[Guest Post] Kink in Context by Quenby

It’s time for another guest post and I’m delighted to be bring you another piece from Quenby (they/them) who has written for me before and always has such great things to say. Today, they’re exploring the limits of “your kink is not my kink but your kink is okay.”

Remember: you can always chip in via the tip jar to help me keep commissioning awesome guest writers.

Amy x

Kink in Context by Quenby

“Your Kink Is Not My Kink, And That’s Okay.” This concept has become an article of faith within the kink community, a rallying cry of mutual acceptance. And I think the basic idea behind it – that we shouldn’t shame people simply because they have kinks we don’t – is sound. But it’s often used to shut down any criticism of people within the kink community. And that is a dangerous situation in any community, and particularly for marginalised people within that group.

Kink is a distinct subculture, with its own behavioural norms and distinct culture. But any subculture exists within the context of the wider culture it’s embedded in, so it os not isolated from the issues which affect the dominant culture[*]. So kinks are connected to mainstream culture, they often play with the idea of taboo (i.e. relating to social norms by violating them). And that means we need to think about how our kinks can reinforce the existing problems in our culture.

This isn’t exactly a new idea. There are countless pieces out there discussing whether you can be a submissive and a feminist (spoiler alert, yes you can). Last year the iconic Sinclair Sexsmith wrote about the issues of Master-slave dynamics in a world where racism and slavery are very real issues. 

Personally, it’s feminisation which hits the hardest. Seeing a cis man feminised as a way to humiliate him hits a little too close to home. At its worst, it feels like this reproduces trans trauma for the entertainment of people who will never actually have to live with this. Yet I know several people who worked out they were trans through this kink. And when it’s done by trans people to reclaim power over their trauma, it’s a very different situation.

This piece mostly deals with these questions in the abstract, so what does this look like in a practical sense? Let’s take a relatively simple example, I really love it when a partner refers to me as a filthy slut. Part of the reason that’s hot to me is the taboo, the way it degrades me for violating the social norm of “you shouldn’t be slutty”. But if you’re not careful, using this language in a kink context can normalise using it more broadly, and reinforce the slutshaming within our society.

There’s a conversation connected to this around reclaiming language (for example, The Ethical Slut reframes the word “slut” as something which isn’t inherently negative,) but a big part of this is how we behave outside of kink. I would never allow someone to call me a slut in a kink context if they also used it as a derogatory term in real life, and for me that’s an important distinction to make.

I don’t have all the solutions here. There aren’t simple answers of “this kink is wrong”, or “you have to engage in kink in this particular way”. How to engage with a culture without reproducing its harmful elements is a very complex question. But I’m pretty sure that the answer isn’t to simply ignore how kink can reinforce and normalise real social issues, or excuse the harm this can do to real people for fear of kink shaming. 

Perhaps all I can ask is for people to think about what they’re doing. To look at the kinks they engage with and consider how these relate to the real world – the privileges they possess within this context and the unintended consequences on people around them. It’s not easy. In the “filthy slut” example alone, I found so much to unpack from three simple syllables. Thinking about how this applies to the intricacy of different kinks is a daunting task. But these are questions we need to be asking.

Bias, privilege, and marginalisation are built into our society, as a part of that society each of us carries these problems within us. This is not done equally, some of us try to address internalised biases while others embrace them. But we are all, on some level, part of the problem. And we all need to be part of the solution.

[*] The mainstream culture which dominates society, not the culture of Doms

Quenby is a queer perfomer, writer, and activist. If you liked this post you can check out their blog, or follow them on FB and Twitter @QuenbyCreatives.

5 Reasons I Like Pain Play

You absolutely don’t have to like pain to do BDSM. There are plenty of kinky things you can do that don’t involve pain play at all! I don’t have a particularly high pain threshold, but I do like a little bit of ouch with my kink.

Just for fun, I wanted to share a few reasons why.

I like a challenge

Not always, but sometimes I enjoy being pushed close to my limit with pain play. I enjoy the challenge and the sense of accomplishment.

