It's not always easy to know when a new relationship is right for you. Sometimes, red flags can be easy to overlook in the early stages of vetting a new partner in kink. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 red flags to watch for when vetting a new romantic partner. We'll also talk about how to spot green flags - signs that indicate that this could be a healthy connection to pursue.
This is definitely not a comprehensive list! While there should be some obvious ones (disregarding consent, violence) there are some insidious ways that some people can sneak past us while were blushing!
Rushing into ownership - both D and s types can be prone to new connection energy spikes. This is a very common feeling to have when things are going well with a new potential. However, when we become aware of these spikes, we can monitor ourselves a little better and make decisions that would feel good to us later too. Is your new kinky crush pressuring you to make things "official"?
History of many short term connections It's a fact that not every person will be compatible with everyone else. Noticing a pattern of short lived relationships could be an indicator that this person is not interested in, or capable of handling a serious D/s connection. This is not to invalidate casual kink; just be sure to check for ongoing compatibility in other areas as well.
Not being able to take constructive criticism: If your partner can't take criticism, call a flag on the whole play. This could indicate that they're not interested in growth or self-improvement. Setting healthy boundaries at the very beginning of the dynamic establishes consent with all parties who choose to engage under those terms. Giving respectful feedback to a potential Dominant or submissive partner and receiving an aggressive or overly defensive reaction could be a BIG indicator there may be issues maintaining your voice later.
Avoidant of Community events or other places of accountability. This is a big one! Anyone who seeks to separate you completely from your support system or from building new connections with other people (with respect to your positions with each other) could be grooming you for co-dependence on them, which can leave you isolated and in danger if the person has bad intentions.
Knows everything about everything. The journey of exploration and education should be ongoing. Be cautious with people who claim to be experts in every area of knowledge. This can also look like people with no hard limits.
Good communication: This is key in any relationship, but especially important in a D/s dynamic. If you're able to communicate effectively with your partner about your needs, wants, and boundaries from the beginning, it bodes well for the future of the relationship. Extra points if they work through the challenging stuff with transparency!
A willingness to learn and grow: As we mentioned before, the journey of exploration and education should be ongoing. If your partner is open to learning about new things and growing with you, that's a great sign! This could mean that new activity request have the chance of being explored!
Awareness of red flags: This one might seem counter-intuitive, but hear us out. If your partner is aware of red flags ( in general, or in their own past connections) and is working to avoid them in the current dynamic, that's a good sign! This indicates that they're introspective and interested in growth. Self awareness, like consent is hella sexy.
Doesn't think your request are weird or shameful. This is kink, people. Why should your partner make you feel bad for things they haven't (or have) thought of yet? A great sign is a partner who is honest with their desires, while allowing you the capacity to explore your own as well. Bonus if they are (genuinely) interested in learning something new to give you that pleasure. YAAAAS!
Builds the dynamic WITH YOU. People on both sides of the slash can have the potential to dream of what a perfect D/s or kinky connection might look like for them but it's the true conscious kinkster that understands the best foundation is designed together even if it is the final say of the D/type what funishment pup gets for eating all the cookies before bed.
What red and green flags to you look for when vetting a new connection? Tell us in the comments!