BDSM Test

A friend of mine posted this link on a private Facebook group that I’m a part of. At the link you take a test with a series of questions that try to align you with your appropriate kinky labels. While I don’t consider myself particularly kinky I found the test fun and interesting, if for no other reason it is a glimpse into the bedroom activities of other people.

My results are below. They really didn’t surprise me much but I had some thoughts…

Things like public sex and nudity don’t bother me, in fact I think they should be encouraged. We live in a rare time when sex is a super private activity. Before the industrial age most families shared one bedroom, which means children were around when their parents had sex. I actually think it is beneficial to see people have sex outside of porn. While there can be some discomfort or nervousness you soon realize that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. We all have “imperfect” bodies that jiggle and have scars and make noises. Sex should be fun and it isn’t shameful. One of the ways I have overcome some of my body issues and hangups around sex is to be in situations where I see other bodies in all their glory, and see other people having sex. Places like nude beaches, the Orgy Dome at Burning Man, and being naked with my friends helped me immensely.

The non-monogamist isn’t a surprise either, depending on how you define it. I think it is a mistake to define monogamy as being both sexual and emotional. I am emotionally monogamous, but sexually things are more fluid. And experimentalist is spot on, I like trying new things. Even if they don’t work out like I fantasized or expected it is usually an experience that I learn from.

I would say I am slightly dominant and particularly enjoy tying people up, which this test found. I don’t like complete control (like having a slave) but there is certainly a streak in me where I like to be in control in the bedroom. It depends on the partner a lot though. I think that is the most important thing… consent. Any activity between consenting adults is fine. Some people like age play or pretending to be animals or cutting or playing with feces… that kind of squicks me out but as long as all parties consent then they should enjoy it. There is a huge variety of sexual desires and interests, and thanks to the internet it is easier than ever to find people who have similar desires and interests. Hopefully, everyone is able to find a partner with whom they can be honest with about what they like or are interested in trying and can have a sexually fulfilling life.

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Labor Day Libertine

Over Labor Day weekend my partner and I had a wonderful time at an event in Indiana, Labor Day Libertine. This is actually the first weekend we have had to relax since leaving Missoula in May. Sure, we have days where we aren’t cycling, but we are always working or planning or making repairs. I think a lot of people assume that just because we are biking around the country that means we are relaxing or vacationing. We definitely see some awesome things and I wouldn’t change my life for anything, but it isn’t easy spending every day wondering where you will sleep at night, how you will find WiFi, what you will do when it storms on you, etc etc etc. It was so nice to spend an entire weekend with our phones turned off and just enjoying ourselves.

Labor Day Libertine is a festival put on in Indiana to celebrate polyamory, BDSM, and spiritual hedonism. While my partner and I don’t really fit strictly into any of those categories I knew we would have a good time because of the community involved. This is a group of people whom I met years ago on my bike ride across the US and they are, by far, the most loving and accepting people I’ve ever met. They truly support any lifestyle as long as you aren’t hurting anyone else. To be honest, it is probably more accepting than Burning Man.

Our first day into the festival (for lack of a better word) was pretty relaxed. We set up our tent, went to one of the classes, and then hung out around the bonfire while people danced played drums. We were our normal introverted selves and just kind of sat their and enjoyed the environment. Most of the participants seemed to know each other a little bit and spent the evening catching up, we were a little bit on the outside but it didn’t feel bad. We went to bed around 11pm to recover from the fairly tough bike ride of the day that involved hills, humidity, and heat.

Saturday, after a long night’s sleep, we got up and went to the BDSM 101 class. We aren’t particularly kinky but we do enjoy some unconventional sex from time to time and have an interest in BDSM. The class was good and showed us a wide variety of toys and implements that can be used for pleasure. The rest of the day was kind of relaxed, we chatted with some people, took naps, and recovered from life. That night we were much more social around the fire (thanks Molly) and had our first threesome.

