Sometimes I'm frustrated that I don't know exactly what I'm into. I have some general ideas on the physical stuff--biting yes please, paddling no thank you, clit stimulation no thank you, G-spot stimulation OHHH FUCK FUCCCKK AHHH--but a lot of the big questions are unanswered. Like, would I ever be okay with monogamy? Do I want a relationship with a for-reals power dynamic or just play? Do I ever want to be forced into things I really don't want, or do I want to keep it strictly on the "oh no, not the briar patch" level? Do I ultimately want to settle down with a house and kids and a picket fence? Do I enjoy switching ever? Would I enjoy performing purely nonsexual service? How serious a relationship do I want at this point in my life, or do I prefer being single?
And the answer is not, I think, that I need to navel-gaze until I answer these things. The answer is "well, with whom?" Because it's no use thinking too hard about what I'd do with a faceless gray box of a partner who dropped out of the sky on me. In reality, every relationship I've had has developed a different dynamic, and one that was different from all my partner's previous relationships as well. Chemistry isn't about the elements that just sit there; it's about the reactions, and I can never predict what those will be. (Which is why I flunked out of pre-med.) What I want in a relationship is a moot point--I won't know until I find out what I want in a relationship with Joe.
I feel like some people approach dating with an idea of what they want, and the question they want to answer is "how close is this person to what I'm looking for?" I don't. The only question I have is "do I like this person?", because the way in which I like them has to reach its own equilibrium.