Like Anastasia.

When I first stepped into the world of feminism; from what was a very antifeminist stance, I was stunned by the sense of community that I had entered. Women who were not only encouraged to find their own tribe and their own voice, but who had a responsibility to listen to those who, for so many reason, experienced the world in a way they never would. To form; from near or far, a deep sense of solidarity with each other no matter how different our, inequitable, oppressive experience of the world were. We had each other’s back and made decisions, especially in regards to the words we chose to speak about each other, that would let others know we’ve got this.

Of course this utopian nirvana I thought I had found has lost its shine over the last decade. Feminism is imperfect, complicated, diverse and sometimes down and out infuriating. But it is, and will always be, the one choice I will always make. To not only be a feminist but to deliberately use my space in this world to smash the status quo. 

But, to me, the almost universal premise that brings feminism from the world of theory and academia and into the ways that women, right here right now, make and experience their bodies in this patriarchal world is the curiosity and respect for each other’s voice. And right at the heart of this idea (or is that ideal) is that no other person, feminist or not, is not in any position to tell women what they should or shouldn’t do. While this new vouge feminism centred in choice is deeply problematic; choice, not just the ability but the permission to, engage or disengage with the world in informed ways, has to mean something.

One of the things I’m learning about being a submissive woman, is that I now exist in this cultural paradox. Within BDSM, when a woman tells her story and she says that her experiences of submission are negative, that she has been harmed. That she is living with trauma. She is called a liar. She is shamed. She is blamed. Outside of BDSM, when a woman tells her story and she says that her experiences of submission are positive, that she feels safe, that she is experiencing pleasure. She is called a liar. She is shamed. She is blamed.

It doesn’t matter what we are saying; our voice is ignored, ridiculed and rejected.

I’m not arrogant enough to tell women what they should be doing. So it was no surprise that Caitlin Roper’s latest account of her angst surrounding the newest Fifty Shades release was something that I was going to find hard to read. To me it is deeply paternalistic, her words and those like her are founded in the genuine belief that they know what is best. Rejecting the experiences of women who genuinely enjoy the franchise and intentionally subjugating the dozens if not hundreds of reasons why they are going to see the movie.

So when I see women like Caitlin Roper jumping from the clichéd volley of platitudes usually directed at the franchise (I’m surprised that the condescending mummy porn portrayal wasn’t front and centre in her piece) into the position that tells the readers of the Sydney Morning Herald that “these are the services where women like Anastasia end up” I have to stop and really think hard about what the overall intention of this piece was.

Did Caitlin want to add something to the numerous conversations about the structural and cultural barriers to women freely engaging with frontline services? Was she writing this because she has a genuine concern for women “like Anastasia” and a desire to make sure that we too have access to relevant interventions and services?

Call me sceptical, but I’m going to say it’s a sure bet that neither of these were part of the reason why she wrote this piece. Nor why the Sydney Morning Herald chose to take it to publication.

Because the reality is that women like Caitlin Roper have little to no concern about women like me. The women that they choose to cast as presumptive victims while choosing to ignore our voices and our stories. Women like me, who are safe in our intimate spaces even though the behaviours, language, attitudes and community commonly associated with BDSM and dominance and submission are at the core of our relationships. While people will jump to read the narratives of our sexploits when it is all about the whips and chains and orgasms; it’s getting harder and harder to get others to actually take the time to sit down, shut up and listen to us. Well they have no reason to right?

For all of the pieces about “women like Anastasia” I have not yet encountered one which actively seeks out what we need in frontline services; especially with regard to mental health care. And from the hour or so of searching on the website of those organisations behind this campaign, I can safely assume that not one of them has any dedicated service or counsellor informed about or directed to meeting the needs of submissive women.

But beyond “these services” that she has so carefully promoted in her piece not actually being services that would be responsive to who I am and what I would need if in fact I did ever need to access their services; I want to question the dominant narrative of her piece.

