A few years ago I discovered BDSM. Ha. I had spent years contemplating that little corner of my mind that was always curious about these white women in spandex and leather who wielded crops and whips and had men tied up on the walls of a dark dungeon. I was intrigued. And equally terrified. Because that’s the impression most people have of BDSM, right? Don’t lie to me. Little did I know. So it was only when I started having sex regularly that I began to investigate this. I started watching, reading, asking questions, exploring why this interested me so much. I was lucky enough to be with a partner who was well–aware of how explorative I was and together we created a safe space where I was able question what, how and why I enjoyed sex, the things I loved doing and those that had me curling my toes.
I wanted more. In true hedonistic curiosity, I wanted to find more things that brought me pleasure.
As I began my journey into The Life I read up on spanking and choking and name-calling and humiliation and all the things that now make me swoon. I was overwhelmed by a super white community of people who painted kink as an extreme sport. Soon after I got onto Twitter and started interacting with black kinksters (WHAT? I thought this shit was for white people?!) I fell further and further in love with this part of my life that often left me bruised and smiling. I had never felt so comfortable with my body and the things it wanted until I started exploring kink. I had never felt so happy with the things I thought and even happier with the fact that I began to be comfortable with verbalising them after years of, “Jeez, Tshego your mind is disgusting”. I adored reading about kink and learning from other people, absorbing everything I could. I relished at the thought of masturbating and was affirmed every time I could guide someone to lead me to orgasm because I knew what my body liked. I loved being able to laugh in the faces of people who called me a slut and ADORED being able to watch their faces collapse when I agreed with a smile.
Letting people know of the elements of complete vulnerability and romance that don’t live in the Bondage tag on Pornhub.
When I speak of kink I speak of it with such love that most people tend to get confused because they have one idea in their minds and I have another. As with most things though, right? So most often these conversations that involve kink are me explaining my own experience of it, letting people know of the elements of complete vulnerability and romance that don’t live in the Bondage tag on Pornhub. But this is beside my point. I enjoy sharing this with people; I could talk about sex and kink all day if I could (as most people who follow me on Twitter could tell you easily). I love being able to see how interested people get once I explain that I’m submissive. I especially enjoy watching their expressions turn to confusion when they find that out because I supposedly give off Dominant vibes. While I am exploring the Switch side of me (being able to partake in both Dominant and submissive roles in kink), I adore being a sub.
On that note… being a sub is fucken difficult. Holy hell. They don’t tell you this often. They tell you that you’re strong and you’re in control and nothing happens if you don’t want it to and it’s all very incredible. Knowing that you’re able to be in control by handing over the control to someone else is an amazing theory and feeling once you get into it. But what they don’t tell you is the internal crisis (sliiiightly dramatic) that comes with the introspection and constant self-evaluations that hide in the corner of the pretty bag that holds your attempts to process these strengths, these limits to your consent. Boundaries. And ways in which you may allow someone else to cross them in a way you never felt yourself comfortable of doing until you met this person who seems to take care of you better than you ever knew you could be taken care of by another person outside of yourself.
They forget to tell you that part and parcel of this comes the strength in handing over your insecurities in the most vulnerable manner and having someone cater to them in a way that cradles you so warmly that you feel slightly displaced when it leaves. They don’t tell you about admitting things about yourself that you aren’t comfortable with outside of your position as a sub, that these admissions might haunt you and your future relationships when they aren’t quite up to standard and you can’t quite articulate it because you just felt deeply without taking much note. They don’t tell you that that strength is what allows you to become a complete baby who sputters and sobs without any thought that what they’re doing and saying may make them seem weak or that they aren’t allowed to explore these feelings. They don’t tell you about how good it feels after sobbing and your cheeks are dry after being damp for almost an hour and you’ve called yourself a baby that they’ll respond, “My baby” and you’ll feel like you’re being cradled in the warmest part of the most genuine smile you’ve seen.
The sides of BDSM that few people speak about (or maybe this is my ignorance speaking. Slight rephrase: the sides of BDSM that I haven’t heard or read much of) are the ones I hold closest to me. They are the ones that keep me from sharing too much about my sub experiences (ah ha! Perhaps we’ve figured out why there are so few accounts easily accessible) because I found them to be slightly too dear to me to share. Those experiences include things that go way beyond the scope of leather and spanking. They’re the experiences that give you just as much pleasure without the need of being physically touched. They’re the experiences that make me wish that everyone is able to find and swoon in their own brand of romance.
In lieu of the (fucken pathetic) 50 Shades obsession that went around, one might have to consider the fact so many people are now out here believing that BDSM is for them. No problem, right? Wrong. It’s not only annoying that being a sub is now associated with that badly-written, soaked-in-abuse book but it targets people who are going through what we call “sub-frenzy”. In the Life, once someone notices that they may a sub, they tend to go on some sort of rampage to find a Dom- I went through this too, I just wasn’t aware back then that it was even a thing. Because obviously you want to get into it as quick as possible and learn and feel as much as you can ASAP, right?
Problem is when you put yourself in harm’s way by opening up to being vulnerable to someone who doesn’t know what the fuck they’re doing. The problem surfaces when this person that you’re having to relinquish your control to doesn’t care much about making you comfortable but rather bases the interactions on their own pleasure and nothing else. All the things I just described above? Yeeeeah, that shit isn’t possible with one person who is desperate to learn and another who’s taking advantage of that fact.
What one might have to do when entering a D/s dynamic is learn as much as they fucken can about the inner workings of the kink. They need to be strong in their sense of autonomy, because it takes a lot to get a point where you can hand over your body and mind and allow an outside influence to lead you in a way that you hope is good for you. And it takes also takes great responsibility in taking someone else’s control and making them feel at ease and safe when they do so. It’s difficult. I keep saying that just to emphasise how true it is. And maybe that might be because I’m sensitive and get hurt easily when someone is in that position in my life, maybe it might be because I’m a hard ass and handing that trust over is incredibly difficult for me. I’m uncertain too. But either way… I want people who are interested in kink to be safe about it. I want people to be able to explore without being coerced or taken advantage of or hurt in any way. In a nutshell, I want people to be able to get the sex and love they deserve.
These have been some things on my mind for quite some time, so it had to get out there. I’m obviously no expert, everything I share roots from personal experience so I’d love to hear how others experience kink differently. If you’d like to chat about this or correct me, or just teach me things, please do? If you have anything that you maybe don’t understand and would like to clarify please don’t hesitate to ask me?
I don’t bite unless I’m asked to.
Tshegofatso is incredible and she was our kink expert for the safe sex and pleasure workshop and here is the twitter chat we did with her. For a website with resrouces on kink check out The Kink Realm.