The threesome was an incredible experience. Of course, we have discussed our kinks, fantasies, and interests before Libertine. Communication in the area of sex is absolutely necessary for exploration and satisfaction. Bringing another person into our sex life was something we had a logical interest in but recognized that there could be some jealousy or negative feelings. So, we moved slowly and communicated a lot when this opportunity presented itself. We ended up not having any jealousy or discomfort, it was actually a really good experience where everyone had a good time and looked after each other’s feelings. I think it was a great step for my partner and I, it was a physical example of the words we have often shared… that we love each other, that each other’s comfort comes first, and that neither of us would do something if it could hurt the other. While we aren’t going to actively look for more experiences like this we are open to other multi-partner experiences, a foursome is particularly appealing to even out the numbers. Maybe some day some coupled friends of ours or random strangers will have a mutual interest in exploring.

After the threesome my partner and I felt stronger than ever and we went into the woods to have some more amazing sex under the stars. It was a truly magical night¬†and we feel stronger than ever. The next day, Sunday, we slept in and lounged around a lot. It was quite hot and the Molly hangover had us feeling lazy. At lunch we chatted with a guy who makes his own BDSM toys and he gifted us a flogger. It was incredibly nice of him, though the reason he was in Indiana at all is kind of ridiculous. He was arrested for marijuana possession and sentenced to 2-years probation where he can’t leave the state (he is from California). The police took his care and all of his personal items and sold them, so now he is stuck in Indiana without the means to work and all his family and friends are on the coast. Pretty damn stupid.

Sunday evening we did end up going to a Orgasm Control demo, which was pretty fascinating. We accidentally went to bed after that, we had planned on just taking a nap to rally before another night of partying but we didn’t set an alarm and just slept.¬†Monday morning was mostly just packing and cleaning up. I wish we would have had the energy to go to more demos and workshops, and to party more, but our bodies and mind were beat from months of travel and stress. We will definitely be back though, either to a future Libertine or one of the other festivals put on by this wonderful community. I miss them already.

Self Reflection – Introduction

The nature of my lifestyle means I have a lot of time to think. 4-6 hours of constant bike riding daily kind of demands it, your mind tends to wander and you can only focus on podcasts for so long before you ignore them outright. I guess most of my adult life I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I believe and why I believe it. The stability of my Christian, conservative, white middle-class view on the world was another tower that fell on 9/11. After that attack I joined the military, saw some of the world, met lots of people, and realized my upbringing was not the “end all, be all” of the good life. In fact, I found it quite wanting.

This penchant for self-analysis and a recent post on the app “Secret”* inspired this upcoming series of blog posts. I think it is important to constantly question what you believe, why you believe it, and how people perceive you. There are many labels that people apply to themselves (myself included) but rarely can a person’s perspective and history be defined by a few grunted syllables. In addition, I think it will be fun to provide a permanent record of what I believe for future me to look back on. It is likely that 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now I will not have the same points of view. I actually hope I don’t, because that means I have likely stopped growing and learning.

So, in no particular order, here are the subjects, roles, and views I plan on exploring in the coming months, both my current views and how I got to them. I hope to get 1-2 out per week but that depends on logistics for my ride.

  • Libertarian Anarchist
  • Pansexual
  • Nudity and Body Positivity
  • Pagan Atheist
  • Transhumanist
  • Sex Positive
  • Open Relationships and My Current Monogamish Relationship
  • Veganism
  • Minimalist
  • BDSM and Kink
  • Drug Use

*Recently someone posted on “Secret” that my life is basically childish, hedonistic, and that I’m afraid of adulthood. I responded on Facebook and it doesn’t need to be rehashed here, but that perception of me did get my brain moving and was part of the catalyst for this series.

Relationship Types

I have always found one-word relationship definitions to be very restricting and unrealistic. I know that labels serve some purpose in simplifying things in life but with complex interactions like intimate relationships I find the simplicity to be harmful. As the below chart highlights, there are a shit-ton of ways to be intimate. I’m not sure of the source of this image but it appears to leave out by-the-books monogamy where two people are only intimate, have sex, and are in love with each other with no cheating by either partner. I guess that would be a bubble outside the graph but in reality many cheat and many have monogamish relationships where certain levels of intimacy and sexual exploration exist.

