Exploring our sexual desires can be difficult and intimidating – especially when discovering your kinks and desires involve alternative practices. Unfortunately, due to stigmas and misunderstandings, those who are exploring alternative sexual interests may not always feel comfortable discussing these topics freely – even with their closest friends.
Thankfully there are wonderful resources and communities available to help individuals safely explore their kinks in a safe, supportive environment, and SteamWorks should be at the top of that list.
Take Your Time
For those just starting out, it’s important to remember that your exploration and discovery should take time – you don’t have to jump into anything right away. Take your time exploring what activities interest you, what you’re comfortable trying out (if anything!), and give yourself permission to change your mind at any time. Research different activities, read up on what other people have experienced, and try to understand their journey in order to gain insight into your own.
Talk to friends or join forums that discuss the topic – having a supportive environment is essential for feeling safe and comfortable while discovering new interests. Remember, it’s perfectly normal for people’s needs and interests to change over time; discovering one’s own kink is never a static experience!
Kinks & Ideas
There is a huge variety of different kinks and alternatives to what is commonly referred to as the “vanilla” lifestyle. Some of these options include:
- Bondage and Discipline (B&D): A form of roleplay focused on physical control. Can involve handcuffs, rope, spanking, and other forms of restraint.
- Dominance and Submission (D/S): Roleplay that centers around a dominant partner and a submissive partner. Can involve punishments, rewards, and the relinquishing of power dynamics.
- Sadism and Masochism (S&M): Focusing on the pleasure derived from inflicting pain or being subjected to it. Should be done in an atmosphere of trust between partners.
- Exhibitionism: The act of exposing oneself in public or semi-public settings for the purpose of gaining sexual gratification.
- Voyeurism: Observing people engaging in sexual activity. Can also include watching pornography or erotic literature. Note: do NOT ever watch others without permission.
- Anal play: Stimulation to the anus either with fingers, toys, or penis penetration – often done as part of BDSM activities but can also be enjoyed independently.
- Crossdressing/Transvestitism: Wearing clothing associated with a gender that is different than your own – often done both within and outside of erotic contexts.
- Fetishism/Paraphilia: Focusing sexual arousal on particular body parts (such as feet), objects, scenarios, or materials like latex or leather – can involve roleplay activities as well as dominance dynamics.
As will all things in the lifestyle, the key thing to remember is you must have permission. Communication and consent are always the top rules.
When testing out activities, start small and work your way up. Don’t push yourself too hard or too fast; set boundaries for yourself on what you are willing to do. Know when it’s okay to back off from something, especially if it doesn’t feel right.
Even if you originally thought something would be appealing, you don’t have to feel obligated to continue if it no longer sparks interest – our needs and desires change over time! Most importantly, exploring your kinks should never feel forced; it should always be an enjoyable activity with no pressure attached.
When it comes to finding groups or channels for exploration, it’s best to start off on the less extreme end of things first. Websites like FetLife offer a great introduction into the world of kink without taking too big of a leap; plus there can be local meetups where you can discuss ideas in person if desired!
Additionally, there are many online communities dedicated exclusively to certain activities; some provide educational material while others offer more interactive experiences such as chatrooms and video calls with fellow members.
Ultimately it is essential that anyone engaging in alternative interests should do so responsibly – using caution when interacting with others online and setting boundaries on what they’re comfortable engaging in or not. That said, discovering one’s own kink can be an incredibly rewarding and self-affirming experience – if done in a safe and responsible manner!