Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

Welcome to the world of kink

[This is part of another project I’m working on. It is a work in progress and editorial remarks would make me all sorts of happy…]

Welcome to the big bad world of whips and chains. “You are doing this for pleasure, usually your own; if it’s not fun, stop.” This is the most useful piece of advice I got when I entered the BDSM scene, and it is the first piece of advice I want to give you. Understand first and foremost that what you do here is your choice, you are pursuing your own desires, acting on your fantasies.

Remember that this is about you when you are introduced to Master or Mistress Big Shot who will insist that all bottoms kneel at all times or real tops never take their clothes off, and don’t listen to them. You have navigated your way through the heteronormative culture, found your way to the leather-covered back corner of the queer world. This is where the fun begins, but first you have to trust yourself, trust your experience and your desires, let Mistress Bigshot play with Real Slave; you don’t need them. But here are some things you may want to think about…

History: Learn your history and respect your elders (just like your Sunday school teacher said). You may have heard of the Old Guard – leather clad men rejecting the status quo and setting into motion a side of the sexual revolution hippie feminists never imagined. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Old Guard – these people had the courage and strength to create a space for me to write this letter, and for you to read it. They opened the dialogue of leather sex and their sacrifices paved the way for our successes. However, I am damn glad I missed those years. The Old Guard is marked by a plethora of rules and protocols; most of the kink scenes you’ll find these days are a lot more free form. And by the way, anyone under the age of 50 claiming to be Old Guard either means they fetishize Old Guard style protocols, or they are about to tell you how you are having the wrong kind of sex. Respecting your elders doesn’t mean replicating their lives.

Creativity: Before you go out and buy $500 worth of leather toys figure out what you already have. Can you think of creative uses for clothes pins? Wooden spoons? You can spend hundreds of dollars on paddles, floggers, and rubber clothes, but if you’re living on a college student budget you probably don’t want to. If you are just getting the BDSM scene I know the toys can be tempting, but they will still be at the shop next time you come by and you might have a better idea of what you’re into by then. Unless of course it has been your lifelong dream to be wiped by a girl with a pink bunny tail holding a bright purple whip in which case you want to go right out and buy said tail and whip (try Coyote Whips for colorful designs).

Community: Well ok, there are plenty of kinky people who want nothing to do with other kinky people outside their bedrooms, but if you have ever gone to a GSA meeting or a gay pride event you’ve probably realized that community comes with quite a few advantages. Besides, the best place to meet kinky partners is at kink community events. I’ve seen kink events happen in some unlikely places (Atlanta, Georgia anyone?) so you don’t have to be in New York or San Francisco to find the kink community. Get online and google for some groups in your area. Most will have a regular event called a “munch,” this is a casual non-play event that is open to the public, and usually held in a public space. It’s a nice, low pressure, low commitment way to meet people in your area. One thing to remember is that these events tend to be discreet so you might not be able to tell the leather social from the librarians Wednesday night get-together. Email the organizer in advance and ask where the event will be specifically and if there is someone or something you can look for.

Patience: After years of secret desires and angst filled fantasies you’ve finally found yourself on the dungeon doorstep. Oh who am I kidding? With the advent of the internet do they still have secrets? But in any case, you are here, and ready to explore your not so secret desires at your local leather community center or industrial-loft-turned-dungeon. You’ve read the books, you bought the toys, and you are ready to take a stab at this whole kinky sex thing, but there is just one problem. You don’t have a partner, or maybe you’re in a small conservative town and no one invited you to the dungeon because it really is a secret. Don’t give up, don’t jump on the first band wagon that comes along either. Getting in to the kink scene can be a slow process (unless of course you happen to be lucky enough to live in New York or San Francisco). I started in a fairly large city and it still took me a while to build enough trust in my community to get the coveted private party invite. Furthermore, what we do takes a certain amount of skill to do safely, and of course skill comes from practice. You will probably not be able to swing a whip accurately on the first try; keep trying. And if you’re a bottom this is not the part you get to skim over – I know you’re eager to get out there and experience all these cool things, but take some time to figure out what you want, what you need, and most importantly what your limits are, and then learn to communicate all that to your partner.

I used to run a munch for my local TNG group (TNG stands for The Next Generation and is an offshoot of larger BDSM organizations geared to people between the ages of 18 and 35) and one of the most frequent emails I would get would be a new group member describing in detail his or her fantasy and asking for advice on how to make it happen right now. The only real answer I can give is that some things are worth the wait. Good play partners, and that one scene you’ve always dreamed of are certainly worth waiting for. In the mean time, enjoy the ride and see what you can learn.

Written by kinkinexile

November 9, 2007 at 7:14 am

2 Responses

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  1. Respecting your elders doesn’t mean replicating their lives.

    *laughs*
    Excellent point. As is the rest of your article.

    Tom Allen

    November 9, 2007 at 9:23 pm

  2. […] I’ve been pretty anti-BDSM community lately and I figured this merits some explanation.  Specifically, it merits explanation in light of my own history. […]


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