There are lots of things wrong with the character of Christian Grey. He is materialistic and status driven. He believes that his philanthropic endeavours account for the business choices he makes. He has acquired so many unhealthy and dysfunctional approaches to and behaviours within both his relationships with women and in his sex life (it’s interesting that, of all the pieces written about his behaviours not one piece has tried to explore the correlation between child abuse and the attachment disorder that Christian so clearly has). He has unresolved trauma. And most importantly connected to BDSM his sexual identity has stalled in its infancy stage, the only way he can feel safe engaging with sex in a mutually satisfying way is my having a signed piece of paper kept in the bedside table; or wherever a billionaire would keep his important documents. Christian Grey also embodies a lot of the fragile yet toxic masculinity that has created the realm of the pickup artist; and, unfortunately, has begun to infect BDSM. It’s egocentric, entitled and dangerous for women, because, amongst other problems it schedules women as passive in their own bodies and as characters that men create through their own sexual prowess. So I am not defending the character that is Christian Grey. And let’s be honest he and the world that he commands is one walking, talking product placement.

Christian is not the absolute everything of FSOG. And while he clearly exhibits problematic behaviours he is a fictional character that is a cluster of everything unlikable and unacceptable. And women are allowed to like him.

And this, as far as I’m concerned, brings to a head the idea that the franchise is glamourising intimate partner violence.

Finding something alluring about a fictional character; even one as dysfunctional as Christian Grey. Finding points of reference in fiction that you connect to, that resemble the story of your own sexual realities. Does not, in anyway, negate the way you perceive intimate partner violence! And to consider the audience of Fifty Shades Darker as ignorant about the realities of intimate partner violence., is quite arrogant!

And that is just not how I choose to approach the millions of women, throughout the world who have gone and will go and see Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. I see them, as I see myself as women entitled to make their own decisions regarding how they spend their disposable incomes. But more than that, I am not so isolated from the community of women who either enjoy the Fifty Shades franchise or who choose to bring behaviours commonly associated with dominance and submission into their erotic space, to see these women as ignorant about the realities of intimate partner violence. We see the same news headlines as you. We read the same reports that tell us the attitudes regarding women, violence and sexual behaviours is repulsive. We know that intimate partner violence kills at least 1 woman a week in Australia and costs our economy billions of dollars in lost wages, first responders, health care and our legal system We see the same shallow and pathetic attempts at awareness, band aid solutions, funding cuts and inadequate structural and institutional action as every other woman. We see the casual and often inadequate ways that the media engage with the complexity of gendered violence. We understand that domestic and family violence has, over generations, has been relegated to behind closed doors, assigned to the too hard or not our problem basket. We may enjoy a movie that some see as problematic, be we, as individuals and a collective group of women are neither the cause of intimate partner violence not blatantly ignorant of it.

I think that there is a lot wrong with infantilising women’s consumer choices. The women who are seeing this movie found something interesting to see; and dare I say it something that turned them on. I know I did! And I will unapologetically, defend the right for a woman to watch a movie and, when well informed by complete understanding, motivated by mutual satisfaction and framed by affirmative consent, defend the choice to be “like Anastasia” in her boudoir. 

So while I have to agree with her proposition that we (although I have no doubt that her “we” does not include women like myself) need to begin to really interrogate the way that intimate partner violence is discussed and represented I will not be actively supporting anything that intentionally creates and us and them divide. As a woman “like Anastasia” I will let other women just like her make their own choices about what they watch at the cinema and how they come to understand what intimate partner violence is.

And if that contribution to creating a better understanding of women’s experiences of intimate partner violence involves actively boycotting one book/movie franchise than, by all means, actively boycott Fifty Shades Darker; and in a years’ time when Fifty Shades Freed is released, make the same choice. But the choice to watch the movie is no more or less a choice.

But please, understand the services and the political/social ideology that you are really supporting. Spend 5 minutes Googling the individuals and organisations behind it and where exactly your money will go. Because, as a feminist, I unequivocally stand behind the idea that it is only through education; both as a social institution and self-driven, that women will be able to make the best choices for themselves.

I’m not asking you to change your opinions about the FSOG franchise; love it, hate it, it’s your decision. But what I am asking of you is that, before advocating for a particular campaign or position, you choose to understand the realities of those women “like Anastasia”. The women like me, like dozens of friends of mine – women and men alike. To stop and listen to our voices and our stories.

Being able to write and to write well is a privilege. Being given a public platform is an entitlement. Those who are gifted this public space are entitled to their own words and their own agendas. But doesn’t someone with this privilege have a responsibility to, at least consider, their potential audience? The Sydney Morning Herald is not some niche blog or sub forum. It is a mainstream media platform, and one that has a diverse audience; an audience that includes women “like Anastasia”.

Advertisements

Sex advice is abhorrent and why it’s not okay.

