If you read the signs of our culture, it is easy to conclude that many people have considered taking their sex lives beyond the routine and try something completely new.  The recent “Fifty Shades” phenomenon is certainly indicative of this point, suggesting by its popularity that the idea of dominant/submissive play has, if nothing else, a very broad appeal.  Many learn, however, that an open mind and an eagerness to explore are not the only attributes necessary, as fantasies are often lost in the practicalities of knowing how or where to begin.

There are a myriad of examples out there for the curious to consider, from the energetic aspects of tantra-esque training to the power exchange of BDSM.  In any case, making a conscious decision to expand your sexual horizons is the first step; creating opportunity for a new experience is the second.  And rather than consider these sexual techniques and disciplines as something someone else might do, remember this: with sex, you never know what you might come to enjoy.

This was certainly the case for me, and the experiences that led me to understand and appreciate what I have been referring to as power exchange, or sexual techniques that explore the limits of trust and surrender, masculine to feminine and more.  It started as many stories do, with a guy and girl at at club dancing, flirting and generally having a good time.  What made this night different was an invitation to watch my new friend, as she modeled in an exhibition in the back room.  I knew this room existed, and that BDSM was practiced there, but nothing else.  Moments later, I found myself in tow as we cut the line to let her in and I’m sitting among the audience, watching her being tied from head to toe in an elaborate pattern of rope.  I certainly didn’t understand the appeal of the scene as it continued to develop before me, and quite frankly became bored with the process.  Any interest I had in remaining was vested in the hope that when finished onstage, my new friend would be all turned on and that I would be the one to finish the job after the show.  When the demonstration ended, however, instead of a warmed-up companion, I found a girl who seemed completely sexually satisfied, leaving me a bit disappointed and confused.

It wasn’t until about two or three months later that I experienced the next chapter of this journey.  It was at the same club where I was partying with a group of lesbian/bi girls that I came to know when I was invited by “Mary” to spank “Tiffany” onstage in the back room.  Almost without thinking I answered “yes,” not taking the time to consider that I had no clue of what I was about to do — and in front of an audience, no less.  The appointed time was upon us before I had time to chicken out, and the next thing I knew, I was lashing Tif to a giant wooden X onstage and spanking her with some of the collection of paddles and such from a nearby table.  I tried my best to be “sexy,” even tossing my shirt off as I progressed, but I had no connection with the process and could garner no heat or sexual chemistry whatsoever.  Still, I muddled through, and when finished even managed a nod or two of approval from the audience as we left the stage and returned to the club.  Knowing that I had somehow pulled it off was a relief more than any triumph, and yet the experience provided just a taste of what this type of play had to offer.  I knew that I wanted to learn more.

Some weeks later, I found a chat room for dominant men and submissive women; a single-themed room that was filled with people who apparently knew each other quite well.  As time went on, my assumptions proved correct when I learned that many of them also belonged to an organized club or two.  I began to chime in from time to time, with comments which undoubtedly revealed my novice status.  The group proved tolerant and friendly, and in time it was suggested that I attend one of their ‘socials’, or a gathering of club members and friends at a local bar — occasions that further served as a screening device for “play party” access.  If you attend the social and all goes well, someone with the requisite authority would invite you to the club’s private events.  I decided to go, and as the night approached I felt nervous and excited at the same time, spending both time and money cultivating the right kind of look for my debut.  I wanted to fit in, and I was convinced that I would enter the bar to find a collection of the most beautiful, sexy, leather-clad hotties you have ever seen.  The reality was anything but pretentious, and I was relieved to find that the sexy talkers and story tellers from the chat room were simply your average, everyday person — a bank teller, auto mechanic, lawyer, or secretary — with average lives and average bodies.  They were exceptional, nonetheless, because for the first time in my life, I was among a group of adults who could openly and honestly discuss the full range of sexual expression without embarrassment or fear.

The club invited me to join them, and in time I became a fairly regular member, attending several of their private events as well as other, open-themed groups and parties.  Though I will save the details for another time, attending the play parties took me from the confused guy who did not understand, to an experienced player who could appreciate the full spectrum of what this type of play has to offer.  From the power and passion of the most dominant position, to the depths of surrender through the act of submission.  I learned that fetish play is not some grimy little secret reserved for freaks and sociopaths, but is a useful and often ancient tool used by ordinary people to explore the full reaches of their sexuality.

So it’s time to put down the fiction, turn off the porn, and acknowledge the hidden desires that exist in the hearts and minds of just about everyone.  Break free of the conditioning and bias that turn fantasies into dreams unfulfilled.  Put yourself in a position to learn and experience the possibility of more by taking the smallest step toward your most hidden desires.  Given the right opportunity, you never know what you might come to enjoy.

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