“How do you reconcile being a feminist and a submissive?”
They’re not exclusive terms. In fact, for me, BDSM makes more sense with a feminist perspective. In my experience, there is a heavier focus on consent than in vanilla dynamics, and lots of communication about safety and aftercare that is often overlooked outside of the kink community.
Feminism is about choice and the freedom to think for ourselves and control our own lives. If someone chooses to submit to their partner, that choice should be respected so long as that person is being responsible for their safety and are aware of the associated risks.
It may not seem like an obvious role for a feminist, but I take an active role in decision-making in my sexual dynamic and I use kink to better my life and make me a more well-rounded individual. I have found many benefits of using kink to make me a better person outside of sexual situations. Feminism and BDSM have both shaped me into the proud, liberated woman I am today.
“How do you identify your sexuality/gender?”
I am a pansexual/panromantic cis woman.
“How do I go about finding a Dominant/submissive partner?”
We live in a fast-paced hook-up culture, especially in the BDSM community. It can sometimes be anxiety-provoking to look for a partner, new or otherwise. However, some things within the community make finding a play partner easier than speed-dating.
- FetLife/ALT/OKC/Etc.: There nothing wrong with these sites if you use them carefully and safely. Looking at common fetishes can be a really nice way to establish initial compatibility–just be sure not to meet anyone alone in a private place for the first time, and always tell someone where you’re going and who you’re with.
- Munches: A casual-kink meet-up might be the best way to find those interested in the same things as you, without the pressure of public play.
- Fetish/Limits Exchange: Have a copy of your likes and dislikes on hand for your potential partner(s) to look through. Be sure that you clearly define all your limits and boundaries before meeting—no matter how insignificant you think they are.
“My partner(s) and I are getting into our first D/s relationship. Do you have any tips?”
It’s much more difficult to start a D/s if both/all parties are new to the world of BDSM, but it is entirely possible. My advice is to start by researching. Don’t pick up a flogger until you’ve read up on technique, and have a basic understanding of what you want out of the relationship dynamic.
- Establish your type of dynamic, which roles you and your partner(s) want.
- Make a list of kinks (things you want) and a list of limits (things you don’t want). Go over them with your partner extensively.
- Talk about what kinds of things you would like to try specifically, and set up plans to do these things.
- Avoid porn and erotica when making decisions. They are often completely falsified and make horrible references for real-life experiences. Instead, research safety techniques for areas of interest (i.e. spanking, flogging, temperature-play, etc.).
- Talk to experienced Dominants and submissives in your area or online. Make friends in the scene to learn with.
BDSM is mostly about communication, more so than any physical contact. Be sure to understand that most dynamics are emotionally-based and require work to maintain. Figure out exactly what you expect in your journey into BDSM and communicate that with your partner.
“How did you first get into BDSM?”
I attended a weekend-long event called Wicked Faire, which was a combination Renaissance Faire and BDSM convention. I was brought there, unaware of the latter aspect to the event.
While we were there, my friends did a public scene with a professional Domme. After watching that, I tagged along with them and learned more in workshops that took place over the weekend. I discovered the consensual-focus of BDSM and I learned safety rules and regulations. I began to understand there was a lot more to kink than what I had learned from mainstream media portrayals of it.
From there, I dove in head-first into research to learn more and experience things for myself.