It’s a bit like pushing yourself through the last half-mile of a particularly intense run, only a lot more fun. (I fucking hate running. Pain play scenes are my answer to marathons!)

I like taking pain for someone else

Ultimately, my sexual partners only hurt me in bed because I want them to. (Otherwise, that would be abuse!) But I also enjoy the feeling of taking something to please a dominant partner. That fulfills my service submissive side.

It gets me out of my head

One of the reasons I like sex in general and kink more specifically is because it pulls me out of my head. As a writer, an anxious person, and an overthinker, I am very in my head much of the time. Just the right level of sexy pain can quiet down all the noise in my brain and it’s fucking blissful.

It gets me into a submissive headspace

Physical sensations can help us get into a particular mental zone, and pain inflicted by a dominant partner is one of the best ways to get me into a submissive headspace.

I think this is connected to the above point about getting out of my head. It makes my mind go quiet and helps me tap into feelings of submission and vulnerability.

I literally don’t know, I just do

Sometimes kinks just are what they are. There isn’t always a strong reason I can identify why I like a particular sensation. It just… feels good, gets me wet, and gets me off.

And sometimes that’s enough!

If you’re into pain play, do these reasons speak to you? If not, what questions do you have about the combination of pain and pleasure?

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Edge Play: How to Safely Experiment with Darker Kinks

“Don’t worry about the darkness in my soul. It ignites me like an embered coal.”
– Anon

I’ve written before about the darkness we all have within us somewhere, and the ways in which I feel it is important to honour the dark parts of ourselves rather than running from them. I believe that consensual kink is one of the places that we can safely revel in our darkness in a controlled and safe way.

I’m deliberately not defining what a “dark kink” is here, because it’s different for everyone. One person’s hardcore edge play is another person’s average Friday night. If you’re playing around your edges, you’re doing edge play, and this advice will be useful to you.

Ensure your partner is enthusiastic about going there with you

Consent is always vital, of course. But it takes on a new level when you’re experimenting with your edges or your darkness. Edge play is inherently risky – even if there’s limited physical danger, it’s entirely possible for someone to end up triggered or traumatised.

This applies to Tops, too, by the way. Tops get to give or withhold consent just as much as bottoms do – and Tops can also be traumatised by engaging in something that they’re not fully consenting to or something that goes wrong.

Practice RACK

Risk-aware consensual kink, or RACK, acknowledges that we cannot eliminate all risks inherent in sex and BDSM. But we can take steps to understand and mitigate them.

So if you’re going to try something edgy, take the time to understand the physical, mental, and emotional risks in what you want to do. Once you understand them, put

By the way: when you start doing this, you might decide the reality is too risky and you’d like to keep this kink as fantasy-only, for now or forever. That’s fine too – you get to pull the plug at any stage.

Have an aftercare plan

Don’t try edge play or a kink that’s straying into darker territory for you the night before a big meeting or an early start or a long drive. Ideally, if you’re going to experiment with edgier kinks, it’s best to do so when you’ll have plenty of time to recover, take things very easy, and take care of yourself.

Talk to your partner about an aftercare plan ahead of time. Ensure they’re fully briefed on what you’re likely to need and willing to provide it – and willing to adapt on the fly if the reality turns out to be slightly different.

A good aftercare plan might involve a long sleep, time to cuddle and debrief with your partner, and your favourite snacks within easy reach. Remember that drop from an intense scene can hit several days later, so plan how you’ll handle it if that happens.

Take it slowly

It’s always better to come away from a scene still wanting more than to come away upset or traumatised because you went too far. Remember that there will always be a next time.

Take things slowly, check in often, and don’t try to do everything all at once. If you’re experimenting with a new kink that’s edgy for you, maybe start out just by reading some erotica together or doing some dirty talk around it. When you do start playing, only go as far as feels good… and try to stop before you hit the “shit, we went too far” point.

Get some advice and do your research

Almost any kinky thing you want to do, I guarantee that someone else has already done it and probably created a tutorial on it. So do your research, learn as much as you can, and if possible get some advice from an expert. Many local kink clubs and swing venues hold tutorials on how to do various kinky activities safely (outside of pandemic times, obviously) – and you can also find endless resources online.

