There’s no perfect way to do it (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Telling someone your sexual preferences can be nerve-wracking.
Even though you’re just being yourself, it can easily make you feel very vulnerable, and you wouldn’t be the first to worry how the person you want to be kinky with will take the news.
For anyone who’s not sure how to start that conversation, we spoke to Marika Leila Roux, Co-Founder of Shibari Study, to get her advice.
When asked how one should go about telling their partner that they’re interested in getting kinky with them for the first time, Marika says: ‘There is no “best” way.
‘More often it comes down to whatever you are most comfortable with as speaking to your partner about kink may make you feel very vulnerable and even ashamed.
‘Remember, “kink” is a blanket term used to describe numerous sexual activities beyond normative penetrative sex but in many ways, what is or is not “conventional” is really a social construct. Think of how certain “kinky” activities such as choking and spanking are becoming far more mainstream, and you might realise that you have already been experimenting with kink without ever having called it that.
‘Recognising that there is no shame in any risk-aware consensual act between adults is a huge part of preparing for that initial conversation. The important thing to keep in mind is that whenever you bring it up, there should be zero pressure.
Choose the right time
Have a think of when to bring up your sexual preferences.
Don’t feel rushed – do so when you’re comfortable – but also make sure you start the conversation at a time when you can both discuss things further, freely.
Marika says: ‘Do not wait for the heat of the moment: there should be space for your partner to reflect, ask questions, and communicate their own needs or limits. This sort of negotiation is integral to safe and rewarding play.
Make sure to choose the right time to start the conversation (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
‘Be guided by your comfort levels and finding an opportunity when it feels safe to do so.
‘Some people may be perfectly happy mentioning their kinks in their online dating profiles; others may find it easier testing the waters and getting to know someone first.’
Keep it light and breezy
Try not to think of kink as some big, dirty secret.
The conversation around kink should be one of coming together and feeling free to discuss what you both like.
‘While many stigmas still exist around kink, it is important to remember that kink is, at its heart, playful sexuality,’ Marika says.
‘When you speak to someone new that you are dating about kink, you are not making a “confession”; instead, you’re talking about how you like to play, and starting to explore how you could potentially play together.
‘The keywords here are “playful” and “together”, since – as with anything sexual – enthusiasm, consent and collaboration are essential. So very often the easiest way of bringing it up is simply asking, “What do you like to do in bed?”
‘Aside from giving you an opening to talk about your kinks, this is a great exercise in compatibility early on.’
How to start getting kinky
And if you want to try getting kinkier for the very first time but aren’t sure how to start?
‘When starting your kink journey,’ Marika explains, ‘First educate yourself on the concepts of SSC (safe, sane, and consensual) and RACK (risk aware consensual kink).
‘These are the guiding tenets of kink and essential to a positive experience. Identifying as kinky does not mean someone likes all kinky things (often far from!), so once you have figured out which activities in that umbrella appeal to you, establish your own personal boundaries before you play with anyone else.
‘Having a strong sense of what you want and do not want and being able to communicate these will help you navigate kink spaces. Then you can start playing – whether that means learning Shibari, investing in a latex catsuit, going shopping for new toys with your partner or attending local kink events, is up to you.
‘Importantly, kink is a journey of self-discovery as well as getting to know your play partner better.
‘Trying to go from zero to a hundred means you miss out on all the good stuff along the way.’
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