Hiding who you are at your very core is the most exhaustive, self-harming, and agonizing things you could ever do to yourself. It brings forth shame, self-doubt, and a lack of confidence. Eventually, you divulge so many lies you begin to believe them. And before you know it, you’re poolside, glued to a lounge chair to conceal bruises on your ass and removing your panties in the bathroom stall for a FetLife stranger. Quickly now, snap a photo and press send. Your fiancé awaits at the dinner table and it’s time to taste the chef-d’oeuvre (this is true, but you’ll have to get hold of my book once it’s published to read the entire story).
Needless to say, our relationship failed. We discovered we were no longer sexually or emotionally compatible and trust had fallen between the cracks. While we will always love one another, the two of us have accepted the reality of our partnership and have developed a new-found friendship. This experience has been and will probably always be, one of the most challenging and life-altering periods of my entire life. Following a great deal of healing, personal work, and guidance from two incredible life coaches, Anthony and Melanie Clark of The Amazing Clarks, I am finally creating the life I know was meant for me. I am finally becoming the woman I was meant to become and I am finally living in a state of truth.
Being yourself is about reconciling those inner conflicts and healing from shame. It is about being comfortable with who you are in your own skin. It is about wrapping your arms around yourself and saying, this is who I am. I love you. It’s about being vulnerable and sharing the intimate parts of your soul that allow you to shine. As Brené Brown once said:
What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human.
As BDSM and kink continually gain awareness and mainstream acceptance, I want to utilize the mistakes I have made and the vast lessons I learned throughout my relationship to guide you through how to introduce kink or alternative sexual desires to your partner with love, respect, and above all, patience.
A significant part of introducing your lover to the beautiful world of kink is to know the deepest parts of yourself. Take a moment to sit with yourself, establish your sexual needs, and identify your fetishes. Write them down, read them aloud, and try and determine the why behind what arouses you. Uncover elements of these kinks that might enable you to feel emotions like shame, nervousness, or intense arousal. If you start the conversation with yourself first, sharing this part of you with your partner will allow the communication to be more fluent and honest.
Use Your Words
Communication and honesty are essential components of a solid relationship. Whether a D/s dynamic, a poly relationship, or a 10-years strong vanilla marriage, building a foundation of trust and open dialogue are vital to your success in introducing alternative fetishes and fantasies to your partner. Unfortunately, with BDSM and sexual liberation comes a social stigma that can hinder one’s ability to feel comfortable taking part in “unconventional sex” or alternative acts of pleasure. This can bring forth feelings of humiliation, anger, or embarrassment. There are also those who may have experienced sexual trauma or challenging dynamics within their intimate relationships.
Initiating sexually-charged conversations about kink while being unaware of a partner’s past can be triggering. I cannot stress enough how important it is to communicate with soundness and compassion.
The most important part of communication, especially when an already familiar partner is introducing kink to someone who is unacquainted with the subject, is to ensure you are making them feel part of the conversation. It’s so easy to get lost in the excitement of wanting to experiment with new toys, new kinds of play, to finally satisfy those suppressed desires. But in turn, we can forget our partner is not quite on the same frequency. This was one of many big mistakes I made in my relationship. Instead of speaking to my partner with mutual respect, I was talking at him. Rather than inviting him into my conversation, I released my word vomit of emotions and unloaded my needs onto him like it was his responsibility to fulfill them. It was defensive and patronizing and it made him feel guilty. As a result, he did what any human would do—he shut down.
Remember, your partner cannot read your mind and you get in life what you have the courage to ask for. Use your words and choose them wisely.
Practice mindfulness and make your communication personal. Emphasize the fact that you would like to try something new with them and ensure it is a collaborative effort because it’s not just about you. Whether role play, a mischievous over-the-knee spanking, or a heavy bondage scene, admitting the sexual desires we crave is a vulnerable feat. However, when done properly, it can enhance your sex life, encourage emotional growth, and allow you to discover a beautiful intimacy beyond anything you have ever known.
Many individuals have a challenging time opening up to their partner about sex in general, let alone admitting they’d like to be slapped in the face or choked out during an afternoon delight. Incorporating kink into your relationship is a slow and delicate process, but it’s worth the wait. Once you have planted the seeds of your new-found passions, it is important to take a moment to reflect, allow your partner the time to process their thoughts, and have a second conversation to truly understand where they stand on the subject.
