Sexual Exploration (for Beginners): Myths & Misconceptions
Admit it, you've been searching the internet as you consider exploring kink for the first time. You're excited to finally play out your fantasies, but there's so much information to sift through that you wonder if it's really for you.
For many people, part of their hesitation stems from societal taboos and deep-seated fears fed by misconceptions about kink exploration. We have debunked some of the most common myths that hold people back, so read on and loosen up a little.
Myth: Kinks and fetishes are not 'normal.'
Reality: Many people who play out their kinks and fetishes are just normal people who use sex as an outlet. If you feel weird about your kinky desires, don't. The more you learn about BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism) and talk it through with your partner, the more normal it will seem.
About half of adults have admitted to trying elements of BDSM, such as spanking, handcuffs or roleplaying. We only think that BDSM is this rare experience because we've been taught to avoid talking about sex, but there's nothing wrong with kink.
Myth: BDSM is all or nothing.
Reality: It's true that once you start, you may not want to stop. Many kinksters love the freedom of this life and feel that the only way to really enjoy it is to live a 24/7 BDSM lifestyle, which means that while you may leave your house to go to work, when you come home, you and your partner live the dominant/submissive dynamic at all times.
The 24/7 lifestyle isn't for everyone, and if you just want to bring a little kink into the bedroom, that's fine. No matter what you're into, your life can remain the same, save for your bedroom explorations. How far you go into kink is up to you and your partner.
Myth: You have to spend major money.
Reality: If you're reading this article, you've probably already done some research, and no doubt your eyes have bulged at the price tag of some of the kinky accessories. Before you tap into your 401(k), you should know if this is something you want to do. You can explore kink without spending a lot of money.
Fortunately, items all around your house can be used instead of buying sex toys. Get creative with your accouterments. Much of BDSM is about finding pleasure in unexpected ways, so bind your partner with the tie you're planning to wear to work tomorrow, or use that ugly scarf you've never worn.
Myth: BDSM is an outlet for abusers.
Reality: You might fear exploring BDSM because you don't want to be labeled as an abuser, but that's because most people don't understand the truth about BDSM. There are so many kinks and fetishes that many people enjoy, and they have nothing to do with abuse.
When you decide to explore kink, the goal is to build trust and communication between yourself and your partner. Discuss what you both want to try. This could be roleplaying or light restraint. It might be tempting to dive in, but you should take it slow. The last thing you want to do is hurt your partner when you should be having fun.
Myth: BDSM is painful.
Reality: When you're just getting started, seeing pictures of people hanging in the air from ropes with their nipples in clamps can be pretty intimidating. The truth is BDSM can go to that extreme, but BDSM can also be pink, furry handcuffs and your partner dressed in a French maid's outfit. There are countless kinks and fetishes to choose from, and many of them are about increasing pleasure, not inducing pain.
While bondage/discipline and sadomasochism can involve intentional pain, BDSM can also be about exchanging power and control with your partner and trusting that each of you will take care of the other. When you choose to trust your partner's decisions, half of the enjoyment is getting lost in the pleasure and not having to think. This creates a feeling of peace and increases the release of your sexual experiences. If you're worried about the scene getting out of control, you should take it slow by planning the scene with your partner, so you're ready for what comes next.