Other people’s experiences can’t prepare you for every single eventuality, but they can give you more context, help you think through how you’d handle various scenarios, and show you some of the common pitfalls to be aware of.

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[Guest Post] How I Accidentally Brought Out the Kink in My Vanilla Partner by Erato Feistein

Today’s guest post is from a new-to-C&K writer, Erato Feistein (she/her.) I love this piece because I’ve always dated other already-kinky people, so a story about introducing kink to a previously-vanilla partner is quite a different story! What I love about this piece is that it didn’t require the relationship to get to crisis point before kink was introduced to “save” it, and no-one cheated or did anything shitty. It’s a lovely example of how communication, honesty, and vulnerability can take a relationship from great to amazing.

I’ll hand you over to Erato. And if you want to write for me, check out the pitch guidelines.

Amy x

How I Accidentally Brought Out the Kink in My Vanilla Partner by Erato Feistein

Whenever I begin exploring sex with a new person, I am always nervous to go all-out with my desires. I wonder if my partner will be able to accept my sexual desires. I be perceived as “freaky” or “sex-crazed”? How do I introduce my kinks to them and will they receive them with an open mind? 

Kink shaming is very real, especially in countries where sex education is not valued. As a child in Eastern Europe, my only conversation about sex included my aunt demonstrating how to properly put on a condom using a desk reading lamp. I had never heard girls or women openly talk about sexual pleasure until I was in my 20s. A friend of mine, left wanting more from her partner, asked me “Will he always be this vanilla? When does it get spicy?” 

It takes a level of trust to confide your sexy secrets to your new partner. Sometimes, your kinks don’t match up with theirs. It can be hard to find romantic partners who share our ideas of great sex. But chances are, your partner(s) are aching to please you. It’s just a matter of open communication. 

When I started dating my current boyfriend a year ago, we didn’t talk about our sex life. I had accepted our conventional coitus and didn’t bring up anything that could be considered a “deviation” from it. He seemed to be enjoying it, so I didn’t want to disappoint him by voicing that I needed more. I didn’t bring it up for a couple of months, until I decided to weave in some kink references into our conversations to see what kind of reaction I would get out of him. 

Almost as a joke, I suggested that we take the BDSM test as an informal reference point for our preferences. While my results were a colourful mix of masochist, rope bunny, experimentalist and switch, his results came out as mostly vanilla. 

As we are in a monogamous relationship, finding sexual pleasure elsewhere was out of the question. So we sat down to have the anticipated conversation about how we can both be sexually satisfied, without overstepping each other’s boundaries. This got us talking about our desires, fantasies, and favorites in sex. To my pleasant surprise, he was really interested in the things that turned me on, even if those included rope play, for example – something he had never tried before. We talked over the things we would never do (hard limits) and set up clear parameters for the things we were willing to try together. 

Honestly, I was not expecting this conversation to go so smoothly and for him to be so open to exploring new things for us to try. So far so good. But was he actually willing to do those things, or was he just fascinated by the variety of kinks and fetishes that exist? Well, let’s just say that the next time we had sex he tied up my wrists and ankles with my satin scarves and even choked me a little bit! The next time, he poured hot candle wax on me. I would say it was significantly less vanilla than our usual sex play. 

I recognized my partner’s efforts to adhere to my sexual desires and that in itself was a huge turn-on. Since he was actively trying to understand my wants and needs, I made sure to check in with him and ask him if it was something enjoyable for him, too. I worried if he was going too far out of his comfort zone to please me without finding pleasure for himself. Many of the things we were trying out were brand new to him. 

When I asked how he felt about the kinks we had incorporated, he told me he was actually surprised how much he liked it! 

In our daily lives, I am certainly the more dominant one – very outspoken and sometimes a bit controlling. As he tends to be more laid-back and reserved in his day-to-day, he said exploring dominance and kink in our sex life has been refreshing for him. It is a space where he can safely delve into another version of himself. Being dominated and degraded tends to have the same effect for me – I can release the need to control the situation and allow myself to be vulnerable under someone else’s authority. In a way, this power shift teaches both of us about the spectrum of our emotions and characters. 

