The ABC's of Sex-A Series: The Kinky ABC's

Let's face it, if the ABC's had been linked to sex and sexuality during our childhoods, it seems fair to theorize that we (as in the "greater we") would all be much more comfortable addressing topics involving our fantasies and desires related to sex and sexuality. I have been sitting on this idea for some time, and since it is a new year, and 2020 was a complete dumpster fire, I thought no better a time to put something in motion that is, in my mind, anyway, long overdue, and most importantly, FUN. A lack of fun and play distracts us all from connecting with ourselves the most, so what better time to talk about kink?! I, for one, cannot possibly think of one.


Using the ABC's as a map of sorts, I will take one letter a week and use it to define a word or concept pertaining to sex and/or sexuality in a manner that moves to be inclusive. I will do my utmost to provide information that is relevant in a way that embraces diversity including, but not limited to, sexuality and sexual functioning as it pertains to race, culture, spirituality, sexual orientation, gender identity, different levels and degrees of physical and intellectual abilities, different relationship structures, etc.

I will do my best to own my privileges and to make note of my biases as they emerge in their ever present human form. In the spirit of full-disclosure, though, my style is extremely direct on a good day and can appear clunky and hard-to-hear at baseline. I love to make friends and have long ago stopped being afraid of making enemies, particularly if it means being an advocate for sexual health and wellness. I move to be compassionate and simultaneously value and insist upon honesty even if it is brutal or painful at face-value. My core belief a a person, therapist, educator, woman is that a lack of transparency is a waste of time and a missed opportunity. I also recognize that my many privileges allow me this gift of this pellucidness of which I speak. I'm sure there will be more on that later, but for now, enough about me and my soapbox.


Without further adieu, it is my hope that this blog series will provide a broader concept of sex and sexual identity. If it accomplishes a sliver of this goal for at least one person, than I will consider myself successful. Let's face it, 2020 has been a year of less than lofty standards (at least for me anyway), and one of my goals for the new year is to be realistic with goals, large and small. So now let's get this part-ay started!!

A is for Arousal, of the sexual variety of course!! It is a mainstay concept in the office of a sex therapist and is showcased in countless variations. With arousal in mind, I feel compelled to pay homage and honor to the kinksters of the world, who happen to be near and dear to my heart. Kinky folx also make up a large segment of my practice as the certified sex therapist that I am.


With that said, it is my solemn belief, some people more open to admitting it than others, that we are all a little bit (OR A LOT) kinky. Everybody has a kink. PERIOD. Sure, some may not consciously recognize it until it is not-so-subtly pointed out (as has been known to happen in my office), but kinks I will always find when I ask the right questions (until I don't--but that has yet to happen and no I am not excluding asexual folx). Arousal is what gets us going, turns us on, revs our engines, gets us hot and bothered, makes us wants to "Netflix and chill" for the Milennials, sends us "Looking," causes us to "swipe right," and welp, if you haven't gotten the picture by now then we have to have another conversation. As I will discuss a little more later, arousal is not always sexual in nature.


A kink for all you folx who have yet to recognize your kinks (according to my said theory) is often recognized as an alternative sexual practice that falls OUTSIDE of the realm of what is commonly referred to as "vanilla sex." In my terms, kinkiness are sexual turn ons, objects/persons/situations/roles/etc of arousal that create that oh so horny feeling with a capital H. Kinks, also for my purposes, are objects/persons/situations/roles/etc that allow people to connect with deeply rooted parts of the self that may or may not be sexual although the kink community is commonly portrayed as such. The most common kinks that often serve as representations of the kink community include Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadochism and Masochism often referred to as BDSM. Although such practices certainly fall under the kinky realm, there is oh so much more to the kink world than the kinks that fall under the BDSM umbrella. With that said, I have decided to dedicate an entire version of the ABCs as part of this series, and in this case, this version of the ABC's is of the kinky variety.


For some, age play is part of negotiated scenes (like those that can be found in dungeons, play parties, sex clubs) that apply only to a certain context. For others, it is about a deeply felt identity and part/the core of who they are and allows them to relate to the world, their life, and potentially their partner(s) in sexual and non-sexual ways, and anywhere in between.


