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Understanding need for closeness, and submisiveness

  • 05-06-2022 5:58pm
    Posts: 0

    I'm not sure if this sort of topic is permitted here, but it's as serious, for me, as other topics are for many others. I'm at a crossroad in my life and I'm trying to understand myself so that I stop repeating the same pattern of behaviour in my relationships. I have gone to more counselling in the past three years than in my entire life, but no counsellor has helped me get insight, enlightenment, into why I have this need. I need to understand me before I can change me.

    By choice, I don't have many friends. I find friendships quite hard work, and I seem to naturally get my energy from being introverted. However, I do like to have one close relationship with one person, my female partner (whomever she may be). Yes, I'm conscious that people will say we should spread our friendships, but I suppose I don't trust enough to make myself vulnerable to a larger number of people. I, therefore, tend to keep things to myself, or tell that one person. I also don't get the depth of relationship from those friendships that I need, and that's an important point.

    In contrast to having friends, I get energised from having that one, close relationship. I would, instinctively, happily sit in every evening, go for walks together and do everything (or most things) together for the rest of my life without the need for other people. That's the first thing I need to understand: why do I have this need to be close to just one other person? How unusual is this? What causes this, and how can I fix it? [It doesn't seem like many, or any, women want this degree of closeness, so it evidently needs "fixing" if I hope to ever build a loving relationship] Would anybody have any reading I could do to help me understand me and this tendency?

    The second thing is very much related. Sexually, the only fantasy which has ever turned me on is where I am, for want of a better word, more submissive. I joined one of the BDSM websites in the past year, and it was hugely enlightenng for me. I left it pretty quickly as it just highlighted the emptiness: after that sexual rush, I still felt that deep emotional emptiness, that absence of a serious, loving connection. In other words, my need isn't for some BDSM lifestyle, but rather for, perhaps, some female-led relationship where my need for emotional closeness is fulfilled and the sexual submissiveness is just a way to get close.

    If anybody would have reading to recommend for developing insight into both issues I would greatly appreciate it. I don't know if there would be a psychologist or psychiatrist in Dublin who might have expertise or insight into this - I have looked, many, many times - but if anybody does know of somebody I would really appreciate their name. Thank you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 70 ✭✭RojaStar

    Hi OP, I'm not sure I'm fully understanding the problem. I would say a lot of people live how you have described, without putting a name on it or considering it to be an issue. Is it just a matter of finding the right person? Would you like to get to a point where you were able to have more friendships?

    With regards to a psychologist, I'm not sure you'd need someone who specialises in this. I'm sure a good one would be able to make some links for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 211 ✭✭SunnySundays

    What is you relationship with your mother like?

  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭Liberty_Bear

    Hi OP I can see you laid out your post very well. There are a number of sites on the internet that do cater for specifically BDSM, they do hold nghts in town and specifically Nimhneach which is held in Dublin once a month. Its a fetish and kink night and the only rule is that there is to be no body fluids on the carpet. BDSM or aspects of it like Submissiveness appeal to a side of us that we enjoy and more often than not on an unconscious level. I had a friend who I would tie up and we had a role play with safe words , this went on for a couple of months. Im a very normal ordinary guy but I enjoyed being handed the reins of power of someone. My advice is to perhaps join a few of the apps aimed towards, I know people who have used Fetlife and say its like Facebook for those into BDSM. Dont hold any shame, plenty of people share your proclivities including me !

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,858 ✭✭✭Pissy Missy

    Hi cantfindmyway, first the counsellors you're going to, I'd be wanting to know what therapy they specialise in as if it's psychoanalysis, you may not get the answers you're looking for as that's not how that particular therapy works. Two, Its important these therapists are sufficiently qualified as unfortunately therapists/counsellors/psychologists are not protected titles in Ireland and technically anyone can offer counselling after paying for a 6 week course off the Internet for example. You want to make sure that they have a credible doctorate in Clinical/counselling psychology or full training (think it's 4 years) in psychotherapy.

    You say you want to "stop repeating the same pattern of behaviour in my relationships". What exactly is that pattern? Is it over reliance on that person to fully satisfy your relationship needs?

    You also say you "don't trust enough to make myself vulnerable to a larger number of people", this just makes me wonder did someone (perhaps close to you) make you question trust in your early life?

  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭Liberty_Bear

    Thats a brilliant post

    To add - The IACP has a list on their website

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  • Registered Users Posts: 939 ✭✭✭bitofabind

    It sounds like you're trying to pathologise something that is just a preference and may not need any deeper analysis? There's nothing wrong with being introverted, with getting your energy from being alone or in a 1:1 setting rather than a group setting. And BDSM is a whole category just like any other sexual preference.

    A question to ask yourself is, are you ashamed of being this way? Is there something underlying it that makes you feel the motivation is an unresolved issue, and if that's the case, what do you think the issue is? There's no greater expert on the subject of you, than you yourself, and a counsellor's job is mostly to help you to understand yourself fully by asking these probing questions, rather than to share insight into why you are the way you are.

  • Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭johnml

    Agreed re. the qualifications of some of the Counsellors / Psychotherapists operating in this country.

    Funnily enough, as I read the OP, Psychoanalysis was the first approach that came to mind. Michael Murphy (the former RTE newsreader) based in the Sandyford area is supposed to be an excellent psychoanalyst.

  • Registered Users Posts: 55 ✭✭EdensTempleX

    Sounds like you have some soul searching to do OP. Often, when experiencing submissive or dominant tendencies, it can leave you feeling confused. Remember that information is power. READ READ READ... Talk to like minded people. It'll help you figure out what it is you're searching for.

    Here is a list of books that you might find interesting.

    SM 101: A Realistic Introduction by Jay Wiseman

    The Ultimate Guide To Kink by Tristan Taormino

    The Heart of Dominance: a guide to practicing consensual dominance by Anton Fulmen

    Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns by Philip Miller & Molly Devon

    Like I said, these books won't directly give you the answer but might help you learn a little about yourself.