Dracarys: Burning It All Down With Relationship Anarchy

It’s been really nice to see non-monogamy gain some cultural traction these last few years, and to see ‘alternative’ relationship models depicted across different media. Of course, I wish all those depictions were positive, inclusionary, and didn’t focus solely on sex…but those are discussions for another time. Rather than concentrate on what many are already aware of, I thought I’d focus this essay on how I personally practice non-monogamy. Obviously, these thoughts, courses of action and reflections are my own, and others who practice non-monogamy or relationship anarchy (RA) can and will do things differently, with varying rewards and challenges.

Relationship anarchy is the practice of doing away with some (and sometimes all) of the traditional sociocultural ‘rules’ or formalities usually applied to romantic relationships. (To be frank, in my case, all of that was burned to the ground a long time ago – but more on that later). In my RA, there aren’t any titles, expectations, feelings of entitlement, or pressure on any of the humans involved. This is not always the case with other kinds of RA relationships. Even polyamory (which I personally view as a different relationship model from RA) can successfully incorporate aspects of RA.

Now, I’m quite sure some of you reading this will see the idea of ‘no expectations’ in a romantic or sexual relationship as an easy excuse for people to shirk responsibility, evade commitment, and not treat others with basic human decency and respect. With all respect, that’s where you’re wrong, buckeroo. All those things are mandatory. It’s simply that I don’t believe that formalities or ‘official’ titles are necessary in order for me to treat a person in the same manner in which I would like to be treated, any more than I believe that you have to believe in god to be a good, caring, compassionate person. Furthermore, I also don’t believe that the absence of titles or rigid boundaries has a negative impact on love, intensity, adoration or commitment.

So why RA? To understand that, we have to go back to when I practiced what I could describe as more traditional polyamory. During my time there, while I wasn’t operating within the confines of monogamy per se – because obviously I was involved with several different people, in relationships that were unique to me and those individual partners – I was still operating within the confines of what’s socioculturally expected of romantic/sexual relationships, albeit with several different people. And one aspect of that dynamic that perpetually rubbed me the wrong way was the existence of expectations.

To be clear: expectations in and of themselves aren’t a bad thing. Everyone has expectations – it’s unavoidable. I just believe that in the context of romantic/sexual relationships, realistic, mutually understood expectations can only come after a lot of honest, transparent, and maybe even hard-to-hear communication between all parties – including communication about individual boundaries. Left unchecked and undiscussed, it’s easy for expectations to become feelings of entitlement. For example, if you’ve never said clearly and explicitly that you don’t have the emotional bandwidth – or heck, even just the actual, literal time – for more than a casual, every-so-often play date or hangout, the person you’re involved with may very well be expecting that your relationship will follow a trajectory that it simply will not ever. And when you decline to hang out with them for the third time in a row because you just don’t have the energy or time, that’s going to hurt them – and it’s going to stress you out, knowing that you’re chronically disappointing someone you may care a great deal about. On the other hand, by communicating clearly and candidly about what you can offer, you give the person the opportunity and self-determination to decide for themselves if that kind of relationship is something they’re interested in participating in.

It was my personal opinions concerning entitlement that nudged me out of more traditional polyamory and into the arms of RA. I believe that entitlement runs rampant in many relationship orientations. ‘We’re together, so I’m entitled to x-number hours of your time,’ or ‘You’re my partner, so I expect to know what you’re doing with your time when we’re not together,’ or worse still, ‘We’re together, so I am entitled to your body.’ It is important for me to say that yes, you can definitely remove entitlement from other kinds of relationships, but it was important I go about things in my own way. Relationships are what you make them – through discussion, negotiation, courtesy, and a whole lot of listening. I also think it is important to lead with intent and purpose.

