Kink is becoming mainstream due to the overwhelming success of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy. Interested parties craving to learn more about the BDSM lifestyle have turned to A Touch of Flavor and its co-owner/organizer, Cassie, who answered a few questions about kink in an exclusive interview with the Sex and Relationships Examiner on Tuesday.
What exactly is kink? It isn’t a knot in your neck. Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary define kink as “unusual tastes in sexual behavior” of that what goes “beyond conventional sexual practices.” However, Cassie explained kink as a lifestyle and has co-developed educational seminars with other members of the kink community to explain this vast, and mysterious world of BDSM to newbies and help attendees “unleash your wild.”
Since 2008 Cassie has been providing kink sex-ed, which includes a variety of information such as various sexual techniques and advice to keep a couple’s sex life healthy after children. A Touch of Flavor was developed in large part due to the fictional and incomplete misinformation of kink on the Internet. With the success of the books and the anticipation of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie due out in February 2015, the popularity of kink has flourished with 90 percent of females surveyed deciding to join the last A Touch of Flavor event.
According to Cassie, who is not only a professional kink educator, but also engages in a full-time female-led Dominant/submissive relationship with her husband of nine years, people from “all walks of life” participate in A Touch of Flavor events. Following the seminars, attendees are asked to answer a few questions to better understand the crowd and learn if the presenters and classes were effective.
We have lots of monogamous lifestyles. More than 80 percent of attendees who came out to our last Touch of Flavor class were married, monogamous couples.
Cassie advises to take a class or attend the seminar to learn more about the kink lifestyle if it is of interest. As with the swinger lifestyle piece recently written, alternative lifestyles succeed as long as there is an open line of communication, which the co-founder of A Touch of Flavor reiterated in her explanation of kink.
You really want to make sure that your play is safe, sane and consensual. As with anything in life, you are not born knowing these skills. Communication is imperative and we are not born able to communicate clearly. Although classes might teach you the skills on how to tie someone or how to do a particular activity, the key aspect is communicating what you want and desire.
Cassie explained the ins-and-outs of kink and the roles vanilla people are familiar with, the subs and Doms. However, these are terms that do not have to be defined when entering into kink play and should be worked through as couples try different activities.
A lot of people assume that as soon as you start with these activities you have to have a role, and that is really not true. Everyone thinks the ‘Dom’ and ‘sub’ as being the end-all be-all, but there are those who like to switch roles. People don’t necessarily identify with either and just enjoy different types of kink. And that is perfectly fine and a wonderful place to be with exploring. It is really about taking the time to try things out and figure out what makes you happy.
Some members of the kink community enjoy a full-time experience and others do not. There are those who engage in play while on vacation and those who gradually move kink from the bedroom to their relationships. Cassie explained it is about finding what works for both people in the partnership. Participants that live kink 24/7 enjoy the clear definition of who is in charge, but it doesn’t interfere or overflow with family, work or other obligations according to Cassie.
Most of the people who engage in kink realize there are certain situations they can and cannot do. For example, even if there are protocols, for instance when a submissive walks in the room and greets the Dominant, there are very subtle cues that family or coworkers won’t recognize, but the participants do.
A Touch of Flavor has reignited the flickering flame of many. Cassie has had satisfied couples that have written in to say that the kink seminars have really helped save their spark. Why? As stated above, communication is a powerful component of kink, often prevalent in the early stages of a relationship and deficient in the latter years.
It isn’t just the activities that are fun, with Kink you have to communicate and voice an opinion. It gives us an excuse to ask, ‘Hey, what do you want?’ I think kink play enhances relationships because it encourages communication.
To learn more about the “Fifty Shades of Grey” lifestyle and the endless possibilities of BDSM play, visit A Touch of Flavor. The next kink event will be held July 4 through 7 at the Hunt Valley Inn in Baltimore, Maryland.