So lately I've been thinking about sex and BDSM and why the two are so massively misrepresented in the mainstream media. Sex is either not spoken about or taken as something to be 'performed well'. Kink and BDSM get a worse deal, either being represented as something only engaged in by people who are in some way emotionally unhealthy (show me a person who is wholly emotionally healthy? Like, come on!) or worse yet, it's depicted as a '50 Shades of Grey' nightmare. Don't get me wrong, I understand that dubious consent is A Thing in kink erotic literature, where we have the narrative view of each characters' secret desires (still problematic in cases), but that's not BDSM.
Anyhoo, what seems to be missing in the dialogue on sex is the idea of negotiation. (Sex isn't just going to be perfect and awesome the first time without any verbal communication.) And what the kink and sex positive community do really well is; communicate and negotiate.
When I talk about negotiation I don't mean 'How can I get my partner(s) to do a thing they hate?'. I mean outlining and navigating a space where all those participating feel comfortable enough to engage and recognising that this space isn't a permenant fixture. One of the greatest things a person can do for themselves is recognise that sexuality, and sexual tastes can change. Right now you might be a lesbian sadist. If these factors shift or your boundaries move in the next however-many-years-you-live don't be too hard on yourself.
So, today, from the comfort of my bed, whilst wearing possibley the least sexy item ever (a onsie) I'm bringing you some resources. All I ask is that you give them a chance. You may not feel BDSM is relevant to you, and it might not be, but the skills of negotiation and communication are necessary for everyone.
1. The Sex Positive Movement
(A series of videos from Seattle Psychology with the director of Seattle's Center for Sex Positive Culture. There are about seven at 10 minutes(ish) each.) These videos are important, they detail that sex positivity isn't about always being all 'Yay for sex!!' but that it's about understanding. And that sexual shame is not conducive to building healthy relationships with people or sex/kink.
2. Five Golden Rules for BDSM *TW* abuse
(Video less that 10 minutes) Laci Green discusses the difference between BDSM and abuse and outlines five rules that are pretty useful for any activity that requires intimacy or sex.
3. A System for Negotiating Sexual Boundaries
(A video less than 5 minutes) from Sexplanations that details how to negotiate and outines a system for communicating boundaries and interests.
4. Rules and Boundaries
(A short article) on things to be learnt from the sex positive community. This article isn't just about sex but also physical contact and affection with friends. It's only downfall is the continued use of the word 'girls'.
5. Negotiating Sex- Why not to keep quiet
(Video, about 5 minutes) I only found these two recently, but they're brilliant. They answer questions and dispell myths and talk about sex really openly. In this video they talk about the sensitive nature of negotiating sex and how one of them once suffered in silence because of fear of doing so.