A listener asks, “It’s hard for me to communicate during a kink scene … Suggestions?”
Our sexperts discuss kink communication–before, during, and after. Plus, a steamy story from the Pride Parade that’s sure to make you sweat.
Wild & Sublime Podcast Transcript
#S2E16 | What to Say During Kinky Play
[Wild & Sublime theme music]
Mksthingshappin: And something I've learned the hard way is, just because someone feels one way towards the scene today, they may feel absolutely different tomorrow, and the day after that.
Diane Long: The other thing too, that if you speak up or ask for something, you're interrupting the flow, or breaking role, I think we also need to get over that idea. We're in this to actually get what we want, and maybe figure it out as we go.
Karen Yates: Welcome to Wild & Sublime, a sexy spin on infotainment®, no matter your preferences, orientation, or relationship style, based on the popular live Chicago show. Each week, I'll chat about sex and relationships with citizens from the world of sex positivity. You'll hear meaningful conversation, dialogues that go deeper, and information that can help you become more free in your sexual expression. I'm sex educator Karen Yates. Today, our panel examines exactly what to say during a kink scene. Plus, a storyteller recounts a delicious tale from the Pride parade. Keep listening.
If you're interested in getting more, more, more WIld & Sublime every month, consider joining The Afterglow, our Wild & Sublime community on Patreon. All members receive the creator notes, my weekly unedited thoughts on each podcast episode. Plus, you're able to ask our monthly panel of sexperts questions, and get a bonus audio of that conversation, and more. But best of all, you get to have that gooey, glowy feeling deep inside, knowing that you are raising the flag of sex positivity. And if you'd like to help out in a different way, consider throwing some buck in our PayPal tip jar, which accepts multiple payment types. And we love multiples! The links are in the Show Notes.
I wanted to share a super lovely message someone sent the other day. They wrote: "I just wanted to let you know how much I love Wild & Sublime. It's been such a good listen, and education, funny, validating, helpful, et cetera. Some of what I have been getting from it came into a big discussion my partner and I were having last night, and I referenced a lot of things from WIld & Sublime, and some wounds from my past experiences were opened. It was very vulnerable, and we had a big talk about trauma and getting into your body. You're doing great things, and this type of education is so important." And that is from Sara. Thank you so much, Sara, for your awesome words. You know, when I hear these reactions from people, it's always such a big boost. Like, keep going, you know? There is just not enough sex education in the world at this moment. And it's always so great to know that people are listening, and that these words are striking a nerve, and people are getting some use and value out of the podcast. SO, really glad to hear from you, and folks, if you want to shoot me a line, either by email or one of our social media channels, feel free.
So I started talking today about Patreon, we started the episode with tht, and I wanted to share a segment now, based on an Afterglow member's question from a few months back. It's related somewhat to our recent "How to Get Good at Sex" episode. Namely, how do you communicate more effectively during a kink scene? It's one thing knowing you should do it, but it's another actually doing it and knowing what to say. Two very different things. SO, here's a selection from our December Afterglow question and answer. The full version is available to our monthly members. You'll be hearing from somatic educator, bodyworker, and empowerment self-defense teacher DIane Long, psychotherapist Matthew Amador, and kinkster and relationship coach MksThingsHappin. Enjoy.
Someone asked: "It's hard for me to communicate during a kink scene. Like, I think, 'Is this too much pain?' Then I don't say anything, and then it really is too much pain, and I wish I'd said something to my partner, and then I stop enjoying it. I get way into my head. I'm with someone who's okay at checking in, but isn't a mind reader. Suggestions?"
Mksthingshappin: Okay. Thank you for the question. I think the most important element of that question is recognizing that they have a partner that's interested and willing to check in. Doing any type of kink scene really is a function of trust. You're putting your safety and wellbeing potentially into someone else's hands. And one of the main reasons someone doesn't get into the scene, doesn't go into subspace, doesn't get the energy exchange that they're looking for, is they don't necessarily trust that the person will be able to recognize when they're in distress, when they're liking it, and they may stop it prematurely. So if you're with a partner that you already feel has your best interest in heart and can understand you, you are far beyond where someone else would be. So now it's just a matter of communication. Now, most people do a really great job in negotiating the scene beforehand. And there's normally talk about aftercare, and what you need afterwards to kind of feel safe, and really enjoy the endorphins. But I think there is a gap in in-scene negotiation -- which is, in fact, a thing. And the accepted standard is the color system -- using red, meaning to stop; yellow, caution; green, obviously, to go. I personally think that is flawed and incomplete, because unless you have a very detailed conversation about what yellow or red looks like, there could be miscommunication.
