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BDSM aro relationships


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Do you have experience with BDSM relationships?  If not, I'd recommend asking for advice in that community, because there are specific issues of consent and communication there that a lot of us probably don't know much about.  As for the aro side of that, I'd suggest just be direct.  That seems to be what most aros prefer.  If the person isn't aro... good luck.  I know some allos do non-romantic kink relationships, and all the kinky people I've met would tell me that kink relationships aren't inherently romantic, but literally all of them were in romantic kink relationships.

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I also gotta recommend you talk to your friend about it, but I'm sure that's obvious. I also second making sure you're well-acquainted with Risk-Aware Consent and potential red flags in stuff and how to healthily manage a BDSM relationship if it's not something you're familiar with. 

I would personally try to approach it by asking if you could have a serious talk for a moment and just ... be honest and upfront about what you're looking for and want and don't want. Set the relationship up not based on what others expect out of it but more what you both are comfortable with. 

I think a lot of people might be less intimidated if you approach it from a "friends with benefits" angle first and ease into more discussion of aromance if they aren't also aro or arospec, so you could try that? It just seems to be a more familiar concept to others and a good way to start getting others to relate to that idea. 

And yeah as said above unfortunately most BDSM relationships have some romance involved, but a lot of resources I've seen focus a lot more on the how to do the dynamic thing without necessarily talking about romance so that's. ... something. 

Best of luck to you!

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I'm not sure if we're allowed to link stuff like this on here, and you may already be well-versed in the theory side of things and not need this info, but there's a big social media site for the BDSM community which it should be easy to search for- it starts with an F. It's not a perfect place but the newbie-focused discussion boards and groups do have a lot of good info about negotiation and boundaries if you need it.

 

Do you know that this person is already active or interested in that scene? My experience with my local community was that what you're describing- 'casual play'- is actually very common, so if you bite the bullet and bring it up, they may be on your wavelength. If you don't know for sure that they're genuinely into it, though, that's a more complex conversation you're looking at.

 

This is probably obvious too but keep in mind, there are just as many potential pitfalls when doing a romance-free BDSM partnership (boundaries being deliberately crossed, bad communication, one party developing feelings) as there are in vanilla FWB-type relationships. BDSM people aren't necessarily more impervious to those pesky feelings than a vanilla romantic, even if they act like it.

 

 

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I'm very involved in the kink community where I live, and I've found that the best approach is just to tell people straight up about what you want, or what you're looking for. Playing coy or feeling uncomfortable about outlining your needs and boundaries is just going to lead to miscommunication. So if you decide to approach them about becoming play partners, make sure you know exactly what your boundaries are, and what you're looking to explore. Before engaging in anything, also outline limits, and have a safeword/safe non-verbal action in place for informed consent and safe play. As an aro-spec person, just be sure to tell them what your limits and boundaries are for connection, and what aromanticism looks like for you. 

 

BDSM is not inherently romantic, but with the right play partner, it can be an extremely intense physical and emotional experience. Be prepared for that. It may not be romantic, but depending on your role, and the amount of power dynamics/mind-play, you may develop a very strong emotional attachment and connection to your BDSM partner. There's a lot of trust, connection, and intimacy in these kinds of relationships. Don't underestimate it, and make sure you're on the same page with your BDSM partner in terms of expectations/what you mean to each other. Have conversations and check in with each other about where you're at emotionally on a regular basis. 

 

Unfortunately, I got severely emotionally burned by my former FWB/BDSM partner because even though I thought we were on the same page (in that it was a rewarding, intense and fulfilling physical and emotional connection), to him, I was just convenient, fun, and ultimately, expendable, when he started seeing another woman and 'just really liked her'. Be aware that this is always a possibility when having any kind of relationship with alloromantic people. They will screw you over in the name of 'love' and amatonormativity. Always choose what is in your best interests (such as self-care and ending things when you start doubting your own importance in a person's life), even if it goes directly against what you want (or are hoping will happen).

 

And as a practical consideration, if you feel like you won't be able to impart the seriousness of the conversation in person, ask the person over text or through email if starting a BDSM relationship with you interests them. This gives you a good opportunity to outline your boundaries, limits, and what you're looking for as well. Good luck! :)

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