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BDSM Saved My Failing Marriage/Divorce

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Original Blog here: http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/sex-and-love/bdsm-s...

We're stronger and happier than we've ever been in our relationship.

By Anonymous | Feb 14, 2017

When you think of a person who'd be into kinky sex, I'm the last person you'd imagine. I'm a mom of two (with the stretch marks to prove it) who's been happily married for nearly 20 years. I volunteer at the school, work part-time in a suit-and-tie environment, and am in bed by 10 most nights. I'm basically as far from the dominatrix stereotype as possible. And yet many nights that's exactly what I'm doing with my husband. People would be shocked if they knew what goes on in my house at night—which is half the fun of doing it. (Related: The Beginner's Guide to BDSM)

The first thing you see when you walk in my bedroom is our sex harness, hanging from the ceiling. (We tell the kids it's a "swing" and so far they haven't questioned it.) It's a new-ish acquisition for us as we've been slowly building up our repertoire of kink and fetish toys over the years. And I'll be honest: Most of them look pretty scary at first glance, especially the ones that use electrical shocks.

But our BDSM sex life is anything but scary. In fact, I'd say it saved our marriage.

My husband and I were college sweethearts. We fell in love hard and fast and got married before we even graduated. Whether because we moved too fast or were too young, just a few years into our marriage we were fighting constantly and on the brink of divorce. And it probably goes without saying that our sex life was nil. Eventually, I had an affair. He found out about it, of course. And I didn't care about my marriage enough at that point to try to keep it much of a secret. But I did feel really bad when I saw how hurt he was. We were at a crossroads: We either had to go our separate ways or try to repair our marriage. We decided to give our relationship one last chance. For me, that started with getting our sex life back on track.

I realized I'd loved the thrill of cheating more than I'd loved the person I'd cheated with. So we started by experimenting with role play a little (I'm a sucker for costumes). And that play led to some frank talks about the different things we desired, one of which was my husband's interest in BDSM. I didn't know much about it at the time—this was before 50 Shades of Grey was popular and made it easier to talk about—so I was understandably nervous. But once we started trying it together, role-playing his fantasies, I quickly realized how fun, exciting, and even empowering it felt.

As we got more into the kink scene we spent more time researching different methods, toys, and scenarios. We learned what we liked and what we didn't, and it really helped me especially to become more in tune with what turns me on. For instance, I'm into electric wands but not whips, ropes but not handcuffs, and I still love costumes. Many people worry that BDSM is a cover for domestic violence but in our case, if anything, it's made my husband even more respectful of my body. Over time it's become our couple hobby and let me tell you, it's a lot more entertaining than bird watching or binge-watching TV!

When the 50 Shades of Grey books came out, and then the movies, the market exploded with new ideas and products—all of which we've been happy to test out.

That's not to say the whole thing has been smooth sailing. Most of our challenges revolve around logistics, specifically our kids. They're pretty young so if they were to walk in on us "playing" it could be very traumatic for them. We have good locks on the door and wait until they're asleep, but we are constantly having to reevaluate what works and what might be nightmare-inducing. Ideally, we'd have a "red room" like Christian and Ana. But sadly, we're not independently wealthy!

The hardest part has been keeping everything on the down-low. I have a lot of friends who complain about the spark missing in their sex lives and while I want to open up about our experience, I've learned over the years that I have to share very carefully. We've lost some good friends over it, so we're very selective now.

It's all worth it for us, though, as it's really helped our relationship grow outside of the bedroom too. To be successful in BDSM, you have to communicate a lot. And while we thought we were good communicators before, we really weren't. BDSM has shown us how to be so much better about this. We frequently discuss our likes and dislikes and we have special codes and words we use with each other including a "safe" word. Once that code word is uttered, it's over. We might discuss why later, but a no from either of us is non-negotiable.

It's been a long process from that day when we were looking up divorce lawyers to now. While our sex life definitely wasn't the only thing we changed, BDSM has definitely made us stronger and happier together than we've ever been. And our sex life is never boring, which is not something many people who've been married as long as we have can say!

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