Some months ago, my submissive and wife Tinky was diagnosed with cancer. It had a devastating effect on her, and on us as a couple. Our lives came to a halt and while treatment was mercifully brief and successful, the effects are still lingering on. Plans have paused, finances are strained, our world came crashing down around our heads.
Our kinky life has gone on a hold too. We were warned the treatment would trigger an abrupt menopause, but it’s gone deeper than a loss of libido. When we’ve decided to “force” ourselves to be intimate we’ve enjoyed it, even if it hasn’t led to sex. But BDSM is different.
I think we’re both afraid of kink.
The part of me that once would happily tie and torture Tinky for our mutual pleasure rarely surfaces now. When it does, I feel guilty I would even consider hurting her. Our attempts at bondage have failed because she is afraid of hurting herself. Her love of rubber has gone. My rubberism is frustrated by guilt when I dress up alone.
We still laugh and joke about fetishism and BDSM. We’re still open with one another about it and how much we enjoyed it together. Past tense.
Beyond our relationship.
Cancer touched me in a way I didn’t understand. After so long away from the camera, Tinky encouraged me to shoot again. I worked with a bondage model I knew and trusted, but as I tied her, I was wracked with guilt. It was an irrational reaction, one that brought the shoot to a disappointingly swift end.
My writing has suffered from bouts of wanting to distance myself from kink. I’ve struggled to finish ebooks, to participate in social media, even to update this hallowed organ. Fetishism is not something I’m sharing with my wife, so why should I share it with you, dear reader?
Are we turning a corner?
In recent weeks Tinky has talked more about bondage and rubber. She’s acknowledged my frustration and her own. The regular check-ups and scans are about to end, and I think that’s a signal for both of us. We’re relaxing and starting to see a future together that’s not dominated by cancer.
Kink will return to our relationship. Our frustrations will subside and the pleasure from domination and submission will be felt again. We will both dress in our rubber suits and spend happy hours touching and feeling and being as one. You may even find us out and about at fetish clubs again.
You are not alone.
Sometimes living with fetishes can feel isolating, even if you’re in a stable relationship. Discussing side effects of bondage, or the psychological impact of not wearing rubber for six months isn’t easy to entertain. Twice we thought about whether BDSM would help our mental healing, and twice we bottled out when we were sat in front of the consultant.
Fortunately our relationship is strong. We can talk with one another about our fears without it seeming like we’re accusing one another. We can joke and tease, turn our frustrations into humour or quietly enjoy a moment cuddling on the sofa as we remember the “good old days” and the promise they will return.
Playing the long game.
Cancer takes a dreadful toll on our lives. For those who suffer it is a devastating disease with profound impacts on every aspect of their life. Those of us who support our loved ones through it can find it equally life changing.
It is a long game and sometimes you have to force yourself to try to be normal. We’ve promised ourselves this: after her last scan and check-up in a few week’s time we will dress up in rubber, put a rubber sheet on the bed and cuddle. It’s a sign to ourselves we’re ready to move on.
Ready to start the process of returning to normal.