I really need your help. I met a man in Feb last year. We were swimming and he asked me to his place to play backgammon. So I went and one thing lead to another and he got me really drunk and all of a sudden we were having sex a lot.
I hadn't been with a man since 2011, when my last partner died a horrific accident. In the beginning this guy reassured me that I was safe and in good hands. He also hadn't been romantically involved with anyone since his wife who he'd been broken up with 4 years earlier. He's only had a couple of girlfriends since.
So time went by and he revealed that he had a hair cutting fetish.
He asked me if I would help him with it. I said I would. So we did. But soon we started to use cocaine while acting out this fetish. In the beginning this was sort of fun. He was constantly stretching my boundaries with his fetish, which was exciting in the beginning . But then it started to rapidly affect my life. He was cutting my hair with clippers—it was all staged in front of the mirror—and I realized I wasn't enjoying it because we weren't communicating very well. And being high for me didn't allow me to get aroused.
He is almost 50 and has children and told me he didn't want more, which was a huge thing for me because I'm 40 and this would mean making a huge sacrifice on my part. So he said he would get a vasectomy. But he didn't. Then he did that thing men do where they don't want to wear a condom. It happened so often that I thought that he might actually want a child. I fell pregnant two times in ten months and had two terminations.
The fetish and the cocaine continued until I saw that his compulsion was almost pathological when he was so high one night seemed completely lost in it. Another night he cut my scalp because he was way too high and pushed too hard with the clippers.
I had to end the relationship. I wasn't happy and I'd completely lost myself in his world and life. I felt him to be really controlling. He was also gaslighting me about many things. He would continually tell me to fuck off if I didn't suck him off, which was usually after I was spent from orgasming. Then denied he'd ever said it. It was so abusive.
Then I lost my job and had to move away and live with my family. That's when my mother confronted me about wanting to bring charges against the person who sexually abused me as a child. The time with my family faced a whole lot of issues.
I've spent months feeling angry about how this all went down for me. Angry with this man, the hair cutting fetishist, a man who continually took from me until I fell apart. Then he didn't support me when I fell apart. I feel stupid for being so naive. But when I was able to return I decided to tell him I had moved back to town so that I didn't have to cross the street or feel uncomfortable when I saw him and mutual friends.
But now I'm feeling like I've made a mistake. I'm so angry.
Can you please give me some insight as to how to deal with this? And how to move on. I just want to enjoy my life in my community. I worked so hard to heal after my last partner dying and this has been really traumatic. And I'd really like to try and meet someone again but I feel too nervous to do so now that I've got a taste for certain kinks. How do I establish this again if I ever meet another man again? I feel like this relationship unlocked something deep in me. I would like to experience this again. But under way safer circumstances.
I really love your show and I would love to hear what you would say about this man.
Fan From Australia
There's an awful lot going on in your letter, FFA, and I'm hoping you're back in therapy—because a history of sexual trauma, the traumatic death of your partner, a toxic relationship with someone whose drug use contributed to him injuring you during sex is an awful lot to process. I'm not sure I could even help you unpack much less resolve all of that in this space.
Actually, I am sure: I can't. But I can say this...
This man—that man, the man with the clippers and the cocaine problem—sounds like an asshole. I would say you're well rid of him and that you should continue to steer clear of him.
As for the taste for kink you developed—or surfaced—during your relationship with that cocaine-abusing asshole...
Often when someone has a bad experience with kinky sex—or a bad experience with a kinky sex partner—that person will swear off kinky sex forever. (If people did the same thing after a bad experience with vanilla sex in the missionary position, FFA, human beings would've gone extinct hundreds of thousands of years ago.) But the problem usually isn't the kinky sex, FFA, but the person with whom that kinky sex was had, i.e. an asshole.
It's not impossible to swear off kinky sex, of course, particularly if you're an otherwise/mostly vanilla person who was merely indulging someone else's kinks. But it's harder to run away from your own kinks. Much like being gay, being kinky is "hardwired" and can't be willed away or sworn off; suppressing kinks works about as well in the long run as suppressing same-sex desire. (This was your first experience with kinky sex, FFA, but it would seem that it resonated for you and awakened something that was in you all along—and that's not an uncommon route to sexual self-discovery. The kinky wiring was already there, this relationship activated it, now you gotta have it.)
The sex we wanna/gotta have has a way of winning in the end, FFA, so we're better off working with instead of fighting our desires. That means finding a way to act on them responsibly—and it sure doesn't sound like you and your most recent ex were acting responsibly.
Now for the good news: it is possible to have good-to-great kinky sex, FFA, and safe, sane, and responsible partners make it possible—finding one and being one. And when it comes to kinks that involve blades and cutting implements (even relatively safe ones like clippers), responsible = sober and sober = responsible. That goes for the bottom as well as the top.
So here's what you'll wanna establish prior to engaging in kinky sex with your next sex partner: a real connection and open lines of communication. You'll wanna find and be the kind of partner who can calmly negotiate for the kind of sex you wanna have. You're gonnawanna have more than one convo about safety, limits, boundaries, sobriety, and safe words—and when you're ready to get kinky, FFA, you're gonnawanna take it slow. Baby steps. Taking it slow will allow your new partner to prove that he's capable of respecting your limits—and once he's demonstrated that, FFA, once he's really earned your trust, you can expand or push those limits.