RA, to me, is the celebration of agency and bodily autonomy. I want my partners to put themselves first on a continuous basis. They are free to allocate their time, attention and energy however they see fit. I want the individuals who have allowed me the privilege of being in their lives to follow dreams, realize their respective potentials, and see projects through from start to finish. I hold these sentiments free of expectation, while welcoming change at any moment. Job offer halfway around the world? Go do it! Want to pour yourself into your art and hone your skills? Make it happen! Remember that dream you had about backpacking in some foreign country for months on end? Send me photos of your travels please! We will see each other when we see each other – and when we do, it will be all the sweeter for having spent that time doing what we love and not worrying that our relationship was rusting from resentment or neglect. I am often confused by how people judge the time they get from other individuals. I don’t see a whole lot of difference between 15 minutes of time vs. several hours, or even days. Whether we’re out and about doing an activity or just cuddling at home is of no importance to me. Time has been given, and it is the most precious of commodities. I am endlessly happy to have it at any length or ‘quality’ from my partners.

By now, you’re probably wondering how this all works. My model looks like this: I start with communicating my relationship orientation, needs, wishes and desires while requesting that potential partners do the same. Then, and only then, can expectations be realistic and in sync with each other. I also want to make clear that what I’m describing when I talk about RA isn’t the same thing as when folks claim to be ‘low-maintenance’ – easy as it might be to confuse the two. RA actually requires a lot of maintenance to work – and by ‘work,’ I mean for the people involved to be happy, content, and fulfilled. That maintenance comes through what I like to call ‘running inventory;’ taking stock of the interpersonal dynamic and being prepared to both give and get honest responses to questions like, How are we? Are we good? Does something need to change? Do you feel good about us? Some relationships require less maintenance – less frequent inventories, if you will – and some take more, but even the most ‘anarchic’ relationship needs at least some, or it’s not really a relationship at all.

Bottom line, RA is not for everyone, but it’s for me. I feel free. I feel cherished. I feel loved. What I can tell you is that there are amazing human beings in my life. One such person lives in New York.

We see each other about once a month, and have been together for four years.

Stay kinky. Be good.

BDSM doesn’t have to physically hurt

The possible acts and fetishes within BDSM and kink are part of an endless and ever growing list. From those who derive sexual pleasure from degradation to those deriving the same from the popping of balloons, there exists space for many and the things that sexually arouse them (except those of you who involve children and animals, who are unable to consent.) BDSM has enjoyed a sort of resurgence in recent years. We have various forms of mainstream media to thank for this and although they aren’t all created equally (I’m looking at you 50 Shades), they have had a hand in awakening the need to pursue desire in countless individuals. Unless a person fully commits to learning all they can about this world, they will only be privy to a few aspects of BDSM.

Throughout the years, I’ve made the observation that pain is often heavily associated with what we do by the uninitiated. They aren’t wrong. Pain is very much present here, albeit in varying degrees and forms, but what if I told you it isn’t necessary and can be completely absent from kink/BDSM? Yes, you can have an honest to goodness BDSM relationship with a person without the presence of pain. For some, this challenges their limited view of the vast world of BDSM. For others, it betrays their thinking entirely. What’s more is that many who already practice some semblance of BDSM also internalize this.

Some of you who are reading this will argue that pain and/or its infliction is absolutely integral to your BDSM experience. Fantastic! You’ve also probably spent enough time here trying things out to see what works for you, or at least I hope you have. It isn’t you I’m addressing here. It is those who approach or practice with the mindset that things MUST involve discomfort and pain without taking the time to move around and see what else is contained within BDSM. You will find that pain, while exciting and alluring no matter what end you’re on, isn’t everything. Furthermore, some people who have an overt interest in kink don’t even like pain.

Sensation play is easily my most favorite practice for pain-free BDSM. Some forms of sensation can and involve pain, but like like most things within kink, “It’s not not about what’s being wielded, its how it’s wielded”. This sort of play is also easily one of the most accessible practices within kink because it be experienced without much difficulty. It is as simple as running a finger along someones spine or blowing on someone’s neck. We can further enhance it and move closer to kink by utilizing sensory deprivation like blindfolding a person. Have you ever had someone do something so amazing to you that it caused you to writhe and squirm? Could you imagine the same if you were cuffed to something and couldnt get away.

Service is yet one more way pain-free BDSM can make an appearance in someones life. This can look like the bottom/sub waiting on the dom/top, ready to recieve orders to follow like retrieving a glass of water or making the bed. Power dynamics are the foundation that allows BDSM to work. Breath play (blood chokes – chokes that restrict oxygen to the brain rather than oxygen to the lungs) is another way we can play without pain while also taking part in those same power dynamcs. From mind play to forced orgasms (within limits), verbal humiliation, fear play and more, physical pain is not exactly necessary for BDSM to work.

