"You just as you are,
are absolutely perfect.
You need nothing else."
It’s been awhile since things got sexy around here and for that, I am sincerely sorry. I would never want to deprive you folks of your monthly dose of sex, love and everything in between!
I am back with a vengeance this month, talking about kink/BDSM. Because what says love and marriage like keeping the spark alive? Maybe the idea of all of those pumpkin spice lattes has me feeling a little freaky. Maybe it’s the fact that, sooner than later, the treacherous NYC winter weather will force me to basically be a hermit for 3 months straight. Whatever the reason, it’s happening. You’re welcome.
You know that feeling when you walk into a sex shop with a new/new-ish partner and like, half of the store is floor-to-ceiling ball gags and leather articles for bodies? Depending on who you are and what your interests are, you might just pull your your credit card with a newly extended limit and go to town. But others have a harder time with the feelings around all of those pain/pleasure-inducing objects.
Autostraddle covered a really important part of kink called the headspace, which is a great place to start. The dom/sub dynamic can be very important for exploring what you want/like/need out of a kink session.
I wanted to cover a bit of the basics. What are those tools/toys/instruments called and what are they used for? Because, let’s be honest, that stuff is super intimidating and not everyone has the vocabulary to express how or why or what they feel about all of it!
Step 1: Consent. Before diving into the realm of kink and BDSM, there should be a very open, honest conversation about the interactions you’re going to have. If there is anything that makes you uncomfortable or anything that you don’t like or don’t want, now is the time to voice it. People often joke about safe words, but they are a good way for everyone to feel protected, even in the vulnerable situation they’re putting themselves in.
Step 2: Power. This is a huge part of any kink/BDSM experience. It’s about who is in control of the situation, who is leading the series of events. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of being controlled by your significant other. Maybe you want them to tell you exactly what to do the whole time you’re engaging in sex. Maybe there is a pet name you like. If you have a clear idea about this, pre-sex is the best time to talk about it! That way you can get down and dirty just the way you want.
Step 3: The Act. You might feel a bit sheepish. Maybe you have never expressed these desires to anyone before. Just go with it. A sexual relationship should be about exploration of desires. This is your chance to say “do that, don’t do that” without feeling any shame about it.
Step 4: The Tools. There are crops, floggers, handcuffs (like this vegan leather pair for the eco-conscious!), rope, paddles, collars, blindfolds, feather teasers, etc. The list goes on, really and most of them, you have probably seen or heard of. If you are looking for an intro to kink and BDSM I would try the less intimidating items first such as feather teasers, handcuffs and blindfolds. If you like those, take the next step, keeping in mind that some of these tools need to be handled with care, as they can do bodily damage to the recipient.
Step 5: The Pain/The Pleasure. You might find that you’re not really interested in what kink and BDSM have to offer. You might also find this experience incredibly gratifying. The fun part is that you get to decide how much pain and how much pleasure you receive. Maybe you’re ok with scratching and hair pulling, but you don’t want to be whipped. Or, maybe you find this all to be a gateway for you to be tied up in a sex dungeon on the lower east side. Either way, play around with sensations, see what feels good and what turns you on.
Step 6: The Talk. I strongly encourage you to talk to your partner about your experiences after the fact. Tell them what you liked, what you were into, what you’d like to try again, what you would like to explore more. This is a surefire way to have better sex in general and better kink/BDSM experiences down the line.
I hope this helps those of you interested in a crash course to kink and BDSM. If you have any other questions, I encourage you to reach out to me at email@example.com!
Tell us your love story!
We met at work, which is ironic because we both had rules about not dating coworkers. I thought Mallory was the most beautiful girl but that she was out of my league, and straight. The good news is that apparently she's not out of my league (or I'm really a telekinetic) and that she's gay! We quickly became best friends, helping each other through everything. Once we were best friends, it started to become clear that there were some feelings there and that was that. She's still my best friend, but she's so much more than that. Mallory taught me to love Disneyland and Disney World and to believe in magic even more than I already do. I taught her to love Star Wars and to let yourself be free, to act like a kid sometimes and just try to have the most fun in life that you can.
What about the proposal?
I planned a scavenger hunt for Mallory and was out of the house by the time she woke up (which was far earlier than I had originally anticipated). I left a card on her pillow that said her chariot would pick her up at 9, so she would have time to get ready, to be ready for a magical adventure, and happy three and a half year anniversary (in theory, to get her to think it wasn't a proposal). Our friend Avery was her amazing chauffeur, and one of my partners in crime in planning the entire thing. She picked Mallory up and took her to Starbucks, where there was another card waiting for her (with a gift card to get some breakfast) and a video that I had recorded earlier. Her other stops were at the waterfront, one of our favorite places to go walking, the store where we had met, and Woodland Park Zoo, where we had gone on our first date. At each stop there was another card and another video of me speaking to a favorite memory or reason that I loved her. While she was out on her scavenger hunt, my other partners in crime (Matt and Evanie) were quickly helping me pack Mallory's suitcase for her surprise trip. We then raced up to Woodland Park Zoo and went to the Australasia section because we had thought it was funny on our first date. When she arrived, I walked her down a path that was a little more secluded and got done on one knee. I almost forgot what to say, but managed to get the words "will you marry me?" out of my mouth. Of course, her response was "Oh no!" followed quickly by "Yes!" I motioned for Evanie to pass me Mallory's Minnie Mouse ears and asked where she would need them. After a little while wandering around the zoo and getting some food, Avery took us to the airport and we flew down to Disneyland where her sisters, another surprise, met us. (Mallory: I was a fountain of overwhelmed happy tears all day. 💖)
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
I thought I knew we were meant to be together when I rescued her shoe from floating away at the waterfront. I also thought I knew when she took care of me after an ankle surgery (sliding down stairs can be dangerous). Then, I thought I knew after she had unending patience for me. But really, I think I knew all along.
I knew we were meant to be together by how she made me laugh. That was sort of an instantaneous thing. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, she’s really cute. And really talented. And also she’s hilarious.” All of those thoughts sort of happened all at once and at essentially the moment I met her. Also she wrote me cute love notes and stuck them on my car’s windshield - how is that not a sign?!
We both entered into this relationship thinking it could be longterm, thinking we had both found our "person." Luckily enough, I think that's true. We balance each other out perfectly.
It's that time of year when wedding season slowly comes to a halt - edits get packaged up and sent off, submissions are completed and all is quiet in the wedding industry.
But what does that mean for next year?
If you are a wedding pro who is looking to hone in on the LGBTQ+ market, we'd love to chat with you! We are accepting applications for the Creme de la Creme vendor directory, a great place to showcase that you are inclusive!
Not sure that's enough? We offer consulting services! We will comb through your social media, website and documents to ensure that you are doing everything possible to advertise your beliefs and values.
Want to learn more? Say "hi!" at firstname.lastname@example.org!