Why Do You Care So Much?! – And Other Frequently Asked Questions

As I lay in bed and enjoy winter’s gentle kiss on my bare skin, I thought I’d compile a list of frequently asked questions that come my way. It’s not a huge list I’m afraid but hopefully some might recognise themselves in these.

Why do you care so much about the people out there, newcomer or otherwise?

This is a big one that I get, and rightly so I guess. The internet can be a dodgy place and a recurring element that I’ve seen since starting the blog and offering counsel / mentoring is emotionally and physically abusive men, generally preying on women who have started to realise they’re submissive.

I care so much because I guess I see a lot of myself in people that write in to me. I can sense that trepidation and uncertainty. I mean, the world of Kink is so layered and vast that it’s terrifying. Where do you even start?

It’s partially because of my upbringing – I come from a conservative Catholic household – but also because of my insecurity, magnified by my shyness and my undiagnosed anxiety disorder. I was TERRIFIED at the prospect of, essentially, rebooting my life – finding a new place to live, finding someone who would, somehow share my sexual interests. It scared me so much that I stayed in a vanilla relationship longer than I should have.

And…I don’t want people to go through that. Not if I can help them find their voice and confidence and, at the very least, ease their anxiety or minds. I mean, even now I’ll get an email from someone who deleted several drafts before hitting send. Even now, on twitter, someone will message me and say they’ve been reading my blog for years – but haven’t said anything to me out of fear or guilt or shame – and it breaks my heart. Which is why I so often write to tell people it’s okay to write in to me.

This is a long response but another thing people ask after is my patience. The patience I have, with people asking questions – I haven’t hit a point where it’s become a nuisance. And I can’t tell you why I’m not bothered, I simply don’t feel annoyed. It’s just – I want to be available as much I can, and be this secure and helpful support.

Have you ever thought about doing a podcast?

I have, but being so shy and rambling and monotone I don’t know how entertaining I’d be. When I talk for a while, my anxiety tends to put the thought in that I’m self indulgent..or have tickets on myself – and I feel bad all on my own accord.

It’s a nice fantasy to think of having a BDSM podcast where I talk about a few things an episode – I could even have anxiety support sessions where I read a book or something – but would people enjoy it if I was the only speaker? I’m not sure.

I’d need a host that was like me – someone I could riff off and get talking. It can’t be my kitten because, a, her work and B – she is far too shy and reserved! You should’ve overheard me talking to her about voyeurism on a coffee run one day! She kept cursing me with a shy smile and flushing red.

Is being a Dominant exhausting, having to take care of so many different aspects?

Hmm, no! I mean, we take in note structure and mental well being and order – but these things become second nature with practice. And before they become second nature, they are things that you WANT to do – or at least that I WANT to do. There’s a constant drive there for me. Always…kinda like a PlayStation 4 on rest mode..it’s there in the background thinking away.

Because I want this – whether sexually or non sexually – it’s never a point of ‘ugh, gotta whip my lady now..’ It may become routine but it doesn’t become less exciting because of that fact. It’s still a constant pleasure and a thrill, to have the trust of someone. To hear their free moans and to be the one to guide them. To look them dead in the eye and hold their gaze.

The only time I can think of it being exhausting is when I’m in the midst of an anxiety storm and I lose not only will but my entire sex drive. In those moments, the last thing I want to do is be dominant.

What are your kitten’s thoughts on offering to talk to and / or mentor folk?

In the beginning, when I first wanted to do this, she had questions. I mean, even on a platonic level, talking bdsm and the like is still sexual. So that’s more than understandable. So we had a lengthy chat and I told her what I wanted to do and why, sharing how I felt and how I wanted to do something, anything, to alleviate minds and she understood.

She senses my need to share my writings and advice and opinions, though I think she’s worried that I’ll get hurt trying to help when you can’t possibly help everyone. And that’s why I try to help where I can, but not try to pry or overstep boundaries.