But lets go a step further…

Who said that all gear used to inflict pain has to do just that? Who said that every time I swing my flogger it has to be to inflict? If I did this every time I introduced someone to BDSM or taught a class, I don’t believe many individuals would join our ranks. Remember that “It’s not not about what’s being wielded, its how it’s wielded” This is how BDSM can be used to change the narrative of trauma from a different perspective. This is how BDSM can be introduced to a person in a controlled manner. This is how we meet people where they are in relation to their experiences,  needs and limits.

Understanding that things dont always need to hurt and hopefully depicting more of this in media like porn, is how we move towards making BDSM more accessible for all who share the interest.


Stay Kinky. Be Good.

(Photo taken by BlakSyn and remains their property)

Visibility and People of Color in Alternative Communities

Navigating alternative cultures like BDSM/kink in a society that still has a number of puritanical views is difficult enough. For many, opposition to what brings them joy only needs dealing with from few or less points. People of Color, however, are usually burdened with numerous opposing forces as they strive for sexual liberation. Foes in the form white supremacy, fetishization and low/negative representation are contributors to false narratives, stereotypes and treating the melanated and marginalized as less than human. Factor in a history of cultural conservatism in relation to religious beliefs and you have the right ingredients for intolerance. What hurts most is how often that same intolerance comes from those who look like you.

Being a Person of Color taking part in alternative culture means always being hyper-aware of your race, ethnicity and skin color. Why wouldn’t you be? Representation matters, and where there is none there lies the communities of the marginalized. Beyond that, you’ll find a gate. It’s a barrier where the other side is devoid of those with our same hopes, dreams, experiences, joys and pains. The other side is also where you’ll find magazines and television screens packed with white bodies. Western beauty standards and practices continue to poison the wells as many become content with what their eyes drink. Those standards have created a pool saturated with white skin through which POC must wade and struggle to be acknowledged. Set by colonialism, conquest and a host of other elements, they still affect us today.

When we are acknowledged, we are reduced to that of less than human. Porn is a shining example. Pornography, being the double-edged sword that it is, often does more harm than good. Sexual awakenings are one thing, but internalizing a problematic reality surrounding sex and the treatment of marginalized communities is something else. Look to any porn site for an Ebony category. Look further and you will find the Asian, BBC, Desi  and “Thug” categories, with the latter containing an overwhelming amount of videos depicting young men of color. Where is the “White” category? These aggressions viewed in print and displayed on screens are one of many places where the festishization of POC begins. Porn was actually one of the contributing forces to the discovery and subsequent adaptation of BDSM in my life. It was also one of the first places I noticed a clear difference in the way POC are treated in regards to their white counterparts. 

Additionally, work must be done considering the conservatism we as POC still enact viciously which stems almost directly from religious indoctrination, toxic/fragile masculinity and society’s treatment towards POC, especially Black men, in America. We have a penchant for community cannibalism, as many marginalized communities do for obvious reasons. Consuming one another is precisely what is wanted in the eyes of oppressors. Your adopting of new interests or failing to do something which would be performative for you, but synonymous with your culture means that your identity, as part of that culture, is questioned or even denied by those who look like you. Black and Brown Lives Matter, but make sure they all do to you. The Black and Brown Lives that are part of the LGBTQIA community, the ones who are homeless, the ones who betray your ideas of beauty, the ones who are poor and rich, the ones who are fat, the ones in hoods and projects across all of America and the rest of us; we ALL matter.

The way that POC can effectively stake a claim to alternative communities, spaces and sexuality in the faces of white supremacy and familial opposition is through visibility. Being seen and heard are cornerstones of visibility and is how communities grow.  Sure, visibility isn’t always the best thing for safety,  but it is an indispensable tool for changing the status quo. No one will do it for us so we have to make it happen ourselves. Someone has to be the first “domino” so that every hurdle may fall in their pioneering wake.

Visibility is a beacon. It tells people that they are not alone.


