With most of us locked away in our homes for over a year and counting, there is finally a growing light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccinations are happening. Mandates are lifting. People are starting to emerge like hopeful groundhogs. However, most of us have developed a heavy coating of rust and are out of practice with peopling.
Meeting prospective romantic partners can be hard at the best times, and the past year has not exactly been the best of times. How does a low libido, nondrinking, and vaguely BDSM curious person go about locating an understanding partner? Is it even possible? The Dirty Talk Advice Column has the answers! And soon you shall too.
“Now that I am vaccinated, I’m considering looking for a partner, scary as that prospect may be. My problem is that most online dating sites have proven pretty much useless to me and I don’t drink, so going to bars isn’t really an option. I am considering looking into the BDSM community.
I’ve always been what you might call “BDSM-curious,” but I have little practical experience along those lines, so I’m a bit trepidatious about using something like FetLife. I’m also far more interested in finding a fun, intelligent person with whom to share my life than I am in sex, particularly since my panic disorder medication has a negative impact on my libido. My question is, do you think it would behoove me to give FetLife or its ilk a try, or are such sites more for sex-specific relationships than anything longer term?”–Cautious And Uncertain That I’ll Observe Understanding Souls
I actually have a lot of good news for you CAUTIOUS—well, mostly good news. The lifestyle is wide-ranging and contains an endless variety of relationships. Think of it as a buffet…there are so many different flavors on the table. It is a mistake to think of the lifestyle as an endless round of sexy times and genital bumping. Don’t get me wrong, that does happen, but the umbrella is much much bigger than that.
The Lifestyle Isn’t Only About Sex
Often non-lifestylers get locked into the (false!) concept that relationships only consist of sticking genitals together and if you can’t or won’t do that, there are no relationship options to be had. Nothing could be further from the truth. The lifestyle simply contains people that are more open-minded with their sexuality. Everyone’s sexuality is different and every relationship has its subtle nuances.
As long as it is practiced consensually between you and your partner, your relationship can be whatever you want it to be. If your relationship consists solely of wearing dinosaur onesies, binging on multiple movies, and engaging in deep discussions about them, this is a totally valid way to relationship.
I am always hesitant to recommend FetLife as a dating site, that is not its intended purpose. It is a community site, rich with discussions, groups, and events. Do some people use it as a dating site? Most certainly; but that is not its intended purpose. What it DOES have is other people with low libido and panic disorders. I am not saying that FetLife is solely stocked full of panicked people with low libido. What I’m saying is people like that are fully accepted under the wide-ranging umbrella of the lifestyle.
Follow Your Interests
If BDSM isn’t the only thing you are curious about, what else is there? Are you into board games? Table tennis? Gardening? As always, the easiest way to find a relationship is not to be looking for one. Find something that you want to explore, be it growing better bell peppers or joining a discussion board online on a topic that interests you. Put yourself out there. Have natural and organic conversations with everybody, not just people you view as prospective romantic partners. Even if you are not interested in someone in that way, they have friends. The more highly people think of you, the more likely they are to recommend you to others.
Be honest about your low libido and panic disorder to prospective partners. I know it can be scary—and yes, some people are going to reject you after they find out. Not because they are a bad person or you are a bad person, but because your mutual interests don’t align. It is FAR better to be honest upfront than to reveal these things after beginning a relationship. Trust me on this, it will save you precious time and unwanted heartache in the long run.
It’s okay to find the concept of finding a new romantic partner scary, heck, most of us find the process terrifying. There’s a reason why people stay in relationships that are not working for them—the prospect of having to find a new, better-fitting one is so scary that people avoid it at all costs.
There Are Plenty Of Other Low Libido People Out There
Looking for a new partner in a post-pandemic world with a panic disorder is not going to be easy. But it also isn’t impossible. Thankfully, there’s never been a better time in history for someone with your wiring to find a partner. These days there is a lot more discussion about being asexual or ace—an umbrella term that covers demisexual, grey-A, queerplatonic, etc.—and people are realizing that relationships and sexuality are more fluid than we have initially been taught. Someone is out there for you. You just need to do the work and meet them halfway. I guarantee they are also out there looking for you. Best of luck CAUTIOUS! You got this.
Keep it Kinky My Friends,
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