Self Taught?

Often the easiest way to figure out what you like sexually is to experiment on your own and figure it out. The first thing I tell anybody to do who's having trouble reaching orgasm or worried about having sex is to masturbate. A lot. That way they'll have some familiarity with their own bodies and know how they like to be touched before they have to interact with a partner. It's hard to tell someone what you want when you don't know yourself.

This is basic advice. It applies to lots of things. Self knowledge is power.

I'm wondering, though, how it applies to kink.

For years one of the things that kept me from dipping my toe into deeper kinky waters was that I didn't know where my pain tolerances where and which activities I would like. It felt weird to explore these things with a stranger, and I wasn't seeing any kinky people regularly enough to know them well. I needed a partner with whom I was comfortable enough to be inexperienced, someone who would help me figure it all out without being judgmental or expecting me to know more than I did.

I've found a few people to play with now, but I still wish I knew more about my personal preferences and what my body can take. I'm discovering with my partners that I like pain a lot more than I anticipated I would. I still haven't figured out, though, which types are my favorite and which body parts can take more and less and there are many things I still haven't tried. I've got lots to learn, basically.

Normally, I'd just try to figure it out on my own. I'd play with myself. But it feels really weird when what I want to explore is pain.

So much of what's appealing to me about BDSM has to do with the DS part. (Dominance and submission.) I like the physical sadomasochism for sure, but it's inextricably tied in my head to a dynamic of domination. Even if there's no real role playing going on in a scene, in my head I'm thinking "I'm taking this pain to please my partner" or I'm simply imagining that they're in control even if that dynamic isn't especially there. It's a huge part of the turn on for me.

I don't think I can get very close to that when I'm by myself. I can of course fantasize, just as I would when masturbating. But it's going to take a good amount of effort and even technique to effectively hurt myself, especially if I'm trying to experiment with something new like caning or I dunno, rubber band torture on my feet or god knows what. That's going to make it hard to concentrate on a fantasy. And I'm not sure I'd have the same reactions to pain when it's just pain than when it's part of a scene and in the context of a certain relationship.

I'll probably still do some experimenting on my own. Hell, I sit at work all day and idly play with the toys we sell. We keep evil sticks on the counter and I'm constantly fiddling with them on my legs. I do enjoy the pain on its own to an extent. I can totally do that kind of thing in private in a more deliberate way.

It is a weird Catch-22, though. I wonder if other people have had this issue. Comments?


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean. Submission necessarily takes place in the context of someone else's will/wishes/demands, and when that's missing, it's impossible to explore fully.

On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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