So for example, if I were doing a scene and we agree that red means stop, okay, great. And then I'm doing something and the person says "Red." Okay, to me that means 'stop.' What they could have meant, though, that this particular body part is getting too much attention, can you please stop that and move on? Okay, well, we could talk about that during the scene, but it upsets the flow. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but there's an inherent flaw in the communication. I think either using your words is perfectly acceptable -- "That left butt cheek is getting too much attention, move on." Okay? And if that is too much on the nose, you could use a rating system from one to five. One meaning, I'm not getting enough stimulation. Three means, oh god, that's awesome, keep going. And five, that's too much. You can even break it down further, where, hey, that's a one on my back, let's ramp it up. Hey, the bottom of my foot? That's a five, let's not do that again. So the hard part is being with someone that you feel comfortable, connected, and trust. If you have that already, fantastic. If you don't, that's another conversation, which could take up a whole hour, so that's not really what we're going into right now. But if you do have that person, it's just a matter of developing your style of communication. If you can do that -- which, I can't see any reason why you could not -- you can really start building up a fantastic library of words, codes, looks that will indicate how each other feels.
And something iI learned the hard way -- this is extending it a little bit further -- is just because someone feels one way towards a scene today, they may feel absolutely different tomorrow and the day after that. So having constant communication before, during, and after a scene, with each scene, I think is absolutely appropriate and the best way to get something out of it. You know, someone may be very much into a hard spanking today. You try it tomorrow without necessarily negotiating, and they're just not feeling it? It will upset the scene.
Karen Yates: Okay, so let me ask you this. What I'm taking from this question is that the person really... It's about a sense of vacillation. Like, do I express? Do I not express? What do I say? Not really sure. Like, kind of too much... I mean, are you just suggesting that that person -- see, I wonder, is it a question of not enough languaging, or is it a question of communicating anything? Your answer I think is great, because you just laid out a very comprehensive way that people could negotiate through a scene very easily. You know, green yellow red, and then one through five, and then the body parts. And that's kind of -- you know, that's an exploration, that's a journey. I wonder about this person getting to the confidence -- to me, it's like a confidence, to just say, "This might be too much."
Mksthingshappin: I know exactly you're saying. You know, the question is one point in time. The part that actually speaks a lot about the relationship is, this person feels that their partner actually cares how they feel, because they are willing to check in. So in order to say that about their partner, there has to be a history where they communicate, where they negotiate, where there is some level of trust that's been established. Now, if they haven't gotten to the point where they've discussed in-scene negotiation, that's just one more thing that needs to be talked about. But based on what information I have on this question -- because if it was pickup play, I think my answer would be similar, but a couple other caveats. But if this is an established relationship, and there is history there, it's a matter of developing the communication style that works for both of them. That's what I read from that question.
Karen Yates: Okay. Diane and Matthew?
Diane Long: I can share from that question. So what what stood out right away is just, you know, one of the most common myths, or misinformation about sex, is this idea that our partners are supposed to be able to know what we want, and to read our bodies. And I think with kink, you know, there's some energetics that get developed along that, along with other kinds of bodywork, where you are reading cues of breath and muscle tension, and all these things. But I think it's really important to demystify that early, and really set up practices where you're actually getting a sense of each other's bodies. And a lot of times, that means somebody is getting a sense of their own body in a way that they maybe never have before. And I think kink does that for a lot of folks. And so I'm big into, you know, taste tests. I do show and tells. I have somebody, you know, show me their favorite toys, and tell me how they like them to be used, you know, and play with things, and then get that rating system. I think having shortcuts that work for you. I agree that red, yellow, and green can be limiting. But I'm a big fan of something that's really accessible. And so I think about my go zone, my slow zone, and my stop zone. And like, does red mean full stop? And does yellow mean slow down and check in a little bit more? Right? When I ask people how they're doing, and they say, I don't know, I tell people: Hear the 'no' in 'I don't know.' Do you need more time? Do you need more space? Do you need more trust? There's something there that needs to happen.