What to look for in a potential playmate

Whether you’re a person who has decided to embark on a brand new kinky journey or are an established kinkster, knowing what to look for in a new playmate is absolutely integral to safety, consent and a host of other fundamentals. Like most things, knowing what to look for comes with both time and experience. Unfortunately, negativity in its different forms may have reared its ugly, consent-violating, coercive and gaslighting head by then. Knowing what to look for isn’t solely about what you can see what your eyes or hear with your ears. It also encompasses what you feel as well. Whether you identify as a dominate, top, submissive, bottom or otherwise, everyone must take the time to discern the kind of people to whom they are giving their time, mind, body and soul.

1. Nothing begins without first establishing whether or not your potential is good at communicating. In fact, without effective communication, everything is at a halt and cannot commence. It’s needed for the sharing of the actions we enjoy and the ones we don’t as much. Its imperative for sharing names, pronouns and so much more. You can’t hope to negotiate without being communicative. Hell, you can’t even play without it! How else would you tell that top that he’s being too heavy-handed with a toy or inform that bottom that their writhing might cause you to misplace a strike? Post scene care also involves talking to one another. What does that bottom or top need right now after so much intensity? Would the person who was on the receiving end like a stuffie or to be held? Does the person who dished things out need water?

2. Consent is of course one of the most important areas a potential should be competent. They should have a basic understanding, while also being able to express the numerous facets that consent contains. As I’ve written here before, it is not as simple as getting permission to perform an action. There are a litany of factors that affect how consent looks and even feels. In regards to BDSM, most will only consider consent on the part of the sub/bottom’s safety.

Doms and tops also have to be treated in a manner that observes consent. I’ve definitely been asked to perform actions I did not know how to do or with which I had little familiarity. The reply should always be “No.”, which was my response. However, on a few occasions, my “No.” has been challenged with “Oh. It’s not that hard.” or “Come on! I trust you! Just try it!” Dearest dom/top, saying no does not change who you are, but rather calls on one of the most important traits a top should have: The ability to be responsible.

3. Observing how they interact with other people can also be a tell-tale sign of how things may go with you. Whether it’s watching them and how they treat the people and world around them or watching them and their behavior during a scene, observation is imperative if you you’d like to be careful in your choosing. How do they speak to people? How do they behave during scenes? If they are topping, are they checking in mid-scene? Do they display decent proficiency with the implements they are using? Do they seem to have RANGE in terms of being able to encompass what YOU enjoy through their actions? If they are bottoming, are THEY being communicate? Whats their bottoming style be it bratty or otherwise? Does the bottom move around a lot causing their top to miss? Lastly, DO NOT be afraid to get the opinions of fellow kinksters when it comes to someone you’re interested in.

Think of some of the things you look for when considering a new lover or partner. Some of that can be applied to bdsm/kink. Seeing how these are just a few examples, I ask that you draw your own conclusions as to your own wants, needs and things you’d like to avoid.

Stay Kinky. Be good.


Butt Stuff

Butt Stuff. Yeah, I said it. Go ahead and get the giggles out of your system. Then let’s simmer down and discuss something that has great potential to be a good time for everyone. Why? Because everyone has a butt! Doing ‘butt stuff’ consistently ranks toward the top of peoples’ sexual fantasies, across many demographics and orientations. But doing butt stuff right is a whole process that must be respected in order to fully enjoy the experience — and to keep players safe. 

Let’s start with anatomy. The anus is the opening through which all things must pass, and is closed off by two sets of ring-shaped sphincter muscles. The rectum is just above that. This is where the magic will be happening as fingers, dildos, plugs, penises (and more if you’re really adventurous) can be used to stimulate the body in one or more ways. 

Why is it possibly enjoyable for everyone?

The anus itself possesses a rich supply of nerve endings. For people who own vulvas, anal sex can produce clitoral (or however you refer to that part of yourself) and vaginal orgasms. Put it to you this way: the clitoris is quite a bit larger than most people realize. Not only is it the only organ in the human body dedicated fully to sex, it’s actually shaped like a wishbone, with two ‘arms’ that extend backward from the clitoral shaft itself and towards the anus! 

