My boyfriend and I do the long-distance thing every semester, and we will be doing so until June 2013. We see each other every summer and winter break. Over the years he’s granted me increasing amounts of freedom to be intimate with the women I date while we’re apart—I still don’t have full autonomy but it’s MUCH better than it used to be—but lately another one of my “needs” has been eating at me: my masochism. He's repeatedly refused me permission to let someone lay into me with a flogger (that's all I ask!), so I'm worried that soon I’ll decide to get mine anyway, covertly.

Should I continue to wait it out, as I have these last four years? In order to abide by the rules of his jealousy, am I missing out on a huge facet of the best years of my life? I don’t even want to have anything sexual with this person, I just want them to beat me! And this might be relevant: he has the freedom to do whatever he wishes but (god only knows why) he never indulges in anything more than the odd vanilla person here and there. Also, I’m not allowed to attend fetish clubs because he knows I’ll make bad choices if I do, (I'll go and play!), which is probably right, so I’ve obeyed this one, so far. Unfortunately, the burner and fetish scenes are converging here in Los Angeles...

Pain Slut

P.S. Yes college is taking us too long, but overseas volunteering and solo travel well constitute the the last year and a half apart.

My response after the jump...


You've given your boyfriend permission to do who he wants, when he wants, and what he wants. But you're not allowed to do half of humanity—the male half—or get your ass beat at BDSM club?

That hardly seems fair, PS.

Now my knee doesn't automatically jerk when I hear about a couple with an arrangement that appears to be "unfair." If Person A enjoys more "freedom" than Person B, it doesn't necessarily follow that Person B is being abused. Some people get off on the tension that an erotic power imbalance creates and nothing quite says "you're in charge" like giving your partner the okay to do things that you're not allowed to do. Or maybe the idea of you being with other men makes your boyfriend feel threatened and insecure while the idea of his being with other women turns you on. Which would mean that you're not being cheated: you're not doing something that makes him unhappy (sleeping with other men), PS, while he's doing something that makes you happy (sleeping with other women).

For me, PS, it comes down to this: if you're happy—if you're getting off on this unfair deal—then I'm happy.

But are you happy? Or are you still happy? If this deal worked for you when it was first hammered it out but isn't working anymore, PS, then it's time to negotiate a new deal. His insistence that you mess around only with other girls while you're apart is understandable—it's unfair, PS, but I can understand it—but the "no flogging" rule is ridiculously arbitrary. Negotiate from a position of strength: Tell your boyfriend that you'll continue to stick to his no-other-dudes rule on the condition that he lift his silly flogging ban.