Questions and discussion about your sexual lives, choices, activities, ideas and experiences.
not a newbie
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Unread post by confusedinlove »

So, I've been curious about kink for a long time, ever since I first learned about it when I was maybe 13. But since I was underage, I wasn't really able to be a part of kink communities, and for good reason. The brushes I did have with real-life exploration of it were pretty exploitative. But now that I'm 18, I'm wondering if anyone knows any kink-related websites that I should check out - not porn or anything, just maybe dating sites, social media, educational resources? Or any other way I could dip my toe into that community?
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Re: kink

Unread post by Siân »

Hi confusedinlove,

I'm sorry that you've found yourself being exploited, that's not okay. Unfortunately, whilst there are plenty of kinky folks out there who work really hard to make safe spaces and interactions happen, there are plenty of others who are in it for the wrong reasons. Do you want to talk some more about what happened?

The good news is there are people out there doing in-depth education about safety and ethics in kink, as well as more practical tips and advice. A good place to start might be to do some searches on whatever social media you're already on for e.g. "kink education" or the specific things you are curious about to find people and organisations to follow. As you search, make sure you have a critical eye - are the things you're being shown realistic? Do they give the important ethics and safety bits, or just a glamorised version with all that glossed over? You might also be able to search for "[your local area] munch". Munches are where people from the kink community get together for a totally vanilla, sex-free hangout to connect with others. Whilst muches themselves will be off in the pandemic, if there are local groups on social media for example they might be good sources of information for you.

In order to weigh sites and people up in future, it's worth developing your own knowledge of best practice, ethics and safety considerations around whatever kinks you're interested in. Learn to recognise red (and green) flags and err on the side of caution. Some of my green flags when weighing up a resource include in-depth discussions of consent, representation of LGBTQ people and relationships and lots of different body types in the content. We also have some articles you might want to check out as a starting point:
50 Shades of BS - How to Tell the Difference Between Kink and Abuse
Working the Kinks Out

Beyond Scarleteen, "Why are people into that" is a fun and informative podcast that looks at lots of different aspects of sexuality, and peppers useful nuggets throughout each episode. I think Kink Academy does another, though I haven't listened to it. Sexplanations on YouTube has a few kink-related epiodes, and recently did one in conjunction with WattsTheSafeword.
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