Finding a Kinky Partner - Part I
by Tamar Kay
Copyright © Tamar Kay.
This article begins a discussion
of how you might go about finding a kinky partner, now that you've
decided you want one. Since this discussion will take longer
than a single article will allow, this article starts a short
Please understand that this article,
like all my articles, is a reflection of my experience and discussions
with other people, and may or may not be useful to you. I suggest
that you read this article--and all material about relationships--with
a critical eye. Only you can decide what works for you.
Finding a kinky partner can be
quite a challenge, since you may have already eliminated most
people you're likely to run across as potentials. But it can
The first thing to do is to become
as clear as you can about who you are, and what you want. This
is especially important when you're looking to match interests
with a potential partner.
There are a number of ways that
people describe their kinky interests. I'm going to offer a few
of the standard ones and then one of my own. Like any set of
attributes, these are simplifications and generalizations that
at best only sketch your areas of interest, but this can be a
good place to begin.
If you're just starting in the
scene, you may not be able to come to clear conclusions all at
once-- that's all right. Give yourself time to learn who you
are in this arena.
Charting your interests
For the following three categories,
I suggest you try rating yourself from 0-10, where 0 means "not
at all interested," 10 means "yes, definitely, and
a lot," and 5 means that you can take it or leave it, or
that you're not sure. Feel free to give yourself a range of numbers.
Dominance and Submission, or
"D/S": Power exchange, that is, having power over someone,
or giving someone else power over you, usually in an erotic context.
Sadomasochism or "SM":
Giving or receiving pain for some form of pleasure.
Sex: How often do you want it?
Does your kinky activity need to include sex? Are you straight,
gay, bi, or unsure? You may find your definitions vary depending
on the activity and your partner. (Some people, for example,
describe themselves as "SM-bi" even if they normally
consider themselves straight or gay.)
Relationships: Do you want an
exclusive relationship, or an open one? One partner or many?
(The two previous questions are not the same. There are those
who have fidelities relationships with more than one partner.)
Tamar's "Need and Desire"
Your level of kinky "need
and desire" can affect what you do and look for in a partner.
I developed this scale to help people rate their interest level
with regard to D/S and SM. I find it very useful when discussing
partner matching issues and possibilities.
I divide intensity of "need
and desire" into four categories. This is how I apply those
categories to an interest in D/S and SM: Category 0: No interest
or enjoyment of D/S or SM. Also described as "vanilla."
Category 1: Enjoys D/S and/or
SM activities as an addition to other sexual activities, as part
of a repertoire. Could make do without such activities without
Category 2: Enjoys D/S and/or
SM activities as a major component of sex and would be unhappy
to be without these activities.
Category 3: Requires D/S and/or
SM activities in order to be sexually fulfilled, such activities
and/or perspectives being defining factors in their lives. These
are often (but not always) those who will say they are at the
"lifestyle" end of the spectrum.
You might ask yourself which
category you best fit into. If you meet someone you're interested
in, you may also want to ask them. Mismatched interest levels
can lead to problems. For example, a category three is unlikely
to feel fulfilled in a monogamous relationship with a category
Think about what's important
to you, what you need and want, and what you can compromise on.
The better you know yourself, the better luck you'll have finding
someone to share your interests. Next month: now that I've got
you thinking about you, let's talk about the person you're looking
Copyright © Tamar Kay.
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