As you begin reading this article, I need you to do something for me. Forget everything you’ve ever learned from the media and entertainment industries about BDSM or kinky people. It’s not all bullshit, but so much of it is that it’s not worth sorting through. In these arenas, kink is primarily used for shock value or to flesh out the back-story of a serial killer. The truth is, in most of the ways that matter, swingers and kinksters are birds of a feather. You’re already more like us than you might think.
You know a lot of kinky people. You just don’t realize it because we look like everyone else when the shackles and bullwhips are put away. We might be your doctor, or your bank teller, or your kid’s teacher, or the cashier at the drug store. Maybe even your mom. We go to work, pay our bills, and come from the entire range of socioeconomic backgrounds; and unless you catch us at play, you’d never know the difference.
We’re not a bunch of basement-dwelling freaks who shun the light of day. Well…not unless it’s a special occasion or something. Much like swingers, kinksters exist primarily as an embattled sub-culture that tends to draw fanatical attention from Sexual Dark Age busybodies whenever we have the nerve to gather in public. As a result, almost all of our societal attitudes toward kinky play are the result of propaganda from sexually frustrated people who have no clue what our lifestyle is all about.
Sound familiar? I thought it might.
Swingers joyfully disregard society’s dark age dogma regarding who and how many people they’re “supposed to” have sex with. Kinksters do exactly the same thing from a slightly different angle. Where swingers choose exploration in terms of a variety of sexual partners, kinksters choose exploration in terms of the sex play itself and what types of activities we engage in.
You say, “Fuck society. My partner and I want to experience sex with a bunch of open, sexy people instead of limiting ourselves to monogamy.” We say, “Fuck society. We want to experience sex with a bunch of physical and psychological sensations instead of limiting ourselves to what’s possible with cocks, hands and tongues.” And there’s a tremendous amount of overlap.
Plenty of swingers like a little slap and tickle. If you’ve ever had a playmate begging to be treated like a slut in the heat of the moment, you’re already one of us. You’ve engaged in what we call “humiliation play.” If you’ve ever enjoyed a slap to the ass while getting fucked, you’ve engaged in pain play. We communicate about this stuff with a depth of understanding which causes us to need a big vocabulary that can seem very intimidating from the outside.
Plenty of kinksters have ethically non-monogamous relationships, engage in pseudo-public play at parties, and get off on having an audience. One interesting aspect that’s limited to kink is the possibility for thoroughly satisfying play without sexual contact. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many spankings and floggings I’ve given without ever unzipping, and good times were had by all.
Our lifestyles also share the same big misconception from newbies and the uninformed. I call it the all-in syndrome Just like choosing to identify as a swinger doesn’t mean you have to pull a train at your first party, choosing to explore BDSM doesn’t mean you’re going to be suspended upside-down and beaten within an inch of your life while everyone takes turns spitting on you. I mean…it can, if that’s what you’re looking for, but in reality a responsible player would rarely be willing to take any newbie that far even if they were asking for it.
At the core, BDSM is all about subtlety and deep personal connections. It’s also about slow, measured exploration into the murky depths of sexuality. Too much, too fast is very likely to result in bad experiences, and veteran players know that.
What just might surprise you (because of societal attitudes and propaganda) is that an ethical kinkster doesn’t ever want to push anyone too far or get them to do something they don’t want to do. We advise everyone to take it slow and go one step at a time; with communication between playmates on a level that, honestly, you’ve probably never needed or experienced before. We’re all about trying a little of something to see if you like it, and more next time if it turns out you do.
If you’re at a party or club with a kink-friendly atmosphere, and you see a woman getting spanked within (what you think is) an inch of her life before having “whore” written across her tits in lipstick and getting locked up airtight by three cocks with two more on deck, it can be a pretty jarring experience. The gut reaction is to think you’ve walked in on some abuse-ridden nightmare. You haven’t.
You arrived on the scene after the long conversations about what the submissive wants from the experience, what her limits are, exactly what kinds of play she is and isn’t interested in, and who’s going to get to fuck her. All that probably sounds familiar too.
So, if you walk in on kinky play, remember that your gut reactions might be your reactions to what you’re seeing; but the players are all on the same page living out a group fantasy. Nobody is doing anything they didn’t consent to or gleefully ask for, so there’s no reason to be intimidated or feel bad for anyone.
As far as pain play, which can be some of the most intimidating or confusing stuff to witness, the thing to remember is that pain can be used to increase pleasure in a variety of ways. Pain and pleasure run along the same nerve endings and register in the same parts of the brain. They can play off each other and be used to produce some of the most ridiculous screaming orgasms I’ve ever witnessed…so don’t you dare feel bad for anyone getting a spanking. I’ll never forget the first time I brought a woman to orgasm with no contact beyond the tails of my favorite flogger.
At the end of the day, BDSM is about Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, and Sadomasochism in whatever proportions seem attractive to the players at a given point in time. It’s not an all in proposition, and plenty of people dabble in one or two aspects to the exclusion of others.
One other thing swingers and kinksters have in common: We love to talk about it, any time we feel like we’re in an accepting environment. Next time you’re at a club or party, try dropping spanking into the conversation and see what happens. Your friendly neighborhood kinky swingers will be happy to discuss it at length without expecting you to do anything about it.
Monogamy is black and white. Swinging introduces all those lovely shades of gray. BDSM is just sex in Technicolor; for those who choose to be open to more than hands, cocks and tongues.
So, my fine-feathered friends, I hope I was able to shed a little light on the realm of kink and dispel a few misconceptions. If you’d like to learn a whole lot more about the basics of BDSM, check out Episode 17 of Ending The Sexual Dark Age and feel free to drop us a line whenever.