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10 Things Everyone Can Learn from Kink

One of the most fortuitous events in my life was discovering the kinky world at about the same time I started puberty. It provided me with a buffer from the shaming, consent violating, controlling norms of our predominant culture. I didn’t realize how much pain I was protected from growing up kinky until much later in life.

Thirty years down the road, I look back and can honestly say, regardless of what activities you actually enjoy doing in bed kink culture can teach you a few things. Now, I am not talking actual kinky bedroom play. This isn’t about how to flog your partner or how to tie them up. For that information, check my resources page. This is about things everyone, everywhere can learn from kinky folks.

1. Educating yourself about sex as an adult is a great idea! In the predominant culture, sex education is something you learn in school sometime between 5th and 8th grade. It involves learning the proper names for genitals, sometimes about birth control or STIs, and a lot of shaming around talking about sex. That is no good!

Kinky folks of all ilks tend to continue their sex ed throughout adulthood. We go beyond picking up a copy of the Kama Sutra and trying to figure out the geometry of the positions. Instead, we read books, read blogs, attend classes, attend conventions and even hire private instructors. Some of this evolves out of the need for safety because a lot of kinky activities involve risk. Some of it comes out of admiring a professional’s work and wanting to master the activities. And some of it comes out of the fact that there are a lot of nerds and geeks in the kinky world and we like to learn new, cool stuff.

As a result, a lot of kinky folks have a lot more skills five and ten years into their journey than they did at the start. Like most learning, the more your learn, the more you realize you don’t know very much and want to learn more.

Luckily, with the mainstreaming of a lot of kink, things like blow job and oral sex classes are becoming common in many communities. So even if you have no interest in tying up someone or using knives on your partner, you can find a class suited for your interests. Check out your local sex shops, adult learning annexes,, and the Fetlife event section for your town to find classes near you.

2. Consent is important. Talk about consent is all the rage right now. Kinky culture relies on understanding consent and making it explicit. This stems from the nature of what many of us do for sexy fun. If I tie you up and hit you and you did not say you wanted to do this, its assault. So we learn how to ask and negotiate what we want in bed.

If the concept of affirmative consent and consent culture is new(ish) to you, I strongly recommend starting with Kitty Stryker’s book Ask: Building Consent Culture. Also check out many of your local sex stores, book stores and adult teaching spaces. Many of these places have classes on consent.

3. Talking about what you want in bed is important. One of the most damaging things popular movies have done is to romanticize the idea that the best sex is sex that no one discusses. We all know these films. The guy pursues the girl. She tells him no a bunch of different ways and keeps blowing him off. He goes all crazy stalker boy and ignores her needs. She is woo-d by this creepy behavior. They fall into a passionate kiss and make love that is mind-blowing.

First, seriously that stalker behavior is terrifying and gross. Second, great sex is sex you talk about first. We need to learn to express what we need and want to our partners. People are not mind readers. We don’t magically know what our partners need or want. They don’t know what we like and need. YOU HAVE TO SPEAK UP.

This doesn’t have to be a checklist of “must dos” for a sexual encounter. It should be more than the “Never Do This” list. It takes practice to learn to tell someone what you don’t want and what you want. Trust me, learning to do this will improve your sex life.

4. Sex toys are not a replacement or a comment on your sexual abilities. I hear it all the time from vanilla folks, “My partner uses a vibrator so why do they need me?” Um… because a vibrator has a limited range of things it can do. It does not provide human connection. It does not feel like a person. It cannot replace you.

Its like using a can opener and a rolling pin in the kitchen. They are important tools and are used for specific things. However, a can opener and a rolling pin sitting on your kitchen counter won’t make you dinner. The won’t look into your eyes over a meal and ask you how your day was. Hell, they won’t even flip the egg in the pan.

Some folks, many folks, like to incorporate sex toys into their sex lives at times. Great! Try stuff out. If you like it, add it to the rotation. If its a flop, let’s hope it didn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

5. As a corollary to 4, LUBE IS GREAT! Again, a lot of folks believe if they need lube they they are failing in bed. NOPE. Not true.

Look, a lot of cis women can self-lubricate their vaginas. That does not mean that they don’t want or benefit from additional lube. If you are going anyone- regardless of gender- in the butt, crack out a lot of lube. For anal, you always need more lube than you think you need. If you are having sex with someone with a vagina, using lube can be very useful. This is especially true if you are using condoms. Look, I could solve California’s drought issues with the right set of nipple clamps, canes and enough time but I still dry out if I am fucking with a condom. Use lube. Check out sex blogger guides for recommendations for the right lubes for the type of activities you are going for. And don’t be cheap! Get the good stuff. It makes a difference.

6. Trying something new is cool. When I was going through sex ed in high school, the educators left me with the impression that all there was to sex was kissing, a few nipple twists, a quick BJ and then penis in vagina sex in missionary or doggy style. Now, while all those are fun and still part of my regular sex life, there is SO SO much more in the wide world to try!

The predominant culture casts those of us who want to try new stuff in bed as “freaky.” Yawn. No, most of us want to try new stuff at some point. Its like food. Sure, pizza, burgers and a Cesar salad are great dinner staples. However, over time, we will all get bored with that menu.

Wanting to try some General Tso’s chicken and lo mien does not mean you never want to eat pizza again. It just means you saw General Tso’s chicken mentioned in a Panda Express commercial and want to try it. Your partner asking to try a new dish doesn’t make them dirty nor does it mean they are bored with you. If they are asking you to try the dish it means they think you will be a fun person to try this with.

