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Men’s Conscious Sexuality Gathering: November Notes & Practices

Each month I host free online gatherings for men that want to have good conversations about sex and pleasure. These events are one of my service offerings to the community, and these events are free to attend for anyone that identifies as a man. Each month will have a specific topic, and I’ll share some wisdom and practices to start the session, and then it’s an open group discussion. Our next gathering for men is December 13: learn more and register here.


This month I wanted to push my own edges a bit a talk about a sexy subject I don’t get to speak about nearly often enough: kink and BDSM. No matter where you fall on the vanilla to kinky spectrum, there is lots of wisdom to explore within the world of BDSM… and kinky is however you define it!

I’ll share some key points here that I shared with the group, and share one of my favorite tools to explore at the bottom. We were lucky to have some experienced kinksters on our call today that shared a lot of wisdom, and for that I’m grateful! To protect privacy of those that join, I don’t record these calls. If you wanna get the juice you have to join us live. 😘

Here are some key points I want everyone to know about kink and how you can safely explore your desires.

Like Sexuality, Kinkiness is a Spectrum

  • Just like many other aspects of our sexuality or sexual expression, kinkiness is a spectrum and there are no defined points. What’s ‘vanilla’ to you might be very kinky for others.
  • As kinky practices have become slightly more accepted across the mainstream, I’ve noticed a lot of people self-identifying as vanilla, and feeling a bit bad about that, like they ‘should’ be kinkier. This is simply not true! Whatever you like is what you like (as long as everyone involved is of-age and consenting), and there’s no ‘vanilla shaming’ here.
  • Typically, “kink” refers to a “non-traditional” sex act or enjoying something sexually that might not be included in “vanilla” heteronormative, penetrative sexual intercourse. BUT it’s a range, and if you always have sex in bed, maybe it feels really kinky and transgressive to have sex on the couch—GREAT!
  • What’s the difference between a kink and a fetish? A fetish as a sexual need, something I need to feel sexual pleasure, while a kink is a sexual preference.
  • What is BDSM: as a word nerd, I particularly love the compound acronym of BDSM. It’s a wide umbrella term that usually means the following:
  • Bondage and Discipline
  • Domination and Submission
  • Sadism and Masochism
  • Wondering what you’re into? You can take the BDSM test: https://bdsmtest.org/select-mode

What is BDSM?

BDSM is a SUPER BIG umbrella term. Here are just a few forms of BDSM that people might enjoy: 

  1. Impact play: Enjoying being spanked or slapped, or spanking or slapping a partner during sex. Using a variety of implements or tools to do said spanking or slapping: whips, paddles, floggers, canes, and more.
  2. Bondage: Tie it up! Using rope, bindings, fabric, or cuffs to tie others or be tied by others as part of sex. The Japanese rope art of shibari is particularly popular and artsy.
  3. Domination/submission: D/s dynamics can be psychological or physical, or a combination, and there are many flavors of this. Maybe it’s a Master/Mistress bossing around a submissive, or a mean Mommy or Daddy, or a Master/slave situation. This could also be pet play, age play, or another other range of power dynamics that feel edgy and fun to play with. We had some beautiful conversation about how racism plays into this, and how we can play our edges of either side of the D/s dynamic when we interrogate our roles and desires.

Learning Consent from the Kinksters

I talk about consent A LOT with my clients. Learning self-consent and consent with others is such a foundational tool for sexual play, and the kinky folks have done a lot for the kink conversation. Here are few things to consider about consent frameworks:

  1. RACK: Risk Aware Consensual Kink is one type of consent practice. Participants are acknowledging there are some risks involved in this type of play.
  2. SSC: Safe, sane, and consensual. Safe meaning we know our limits and tools, sane meaning we’re in our right might (ie: not inebriated or otherwise under the influence), and consensual (we’re all in agreement here).
  3. Wheel of Consent: This is the framework is my personal favorite consent framework, though it’s not from the kink community, it certainly applies. Knowing who is giving/receiving and who it’s for is foundational to better sex. Learn more here in my article: three things you need to know about consent.

If you want to explore your own desires in depth, I recommend trying out my Yes, No, Maybe list. My list includes a collection of sexy and kinky activities…. Instructions are on the page… have fun exploring!

Thank you again to everyone that joined, and I look forward to co-creating more awesome gatherings in the future. I leave you with this fun image of kinky barbie from Unsplash.

Andrea 💕


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