Bored Kinkster Blues

You’ve been an out and proud kinkster—a submissive, let’s say—for years and years. You’ve done all the things. You’ve tried everything. You’ve done all the events. You’ve been done at all the events. You’re bored. Or jaded.

Or both.

But … you still love kink. You still love playing. You wish you could get that thrilling high from scenes like you used to. But you have so many things to do, a job, a life, hobbies, kids maybe, a demanding cockatoo. How can you prioritize your submission now, with all of that? Especially when you’re basically done going to the play spaces and you teach workshops dammit (or used to) so you don’t really want to attend them and “the scene” sucks anyway and is full of people young enough to be your children or jailbait or you just run into all your exes that you have no bad blood with but you’d just rather not.

What do you do? How do you get back to it?

Well, if you want my opinion—and you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this—that’s it, exactly. You get back to it. You re-prioritize your kink identity. You go back to basics. You schedule time (if that is the only way!) to fuck or play, and you make it happen.

You cultivate what the buddhists call a “beginner’s mind,” a place of newness and neutrality where your pride in your well-developed kink identity can be set aside for you to discover what’s real and new and true right here, right now.

At one point, this kink identity was a seriously important part of you. You grew it from a tiny seed in a culture that does not support alternative sexuality identities. You built a little cage around it for it to grow safely and not get smushed. You tended to it. You fed it with nutrients and leather contests and safety classes and play partners and safer sex supplies and yummy-smelling gear. You plucked the fruits and ate them hot from the vine. You paved the way for others. You made an impact.

Maybe you found a Big Love, maybe it didn’t last. Maybe it did. Maybe you’re broken hearted and single and miss your submission like a friend. Maybe you miss it and you’re still with a Big Love lover, but the world has you both pulled in all kinds of directions and when did you decide a mortgage was more important than new floggers? But yeah that happened.

Here’s my advice: Keep going. Start where you are, which is not some new baby-green sprout but a sturdy tree, something with glory and wood and shade. Something with shelter and structure. But each spring you still have to figure out how to leaf again, how to flower, how to dance with the bees and spin seed down down until it finds a divet of soil in which to nestle.

Start where you are, start over. Start again. Go back to basics. What’s it like to kiss for hours? How much can you feel your body when you are touched, when you touch? What nerves have fried from overuse, what nerves need a jolt to be awakened? What’s it like to be deprived of senses and have every hair follicle on every patch of your skin lovingly caressed, tickled, suckled?

What do you need to awaken that submissive desire that used to course through you like spring runoff as the winter thawed? What needs to heat up? What needs to aliven, envigorate?

Sit down and ask yourself. Take the time to interview that part of yourself that is sleepy-tired and now small: how would you like to grow? Use a guide (this is what people like me are for, this is why I take appointments with people, I have ideas, I can support you). Use a buddy. Give it a go with your Big Love and rediscover those parts of you that are different now, are no longer fresh and unknowing, but are wise and kind. Be kind. Especially to yourself. Ease your toes in the water, ease your ankles in the water, ease your whole self down into the water and rest. Submerge for a rebirth.

What really matters now? This is where you are. You are anew, you are invigorated with the knowing of life and of self, you are eagerly ready for your playful submission to come up and out in new ways. Now is not before. You are not who you were. You are better, more full. You are years and hundreds of sleeps and hands worn down and skin gone long unbruised. You are ready for something new. You have all the answers already, I don’t need to tell you what to do, I don’t need to give you advice.

You just need to act.

Submissive Playground’s summer session is almost sold out, and today is the last day to register! There are limited spots left—sign up now and reserve your spot: submissiveplayground.com

PS: The image is from rife’s “Prioritize Your Preference” kinkster roadmap. Download the full image in the Submissive Starter Kit.

Happy Pride! Last Chance Submissive Playground Sale

It’s pride weekend! Right now as I type this from the warmth of my sunny bedroom, hundreds and hundreds of gender radical folks are gathering in Delores Park in San Francisco for the pre-Trans March gathering, and then the Trans March, and then the Trans March afterparties. And then tomorrow’s the Dyke March (with a similar schedule), and Sunday is the big ol’ mother-of-em-all, the Pride Parade.

I get a little weepy around Pride, just like I get weepy around my birthday or other Big Events that mark the passing of time and cause me to reflect on community and friends and chosen family and survival.

Being an introvert with misanthropic tendencies, I usually don’t attend big Pride events. After a few times of going and being just pretty miserable and waiting for them to be over, I learned that it’s better to stay home and have an Introvert Pride all by myself (or with a few friends).

I also remember that Pride marks the anniversary of Stonewall, which was a riot started by drag queens and trans folks against police in New York City. It might be a commercialized, commodified celebration now, but it has radical, marginalized, and empowering roots.

“Hey wait, I want to hear about the sale!”

Yeah. Let’s do this thing.

So because I love community (in my introvert-misanthropic way), I want to invite you and a friend to sign up for the Submissive Playground—this weekend only!—for $200.

That means: YOU + your friend who is also into submission = take the course for only $200.

The course is much more fun when you can make study dates or compare homework!

What do you get? The DIY (formerly and lovingly called the Broke Ass) Package includes:

  • Materials! Videos to watch, erotic stories to read, how-to articles,
  • Submissive Journal worksheets (like the one in the Submissive Starter Kit, except more elaborate)
  • Experiments! Every module has guided experiments for you to go try—on your own, or with whatever resources, doms, or play partners are available to you
  • Calls every other week to reflect on each module’s tasks, report your progress, and ask Mr. Sexsmith questions
  • Access to message board to discuss the homework and tasks with other submissives, for continued group feedback, discussion, connection
  • Submissive community, and deeper connection to the kink world
  • Digital certificate of participation

Are you unsatisfied right now? Become insatiable. Become delectable. Become confident in your submission to go after what you want.