But so, having shortcuts that work for you, whether it's numbers, or red-yellow-green, or a safe word, or whatever that is. But even before that, just building the practices, of actually figuring out how you like to play, right? Some people want really intense sensation early, because it gets them, boom, right out of their heads and into their bodies. Some people want more of a warmup. And that can also really change over time. And so actually, for me, like really eroticizing the communication, and giving a lot of permission for that. And so if somebody who's topping is like, "Good job, good job asking for what you want, thanks for letting me know," like really encouraging that, giving a lot of permission for that, setting up practices to do that. The other thing too, that if you speak up or ask for something, you're interrupting the flow or breaking role, I think we also need to get over that. That idea that actually, we're in this to actually get what we want, and maybe figure it out as we go. So I think just really eroticizing the communication more, and also reinforcing how good it feels. And I will coach people to say, "I like this, and here's why, and here's how I know." Whether they're doing it to me, or I'm doing it to them, because it's reinforcing and growing what feels good.
Karen Yates: Awesome. Matthew?
Matthew Amador: Yeah. One thing that sticks out to me is that they definitely seem like they're a lot in their head and less in their body during these scenes. So it made me curious about how anxiety can play a part in sex. And with kink, particularly. And it made me wonder if maybe this could be something where could they benefit from renegotiating the structure of this play? Like, is this a little too hardcore Dom for them? Is that maybe advanced Dom studies? And they just need more of like, you know, like a Dom 101 type of session right now? Could they benefit from having a postmortem afterwards, and actually saying like: Okay, now let's actually dissect what happened. Let's go and just have honest, critical feedback. How can we make this better for next time? How can we collaborate on this? Like, as much as I want you to be a Dom and I'm going to be a sub, can there be some collaboration here, so that exactly what both Mksthingshappin and Diane were talking about, the trust can be there. The trust can be there so that you can speak up if it's allowed. Or nonverbals, if speech is not actually possible, depending on what's going on.
Karen Yates: Right. Awesome. Thank you so much, Mksthingshappin, Diane, and Matthew.
For more information on Mksthingshappin, Diane and Matthew, go to our show notes. And did you know, there is a transcript for every Wild & Sublime podcast episode? If you have a sexy friend that's hearing impaired, let them know. The transcript can be accessed by going to the episode on our website at wildandsublime.com.
Wild & Sublime is also sponsored in part by our Sublime Supporter, Chicago-based Full Color Life Therapy, therapy for all of you, at fullcolorlifetherapy.com. If you would like to be a Sublime Supporter, showcasing you and your business and supporting us at the same time, contact us at . We'll end this episode with a juicy tale from a Chicago summer gone by, as storyteller Deb R. Lewis presents "Blown at the Pride Parade," from our December 2018 show. Enjoy.
Deb R Lewis: Screw hiking the whole rainbow-fucking-Pride-parade route, in full leathers on that late June Sunday. [laughter] Sure, it looks badass, but 20 blocks later, up Halsted, down Broadway, the dungeon chic melts as you faint from heatstroke, with a dust-dry tongue swollen the size of John Holmes's cock. Our first year not marching, Vivian and I still scorching through our five-year Scarlet honeymoon, crowd-wove over beer-soaked sidewalks. I wore my Doc Martens and leather vest. I was packing a dildo harness under my jeans. And Vivian delights in the interchangeability of size, color and shape of my snap-on tool. And she'd opted to make an immense, red gel, monster-veined statement for what the Pride parade commemorates, which is: June 28, 1969, cops raid the Stonewall Inn. Queer bars getting raided ain't nothing new. But when they clubbed a stone butch for complaining about too-tight handcuffs, she asked bystanding queers, "Why don't you guys do somerhing?" One queen after another refuses to go quietly into the paddywagon. A crowd of queer malcontents started throwing pennies, bottles, rocks. They slash tires, trying to flip the wagon. Cops hole up inside the Stonewall Inn for cover. So the queens set it on fire. [laughter] All the '60s unrest, and Stonewall still marked the first New York City cops ever retreated.
Now, Vivian had locked a choke collar around my neck, spikes on the inside. I'd laced Viv's corset even and tight, for severely heightened posture, and now followed her knee-high boots, sexed-up and doting all the way. As vintage convertibles rolled past, their politicians waving as if they were our best friends, she shoved me back against a young maple on a cross street, steps from the main drag, and sank to her knees and she unzipped my fly. I nearly lost my legs. "Uh, ma'am? We're in public?" Her eyes went smoky as she pulled out Moby Red and kissed the head. Yeah, I felt it.
