bdsm

Several weeks ago, I had the interesting experience of going to my first sex dungeon. Not having had much exposure to the kink community prior to my trip, I didn’t really have any kind of expectation or idea of what it would be like. Fortunately, I had people with more experience than I did to tag along with that I could pester with all sorts of questions, and the theme of the party at the Citadel (a dungeon in SF) was Tryst, coordinated to be good for newbies such as myself and more focused on the social aspects of kink.

Without going into the details of what I saw and the types of play taking place around me, I can really say that going to the Citadel taught me how much I don’t know about…well, everything. I didn’t know about certain types of play, the roles and expectations of certain activities, the norms around watching versus playing, and just how comfortable everyone was with their bodies. Being surrounded by confident, happy, sex positive, and proud people in various kinds of leather, lace, and latex was refreshing and provided its own sort of rush. Contrary to what I feel like many people would have expected, most people weren’t having sex – they were either socializing or participating in impact play, which I’ll honestly say I don’t know enough about.

Before SHEP, I hardly knew anything about kink – floggers, suspension, sensation play, primal play – none of that had any meaning to me. I knew BDSM involved certain kinds of relationships and play, impact play being a big one, but I didn’t realize just how deep everything went. Seeing people in the before, during, and after stages of play was something I’d never had a chance to experience. Seeing people go into subspace, talking openly about the scenes they’d like to take part in, taking part in aftercare – I’d never had any exposure to that. Hell, I didn’t even know what subspace was prior to a few weeks ago. My point is that, despite being a sexual health educator and constantly talking about sexual health and learning about sex, this one experience took the cake and taught me how little I knew about kink and about myself.

If you’ve ever even considered kink and BDSM, I highly recommend you look a little more into it. Even if you don’t think it’s for you or ever will be something you’d be interested in, learn a bit more about why other people might want to participate in those communities and activities. Even if you’ve been thoroughly involved in them, perhaps you can take the time to reflect on your mindset towards it or how much you’ve learned in the time since you first discovered kink even existed. Take the time to explore the opportunities around in the Bay Area, which is really quite the place for kink (it has a lot of history and exposure here!). Check out events nearby, do some research, ask questions! Think about your relationship with kink – is it strong and sturdy? New and exciting? Tried it and didn’t like it? Don’t know anything about it? Maybe it’s time to take another look at that relationship! 🙂

~Sexpert Mariya