You want to explore kink but aren’t ready to engage a partner. What to do? Our panel of sexperts discuss options and how to slowly move out into the wider kinky world.
Wild & Sublime Podcast Transcript
S4E12 | Solo Kink How-Tos
Diane Long: It’s always a good idea to try out different sensory toys with yourself before you do it with someone else, whether you’re using it on somebody, or they’re going to use it on you, because then you have this felt sense of what feels good, and how you’d like to be touched. And I think most partners really love to hear. Here’s what I like. Here’s how I like it.
Karen Yates: Welcome to Wild & Sublime, a sexy spin on infotainment, no matter your preferences and mentation or relationship style. Based on the popular live Chicago show I chat about sex and relationships with citizens from the world of sex positivity. You’ll hear meaningful conversations, dialogues that go deeper, and information that can help you become more free in your sexual expression. I’m sex educator and intimacy coach Karen Yates. On today’s episode, the panel and I discuss a solo kink tips, tricks and Twizzlers keep listening. Just a few simple sentences can change your intimate life. Want to know what they are? Download my free guide say it better in bed three practical ways to improve intimate communication. To get easy tools to put into action immediately. Go to Karen hyphen yates.com to get yours.
Hey Folks, today is a short but information-packed conversation on solo kink with a few of our recurring panelists. I think you’re gonna enjoy it. In fact, even if you don’t consider yourself kinky, some of the things we discussed today may up your masturbation game. And at the very least have you looking at Twizzlers a lot differently.
We have Elmo Painter-Edington, somatic therapist and empowerment coach; sex-positive therapist for individuals and couples Clark Hazel; and sex-positive and empowerment self defense teacher Diane Long. This conversation was recorded before we began indigenous land acknowledgments. So Elmo comes to us from the lands of the Peoria, Potawatomi and Miami nations, among others, also known as Racine, Wisconsin. Clark is recording from the lands of the Multnomah Wasco Cowlitz Kathlemet and many other tribes colonially known as Portland, Oregon, and Diane Long is on the original lands of the Dakota and Ojibwe people, colonially known as Minneapolis. I am recording from the lands of the Council of Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi nations among many other tribes that were here in the Chicago area. And now on to the episode. Enjoy.
So we’re just gonna dive in to the questions we’ve received. The first one involves solo kink. “Hi sexperts: Through the pandemic, I began to open up to more kinky thoughts becoming more okay with the idea I could be submissive. I sort of knew this already, but was not okay with it. I started watching more kinky porn, especially impact play, and I’m even thinking about purchasing a harness, which is both scary and exhilarating. Here’s my question. I am not seeing anyone right now. I’m not comfortable meeting kinky people online to hook up. How do I go about experimenting with kink on my own besides porn before I get up my nerve to connect with others?
Nice question. Solo kink. You don’t hear a lot about it. I see it on Instagram every so often, especially rope experts showing self ties and things like that. But this is something we really have not talked about on the show. So I would love to hear your insights. Who would like to jump in first?
Elmo Painter-Edington: When I saw this question, I was like yes! So for solo play for exploring that kind of stuff, something that’s really fun that you can do if there’s a sex toy shop near you or even weirdly enough Spencer’s Gifts like sells all kinds of like sex toys and kinky toys and they actually kind of upped their quality a little bit which is super weird. So if there’s nothing else I mean, if there’s a better sex shop near you, please go there, but if you’re like in the middle of Wyoming or something, maybe check out Spencer’s. But picking up something like a little like leather or rubber slapper or paddle or wider crop, you can test them out in the store on your forearm. That’s a really good place to kind of feel into what that’s going to feel like and if you like that sensation, maybe pick one up and take it home and do some exploring with it some self spanking, some like playing around with where on your body it feels good to be impacted. And you know you can experiment also with just I mean I like to caress people with impact toys and you know there are so many different ways of teasing and playing with stuff. So I would recommend just kind of picking something up that feels interesting to you and just start playing.
Karen Yates: Awesome. Diane.
