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After 50 Shades of Grey came out, the media acted like the author who wrote that garbage book invented kink. Three cheers for that book allowing some folks, especially women, to embrace new parts of their sexuality. So many jeers for that book representing kink and BDSM in a not necessarily healthy or responsible way. BDSM is fun if you’re into it; that’s why kinksters call it “playing.” It’s also potentially risky and intense, and never something to be entered into lightly (no pun intended). There are many ways to explore kinky sex, and it’s best to start slowly. Caning and suspension bondage are not introductory BDSM acts. If you don’t know what those things are, that is my point exactly. Interested in exploring BDSM, bondage, power play, role play, impact play and the like? Good for you, it’s really fun with the right partner(s) and mindset.

Related: Demystifying Cunnilingus: 8 Steps to Eating Pussy

Kink is gaining more mainstream attention than ever, but it’s still stigmatized. Much of society views BDSM practitioners as mentally ill, broken, abused perverts. But we’re actually mentally healthy perverts! The Journal of Sexual Medicine “found that kinky people actually scored better on many indicators of mental health than those who didn’t practice BDSM.” Another study released last month by the University of Alabama and the University of Central Florida revealed similar findings. Until everyone catches on that we’re not deranged, a lot of kinksters will remain in the closet. I’m nervous even outing myself as a kinkster in this article, but I am passionate enough about spreading the word that I’m risking it. And because kink means so many different things, coming out as kinky still doesn’t give away anything about my sex life. Yes, I am a freak, and I’m also a good friend, a loving aunt, a hard worker, a comic and a person. My kinkiness is one small piece of my identity. Hi, Mom, this is why I discourage you from reading my articles.

Here are some tips for getting into the lifestyle:

 

1. Read!

There are a lot of great resources out there. Tristan Taormino’s book The Ultimate Guide to Kink is a comprehensive guide to kink and BDSM. Its essays by diverse sexperts explore the basics of consent and safe words and work up to varsity level sex acts like blood play and anal fisting. (Don’t be scared away by blood and butt fisting, it’s not for everyone). This book is a great primer for learning what exactly is kink. Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns is a classic, if a little dated, guide to sadomasochism. When I first began exploring BDSM, I found Myka Kent’s column on therainbowhub.com. Her articles cover basics like subspace, subdrop, aftercare, and other important elements of playing safely. Andrea Zanin’s blog “Sex Geek” has a great list of resources in specific categories like 101, protocol and writing by POC authors. I also like submissiveguide.com and sugarbutch.net.

 

2. Go to a munch.

Munches are casual social gatherings for kinky folks to meet each other in public without sex or play taking place. Munches usually happen in public places like bars or coffee shops. These gatherings are usually focused only on socializing and knowledge-sharing. Some munches gear toward specific skill shares; some are just for subs, some just for doms, etc. This is a great low-pressure way to meet mentors, friends and potential play partners. Find munches near you with the international list at findamunch.com.

 

3. Talk to kinky friends.

You might be thinking, “But I don’t have any kinky friends!” You totally do, you just don’t know it. Many of us are in the closet, but I guarantee you know at least one sadist or masochist. How do you find them? Go to enough munches and you will probably encounter someone you know. Join fetlife, the social networking site for kinksters, and you might also eventually recognize someone. Try casually mentioning how you saw an article about kink on your Facebook feed and see if your friend takes the bait. Be patient. Be open to making new friends as you explore your local and online kink communities.

 

4. Take a class.

Yes, you can take a class to learn anything from the basics of BDSM to play piercing to single-tail whip techniques. Sugarbutch, one of my favorite kink writers, runs online courses like The Submissive Playground. Another great online resource is Kink Academy. If you live in a major metropolitan area, you likely have local classes. Fetlife again comes in handy here, with its event listings. Check out those websites, check out google, your local LGBT center, local facebook groups and meetups, and start learning!

Featured Image Andrew/Adobe Stock

 

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