BDSM is Not a Race

When I found the kink community, I’d never tried a sex toy—not even the buzzy type. It’s true. I’d just come out of a power exchange relationship, but my kink experience was completely absent of even a hint of sadomasochism. I was simultaneously terrified and compelled. I wanted to try it all immediately and never. Never accuse me of being logical. I can, and will, go to the ends of the earth to chase two opposing desires at the same time.

Crossing the barrier into BDSM-ville required a metric fuckton of courage. My feelings about all that lay in front of me were quite uniform: I was scared of clamps. I was scared of spankings. I was scared of belts. I was scared of submitting again. I was even scared of munches.

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I was sure my first encounters would prove I didn’t have much in common with the other subs in this community. I charged ahead anyway, but every metre of ground I crossed was intimidating. Still, if my life has taught me anything, it’s that showing up is almost always preferable to sitting at home alone watching Westworld, so that’s what I did. I ignored my fear and took the next step. I learned that I was most definitely a masochist. I loved clamps. I loved spankings. I loved belts. I loved munches.

I did not love submitting again. That part wasn’t sexy. It only made me feel inferior, but I was new to this life, so I wanted to conform. That’s how I came to accept the authority of a man who became venom in my veins. We could play at D/s a scene at a time, but letting that dynamic infiltrate my everyday life was a grave mistake. I lost myself and then I struggled to find enough autonomy to rebuild my flagging strength.

Two years later, I’m still completely unable to get sexually involved with even the most trustworthy of tops.

This is why I spend so much time writing about the importance of honouring our needs and desires as subs. There’s plenty of time to dive into the deepest part of D/s. Start at the shallow end. If you’re about to become a slave and you have never so much as tried a toy, rushing could do more damage to your psyche than you might imagine. Even the shallowest of submission can set us off balance. I was lucky to experience the best of D/s in my first kink relationship, but even that set me off kilter. The only difference was that my dom made sure I found true north again.

It’s easy to get lost in the confusion and intensity of this thing we do and not find your way out for years. Dip your toe in the water first. Check the horizon for sharks. Most importantly, remember that your life has taught you enough common sense to tell if your dynamic is healthy. Yes, even though you’re new. If it feels wrong, it probably is.

There is a lot to lose. Show up at the scene or date, but make BDSM a stroll and not a race.

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