"Any skin showing?"
"Settle back, because this is legal, baby, and those faggots [ ] wish they could be you." A leatherman in chaps, with just a red hanky covering his furry butt, eyed us with amused envy. By him, a fey boy in purple Spandex sneered, "Get a room!"
Vivian tugged my tool into porn-thrust rhythm. I found her eyes, and ceased to care about witnesses. She sucked hard. Now, science will say Moby Red, having no nerve endings, cannot transmit sensation to the body and brain as wears it. Maybe it's astral projection, but any butch who's packed can report a ghostly extension of self plugs in when they strap one on. The ghost cock awakens. [audience laughter] You know what I'm talking about. [laughter]
Once pleasure is spent, and the harness comes off, the ghost cock remains, like the ghost of a wristwatch after you've taken it off. You still feel it. After its first visitation, the phantom cock comes and goes with a mind of its own. Vivian opened her throat, swallowed my head, and my groin tightened like the hinge of a jack knife wanting to fold. The hardness warmed against my clit. Sweat on the backs of my knees chilled. My body gushed like hot milk, shuddering against the tree on buckling legs. Vivian's lips relinquished my cock until the head dropped, heavy as a summer sausage against my leg. As she stood: "Feel any less tense?" Her arm slid around my neck. "I notice you're not in any hurry to put yourself together."
What could I do, but feel her warmth and the light of the sun? I rested my arms on her curves, cum-stoned, loving, smooching, tugging... "Sister, there ought to be a law!" We broke, to find the purple Spandex fairy, standing hands on hips like a moral superhero. That prude had watched! [audience laughter] Vivian turned her corsetry on him, leaving my cock to open view, and I tucked away Moby Red and zipped up, because that shit made me cold.
"And what law, pray tell, do you propose?" she asked, menacing him with her decolletage. "No queers kissing on street corners? No handjobs at the Manhole?" He covered his mouth, glared, and averted his gaze as she continued. "No same-sex couples on Roscoe's dance floor? What law, sweetheart?" He fidgeted with his fanny pack. "What about simple taste and decency?"
I'd recovered now. I wanted to sharpen my teeth on someone, and brought up, "Oh, Stonewall riots? Which Pride is about." He drew a blank, and I wanted to slap him, slap someone. What is it with queers and perpetual amnesia? I said, "Google it, asshole! Stonewall wasn't about conforming to standards of taste and decency. And since you don't know shit about it, how about a law says no fucking Pride parade at all?" Oh, it put me in a cruel mood when he didn't have an answer. I shoved his shoulder. "Why don't you go home to your closet, you sad little jackass, and fuck yourself? Since anyone who doesn't turn you on is expendable." A yank around my neck jolted me from spiraling rage. Viv's finger tugged the release ring of my collar. Her tongue was sharp. "Heel!" And my anger glazed away. [cheers and applause]
[Wild & Sublime theme music]
Karen Yates: Thank you for listening. If you know someone who might be interested in this episode, send it to them. Do you like what you heard? Then give us a nice review on your podcast app. You can follow us on social media @wildandsublime and sign up for newsletters at wildandsublime.com. I'd like to thank associate producer Julia Williams and design guru Jean-Francois Gervais. Theme Music by David Ben-Porat. This episode was edited by The Creative Imposter studios. Our media sponsor is Rebellious Magazine, feminist media, at rebelliousmagazine.com.
- INTRO (1:58)
- AFTERGLOW Q&A: Kink Communication (3:19)
- STORYTELLING: Deb R. Lewis (14:38)
Are you a sex-positive patron? The Afterglow brings you bonus content, merch discounts, early notice of show dates, and other goodies! Join now to help us continue to spread the message of sex-positivity. Or show your love for Wild & Sublime any time: Leave a tip!
Want to be Wild & Sublime out in the world? Check out our new tees and accessories for maximum visibility. Our Limited Collection might help your inner relationship anarchist run free…
Thinking of starting your own podcast? Buzzsprout can help you create, host and promote it! Plus lots of useful tools and resources to streamline the process and level up your pod game. Use our affiliate link for a $20 credit!
- Diane Long – self-defense instructor & somatic bodyworker
- Matthew Amador – sex-positive psychotherapist
- Deb R. Lewis – storyteller
- December 2018 live show
Listen & Follow
Find us on your favorite podcast app: