Tag Archives: BDSM

Review: The Submissive Playground

For a change from all the book reviews in the Sex & Relationships section here at Queer & Now, I decided last year that I wanted to find more of a sexual experience to review for you lovely readers, something that’s offered regularly and available for you to try yourselves. Since most kink events don’t welcome press coverage, I had to do some digging, but I eventually stumbled upon something called the Submissive Playground, facilitated by writer and educator Sinclair Sexsmith. Having worked with Sinclair previously at a queer erotic bodywork workshop, I thought this would be an awesome opportunity, and so I participated in the Playground for an eight-week course in the summer of 2014.  If this review interests you, the course is running again right now, but stay tuned to the website for the next round, and in the meantime dominant folks have a couple of weeks left to register for Mastering Dominance, a half-day online workshop from Sinclair that takes place on February 22nd. If it’s anything like my experience in the Submissive Playground, I’d highly recommend it!

Continue reading Review: The Submissive Playground

I’m Doing a Thing! Submissive Playground Starting Soon

banner reading Submissive Playground: Your Subby Summer School Starts in July...Come Play With Us!So I’ve been reviewing sexuality and erotica books for a while now, and I’m also looking into opportunities to review toys. But to be perfectly honest, books and toys aren’t where my most amazing sexuality and relationship-related experiences come from, and the same is probably true for you. To add to this part of the site, I’ve been wanting to write about sexuality and relationship experiences: things I can review that are interactive, interesting, and available for you to find out there when you’re looking to go a little deeper in your sexuality and relationship exploration.

The good news is that just such an experience showed up in my inbox recently, and so I’m excited to announce that I’ll be reviewing friend and fellow educator Sinclair Sexsmith’s Submissive Playground, an 8-week e-course that stars in July. Here’s how Sinclair describes the course:

Submissive Playground is an online course with five live calls, eight weeks of creative, sexy explorations, and four learning modules—Bondage, Discipline, Service, and Masochism—all with the goal to take your submission deeper. And, you’ll get to explore it in community, making friends with other s-types through the course, and learning from each other. The entire course is online, and done within your own levels of comfort. Registration is open at www.submissiveplayground.com.

If you’d like to participate alongside me, registration is still open until June 30th (that’s this coming Monday), and there’s a sliding scale that includes a package as low as $150 for the eight weeks. I look forward to letting you know what this new-to-me journey is like!

Sexuality Is Not a Linear Progression

I’ve written before about the coming out model and how it falls flat, especially in the developing world, because it’s very much based on Western notions on gender and sexuality (and specifically American/European, white, middle class notions).  But it’s also a pretty shitty model in the US, and I think it leads to a lot of problems because queer people end up with the expectation that there should be one formative moment, the “coming out” moment, and then they should know their sexuality, and if they change identifiers, or deviate in terms of who they date or have sex with, it’s a bad thing.  Words like “confused,” and more harshly, “betrayal,” come to mind.

The same is true, I think, in kinky communities.  I’ve come across this idea a number of times that a kinky person is supposed to go through a certain progression in terms of sexual awareness.  First there are inklings that one might like some type of kinky sex, whether very early on or later.  Then there’s the research phase, these days probably mostly online.  Then, at some point, there’s an expectation that you go out into that kinky community, meet people, possibly at sex-free social events, but at some point there is a critical threshold that leads to Comfort at Play Parties.

Of course, not everyone falls into this model.  If you don’t it can be frustrating, for example, to mention that you haven’t actually had very kinky sex before and then have recommendations for 101 resources thrown at you.  Well-meaning, certainly, and the resources may be great, but I always find it kind of funny.  Kinky awareness is not the same thing as kinky activity.

It’s also a bad idea to suggest to someone that public scening is a natural point in the kinky progression, and that if they aren’t comfortable with this sort of space, they just haven’t “arrived” in their kinky evolution.  Not everyone is comfortable with public sex or scening.  Even very sex-positive, sex-aware people can prefer to engage in sex only in private, or only in relationships, or both.  There are many, many ways to skin a cat.

This post was originally published on the blog Sex Positive Activism, which has now merged to become the sex & relationships section of Queer & Now.