A Unexpected Conversation

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Part of my month-long vacation this summer involved going to see some old friends from college. After some adventures, we ended up sitting at a Denny’s late into the night and talking about “how we really are.” When the girls found out that I was in a poly-amorous relationship, they immediately unleashed a torrent of jealously at me.

I should note, these are not kinky girls. They are what I would consider to be pretty vanilla and normal (all things considered.)

And yet, when I mentioned that my husband and I occasionally slept with other people, they were overcome with wonder and asked me how I managed to convince him to allow such a thing.

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Now of course, that is just silly. I didn’t have to “convince” him and he doesn’t “allow” it. It is just who he was when I met him. It is also how I am, and so it worked out nicely for us.

At that Denny’s at 3am, the more the girls described their experiences with their husbands, the more I became convinced that being poly is an orientation. My college friends are hard-wired like me, to want multiple partners. And unfortunately, their husbands are not.

This made me curious how common it is in each sex, and so I did a bunch of digging. It doesn’t seem that the topic has been studied yet, so if you know a social scientist looking for a thesis idea, please suggest it to them. In the meantime, my anecdotal evidence will lead me to suspect that it is more common in females.

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If being poly truly is an orientation (as many have suggested,) then I guess that means it’s something you can’t talk a partner into if you want the relationship to last. You either have to find someone who is, or become comfortable with being monogamous. At least, that is how it would seem to be.

It’s funny because when I first realized I was poly, I suspected that everyone was like me, but they were all pretending not to be. I held on to that belief for a long time, and used to get annoyed when people told me that they just couldn’t imagine it. I would blame their religion or their upbringing, and imagine that they were being held back from something they really wanted deep down.

However, after years of running workshops and counseling people on everything to do with sex, I am convinced that some people really aren’t into sleeping around. They just want one human to call their own, and consider that to be enough. I think that is really just how some people are.

Thank all the gods both living and dead that I found a mate who wasn’t monogamous.

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Fetish Series

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The BDSM community is a group of diverse people. We certainly have things in common, such as our agreement to be accepting of others, and to engage in safe, sane, and consensual play.

However, there is a phrase we often use: “Your kink is not my kink.”

This is meant to refer to the fact that we’re all kinky in different ways. You may be a Furry or a Little. I am neither of those things. However, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t part of the same community.

I get asked about different fetishes a lot.

I think that if we are all part of the same community, then we should probably know about each other’s kinks. We wouldn’t want to misrepresent someone else’s fetish to a vanilla person, right?

With that in mind, I am starting a series of posts on various fetishes. Hopefully by the time I am done, you will all feel very informed about different things that are out there.

Vanilla folks often make out various fetishes to be much more disturbing than they are, and they can be very judgmental about us as a whole. However, some folks in the community can be judgmental too; saying things like: “I am into bondage and impact play, but I think piss play is gross.”

It is my personal supposition that once you understand a fetish and why someone is into it, you will be more tolerant. This series will address that idea.

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Public Kink

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Lately I’ve been wondering about how public people make their kink, and what they are really worried about.

First, I should give you background. I have managed to work at a dungeon without feeling the need to tell people about it. My other job during the same time was at a bar, and I kept the two very separate.  Had I told the conservative folks at the dive bar about my other job, they would have lost their shit.

So I think what I am trying to say is; I am good at keeping quiet around people who are vanilla. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes I want to scream from the rooftops: “I just went to the BEST fetish party!” Yet I manage to avoid talking about kink to co-workers, friends, and all the other people I interacted with.

Yes, it feels like a lie sometimes. I often wish it were like being gay, where I could say “this is just how I am and you should accept it!” But it’s not like being gay. (I hate when people make that comparison.) Gay people want the right to get married, and to kiss in public without anyone getting angry. Straight couples into BDSM can get married and kiss in the streets. Kink is really only something to be enjoyed in private or semi-public spaces. It doesn’t need to happen outside dungeons and clubs and house parties. There is really no reason to flog a submissive in the streets for the same reason you shouldn’t have sex in the street. It’s a sex act and those should be private. Therefore, you can’t really say others should have to accept it.