For folks who own prostates…well let’s just say that this gland is sometimes called “nature’s nuttin’ button” for a reason. Through anal stimulation, bigger, more fulfilling and even full body orgasms can occur when the prostate gets in on the game. It’s also responsible for shutting the path to the urethra down (making it impossible to urinate while ejaculating), adding prostatic fluid to your semen, and making sure you ejaculate in one direction: out.

Ok it’s about time for some anal play, BUT NOT SO FAST THERE, BUDDY. You can’t just go stickin’ whatever you have on hand in there without a bit more info. This is a gradual process —  a few precautions must be taken first, and preparation is the backbone of a possible good time. Furthermore, it’s necessary to know the risks involved. With all of this in mind:


Talk to your partner or partners. Is anal sex even on the table? If so, fantastic! You are about to embark on a new experience together! Talk about expectations — both those of the recipient, as well as the ‘active’ or insertive partner(s). Get crystal-clear about respecting consent. If someone says “Stop,” all other parties involved should agree to cease action IMMEDIATELY, and without argument. NEVER, EVER let someone pressure you into something you have no desire to do — or even something you have significant doubts about. That person does not respect you, your body, or consent. Leave. Run. And take your butthole with you. 


After communicating, it’s time to make some practical preparations. Take a dump. Seriously. Do it. Clearing out your rectum as much as possible before introducing foreign objects into it helps make waaaay less of a mess. It addition to regular-degular poopin’, you can also use a douche or enema, if you wish for a more thorough clearing-out. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time if you’re a newbie, read any included instructions (if you’re using a store-bought product) or check out a few tutorials online (if you’re a DIY kinda player). While taking these precautions will minimize the chances of a sexual security breach, a little bit of a mess still might occur during funsies. This is normal and it is ok. If you — or your partner(s) — are super squeamish about coming into contact with waste, that’s ok too – butt stuff may not be your cup of tea, or you just may not be quite ready yet. Again, take your time, and don’t rush to do anything that doesn’t truly excite you and your partner(s). 

Now. If you’re still onboard, you’ll want to purchase lube, and be ready to use lots of it…even all of it. Anal sex works best for all parties involved when it involves copious amounts of lube. Out of the main three lube types, (water- silicone- and oil-based) a water-based gel works best for butt stuff. Gels have more staying power than many of their drippier counterparts, and are safe for silicone toys. (Silicone-based lubes will literally dissolve silicone toys while oil based lines will destroy latex!) 

Next, obtain — and use — condoms. The rectum contains bacteria of all sorts, including E. Coli, and infections can and will occur without proper protection. This also means that the partner doing the penetrating should never go between front and rear penetration, regardless whether a condom is worn or not. There is still risk for infection. So make it your religion to change condoms as often as you change orifices.


With all the preparations having been made, let’s get down to business. For those being penetrated, position has a lot to do with comfort or discomfort. You may find that the easiest position to start in will be the prone position, or simply lying on your stomach. 

Remember to use lube. All of the lube. So much lube.

Start small. We want the anus to grow used to its foreign invader. It must be worked on gradually to make the festivities enjoyable. Go too fast, try something too big, and you risk injuries like tiny (or not so tiny) tears to the rectum and anus, or causing fissures. (Don’t Google that. Trust me.) Aside from general discomfort, accidents like these make one more susceptible to STIs and bacterial infections. Fingers are a great way to begin to grow used to the feeling of the fullness anal sex brings. Butt plugs are yet another way to get used to butt stuff. Pro tip: Combine initial anal play with other, non-butt-related shenanigans – it’ll help with relaxation!

Start slow for both the anus and the possible anxiousness of the person being penetrated. By slow, I mean almost painfully slow. Thrusting or using an object at this speed aids in helping relax the anus to receive more length and girth. TAKE NOTE: Unlike the vagina, the rectum doesn’t have a ‘bottom’ – meaning that yes, things can get lost up there. For that reason, it’s extremely important that anything you put in your (or anyone else’s) butt is either anchored to something (like a finger, anchored to a hand) or has a wider, flanged end to prevent it from slipping past those sphincter muscles and disappearing. Ignore this at your peril! 