And something we always agreed on from the beginning was that bloglife didn’t overspill into any personal time spent together. Birthdays, brunch dates, family time together, Netflix on the couch, coffee runs – I always make time for us and never crisscross.

What do you get out of being a Mentor?

For me, there’s personal fulfilment that I’m getting, because I’m doing something I really want – and that’s helping someone, and guiding them and sometimes even seeing them grow.

I think it’s knowing that I helped in some small way that makes it worthwhile. I mean, I’ve gotten messages on Fetlife and tumblr from people I don’t know saying I was the inspiration for them to confront their own fears – and isn’t that the sweetest thing? It gives me the warm and fuzzies, honestly. I mean I’m just regular bloke from Australia, not even officially trained in counsel but I’m helping someone from the other side of the world. It’s beautiful.

I’ll stop it before things get War and Peace-levels of writing. If there’s a question you want to ask or one you feel was left out, let me know either in the comments below or at darkanddominant@hotmail.com

Remember, we all grow and bloom at different places. Don’t let others dictate your growth. Don’t define yourself by someone else’s thoughts on you – and whether you’re a long time lurker, first time reader or just want to chat all things BDSM and psychological – you are always more then welcome to write to me.

Incoming Rant and Ramble about being a BDSM Mentor

Grey sky leaking the bedroom windows, a soft rain on the roof over my head – laying naked in bed this winterly morning, I’ve been reflecting on my time acting as a mentor, of sorts, to those that have wanted or needed a recurring figure and friend to help them in their own journey, be they new and learning or savvy to the ways but finding new wrinkles in their mind.

When I first learned that such a thing as a BDSM Mentor existed, I didn’t really know what to make of it – was it key for some special sexual dynamic? Another riff on addressing one as ‘Sir’? It wasn’t until I read up on it, and read thoughts from the community on this here internet, that I realised what it was. And it spoke to me.

A mentor needs no ceremony, no bells and whistles, no special speech assigned to them – they merely are a friend on standby, someone to offer resources and guidance, someone who stands by the individual for as long as the individual needs their help.

A mentor is a preference though – one does not require a mentor. I didn’t have one, I stumbled through knowledge and here I am – and if someone like myself can do it, anyone can. No, a mentor is purely for those who feel they need the guidance. Someone to drop in and chat.

So in late 2016 / early 2017, I started to give it some thought. Could I be a mentor, I thought? Do I know enough? Can I help others? Am I worthy of their time? I doubted myself but my desire to help others where I struggled won over. I ran it by my kitten, clearing misconceptions, making sure that – if I were to chat with anyone about these things, man or woman, that she would be comfortable with that notion.

So I began to offer it more openly to readers here, being sure not to push the concept or make any shy person feel obligated, as I sometimes have been known to feel. I just wanted people to know someone could chat with them.

It became a thing of growth for me. I learned to be careful of influencing others with my own thoughts on kink, instead creating a space for them to feel at ease in their own skin. I listened and didn’t speak unless they asked. It’s not my place to interfere, I didn’t want to put thoughts in their head. If they needed a push, Well I would do that gently and only if I felt it was safe to do so. I didn’t want to rewrite their thought process.

Since 2017 I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to help people work through some of their own thoughts – and seeing these people go on to happy D/s relationships has been a beautiful and fulfilling thing for me, knowing in some tiny way that I helped them. It brings a tear to my eye.

It’s strange to me, when someone approaches me and apologises for their scattered email of thoughts or for wasting my time – because I’ve never had a problem with any of that. I’ve never felt out by an email, never minded wandering thoughts – as I’m the same – and I make the time to check my emails and blog. More than that, perhaps I think it’s strange because I can see myself in that person – scared and doubting, unsure about what they’re doing.

I don’t offer mentoring as much as I used to. A flare up in my anxiety caused me to doubt myself, leaving scars that remind me of those troubling thoughts – Who are you to offer that help? No one wants a stranger interfering. Just stop what you are doing.

But I try to relent and push through and still offer help where I can, because once in a while someone will write and say they’ve been trying to write for months but couldn’t overcome their own anxiety.