Diane Long: I can already hear from the question, there’s this maybe access to reading about things or watching videos or stuff like that. I think just getting a sense of what you’re excited about or interested in. And, you know, thinking about this question. So looking makes me think about kink on a budget, too, because we all know we’ve invested in expensive sex toys, or maybe something for kinky play that’s sort of not all that. And so I just thought, you know, when I go around my house, like, what would I do. And so in the closet, I’m really into sensation type of stuff, you know, but you probably have ties or scarves or something that you could use as blindfolds, you could use them to tie up, right to see what that feels like. And sometimes just tying yourself up and going on with some erotic fantasies can give you that that peace of feeling restrained or something like that, right in the bathroom, you might have a loofa, or a nail brush, or a comb, or a pic or a brush or something for more like scratchy sensation. Convertibles in the kitchen or things like a wooden spoon or a spatula, a flyswatter has a very different feel than a wooden spoon. But you know, being able to just experiment, you know, with some different kinds of sensory play, to get a sense of how it feels to you and how hard you like it. Where on your body kind of mapping, what are the parts that feel good, and hitting the parts that you think of as erotic zones, but also other areas in the kitchen to you know, like playing with ice or popsicles takes you into like temperature play. And if you got some candles, you can do some hot wax, it’s a little bit messy. But you know, it’s always a good idea to try out different sensory toys with yourself before you do it with someone else, whether you’re using it on somebody, or they’re going to use it on you. Because then you have this felt sense of what feels good, and how you’d like to be touched. And I think most partners really love to hear, here’s what I like, here’s how I like it, right? Even if you’re submissive, you’re giving people more information about how to please you and it starts with you, knowing what feels good to you. So I think just really letting yourself feel free to experiment. And then you start looking at everything like how could I use that? What can I do with that?
You know, but the one other piece I would add, so it sounds to me a lot like, you know, mindful erotic practice where you actually create a space for yourself to explore these different things. And you can play with different kinds of sensations. So but you make the space for yourself, and try to remove some of your distractions, and then have fun.
Karen Yates: Yeah, you know, one thing you’re bringing up for me, Diane, is this idea of you know, one component for kinky folks can be like the ritual of it. So in the setting up, if you want to set aside time for mindful erotic practice with a serious kink focus, you can actually create, you can use your imagination to create a serious ritual to help start the activation, if you will.
Yeah, Clark, what are some of your thoughts?
Clark Hazel: Yeah, I mean, I was young kinkster not too long ago, like, two months ago, [Karen laughs] to the scene, there was something that I found was helpful. I was getting on FetLife. And looking at the different subcategories and taking a gander at the events page. And there were some mix of like in-person and online. Some options I had for classes were intro to kink, vetting a rope top, intro to impact play. And that was really helpful, because I was like, wow, the world is my oyster. I see lots of implements, which do I try first and not a lot of experience or having names to it, you know, just working around with pervertables, you know, spatulas and whatnot. So that was really helpful to even just start with a direction. And then like going to Ace Hardware store or you know, just trying different different things out around what you already have in your house. And also, I really liked the idea of creating a container in space, even calendaring yourself in of like play time. And maybe picking three things from your you know, goodie box or treasure box, or you know, from your kitchen, just picking three items and like playing, playing around and trying it out. Taking notes is always helpful. Like “I did not like that at all, that spatula did not do me well. Out of rotation.” or maybe give yourself an option of like three times. And if I really don’t like after that third time of the swat I’m done and you can take it take it away.
Karen Yates: I love that. One of the things I saw online was this idea of like using a six sided die, or pulling ideas out of a hat and like that’s what you have to do. Or you could do that with implements like tonight’s gonna be…? what is it going to be? I’m gonna pull it out of a hat tonight. Is it the spatula?!
I mean, it’s really– as we get deeper into this conversation– it really is where you let your imagination take you. I did see this great suggestion about writing on your body, writing phrases on your body that only you can see, you know, so that you can go out in the world. And if you need a little uplift, you can like pull up your sleeve and see that you’ve written something nasty to yourself, that turns you on.
Diane Long: The person that wrote in talked about buying a harness, and I don’t know if that was a body harness or a strap on harness, but, you know, you could wear that under your clothes, right? And there’s and there’s things that can bring the sensation. I mean, for people, if you like collars or you like choking, you know, wearing a choker literally gives you a little bit of pressure there are like, I just bought a really cool bracelet the other day that’s like a wraparound snake. And it feels so much like what rope would feel like or something, you know, there’s ways to bring some of the sensory play into your daily life. If it was a strap on harness, then you know, strapping on and jacking off for yourself, you know. So there’s lots of, you know, lots of ways to play and incorporate little pieces of sensuality, and little pieces of play. And you know, it’s not for nothing that we call it play, right? It’s all about experimentation.