This is the way to figure out where your heat is, and what really gets you going. Maybe it’s more dirty talk in your sex life, more spankings, more humiliation, more rules/procedures … or maybe just more play. Submissive Playground will help you start being a more conscious sub. You’ll start saying yes’ consciously instead of being taken advantage of (you know, without your consent, in the bad ways). You’ll begin to create healthy submissive patterns that don’t leave you tired, uninspired, and unsatisfied.

Registration for Submissive Playground summer school in July & August closes on Monday, June 30th! This is the last chance sale to sign up!


Sorry! This deal is no longer available

And hey, if you’re out there right now, having a great time in the grass and sun with all the eye-candy of trans and genderqueer folks all around you, I hope you have a wonderful time.

Free download: Submissive Starter Kit

Since I know some of you aren’t the type to make the first move, I’m going to be bold.

Here’s a taste, a little tease, just for you.

What’s in the Submissive Starter Kit?

Okay, so maybe you’ve completed these first five steps and you’re still pretty damn sure that you’re submissive or want to play that way sometimes, and you are still looking for more.

But now, you’re asking yourself:

  • How do I get more kinky play?
  • What kind of skills do I need to have or bring as a bottom?
  • How do I flirt with tops?
  • What are my next steps as a submissive?
  • … and more.

So I’ve put together a video (from the Submissive Playground Bondage unit) and submissive journal prompts to support it.

Hey wait! What’s a submissive journal?

It’s the place where you keep all your reflections on being submissive, on service, on scenes, on aftercare, on what things worked and didn’t work, on what to try next time. If you’re in service to a specific person or people, you could keep lists of their preferences in it. I suggest you also bring it to classes or conferences and take notes in it, to keep them all in one place.

You might also keep a list of resources in the back, like books or websites to check out, or people to contact on Fetlife. You can easily tuck some of your cards (if you have them) into it to carry around at events, or tear out a little corner of a piece of paper to write your name and Fetlife profile or contact info on if you meet someone interesting.

Or, in this day & age, you might just designate a page in it to be your “digital business card” with your contact info and name, and invite people to take a photo of it with their phone (assuming they have one that takes photos).

Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, your current or future dominant may give you writing assignments or art tasks, and your journal will come in handy for those things, too.

Oh yeah—I highly, highly recommend dominant/top/D-types have journals, too, where they record pretty much the same things. This isn’t something unique to submissives. I just happen to be focused on submissives at the moment and in this kit.

Start here: Watch the video

Time to get out submissive journal and take some notes of the things in rife’s talk that speak to you.

Here’s your Submissive Journal Prompts for this video:

This is box title

PROMPT #1:
Rife detailed these four tips for getting more kinky play. Write your notes on each- Have you tried this already? How can you use this in the future more? Which is your favorite and least favorite?

  1. Go to classes and workshops
  2. Buy your own toys
  3. Approach tops you’re interested in
  4. Consider switching

PROMPT #2:
Write your own 4 best flirting tips in your submissive journal, and share your favorites in the comments.

This is only one example piece of the homework for the Bondage unit. In the course, there are a variety of questions about the erotica assigned, the other guest videos for the module, and the experiment that players are conducting.

Here’s a little ZIP package of two PDFs & an image:

  • The transcript of rife’s video
  • Select submissive journal prompts for the Bondage unit, including some of your history with bondage and rife’s video above (three pages of prompts!)
  • The full image of rife’s illustrated “Prioritize Your Kink” identity development roadmap
DOWNLOAD NOW

You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy.

There are FOUR days left to register for Submissive Playground’s summer session, and there are limited spaces left! Sign up today and reserve your spot: submissiveplayground.com

“I know I’m submissive. But where do I start?” aka “I just read Fifty Shades of Grey and I want THAT.”

1. Read a fucking book

Read fiction, sure—Carrie’s Story, The Marketplace series, Mr. Benson, The Leather Daddy and the Femme (these are some of my personal favorites)—hell, even Fifty Shades of Grey—read the fiction, but know that it is designed for one thing: Arousal. The reality of it is both much, much sexier, erotic, and mind-blowing and also sometimes very different, full of realistic mundane problems that aren’t sexy at all.

Read non-fiction. There are many good ones: ask a bookseller at your favorite local bookstore for recommendations on where to start if you’re exploring kink (I know, it’s old fashioned, but do it anyway.) Go in to your local feminist queer sex-positive sex toy shop (is there not a good directory for those online yet!?) and ask them for their book recommendations. Go to your favorite queer sex blogger’s list of recommended BDSM books on Amazon and browse around. Go intellectual-butt-sniffing (aka, look over their bookshelves) at your bibliophile friend’s place.

All of those recommendations are worth reading, but these are essential. Consider them assigned to you as homework.

You can do this step while you also do the other steps, but do not skip it.

2. Find a buddy

It doesn’t really matter where you find your buddy, but you gotta have that person you can talk to about this thing that is growing and that you are beginning to voice and give weight and value to. It’s great if that person has lots more information about kink than you do, if they can guide you on the path, if they can be your mentor, but that’s not the most important thing.

They must:

  • Feel safe to talk to
  • Listen to what you’re curious about
  • Be supportive and not judgmental, not shaming of your interests
  • Ask interesting questions

And, most importantly:

When you leave the conversations with this friend, you feel invigorated, empowered, stronger, braver. <— Pay attention to this, to how you feel after visiting with your friends and relations in general. You don’t need anyone else stomping on this new baby-green identity that is just starting to sprout and grow. It needs some scaffolding, a tomato cage of strength and nurturance around it, one that won’t disrupt it’s growth but is there if it needs something to hold on to, some guidance of how to get to the sun, some support if the fruits get too heavy.