It doesn’t take much for me to find fault with a lot of what is considered sex education/advice these days. There is still a lot of retrograde male bodied entitlement and rejection of female autonomy and pleasure underlying our common understandings of sex. This is so common, so expected that, even in something as left of centre and progressive as The Guardian it can still be found.

From the headline alone of this advice column one could assume that the realm of sex is dictated to us by our male counterparts and, us poor female folk are relegated to the world of fantasy and unrequited romance. Which is bad enough. Until you get to the actual advice that is being dished out.

Our 20 something protagonist is dissatisfied with her boyfriend. She doesn’t enjoy sex with her boyfriend at all and can mealy fantasie about intimacy and romance because he “doesn’t like vanilla sex”. The only other piece of information we are offered is her medical diagnosis of vaginismus now classified as genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder (DSM5) which is characterised as significant distress (75 to 100% of the time and for a period of time exceeding 6 moths) due to the “difficulty in vaginal penetration, marked vulvovaginal or pelvic pain during penetration or attempt at penetration, fear or anxiety about pain in anticipation of, during, or after penetration, and tightening or tensing of pelvic floor muscles during attempted penetration.”[1].I’m not going to broach the issue of female sexual dysfunction. It’s something that deserves a piece all of its own.

We all have our own unique sexual peculiarities and idiosyncrasies. That’s what makes us unique in the ways that we humans experience sex. It is an act for pleasure more so than one for procreation. The spectrum and diversity of the array of desires and behaviours that come together to form the umbrella of sex is, as far as I’m concerned, immeasurable. Chances are if you have thought of it someone, somewhere has or is doing it.

The irregularity is the distribution of sexual pleasure within heterosexual intimate relationships is just another way in which ingrained sexism manifests in the lives of women in 2016. And Pamela Stephenson Connolly; our in resident sex guru at The Guardian has given a fantastic example of just this.

She writes “female notions of intimacy and romance are commonly alien and mysterious to men. One should never expect a man to automatically know what those fantasies of yours are, or even to consider them important” Now we don’t actually know what these particular fantasies are of the woman posing the question here, beyond that they are centered in romance and intimacy.

Are the ideas of romance and intimacy truly alien to men? Are we women who desire romance and intimacy truly that mysterious to those who we (as heterosexual women) actively desire and seek out as sexual partners?

Connolly makes reference to two specific actions that she considers to be romance/intimacy – holding hands and kissing at the cinema and (supposedly the more challenging notion) looking into the eyes of the person you are with while having sex. Physical touch and eye contact – alien and mysterious!

A woman writes in asking for help, a woman who cannot enjoy the sex that her boyfriend is expecting of her, and the only advice that is available to her is to, essentially beg, for him to kiss her, outside of the bedroom and to look at her when having sex. I just cannot imagine how “help me bring intimacy into my sex life” became “hold hands at the cinema”.

This has really frustrated me, and going by the comments that have been left on the piece itself and the conversations about the piece I’ve seen on social media I am not the only one frustrated for what has been considered appropriate sex/relationship advice here!

My first frustration is this continuation myth that being into kink is an automatic aversion to romance or intimacy. We’re not talking Hollywood or viral marriage proposal so called romance here. We are talking about affection and intimacy. You can be in a mutually satisfying romantic relationship in which kinky sex happens.

Kink – which is what I am assuming is being referred to as non-vanilla/rough sex, is not synonymous with not being able or willing to satisfy your sexual partner. It just isn’t! Kink is a means to mutual sexual satisfaction between two people who both want what is occurring. Ignoring the way that your partner is experiencing sex with you isn’t kink, it’s being a selfish prat who is choosing to not satisfy the person you are in a sexual relationship with.

What kink is NOT is heterosexual men using the ideas and behaviours commonly associated with it as a means of justifying their adversity or inability to satisfy their sexual partners.

The first time I read through the advice given here I was instantly hit with this idea that there is something inherently wrong with the “female” need for intimacy. That expecting intimacy is so far out of the realm of normal within heterosexual relationships that A, we cannot expect it without explicitly educating the other person as to how romance is to be and B, that “when he gets it right, reward him with something he especially likes”. Now I do agree that we do need to fill or sexual partners in when it comes to the more peculiarities of what we do in our boudoir. Communication is the only way that we can ensure that we are able to get what it is we want from our intimate lives. And maybe I’ve just gotten lucky when it comes to my sexual partners that sex and intimacy just have always gone hand in hand. But I really cannot accept that in 2016 I would have to tell my boyfriend (not a random one-night stand) that looking me in the eyes when having sex with me would be a good thing and rewarding him for it when he does.