Of course there’s also the fact that, if you tell others, it could damage your career or relationships with vanilla people.

So I keep my kink to myself most of the time. Even at play parties I let others take the lead whenever I can, and I sit back and watch. I feel like kinky people can often think their way is the only way, so I generally avoid giving demos or teaching because I don’t want someone to say “Oh I do it this way and it’s much better.” That always annoys me.

An example is flogging. I really enjoy flogging, but I don’t like to do the approved figure-eight motion. You can’t hit as hard when you do that. I mostly play with submissives that like pain, and I like inflicting pain. I want to pull the tails back and snap them as hard as I can! I want to put all my weight into it and really raise welts! But that’s not the “approved notion” about how to flog someone and I have been criticized for it before.

And I do realize I came from a very extreme scene. When I was growing up, the kids I played with thought nothing of sticking meat hooks into their backs and being hung from the ceiling. I know other scenes are much more conservative, and of course, everyone has their rules.

So in general, if I am forced to present at all or give my opinion, I try to remind people that it’s just how I do things, and I am not trying to be bossy or tell others what to do. I am NOT one of those people that will harass you about protocol. I don’t care who hits on who, what paperwork you want to do or choose not to do, or how you want to play. Do your thing, people. Do your thing.

I consider myself softly spoken and I try to tone my personality down as much as I can. I know I am too high-energy for some people and certainly for some dungeons.

Make no mistake though- because I really can’t let you get this wrong: I am not ashamed of being kinky and I will not act ashamed!

So this is where the question of how “out” to be comes in.

I am open about my kink on fetlife.com and I am open about it to other kinky people. I am not secretive and I don’t think people should let paranoia control them.

Korea has spoiled me. They literally don’t give a shit about your personal life here. It’s understood that you might get drunk and throw up and be crazy at night, but that bears no connection at all to how you act at work. An example (which I was horrified about) is when my boss went to my apartment unannounced to look at my broken heater. I had my toys laid out on the dresser because I had cleaned them all before work, and she did not mention them to anyone ever or hold it against me. She had gone to my house and she understood that privacy is important in a personal space- as Koreans do. I love this about Korea. They let your personal life be your own.

Even in the states though- I am out in the scene. I do not hide who I am from other kinksters or make them guess about what I do or don’t do. I am up-front and direct. And I’m fine with curious vanilla people too. They’re pretty harmless and if they’re thinking about it, I’m cool with letting them come walk on the wild side and have a look.

The reason is this: There is never any evidence. We don’t allow photos at play parties without consent. If you took someone’s picture without asking, the entire crowd would flip out because we all know that is not okay. No one would defend you. It is the same at dungeons and fetish proms. You ask before you take a picture, and you do not post anything on the internet without permission.

Therefore, if someone wanted to “out” you, all they would have is words. They would say “So-and-so is into S&M” and you would say “You wish!” and laugh it off. No one takes hearsay seriously.

This is why I am comfortable in the community and do not seem to be concerned about people knowing that I am kinky. When I am at a fetish event, of course I am not concerned! I am with my people. I refuse to act ashamed of myself around my people! I refuse to be uptight and yell at anyone who even has a camera that they’re not using. I am not going to shy away from vanilla folks who turn up to see what it’s all about, nor am I going to yell at others who are making a choice to bring a trusted friend into the fold.

I guess my point is this: Do be careful, because being found out as kinky can still ruin your life. But, don’t be paranoid and harsh on anyone who doesn’t seem ashamed enough of who they are for your taste. I know everyone is “out” to different degrees, but lets not be rude to folks who are new to the community at a munch or a party or a dungeon. Let’s try to help people explore when they are ready, and not push them when they are not. Lets try to be respectful and kind.