Find those tomato-cage friends and lovers and confidants and beloveds. Identify them. They are out there. You probably already know a few of them.

3. Brave up and go to a Thing

BDSM, kink, and fetish events abound. You may not find “your people” or “your community” or your next mind-blowing fuck at the first, second, third, fifth, or even twentieth event you attend—but then again, you might.

Depending on where you live, this might be harder than it sounds. Your Thing might have to be on another coast, in another city, while visiting that one friend from college who is always posts “interesting” things on Facebook.

Look up whatever might be happening in your local kink community on Fetlife. (I wish I knew of another good source for you, but that’s the best I’ve got. And hey, I’ll be your friend!) Yes, you might have to wade through unsolicited solicitations. Yes, you might not have the exact right orientation or gender or fetish event that you’d really most want, in your heart-of-hearts, to attend. But that’s okay. You don’t have to go to the only very most perfect events. Go to the events that kind of weird you out, that you don’t get, that you are totally “meh” about.

Regardless of the Thing, you’ll learn. Pay attention. Put your phone away and really listen. Think about it as if you’re a scientist studying what these kinksters do. Why do they like it? What’s amazing about it? What makes them squirm, in good ways or bad ways? Even if it isn’t for you, you can still observe and learn.

The more brave you are, the more you’ll feel strong and capable and badass, and the more you’ll be able to do.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be in person, though I do encourage you to make sure to attend at least one kinky event every two months. But if socializing is too too hard, if your schedule just doesn’t work, it could be online. Lots of kinksters host online events. I’m just about to launch Submissive Playground for the second time, which is a more in-depth study for anybody who knows they’re submissive (of some kind) and wants to explore more submissive headspace. It’s great for folks who are beginners, for folks who have done so much kinky bottoming that they are practically bored and stagnant, for people without much kink community around them geographically, and for people wanting to dip their toes back in after something hard happened (be it a breakup or a bad scene).

Regardless, the point is to prioritize your kink. Prioritize your submission. It’s important, and nothing to be ashamed of.

4. Brave up and ask a top to play

Step 0: Go to a kink/bdsm/fetish Thing.

Step 1: Identify the hottest person in the room. If you’re trying to develop your submissive self, then filter for whether or not that person is a top. (Hint: You might not know until you talk to them!)

Step 2: Dare yourself to find a reason to talk to them, and say hi. Maybe it’s to give a compliment (people like compliments!) or ask a question (it’s flattering for someone to be curious!).

Step 3: Find common ground, and elevate the discussion. (This is something my mom taught me and I think about it all the time.)

Step 4: If you’ve talked for 2-5 minutes at the event and are still curious and have more compliments to give, offer your phone number. Ask if they’re on Fetlife and give them your user name. Say that you’d love to be in touch and talk more.

Step 5: If you’re really bold, ask them on a date. If you are less bold, ask them on a date via whatever contact information they give you or when they find you on social media or email you later.

One more note about asking tops to play:

They are not better than you are, they are not (inherently) sexier than you are, they are not more entitled to play than you are, just because they are a top and you are/might be a bottom. Tops sometimes act like they own the scene, but they don’t. They need you just as much as you need them, and they are just as nervous/excited/lonely/wishing for the right person to come along as you are.

Sometimes s-types are nervous about asking for dates or being forward, because that is seen as a trait that dominants or tops have. I say, fuck that. There are absolutely ways to hit on someone from a submissive or bottomy or masochistic perspective. The more you hit on people and the more trial and error you do, the more play you’ll get and the more you’ll be able to read the signs better and better.

Rife has some great tips for how to get more kinky play from a submissive’s perspective—Watch for his video on that later this week!

5. One last tip to help you open up your submissive world:

Recognize that no matter what you consume about submission, there’s no one right way to do it, and your way is just as good as anyone elses. You don’t have to love service, or being hit, or playing in public, or being naked, or having your orgasms controlled, or body fluids, or blood, or ANY thing at all really. Your kinks are okay and your icks are just fine too.

Whatever you learn through any sources you take in, people or meetings or mentors or books or events or lovers—you get to remix everything into your own identity, and who you are, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, is exactly right.

PS: AMAZING illustration by rife, who drew an infographic for the stages of kink and power dynamic identity development and formation. (I helped with some words and theories.) Watch for the full thing to be posted in a few days!

There are FIVE days left to register for Submissive Playground’s summer session, and there are limited spaces left! Sign up today and reserve your spot: submissiveplayground.com

What you should know about privacy, secret identities, and kink communities

Welcome to the kink worlds of BDSM and reclaimed sluttiness and sex toys!

I see you there in the wings, lurking a little bit, shy and nervous, and possibly fearful of revealing too much and putting yourself or your life in some sort of “danger.” Danger is of course what you are coming here looking for, in a safe and risk-aware context: more edge, more bite in your sex life, more intensity of feeling, more cracking yourself open and seeing what’s inside.

But taking the first steps into the kink communities are a challenge, and you’re almost immediately faced with the question of anonymity. Should you stay anonymous, or be transparent? Create an alter ego, or use your legal name? And what about … pictures?

There are a lot of fears about being “out” as kinky in a world that sees all kinky things as deviant, dangerous, and out of control. Kink is in the mainstream more than ever these days, from Fifty Shades of Grey back to “The Secretary,” but there still can be real consequences to working in sexually explicit fields, or being out as kinky.

Here’s a few examples from my own version of struggling with being out—Just last week, I put up a sale for enrollment into the Submissive Playground ecourse, and after about five hours of it being live, I got an email saying that it had been pulled and I wasn’t allowed to use Gumroad for this project because it violates their terms of service, which excludes any adult content. Fuck. Cue sad trombone.

