On becoming kinky
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Throughout the years one of the most common questions I've been asked has come from people who don't consider themselves kinky but have discovered they're interested in or dating someone who has such interests. Inevitably they ask some version of "How do I satisfy their kinky needs?"
This can be a tricky thing to answer.
Let me start with some unsolicited advice. Let me also say that I'm sure there are leatherfolk and kinksters who disagree with me on this. So be it. I stand by it as sound advice.
If before you seek out potential partners, you already know that kink is an important part of your core sexuality or that being a part of a leather or kink community is vital to your social structure needs, reconsider fishing in non-kinky cruising or dating ponds. Why risk at the least an erotic disconnect and at worst relationship turmoil if it's unnecessary?
The converse is true of course. If you're reading this and absolutely know you have zero kink tendencies and no wish to explore in that realm, at least as far as you know today, tailor your cruising and relationships accordingly.
This advice pertains to kink, but the same advice applies if you already know you're polyamorous, non-monogamous, or otherwise have deep-rooted sexuality or relationship requirements to be happy. But I'll stick with kink right now since my space here is limited.
Let me also qualify this advice by inserting that not everyone is into kink the same ways.
Some people might be the occasional weekend warrior. A weekend warrior might pursue some flavor of kink when the mood strikes, but otherwise kink isn't a front burner desire.
Weekend warrior types may not need kink as an integral part of their life. While having sexual partners into their kink might be ideal, it may not be a deal breaker. They might be open to hookups or even an ongoing relationship with someone not kinky. Especially if their kink proclivities can be satisfied elsewhere.
Others adopt kink as a consistently needed part of their sexuality and, in some cases, their identity. For these people, finding partners who are kinky matters. Yes, there's a possibility they can figure out a way to play or partner with someone who's not kinky, but the mental and erotic gymnastics required might be difficult. One must calculate the effort and complexity and decide if it's worth it.
Now, add into this mix the fact that some people don't come to discover the more adventurous side of their sexuality until later in life. So, they might already be amid a sex life that hasn't historically included kink, Or, they might already be partnered to someone not kinky and not want to end that relationship, but still want to explore their newly embraced erotic proclivities.
The waters can get even muddier in this territory. So many things to consider.
I make no pretense that this is all easy. It can be a struggle at times. Syncing our sexualities with others is an ongoing iterative process as we learn more about ourselves, the range of options available to us, and the people with whom we sexually connect. Who we are sexually is a constantly moving target, at least for most of us.
With all that said, let's assume you're not particularly kinky and run across someone you have the hots for who wants to get his kink on with you. What do you do if you want to pursue the connection and satisfy their kinky needs at the same time?
The first bit of advice will seem too simple, but it should be your first stop as you decide if you can instigate some energy behind your potential partner's kink. Talk.
Talk with them. A lot. Ask questions. What exactly do you mean by liking that kink? Does it matter that I don't know anything about it? Would it still be sexy for you if you walked me through how to do that with you? If I need to learn something more in depth about it, are you willing to teach me, or do you have any ideas about how I can learn?
Some kink doesn't really require much in the way of technique while other forms absolutely require some specific information and probably training. The only way you'll know is by asking questions.
If someone you're interested in isn't forthcoming when you ask such questions, frankly I don't think that's a good sign. Rule number one in kink, in all of sex really, is no one is a mind reader. How are you supposed to know what someone wants and how to do it if you don't ask and get a useful answer?
Sadly, some kinksters operate in an idealized fantasy world where their partner is supposed to automatically know exactly how to take them on their specific erotic journey without any prior communication. Again, none of us are mind readers.
Now, let's say you're the previously not kinky person who's decided you're going to give this hookup or date a go with this more experienced kinkster. You've done the initial talking, but you still don't feel fully prepared. You have more options.
Next stop might be asking around among your friends. If you're comfortable doing so, ask those in your inner circle if they know anything about that particular kink. What information can they share? If they're into the same kink, what's been their experience? How might they operate with someone like you who's new to it. If the kink requires some technical know-how, might they be willing to show you the ropes (so to speak)?
By now you may have noticed that all the exploratory and learning advice I've given has been one-to-one interactions. Person to person. Direct communication and teaching. In a world replete with an abundance of websites, books and classes about every variation of sex and kink, I still believe nothing is better than learning directly from another person. Nothing beats real life experience.
You can certainly learn a lot from websites and that's probably where most people learn about much of sex these days, but caution should be used. Cross-reference everything multiple times. Don't take any one set of information as gospel. If you can supplement your learning with books, there are many good ones out there on a variety of kink topics.
Of course, sometimes one-to-one, person-to-person sexuality education isn't readily available. And maybe you aren't the type to learn easily through websites or books. Luckily, since I'm writing mostly for a Bay Area reading audience, there are gobs of sex and kink education resources here.
Ask around about classes. Locally we have the Center for Sex and Culture, Society of Janus, San Francisco Leathermen's Discussion Group, The Exiles, Good Vibrations, Wicked Grounds, and so many more. Classes on kink topics aren't difficult to find.
But, you know what? Sometimes I overcomplicate things. Maybe this is the entire exchange between you and the more experienced kinkster.
"I love to be spanked."
"Oh, hmm. I've never done that."
"No problem. Let me pull down my pants and bend over right now and show you. Now, just hit my ass lightly with your hand." Swat!
"Oh yeah. That felt good. A bit harder." Swat!!
"Yes! Okay, you can go a bit harder, but not too much harder. And aim a bit more here (pointing)." Swat!!!
"Bingo! Hot! Keep going. You're doing great!"
And that might be all there is to learning how to satisfy your partner's kink. There are many paths to the same goal. Have fun!
Race Bannon is a local author, blogger and activist. You can reach him through the contact page on his www.bannon.com
For Leather events: http://www.ebar.com/events/nightlife_events/260028