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Thursday, May 15, 2014

The failure of modern vanilla relationships- or why BDSM relationships are my preference

Funny story- when I made the tag on this collar, my then-husband made little pouty type noises. I looked at him and said "We're in a vanilla marriage- I DO NOT belong to you in the same way I do to Shaman."

"Never thought I'd feel so ashamed... My sweet prince, you are the one... Never thought all this could backfire... Me and my valuable friend can fix all the pain away... Never thought you'd fuck with my brain... So before I end my day, remember..." Placebo, "My Sweet Prince"

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/placebo/mysweetprince.html . There you can read a transcription of the song's lyrics. I'm amused by what I'm not sure is a mistake or not where vain is written where I think the word is vein. Now this song was on their album "Without You, I'm Nothing." I love everything on that album, although when I want to hear this song, normally I want to go to YouTube.com and find a recording of this song performed live- Brian's performance of this song brings so much to me. If you read the comments on YouTube, you'll find many arguments over the meaning of the song- if it's a simple love song, or about heroin. Brian has even spoken on this in interviews that are quoted in various comments.

Those lyrics at the top are among the lines in the song that most often really catch my attention, bring out the most emotional response from me as I'm listening. At 36, I have plenty of experience with love (especially "love gone wrong"); I also have plenty of experience with drug abuse. While today it's a matter of balancing how many energy drinks I have, I do have a history that includes a variety of illegal drugs. "... fix all the pain away..." I also understand reaching for something, someone to fix all the pain.

So yes, I did just vent about "there is no ALWAYS in BDSM" yesterday, but even with that, I think what I've seen of modern vanilla relationships in the US over my life makes me prone to say BDSM relationships tend to be better, however issues like negotiation, contracts, discussions etc are handled in BDSM relationships (as opposed to casual BDSM interactions/scenes). Of course there are relationships that disprove my feelings; sadly as with news ("bad" news takes precedence over "good" and "heartwarming" news) it's easier to find the bad than good.

Are you wondering why I started this post with the lines from Placebo's "My Sweet Prince"? While Brian's talked about it being funny to him to think on couples singing this song to each other, these lines add up to me as "unacceptable in a romantic relationship baring their negotiated presence in a BDSM relationship." To me, a vanilla relationship shouldn't make either person ashamed- beyond basics like "I lied, I feel shame until I tell the truth." I'm sure if you look up stuff about domestic violence, you'll find things like "a relationship shouldn't make you ashamed." However it seems things like shame, manipulation are all too common (and treated as no big deal) in vanilla relationships; I consider jewelry commercials like the round we just got through with mother's day and husbands being prodded to go buy expensive jewelry.

Another two examples of behavior that's expected (it seems) of men and women in monogamous, heterosexual pairings that piss me right off in vanilla situations... there's this insurance company commercial, hell if I remember the company. But some reward check has arrived and the "husband' and "wife" are doing rock-paper-scissors for it. The husband wins at first with rock, but wife quips "wife beats rock." That "wife beats..." seems all too common in many different threads of media and society. Should we take this as an example of how "women's liberation" has succeeded? I think not because if the point of women's lib was just to exchange "men in control" for "women in control," that's not a revolution I support.

The second example comes from a humorous exchange that happens all too often when I'm with my Master at a gaming store- He likes to joke that He played Dungeons and Dragons before it was even called that name. So I'm the non-gaming wife/slave of a gamer; I'm also often one of if not the only female in many of the stores go to with Him. So my Master will say "I'm going to this event, are you?" to a guy friend, who at least half the time will reply "Wife/girlfriend says I can't/would be pissed if I did etc etc." Now here either my Master or I will most often respond with a joke, me maybe with an arched eyebrow. Master: "Glad I don't have that problem." And yes, even friends who know the nature of our relationship will sometimes look at me with these confused experiences that just make me laugh more. See, to me, the way these men talk about their wives/girlfriends overruling their ability to go to a gaming event, it sounds like a dynamic that I find okay only within a negotiated BDSM relationship.

Did you notice that "negotiated" in my last sentence? That's the crux of the matter to me- the way too many vanilla, heterosexual, monogamous relationships are conducted nowadays still have various power imbalances (more often than not leaning toward the woman, baring problems that institutionalized sexism still causes for women) that are not discussed openly- beyond stand up comedians that is.


  1. You just hit dead-on on the very thing that's been on my mind lately. I see SO MUCH of this around me in so-called "normal" relationships. I look at my family's/friends' various relationships and it looks to me like a constant power struggle. Why on earth would I ever want to live like that?

    1. thanks for the comment, Ruth. Yeah, a power struggle, but too often unacknowledged. That's the part that gets me. Like with the gaming store example I gave, I always want to ask "WTH aren't you talking about what you'd like to do." Heck, my Master and I discuss what we want to do far more than many vanilla relationships that i see. Like I look at my parents' relationship and think "unless they have a BDSM relationship that I simply don't no about because I'm their child and/or they're in the closet about it, THAT is so wrong"

  2. Vanilla is just ... death-boring to me, a slow death by boredom. That's as deeply as I can think about it. Vanilla just doesn't have the creativity, it doesn't have the intensity (seems to be built in by default in BDSM relationships, to me). Holy fuck, the intensity, is what I love. "For me," (nota bene), anyway, that's perhaps the big difference. Of course a BDSM relationship can (will) have some of the same troubles a vanilla one has; the human condition and all. But I'll take the intensity and risk and power exchange and sharply-drawn lines (YMMV!) of a BDSM relationship any day, over vanilla. The conversations, the openness and willingness to explore "strange" new worlds (heh) = WIN. Nothing off limits. BE PRESENT. Fully. No "orange cones" around certain topics in any relationship, you know? BDSM -- and even with just "good friends'' in general -- I want honesty, openness, willingness to engage fully. I can get vanilla, part-time, phony, etc. anywhere. Life's too short for that shit, eh?

    Sorry to ramble, it's the caffeine. Not editing, just hitting send.

    1. lol caffeine and rambling are both good- about to go grab myself a can of mountain dew game fuel. but yeah, you hit on so many things that are "it"- part of the why I find vanilla relationships boring, problematic etc. "sharply-drawn lines"- that is such a perfect point- as well as "be present." really be there and involved in the relationship.