As you’re working your sensibly-sized, well-lubed, safely-flanged item into the netherworld, communicate and watch body language! If you’re the “top” during the activity, make sure your “bottom” is enjoying themselves, and check in frequently — it will help make future fun easier. Communicating is also the key to helping partners learn one another’s bodies. Raiding the backdoor is often cause for a bit of discomfort initially, but excruciating pain is not part of the deal. As the “bottom,” speak up when things aren’t enjoyable — don’t wait until you find yourself in agony. Again, things stop when you say Stop.

Lastly, keep a towel on hand (or underneath) for any messes! Stay kinky. Be good — and remember that shit happens.

Relationship Entitlement


In regards to the litany of relationships we are able to have with other human beings, it is often that we feel entitlement to others. It does not matter if you are simply strangers, acquaintances, coworkers, friends, lovers, family, romantic partners, etc, a lot of us have been guilty of this including yours truly. When I refer to entitlement, I’m talking about feelings that dictate one SHOULD reciprocate in some way based on the actions of others or circumstance. (Usually it’s an unsolicited action). Here are a few examples:

*People who think that because they purchased a drink for someone, they are owed an interaction of some sort. (I’m looking at you cis het men)
*A family member who expects you to do something, simply because you are family. (This happens a lot when you are a business owner 🙄)
*People who feel hurt because they expect certain behaviors out of people because of unsolicited actions they made. (“I took them out, spent a bunch of money, so they should have sex with me”)
* When marginalized communities are asked to explain what makes them marginalized. (No seriously, Michael, Google is a thing)
* Anyone who has requested something be done that has been done for them before without checking if a person is willing to do that labor ( Come on! You did it last time!)
* Folks who feel they should be privy to information because they are “close” to someone
* Individuals who find it difficult to leave others alone after being told to do so.
* Expecting or even dictating that a person’s behaviors they had before you came into their life be altered to your liking because you are now in a romantic relationship. (I don’t want you hanging with your friends who were here I was because I’m fragile and insecure)
* and many many many other examples…

When you behave this way to another individual, you’re saying that you don”t value them. As you disregard the needs, thoughts and feelings of that person in your pursuit to get what you desire, you potentially cause guilt and remove autonomy. Be mindful of your entitlement to others. It is only when it is removed that we can truly appreciate or even love the uniqueness that defines what it means to be human. Never let anyone exercise entitlement in your life. Dealing with those who don’t celebrate your agency in a world like the one we exist in are here to do more harm than good. These are your fellow humans with ulterior motives and hidden agendas.

Love yourself.

Stay Kinky. Be good.

Consent Without Sex

Consent isn’t only for dungeons and bedrooms. More than ever, conversations about consent are being had while centering sex and sexuality quite often. These conversations are of great importance, but I wanted to take time to highlight a few not so scrutinized areas of consent as well while keeping the conversation on its rails.

Dumping and Spoons
It’s easy to feel alone when the world has come caving in on us. It’s also easy to call up the bestie to help us feel better and say things will be ok. The problem is that we don’t always check on the well being of our friends when we want to dump our lives on them. Angst, sorrow, grief, anger and more aren’t just unique to us. Let’s make sure we check in with our friends to see if they have the capacity to receive what’s on your heart.

On the flip side of that, we also need to be mindful of how we respond to the contents of someone’s heart. Not everyone will want advice. Not everyone will want feedback. Not everyone wants you to tell a bunch of people in order to pool resources for aid. Ask what you can do or what they need from you.

Favor favors
Have a friend that always looks out for you or allows you to do something on the regular? Check in from time to time to see where they are in terms of their willingness to continue to allow you the privilege of whatever it may be. For some folks, it’s hard to speak or stand up for themselves. Silence is not an indicator of consent. Be mindful of the individuals that are here for us and their capacity for energy. If you are on the receiving end of this, speak up IF YOU CAN. Your unwillingness to speak up, however, is not an invite for consent violations nor does it make it okay.

Name game
Before you let “Sweetie” or “Honey” leave your mouth to refer to someone, let’s recall that individuals have names given to them by doting parents. Some people even have names they gave themselves as an act of love later in life. Let’s also remember that historically pet names have been used as a means to demean, pigeonhole, mock and patronize non-men in our society. Some folks just don’t like to be referred to using pet names of any kind. If you’d like to use a name other than what a person has told you their name is, ask.

