Lynx AKA LeathermanLynx has been involved in Leather/KINK/BDSM as a follower, leader, supporter and champion of education in our community since 2015. In this piece, Lynx AKA member LeathermanLynx discusses why expanding our kink/fetish tool kits can be just the thing we need to shake off 2020.
Branching out into the wilder world
One thing we can say with certainty...and a bit of irony, is that hindsight is 2020! It's probably pretty fair to say that none of us predicted we would have the year we ended up with. The world was literally shut down with nowhere to go, and very very few people to see. Many of us used this time to reflect or take up a new hobby. Some saw their homes transformed into offices, classrooms, gymnasiums and even cafeterias.
Fast forward to 2021 and our minds are wild with anticipation of what we're going to be able to do as we finally begin to eradicate this pandemic. Travel, gather, party, and FINALLY play again!
I've had a few conversations with people over the summer/fall months and the idea of learning a new kink or skill came up often. Some players out there know what they like and their focus remains fixed on developing within that arena. Others have several interests and endeavor to learn more. A question I asked myself a few years ago was "how do I know what's out there unless I explore the possibilities?' That's what this piece addresses...possibilities.
Considering how restricted everything is during the current climate, it might be difficult to connect with someone face to face right now, but that shouldn't hold us back from exploring new possibilities in kink. For one, the internet is a good place to start poking around, but can be a tricky tool. There is a lot of great information out there, but there are also personal opinions that might not always pass the "smell test." Should you choose to research fetish and kink activities online, do your due diligence in looking around in earnest. I wouldn't Google "Knife Play" and then run to my kitchen drawer for supplies. Sure, read about it, but explore several sources.
A second option is to make direct contact with someone who practices a skill that interests you. Lots of experienced players are happy to share what they've learned with curious parties. Information is the thing in the beginning - The more information you have the better your experiment (and experience) will be. Personally, I've always found word-of-mouth to work best for me when I sought out something new. Do you have friends or associates that practice a certain skill-set that interests you? Shoot them a message. Find out what they know, why it works and if it could be for you.
A really great benefit of being a Recon Member is that it connects people from around the world that are Leather/Kink/Fetish oriented in their sexuality. The platform allows us to create personal profiles with our fetish interests published for others to see. Have you seen a profile that lists a kink or fetish that seems provocative to you? A simple greeting to "Member XXX" might be a good place to start a conversation about a new kink or fetish skill. Of course, that greeting doesn't imply consent to meet or play, it's just another way to get information. You would be surprised at how many amazing men are happy to point you in the direction you need to go as you learn the tools of any particular trade.
What if you are interested in learning something new but aren't sure what's out there beyond Fisting, Watersports, Bondage, or Paddling? Many players are familiar with the international "Hanky Code." This chart lists by color, a myriad of kinks and fetishes that are most commonly known in the community. Pull up your search engine and image search "Hanky Code"- you'll find several versions of the Code online that will inform you of kinks widely known by players around the world. Generally speaking, this chart is used to identify color-codes for flagging in Leather Spaces, but it can serve as a great tool to give you a wide variety of what's out there to experience.
Several people have also published books and literature on kink skills. There are books on Flogging, Fire Play, Rope Work, Toys, and many other activities. Although brick and mortar bookstores might be currently closed, online book shops are going strong and will more than likely carry titles that may be of interest to you.
Once we are allowed to gather again and our spaces re-open, a bar or leather space may be hosting live demos that catch your eye. Once the scene is over and there's an opening, why not approach the players and ask about what you've just witnessed? I've never been told "No" by someone I've approached about their work. People are almost always happy to chat about a kink or fetish they love. They'll give you some tips and advice most assuredly. Take what works for you and leave the rest, but ask around - you never know where it might lead. We all have different ways of executing our play scenes and there's no "one way" to do anything, as long as it's safe.
I think the most direct piece of advice I could offer would be to just start. Whenever we take on something new, it always begins with us "starting" the process. There's an action-effect that needs to be activated and that starts with you.
2020 gave us all quite a few roadblocks throughout the year, why not burst into 2021 with a new kink? Whether you explore online and gather information for yourself, build up a small library of books and guides, or connect with a trusted friend to coach you, there's really nothing to stop you from expanding your toolbelt and exploring a wilder kinkier version of yourself. No matter the method, it all starts with you.