Kittens Are Not Tigers

“You were my single period, you know? And the stuff we did was incredible. I want that. I want more. But my girlfriend isn’t adventurous like you. What can I do?”

I try to answer kindly, because I remember you kindly. This is how you tell her what you like. This is how you explain to her what it means to you. Here are books and blogs, so if she wants to learn more about kink, about swinging, she can do it on her own time.

But all you can do is open that door. You can’t change what she likes any more than she can change what you like, and it would be monstrous of you to try. Don’t forget to listen to what she likes. Don’t forget to learn what that means to her.

I try to answer kindly, but there is a storm lifting my hair in electric ire. I want to say: Of course it was incredible. I know it. You know it. You’re the one who stopped it. You’re the one who chose a girl for her sweetness. How dare you come back to say “help, I’m lucky enough that this perfect, soft kitten is purring just for me…how do I make her a tiger? Only sometimes. Only when it suits me.” How dare you. Do you know how insulting it is to me, that the wantonness that made me undateable is what you want to cultivate in her now? Do you know how insulting it is to her, to tell her you could be happy with her in vanilla monogamy, when you knew you lied?

Kittens are not tigers. You cannot seek the company of something tame and train it to be wild.

I can promise you this: you won’t forget me. Years from now you will catch a glimpse of red hair out of a window and that will be it. The memory of what we did will hit you so hard you stop mid-sentence. You’ll need to brush the gooseflesh from your arms and shake your head to clear it of the echo of my gasps. You won’t miss me–we weren’t close enough for that–but you’ll wonder, a little rueful, why it can’t be like that with her, whoever she is.

I can promise you this: you won’t find someone who satisfies you, not until you understand that women who like the things you do aren’t too perverse to date. That they’re whole sexual being before you ever meet them, that they can and will and should explore their desire when and with whom they see fit. That as long as you think this taints or degrades them, you must see what you want to do as degrading. That they deserve more respect than that (that we all deserve more respect than that). You won’t find a partner who’s right for you until you stop searching only among women you’d have to change to fit you. Because kittens are not tigers. And they deserve to be adored for who they are, not pushed miserable into who you want them to be.

7 thoughts on “Kittens Are Not Tigers”

  1. And they deserve to be adored for who they are, not pushed miserable into who you want them to be.

    I keep seeing guys on fetlife asking how they can make their girlfriend/wife into a dominatrix and I just can’t get over how incredibly disrespectful that is. By all means try to share fun things with your partner, but trying to change who she is is just not on.

    you won’t find someone who satisfies you, not until you understand that women who like the things you do aren’t too perverse to date.

    Ugh, the whole madonna/whore complex thing is just so incredibly boring. Guys, can you please just grow up already?

    1. Right. By all means have a conversation and see if that’s a shared interest–preferably early enough in a relationship that if it’s a deal-breaking incompatibility at least no one is heartbroken–but it can only be explored as a mutual interest. Nobody can “make” anyone dominant or submissive. Forcing someone to play a role they loathe, even a dominant one, is abuse.

      And no, most guys are not very good at growing up.

    2. One time a guy on FL posted to say he’d just started dating a woman and she was awesome but unfortunately, both of them were submissive…so clearly she had to learn to be dominant, and how could he make that happen?

      I was like “if it’s that easy to change your kink orientation, why don’t YOU become dominant? Problem solved!”

      And he responded that oh, hey, yeah, maybe he COULD work on being dominant for her. It hadn’t occurred to him to do that at all. He’d just automatically assumed that it was her obligation to change her sexuality for him.

      I hate heteronormative dudes. Like…SO MUCH.

  2. There are at least a handful of guys I’d like to show this post to.

    Or maybe just hit them in the face with my laptop while the post was displayed on its screen.

    I don’t know why you didn’t go ahead and tell him this, though:

    “You’re the one who stopped it. You’re the one who chose a girl for her sweetness. How dare you come back to say “help, I’m lucky enough that this perfect, soft kitten is purring just for me…how do I make her a tiger? Only sometimes. Only when it suits me.” How dare you. Do you know how insulting it is to me, that the wantonness that made me undateable is what you want to cultivate in her now? Do you know how insulting it is to her, to tell her you could be happy with her in vanilla monogamy, when you knew you lied?”

    He deserved to hear it.

    Fuck guys like him. Feh.

    …Or fuck women like that, since in retrospect you didn’t actually specify this person’s gender. Sorry for being all heteronormative n shit.

    Or people of no or multiple genders who are like that.

    BOO TO PEOPLE WHO SUCK, is what I’m saying.

    I swear every time I try to comment on one of your posts I end up fucking up somehow and having to make multiple other posts to compensate.

    [edited to consolidate–Nic]

    1. I did tell him in no uncertain terms he can’t change her, and if he can’t get his needs met in that relationship then the relationship isn’t going to work. And he was all “but I like her! Mope!” I’m not going to answer any more than he asks because I don’t want to lend the appearance of a jilted ex trying to steal him back. Common peril of continuing to talk to former lovers, especially when they get the monogamy bug.

      This was definitely a guy. And definitely fuck guys like that.

      The gendered assumption makes perfect sense here because this is SUCH a straight guy thing to do. It relies on the idea that women’s sexuality exists for their (male) partners. When you said I didn’t specify gender I was even surprised that I wrote this without saying “fuck men like this” in some sort of way. Had to go back and check!

      (Would you like me to consolidate your comments into one?)

      1. The gendered assumption makes perfect sense here because this is SUCH a straight guy thing to do.

        I actually re-read the post after perversecowgirl mentioned that you never actually specified the person’s gender because I made the exact same assumption. I just can’t picture anyone but a straight guy assuming that he can change a woman’s sexuality to suit his interests.

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