Being a mentor and mentoring fulfils my soul in many ways, but it has taught me growth. I’ve learned about who I am, about being a teacher, about the sides within me that someone I’m helping helps me see in the first place, thus teaching me.

It’s just a wholesome, lovely thing. And the fact that this person trusts me enough to let me in and help? That’s an honour.

On My Religion, Sexuality and Love

If you’re a long time reader, chances are you’ve read me touch on my catholic upbringing as a child and into my teens and how that affected my sexuality. Talking or writing about it at length, though, is something I haven’t done here – and for no real reason, I just haven’t felt it was an interesting topic to anyone but me.

I want to address that. However I will ask you to bear with me, it might get messy.

My father and mother were devout Catholics and raised me as such. I did the whole nine yards – reconciliation, monthly confessions, communion, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday’s, Stations of the cross, Sunday Mass – the whole shebang.

We were a conservative Catholic household and lived a conservative Catholic life. Even the sheer sight of me shirtless around the house would cause outcry. Playful or not, I cannot say, but I just wanted to raise this point.

When I was 12, I started to catch on about sex. My dad, when confronted with the notion, told me flatly ‘Yeah, we did!’. As an adult, my mum would tell me it was my dad’s job to address it as she did to my sisters. As an adult, my dad would tell me he never did enough for me. I wonder if he remembers that conversation.

As a 12 year old though, I was weird sexually. I’m taking masturbation in the weirdest places, I’m talking being excited that I’d have the house myself so I can be naked, I’m talking the primal masturbating in the mud in a frenzy – weird.

Thing was, I was making sense of myself. I found the pulse within myself that reacted against my catholic teachings to be naked, to be primal, to fight back against the feelings of shame – which I very well have now writing this, even though I understand how implausible those feelings are.

This reactionary behaviour paved the way for me to explore myself sexually as a teenager, which led to writing erotica and eventually to the wide world of BDSM and kink.

Looking back as I write this, sex – for me – is a battle between two minds. There’s the part of me who is relaxed and in control and vibrant and flourishing and then —- there’s the insecure part of me, questioning – constantly questioning, telling me that what I want, what I’ve always wanted, won’t be accepted. Somehow I know this to be a product of what I was taught, teaching me that to be naked, to want degradation, humiliation, is all wrong. Disgusting.

These days I have good control over the other part of my brain, though it does exist during my most intimate moments. However, during my twenties, that wasn’t the case.

I can distinctly remember feeling the rush of being in the moment, sexually and as a dominant, and then coming down from that high terrifies, not knowing what that meant, guilty because of my actions – my need to command, to dress, to be sadistic.

I thought I was in the wrong for years, with every kinky discovery bringing with it a wave of shame and a terrifying feeling that, after so long of living my life, I would have to reboot EVERYTHING I knew. This feeling, this scary realisation, led me to suppress it, at this point strengthened by the fact that I was in a relationship with a woman I loved but had zero interest in kink, D/s or BDSM.

Hell, I don’t even know now, years later, if my depression and anxiety is merely hereditary or a manifestation of my upbringing as a conservative Catholic. I can only guess and say it’s hereditary plus the upbringing PLUS my social experiences as a teenager. I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was shy. I was quiet. I still am.

What helped me, what still does – is trying to remember that my own development is important, that my happiness is important and that people like you, my dear readers, or kitten will accept me and my kinks and that it doesn’t mean I’m insane or sick or mentally ill.

These days, I’m not a practicing religious person – but I am spiritual. I live by a set of rules – to be kind to people, to love openly and accept everyone. I pray for my loves and my life and my animals but I consider my relationship between myself and God something entirely different to what’s prescribed in the bible. If that makes me agnostic or something, so be it, but I’d like to think that love is all you need and that if God exists, He – or she – would want me to be happy to my fullest extent. Outside of that, I try to be as kinky as I want 24/7. True to myself, in other words.

