Now, first, I feel like I need to say that I love my wife more than any fantasy, and I will do anything to make our relationship work. If that means giving up the hope of acting on a fetish or fantasy, I'll definitely make the sacrifice.
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That said, like many people with similar fetishes, I've had a spanking fetish since I can remember. As a little kid, I dreamed both of giving and receiving spankings -- both for "punishment" (roleplay, of course), and fun. Since I've been with my wife, she has let me spank her every once in a while -- though most of the time I get the impression that she doesn't "get" it. She feels like there's nothing sexy about hurting another person or being hurt. Nevertheless, she's amazing enough to let me lightly spank her every now and again. I desperately hope that one day she'll be into it, but since it's not really the case, I feel like I try to do my best to be respectful and to go easy and not push it too much or too often -- maybe once every month and a half, or so.
That said, what I really want is for her to try spanking me. She occasionally jokes about it. She'll sometimes say things like "Maybe it's going to be me who's going to do the spanking!", when I tell her that I'm going to spank her. However, every time (maybe four times total in our 4-year relationship) I've asked her to actually do it, she has flat-out refused. This leaves me emotionally hurt and confused, even though I know that it shouldn't. Knowing that, though, just makes me even sadder.
Like I said, she just doesn't get it and says that not only does it not turn her on, but that she really doesn't want to hurt me... She can't understand that I desperately want her to hurt me -- even just a little bit. It makes her feel uncomfortable, and I want to respect that. At the same time, I feel like it's not asking too much for her to try to indulge me on that. It's unfair, I know, but I feel emotionally hurt by her refusal to do so. I feel like I would participate in literally any fantasy that she had -- but she's pretty vanilla and doesn't really seem have any beyond new positions during sex and some light BDSM. As a general rule, though, she does enjoy light bondage, though she typically prefers for me to be more dominant in bed. This is fine, because I also prefer to be dominant 90% of the time. Occasionally, she does like to switch and be the one doing the tying-up, but she's never particularly dominant about it when she does do it.
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So basically, my question is how should I proceed? Is it best to just drop it? Or is there something that I should try in order to make my feelings more clear? Again, I really don't want to ruin my otherwise amazing relationship with this incredible person. At the same time, I know that being able to act on this life-long fantasy would be so amazingly emotionally filling for me.