I was also turned down for a Twitter business ad recently because my business is sex related, and denied entry into the Audible.com affiliate program because my work is too explicit (got some leads on resolving that one, but no guarantees).

Sometimes, this is Just The Way It Is and I can kinda let it go, but other times, it feels like I’m being shamed for being explicit about sex and I get all righteous and pissed about it. I get mad, and then I write furiously, and then I try to formulate these writing furies into actual useful pieces of writing that you get to read, too!

Of course I’m the only one this happens to professionally—there have been a bunch of headlines recently about Chase bank closing porn actors’ bank accounts. It’s not just Chase: Paypal has been making headlines lately too as freezing funds and strong-arming businesses into flagging any “adult” content. My friend Andre Shakti recently crowdfundraised over $500 to travel to the Feminist Porn Awards, but the bank processor Wepay wouldn’t let her collect what she’d raised.

You might be see these headlines around, on your usual Internet wanderings, or on the Facebook feed of that one friend who always shares kinky shit. (Hey, maybe you’ll see this from them, too!) And it makes you wonder … so what about me?

Is it risky to be out as kinky?

Maybe. It’s generally agreed upon that you’re going to have a much, much harder time being any sort of elected official if you’re an out kinkster, so most folks who want to go into politics are really careful about any sort of identity in the kink communities. Some people who have kids are very strict about their kink identities, particularly if they are adopting or going through legal battles—but I’ve also heard that it’s becoming more common for kink to be disregarded in court as related to the safety of children or the capabilities of the kinkster as a parent. But I am not a lawyer! Nor do I work in law—I’m just a kinkster who likes to stay informed. This is just what I’ve heard.

There’s no easy answer here for what to do and how to deal with your new budding kink identity, but there are many, many kinksters who have come before you, grasshopper, who have deliciously happy lives and who do dirty things in consensual privacy. Kink producers—folks who actively work to produce spaces for kinksters to learn and gather and play—work with you to keep you safe and disclose the level of identity that you want to disclose.

Here’s some strategies for you to think about.

Most commonly, people do one of three things to keep themselves as safe as possible and not in a position to be threatened or “outed” as being kinky. They either 1. retain anonymity, using no identifying information about themselves in places that could be used against them, or2. create an alter ego, using a different name and separating their kinky communities from the rest of their life, or 3. go for complete transparency.

Let’s look at each of ‘em and see what might fit you best:

1. Stay Anonymous

If you are extra nervous about consequences from being out as kinky, you might want to consider remaining completely anonymous in the kink communities. This usually means taking some sort of non-identifiable name when you are involved in kink events or on Fetlife, but not necessarily building a whole persona behind it—just using it as a screen in front of the “real you.”

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Pros:

  • Most protective of your legal identity and any identifiable characteristics
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Cons:

  • The more you hide, the more you have to hide
  • Some folks end up craving the validation and community that comes with sharing more, and this anonymity isn’t enough to build those deeper connections that are possible
  • Many people won’t recognize your Fetlife avatar, photos, or name if you introduce yourself at an event as one thing and then use a different name as your smokescreen
  • Often there is a big risk of being outed as kinky, which can cause anxiety and stress
  • Sometimes you might really want to a) take photos of you doing kinky amazing things and b) share them, but this option shuts that down
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2. The Alter Ego

This is super common in the kinky worlds—for people to basically have two names, one that they use outside of kink spaces and one that they use for kink. They often use this name as their Fetlife profile, on their badge at kink events, or introduce themselves as that at the local munch or BDSM workshop.

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Pros:

  • Nobody who googles your name will find your connections to kink
  • Generally very safe to show up at events, wear a “no photos” marker, and go by your other name—no one will ever know you were there
  • Easy to erase all trace of your alter ego, just by deleting your alter ego’s accounts
  • Relative ease to keeping your other self separate from your kink self
  • Can still put up a variety of identifying things (photos of your face, photos of your tattoos) and be relatively sure that your name is not attached to them. If someone you know is at a kink event or on Fetlife and sees you, well, then in order to out you, they’d have to out themselves, so you are relatively safe.
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Cons:

  • It can be lots of work to maintain two selves. You have to be very diligent about what you post where, who sees it, and where (if ever) you cross post.
  • The lines start to get blurry. Sometimes your alter ego becomes more you than the rest of your life (see: Sinclair Sexsmith, myself, for example), or sometimes you become your alter ego.
  • It might sometimes feel like fragmenting your Self, if people know you as many names, and can lead to a lack of integrity or a lack of intimacy for friends because they only know parts of you
  • Being “exposed” as this alter ego is a real risk that can sometimes be incredibly scary
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Full Transparency

This is where you end up either merging your legal identity and your alter ego, if you started there, or you just always used your own name (or a variation thereof) and used your personal accounts to connect with the kinky communities. Very few people start from here in the kink scene, but it can be liberating and empowering to

I heard a story just recently from a man who used to work at a high-up government office, and as he came into the kink community, he realized that was a potential spot for blackmail. Rather than cease his kink engagement, he called a meeting with his boss and his boss’s boss, and came out as kinky. “I want you to know that I’m a gay man, and I participate in BDSM activities—” he started. They cut him off. “We don’t need to know that!” “But you do,” he persisted. “Because if you know, then there’s nothing for anyone else to blackmail me with.” “Fair enough. Great. Thanks for telling us. Now go back to work.”

(I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea.)

I’ve been pretty shocked at how few issues being almost completely out as kinky has been in my own life. I began publishing erotica under my legal first and middle names when I was 27, in 2006, and because my legal name is very specific, it’s easily findable via Google.