So was religion / being religious the catalyst for my feelings during sex? My anxiety? My development as a man? I’m not sure. I cannot say. I’m only a writer, half naked, musing to himself on a cool Monday morning.

12 Days of Kinkmas – Day #6: ‘Through The Window’

7406TedJonesSusan.jpg

 

Michelle González, thirty eight, mother of two boys, wife to Sebastián González, stood in her loose black night dress in front of the open window in her bathroom.
The room around her was bathed in a mellow orange glow, light from the bedroom window directly opposite their bathroom.
It was His bedroom, Michelle knew, a teenager no older than eighteen. Every summer he and his family – his mum, a short grey haired woman with kind eyes, and his younger sister, mousy brown hair and a face younger than she appeared – would appear. A home away from home, the mother described once to Michelle, the two out the back seeing to their respective gardens.

Michelle never spoke to the daughter, their timelines never seemed to sync, but the son she saw at times through the open window. Sometimes she could see him curled up in his bed against the wall while she brushed her teeth in the morning. Other times, when she’d open the bathroom to let the steam out while she bathed her son Alejandro, she’d spot the son sitting on the aged wooden floor, watching from the television that must’ve been facing him from beneath the bedroom window. It was comforting in a way, listening to her child play while the background noise of voices drifted in through the window. She would sit and try to guess what he was watching, who was starring and what the plot was, while she washed her son’s hair. In a way it felt comforting, having this male presence, while Sebastián kept busy hours at the office.

Other times the son would still be watching television when Michelle came back to the bathroom for her own bath. She would close the bathroom window, of course, heart in throat, petrified of being seen, of her body being glimpsed by someone other than herself after motherhood has had its way with reshaping her figure, but the that orange glow was ever-present in the space. Sometimes, Michelle would even use the glow as her own candle in the darkness, enjoying having one foot in the dark and another in the glow.

Now Michelle González, thirty eight, mother of two boys, wife to Sebastián González, stood in her loose black night dress in front of the open window in her bathroom.
The room around her bathed in a mellow orange glow, light from the open bedroom window directly opposite their bathroom.
Michelle stood in front of the bathroom window – screen free and open, to get some of that sweet, sweet air through – washing her face, preparing to bathe. The children were in bed relatively early and she had time to soak in the tub before time got away from her.
As she turned off the faucet and dried her hands, she heard the bedroom door through the window open. He stepped in, dressed in black jeans and faint blue collared shirt, Michelle noted, unable to turn from instinct that was her curiosity.
As he closed the door behind him, the faint blue collared shirt was off and tossed in a corner in the room, revealing his pale torso and dark patches of body hair trailing down his stomach.
Senses kicking in, Michelle reached forward, fumbling for rubber handle on the window. By this point, the son was down to his boxers, grey with black stripes. Michelle’s hands slipped, knocking the handle and causing it to clack loudly.

Deathly silence followed.

He looked up to where the sound came from, his grey eyes alerted, and found Michelle standing still, no where to shrink away to and die of embarrassment.
His eyes met hers in silence.
They regarded each other a moment, both frozen, unsure whether to laugh it off or nod and apologise and close the window and be on the way and then feel cheeks burn with shame and fear and guilt, riding the residual wave of anxiety.
Michelle couldn’t explain what happened next. For days afterwards, she would ruminate, turning every moment over in her head, examining aspects she thought she knew all along, basically re-evaluating her own mind.
She couldn’t explain why she lifted her hands to the tied velvet knot around her waist, nor could she explain why she undid it, letting her loose nightgown fall to the floor. Was it an act of anxiety, seeking validation, attraction to this son or was the problem more insidious, a rotting root in her life, in her marriage that she never picked up on until after the fact?
Michelle from the future could never find the answer to these questions, instead boiling the act down to a lapse of judgement, a moment miscalculated.
Michelle of the present stood in front of the open window nude, conscious of her stretch marks around her waist, of her perceived misshaped breasts, of the fact her pubic hair was untouched and untamed – and yet, Michelle González, thirty eight, mother of two boys, wife to Sebastián González, stood defiant to her thoughts, stood exposed to this son, for reasons she would never quite fully understand.
There was a pressure forming in her chest as she stood in front of the window. It knotted its way around her organs, twisting and turning and burning. Any minute, Michelle thought, I could breathe and my ribcage could snap in half.
Her breasts, the only things she could find that she liked second to her eyes, only added to that pressure from where they rested.
Through the window, the teenager stood watching, his chest as still as the bed next to him.
In a heartbeat, he removed his shirt. Michelle cast her eyes to the bathroom, her breathing kicking into gear, her hands starting to tremble, something whispering into her ear to look up. She did.

