Reader Question – Difficulties Integrating Kink in a Relationship and Depression

Warning: This post may very well be quite gloomy.

Disclaimer: The reader who wrote to me gave me permission to publish and answer the question on this blog.

Dear Miss Pippa Minty,

Firstly I am a fan of your blog and found you through Miss Pearl’s blog. I like the way you write and the stories that you tell. I thought I would write to you and ask for your advice.

I am feeling my most despondent with kink and with being a submissive at the moment. I think not finding anyone to play with or have a relationship with is quite frustrating. I have also found it difficult to do casual and found that it is not for me, I tend to get attached and subsequently hurt.

A combination of frustration and living with anxiety and depression + living at home doesn’t make things easy. Do you have any hints and tips on how I can manage this frustration / channel these feelings in a constructive way?

Kind regards

M—

Dear M—,

First of all, thank you.

I really appreciate that you’ve come to my blog via Miss Pearl. I admire her work a lot and I am grateful that this got you interested in my little Internet adventure. Thanks for the compliments about my writing too. It’s something that I’m not always sure about, so the feedback is much appreciated.

Now, to your question.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been scratching my head about what advice I could offer for a while. This is mostly because there is no one straight/true answer/solution to your situation. What I will advise is simply my opinion. I hope it will be of help to you, but it very well may not be.

Let’s start by thinking about being a submissive in a relationship.

This is never easy. Many people are too Vanilla to care, or to dare to be introduced to the world of Kink. I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing – to each their own – but it does make life difficult for when a kinky person wants to dive into a relationship. When do you approach the subject of kink? Do you tell them you are a submissive? If so, how to approach what you want from your sex life and what your partner wants? All very valid, but very difficult questions that can, sometimes, end a relationship.

Personally, I believe the key is honesty and communicationBe upfront about your likes and dislikes without being pushy or trying to shoehorn this honesty into conversations.

As in all budding relationships, sex will come up as a conversation topic before long. 

This can happen before, or after you’ve first had sex with the person in question. A bit of Vanilla sex here and there doesn’t hurt, so power through it until your “talk” comes up. When your partner is ready to discuss your sex life, bring up some of your milder fantasies. Tell them that you have had kink in your sex life before and that you would be delighted if they cared to learn from you and/or join you in your adventures. Tell them what you want to experiment with, ask them where their limits lie.

If they are interested in taking the plunge, refer them to a helpful blog or two (*wink*) or to relevant readings (such as The New Topping Book by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy). You never know, this person might surprise you and their fantasy might match yours.

In a new relationship, the risk of heartbreak is ever present and will be a necessary risk.

I do not want to be depressing or fatalistic about things, but sometimes things are not meant to be. Not everyone is compatible. Someone might be crazy attractive to you, but their headspace might be too different for you to communicate properly.

A perfect example of this would be my husband and his ex. She loved him as something he was not, because she was in love with a certain expectation of him. He stayed with her because he is kind and generous and has a lot to give. The relationship was poisonous. It didn’t start out that way, though. They were mutually attracted to one another and even satisfied each other sexually… to a certain extent. The problem was, she would never want to talk about sex or how their relationship was going. The first time he tried to break up with her, she pleaded that he stay, that she could change; effectively gaslighting him. She had the wrong personality and mindset for their relationship to properly grow in a healthy way.

Being hurt sucks. Especially when you think you’ve finally found someone. But it is an occupational hazard of being emotional creatures. When we make an attempt at connecting with another human being, we have to be open – and that, sadly, opens us up to heartbreak. However, I would never recommend to someone not to risk said hurt, because not attempting it is worse than trial and error, in my opinion. If you don’t try, you’ll never know what might have been. I do recommend keeping a good circle of close friends though – a support network is good to have in any and all situations in life.

As for being depressed/anxious and living at home…

I think you’ve found the blight that is affecting most young adults in this day and age. I confess I myself have crippling anxiety issues. I also struggle with bipolar disorder, PTSD and major depressive disorder (and that is not counting my underlying ADHD). Trust me, I know where you are coming from.

From a purely kinky point of view – living at home is not constructive to a relationship or to sex. It means you have to tread on eggshells around your family when it comes to your sex life (unless you live with my mum, who is simply insane).

As for the depression and anxiety that is plaguing you: I don’t know about you, but I find my family is sort of the root cause of many of my issues. Taking some distance from them can be incredibly helpful.

Now, I am aware that, financially, moving away from the family home can be difficult (I myself still have not gotten back on my feet from it). However, sometimes the tight finances are a necessary evil. You have to weigh the pros and the cons. If your depression and anxiety benefit from keeping your family at arms length, then, by all means, pack your bags! My new roommate did exactly that. Don’t get me wrong: she loves her mother, but living with her was not healthy for my roommate. Now that she lives away from home, her relationship with her mother is much saner. The same might be the case for you.

In the meantime, until your relationships and anxiety are in a place you want them to be, find friends that share common interests.

My hobbies are cosplaying, LARPing and Witchiness – by which I mean I am part of a Coven.

I find that these small communities I am a part of are very beneficial to my anxiety and depression and provide the necessary escapism that I need when times are difficult. The friends I have made through these activities are amazing and have helped me blossom (Miss Pearl is one of them, for instance). Sometimes, I don’t even want to go to the games, or conventions, or rituals, or what have you. However, pushing myself to overcome that social anxiety and getting out there with other human beings usually provides me with feelings of relief and satisfaction that even my medication cannot provide.

Once you have a support network that provides escapism, seek the necessary help.

I am heavily medicated and in therapy multiple times a month. Both group therapy and one-on-one therapy, in order to help me move past my childhood and deep-seated issues. It doesn’t feel beneficial at first. I often felt like quitting and dismissing therapy as useless… but I’ve finally found a therapist I could work with. It is a great relief off my chest to know I am not bearing my load alone and that someone is at least attempting to understand what is going on in my head. If you have state-funded healthcare, find out how you can have access to free therapy: I’m lucky enough never to have paid a cent for my sessions. It was all due to a referral from my employee assistance program at work. You might have similar institutions.

And finally:

Do not let your anxiety prevent you from having a healthy sex life.

This might be easier said than done, mark you. But I find that, if you’re anxious, it can be relieved by kink. But that effect is not for everyone. If you are not in a kinky mind frame, you might be doing yourself more damage than good, especially as a sub. So know your personal limits and remember that it is okay to back out because you are not “feeling it.” It’s been happening to me a lot lately.

My husband, on the other hand, gains a lot from being a submissive and it relieves his anxiety. So when he feels down, he will usually ask me for a scene. I usually oblige, but it sometimes depends on my headspace too.

I feel like my answer was very long and very vague. But, as I’ve said at the start, you will have to experiment to find a solution that works for you. I’ve given you my experience and opinion and I sincerely hope that it will provide you with some help/relief in some way.

Hoping you are well,

Sincerely,

Pippa Minty

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