Now that you’ve spent some time looking at your mindset around your exploration of kink, it’s time to delve into the details.
What appeals to you?
Perhaps it’s a particular fetish or you’re into all aspects of kink or perhaps you find yourself drawn to the lifestyle and mental aspects of play… whatever you’re into is right for you and you should be the final authority about what turns you on.
Online you’ll find great sites for an exploration of kinks and fetishes and even delving into the Dominant/submissive and Master/slave side of stuff.
Likewise, don’t forget to take a look at some of the more mainstream vanilla turn-ons like striptease, exhibitionism & voyeurism, swinging and even erotica.
The world of BDSM and kink is broad… in fact BDSM is very much a catchall umbrella term for anything that falls outside of mainstream vanilla sex. It even incorporates all that mainstream vanilla stuff.
Kinks & Fetishes
An exploration of one of the large BDSM social communities like www.fetlife.com will reveal some interesting facts, not least of which is that a large majority of the people who engage with the site are not into BDSM and all that submissive and slave stuff at all… they’re actually kinksters, fetishists, hedonists – and in many cases proudly unsure.
It’s okay to only be one of these… a lot fetishists are in fact only into the thing that they’re into and nothing more.
An exploration of kink and alternative sexuality does not mean you have to be into everything that’s out there; in fact it’s just like every other community or social circle you’ll move in: there are people who fall into one group and people who fall into others, and all the people in Group A generally have a lot to say about the people in Group B and the way they do things and conduct themselves.
Even kink communities are like high school sadly.
“Your Kink Is Not My Kink” is really the best attitude to take about this… what’s right for you and what you like will not necessarily be acceptable to others.
For example, there are guys who will pierce hooks through their skin and hang like that for extended periods of time… and yet they think that the mental games in a 24/7 Total Power Exchange Master/slave relationship is extreme.
People always only ever see things from their limited point of view and in many cases can’t fathom why you or anyone else would see what they do as extreme, even if it clearly is by general standards.
Take heart though, because Rule 34 of the Interwebs clearly states: There is porn of it. No exceptions.
You can safely extrapolate that out to say that regardless of your kink, regardless of how weird or bizarre you may think it is there is someone out there that wants what you want too.
There is always a market or a match for just about anything on the Internet.
Are you poly or monogamous?
Speaking of your choices… delving into kink does not mean that you have to include or welcome any other people into your existing monogamous relationship… unless you want to of course.
Like everything about kink, the decision to keep your relationship between the two of you or to open it up to other partners is a very personal, fraught with all kinds of consequences and potential landmines.
Sadly what you’re going to encounter once you enter the community is a lot of the same high school clique kind of thinking, with many of the polygamists and polyamorists going to great pains to convince you that poly is natural evolution in terms of sexuality, a step up from monogamy if you will.
Likewise you’re going to see that a lot of people are into polyamorous relationships, way more than you think.
Or at least they’re into swinging and threesomes or in open relationships… and a lot of the times they’re married, there without their partner’s knowledge and just looking to get laid. Sad but true unfortunately.
So let’s unpack the pros and pitfalls you might want to consider when looking at poly interactions and relationships:
You will have to face fears such as:
- What if my partner falls in love with someone else? This can and does happen.
- What if may partner gets someone else pregnant or falls pregnant by someone else? Contraception is not foolproof.
- What if my partner contracts a sexually transmitted disease (STD)? Condoms aren’t foolproof either… and not everyone sticks to using them.
- What if my partner doesn’t play open cards with me about what they’re doing? Regardless of how open your relationship is people lie because they have something to hide… not because they don’t trust you.
- How do I manage my possessiveness and jealousy? If you think you aren’t possessive, just wait until you see your partner flirting with or even making love to someone else.
- What if I want to stay monogamous and my partner wants to explore poly? This is a minefield of problems; because it will open up a world of insecurities and issues on the side of the partner who wants to stay monogamous, ranging from ‘does he still love me’ to ‘am I still sexy’.
On the upside of poly there are arguments too:
- People need variety. In many cases the option to sow your wild oats can save your relationship from an impending break up.
- Couples are sexually incompatible. Having other options around gives the more active partner the release they need and can take a lot of stress off the more passive of the two.
- There are sexually incompatible couples who want to stay together. Maybe one of the partners has decided to come out of the closet but the couple loves living together and both want to be involved in the lives of their kids.
- A religious creed or doctrine that does not support divorce. Since we’re living in the 21st Century you’d think that people would have free choice, but many born into strict religions and belief systems just don’t… there are adults who still refuse to smoke in front of their parents after all too.
What’s important if you are considering poly as an option is that you set very clear parameters for what it means for you and very clear boundaries around how far is too far.
- Can engagements only happen when both parties are there?
- Are engagements limited to designated venues such as swingers clubs?
- Is full disclosure the order of the day?
- Are emotional entanglements allowed?
- Where are you allowed to flirt and meet people?
- What’s considered flirting and what is considered cheating?
Lastly, something else you’ll see is a number of weird BDSM relationship statuses such as owned by, under consideration by and so on.
Many of these relationships are in fact only BDSM or Dominant/submissive relationships and often there is no sexual contact involved whatsoever.