Which brings me to my biggest problem with this advice. It treats sex as transactional – that in order to get what I want (intimacy) I have to do what you want – even though it is clearly stated that there is no sexual pleasure for her.

Giving of sexual pleasure to our partner without the expectation of something in return can be a really healthy act. If, and only if, it is not the constant way of having sex. Same goes with expecting a reward for the giving of sexual pleasure. We have sex with our partners to have sex with them, the whole of them. Be it a quick fuck in the shower before work in the morning or a romantic weekend away with lots of sex happening. Sex is something we do with another person, that’s why it’s not masturbation.

There is zero mutuality in either the relationship in the original question or within the advice given. That is there is no empathy for her sexual needs nor any attempt to understand let alone meet her needs. Clearly it is assumed that women are not only the gatekeepers of sex but also carry the entire burden of adjusting our sexual behaviours and expectations to align with men.

“I do not enjoy sex at all and my boyfriend is quite rough with me as he doesn’t like “vanilla sex”. I fantasise about intimacy and romance every day, but it always stays as a fantasy” (emphasis mine) says our letter writer. And all she can do is consider her fantasies so alien that she must reward her sexual partner for his effort in trying to understand them.

When did sex become all about one partner taking what they want while ignoring the entirety of their partner’s sexual pleasure? And when did “non-vanilla” sex become another term for not being able to satisfy your girlfriend?

[1]IsHak, W. W., & Tobia, G. (2013). DSM-5 changes in diagnostic criteria of sexual dysfunctions. Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders, 2013.

 

 

Saftey is never an acronym – no matter how convincing they may seem.

Risk aware, personal responsibility or safe and sane? Spend any time in any kink space; online or in real time, and the inevitable safety debate will emerge. Safe, sane and consensual might be tried and true but the SS and the C are too literal and/or limiting – depending who is on the soapbox. Risk aware makes us know (although who tells us what it is we need to know is still not settled) what needs to be known. And personal responsibility is victim blaming – ooops I mean making sure you own your own shit, even when you didn’t create this shit in the first place.

Look, I don’t give a shit – personal responsibility or otherwise, which bunch of letters you claim, it’s actually quite irrelevant to the bigger picture of what it is that kink is. And dare I say it a smoke screen used to stifle any deeper conversations about the practicalities of safety.

The desire to feel safe is not imagined nor is it exaggerated. Those of us who do this thing called kink, just as every other human being, need to feel safe. To feel safe is to be able to walk into something with the understanding that, as far as I can tell any potential undesired outcomes will be minimised and any unknown outcomes will be address in the most effective way possible.

To be safe, not just to be aware of risk of harm, but to have a genuine feeling of safety is only achievable through action. It’s through the choices that we make that we are best able to remove and respond effectively to the outcomes of what we do. In all reality we cannot remove every possibility of encountering harm. We all have seat belts in our cars, we don’t drive while intoxicated, we drive to the speed limits and we stop at red lights. Yet you could be as sober as the day you were born, wear your seat belt and drive to the conditions within the letter of the law and you can still be killed in a car accident, Accidents do really happen.

Safe is not awareness. It’s not researching on line, it’s not buying a book written by a self or community proclaimed expert, it’s not a workshop or a munch. Awareness is more than knowledge. Yes, knowledge is a must. But knowledge is not understanding. Understanding comes into the equation when you take what you know and apply it to the what it. You take all that you know and you put it into practice.

How is this going to actually affect me?

What do I need to do to ensure that, if the consequences of my/our choices are undesired what is the next step?

What do I know about myself – through past experiences or expectations that could create something that we need to address?

I love being flogged – give me a long, slow flogging on my back and I will sleep like a baby, and just between you and me the last time he flogged me I fell asleep. What I didn’t know was that I can’t play first thing in the morning. I need to, at the very least, drink water before he does anything to me. How did I come to know this? I fainted. He woke up in the mood and something went wrong with my blood pressure, I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything for 10 maybe 11 hours. Nothing could have changed what had happened. I fainted. He made sure I was safe, wrapped me in a blanket, got some water and toast. And then when I felt up to it got me to my GP’s office to make sure it wasn’t anything else. At each point of this experience I felt nothing but safe. Even though I was not aware of the risk of harm his choice had, even though I was on the receiving end of something that was unwanted and unpleasant I was safe

We have been together four years, know each other intimately. Have great communication, and there was nothing to show me that the outcome of what has been done to my body dozens and dozens of times would be any different this time. Unfamiliar or undesired outcomes – including harm, can happen no matter how aware we are of ourselves and what it is we are doing.