Scars and Injuries
See that particularly gnarly scar or that person on crutches? As a person with scars that are very noticeable, a lot of us would rather someone ask if we have the capacity to talk about what is making us stand out. Instead of saying, “What happen?” whilst pointing, try out, “Hey. May I ask about your scar?” or “May I ask what happen?” Nine times out of ten, if you noticed it, other people did too, and you can trust that there is burnout from the explanations we give.

Club/Bar Culture
Ask someone if you can buy them a drink.
Don’t touch people without permission.
Seriously. Cishet men have a huge fucking problem with the above two points in these settings. Stop.

These are just a few points among an endless pool of examples to choose from. I implore you to think about what you can do better or reconsider in regards to consent without sexual context.

How to find Kinky Communities and Events

I get asked this A LOT especially in real life at the sex shop I work in. I have to commend those who want to experience kink/bdsm in what quite often is a public setting. It’s commentary on your great sense of adventure and curiosity but it can be a daunting and frightening time as well. To those of you who have no desire or are too afraid or conscious to take things outside of the bedroom, I commend you for your self awareness and knack for self care!

Finding events is infinitely easier than finding community because of what it takes to make each. Any one can make an event in some space. Not just anyone can form community. Here are a few tips for finding each.

1. Google is your friend for a general lay of the land. Querying a phrase like “kink events” or “bdsm events” will often yield results local to you based on if you’ve shared your location with your browser.

2. Sites like Eventbrite and Meetup are also good for finding local community and events as well. Using a phrase like “bdsm” should yield results.

3. FetLife is a site made specifically for those of us who engage in alt sex practices. Think of it like kinky Facebook. It has its problems here and there but it continues to be a resource for local events and community.

4. Local sex shops are yet another way one can find out about events in their own backyard as these places will often be privy to events or even host them!

5. Many of us who are visible in the world of BDSM will also be aware of local events in our area of home base. Ask us! The more the merrier! We’d love to corrupt more humans! 😂😈❤️

Exercise caution and use judgement when looking through these events! Read event descriptions thoroughly in their entirety! If it sounds sketchy, IT PROBABLY IS. You can use the above examples to cross-reference events!

There are three kinds of events you want to look out for:

1. Huge regional events! These are usually either conventions or larger kink events that serve an entire region while attracting folks from all over the world!

2. Local kinky events! These are the events in ones own backyard! This is the local play space for the local community where everyone knows one another. Classes and workshops also are a good time for meeting likeminded peeps while learning!

3. Munches! Munches are low pressure situations that happen in places like cafes, diners, homes, arcades and more where members of a kink community meet to discuss the community at large, demonstrate visibility and approachability, welcome newbies and answer their questions, deepen friendship and camaraderie and all around have a good time!

My advice to you would be to start with a munch! This will not only allow you to familiarize yourself with the local community, but you also will often gain invaluable information. An important example would be you receiving info on who to steer clear of in terms of local predators and consent violators. This is how you get your feet wet, form good habits/practices and begin your journey. Starting with a munch also prepares you for the sheer scale of the other types of events. From there, the sky is the limit!

Stay Kinky. Be Good.

Sub/Bottom Space

Sub/Bottom Space describes a state some people reach usually as a result of being on the receiving end of physical or psychological acts within the realm of kink/BDSM. It can be induced in ways that include impact play, breath play and even general touch. Reaching this space is a response to bodily chemicals and hormones released which subsequently leaves one altered. Symptoms common to this alteration include, but are limited to:

• A dream or trance like state

• Feeling “floaty”

• Desensitization

• Marked loss of time

• Lowered inhibitions

• Suggestibility

• Loss of full use of motor skills

(It is worth noting that not everyone experiences sub/bottom space in the same manner. Effects may vary.)

