BDSM Blog Hop Post 1 – My Experience with Kink

Welcome to my contribution to the BDSM Blog Hop! Thanks to to Grace R. Duncan, for organizing the hop and encouraged me to participate. In a way, Grace has been instrumental in my kink development. Read on to see why, and to learn more about my journey in kink as a switch! And click the smiling button at the bottom of the post to check out the other blogs of people who are participating in the blog hop over the next week! Some are even offering giveaways!

First, a bit of an intro about the hop:

“We’re like the anti-50 Shades of Gray pro-BDSM blog hop.” – Vicktor Alexander

“Bondage & Discipline, Domination & submission, Sadism & Masochism

BDSM encompasses so many things. It’s understandable why someone who has never participated in it might be confused about what it truthfully entails. We’d like to set that straight. For every person involved in what we call the Lifestyle, there’s a different way of doing things. However, no matter where you go, you’ll encounter a few basic tenets and the folks who are participating in our blog hop would like to show you how some of these things really work. So, please join us!” – Grace R. Duncan

And now… about me. Throughout the post, I’ll sprinkle photos of some of the toys that my partner and I have accumulated over the last year and a half.

I’ve been into kink since before I knew much about it. Sexy fun times with a college boyfriend sometimes involved bondage with silk neckties that I pretended to keep to wear as belts. It was light, and it was fun, and I didn’t think much of it being anything other than ordinary.

Fast forward to 2010 and I got my first glimpses of BDSM fiction written by some authors who really knew what they were talking about. It was fascinating, and it was all kinds of sexy. One of those authors was Grace. I found her writings either in a group that interested me at an online writing and art community we frequented, or through mutual friends there, I can’t remember which. Whatever the case, I thoroughly enjoyed her portrayal of safe, sane, consensual BDSM between men, and was curious to learn more. She and I have had countless conversations about kink (and other topics) over the years since.

Most of our bondage toys

Most of our bondage toys

I joined a social website for kink-inclined folk (FetLife) at some point after meeting Grace, but didn’t do much on it for several years. I self-identified as a switch because sometimes I liked to be the one in control, sometimes I liked being the one being controlled (with consent, of course). I had all kinds of kinks I was interested in trying at some point, and discussed some of them with the person I was dating long distance at the time. We never got around to trying many things before the relationship ended in October 2012.

I think it was the beginning of 2013 that I got back into the kink website, doing a bit of reading and learning. In March, due to horniness but lack of desire for a relationship, I approached a friend from college for a friends with benefits arrangement, conveniently forgetting he was kinky. What I had originally hoped to be some no strings sex with someone I could trust turned into that plus a very fun learning experience about kinky play incorporated with sex.

I came into my local public kink scene soon after starting to play with my friend. It turned out another friend from college was in the scene, and invited me to my first kink party. It was at someone’s home, and I spent most of the evening chatting with people who were both new and veterans in the scene. And most of that time was spent with a smart, funny person who would become my boyfriend months later.

With my first several play partners, some of whom I had during the same span of time, I was always the bottom during play. I enjoyed receiving sensation play and impact. I liked being told what to do. I still had the tendencies of sometimes wanting to be in control, but the energy of the partners I had brought out my desire to bottom rather than top, so I was content with the arrangements.

 

Most of our sensation play toys

Most of our sensation play toys

Note how I’m using Top and bottom rather than saying I’m a Dominant and submissive. I identify with the former set of labels rather than the latter. It’s a little tricky to explain, but I like what I call “D/s lite” – I’m not interested in the more serious forms of power exchange in D/s beyond my sexual and play activities. I have a healthy respect for power exchange relationships, provided the people involved are all consenting. I just don’t see my relationship that way.

That brings me to writing a bit about my relationship. Currently I am only partnered to one person, a wonderful man I met at that first party over a year ago. I occasionally play non-sexually (impact and electrical play, mostly) with friends, and I’m in a romantic relationship with my partner, who, to my great happiness, is also a switch.

When two switches are involved, things can get… interesting. If someone identifies solely as a Top, Dom, or Master and their partner a bottom, sub, or slave, it’s pretty clear who will be giving the floggings, tying the other up, or whatever they may be getting up to. With two switches, it’s never a given. Such is the case with myself and my boyfriend. On any given day, I’m more likely to want to bottom than top (sometimes I call myself a bottom-leaning-switch). He is slightly Top-leaning, but a bit more balanced than I am. To some it might seem to take away spontaneity or romance, but we’ve found the best way to make sure both of us come out of a scene satisfied is to ask the other if they’re in a more “Toppy” or “bottomy” mood, or “What kind of sexytimes are you up for?” We negotiate a little from there, then have at it.

Before exploring it myself, I wondered if when two switches got together, they ever switched mid-scene. For myself, that has only been the case once, and it was more like two separate scenes with a short break in between. It was a lot of fun to get to change headspace so quickly.

Most of our impact toys

Most of our impact toys

Let me delve a little into the headspace involved in topping and bottoming. This holds true for me, and I don’t claim it to be the case for anyone else.

When I bottom, I willingly give control over and place my trust in my partner. Sure, I can tell him to stop or ease up on what he’s doing at any time (and have as necessary), but I trust him to respect my pre-negotiated limits and check in with me if I seem distressed. He is good at reading my body language and sounds to tell when he needs to take a few seconds to let me just breathe, and when he needs to do more, more, more of what he’s doing. When I’m being topped, I feel like I can let go, I feel safe and cared for. I don’t go into any sort of floaty subspace, from what I can tell, but I do lose myself somewhat when I’m bottoming. I become hyperfocused on my body and the sensations it’s receiving. I can still talk during  a scene (some people among those who hit subspace become nonverbal and their partners have to rely on physical cues). When I’m receiving pain, there’s a point in which it feels less like pain and more like pleasure, and I sort of relax into it and enjoy it immensely.After a scene, I like to cuddle for a bit, and have some water, but my needs for aftercare aren’t super high so even after an intense session I can usually get up soon after and go about my day.

