Header Illustration: Kate Solar
Q: How do I get started with a new kink?
You want enough safety that you’re comfortable being vulnerable and letting go, but you also want enough risk to keep things exciting and interesting.
One of the incredible things about kink is that it can give you a place to thoughtfully explore your edges. But when you’re taking more risk, you also want to think more intentionally about safety. I find it useful to think of your erotic edge as the place where you’ve found the right combination of both these things. You want enough safety that you’re comfortable being vulnerable and letting go, but you also want enough risk to keep things exciting and interesting.
In the BDSM world, one way people approach this is with the acronym RACK, which stands for Risk-Aware Consensual Kink. You can use RACK as a guidepost while you get started with the kink(s) you’re interested in: what are the risks involved with this particular kink? Do you have a plan to mitigate them? What will you do if something doesn’t go as planned? What’s your plan for aftercare? How will you clean up?
The answers to these questions will vary widely depending on the kink, but there is a growing collection of books and other resources to help you answer them. That being said, the riskier an activity is, the more important it might be to talk to another human who’s done that thing. While something like spanking is pretty beginner-friendly, other things will go much smoother if you talk to someone who’s had a lot of practice. Look to your local kink groups to see how you can get involved. (Creating a FetLife profile could be a good way to find them).
You don’t mention if you want to explore a new kink with a partner, but if you do, you should definitely talk to them about it before diving in. This is the ‘consent’ part of RACK, where you want to really make sure that everyone’s on the same page about what’s going to happen. You should also discuss what’s hot about this kink and how you’d love your fantasy to play out. If you need to gather supplies, take a trip to your local sex shop together and enjoy figuring out what most appeals to you.
Finally, once you’ve experimented with this kink, take some time to reflect on the experience. Did it go how you expected? Is there anything you’d change for next time? You could decide that once you’ve tried it you don’t need to do it ever again — or maybe you’ve found a new passion that you’ll get to enjoy for life.