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Pros:

  • Integrity! Being who you are!
  • Making your own unique way in the world without apology
  • Significantly reduced shame (Potential for, not guaranteed)
  • Reduced potential for someone to attempt to use something against you as a threat
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Cons:

  • It’s really, really hard and scary and challenging, and you may sacrifice some relationships, professional contacts, your job, your standing in the community, your career ladder, or other things. It’s more and more rare, but it is still possible.
  • It’s not for everybody! It isn’t always possible (because of perceived/feared consequences or known consequences) to be out as kinky
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Most of the folks I know in the community do some sort of combination of these things. I’d say I have an alter ego (“Sinclair Sexsmith” isn’t the name my parents named me at birth, if you didn’t already figure that out), but that I am completely out in my life in general. Pretty much everyone who knows me via my birth name knows that I am Sinclair, and it isn’t hard to find out my legal name if you know my work through Sugarbutch (there’s even a post in the archives for “coming out day” from a few years ago where I come out as my legal name).

When my boy rife and I were talking about this article, he said, “My alter ego is pretty transparent.” Which I think is a very accurate way to describe what both he and I do with our kink worlds.

As a producer of kinky events and a facilitator of kink education in general, I am always interested in and concerned with people’s privacy. I don’t take photos of my classes (unless I get permission from the audience, which I sometimes do). I don’t use anyone’s names or identify anybody who was in attendance (unless I either get permission or know their level of out-ness and transparency). Note—just because I have my own policies that I follow around this doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes fuck up. I have posted photos on Sugarbutch of people I didn’t have permission to post before (and subsequently apologized and taken them down). I have messed up. It happens. I do my best to apologize, reflect, and fix it, if possible.

Take the Submissive Playground course, as an example—many people have had challenges attending because they are not particularly out as kinky. Some folks don’t want to use any sort of credit card or payment linked to their name in order to pay. Some folks have been very concerned with their name and email, worried that their identity would be revealed to the group.

But let me reassure you: We can work around that.

Payment challenges? No problem. You can send me a check—or, even more anonyously, a money order! You can use an anonymous email address. You don’t have to give me your address.

Any information you give me will be protected and for my use to make the course better, and will never be released.

In this particular course, you can be whatever level of anonymous that you feel comfortable being. You can use a pseudonym and an alternative picture for your avatar, no problem. You don’t have to ever go on record and say where you live or what you do. You do have the option to share photos, to go on video to chat with me with the group, or to speak up on our live calls, but you don’t have to.

You might not know about the variety of options that are available to you to keep your identities from being outed as kinky if you are new to the BDSM and fetish and sex toy and slutty delicious worlds, but there are quite a few. Producers of kink events work hard to make the spaces as safe as possible, and for many people to attend, regardless of their anonymity, alter egos, or transparency.

None of these options are better or worse than the others, they are all weighing risks and mitigating the circumstances as best as possible, and everyone has different risks. You are the best gauge of what is right for you—nobody else can make the decision for you.

Think about which of these options feels best for you, and remember—at any time, you can change it. Problem is, it’s much harder to change to more anonymity than it is to change to more openness about your identities. And certain things (like publishing erotica in a Best Lesbian Erotica 2006 anthology under your legal name when you’re 27) don’t really go away, though they do have the potential to lead you to an integrated, kink-forward and well-lived life.

A Little Note About Father’s Day

My dad died a little more than two years ago, suddenly, of a heart attack. He was 60, and not in perfect health, but I was under the impression it was improving.

It was a serious shock. My world was turned upside down. I have lost people before, breakups, deaths, sudden shocks—but I’ve never experienced anything like this before. My world unraveled, my sanity unraveled. Grief has been a fascinating process. I have been writing constantly about it, though I’ve only been publishing about 10% of it.

It has changed everything, to lose my dad (and then my partner), and I’m still getting back on my feet.

This is the third father’s day without him. It’s different—being a Daddy in the leather-kink way to this boy whose adoration and devotion I strive every day to deserve, and to whom I offer my adoration and devotion too—it means I think about Father’s Day in a dirty intimate way that is completely different from my own relationship. And yet, when the words are the same, how different are they really? But they are. And they’re related. Maybe they come from the same wound, somehow, or from the same deep need, from the same crevasse filled with diamonds that can slowly be excavated with the right tools. I’m just poeting here, I don’t really know.

As someone who always had a decent if somewhat complicated relationship with my family-of-origin genetically-related dad, Father’s Day was only a moment to call him, say hey, talk about the latest TV sitcom or how his business was going. But now that I’ve got this other relationship to the day, I am feeling into all of you out there who are fatherless kids, who are unfathered or under-fathered, who are fathers or daddies or papas or poppys yourselves, who have that masculine paternalism to whomever or from whomever in your life. It’s more complicated than the Father’s Day of my first 32 years would have told me. I

I was hoping to write up a gift guide for butch daddy presents, but honestly, my feelings are in the way of any masculine accessory thing. You can always check out Butch Basix for inspiration, and search for belt buckles, cuff links, cigar holders, dopp kits, collar stays, or ties at Etsy, and I bet you’ll come up with a thing or two.

Pro Etsy tip: if your butch daddy has some particular love of birds or Texas or motorcycles, put in “cufflinks+motorcycles” or “birds+belt buckles” and get something really rad. If all else fails, add “customize” to any of those and get something with their initials.

I’m actually in Phoenix this weekend, at a leather boy retreat, so I’m curious to see what will come up around Father’s Day for me in the next few days. I’ll be over here, writing. I hope your brunch is epic and your love is radiant.

Here’s a couple things to read for your Father’s Day weekend:

PS: I love you, boy.

Submissive Playground Winner!

Announcing: The winner of the Submissive Playground giveaway for the summer session is: Yasha!

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Thanks to all of you who wrote notes and about your submission and why you’re interested in the course … you may’ve thought you were just writing “blah blah blah” but actually I read every. Single. Thing and I am really curious about your stories. Every time somebody commented, I would say, “Oh! I wish they could come play too!” Seriously I want you all to join me/us in this course, it would be way better if you were here.