He was unzipping his jeans and tossing them aside.
It had been quite some time since Michelle had seen another person’s penis.
It was semi-hard, still reaching its full length.
From where Michelle stood, she could see a faint fuzz of pubic hair.
Trimmed, she thought, unable to move her eyes from looking through the window at it.
As Michelle regarded the head – smooth, large, uncircumcised (she knew, as Sebastián’s was) – she found her mouth strangely salivating. She could feel a little bit of saliva pooling in her mouth and with that realisation, her cheeks burned as if blasted from the sun.
Yet despite the heat radiating outward from her cheeks, something was drawing Michelle along to touch herself. A maddening itch pulsating out across her body, screaming for help. An ache so distracting that Michelle stopped her travelling hands to pinch her stomach, where her stretch marks left reminders of an age long past, just to feel something.
A pinch of bite-sized pain didn’t help the ache; it only brought it to the forefront of her mind.
Before her, He had gripped his cock, finding rhythm.
Michelle found the pinpoint of her ache, her clit, and began to trace her fingers along gently. How long it had been since she masturbated, since she came, she had not known. Days? Weeks? It was without Sebastián though, that much she knew.

Her fingers slid down her slit while her thumb-applied pressure on her clit, just the way she liked it.
She had a toy, she thought in that moment, hidden in the second drawer beside the bed in the bedroom, but she couldn’t leave. She didn’t want to. Her body was frozen; her eyes glued to how He was massaging his cock, bringing his hands over the shaft upwards then back down.
His eyes were open, watchingher intently, scanning downwards over her exposed body to her hands.
One hand lifted instinctively to her right breast, rolling her nipple between her thumb and index finger. This happened in almost of an unconscious state, as Michelle watched the hypnotic movements of the teenager’s hands across his cock.

Her mind caught up to her act when her nipple was stretched to her limits, her breast taking shape with the pull from her hand, stretching outwards the window.
Whatever possessed her to reach across to the bath beside her and pull up the hairpins she left for her own bath time, she did not know. But before she could find a reason, any reason, they were attached to both of her nipples, digging in tightly, like a fingernail pressing downwards into flesh.
This must’ve excited the teenager, for his rhythm quickened. His cock, now fully hard and held tightly, throbbed in his palm.

How long they watched each other, him teasing himself, massaging, pulling, stretching, her teasing, circling, pulling at her lips, Michelle did not know, nor did she care to know. She needed to come desperately, her body covered in a thick layer of sweat, the room boiling even in the soft glow.
The teenager tensed, his body coming to a screeching halt. Michelle could hear his stifled moans as his cock, jerking on its own upright, vein down the shaft throbbing, ejaculated.
At that precise moment, Michelle couldn’t wait any longer, couldn’t tease any longer, she slid two fingers inside herself. Her body seized into a spasm, her orgasm crashing over her warm and dizzying and ferocious.
An image came to her in the throes of pleasure, crawling up to him on her knees to suck the come coated cock of his just to taste him, but the thought was soon washed away with another feeling. Guilt.

Shakily, she closed the bathroom window and pulled the blinds down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Write

So. I just got an email from a reader of my blog and it struck me as sad and it’s for these reasons that I want to write this piece.

If you’re going to write in to me, if you want to write in to me, there’s a couple things I, personally, want you to know and understand.