By acknowledging that sometimes things really do just happen. By accepting that safe comes from more than awareness. When we remove the acronyms and focus on creating genuine safety I think we can begin to offer some more practical strategies into our understanding of safe kink.

I’m starting to learn that changing behaviours and attitudes don’t come from how to, step by step guides and checklists. They are too simplistic and can’t address the intricate difference and needs that come with the nuance of human sexuality.

So the next time you’re thinking about trying something new I want you to do one thing.

Put the entirety of yourself into the interaction and ask yourself this

Is this going to cause me death?

Is this going to cause me disability?

Is this going to cause me disease?

Is this going to cause me distress?

The 5 D’s are something that we use in health care provision to measure the outcomes of the choices that need to be made for our clients.

Death and disability are pretty obvious – and please no arm lobbing strawman arguments!

Disease – not just STI’s. While the common safe sex message is still relevant to kink, we need to take this a little deeper within our physical and mental health. Is something that I want to do going to interfere with any illnesses or medication? What about skin irritation or infection? A UTI? Food poisoning or an allergic reaction? Sunburn? Is this going to affect your mental wellbeing?

Distress – Is the thing that I want going to, in anyway, interfere with the way I need to live my everyday? Stop you from going to work or affect your ability to do your job? Pay your bills? Having healthy relationships with the other people in your life?

These questions allow us to understand our realities within the expectations that we have and to step back and address or change anything that may be relevant to the situation. I believe that if we stopped focusing on acronyms and arguing the measure of safe and sane (which by the way has nothing to do with our mental health and everything to do with our legal competency) and started merging what it is we want with who we are as individuals then we can truly have healthy, safe and satisfying sex lives and relationships.

The tools we use and the intensity with which we use them are irrelevant here. Whether you are using a knife or handcuffs, a latex hood or a blindfold brought from Kmart, if you are able to walk into something with the understanding that, as far as you can tell any potential undesired outcomes will be minimised and any unknown outcomes will be address in the most effective way possible than you are actively; through your actions rather than an acronym, trying to keep your sex life as safe as possible. And as accidents can and will happen this is the best that we can achieve.

 

Dating d/s.

So many times I’ve read women asking how to do this d/s thing so I thought I’d write down a few of the things that I feel are important to know. I’m not going to include the mechanics of or how to personalise a d/s relationship and I’m not going to write a piece as a how to if you want to be considered submissive and seen as doing it right. Rather I’m going to write this with you (you the reader) in mind; the you that is a woman, a woman looking for a relationship.

 I’m going to use this to address some to the basics that I think are important to understand when first stepping out to explore kink; six really simple (to me) rules, a how to guide if you like. Things that I think should be considered when in those early phases of exploration and connection.

I had always thought there was something missing when I discovered all things kink, like there was some step that I missed when I applied for my visa into the world of strange things sexy. Then I started to realise that no matter what label I gave myself or how many letters I added to the sex I wanted it I had to bring everything that I knew about myself as a woman and dating to the kink equation.

First and foremost d/s is a relationship; the coming together of two (or more) people to create a healthy, manageable and functioning space. If you see d/s as anything other than this than these tips aren’t going to (probably) make any sense to you.
Rule 1

IF IT FEELS WRONG TO YOU

Then it is probably wrong for you!

There are a million different ways to do a billion different things but that doesn’t mean you have to do any of them. You don’t have to send naked pictures. You don’t have to call anyone anything if you don’t want to. You do not have to change the way you think of something, restrict your actions, make excuses for who you are, believe the first thing you read (including what you are reading right now) if it doesn’t feel right to you!

Maybe 99 girls out of 100 would do it no questions asked but that one who doesn’t isn’t doing anything wrong. All she is doing is what is right for her and you have to do what is right for you.

Setting boundaries is an adult thing to do. It is not a dominant thing nor does it make you less submissive. Saying upfront that something is not okay with you is okay. (See rule 5)

Rule2

IF YOU WOULDN’T THINK ABOUT DOING IT BEFORE…

Don’t do it now!