What I really find unfortunate about the quick definitions we put on relationships is it prevents (and even makes taboo) discussions that get deeper into the details of relationships. It is inappropriate for me to talk to one of my couple crushes (of which I have several) and ask them if they are more open sexually, if they swing or are into BDSM. If I ask these things it is assumed I am hitting on them or looking for a play partner when in reality I may just be interested in the relationship dynamics between two (or more) complex people. I find people and sex fascinating, I would love to know how my friends and acquaintances approach these issues and relationships.

Anyway, I found the image interesting even if it isn’t complete (can anything like this be complete without reducing it down to each individual relationship in the world?).

5 Discussions For Intimate Moments

My partner and I have gone to a local BDSM club a couple of times now to enjoy cheap drinks, a drag king show, and just the general sexually charged atmosphere. This particular club has several play rooms filled with equipment that people are free to use if they wish. I’ve never actually seen anyone having sex (I don’t even know if that is allowed to be honest) but I have seen several scenes where people are being flogged, whipped, tied up, and in various other kinky situations. While the club and situations are awesome they themselves actually attract a fairly niche audience, what isn’t unique is the rules that are announced and plastered all over the venue. Kinksters are very good at communicating and this particular venue has five rules for scenes that I think should be explicitly discussed for all intimate sessions whether they are kinky, vanilla, monogamous, swingers, polyamorous, orgies, or whatever.

Discussion 1: What are you into?
Sadly most people do not openly discuss with their partner(s) what they are into. This can be anything from something you know works for you or can be something you are just curious about. If you are comfortable enough to put your penis in someone, rub on or against someone sexually, or have a penis placed inside of you then you should be comfortable enough to talk about what you enjoy first. If you can’t talk about what you like and enjoy the experience then what is the point?

Discussion 2: What don’t you like?
Which brings us to the next discussion, what don’t you like? This can be full on “hell no I would never allow that to happen” to “hmm, maybe under the right circumstances”. Having this discussion helps remove any type of confusion that can happen in the middle of fun. Sometimes body language can be misinterpreted but if hard no’s are discussed ahead of time it can prevent discomfort and confusion.

Discussion 3: Are there any health issues?
It may not be the most comfortable subject but health issues should be discussed in any intimate environment. This can be everything from HIV status to what form of barrier or birth control is going to used. The last thing anyone would want to happen is one person to think condoms are going to be used and the other person has a latex allergy that wasn’t discussed ahead of time. It is much better to be aware and prepare for health issues before the clothes come off.

Discussion 4: Safe Words.
Sometimes the action needs to slow down or stop, even during vanilla relationships. Having key words or signals that can work to signal to your partner is incredibly important. Red (stop everything) and Yellow (slow it down a bit) are commonly used in kink play. Some people also prefer words like “banana” that can be a little funny and really can’t be confused with any other word. If you are in a situation where you can’t talk for some reason it is important to develop a non-verbal signal, like holding onto an item that you drop if things need to stop.

Discussion 5: Aftercare.
This is probably the least discussed but it is incredibly important to prevent post-coital discomfort or confusion. Some people need cuddling while some need to be alone. We all operate differently and establishing aftercare expectations allows everyone to know what is coming… which allows for increased comfort between partners and better future experiences.

So, I hope that no matter what type of relationships you have you are open and communicate your needs from start to finish. Have fun out there everyone! ūüôā

KinK

kink

I recently started watching the show “KinK” on Netflix. “KinK” is a Canadian documentary series that follows and interviews people who have lifestyles and fetishes that tend to run outside the mainstream. BDSM, cross-dressing, and polyamory are all highlighted in a realistic and oftentimes fascinating way.

While I’ve never been involved in much non-vanilla sex I do have an interest in it, just like I have an interest in everything, and this show has been a wonderful introduction. As a documentary the people involved are not actors, they are real people with bodies, minds, and emotions that are a fresh break from the choreographed sexuality of pornography and romantic comedies. You get to see real scenes in an informative way and come to understand the bond that is shared between the people who participate. There are many themes that run through the show (at least so far, I’m only on Season 1), but the primary ones seem to be hurting and harming are different, it is immoral to do anything without consent and immoral to prevent consenting adults from enjoying themselves, and the responsibility for communication and support does not end at the bedroom. Three things that I think all people can learn from.