So it turns out, my partner is not so vanilla after all. We just needed some open communication to build that level trust in our relationship to experiment sexually. Our conversations and ventures into kink have opened up a whole new world of ideas in our relationship. We have both found new things that turn us on and work for us. 

While I realize this is certainly not the case for every sexual partnership, educating each other and talking openly about our wants and needs in sex opened up my partner to the world of kink, which has definitely been a positive shift in both our sex life and our relationship. 

About the Author

Author pic for Erato Feistein

Erato Feistein is a freelance writer, photographer and digital marketer in the daytime. At night, she comes alive with the desire to share her erotic tales with the world. While she is new to the field of sex writing, she hopes to share her personal experiences with other open-minded people and, in turn, both teach and learn a thing or two about kink and sex. Outside of her daily digital life, she loves to climb cliffs (preferably with rope), experiment in the kitchen, and go on long, romantic walks on the beach with her dog, Ella.

[Impact Toy Review] Sportsheets Vegan Saffron Layer Paddle

(I hope it goes without saying that what follows is a personal stance only, and I cast absolutely no judgement on people who make different choices – ethics are complex, personal, and multi-faceted, and we should all trust one another to make the best decisions for ourselves and our circumstances.)

I’ve mentioned before that I have complicated feelings about leather as a material. I love the look, the feel, the smell… but it also poses an ethical dilemma. I don’t eat meat and have recently been changing aspects of my diet to move closer to veganism, and for a long time I’ve only purchased vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics. So if I don’t eat animals, is it ethical to wear or use products made from them?

Even though leather is a meat industry byproduct (kind of, it’s actually more complex than that), I still worry that buying it supports that industry – even indirectly. The process of leather tanning is also environmentally problematic… though so are many leather alternatives made from polyurethane and similar plastic-based materials.

There are no easy answers to any of this, and I don’t have a hard and fast personal stance on leather for myself yet. I’m leaning towards continuing to love and use what I already own, but not buying any more new items. But that could change.

I share all this to provide a little context to my interest in faux-leather, leather-alternative, and vegan-friendly kink gear. Like this Saffron Layer Paddle from Sportsheets that I’m reviewing today, courtesy of my new friends at Self&More – a woman-owned, gender-inclusive and body-positive sex shop.

Sportsheets Saffron Layer Paddle

The Saffron Layer Paddle comes from Sportsheets’ Saffron range of vegan faux-leather kink products in black and red. It features three layered straps which are coated in fuzzy suede-like material (also vegan) on one side. The stitching is strong and holds up under use.

Vegan paddle from Sportsheets - Saffron Layer Paddle

The paddle is black and red, which are pretty much the quintessential “kink colours”. The outward facing surfaces are red, and the front side of the handle features a polka dot design.

The Saffron Layer Paddle features a loop handle which you can wrap around your wrist while you’re wielding the paddle, or use to hang it for convenient storage. A small tag bears the Sportsheets insignia.

Saffron Layer Paddle vegan BDSM toy

This paddle is 12.2″ long from tip to tip, and 2″ across. It’s super light, which makes it comfortable to hold and easy to wield. I don’t really top very often but on the rare occasions I do, I like toys that I can use until my bottom has had enough (as opposed to when my weak arms give out!)

Its Bark is Worse than Its Bite…

This probably isn’t a paddle for serious pain players, as the impact it delivers is on the gentler side. Pro tip: if you hit with the longest layer impacting the body first, you get a more impressive sting. The impact is pretty surface-level. Since the paddle is so light, you’re unlikely to get any significant thud out of it.

Vegan leather BDSM paddle from Sportsheets Saffron faux leather range

This is one of those paddles that sounds worse than it is. Thanks to the three layers smacking together, it provides a loud and satisfying THWACK even without putting much force behind it. If you’re looking for something that sounds impressive without needing to actually hit very hard, layered paddles are the way to go!

