I have a crush on someone, but am not sure we're compatible in certain ways

I kind of have a mutual crush on this other guy, but I wouldn't feel comfortable dating him because our relationship is so different from what I have with my other partners. They're all submissive (me being a top is a thing I've just recently come to accept and identify with) and this guy is very dominant and aggressive. I enjoy rough-housing and getting thrown around by him, and I enjoy his softer touches and hugs, but I want to resist the temptation to kiss him. What is this?

It is possible to be romantically compatible with someone, but not sexually compatible - and vice versa. Our culture likes to tell us that certain feelings, like physical attraction, sexual desire, and romantic intimacy, should all collapse into the same thing. But that doesn’t capture the true complexity of human interaction!

If you want, you can keep things at a “flirty friendship,” if that’s what works best for you two! But you could also consider whether you’re holding yourself back for reasons that aren’t totally solid. You say you wouldn’t feel comfortable dating him because the dynamic between you two is so different than you’re used to. But then you go on to say that you do enjoy that dynamic! If you feel tempted to kiss him, there is something there that you want, and you don’t have to resist it just because a relationship with him might be a new experience or challenge existing assumptions about your identity.

If I were you, I’d talk to him about all this! Tell him what you enjoy about being with him, and what makes you nervous. You two could try getting more physically intimate with the caveat that you won’t try anything that feels too submissive or dominant on either person’s part. You could let yourself kiss him and see where that goes!

If he’s interested, he might be a good sounding board to talk about your developing identity as a top, and what might feel confusing or threatening in that context. Remember that just because you enjoy this person’s dominant energies doesn’t mean your “toppiness” isn’t real - lots of people are “switches,” and/or you could be drawn to him because his dominant ‘style’ is one you’d like to emulate. I’d recommend The Topping Book as a way to keep understanding that part of your identity and sexuality.

But if you really don’t feel comfortable trying any of that, it’s okay to let this be an impossible crush; or some attraction to someone that you don’t actually want to follow through on. That’s okay, and totally normal! Lots of people feel things that we don’t necessarily want to act on, or fantasize about things we would balk at making real. Keep working toward understanding your own desires, and building a foundation of security in your identity!