When I top, my partner willingly gives control over and places his trust in me. I take this very seriously. As much as I enjoy making him react to pain and pleasure with all kinds of fun noises, I don’t let myself get lost in what I’m doing when I’m topping him. I pay attention to those sounds and his body language, to see if I need to ease up, if I can push harder, or keep at the same pace. If anything is unclear, I ask questions. I do get a rush out of being able to elicit reactions from him when I’m topping. It makes me a bit giddy. For aftercare, it’s much the same as when I’m bottoming, except he requires a bit longer transition period between the scene and getting up. And I’m happy to provide that for him.

It’s been a fantastic journey so far, to say the least. I’m still learning, and I’m sure I always will be. It helps to have access to a friendly community of kinksters of various knowledge levels who I can chat with. Some of the people I’ve met have become dear friends, and I’m grateful for what they bring to my life. As I mentioned before, I do some types of play with friends, and just bottomed for fireplay for the first time with a trusted friend last night. What a fun experience! I love that I can bond with not just my romantic partner, but also with friends through kink, whether through conversation or physical experiences.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience, and maybe learned something interesting. Feel free to leave comments or questions for me, and please check out the other posts on the blog hop by clicking on the button below! You could learn a lot and win some cool things!

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About Sara Testarossa

Sara is a voracious reader who also loves to write. She has been writing stories for all of her adult life, and most of her childhood. She started out writing general fiction, moved on to M/F romance, and wrote M/M romance and erotica almost exclusively for years before writing her first F/F erotic romance. Her focus for many years was fanfiction, but she has gotten back to originals, thanks in no small part to partners’ and friends’ loving encouragement over the years. She also enjoys beta-reading, editing, and recording fiction in audio form. Her hobbies include listening to many types of music, watching sci-fi and action shows and movies, and spending inordinate amounts of time wandering around online. She has a wonderful partner and several furbeasts of the feline and canine variety. Sara’s creative endeavors are often limited by her being a spoonie with a full-time day job to pay the bills – not that writing/editing/recording can’t. That said, she’s extremely passionate about her work as a sex educator and retail worker, which is incredibly fun and rewarding.

Posted on July 6, 2014, in about Sara, Activism, BDSM Nonfiction, Nonfiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. It’s been such an educational hop so far! I guess I’m curious about electrical play, since the safety issues always give me pause…

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    • First, apologies for the delay in approving this comment and replying, I’m still getting the hang of WordPress, and seem to have not set it up to inform me when people comment!

      Glad you’ve been learning a lot on the hop! I definitely can understand the safety concerns. I meant to talk about my style of play: RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink), which involves learning about the risks and deciding which ones I am willing to take before consenting to play. I learn about something before I do it, always. Electricity, for example, is not a good idea for people with internal electrical devices (pacemakers, etc), or people with heart problems. I do not have these issues and made the decision to try it. Some things, like rope suspension (and even some rope floor work that doesn’t involve suspending someone off the ground), which can result in nerve damage if something goes wrong, I choose not to do because I am not willing to accept the risk involved.

      Thanks for reading!

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  2. Hi Sara,

    I found your definition and use of Top & bottom interesting and thought I would share a bit on that verbiage. Very frequently in the Het community those words are used to describe Dom/sub but when used in the context of the gay community, they refer to the sexual position preference of the gay men. For months, I had gay men in the BDSM/leather community not only correct me but get offended when I used the term Top to refer to a Dom or bottom to refer to a sub! It was a confusing learning curve for me to adjust to.

    However, the verbiage has recently expanded in the Het community to other definitions that are not Dom/sub related. They are ‘play’ related. For example, I am a bottom for BDSM play (I like being tied up and flogged, etc. by my husband and a few select other Doms) but I am a Dominant and have my own subs. This does not make me a switch, however. True switches have the need to submit and serve (which I don’t do as a bottom in BDSM play) sometimes as well as the need to dominate and be served. They are kinda like true versatile gay men without the kink.

    I just wanted to add this comment and I hope you take it in the educational way that I mean it to be. I really loved hearing your story and thank you for sharing it. It is posts like yours (and Grace’s, Viktor’s and mine) that are showing the true spirit of this hop!

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    • First off, thank you very much for commenting. I apologize for the delay in approving the comment and replying, as I am still learning this site and didn’t have automatic approval of comments or notifications for comments turned on.

      I greatly appreciate your comment. Having known gay men for a long time, and being part of the MM writing community, I’m definitely aware of the meanings of top/bottom in that sense. Verbiage can be frustrating because it means different things to different people, sometimes. In my local kink community, some people identify as Dom or sub, some identify as Top or bottom, and for Top and bottom it’s not just in a sexual sense, it’s in a play sense like you refer to with you bottoming for play. I suppose you could call me a true switch by your definition, because I do have some need to serve, but also some need to control.

      I definitely take this in an educational way that you mean it.

      I need to catch up on the other hop posts (I’ve read Grace’s, Viktor’s, and a few others) and will make sure to check yours out! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Thanks for the great post Sara. I was hoping someone would touch on the concept of the switch. It’s even better to hear of it from someone who actually is one. Thank you for the insights.

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    • Sorry for the delay in replying, I’m getting the hang of WordPress, and didn’t realize I needed to approve comments! Whoops! Glad you enjoyed the post, thanks for reading and commenting!

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