Here’s a few of the things you wrote:

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Hmm…dreadfully curious about this class. I was the first time around as well.

I have been looking for ways to expand my skills!

I am a poor college student that would love to learn about the nature of submission and how to become a better submissive. This is something I have been interested in for a very long time and I would love the opportunity to explore it in a safe and instructive environment.

I would love to hone in on my skills as a submissive within a queer context! I want to connect my queer identity with my kinky identity!

I’ve been dying to take this course and was so thrilled to see you’re offering it again!

The biggest thing I’d like to learn is how to express that I’m nearing my pain threshold without being bratty.

LOVE this website! I’d love a spot in the Subplay Course, if only to find a more local (not just virtual) sub network.

I’m a long-time bottom who’s had mostly non-bottoming experience. I am now in a relationship with a dom who wants to push me to be the submissive I envision myself being. I would like to get deeper into understanding how I can be a better service bottom and daddy’s boy, as well as how to make my dom feel well-taken care of. I’ve always wanted to go deeper into understanding the nuances and the give and take. I think this course would bring me much deeper into the world of submission, as well as help me examine why and how I want to be an effective submissive.

As a queer, submissive girl I would relish in the opportunity to expand my submission and my understanding of what makes me tick, so to speak. I would like to delve more into my service oriented nature.

In my everyday, vanilla life I am a dominating force to be reckoned with. I love submitting to my partner because I am able to get out of my head, forget about life responsibilities and just revel in offering myself to another. I would love a spot in your ecourse because I think learning about the intellectual/theoretical side of submission sounds fascinating and I would like to see how to apply that to my own submission.

See what I mean?!

I want you ALL to come. Hrm. Now I just have to figure out how to invite you.

Congrats on the win Yasha, I’m looking forward to working with you!

There’s still room in the Submissive Playground course, but spots are being filled up quickly. Sign up today to join us!

Win a spot in the Submissive Playground ecourse

Do you want to attend Submissive Playground? It’s running in July & August (summer school!) and I decided that this time, I would give away one Broke Ass Player spot in the course.

I usually describe it like this:

Submissive Playground is an online course with five live calls, eight weeks of creative, sexy explorations, and four learning modules—Bondage, Discipline, Service, and Masochism—all with the goal to take your submission deeper. And, you’ll get to explore it in community, making friends with other s-types through the course, and learning from each other. The entire course is online, and done within your own levels of comfort. Registration is open until June 30th www.submissiveplayground.com.

What do you get with the Broke Ass Player spot?

  • Access to all the course materials, including porn to watch, erotica to read, and essays about submissive theory
  • Guest videos from amazing BDSM experts, including Lee Harrington, Madison Young, Raven Kaldera, Tina Horn, kd diamond, International Master & slave 2011 Liza & Jody, and more
  • Access to the course message board to discuss your experiences with other submissives
  • Submissive journal homework prompts for each unit
  • A downloadable star chart to track your progress in the course
  • Access to the online All-Player video calls every other week, where we’ll chat about our experiences and I’ll answer your questions
  • A digital certificate of completion that you can print out (and add to your submissive resume or submissive experience folder)

Want to win a spot in the ecourse?

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Just leave a comment below (with a valid email address, that won’t be published) and tell me one thing you’d love to get from the course, or one thing you love about submission, or something else entirely.

The winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, June 18th, in the evening my time (PST).

Got questions about the course?

Curious but not sure? Other people had some of your same questions, I bet— rife & I did an interactive Q&A about it with about a dozen folks who stopped by to ask questions. Here’s the video, check it out:

I was also on two podcasts over the weekend, talking about Submissive Playground:

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Unspeakable Axe, one of my buddies and favorite podcast hosts, mentioned the Submissive Playground on the Masocast this past weekend. He is off getting married to his dominant Sade this week, and I can’t wait to hear all the dirty stories when he gets back.

And Woody at the new KinkyCast podcast invited me on to talk about Submissive Playground, too. It’s the same episode where LunaKM from Submissive Guide talks about pain processing, episode #19.

Thanks Axe + Woody!

Hope that helps clear up any questions you might have about the Submissive Playground. Still have questions? You can always email me, dominant@submissiveplayground.com, and ask.

Let’s do this! Leave a comment now and win a spot in the course.

Review: Butt toys from Adam + Eve

This may come as a shock to some of you, but I have never owned anal beads. I know not all of you have seen my toy boxes, but if you do some quick math about review posts over the years, you’ll probably get to the hundreds of toys number pretty quickly. Doesn’t that seem like something I would’ve already picked up and tried out? Well, it does to me.

Plus, I like ass sex.

And I have this faggot boy on my hands these days, so I figured I may as well go for it.

ae1AdamEveToys.com had these anal beads available for review, so I jumped on ‘em. They are made of a beautiful silky-smooth silicone, which I really like the feel of. And they’re a great shape, starting out really small and going to more than an inch in diameter, which makes it quite a bit easier to insert than a regular butt plug.

The A&E website lists these in the description:

  • 7″ long
  • .25″ wide up to 1.25″ wide
  • Firm, yet flexible shaft conforms to body’s contours
  • Ribbed for extra stimulation, holds onto lube
  • Pull ring for easy control and retrieval
  • 100% silicone
  • Waterproof

Yes, yes, check, excellent—but hey wait. Notice where it says “ribbed for extra stimulation, holds onto lube”? Guess what else it holds on to? Because where are you putting these anal beads? That’s right, in the ass. And what’s in the ass? Well, sometimes ass-like things belong in the ass.

So these beads might need some extra cleaning time.

Luckily, the silky-smooth silicone is awesome, and it’s really easy to do a quick wash with soap and water, and then toss ‘em in your cock soup next time you’re sanitizing toys in boiling water. Easy peasy, no big deal.