Safety Considerations

Paddles are one of the safest impact toys you can play with (floggers are slightly more dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, and whips are yikes-just-don’t-go-there-without-expert-tuition!) You’re really unlikely to do any damage with a light paddle like this one, so you can play without worrying – even if you’re a complete beginner.

Just remember the golden rules: never hit the joints, spine, lower back and kidney area, head, or face. Aim for fleshy and padded areas like the butt, thighs, and shoulder blades.

Verdict

This is a well-made and reliable basic piece that will serve you well and last a long time if you take care of it. If you’re new to kink or prefer playing on the lighter side and are looking for a vegan-friendly paddle, this is a solid buy.

The Sportsheets Saffron Layer Paddle retails for £24. You can also get 10% off any order at Self&More using my code:

Thanks to Self&More for sending me this product to review. All views, as always, are my own. Shopping using my affiliate links makes me a small commission at no extra cost to you.

[Guest Post] How I Found My Femininity Through Inflation by Astra Ebonwing

I commissioned this piece way back in November, and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you as the first guest post of 2021. When Astra (she/her) pitched me this idea, I was immediately excited because it represented an opportunity to learn about a kink with which I’m almost entirely unfamiliar.

But this piece is much more than just a story about an unusual kink. It’s also a powerfully personal tale of transition, growing into an identity, and falling in love with femininity.

This is quite a long one, but so fascinating. I invite you to grab a mug of something and savour it.

As always, if you want to help me keep bringing awesome guest bloggers to you, supporting via the tip jar is the best way to do that!

Amy x

How I Found My Femininity Through Inflation by Astra Ebonwing

Transition is a Frightening Experience

I remember the day I got my first prescription for estrogen and spironolactone, the two main drugs used to transition from male to female. My doctor was in a flurry, writing medical notes that were complete bullshit.

“Your heart rate is too high and you need spironolactone to calm it. And then, an application of estrogen will ensure it does not drop too low,” she said to me as she was writing. “Yes, I’m making all of this up so your insurance doesn’t reject the request.”

When I told her my insurance actually did cover the drugs, she was flabbergasted. Very few types of insurance cover transition willingly. In 2007, there were even less options than there are today. She corrected the notes, still worried, but one hour later I walked out of the pharmacy with pills in hand. I was triumphant, but I knew I was about to follow a path of hardship. I’d have to be in public in women’s clothing. I had to master makeup, something I still struggled with at the time. I also had to walk through “the in-between,” that period of time where you look like a weird blob that doesn’t quite match to male or female clothes. The time when you wonder, “Do I look good enough to sit in the women’s bathroom and not scare the hell out of someone?”

I drove home with all of these thoughts in my head, took my first dose, and then grabbed the balloons out from under my bed. I stuck them in my bra, shoved my pillow under my clothing to puff up my stomach, and I snuggled up on my couch and turned on the TV.

In a flash, I went from a thin man to a maternal, very pregnant woman. I cherished my stomach, oversized breasts, and hips. I no longer felt frightened or scared. Every concern in my mind stopped.

This was me. This was who I was.

I closed my eyes and cried. I knew I had found the Goddess within myself. I used to fear my balloons and out-of-proportion self as much as I loved them. I felt like an outsider who had this weird passion of being in a very specific body that I didn’t think others would understand. I was scared someone would find out and that it would ruin my professional career.

But in that moment, I finally accepted myself. The look no longer felt like I was doing something dirty. I realized during that quiet time in my apartment that I was actually about to experience my own kink.

Parts of me were actually about to inflate – and inflate they did.

What IS Inflation Kink?

Look, I get that we’re not the largest or most well-known group of kinksters, so I thought I’d better include a section of explanation so everyone is on the same page with what this kink is and what it is not. We have, unfortunately, a lot of unique terms.

Inflation kink, otherwise known as expansion, is a sexual desire focused on the concept of “inflating” or growing parts of your body in some way. Expansion is an umbrella term for our kink, as it splits down into specific “shapes” of change in the body. “Full Body” is when a character becomes completely round like a balloon, “Hyper Hourglass” is an expansion of just the hips and breasts, “Hyper Preg” focuses on breasts and belly, “SSBBW” is short for “super-sized big beautiful woman” and you can easily guess what that is, “Weight Gain” focuses on literal weight gain, and finally, “Inflatables” are folks who want to be changed into big pool toys that are also, of course, inflated with air or a gas.

