Comparing intensity and intimacy

May I have some clarification , please? In your post you mention this, “All I can say is that it creates a very unique sort of intimacy that vanilla relationships just don’t have.” in relation to Sounder and you. Are you suggesting that vanilla couple’s are incapable of having this intense level of intimacy or are you suggesting that what you and Sounder share is just different, not necessarily better? Sometimes I believe that those of us in this lifestyle make a mistake when we suggest that only we are capable of such intense intimacy or vulnerability. Thank you for your time.


Absolutely, I’m happy to clarify.

No, I do not intend to imply that vanilla relationships are incapable of the same level of intimacy or vulnerability, or that all D/s relationships automatically have it.

What I mean is that we have a strange attitude with talking to our significant other about sex.  Husbands and wives are often downright terrified to confess their darkest fantasies or deepest secrets.  There’s a degree of separation in most vanilla relationships because that level of emotional intimacy doesn’t come naturally to us.

I’m not saying that it is any easier for those in D/s relationships.  I’ve discussed quite often my own struggles with emotional vulnerability, and how it’s usually just more comfortable to keep it turned off.

But the very foundation of most D/s relationships is built on communicating those fantasies and secrets.  All of that is laid out from Day One.  It’s a big part of what makes potential partners compatible in a D/s relationship, so they hash it all out early.

And once you’ve confessed your darkest secrets and most fucked up kinks, everything else is easy by comparison.

“Well hell, she already knows that I like being peed on while singing Taylor Swift songs, so talking about this regular fear/concern/thing that irritates me/literally whatever is no big deal.”

And it’s ongoing.  D/s relationships are intense af.  Take Sounder and me, for example.  Take the way I fuck with his head.

He’s going to have to text Kazander.  You can imagine how that fucks with his head.  You can read how it fucked with his head the first time I made him suck Kazander’s cock in his guest post, and you can read about his reactions to what I do to him on his blog.

It’s a pretty intense emotional roller coaster that just doesn’t happen in healthy, stable vanilla relationships.

And it’s important to keep things healthy here, too.  Because the emotions and the fear and the dread he experiences are real.  When I succeed in fucking with him to the point that his heart rate gets elevated to 120+ beats per minute, that’s real.  It’s my job to keep it on the right side of the line between “fun” stress and “bad” stress, and it’s my job to immediately back off if I cross that line.

So it’s just intense, you know?  What he feels is intense.  That doesn’t happen in vanilla relationships.

It’s also intense because, to let go and just allow himself to experience what I do to him, he places a massive amount of trust in me.  He opens himself up and exposes everything to me, and trusts me to hurt him, but not harm him.  The kind of trust required to allow someone to have that kind of power over you doesn’t come naturally to people.

The difference between vanilla relationships and D/s ones is that D/s relationships, by their very nature, require that trust and intimacy, while vanilla ones don’t.

Does that mean that people in vanilla relationships are incapable of it?  Not at all.  It just means that it is not required as a foundation for vanilla relationships, and therefore never really explored by most.

And for the record, no, I find it hard to believe that the average person in the average vanilla relationship experiences the same sort of intimacy that Sounder and I do.

He is taking birth control pills, m’kay.  He’s allowing me to feminize every part of him, physically as well as mentally.

Do y’all understand what that means?  No, I’m serious, do you truly understand the significance of that?

He is literally allowing me to change who he is.

He knows what I want to do to him, and he opens up his body and mind for me.  He allows me to change not just his underwear or masturbation habits, but his bed, his entire house, the way he identifies, the way he sees himself, the way he sees his body, everything.

Do you have any idea the amount of trust something like that requires?  The degree of intimacy and vulnerability?

I mean, I’m good, I’m damn good, but I’m not perfect.  I rely on him to tell me if I push too hard or take him down a path he’s not comfortable with.  With everything else that I’m doing to him, can you imagine the kind of vulnerability required to let me know when the fear I’m creating in him is too much?

I’m not gentle with him, and there aren’t many out there who can handle me.  He can, and he can match my intensity with his own.

I have a hard time believing that the average vanilla relationship can hold a candle to that.  But all of my D/s relationships have similar levels of intensity and intimacy.  It’s the very foundation of the relationship.  The very few vanilla relationships I’ve been in were drab by comparison.

But is it because vanilla relationships and those in them are incapable of that kind of vulnerability?  No.  It’s because there is nothing pushing people to have those conversations and those experiences.  So they need another reason to push themselves to do it.

Again, it’s not something that comes easily to us.  People in D/s relationships are more or less forced to have those conversations, while people in vanilla relationships need to find something else to push them to open up like that.

They’re just as capable of it as we are.  They just need to find the motivation to do it.

10 thoughts on “Comparing intensity and intimacy

  1. Wayne says:

    I have been involved in D’s relationships that achieved high levels of intimacy and vulnerability and some that did not. I have been involved in vanilla relations that attained just as high levels of trust, intimacy, and vulnerability as the D’s and some that did not. I always believed that my D’s relationships were never “better” than my vanilla relationships, just different. Thank you for your feedback. It is always good to hear other perspectives.

    • Domina Jen says:

      Well, that’s good, that your vanilla relationships met that same level of intimacy. Of course there are people who can achieve that easily. Speaking as a generality, however, they usually don’t.

      I recommend reading MrFire’s comment, his explanation is very eloquent and succinct.

  2. Mrfire says:

    Thanks for this, Jen. It seems to me any relationship that has unconventional boundaries (poly for instance), unconventional internal dynamics (BDSM), or an unconventional beginning (the couple met while one of them (or both) were on the job as a sex worker, just about requires complete openness and honesty; the potential for confusion is overwhelming otherwise.

    By contrast, with vanilla relationships, the boundaries are familiar to everyone, and so the relationship can survive without this level of intimacy, but it is so much nicer when the deep intimacy is there.

  3. explorer3000 says:

    I am no expert on BDSM in practice, but i bet that vanilla’s tend to not talk about deep fantasies as much as Non-vanilla’s. Just saying..

  4. wayne says:

    Mrfire is certainly entitled to his opinion. I do not agree with his assertion that it is only in relationships based on unconventional boundaries, internal dynamics, or beginnings that such levels of complete openness and honesty can be reached. The courage and hard work needed to have complete openness and honesty is not the monopoly of the unconventional couple. Also, to claim that since boundaries in vanilla relations are familiar to everyone deep intimacy is not needed in order for the relationship to survive is another generalization that might be true for some, but not for all. As you said, there are those who find it easy to achieve such deep levels of intimacy in vanilla relationships and those who, for a variety of reasons, perhaps fear, disillusionment, bad experiences, even laziness, find it impossible. It is too bad that “Mrfire” never found in his vanilla relationships the deep intimacy for which he hoped because they are so much nicer when its there.
    As always thank you for your time and input,

    • Domina Jen says:

      Wow… that is so completely not what he said, I’m actually unsure how you got that conclusion from his comment, unless you willfully misread it.

      • wayne. says:

        It is never my intention to “willfully misread” anything. I am always open to clarification if either he or you wishes. If not, fine. Different opinions are always a good thing.


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