Thursday, May 06, 2010

I've been being lazy for a few days, my dear readers, but I will be more in a writing mood soon. Meanwhile, enjoy the newest Stranger column: The Naked Truth Is Not Online.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Letters To The Mistress

I have been interested in BDSM for some time, and would very much like to become a part of the community as a submissive where I live. I have read multiple books on the subject, spoken with people in the lifestyle online, and searched the hell out of google. However, I have never had sex, BDSM or otherwise. I was wondering if you think that it would be better to have a vanilla experience first or just jump right in to the good stuff.

Okay, this is a complex question. First, let’s back off and define our terms here. BDSM is not, actually, sex. It is a large set of activities and attitudes that may be erotically charged for most people, most of the time. But not everyone, and not all the time. You can do BDSM without having sex. I frequently do so, and I am not unusual in this. So do lots of other people I know.

I have some BDSM play-partners with whom I never have sex, in even the broadest and most comprehensive sense of that word. I have some BDSM play-partners that I sometimes have sex with, but not other times. And I have some that I always have sex with. It really varies. Thus, you can engage in BDSM while still remaining a sexual virgin. I’m not saying you should, I’m just saying they are two different things that you may or may not wish to combine.

You don’t say how old you are, and I can’t give a razor-sharp answer without knowing whether you are fourteen, or twenty-three, or forty, or what. Neither do you tell me your gender or sexual identity, which would also shape my answer somewhat. And what's true is that I can't really tell a stranger on the internet what would be best in this situation, it's way too delicate and individual.

But I get asked somewhat similar questions by inexperienced people all the time. Here’s a quote from a longer, previous post I wrote on the subject of virginity and BDSM… Go read the whole thing.
“…BDSM is graduate-school sexuality. You take all the usual complications and confusions of a non-kinky romantic connection and overlay it with this intense and still rather taboo way of relating and being sexual. Creating and maintaining a kinky relationship is tricky, and it requires skill, persistence, and work. Dating in one’s teens and early twenties is often the boot camp where we get basic training in how to interact with the objects of our desire. Clearly that’s easier if one is heterosexual, monogamous and not kinky. But even the most dismal and banal of dating encounters – like, say, my high school dates – teach you things. Thus, I think if you aren’t going on dates with people, you should. Don’t have sex with anyone – unless you really want to. Just get some practice in the rituals of beginning a relationship. There will be hideously embarrassing blunders that will make you writhe to think of afterwards. We all have those, I assure you. Me included. But you don’t get good at something without some trial and error."
I hope that gives you some sense of how I think about BDSM and adult sexual relationships. Good for you for researching and learning all you can. Now go talk to real people in real life and see how that feels to you. Take it slow and easy, but take it. Having a good BDSM relationship is like getting to Carnegie Hall – practice, practice, practice.