(NSFW) On Oct 20th, we held a dinner on “Sex & Taboo.” The topic ranged from what is taboo for us and for society, to how we start conversations that are stereotypically hard to have and discover or explore what excites us.
The following is a compilation of
1) sexy and kinky resources and research (9 links)
2) group takeaways, ideas, questions, etc (on why sex is taboo, respect, asking for what you want and more)
As you read, notice what is useful to you — notice what you disagree with, and where that disagreement is coming from. These takeaways are not meant to support one position or another, but as raw ingredients for new thoughts and reflections!
Places to learn more, explore, expand, find boundaries, get informed. NOTE: these are listed in order from so-called “more vanilla” to “more kinky” — I understand that there can be shyness or discomfort around these topics, and I figure I need to list it in some order anyway…
(Email me (Angela) with any suggestions — my gmail is angelaognev.)
How desire works, body exploration, communication, and more – Highlights from research- and story-based blog by Emily Nagoski, PhD — One of my favourite writers! The Dirty Normal
The Declaration of Sexual Rights – based on the declaration of human rights. Where do you root for them — and what parts might you rewrite? (Why?) World Sexology
Yes, No, Maybe – sexual inventory list for activities, fantasies, body boundaries, and experiences – Scarleteen
Shopping for sex toys, dinner-party-with-friends style – (Erin’s business!) — Lila Sutra
Candid, fun, relatively brief intro to Kink (BDSM and more) – Rookie Mag
Kink readings for therapists – Safe, Sane, and Consensual — Sex Geek
A collection of top kink resources, bloggers, books, ideas – Autostraddle
Social network for Kinksters, Fetlife — a place to meet, learn more, share art, read thoughts, connect — Fetlife
*In Fetlife, you can find the two main Singapore groups that hold munches (gatherings, usually over food, to talk about sex and kink. Become a member and look for U35 (Under 35) and SGDomsubs (which stands for Dominant, Submissive).
*Apparently, there are/were 30+ groups in Singapore, but I’m unclear as to how many of these are active. Look for specific topics and interests here – Find A Munch
Singapore Learn & Play! Discussions and workshops around kinkier topics. The forum discussions are open at all, but to join in a workshop, you’ll have to first attend a munch so the organisers can meet you. It’s good to bring your partner! This helps them create a safe space for learning and playing for all. SLAP!
*Basically, join Fetlife.com and explore!
TAKEAWAYS & QUESTIONS
*Decide to make the thoughts below useful to you. Notice what excites and intrigues you — notice what you passionately disagree with and why that is. These are all jumping off points for reflection, rather than “truths.”
Why is sex taboo?
We don’t talk about sex because we assume others are not open. If we talk and they aren’t open, they might judge us as perverse, provocative, immature, ignorant, disrespectful, rebellious, etc.
The norm of taboo has changed over time. For example, oral sex used to be a fringe activity, not very common, not appropriate for wives, promiscuous, but it is not considered more of a vanilla practice.
Maybe taboo stems from secrecy — the husband who sees sex workers keeps it from his wife and from his friends. He will, or assumes he will, face reputation costs if he shares his activities.
What is taboo for you? What do you believe is taboo for society? (Make sure to define society and who is included in it!)
Sex & respect
We don’t talk about sex in some relationships because there of respect. Is the discussion of sex, the concept of the senual, sexual language, or humor inherently disrespectful?
What are acceptable forms of sexiness? When are there acceptable times — such as Halloween? What’s the significance of sexiness sometimes between unacceptable?
Do you feel different discussing personal sex with strangers, acquaintances, friends, peers, partners, communities? What makes one person/group different from another? What assumptions are you making of them?
Asking & exploring
When we ask for something and are rejected, we may feel a sense of guilt or self-judgement — who am I for wanting this? Where are those judgements coming from? How do you want to move forward?
When asking for a fantasy, remember the why — it’s likely I don’t want that specific fantasy, so much as I want to be excited by my partner. “It really excites me when you…” “I read about something that really aroused me — could I share it with you?”
How do you ask for what you want? Where do you hesitate?
Any response to our request is an opportunity to explore further.
Bring up old conversations, keep redesigning what’s most exciting — notice how your desires may shift over time.
Ask from a place of wholeness, excitement, desire, exploration — rather than a place of neediness or entitlement.
It works for me if requests are the norm — either partner can share what excites them and invite the other partner to experiment. The partner can explore further, or say no, not now. “I really enjoy talking about sex with you. Could we make it the norm to explore it once in a while, when it’s a good, relaxing moment?”
Make asking and conversation around sex a habit. It has momentum. It takes less friction to start.
What would this conversation look like with more playfulness and lightness? With more conscientiousness or care?
Boundaries & healthy kink
Where do you define your boundaries (or fantasies) based on other people?
How do you define your boundaries? How do you expose yourself to what might excite you?
Boundaries can also be the range of what’s exciting or arousing — there is space for some sexiness to be neither wanted nor rejected.
There are boundaries such as hard limits — edges that we don’t care to cross. Circumstances in which we want to always say no.
What’s the difference between healthy and unhealthy kink?
I only want to have sex with someone that I know — I feel that sex always has some bit of objectification, because it is a different and more carnal experience, so I’d like to know the relationship can “contain” that objectification.
Should you be willing to have what you want to do to others… done to you? Could you have a relationship where each person has a different role, and that role never changes or balances — such as one dominant and one submissive partner?
What is selfish sex?
When do you act (or do not act) out of insecurity? For example, having sex primarily as a way of validating your own self-worth.
What is the difference between recreational kink and an addiction to kink? When is it a choice (to explore, enjoy, create intimacy, experience, etc ), and when is it to fulfil another psychological or emotional need?
Shyness with fantasy
I’m shy with my fantasy because I worry that my partner doesn’t have the same desires. What if they see me in a different light? What if what I want is unusual… weird?
I have rape fantasies. A desire to be held down, touched roughly, “used,” intensely and animalistically wanted. Is that uncommon?
Fantasies are in my own space of comfort and consent — even in fantasies where I am “taken advantage of,” I am the one in control, because I am creating the story.
The big question: “Am I normal?”
What if it didn’t matter whether or not we were “normal”?
SEE YOU SOON — our next dinners will be posted here: http://yes.cutthesmalltalk.com/dinners/