Originally posted by Ginger over at Poly Nirvana back in 2013 I absolutely think these 5 Things that really do express so much between metamores who may be struggling with the developing squishy feels of their love with someone else.
As a followup to my pieces on Choosing Peace and Self Care I would like to share this amazing video from the great people over at TED. It’s from psychologist and author Guy Winch discussing the importance of “emotional hygiene.”
As practitioners of sex positive lifestyles remembering to take time for emotional self care is very important. Appropriate self care can help us recover more quickly from drop, whether it be from a scene, event, or con. In some cases, it can help us avoid the drop all together. Winch explains that traumas that are sustained psychologically far more commonly then we think. Though we have been taught to take care of our personal hygiene since a young age we rarely are given the skill sets to engage in emotional hygiene.
As relationships grow & change emotional self care can help us process through jealousy, envy, and anxiety. It can also help us heal from the feelings of rejection, loneliness, and failure that can occur with the loss. While the “suck it up” or “fake it till you make it” method may work in the short term it’s not a healthy way to cope with things long term. Neither is dwelling on these kinds of things. Finding healthy ways to heal through trauma and stress can dramatically improve your life as well as the way you connect with those around you.
“By taking action when you’re lonely, by changing your responses to failure, by protecting your self-esteem, by battling negative thinking, you won’t just heal your psychological wounds, you will build emotional resilience, you will thrive.” – Guy Winch
*disclaimer: 1) This review is on the 1st edition of this book which is no longer in print. An expanded version is now available under the new title The Complete Leatherboy Handbook. 2) I am not a gay male.
The Leatherboy Handbook (1st ed.) by boy Vincent L. Andrews published by The Nazca Plains 2008.
I had very high hopes for this book as it came strongly recommended from a number of leather people in my life. Unfortunately, I may have set the bar a little high for this book. Very clearly in the introduction Andrews lets readers know that this book is written from his experience primarily for gay males interested in the leather lifestyle. The book is divided into eighteen chapters which at first glance look very well thought out. Andrews is very repetitive throughout the book, not just of major concepts but all minor details, and I found my self thinking “didn’t I just read this.” Additionally, a large portion of the book is really focused on cruising without coming off like an ass and finding yourself a Daddy. While I can absolutely appreciate the need to help new people not look like an ass this made up the majority of the book became a bit tedious. While these were annoying points I could read around them and still get some good information from the book.
The serious complaint that I have with this book was how Andrews chooses to treat the rest of the BDSM community. I understand that the kink and leather sides of our community do not always meet eye to eye. Many “just kinky” people don’t take the protocols, power exchange, or rituals beyond their play. This does not mean they are lesser than those who chose to live in these dynamics full time. There is a beauty in the fact that we can choose our level of depth within these dynamics our partners. At least once per chapter Andrews blatantly shames those who are not leather or D/s 24/7 and regularly says that they are a prime reason for the demise of the leather scene. It becomes pretty elitist and may be a turn off to many who are interested in the leather lifestyle but also enjoys other kinks.
Overall, this book is ok. It does provide some good information for those who are interested in starting a leather journey of their own but readers will need to take much of what the author shares worth a grain of salt.
Pros: Quick read, some good chapters on service, written from a submissive’s POV
Con: Repetitive and somewhat derogatory towards non leather BDSM communities
So you’re headed to your first party or dungeon night. You may be as excited as a kid in a candy shop but don’t let your excitement get the best of you. Here are some seemingly common sense things you can do to ensure you’re invited back.
1) Ask Questions Particularly during your first few events you may see a variety of things that are new to you. From impact toys to “littles” the world of kink has more varieties then you can possibly imagine. Many of us are more than happy to answer questions whether it’s “how did you get into the lifestyle,” “what is that toy,” or “Where’s the exit door?” If you don’t ask question it’s much harder to learn. Depending on the location there may be Dungeon Monitors (DMs) who supervise activities to ensure safe environments to all. DMs are generally knowledgeable about the lifestyle and can answer many questions you may have. They may also identify as “service tops” or “service bottoms” and are able to demo equipment or negotiate and conduct scenes.
2) Timing is EVERYTHING! Don’t walk up to someone who is sceneing or right after a scene and start chatting as you may pull someone out a headspace. If you’re interested in what you’re watching ask a DM or hold off until it looks like they have wrapped up with aftercare. If you aren’t sure you can try unintrusively making eye contact with them. If they are ready to chat they will let you know. If you’re concerned about a scene grab a DM. It’s their duty to step in if needed. They are there to help and step in when need be.