A common misstep when introducing kink to a partner is diving in headfirst before you are both on equal playing fields. Because I had already done my research, ventured out to local play parties and explored BDSM solo, I already had a selection of toys and scenarios in mind. I was eager to delve in. Little did I know, he was incredibly nervous. He had never hit a woman before and that can be frightening for someone. He wanted to ensure he was doing everything safely and correctly. At the time, I didn’t listen to his uncertainties. I lacked patience and became frustrated, causing a lot of tension in the relationship and far too much masturbation to kink.com.
Eventually, the little progress he did make towards satisfying my kinks felt forced and unauthentic. I found myself not being able to let go because I could sense his lack of confidence. I tried to educate him on the subject so often that I felt as though I was topping from the bottom. I lacked the capacity to accept that this was a gradual process. I lacked patience and affection, and in the end, I lost interest. Introducing kink to your partner is never one-sided; it’s a mutual endeavor. The old saying is true: good things come to those who wait.
Engage in Research & Local Events
It is important to do your research and educate yourselves together and often. Remember that what you might enjoy watching on film or in porn is not an accurate representation of the BDSM community or what kink truly entails. Trusting in these sources to bring your fantasies to life are not only dangerous, but if done wrong, can lead to an unenjoyable first experience and turn your partner away from kink altogether.
Elements like consent, boundary setting, safe words, and after care are critical and not something to be taken lightly.
Thankfully, there are a variety of resources, including books, videos, seminars, and local classes that can help to further your education.
If you are in the Los Angeles area, Isabella Sinclaire offers a multitude of educational classes from Boot Blacking and Candle Magick to Service Top 101 and BDSM for Lovers at Invoke Studio, located at the Demask boutique in DTLA. Sanctuary Studios offers hands-on rope classes for both bunnies and riggers, kinky game night, polyamory support groups, and their infamous Club Awakening, a party dedicated for those new to the community. Pleasure Chest also features workshops like Blow Jobs and Beyond and even Intimate Partner Yoga. FetLife is an excellent source to uncover activities, munches, and exciting events in your neighborhood.
Or, if you prefer to read, here are five of my favorite books within the BDSM genre that you may enjoy:
- The Ethical Slut by Janet W. Hardy
- Radical Honesty by Brad Blanton PhD
- Wild Side Sex: The Book of Kink by Midori
- The New Bottoming Book by Dossie Easton & Janet W. Hardy
- Screw the Roses, Send me the Thorns by Philip Miller & Molly Devon
Partaking in research and exploring local events with your partner is not only a good way to stay informed, but it’s also an incredible way to further the bond and trust within your relationship. Replace a movie night in with an intimate rope class for some educational foreplay, head to a casual social gathering at a coffee shop to meet other novices in the community, or simply enjoy a book over tea. Knowledge is key to sexual exploration and is your guide to embracing your inner perv, both safely and sanely.
Be Perfectly Imperfect
When initiating your journey into kink, take your time and know that there will be many faults—some leaving you completely turned off and others making you laugh at yourself for hours, months, and years after the incident, like the time I lost a sparkling blue butt plug in the depths of my anal cavity or the time I let out a cute little air biscuit while being spanked. Weird things happen during sex, but we’re all adults here, get used to it. Be supportive of your partner, learn together, and laugh together.
Taking your time is really important because as mentioned earlier, my lack of patience led to my lack of interest and that my friends, is a recipe for disaster. Discuss a few types of play or kinds of toys you would like to experiment with and work your way up. Head to your local sex shop and browse the selection together to see what interests the both of you. Start with silk scarves for bondage and progress to leather restraints and hemp rope. Start with some playful over-the-knee spankings and advance to paddles, a flogger, or a wooden hairbrush. If you are eager to try anal, start with light sensation play and move on towards a finger, maybe two.
There is never a reason to expedite sex, especially when it comes to fulfilling our fantasies.
Savor every seductive moment together and take it slow. This will strengthen your love, reinforce respect, and become the catalyst for evolving passion.