I’m not as busy as you think. I’m not running around like a headless chook, know that while I may work, I also definitely check my email daily and respond in full as soon as I can.

I don’t respond to emails to be polite to you, to what a reader described as ‘a self proclaimed fangirl’ – I respond because I want to. You must understand, I started this blog not just to share my fantasies and satisfy a part of me, I did it in case it could inspire someone as awkward as I was when I started off.

So I love hearing from people – young, old, male, female, Australian, American, Norwegian – the more the merrier. Language barriers be damned! I love conversing with people and I love talking BDSM and it’s lifestyles.

Whether you’re a fan or seeking answers or even if you a bone to pick with me about something I wrote. Grill me. I welcome all of it, criticism, friendly chatter, the like.

You’re not bothering me. At all. In all my years of blogging, in responding to the kind people that write in, I can honestly say not one email has bugged me, not one. Even if one person has a laundry list of questions, I’ll sit down and work it out with them until they’re more spent then I am. Seriously. So never ever think that YOU are the person that will be too much for me, because that just won’t be the case. Try me, I dare you!

Do you want to write but don’t know what to say? Do you feel stupid because I can talk so openly and you find it rough to? I’ve had years to process how I feel, to work to rise above my own shyness. I was the same as you in the beginning. We all start somewhere and blossom on our own time.

I will say this though – just write. Don’t worry about grammar or context or anything, just write. I honestly care not for long novel-length texts, I read every word and respond. I’ll even write a long novel-length email of my own.

Start at the beginning. Write how you feel. Find a place to start at, to get the ball rolling, and then just let it go – just write and let it loose. If it feels good, write it. If it doesn’t, write it anyway and send it.

Too many times have I read that someone wanted to write in sooner or deleted several iterations of the email they just sent – and it breaks my heart.

I know I can’t TELL people what to do. I know I can’t get people to talk as frankly as I do, but I’m writing this because I want you to know, anything you have to say, in any way, is perfectly A-OK by me and that you should not feel shame or delete what you write, because I mostly certainly want to read it. Don’t even press that delete button or I’ll slap a crop against your knuckles!

Be yourself. That’s all I ask of you. Everything else, please don’t worry. I’m not as scary as your mind makes me out to be!

TD&D

30 Days of Kink – Day #27: I’m a Day Dreamer!

Do your non-kink interests ever find their way into your kinky activities? If so, how?

I’ve been do slack putting these up the past few days – my deepest apologies to the person following this daily.

To answer the question, my non-kink interests always find their way to kinky activities. Where you there when I wrote about Ariel submitting to Ursula as a Slave in exchange for human legs? I’m a huge Disney fan! I set a path to Disneyland and World when I visited the states.

Did you ever read HERA? It was a story for a competition I created last year or the year before. In it, a group of spacefarers investigate a dormant spaceship floating quietly in space, only for them to fall victim to a erratic AI becoming conscious and developing the mindset of a mistress.

It incorporated another favourite genre of mine – science fiction – and has ties to Greek mythology as well, both things I am an avid fan of.

When it comes to writing erotica, I like moving against the grain. I find to do so makes for a challenge to me as someone creating the world in ways it will pay off at the end of the tale – but I also like to challenge the reader. It’s always nice to get an email saying ‘I’m not normally a science fiction fan, or like anime, or I don’t like rape fantasies – but this really took my breath away” – to me that’s a job successfully done.

I can’t help it either, you know? Being inspired by the world around me, or incorporating other things I like into genre. For me, it just comes naturally that I want to experiment with ideas – and there’s freedom to here because I trust readers will definitely tell me what works and what doesn’t. It’s a good place to experiment.

The long-running VALHALLA is another example. I love Norse mythology and fantasy and put both into the story around the more kinky aspects like the M/s dynamic. I actually borrow a lot from old Norse texts, lifting Valkyrie names from the Prose Edda and putting them into the story. Kára is one Valkyrie from the Prose Edda, envisioned here as a fiery soul, like a feisty middle child with problems of her own.