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Adam & Eve also sent us this L’arque prostate massager. I mostly picked it up because it’s the exact same toy as the L’arque gspot massager, it’s just in black instead. I like this kind of silky-smooth silicone (how many times have I mentioned that already?), and lately I have really liked having something for g-spot while getting off solo. Unfortunately, the angle of this toy is all wrong. The internal part isn’t bad, but the vibration on the upper curved arm part doesn’t hit my clit at all. Maybe another person’s body would fit this better, but it’s a pretty specific angle and it’s hard to have the things touching that I want touching.

Still, it’s a pretty toy, and works well. I like the vibration options (pulse and heavier pulse and erratic pulse and all that), and I like the feel. It’ll hang out on the nightstand for a while.

And I am eager to try out the anal beads some more. Those are a major win. And less than $20, too.

The L’arque prostate massager and anal beads were sent from Adam & Eve for rife and I to review, but I have complete editorial control over what I say about ‘em. This is just for full disclosure.

Ask Mr. Sexsmith: I’m a sub, but my partner is not a dom. What do I do?

This question comes from Marie:

“My partner and I have come to a difficult place in our relationship. I have long since had the desire and urge to be dominated, to be somebody’s submissive, and to explore the world in its entirety. My partner, however, has no wishes. I’ve sat down with her and tried to explain what it meant, what it meant to me, and what it would mean to our relationship, but she says she can’t bear to hurt me (even if I enjoy it). I’ve been the dominate one, so to say, in our relationship, and I know for a fact that she would never consider me seeking a dom or have an open relationship. I love her, but I’m unhappy. How did you first address all of this? And is there anything else I can explain to her before I have to make a decision? I really want to explore this, and I want to with her, but she really has no budge room, and I don’t want to make her uncomfortable.  All in all, I’m really confused and at ends.”

….. I have one more thing to add that I didn’t say when I recorded the video yesterday, that is whispering to me now that I’m re-reading your question.

Marie, you wrote: “I really want to explore this, and I want to with her, but she really has no budge room, and I don’t want to make her uncomfortable.”

And here’s the thing. You want to explore this with her, but she doesn’t want to explore it. You want to push her a little, because you are very attached to doing this with her specifically and not opening your relationship to some sort of non-monogamy (which is totally understandable!), but you don’t want to make her “uncomfortable.”

But: let me remind you, sweet pea, for a moment, of your own discomfort. You are uncomfortable by not having the kind of D/s relationship dynamic that your secret heart-of-hearts craves. And there is no reason for her discomfort to be more important than yours. Yes, of course, her discomfort is important and consent is important—I’m not trying to say that she should do it anyway and you “win.” But what I’m trying to say is that you have a clashing of needs here, and you two are going to have to figure that out.

You want something. She doesn’t want it.

There’s so many ways to sugar-coat that, but that’s the simplest core of truth.

It’s totally okay to have different wants or needs in a partnership—that happens all the time. What is important is that you two come up with a way to talk about these different needs, be they around sex, or D/s, or monogamy, or what you make for dinner that night, or whether your parents come stay for a weekend, or where you go on vacation.

It’s extra scary to talk about, because it’s sex and extra dirty kinky stuff that you may still have some internal shame or guilt about. Do you have that? Ask yourself, for a brief quiet soft gentle moment: Do you think you should be able to have this deep want? Or are there things in place between you and that want that make it even harder to ask for, to advocate for yourself around?

I mean, if it was … a new car that you wanted, or a puppy, what would you do then? Would you think of those as “legitimate” wants, whereas this is a scary, shadow, selfish want? (I’m just guessing—maybe that’s not how it feels for you.)

I guess what I’m really trying to say is, YOU DESERVE TO HAVE THIS. And it sucks that she doesn’t want to do it with you. That really sucks. I’m sorry. There’s nothing wrong with you for wanting this, but you two might have come to an irreconcilable difference, if she a) won’t allow you to explore it with anyone else and b) won’t explore it with you.

So now comes a very difficult decision on your part, which is precisely why you’re asking me this question: Is your desire for this greater than your desire to be in this intimate, monogamous partnership with her?

Ask yourself that gently, with kindness, as if you are your best friend asking yourself this. It’s okay if the answer is no. It’s okay if the answer is yes. It’s okay if the answer is “I don’t know.”

I know for me, no partnership felt right until I had that D/s dynamic. It just didn’t. As much as I loved them, as much as I wanted it to work, it didn’t, until I had a power dynamic in place. I don’t really know why. For whatever reason, that’s my fetish, that’s how I’m wired. That’s what really makes me pleased and happy and satiated. Sometimes, for me, the love itself—though it was good love and beautiful love and important love and growing love—was not enough.

It sucks that sometimes love wasn’t enough. But it’s true. I needed more. Maybe you do, too.

Got a (different) question?

I’ve got a full inbox, but I love hearing your gender and identity and sexuality puzzles. What’s on your mind? Ask it here! And I’ll do my best to email you when I answer it.

Remember, Sinclair does one-on-one coaching!

I hope my thoughts give you some places to start. If you’re still stuck, remember, I do one-on-one coaching sessions, and I would be very happy to help you with resources, experiments, ideas, support, or just talking in depth through this process. Contact me for more information and pricing.

Comment Zen …

Readers, do you relate to Marie’s question?

If you do, would you share your own story about being in a relationship and not getting the kind of power dynamic that you wanted? What kind of resources helped you on your journey? Books? Anything to recommend for others who are going through this?

Leave your story anonymously if you like; your email address will not be published, and if you don’t want your usual “gravitar” picture of you to show up, just type “+sugarbutch” in your email address (like mrsexsmith+sugarbutch@gmail.com) and I’ll know you want to be anonymous.

