We’ve all heard Rihanna’s endless chants about “whips and chains” but what happens if you, your partners or your lovers want to bring the excitement of kinky play from a song into the bedroom?
What is kink and how do you know if it’s safe to start acting out your deepest, sometimes, darkest fantasies?
Kink is a set of sexual practices that explore beyond conventional sex. Kinksters engage in alternative sex that range from power exchange, sensation play (spanking, tickling, or punching), sexual fetishism, role play, bondage, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism, coining the popular acronym BDSM. Some people practice kink in the privacy of their own homes. Others like to go explore kink publicly in spaces that host private play parties or BDSM Dungeons where players have access to toys and equipment they don’t have at home. Some people have “scene names” to keep their identity discrete. Others are out advocates for BDSM practices and teach sex workshops world-wide so couples can learn how to use toys, like floggers or paddles, on the safest parts of the body. Through instruction, couples can learn how to be safe and still explore the limits of their pleasure sensation.
Ashley discovered she was kinky when her partner accidentally hit her hard on the bum during afternoon sex. She liked it and she wasn’t sure why. Then she asked her to do it again. Sara, on the other hand, discovered she was kinky when she realized as a kid when her friends played cops and robbers, she liked becoming the bad guy who tied everyone up.
So you think you might be kinky? If it turns you on, it’s worth exploring. Fantasy is just that – fantasy. When recreating a fantasy, anything and everything is possible. We are here to help you make elements of your fantasies really or at least feed them and that is always the best place to start. Kinky sex is okay – as long as you are engaging with consensual parties. In opposition of the widely popular ’50 Shades of Grey,’ nothing is wrong with you. You’re not damaged or bad. Kinky people aren’t kinky because there is something wrong about them. People are kinky because it’s something they enjoy with other consensual parties. It’s only through education and conversation that we can become comfortable with this alternative sexuality and accept it as an orientation. Kink is normal and as kinksters, it is our job to help develop communities around kink and discover safe ways to engage in alternative sex practices.
Some people often confuse abuse and BDSM. In our culture, a swift kick or a punch is considered a threat, not a sensation to be enjoyed. Us kinksters are just wired differently. A punch in the thigh from a lover is foreplay for some…as long as it is pre-negotiated and consensual. In order to differentiate between actual abuse and BDSM practices, years ago kinksters developed several sets of philosophies to insure safety within the community and the world at large. Safe, Sane, Consensual (SSC) as well as Risk Aware Consensual Kink (RACK) are the models that we operate through and stay safe emotionally, spiritually and physically. Knowing the risks, taking them in a sane frame of mind, and making sure every party consents are the top three rules of play. Being a responsible kinkster is more attractive and appealing than how hot you are. To us, nothing turns us on more than a player who knows how to negotiate their boundaries before sex.
Now on being brown girls in the scene. Not surprisingly, if you find yourself at a sex workshop, BDSM class or convention, you will probably be one of few people of color. As we know, many minority groups historically have strong religious backgrounds that have resulted in lowered self esteem about the female body, pleasure and sexual desires. Because we are taught that sex is for procreation only, there is not any conversation about sex for pleasure. There are even fewer conversations about experiencing pleasure from pain or taboo sensations. The problem is that when we don’t talk about alternative sex, then we go uneducated. There is a risk in this kind of play so learning the skills to stay safe is key.
As far as being a queer, poly, Black couple in the scene, we’ve learned that we may be the only ones but more than not, we’ve always been welcomed warm heartedly in a community where folks don’t have to feel ashamed by their sexual desires. In a sense, we can be out with a support system behind us in a world that still views being gay as a flaw. As a couple, we’ve learned to develop long-term intimacy through kink.
– Sara Vibes and Ashley Young
If you have questions on this topic, please send your kink questions to ImsL11@imsl.org and Sara and Ashley will answer them in their next column.
Sara Vibes was born and raised in New York City. She is a black, polyamorous, queer, kinky, dandy top heavy princess and holds the title of International Ms Leather 2011. Vibes is a musician, writer, sex blogger and educator in training and a star fucker. She is an active member in BDSM and LGBT communities in New York City, and beyond.
Ashley is a black feminist queer dyke; poet, non-fiction writer and teaching artist. She is the creator of an online writing project for women of color called Brown Girl Love and recently completed a chapbook inspired by the project. She is a non-fiction 2011 Lambda Literary Fellow and a 2010 poetry participant of Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation Retreat for Writers of Color.