Dirk Hooper Photography-http://www.dirkhooper.com/
BDSM beginners are always excited to get started. Once you join a group or find a willing partner, excitement turns to hesitation as you realize that you need to know what you’re doing before you can play. Even experienced players are always looking for new skills to add to their toy box.
How do you learn kinky skills, or hone the abilities you already have?
Decades ago we only had “Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thornes,” “SM 101,” “Different Loving,” (all still fine books), and a handful of other books to initiate yourself into the world of BDSM. Times have changed.
There have never been more publications available as there are right now on every variety of the kink spectrum. I could do a whole article on this subject alone, but books like “The Ultimate Guide to Kink,” “Enough to Make You Blush,” and “Two Knotty Boys Showing You the Ropes” are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to high-quality and highly specific looks at different elements of the BDSM experience.
The internet has radically changed the amount of information available to new kinksters. It’s also opened limitless opportunities to make connections with experienced players and get your questions answered.
While you have to be careful about getting information from the internet, or specifically from social media, it can be a good place to start.
What’s wonderful about reading is that you can go at your own pace. If you find something that fascinates you then you can spend your time learning more. Right now we’re in an amazing time where tons of information is freely available in multiple formats.
Reading is no replacement for real-world experience, but it’s a great start.
Join a Group
I’m stunned by how many people I talk to, who are interested in the kink lifestyle, that haven’t sought out a local group.
I realize not everyone lives near a major city. However, it’s worth the trip to join a local group.
The best places to find a local group are on Fetlife.com or through local boards on social media.
Your local BDSM group will help you in several ways to learn and/or hone your skills.
- Local groups are where the experts are. If you want to learn Shibari, or how to throw a single-tail whip, or how to do cupping, there’s most likely someone who has experience doing that at your local group. And, in my experience, if you approach them in a respectful manner, they will gladly show you what they know.
- Local groups sometimes offer classes. Every group I’ve ever joined has held classes about specific skills. Some groups even have guest speakers from out of town that show up to teach.
- Local groups have play parties. Besides the fun of attending a party where all this incredible stuff is happening all around you, play parties are also a bonanza for people who want to learn. Just observing what’s going on can be informative. However, if you’re respectful most people will be glad to talk about their scene when it’s all over.
- Local groups have potential play partners. Obviously, nothing will teach you more than participation, and participation usually requires a partner. A local BDSM group will have people you can play with, and will also have experts nearby to offer advice and make sure everyone is safe.
Go to a Convention
BDSM conventions offer many of the features of a local group, but have some advantages and disadvantages.
A BDSM convention is a short event, but they pack as much information as possible in that amount of time. Classes will usually run all day long. Because of this, you’ll have a chance to practice what you learn at nightly play parties.
Conventions can bring in guests from far away, and give you an opportunity to have a genuine encounter with some of the most interesting and knowledgeable people in the world.
Most conventions have a dealer’s room. Dealer’s rooms are an excellent place to get your hands on some new equipment, and talk in depth with people who know how to use that equipment competently.
Get a Mentor
The title “mentor” takes on wildly varying definitions depending on who you ask; the BDSM community has a long history of offering help to newbies and skilled players alike.
What a BDSM mentor will do is help you assess where your skill-level is currently, and what they can do to help take you to the next level. Sometimes, that means that they need to enlist the help of other experts to teach you specific skills.
In my region, there is a mentor program that gives you a new mentor every month. The program runs for a year or so,and will definitely help you expand your horizons. If there’s something like this in Texas and Oklahoma, then there’s a good chance there’s a similar mentor program near you.
Get a Partner
Nothing will help ascend your skill level faster than having a regular partner to play with. When I’ve been in long-term BDSM relationships my skills have soared.
Another benefit of having an open-minded partner is they will often be interested in things that you’ve never tried. This is a great motivator to learn and try something new.
While having a regular partner can accelerate your learning process, it’s also doubly important that you don’t do anything without educating yourself first, taking things slow, and getting feedback on what worked and what didn’t.
Being Safe Means Being Informed
Anyone can pick up a flogger and start whipping someone, but that’s a recipe for disaster. The more you read, observe, learn, and experience, the safer you’ll be.
There’s another great benefit that comes with new or advanced skill sets… you’ll be more attractive to potential partners. Because nothing is sexier than knowledge, especially when it comes to kink.
About the Author
Dirk Hooper is an award-winning fetish photographer, professional writer, audiobook narrator, podcasting producer and host, journalist for the fetish community, BDSM mentor, and adult personal branding and marketing consultant for Sexy Networking.
Dirk Hooper won Best Fetish Photographer at the 2017 Fetish Awards in St. Petersburg Florida. As a fine-art fetish photographer, Hooper’s work has been exhibited in England, the Netherlands, Belgium, China and all over the United States. His work is part of the permanent collections of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Dirk Hooper’s work has been published in magazines like Skin Two, Von Gutenberg, Fet Erotica and Sinical Magazine. His work was published in the German hardcover art book “Fetish Fantasies: The Best of International Fetish Photography.” He has done professional photography for bands, books, posters and the adult film industry. Hooper co-founded the alternative modeling site Toxic Goddess. He offers his photography services for portraits and commercial projects.
Hooper’s articles have recently been published at Business Insider, Inc. Magazine, HuffPost, Slate Magazine, The Sporting News, MSN Sport, and Quartz. He has won the Quora Top Writer award for the past two years. He has also been published as a comic writer, a poet, and performed numerous copywriting assignments for professional and private clients. He is currently working on an erotic novel and a non-fiction book about social networking.
Dirk Hooper is the Host and Executive Producer of “The Fetish Show.” He has also recently launched a new podcast about success and inspiration titled, “The Dirk Side.” Hooper has been podcasting since 2005 and has produced hundreds of hours of shows over several networks. His first audiobook narration was for the Suzanne Steele novel “Glazov.”
Dirk Hooper does journalism for the BDSM and fetish community through The Fetish Show News, FETISHWEEK articles, the Daily Fetish Chronicle and freelance writing. Hooper’s award-winning website, http://www.DirkHooper.com features a gallery of his work, informational articles and is the home of “FETISHWEEK.”
Hooper’s inspiration for his work is an extension of his interests and experience in the BDSM and fetish community. He is a BDSM mentor and has helped guide or train both dominants and submissives.
Hooper works as a consultant on personal branding, social networking, SEO, copywriting, design and marketing through his Sexy Networking business at http://SexyNetworking.com