In terms of the dynamics that are involved in age play, some of the common representations include D-S in which dominant and submissive dynamics play a large role, Big-Little, which are often portrayed as Mommy/daddy/parent/caregiver, the Little role that is often composed of a child role that can take on any gender identity that a person identifies with, and a Little-Little duo in which both play/romantic/sexual partners. It isn't impossible to be a "switch" either which is relevant to people who connect with both their Big and Little identities, for example.


Age-play can be just that...play that does not have to be sexual and can be about emotional nurturing that leads to sexual gratification, or no sexual feelings at all. As is true of many kinks, I am of the strong opinion that our "sexual side" is symbolic of other parts of our character and sense of self. Those who allow themselves to engage in kinky personas and roles are often very creatively skilled in a way in which those who are less willingh/able to recognize or to engage in the kinks that are part and parcel part of who they are as a person. For example, a person integrating their Little identity into their life can have more to do with the need to separate work and play in a way that creates a very boundaries version of emotional balance. This could consist of watching cartoons and finger painting, while in a more sexual respect it could involved being reprimanded by their "Mommy," "Daddy," or any other preferred Big caregiver/partner, and spanked when misbehaving. Age-play could also consist of being spanked and restrained in a play space or dungeon, it could insist of Big-Little dynamics that involve a "puppy" and "handler." The possibilities are in fact quite limitless.


Side note: Speaking of boundaries...it is worth emphasizing that healthy kink play involves negotiation and clear communication around what consent means, what is comfortable, safe, and how it can be communicated clearly if/when things go too far. I make mention of this as it consent is imperative in the context of any sexual/emptional play, but because I far too often see folks taking, for example, engaging their dominant side too far without integrating consent with their partner(s) both in an emotional and sexual manner. Such an occurrence isn't a well-negotiated Dom-Sub relationship. Its toxic is what it is. 

Now...back to age-play--the kink of the day. A very important point to be aware of is that age-play means different things to different people. Sometimes it extends "outside of the bedroom." Such a scenario could consist of a negotiated power dynamic in which the Little seeks negotiated approval from their Big in all types of scenarios that may or may not be sexual in nature. Age players are more abundant than one might think and show up most commonly online identifying as ABDL (Adult Baby Diaper Lovers), and Dd/lg (Daddy Dom/little girl), but there are age players of all genders and a diversity of dynamics.


Most individuals I've met who identify as an ageplayer feel deeply connected to their age when in play space and relish the release and freedom that can come from embracing what is often considered, socially, a taboo side of themselves. I've met folx who would rather do nothing else than hang out in their diaper and revel in the freedom that exists for them in this nurtured state...Powerful, femme-identifying submissive that live to please their dominant partner domestically, and in the bedroom embrace their inner lioness...I've met otherwise insecure, relatively unassertive men that embrace their dominance by granting their partners permission to sexually play with other partners and find this practice healing...Puppies that love to play and feel a fulfilling sense of simultaneously being in control of boundaries and being controlled by their owner/handler...Bigs who grew up in homes absent of nurturing who live to care for their partner who is an AB/DL...Lesbian-identifying women who enjoy spanking to engage their playful side and do not connect this form of play in their sex play in any way. There are individuals who identify as littles, embracing their very young, child-like self in dress and demeanor and “middles” who age play as older ages like pre-teens and teens.



Whatever the preference of the age player, the role(s) they identity, whether they involve a partner or not, connect with age-play for sexual or non-sexual reasons...it is important to note that age-players are (in my experience) deeply emotional individuals who have a willingness and desire to connect with others in a way that often emphasizes trust, honesty, and open communication. If they are with partners that are not aware of such dynamics, much negotiation to integrate the age-players role in a safe and respectful way that works for all parties involved is essential for the functioning of the relational system. Age-players, like many other kinksters can be misunderstood and can be traumatized in the therapeutic context if they are not appropriately understood by the practitioner they are working with. If you are an age-player and would like some support, if you are a healthcare provider, partner of a person identifying as an age player, therapist who does not have experience working with those that engage in age-play/other kinks, I beg and beseech you to seek out a trained professional, ideally a certified sex therapist, that can take an informed, non-biased approach. There are far too many stories that have met my ear of those who have been traumatized and subjected menacingly to the prejudice of a world that is sometimes far too callous to understand that which appears to fall outside of the bell-curve. Today I honor the age players of the kink community and applaud you for the willingness to embrace an integral part of who you are.


I have included resources for age-players and their partners and for anyone who wishes to know more about this kink.

Resources:


















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