Like all things within BDSM, safety and consent has to be at the forefront of thought. The effects of sub/bottom space can be beneficial or possibly harmful as ones own judgement is in danger of becoming clouded. The cocktail of chemicals coursing its way through can make it difficult to judge what we are actually capable of handling. Through time spent learning how your body reacts, you stand to gain self awareness and understanding of how much responsibility you need to exercise in regard to your own personal safety. Experienced dom(mes)/tops are familiar with the telltale signs of sub/bottom space and will step in if play needs to be altered for the purpose of safety. Altering a scene to compensate for safety, which sometimes includes stopping it altogether, is a good mark of a person who has your best interests at heart.

Sub/Bottom Drop

Discussions concerning sub/bottom space must occur alongside visiting the subject of “drop”. “Drop” is the direct result of the depletion of the hormones and chemicals our bodies naturally make on a regular basis after. Kinky activities heighten the manufacturing of those chemicals and causes them to fall outside of normal production levels. (Dom(mes)/Tops are also susceptible to this). Symptoms vary, but common ones include:

• Sleepiness or Tiredness

• Mental fatigue

• Feelings of inadequacy

• Disgust with oneself

• Bewilderment

• Loneliness

(It is worth noting that not everyone experiences sub/bottom drop in the same manner. Effects may vary.)

Establishing and taking advantage of a clear line of communication post scene along with aftercare can aide effectively in combating some of the effects of sub/bottom drop. Well versed and experienced dom(mes)/tops should have no problem being of aide concerning aftercare. Always make sure you discuss a course of action during the negotiation phase and state your needs for post-scene care. All dom/mes and tops should be ready to offer what is within their capabilities.

“Don’t make aftercare an afterthought.”

Stay Kinky. Be good.

Dom/me Space

One of the biggest benefits of BDSM is the release and manipulation of bodily chemicals and hormones. Some of those include adrenaline, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. This usually occurs as a result of the physical and/or psychological interactions during scenes and leaves the mind and body altered to some degree. “Space” preceded by the appropriate prefix describes these altered states and helps assign them accordingly so that we may better understand them. Sub/Bottomspace is just one example. Those of you who regularly take part in bdsm are all too familiar with subspace. Subspace occurs differently for everyone with a few commonalities being shared among individuals who have experienced it.

For those of you unfamiliar, subspace mostly describes the floaty, dazed, trance-like state that occurs for some before, during or after a scene. It is often accompanied by a loss of time. Some bottoms/subs report entering subspace as easily as when touched by their dom-me/top or having their collar placed onto them. Some enter space through the various effects of activities like impact play for example. This again occurs as a result of the cocktail of hormones being introduced into the body as a result of various acts within kink/bdsm. While subspace enjoys a lot of attention and even coveted by those who want to experience, it eclipses conversations around dom/me or top space.

Dom/mes and tops are susceptible to some and sometimes all of the same bodily chemicals their counterparts experience. Confidence and comfort with oneself allows a person to give themselves over to what they result in. To elaborate, this particular kind of space is one that is often experienced by dedicated athletes, gamers and musicians in that it is a state of heightened awareness and attention. It can also be described as being in the zone or the state of “flow. We have Hungarian-American psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihály to thank for coining the phrase and doing the research to better understand the state of “flow”, It is described as “the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one’s sense of space and time.” It is like being on focused autopilot. Have you ever used some familiar mode of transportation to get to a destination you’ve gone to on numerous occasions, yet you don’t remember how you got there?

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this can and will mostly happen to those who have practiced kink/bdsm for some time. Confidence in ones own abilities plays a major role. The dom/me or top in a flow state is entirely engaged in their scene. They are the obsessed artist engrossed in work. They are the cellist who sways while playing music with closed eyes. The actions exerted become second nature as you feel different, superior, hyper aware and everything around you disappears. What’s important for you as dom/me or top is for you to be able to recognize but also utilize this state in a way that is positive, affirming, consent minded and as safely as possible. It is FAR too easy to become lost inside a flow state, but by acknowledging that nuances, we prepare ourselves for what may come and what we made need post-scene. You are not so “domly” that you can’t discuss your thoughts, feelings and emotions with your sub or bottom. Remember that you are the only person who can alter who you have declared yourself to be.

Even dom/mes and tops need aftercare sometimes. You would do well and by extension, strengthen bonds if you accept and receive it when you need it.

Stay Kinky. Be good.

I think I will talk about subspace and “Drop” next…