So Your Significant Other Is Into BDSM…

One of the most common questions that seems to come up in online forums related to BDSM is:

“Well, I’ve never thought about it and I am not into it, but my SO is into BDSM and I love them, so…”

I am not an expert at anything. I’ve just been in the scene for a really long time. It doesn’t make me a relationship guru and only you know what is right for you. But here is what I have noticed:

First, I am pretty sure this whole kink thing is The Way We Are. I have been fantasizing about pain since I was 5 years old, so I am pretty certain it’s just a personality trait, and I don’t think it will go away because someone else is not interested. I’m sorry, but I can’t change my hair color either.

Just understand that kink isn’t something that I think people typically choose. Maybe some people do- if they’re just bored with sex. However, I’ve been to a lot of play parties where we all started talking about how we got to be kinky, and all of us remember fantasizing about kinky things as kids.

So just take that into account.

However, let’s be honest: The kink community can come with a lot on nonsense in terms of dating. You meet people on fetlife.com or collarme.com and they can be nice people- or they can be people with serious issues who act like their kink is the only acceptable kind and everyone else is sick. Sometimes we get tired of dating “in our scene.”

There are all sorts of ways a relationship can go when you meet someone in the community. For example  sometimes you meet someone that you only play scenes with and the dynamic is really good; and you don’t want to make it a relationship because it might alter the dynamic.

Also, as I mentioned before when I talked about how to hit on a girl- just because a guy is kinky- does not mean he has game. Some of the people you meet are awkward enough that it can turn you off to kink completely for awhile. I have met a lot of girls that felt that way.

Worse still- sometimes you’re stuck living somewhere that the scene is mostly dead. Imagine that there are only six other people that ever meet up and they are all in monogamous relationships, and it’s just you all alone with no one kinky to date. And even if one other person showed up, and if they were of your preferred gender, and if they had kinks similar to yours, you still might not like them as a person. Or, to put it another way, just because the only male a of species left on Earth meets the only female of a species left on Earth, does not mean they will fuck.

The point is- dating in the scene can be complicated. Maybe a person doesn’t always feel like they have that option. And so sometimes we date vanilla people- for whatever reason.

So then various forums end up flooded with vanilla people asking one of two questions. They either want to know about kink and maybe get into it, or they want to know if their SO can live without it.

If they want to know more about it, there are great books like S&M 101 by Jay Wisemen. There are people who do workshops like Midori. There are people who do how-to videos like Twisted Monk. And there is loads of places to read up online like the FAQ section of reddit’s BDSM community. Learning about kink is as simple as spending some time reading.

Note that I didn’t recommend watching porn. There is good stuff out there, like the stuff at kink.com. That’s worth paying for- and I don’t often say that about porn. However, the majority of porn that is labeled BDSM is actually just porn, but with vinyl clothes. That’s not really going to help anyone learn about kink.

Anyway there are lots of resources. If you want to learn, it’s easy.

The other question is harder. What most vanilla people dating someone into BDSM really seem to want to know is- can they live without it. I have met too many people who were dating someone who often pushed them to get freaky and they just didn’t want to. They had no interest in whips, chains, spankings, or even a little light bondage. And they wanted me to tell them that their SO didn’t need those things.

Like I said at the start of this post- I am pretty sure I was born this way. I don’t think there was ever an option for me. I think I have always been tweeked a bit- and I don’t think I can change it any more than I can change my hair colour. That’s just me. Maybe your significant other is different. Maybe they can be happy with vanilla sex forever. Talk to them about it. And if they say they are sure they can quit kink cold turkey and never ask you for anything out of the ordinary, then maybe that is the case.

Only you know how your relationship is doing and how your dynamic is. Only you know what you can live with, and what you can live without. I think more than anything else, what’s needed in such situations is soul searching. Because if your SO is into BDSM and you’re sure that you’re not- then sometimes the relationship is probably not going to work out. Sorry to end on a down note; but it had to be said.