(Originally written for kinkyasexuals.wordpress.com)
When I was around seven, my older sister was in the Concert Choir in high school. They had a fundraiser, as school clubs are wont to do, to raise money and did so with the most enticing of all things: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Seven year old me thought it was my birthday, Christmas, and Easter all rolled into one when case after case of the bright orange wrapped treats were carried into our house. I was given a strict lecture by my mom (and vague threats from my sister) to Not Touch The Candy. That if I wanted some, I had to ask because we had to pay for it all. And by “we”, my parents meant “they”. Seven year old me tried to contain the pure joy and desire of being in the same house as cases of Reese’s and do it up proper by asking when I wanted some. The problem was, I wanted them all the time and my mom had to keep telling me “no”. My solution to this was to steal a case, stow it under the crawl space of our front porch, and then proceed to sneak off to eat my way through it over the course of a weekend. (Side note: I do not recommend this.) More than thirty years later, I still cannot eat peanut butter and chocolate together. The smell of it makes me nauseous.
People often look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I can’t eat anything with chocolate and peanut butter in it together. While most everyone I know considers the two to be “two great tastes that taste great together”, I can only enjoy one at a time. This may seem like a strange opening for a blog that talks about the asexual spectrum. But for me, kink and sex are like peanut butter and chocolate. Each are fantastic on their own, but rarely do I (or can I) put the two together.
Before I had the vocabulary to know that I’m demisexual and panromantic, I used to think I was a lesbian. In my teens, I was only interested in women, so it stood to reason. I met my first husband when I was 20, and that kind of turned my “baby dyke” identity on it’s head. We dated for a few years before meeting the woman we would later marry (and they would then leave me and marry each other.) I was sexually attracted to them, but rarely attracted to anyone else. However, after meeting and falling in love with my (now) exwife, I learned about the term polyamorous. I fell in love on a regular basis with all different kinds of people, but was hardly ever sexually attracted to them. Likewise with play partners.
I’ve been asked when and how I chose to be this way, to separate kink from sexuality, but it really was never a conscious choice. The bottom line is that kink rarely “turns me on” in a sexual way. Yes, I get breathless with the right Dom(me)’s tone of voice and adore impact play like flogging, but to be blunt, neither make me wet.
For example, once I was exploring vendor row at GKE (the Geeky Kink Event) with a friend and sometimes play partner whom I share an interesting D/s switchy dynamic. I had her on a lead and was primarily testing different toys on her willing backside. In my Dommely element, I picked up a particularly stingy toy and used it on her ass. She reacted with an arched back and tortured yet pleasurable exclamation. Things were going well. I was enjoying myself. And then she said something like, “god, I’m going to have to change my panties. That made me so wet.” On my end, it was like a bucket of ice water had been dumped on me. There was nothing sexual about this to me. I was not wet nor in need of a panty change and the thought of this being sexual made me want to stop completely.
The person who mentored me in many aspects of D/s and polyamory was a Dom figure in my life for many years. I read his book. It resonated on many levels…well, all but the parts on sex. We had myriad conversations about power dynamics, kink, polyamory, the nature of love and submission, healthy ways of practicing both, navigating through complicated emotions and situations, and so much more. But we never had sex. My connection to him was incredibly strong and his type of mental dominance hit the core of my service oriented submission and I think that if I had wanted to, we probably would’ve had sex. The only problem was I had no sexual attraction to him and our interactions never “turned me on” in that sexual way.
There were times I thought I was broken. Or repressed. I didn’t masturbate to kink porn. When my mentor would ask if I was wet from our interaction, the answer was, to the best of my recollection, always no. And while he tried to convince me that there wasn’t anything wrong with me, that he still thought I was a worthy student and submissive, I couldn’t help but still feel less than. I wasn’t a “good submissive” or “good enough” because the only people I could mix kink and sex with were my then boyfriend and girlfriend. I wasn’t the nubile, wet, ready sex sub. I wanted sensation play. I craved mental dominance. I needed cathartic pain. But none of it came with a side or main dish of sex. ALL I wanted was flogging. Being told to kneel. Being thrown into a wall and ordered around. None of this ended or included sex in my mind. Scenes began and ended with the play, many times with me partially or fully covered.
For a while, I could hide behind the fact that my husband and wife’s boundaries when I dated or played with people is that it didn’t include sex. Since I was an unnamed demisexual, this wound up being fine with me for the most part. Even after my marriage(s) fell apart and I began figuring out my own rules, I quickly discovered that while I wanted to pursue play partners, sex was not a big factor for me.
When I moved down South from New Jersey, I quickly searched for poly meet ups and a kink community. Imagine my delight when I found out that there was not only a local community and munches, but a dungeon! And not only a dungeon…a SEX FREE dungeon! I made friends in the scene who weren’t happy about the the fact that the dungeon was sex free but I was ecstatic. Finally, the pressure to have sexual relations and kink mixed together would be relieved. At long last, there was a place where I didn’t have to worry about expectations during negotiations, or being around other people having sex around me.
Thankfully, it hasn’t been difficult for me to find a few partners who are okay with the lack of sex. Some even prefer it, at least for right now. And while I still feel like the world around me always pairs their kinky peanut butter with sexy chocolate, I know it’s not entirely true. There seem to be more people who think sex is integral to their kink than not, but there are still people out there who can and do separate the two. I’m more comfortable than ever in my own skin and desires. Not wanting to mix sex and kink doesn’t make me any less kinky, or any less of a submissive, or any less of a Domme. I don’t need to play with someone sexually to command them mentally and I don’t have to be wet or down to fuck to be a “real submissive.” Just because chocolate and peanut butter is enjoyed together by many doesn’t mean that that’s the only way to enjoy the two, just like sex and kink.