Karen Yates: Absolutely.
Diane Long: The other recommendation I would have would be not just carving out that space. But if you can remove one or more of your senses by either making it dark, or making it quiet, right? and when slowing down. And if you really slow things down, and then you play with different levels of impact, different speeds, different implements, and all of that, that starts to really expand, I think, expansive sense of possibility for yourself, because then you’re not really relying on other people, especially I think for someone who maybe identifies as submissive, I don’t have to rely on someone else. To experience the sensations that feel good to my body. And I can bring in fantasy, you can bring in fantasy.
Karen Yates: Absolutely.
[to listener] We’ll return to the conversation in a moment. If you want to support Wild & Sublime to help us grow our sex positive reach, become a monthly member on the Patreon membership platform for as little as $5 a month. This gets you ticket discounts to live shows, additional content, and more. Or simply leave a tip in the tip jar. Find these links in our show notes. Wild &. Sublime is supported in part by our sublime supporter, full color life therapy, therapy for all of you at full color like therapy.com. We now return to the second half of my conversation with Elmo, Diane and Clark. In this segment, we discuss how to move out into the larger world to explore kink safely. Enjoy.
Elmo, what do you have to say about this idea of as we’re starting to move into this sense of like, being a submissive? And also, you know, there’s a community out there, but like, maybe not being ready? What do you have to say about that tension, if you will, of being with self-exploration, but also knowing there’s a larger community?
Elmo Painter-Edington: Yeah, it can be, it can be scary, it can be kind of daunting, because there are people with all kinds of different ethics out there. And you know, it may take some time, even if you’re in a very active community, it can, that can still take some time to find somebody who kind of matches what you want and your ethics and just thinking about, like how hard it is to find somebody to date or finding the right therapist or something like that. It’s like, you know, finding the right person to play with can be kind of daunting, but there’s so much good stuff to read. And again, like Clark mentioned, FetLife, there’s so many resources on there, and so many folks on there. And you can even find community standards kind of information on there, things like that. It can be hard. But what I always recommend for people is you can try to go to a munch.
Like if you’re ready to just kind of like check out people, there are these things called munches, or just like a dinner, like people meet up at a restaurant or something like that, and just talk and you can like…it gives you a chance to kind of feel people out and stuff like that. And then there are classes, if you can go to a class or something like that at a local shop, if you live in a place where you’ve got some kind of sex positive toy shops, or a lot of really good classes out there. Organizations like Wicked Grounds in San Francisco or you can take an online class and just kind of get… get the feel for some people. You don’t even need to talk to anybody if you don’t want to. Just start putting your feelers out, and feeling into like kind of what this community feels like, what you like, what you don’t like, maybe you’re into somebody who’s more soft, and maybe his sense of humor, versus somebody who’s kind of stone cold, or vice versa, you know, but I also wanted, I wanted to add another prevertable to the list too. I don’t know if either of you have ever been whipped with a Twizzler?
Karen Yates: Oh my god.
Elmo Painter-Edington: They’re called licorice whips for a reason.
Karen Yates: Do you mean the really the thin ones are the ones that are a little bit more ropey, which ones?
Elmo Painter-Edington: Yeah, the ropey ones, the actually Twizzler. I had a friend who like she just wore this was their shirt all the time. Everybody associated her with Twizzlers, and she whipped my inner thigh with a Twizzler one day. I had a welt for like a week and a half. They’re so fun and you’re like oh, it’s a Twizzler but then it’s like
Karen Yates: it’s a Twizzler but it’s evil Oh. Nice. I could see I could see how that would really hurt.
Elmo Painter-Edington: Yeah.
Karen Yates: Because it’s like bendy, but it’s kind of substantial.
Elmo Painter-Edington: Yeah!
Clark Hazel: So how long is this panel going because I really needed to get to the corner store. [laughter]
Karen Yates: I saw your eyes like light up, like, NEW IDEA!
Clark Hazel: I did just add a note to this. To my list, to add Twizzlers to my little container.