I’m still not sure if the kinky lifestyle is for me but the people involved seem to be good people focused on communication, love, and safety. I’ve been to one BDSM club and in my natural introverted fashion I stayed on the edge and didn’t really do much, but I hope to explore a little more and find out what the world has to offer. I once had a pastor preach that being comfortable isn’t good or bad, it is neutral because you are being static and not challenging yourself. Being comfortable is necessary to refuel from time to time but I want more to life than refueling, and that means getting out there and figuring out where my limits are.

Anyway, if you have Netflix and are curious I recommend checking out the show. You just might learn something or a new experience might appeal to you.

“Un-Memorizing the ‘Silence is Sexy’ Date Script” – Some Thoughts

One of the things I love about Facebook is it has allowed a diverse group of people to stay more intimately in my life than would otherwise be possible. People who I’ve met only superficially are able to passively share their interests and passions with me and from those interests valuable conversations can form. Yesterday this article was posted by someone who I have only met once or twice (in fact, I think I met her at a party to help send her to Burning Man in 2010 but I was¬†embarrassingly¬†drunk and hope she doesn’t really remember that). The article was then posted today by someone who I have a much stronger internet relationship with than I ever had with her in real life.

Well, I posted that article today after reading it and for once didn’t really know what I thought. I am pleased that a conversation developed on my wall among my diverse network and with it came links and resources for those interested in what was being discussed (it truly is a wonderful time to be alive). Anyway, here are some of the thoughts from my perspective. I am not far enough removed from my ego to clearly see this from another person’s perspective but maybe some day.

As an introvert it has always been a nerve-racking experience to navigate intimate interactions. I like explicit consent in all things but much of society tells us that men ¬†need to be the aggressor and try to interpret puzzling (to me) signals that women give off. To be honest, I have no idea if eye-contact and a smile is really an invitation to say hi… or if a touch on the arm is flirting or something else… I already suck at it and the INTJ part of me fears making someone else uncomfortable way more than my own rejection. I am very comfortable alone and don’t mind going home from a bar or party by myself.

The internet has provided me with a way around that though. I can passively share my thoughts online which will attract those people who might be interested in similar things. While I don’t use my blog and FB to call out specific people, when I post polyamorous views, comfort with BDSM, and a sex-positive outlook it opens up dialogue between me and other people ¬†(though bangwithfriends is still an awesome concept in my mind). But, in some ways I kind of view this as a cop out.

I still don’t approach women often or initiate any type of relationship. I often use my online openness as an excuse to be passive in real life by telling myself “they must not be interested or else they would say something”. There are still signals to navigate and games to play, but this article provide me with some good dialogue once intimacy has started and has also started online conversations around the issue of pressure placed on women to be the gatekeepers of sex and the social norm of men pushing the boundaries.

I love the idea of very explicit consent and I am glad these things are being talked about. I think more women would be open to expressing their sexuality if they knew that they wouldn’t be harshly judged by their partner(s) or friends. In the same vein, men (or at least I) would be more likely to approach women if we didn’t feel like every expression of interest was a huge inconvenience or would be interpreted as an attempt to use and abuse. Basically, I don’t want women to interpret my attraction or interest in intimacy as pressure or something¬†chauvinistic.

I certainly would love it if we could send clear and concise signals in all situations. It would be absolutely fantastic to have a woman who was attracted to me to send me a FB message like “hey, you’re cute and I’d like to cuddle and kiss for a bit at some point” (or a more kinky couple to come up and say “hey, you and you’re girlfriend are cute, how about you two curl up with us and see how things go”) and know that all actions would be communicated clearly. As was pointed out by my friend, people into kink (particularly BDSM and polys) do have a more established culture of explicit consent and open communication, I can only hope that the internet age will usher this in for all intimate¬†relationships¬†because sex and love is awesome when all parties are open and satisfied.