The growth always has a macguffin that works as a trigger for the scene. It could be as simple as a potion, a curse, or a piece of candy, or as complicated as a special machine or magical statue. At this point we introduce the medium, or the way the character is being changed. We can either grow naturally, where our bodies are just generating fat deposits like any normal growth, or be “inflated” (there’s the origin of the name) with gas, liquid, slime, etc. Different folks have different preferences for mediums. One may love the concept of a character floating in the air from taking too much helium, while another may enjoy the weight of water.

Scenes can be solo, where a participant chooses to change their own body, or between an inflator/inflatee, where one person causes the change and the other accepts it. This is the part that most kinky people will begin to understand: the power dynamics between inflator and inflatee. Inflator usually takes on the role of the Dominant, while the inflatee is usually the submissive. It doesn’t always work like that, of course, but that’s the most common dynamic.

Instead of restraints, like ropes or bondage equipment, we are our own restraint. By changing our bodies, we usually don’t move so well. Characters might get stuck in doors, rip out of clothing, squish into rooms that are simply too small, or the addition of gas or liquid in our limbs might keep us from bending. Of course, bondage can easily be added to our kink, so people are stuck not just due to the inflation, but also restrained by rope, cuffs, or other bondage equipment. While we can deal with pain in the kink, it’s usually overlooked and replaced by intense pleasure through change. Instead, many of us focus on internal pressure. 

Everyone has a limit to how much they can be filled, and the character will feel that pressure rising and rising. The symbolism here is obvious: it’s a visual and internal orgasm. The timing of the final rush is usually centered on where the character finds their limit. Here we have two branching choices: stay safe in which the character orgasms and stops their growth, or pop where the character orgasms and “explodes” simultaneously. Many inflationist characters simply reform in some way, back down to their original size, and are ready to ride again.

Many of our pieces feature otherworldly elements, from fantasy to sci-fi. Very rarely are we grounded in reality: Our kink simply can’t function without the suspension of disbelief.

Practicing our kink in real life is done through various pieces of prop work, which we call rigs. Injecting fluid or gas into your body via any means is extremely dangerous, and therefore many of us stay away from that. Instead, the rig is created with multiple pieces of clothing layered together with a balloon or inflatable underneath. Some folks have the money to go further, using transgender silicone skin tops or bottoms so it looks like a person is actually inflating and can be nude. Otherwise, we’re clothed or use props that match skin tone.

Inflation is Based in Nature and Instinct

There are a lot of transgender inflationists. And I mean a LOT. In helping run SizeCon, the only adult convention dedicated to our niche kink, I was surrounded by more transgender women than I ever had been in my life.

Yet is any of that surprising? Our kink is based in change and transition. Inflation can be about the end state, sure, but so many of our stories and thoughts focus on the process. The tightness of the clothing as it strains around the person, seams popping, characters falling on their rears due to their inflation – all of that is visual change.

We, as transgender people, change. This kink is in many way a reflection of what many of us experience in our lives. And you may have noticed a lot of my recollections focus on feminine physical assets over male-coded assets. This is what I believe the core of my kink comes from. It is, in many ways, the celebration of femininity or maternity. Our puberty and our hormones change our bodies, grow our breasts, add that soft layer of fat to cushion us for a future of maybe producing a child.

It was wild for me to watch my chest grow, feel my skin get softer, and squeeze my growing rear into my skinny jeans. It was everything I had practiced in my kink for years and years, and it was legitimately happening to me.

Inflation kinksters love all shapes and sizes. Your body, no matter the form it takes, is beautiful. I remember that feeling of societal pressure to be that “perfect woman,” as so many transgender women feel, but I was able to apply my kink to dilute that poison. I was happy with how I looked, be it a large pregnant woman or a small, pencil-ish nerd. I had the power to tell society to screw off because that was not what I wanted. This supermodel image was, and still is, not my desire.

