There is something about the word kinky that makes me blush every time I say it.
It’s a great word. Kink comes in many forms such as fetishes, paraphilias and plain old curiosity.
A fetish is often defined as an object or behavior that is directly connected to your orgasm. That can mean wearing your partner’s intimate clothing or just really loving feet.
Kink is common. Even in the 1950s, when Dr. Alfred Kinsey surveyed men and women about their sex lives, one in four people reported enjoying the sensations of being bitten during sex.
I’m all for sexual exploration and trying new things, as long as both parties are consenting and comfortable. While you might think that kink and fetishes are only played out online, you would be pleasantly surprised at the amount of thriving kink groups all around the world.
Fetlife.com is an international kink social networking site that lets members meet up online and possibly arrange kink parties. New Mexico has a strong, active group on the Web site that meets on a monthly basis. A fetlife.com member, who we’ll call Rachel, said the groups are not just about meeting fellow fetishists and kinky people. Many groups around the nation are involved in their community in different ways.
“We focus on building relationships with the larger community,” Rachel said. “We’re not just into people who are into BDSM (bondage, disciple, sadism and masochism) and kink. We try to reach out to the sex shops and other people in the community. We try to provide a safe and comfortable place for people to make connections.”
Rachel said some groups raise money during the holidays and donate it to charities.
Depending on where you live, there is probably an active kink scene, which meets up regularly.
“In a lot of cities you’ll find a dungeon setting, and it’s usually run and supported by the community,” she said. “It’s stocked with dungeon furniture and there’s no sex and no penetration. My group tends to have house parties. And we have ample space for socializing, and we always potluck. We sometimes have discussion groups before the party.”
If you want to get kinky, be honest with your partner about what you’re going to do and ask if there’s anything you can’t do. Checking in with your partner about how they feel is important, especially if the fetish involves BDSM.
Before we get into BDSM, let’s look at what you can try with just your hands, such as spanking.
Probably the best place to start is the bountiful booty. The extra dose of epinephrine that is released when we feel pain can make sexual sensations feel more intense. Spanking can also let you act on some of the feelings and instincts that you’ve been told are inappropriate in everyday life. Take that, Freud.
Along with spanking are scratching, hair pulling, biting and sucking. All of these maneuvers should be discussed before you try them. If you’re not expecting a firm spank on your ass it might be shocking. Nothing can ruin the mood like accidently biting too hard and irritating your partner.
Maybe you’re a little shy about asking your partner what things you do and don’t want to try. Luckily a sex shop in Seattle and New York called Babeland has a user-friendly list in their book Orgasm that you can swap with you partner to figure out what’s good. The book is a full color manifesto on how to have good sex. It covers all the basics and then some for guys and girls of all orientations. I’ve provided a condensed version of the yes/no/maybe list at the end of this column.
Talking dirty is another way to spice up your sex life, but many people don’t talk dirty because they think they’ll sound stupid. The idea can be daunting at first, but after you practice and get used to saying the words, you won’t be embarrassed. Maybe practice by yourself before you bring it to the bedroom.
In their book, the owners of Babeland suggest stating the obvious when you talk dirty. It’s similar to how you might write an essay. Say what you’re going to do, then say what you’re doing, then say what you did and ask how they liked it.
Talking dirty serves more than one purpose: it can turn you on and keep you on the same page as your partner. If you ask them if they like it and they say no, then you know to stop. Once again, it seems that talking dirty during sex provides us a way of expressing ourselves in a healthy way, without offending or hurting someone.
When it comes to really getting down with pain, sadism and masochism might be more up your alley. Sadists like inflicting pain or humiliation on their partner during or before sex. Masochists enjoy being humiliated, or punished before or during sex. Both of these fetishes must be done carefully with both people’s awareness of it happening. Orgasm suggested having a safe word, such as “red” for stop or “yellow” for slowdown as one way to ensure that no one is hurt. Pain can come in many forms such as paddles, whips, nipple clamps, hot wax and cuffs.
Humiliation can be verbal or involve something like being led around by a leash. If you want more in-depth and detailed information about BDSM, go to fetlife.com and sign up for the New Mexico group.
As promised, here is a condensed version of the yes/no/maybe list. Respect your partner’s nos and maybes, and you never how they might change in the future.
Paddling (leather, rubber)
Dripping hot wax