7. Looking at porn is pretty normal. Culturally we have demonized watching porn. There are a lot of sitcoms and dramas on television with a plot line about a man addicted to porn and he can’t have normal sexual relations with his wife.

Porn, in and of itself, isn’t harmful to relationships. In fact, many couples will watch porn together or will share their favorite porn with their partners. This can be a great way of communicating about your fantasies with a partner.

Watching porn can become an issue if you shame your partner over it or use it to try and control your partner’s behavior by instituting a lot of rules about what they watch, when they watch it, and if they can masturbate while watching it. That is a control issue, not a porn issue.

It can also be an issue if a person starts fetishizing a specific body type or sex act and can no longer enjoy sex without very specific triggers. It is fine and dandy for your partner to jerk off to images of people who don’t look like you. But, if they expect you to start altering your body to look like a specific porn star or type of porn star, then there could be a problem.

In general, having a little spank bank material isn’t a bad thing. I personally recommend Alice in Bondageland,, and the CrashPad series for some hot porn which is widely inclusive of varying body types, sexual and gender orientations, and super hot sex acts.

8. Even if your partners look at 1,000 porn images, you are still hot to them. One thing folks worry about is that their partner will compare them to all the naked people they see and then no longer find them attractive. That rarely happens in reality.

We chose our partners because there are many things we like about them. Sure, we may have a one night stand with someone based entirely on how they look (I know I have). But when it comes to a romantic partner, someone you date and seek a relationship with, we look at people differently.

I have seen thousands of dicks. This is not an exaggeration. Between dating in the last 8 years, Fetlife profiles, porn and performing with groups were folks are naked, I have seen a lot of schlongs. Hell, I have seen a lot of dicks featured in porn in person.

When dicks first started popping up a lot in my life after I divorced my wife, the first few dozen were a little shocking. Who knew setting up an online dating profile led to an inbox full of penises without a face attached? (I mean, I had been heavily in the lesbian scene until then and really didn’t know so many men felt the need to send me dick pics). After a while, they got boring. Same goes for titties, butts, assholes, and well any body part.

This does not mean I am ever bored with my partner’s body. In fact, one night after a show, I convinced him to let me take a selfie with his member. Not a sexy selfie. Nope, just me flashing a peace sign and my face next to his dick smiling and wearing nothing by runny stage make-up. It is his only dick pic ever(he is unique!). Now when I am scrolling though a photo file and it pops up, I see it and I still find it impressive and sexy. When he drops trow and comes to bed at night his body still makes me all tingly looking at it. Ten thousand dicks later and his still gets my blood rushing when I see him.

9. You are never too old for good sex. I write a lot about sex and occasionally submit to mainstream magazines. In general, the call for sex writers or personal stories have an age cut off for the author of 39 or less. Its like the mainstream culture thinks you turn 40 and your junk falls off and you are done with sex. Nothing is further from the truth.

People have great sex at all ages. People have weird, kinky sex at all ages! When I was in Sacramento, CA there was a woman in her late 60s who had recently discovered kink who attended parties and did all sorts of phenomenal scenes. The last few times I visited Phoenix, AZ I have run into a woman now over 80 who still sports stilettos and can throw a single tail. I can only hope that will be me in a few decades!

One of the writers I deeply admire, Race Bannon, occasionally writes about being older and still enjoying hot, kinky gay sex! Seriously, there are many of us over 40, over 60 and even over 90 still getting it on in the kinky world.

Sure, as you get older you have to make some changes to your routines and play practices. I have been cursed with getting ill and it has significantly disabled me. It has radically changed my body. I can’t do everything I used to do, but I have found new and fun things to do in their place. And… refer back to tips 4 and 5 for additional suggestions.

10. Your mental state is critical to great sex. In the kinky world so much of what we do relies on being in the right psychological space to enjoy sex. This means we are aware of our psychological needs and our partner’s psychological needs. We practice things to help each other get in the mood for great sex. This makes a major difference.

I will sext with a partner for a few days before I see them for a sex scene. Some of these text exchange important information (e.g., I am having issues kneeling this week, I want to have anal sex) and some are just flirty, sexy fun. This helps both of us get worked up and makes the ultimate connection stronger.

Paying attention to head space means checking in with a partner before, during and after a scene. If you have a date planned and your date just got reamed out by their boss before meeting you, you both might need time to decompress before engaging in sexy time. If your partner is distracted during sexy time, checking in and helping them focus makes sex better. Allowing time to cuddle or chat or eat after sexy time can help someone come down from your engagement.

While it is cliche to say the brain is the biggest sex organ, most vanilla sex doesn’t actually address this fact in a practical manner. Kinky folks pay attention to romancing the brain as well as the body.


Ultimately it doesn’t matter if you like getting whipped and peed on in front of people or if your favorite sex is in the missionary position while John Denver sings “Country Road” in the background of your private bedroom with the black out shade drawn, all the tips above will improve your sex life. It comes down to consent, communication, and play. Talk to your partners about what you like and don’t like and the same for them. Plan ahead. Pay attention to how they react. Have some fun.

There is nothing shameful or wrong about sex between two (or more) consenting adults as long as everyone is on the same page, informed, and respects the set boundaries. Mainstream culture teaches just the opposite of that. Bringing a few lessons from the kinky world will make your sex life (and life in general) more enjoyable!

Keep it kinky!

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