Forget Fifty Shades of Grey: Expert Tips For Exploring Your Inner Kinkster

Categories: Sex & Dating
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With the explosive popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey, many Miamians have come to discover that there has been a little kinkster inside them begging to come out and play.

Mitzi Szereto, a widely published erotic fiction writer and editor says, "The popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey...helped bring what was initially considered taboo by the mainstream directly into their bedrooms, inspiring people to be more open and experimental with their partners. By demystifying these practices while simultaneously glamorizing them, these books have removed some of the fear from engaging in them."

So let's say you're one of the many who've been inspired by the book, and now you're eager (and maybe a little nervous) about exploring your inner kinkster. You're just not sure how to go about it. Not to worry, Cultist has your back.

We spoke with some of the nation's leading sex educators and erotic fiction writers to get their advice on how to best explore your new found fantasies safely and productively, while still getting down and dirty.

Follow the jump for their tips on exploring the world beyond Fifty Shades of Grey.

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Sex educator, author, lecturer, and radio host, Tristan Taormino.
Be Smart
Most of our experts agree that you should do your research -- and that doesn't mean rereading the Fifty Shades trilogy.

Tristan Taormino, an author and sex educator who has been featured in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour, and appeared on The Howard Stern Show, CNN, MTV, and the Discovery Channel, says, "I caution people against using Fifty Shades of Grey as a how-to manual; it's fiction and fantasy. If you want to learn how to do bondage or dominant/submissive play, get a non-fiction book or take a class."

Taormino says that local resources can also be very useful. "I really encourage people to access their local kink community by going to a social event (sometimes called a "munch") or a newcomer orientation. Most BDSM organizations offer educational classes, and that's a good place to learn skills, ask questions, and meet other like-minded people."

Erotica and sex writer Shanna Germain also recommends reading nonfiction books. "Read good, informative books like SM 101: A Realistic Introduction by Jay Wiseman."

"If you're interested in learning more about BDSM, a new book coming out this fall called Playing Well with Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities by Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams helps beginners find and navigate community. It's packed with really useful advice," suggests Taormino.

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Pleasure Bound: True Bondage Stories, edited by Alison Tyler.
Be Open
The wildly popular Alison Tyler, erotica writer and editor of such books as The Big Book of Bondage, Hurts So Good, and Bondage on a Budget, says, "One of the scariest things in the world is to ask for what you want. One of the best things is to have your desires fulfilled. Be bold, be brave, and share your fantasies with a partner. Sure you might want to bite down on a ball gag at some point in the future, but now's the time to find your voice."

Germain agrees. "Communication is the key, as it is with all sexual activities. Don't assume that your partner knows how you're feeling or what you want. That is a great fantasy, but it's not real life. If you need or want something, ask for it."

Adds Tyler, "If you need help explaining what you crave, use erotica. Read a bit of a treasured story aloud -- download an audiobook -- or dog-ear a passage that fills your needs. So many delights abound if you only take that first brave step. The handcuffs, paddles, and floggers can come second."

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Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

Hi Me, I agree wholeheartedly. One does not have to experience abuse to be attracted to kink in any form. Our sexual appetites come in many more variations than what is considered to be 'normal' by mainstream society. 

Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

Hi Izzie, I understand your concern, but all the experts agree that people should do their research -- specifically by reading nonfiction books which would obviously go more in depth than this article could. Shanna Germain also said, "BDSM is a dance where both partners alternatively have the lead. The submissive has the power to stop things at any time. Don't be afraid to use that power."  If someone is really interested in exploring their kinky side safely, they would need to do more research than just reading a couple of newspaper/magazine/website articles. Thanks for reading and thanks for your input.

Me. Deal with it.
Me. Deal with it.

The main problem I have with Fifty Shades of Grey is that it played upon so many negative stereotypes of the kink lifestyle.  I cannot count how many times I have heard people say, since reading these books: "Well, of course the guy had an abusive past.  How else could anyone become evil and twisted enough to think this stuff is okay?"  And that's...not okay.  It plays upon this erroneous idea that only badly damaged, abused people engage in BDSM behaviours.  I have a huge problem with that.

Izzie Yimenez
Izzie Yimenez

I am disappointed that the article did not mention informed consent. One of the biggest problems with the Fifty series is that she did not know what she was getting into. Without informed consent, all of the activities in this article become abuse.

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