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Archive for March 23rd, 2009

Hello, all! Today I have two questions from people just starting out; let’s hope that I can give them some good insight and not send them running screaming from all things kink. 🙂

If you’d like to ask me a question, write me at delilah@dommedelilah.com, or if you’re really brave, comment here!

Now: on with your questions!

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Dear Delilah,

Let’s say you’re taking your first baby steps into kinky stuff. Let’s say you’re not the kind of person who just throws hirself into new things with outrageous abandon. How would you recommend finding out what it is that you like safely, both physically and emotionally?

-Aroused in Arlington

Dear Aroused,

I’m so glad you asked. There are many ways to go about this task; your job is to figure out which one works best for you.

One of the better ways of getting a sense of what you might like in the kinky world is to take a look at your fantasies. What do you think about when you jack off? What kind of porn turns you on? What things have you wished your partner would do to you – or wished you could do to your partner – when you’re having sex? This information can be invaluable when you’re trying to navigate the waters of BDSM and its offshoots. Start noticing it. Write it down in your journal. Observe trends.

The next step is trying things out. Now, a warning: one of the more interesting phenomena I’ve encountered is that sometimes the fantasy and the reality don’t match. Maybe your fantasy is something that’s simply not possible in our consensual reality: I have a client who has a giantess fetish, and while I am six feet tall, there’s no way I can be sixty. Or sometimes you might try out a fantasy and discover that in reality, it’s actually scary or uninteresting or even repugnant: maybe it’s nice to fantasize about being vomited on, but the smell, ach!

But you never know until you try, and if you’re a cautious person, the thing to do is pick one of your tamer fantasies first. What constitutes “tame,” you might ask? Depends on you. To you, tickling may be extreme edge play (it is for me; I detest being tickled). Having someone run a knife along your body without cutting may be perfectly tame. (For me, it’s extreme: I have a terror of knives.) When you think about making your fantasy into reality, how does it make you feel? Scared? Aroused? Intrigued? If it’s something closer to the latter two, give it a try. If it frightens you, try some tamer things first.

Finally, you need to share the fantasy with a partner and see if they will indulge you. If the person you’re involving is someone close to you and also new to kink, remember to be gentle and ask that they be gentle with you: you’re revealing something vulnerable about yourself, and you’re asking them to participate in something that may be intimidating. Make sure you make it clear that this is something you want to experience together: if it’s something you wind up enjoying, it’s more likely to be repeated if you both enjoy it. If you’re asking them to bottom, don’t forget to talk about safewords: they should have a word they can say that will stop all activity and give you a chance to check in. (Safewords are important for tops, too, in case you feel you need to stop.) If you’re asking them to top, reassure them that you won’t be critical during the experience; having the first experience be less intense but safe and pleasant is a good gateway to having more intense experiences later.

If both of you are new, it’s also important that at least one of you know what you’re doing. This is why it’s probably better to pick something less complicated: perhaps your partner could tie you to the bed with scarves, but you probably don’t want to be suspended from hooks just yet. There are plenty of books, classes and trainings in the Boston area and country-wide on various types of kink; I myself offer trainings for singles and couples if you are interested.

Another way to go about it, particularly if you attend kinky parties, is to approach someone experienced whom you’d like to play with, and ask them if they’d be willing to do “x” activity with you, a novice. Many experienced players are happy to “break in” newbies, and can (but may not always) provide you with valuable feedback. They also will likely already have good skills and boundaries around BDSM play, and will be able to more easily provide you with a safe environment to experience your early scenes.

Happy playing!

Dear Delilah,

As someone who has little practical experience with kink but who has recently started dating a man who is into BDSM, and is a “dominant,” I am unsure about many things: a) how to explain a willingness but a nervousness about participating in such sexual behavior b) what to expect c) where on earth this desire to be dominated came from.

-Unsure Me

Dear Um,

This is a marvelous tangle, isn’t it? It sounds like you’re on the cusp of something big for you. The question is, how do you make the experience exciting and safe and not let your trepidation keep you from going forward?

You ask how to explain a willingness yet a nervousness to engage in kinky-type sex. If this person you’re dating is a good guy (which I hope he is), then it shouldn’t be too difficult, or at least it shouldn’t come as a big surprise to him. You’re new to this, and that he knows, correct? Let him know that the idea of it turns you on, but you have some fears and he’ll need to take it slow. Make sure that you work out safewords: a word that either of you can say that will stop the kinky activity and give you a chance to talk about what happened. If he is dismissive of your nervousness, that’s a big red flag: BDSM is tricky territory, not to be entered into lightly. Make sure you can trust him before engaging in what could be risky behavior.

As far as what to expect: that depends. When I first got into kink, it was a whirlwind of emotions and sensations I never had encountered before. I started as a pure submissive, and among other things, I had some internal bridling about what it meant to be a feminist who wanted to be sexually overpowered by a man. I had some fear about giving over my power to another. But I also had (and continue to have) some of the most fulfilling and exciting sex of my life. As I grew into my kinky identity as a switch, I experienced the rush of power exchange in both directions, the sacredness of trust given and trust received, and the incredible closeness it can engender. But the experience is very individual.

One thing to be careful of is not to think that you have to be forced to endure anything that you don’t like, either to “prove” how kinky you are, or to satisfy your dominant boyfriend. While in some relationships submissives sometimes endure things for love of their dominants, this is not a necessary component of kink, and if something he does causes you suffering without pleasure (as distinguished from the pleasure one may derive from suffering “for” someone), then don’t agree to it.

And where did this desire come from? Boy, did I ask myself the same question years ago. For you, it may be coming from this person in particular, and how his desires affect yours. Or, he could be pushing buttons that you’ve just never had pushed before, that were just there waiting to be pushed. I wouldn’t worry about that part too much: not everybody’s kink comes from some childhood trauma or repressed memory. Some of us just desire a more intense experience than plain vanilla sex can usually provide, and kink is how we go about getting it.

Above all, be safe, trust yourself, remember your safewords – and check in with yourself frequently about your own power in the rest of your life. Giving someone else power over you temporarily can be incredibly erotic, trust-building, and intimate. Giving someone else control over your life, however, rarely works out well.

***

That’s it for this week. Remember to send me your questions: delilah@dommedelilah.com.

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