And there’s more …

If you want to explore your submissive identity even more, sign up for the Submissive Playground summer school! Registration closes June 30th.

Take the (new!) S-Type Quiz

Version 2.0 of the famous “What S-type are you” quiz has been released, with 2 new result options, and fancy illustrations for each type, along with your percentage breakdown of your submissive traits. Check it out!

Slave, submissive, service-oriented, bottom, kinky masochist, obedient little pet—what kind of s-type are YOU?

“S-type” is a broad umbrella term for the submissive side of the power dynamic. These identities are multi-faceted—complex and nuanced, and don’t fit into any one little teeny box. However, there are some similarities, too—and I’m interested in the places we overlap, the things we share and have in common, as well as our differences. 

Is your favorite kind of sex…?

  • the kind that leaves bruises
  • full of dirty talk,
  • or when you make someone come over and over … and over

Where would you *most* like to be at a play party?

  • shining everyone’s boots
  • writhing in pleasure/pain
  • ..or at the end of your Dominant’s leash

If you had to give up one part of your sex life, it would be…

  • kinky play. I’m not *that* much of a masochist.
  • vanilla sex. It’s kinda overrated.
  • role play. I never was good at theatre.
  • or… my brain hurts. I’m safewording this question.

 

TAKE THE QUIZ!

… These are just some of the examples of questions on the quiz. Remember, This quiz is for fun! A 12-question quiz could never truly capture your myriad identities. This is designed to measure things like your obedience, interest in BDSM, aptitude for sex, ownership fetish, and then funnel them into a unique s-type identity based on your answers.

I hope you enjoy it! I hope it’s sexy and fun and curious, and maybe, just maybe, it’ll give you a little insight into how you work, and remind you that there you overlap identities with lots of other folks.

Also: at the end, the quiz software (Hello Quizzy, which is part of OK Cupid) wants you to fill out some demographics, including inputting your gender. They only give you two options: Male and Female. And of course you know that I think that’s bullshit, and I suspect that you also think that’s bullshit. You can bypass that step, just skip it. I would’ve loved to have quiz software that didn’t have that stuck on there at the end, but there is no perfect quiz software, rife and I are absolutely not quiz programmers, nor do we have a budget to pay the perfect software to be developed, and this was the best one we looked at in terms of results, percentage answers, and analytics.

And yes, we know that sometimes you can get more than 100% in certain categories, and that that is mathematically illogical. It’s for fun. You really, really like that category. There’s a much more complicated explanation for how all of that works, but I’m not going to go into it here. If you want to talk more about it, come to the Submissive Playground live Q&A call this Thursday night and rife can tell you aaaaaaall about it.

TAKE THE QUIZ!

 

Nine possible results, all are illustrated and shareable

Take the quiz to see all result types

Announcing! Submissive Playground 2.0: Summer School

It’s true! Submissive Playground is happening again!

And registration is open now, until June 30!

Got questions about it? Here’s a few brief answers, but I’m also doing a live Q&A video call this Thursday night to answer any more questions you might have. Read on.

What is it?

It’s an e-course, run entirely online, with four learning modules, five live calls, and eight weeks of creative, sexy explorations to take your submission deeper. And, you’ll get to explore it in community, making friends with other s-types through the course, and learning from each other. The entire course is within your own levels of comfort, as you choose any submissive experiments that you do.

Who is this for?

Well, it’s run by me, Sinclair, with the help of rife, who is a phenomenal designer and organizer, and an experienced teacher. It’s for people who want to explore their relationship to submission—regardless of how you identify, as a pet or a sub or a slave or a bottom or very submissive-curious or as a switch or queer or straight or poly or whatever, you just have to want to commit some time to exploring what it’s like to be submissive for you.

It helps if you are into assignments, tasks, homework, and getting stars for completing your work. If you are star-reward motivated, you’ll love this course. If you always liked school, you’ll like this course. If you like self-reflection and introspection, this course is for you.

“Structure and guidance with room for creativity is the perfect learning environment for me, and that’s what I got from this course.”
—Amanda, player from the January course

Okay, but what does it cost?

There are a few different options for cost. The Broke Ass Package includes all the materials, the live video calls, the experiments, and the journal prompts, and that’s $150. The next level up is the Star Package, which has all of the things the Broke Ass Package has, but it also includes one one-on-one session with me to set intentions for the course or to troubleshoot the hurdles that are coming up, and it includes feedback on your homework. The Fancy Package includes four one-on-one sessions with me, one for each module in the course, and it includes a Submissive Playground dog tag and a letter to your current or future dominant about your submission. Star and Fancy players also receive a paper certificate of completion in the mail (while Broke Ass players receive a digital copy, which you can print yourself). Here’s a big list of all the perks and differences in the packages if you want to know all the details compared.

If you’re so broke ass that even the Broke Ass Package is too expensive, contact me and we may be able to work something out. Please note that I don’t trade services for sessions, but I do have some trade spots possible for the Broke Ass Package.

Also … there will be some special sales this month. Keep an eye out and join the mailing list to be the first to know about them.

When is it happening?

The summer session of Submissive Playground will be in July & August, 2014. Registration is open through June 30th, but there are only three Fancy Packages and ten Star Packages, so if you want one of those, sign up now!

Oh I’m ready. Sign me up!

But wait! I have more questions!

Oh I thought you might! And I have lots more answers. In fact, I’m doing a live Q&A through Spreecast this Thursday night at 6pm PST / 9pm EST. Come ask questions and I’ll answer ‘em live!

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If you haven’t been involved with a Spreecast before, it’s pretty fun. You can log in to your own Spreecast account, connect your webcam, and come “on air” to talk to me through video, or you can stay anonymous and ask things in the chat box.

Registration is open—Come play!