Now there is a part b to this item. If you are in a practice space sometimes people are willing to chat while they work. They may be explaining a particular tool or technique or just being social in general. If those same people are in a play space and have started a scene (which may look very similar to you) DO NOT INTERRUPT. It doesn’t matter that one or more of the participants is your friend, you know they hate being [enter your awesome suggestion here], or that you wanted to say hello, hold you horses till the end. The only people who should generally be involved in that scene are individuals who are negotiated before the scene starts and the DM. It’s disrespectful to interrupt and can have extremely negative effects on those involved in the scene. Even if it’s just a hello, err on the side of caution and give the scene it’s space.
3) If it’s not yours don’t touch If you want to touch ask! You would think this would be something that stuck with many since kindergarten but apparently it hasn’t. It doesn’t matter if it’s a ring, rope, toy, human, or otherwise if it’s not yours don’t touch. If you are interested in said ring, rope, toy, human, or otherwise take a second to locate it’s owner to ask permission. If you aren’t sure and it doesn’t seem to belong to anyone ask a DM. Again they can generally tell you whether something belongs to someone or if it’s for open play.
4) Be Respectful Understand everyone participates in the lifestyle differently. You could meet two sets of people who identify as M/s or D/s side by side but the way they express it could be vastly different. You may meet a furry or watch a submissive kneel to their master and kiss their boots only to receive a swat across their back. These situations or individuals could put you out of your comfort zone but be respectful and avoid disparaging comments or laughter. If you respect others they will gain respect for you.
Do you have kinky questions you’d like to see answered or explored? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
So you’ve watched episodes of CSI, read 50 Shades, and enjoyed spicing up your sex life but now you think you want more. Where do you start? The Internet! The internet is for porn after all! There is all kinds of information out there and sifting through it can be overwhelming. Here’s a quick list of some starting points for getting out of the kinky kiddie pool and connected with the local community.
Fetlife – Think Facebook for the kinky & kink curious minus Google’s ability to find you. This site allows you to create a profile and connect with others far and wide through a VAST array of groups. You can keep your profile as anonymous you’d like while testing the waters of the kink community. Lots of events are posted too, like the ones listed below, letting you get out and meet other like minded individuals.
Meetup – Event based site offering TONS of groups that focus on various interests including those on the kinkier/alternative side.
Munches & Coffee Time – Generally held at coffee shops and restaurants, these events are “vanilla” friendly socials. This means you generally won’t see kinky clothing, nudity, or people walking around on leashes. They are a good opportunity to meet others in your area face to face and chat about kink and non kink topics in a casual and friendly environment.
Topic Specific Meetings – Already found a particular fetish/kink you’re interested in? There are groups for just about anything and many of them meet regularly. Depending on where these meetings are held they can be very similar to munches except that the discussion is more focused. There may be a presenter or it may be a group lead discussion. If held in a public space, such as Denny’s, then expect similar clothing and behavior to a munch or coffee time. If held in a private location such as a dungeon or private home there may be more lifestyle behaviors such as a submissive who sits on the floor by their dominant.
Public Play Parties – Depending on your area you may have none, one, or a few options when it comes to public places to play. These are great for people watching and getting a taste of what kink in real life looks like. Expect various forms of fetish fashion and nudity which varies based on local laws. You’ll also see A LOT more alternative lifestyle behavior and clothing choices.
Dungeons/Private Play Parties – Private locations tend to vary the most in what is and isn’t allowed during an event. You may attend parties where penetrative sex allowed. Another may limit bodily fluid play (blood, cum, urine) to a particular area. If you’re going and you want to get an idea of what to expect contact one of the organizers. They are normally happy to answer any questions you may have. Private parties can be tricky to find and once you find them they can be hard to get into. The process of vetting individuals prior to attendance is common with private events. Simply put the host of the party wants to make sure you’re legit. You aren’t known for disrespect, abuse, a stalker, ect. They do this to help ensure safe play spaces for all to enjoy. Unless you know someone already who can vouch for you hitting some public events is a great way to get known.
These are a just a few of the many options for getting your feet wet in the big kids pool of kink. No matter where you go, online or in real life, remember to use common sense, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and have fun!
Do you have kinky questions you’d like to see answered or explored? Send your questions to email@example.com.