I know what you’re thinking though – yes, yes – enough about what you like to write about, what about your sex life? Well does psychology count as a non kink activity? I mean it IS kinky too to a degree but it doesn’t quite fit into the spectrum.

I’m interested in how minds operate and why. I’m interested in encouraging minds to break free of whatever aspect that is blocking them from that liberation. I’m interested in chipping away at armour in someone piece by piece to see what’s underneath and how we can play with that together.

There’s something really REALLY sexy about finding an aspect in someone that they never knew existed. Maybe it’s an interest, maybe it’s heightened pleasure. To break them when they say they can’t be broken.

Then it’s something as simple as walking out the door right? I walk out the door, ready to grab a coffee for the day (praise and glory be to the coffee) and all of a sudden I’m thinking how I can push kitten against this wall and making her whimper.

I’m constantly thinking about the world and the people around me and turning them into stories I can write about.

I’m a day dreamer.

How Can You Tell If You’re Dominant Or Submissive?

Ladies and gents, I’m kinda stumped.

Early in the week, I was talking to a lady about how to implement kink into her marriage with her husband, when she ran a question by me – How do you know if you’re Dominant?

I answered that question best I could in the moment, running my own experiences with identifying the feeling by her, hoping it would connect somehow. But now, days later, I’m still thinking it over. I don’t really know HOW. It all seems so organic looking back.

I have also recently had someone ask me If they’re still fully submissive if they enjoy being bratty – there’s a lot of misunderstanding about the persona and how it applies to the individual.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confused and alone people out there with a laundry list of questions and no one to ask. I’m more than happy to answer anything anyone has to ask, be you male, female, teenager, adult, new to the lifestyle or in the middle of a transformation or even someone with an inkling of kinkling.

Anyway, I thought I would try to the answer the question at length, hoping newcomers to BDSM might relate and it can help them in their own journey.

In the beginning, I had these feelings that I had understanding of. I didn’t know I could file my name calling under ‘Degradation and Humiliation’ nor did I understand why I was so interested in control – in exercising authority over my girlfriend. In these stages, there was no real sense of D/s and aftercare because I was immature and these feelings were immature and coarse and unrefined.

Before I continue, let me just write that there’s no absolute way for one person. Everyone is different and works differently.

I should say that my own development has come with a certain degree of blind luck. I met certain people at the right time in my life, people like me, through Fetlife or the semi-sketchy anonymous confessional app Whisper. I was a lucky bastard. I had the blessing of shaping who I was through encounters along my twenties.

Fetlife was a big player in my path, I would say. By signing up and looking around, I could see I wasn’t alone. I could even put a name to my kinks and thus have some semblance of understanding.

Google helped too, in a way, acting as a gateway to all sorts of media – books, images, blogs, people, Kink. Suddenly I knew of words like ‘Dominance’ and ‘submission’ and ‘dynamic’. Combine this with Fetlife and I had opportunities to feel the gravitational force to someone who was submissive. I’m talking, heart racing, cock hardening, breath quickening gravitational forces that helped me realise something was within me.

I know what you’re wondering. ‘Okay, but how does someone know if they’re dominant? Or even submissive?’

The best advice I can give is that it starts with an idea. Have a google of key concepts that come to mind when you think of BDSM – blindfolding, handcuffs, dirty talk. Start small. See if something strikes up your fancy.

If you want to reach deeper, have a look at concepts within a D/s relationship, such as setting tasks and rules and maintaining order. See if any of these concepts appeal to you on a base level. Try not to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information – there can be a lot to learn but you can easily break it up into easily digestible parts.

Start small. Start light. A bit of spanking, a bit of issuing commands – talk to your partner about what they would like to try and see if it strikes a chord with you on any level.

The last advice I can give is to be open to yourself and to your partner. That goes for likes and dislikes and even if you’re uninterested. But always be open to trying at least. You never know what you’ll find on the road less travelled.