Karen Yates: So what else about…I don’t know, venturing and– not like, I mean, this person is very clear. They want to be solo for now. They’re not necessarily at this moment interested in venturing forth. But what sort of advice would you give to this person? I mean, I know you talked about going to a munch as the next step, or going to a live class, if that’s possible, if this person lives in a area that would have something like that, or online classes. What sort of advice though, Clark and Diane, would you give to someone who’s like just starting, perhaps the next step would be to meet people,
Clark Hazel: I would definitely second munches. That’s an nonthreatening way to be able to meet folks. I have actually found play partners and friends and fam people that are equally open to like continuing to learn, you know, having safety protocols in place, I don’t play with people that aren’t actively going to classes and wanting to learn and showing up at events, that’s one of my hardfast rules is, you know, you could be like the best rope top and also not be attending classes, and I would not, I would not be tied by you or tie with them. I have to see that equal, you know, commitment to safety, right? Having, you know, questions of like, do you have safety shears with you when you’re going to tie? like what are the, you know, hand signals in case, you know, my hands are bound, right? What ways you know…. After care…what does, you know, check ins during the experience, after experience, like all those things are really important. If someone is not actively, you know, learning or committed to safety and setting a, you know, safe container for someone, that can be really dangerous for all folks involved. So I think you’re going to munches, like I’ve had people reach out to me with like, “Hey, you held the door for me and you you’d like smiled at me like I would love to, you know, attend another class with you”. And so I’ve I’ve gone to like several classes with folks just by going to a munch, and then following up and going to a class. So that’s been excellent. I met a partner through attending the munch and class. So yeah, I’ll just say munches work. I’m a hard and fast believer,
Karen Yates: for sure, yeah, because you’re seeing people outside of the elevated atmosphere, see a dungeon or a play scene where everyone’s all dressed up, because in munches, you’re wearing casual street clothes.
Diane Long: I’ll just add a little bit more about munches. Because not everybody knows exactly what it is. But part of what makes it low commitment is that it might be a group that’s based on age, or based on location or particular type of kinky interest. And so you know, that you’re going with people where there’s already something in common. And so there’s a kind of a shared understanding of maybe a need for confidentiality, but also, there’s also a little bit of common ground. And it’s low commitment in the sense that there’s not really an expectation of anything other than showing up and you know, engaging in a way, it’s kind of nice to go with a friend, sometimes. And also people that are going are vetted, there’s some kind of connect, you know, to come. So there’s a little bit of vetting that happens there, which makes it maybe feel a little bit safer, in terms of connecting with friends to I think it’s important to like not have to take things so seriously, because I think there can be a lot of pressure to like, do it right, you know, either as the top as a bottom, a switch, whatever you are, but having friends who are also maybe interested in kind of exploring, and you can do the show and tell: here’s the pack of pervertables, I found in my house: here’s what I found in my house. And if you’re not doing it live, you can do it online and say, here’s how I might use that, here’s how I might use this, you know, get just get comfortable with the idea of playing and experimenting and sharing ideas. And then it sort of demystifies it in a different way. And I think… I think you feel a lot more empowered going into things when you’ve had an opportunity to share even with people that are at the same level of exploration as you are, in addition to meeting people that have more experience, right. So not thinking that you have to know it all to take a step in but actually taking your time and finding support where you can. Yeah, and there’s lots of places that I go with friends that I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t go on my own right. But I have a good time. Because if I’m going with someone that I already where I are enjoying their company, then I know regardless of what’s happening in that space, I’m going to have a good time and it helps, you know, manage some of those social anxiety. It also makes it easier to kind of venture out. So buddying up, I think it’s a great way.
Karen Yates: And I liked what you said about you know, sharing ideas in a way that’s casual in a noncharged atmosphere. That can be so like liberating for the self to like to be talking about sex and kink in an uncharged atmosphere. Like we’re just chatting about this every day thing, which, you know, society as it is right now. It’s not an everyday Conversation Starter, but to be in a community of openness that can be so wonderful and empowering to learn more about Elmo, Clarke and Diane, go to the show notes.
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- Elmo Painter-Edington – Somatic therapist and empowerment coach
- Diane Long – sex positive empowerment self-defense teacher
- Clark Hazel – nonbinary trans therapist licensed in OR and IL
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