Would you let someone ignore you for three days and then come back pretending that everything was okay?
Would you let someone you were dating just stand you up with no communication at all and not ask him why?
Are you okay with not being able to ask questions when you believe the answers are important?
Is there a boundary that you believe should not be crossed when you are getting to know someone?
Is talking about sex in the first message okay with you?

All of the things that you needed and/or expected when you have dated in the past are still there. The context of your needs may have changed but you are the same person you have always been.

Rule3

HONESTY

This is a HUGE one for me. Being honest with yourself about what you are looking for is one of the most important things that we need to do.

Be honest about what you are expecting. Do you want a NSA casual sexual relationship or are you looking for a long term commitment. Do you want absolute monogamy or are you open to the idea of non-monogamy.

Be honest about your experiences and desires, your boundaries and your concerns.

Be honest about safe sex! If you cannot talk about doing it safe you shouldn’t be doing it!

Expect and demand that the person you are speaking with will do the same!

Rule 4

SEXUAL HEALTH &SAFETY

Keep yourself safe!

Your sexual health is your responsibility! STI’s and pregnancy happen to kinky people too! Even slaves have to go for their regular gyno exams. It is your responsibility to take your pill. It’s your responsibility to demand a condom. It’s your responsibility to get tested. No adult would ask you to endanger your physical health, or mental health for that matter!

Rule 5

CONSENT AND COMPATIBILITY

Consent is just so damn sexy don’t you think?

What we do is consensual. It’s all about two (or more) adults having mutually satisfying intimate and/or sexual relationships. Relationships that are NEGOTIATED. If anal is something that you can’t get your head around then say so. If you don’t want him/her to access your emails, control your money, tell you to do things to your body while you are at work, use punishments in the dynamic then bloody well say no & demand that your answer is accepted. Of course boundaries change but if what you want now is A then A is what you want

Make sure that you can clearly identify a point of consent. If you are unsure ASK.

Again if you can’t talk about it you shouldn’t be doing it!

This also comes down to compatibility! You have to want the same (similar) things in order to create and maintain a functioning and fulfilling relationship. If the person you are getting to know loves anal and it is a limit for you then you may not be compatible with each other. The sub is not a fake because she doesn’t like anal penetration and the dom is not a predator because anal is his thing and wants it. Those two people are just not what each other needs!

There seems to be this idea that because A is a dom and B is a sub they are automatically meant to be. We are all unique individuals who like things differently in the bedroom. Some people are going to want us and others won’t. It’s not the end of the world and PLEASE please DO NOT compromise on things that are really important!

If you want a long term emotionally invested relationship then don’t settle for a NSA. It cannot satisfy you, it will not satisfy you.

If you are monogamous then you are monogamous and that dom who has 7 other subs is really not going to do it for you.

If you only want d/s in the bedroom then don’t feel you have to go 24/7.

There are an infinite number of ways to do d/s & have kinky sex so do it your way.

Rule 6.

ASK ASK ASK

Ask yourself and ask the other person everything that you can think of. If you are unsure of something ask. If the person you are talking to mentions something that he/she wants in a relationship and you are not 100% sure what they are meaning; ask them to clarify.

This includes reading! But reading with an open mind and an understanding that not everything you read is safe or right for you. If you are Googling anything to get a better understand of what something is then please don’t just take the first answer you find as gospel! Anyone can write anything and upload it. So please just use caution.

When you read something don’t take it as gospel; even if the author is marketed as some kind of expert or ‘community’ icon. Here’s the thing the author may have a great knowledge base about a particular topic but he/she knows absolutely nothing about you! How your body/mind works is going to be different to anyone else’s and so yes, Mr mcdomlyone may be an expert in whatever it is but his expertise are significantly limited when it comes to applying them to you.

Use common sense; sure there are those who argue that common sense isn’t so common anymore, but don’t step outside of the real world & who you are as a person when you start exploring all of this. It’s unrealistic to think that there is some alternative reality here.

Kink is still sex. It needs to be consensual and mutually satisfying. It needs to be healthy and it needs to be realistic. But most of all it needs to be what you really want, kink needs to give you something that will bring a positive to your life; be it purely physical interactions of S&M that give you physical release and/or satisfaction or a relationship that has D/S as it’s foundation. There is a spectrum of consensual kink that is really limited by your imagination and confidence to go get it but it has to be something that you want.