For Love, Cuddles, and Science

When I returned to the inflation kink in the hellish year of 2020, the community had changed. Originally, when I admitted to other artists and writers that I was transgender, traffic to my stuff super slowed down. Back in the early 2000s, our kink was like 90-95% male. Upon returning to our community last year, the split had severely changed. We are now closer to 60% male and 40% female, and we are immersed between the LGBTQIA+ and Furry communities. We went from “I don’t understand a transgender experience” to “Psh, welcome to the club.”

Body positivity had flourished while I was gone. It made perfect sense for us. We’re bouncy, a little hyperactive, and ready to squish into someone. Size only mattered if the word was “bigger.” We also finally united with the Giant and Tiny (think Lilliputian) kinks, forming the new “size community.”

The people whom I have met and worked with this year have astounded me. Their artistry and understanding of proportion and perspective is deep. One of my artist friends told me, “You can’t do inflation unless you understand our basic proportions.” He’s right. You need to know the basics before you can take them to extremes.

My friends are doctors, lawyers, retail workers, white-collar professionals like myself, cooks, game designers, research scientists, psychologists… So many of us just spout amazing knowledge of our basic biology. The community even has a scientific inside joke: the infamous Square Cube Law. The larger your volume, the more difficult you are to cool. Elephants actually have this problem: they are so large that their internal temperature can dangerously rise. This is why they blow water out of their trunks onto their bodies frequently, or roll in dirt. So, if you applied that to a giantess or an inflationist… well it can’t work. We damn this scientific law with laughter. Our community loves our knowledge of ourselves.

The personas we emulate are at the core of who we are. Care-free, loving individuals who love to squish or be squish hugged by our friends. Our characters hold devious smiles and throw their worries and cares to the wind. We love to change.

I know I loved my change. My emotions emerged, my depression subsided, and I am stuffed full of creativity. I joke that I’m “pregnant with ideas, I just gotta figure out birth.” Even that is an embrace of my internal feminine self. I never would have said that years ago. I would have been scared out of my mind to even admit that I felt like I was female.

Inflation showed me that I can love myself and be proud of my body. I don’t have to feel like I’m doing something wrong or bad, like I was trained to feel. My wife noticed it, actually. She always tells me, “You stand up straighter when you look bigger than 9 months. Your stance shifts. You’re confident.” She’s right. I finally do feel confident.

Throughout all of this, one thing stayed the same: our passion for feminine curves. I specifically never mentioned that back in 2006, when our community was male-dominated, a lot of the artists weren’t frightened of things like male pregnancy, or a man inflating and gaining feminine-coded traits like prominent breasts or soft skin. They were ready back then, just as they are now, to embrace that femininity within all of us.

We just have to be willing to listen to it.

About the Author

Astra Ebonwing is a professional writer, game designer, and video game producer. Her fiction work has been published in major video games such as Batman: Arkham City, F.E.A.R. Online, EVE Online, and others. She is honored to have contributed to iconic characters such as Wonder Woman and Superman. In the kink space, she is an inflation model and writer, with a new kink-based tabletop RPG debuting in 2021 called Wicked Wonders. When not inflating or playing a game, she can be found hugging cats, performing her duties as a Wiccan priestess, or joining live action role playing games throughout the United States. Follow her on Twitter and DeviantArt.

[Game Review] “Bondage Seductions”

There are a number of things that are consistently more appealing in theory than in reality. One such concept? Sex games. Buckle in, folks – it’s #12DaysofLovehoney Day 5, and we’re looking at Bondage Seductions, a sex game by Kheper Games. (Check out the whole series here.)

Dear God, where to start?

Bondage Seductions is a sex game for couples. It retails for £19.99 at Lovehoney. The game arrives in a small square box, and inside you’ll find:

  • 36 game cards
  • A pair of silky “ties” (lengths of ribbon)
  • 2 dice
  • A red elasticated blindfold
  • A mini rubber flogger
Bondage Seductions sex game box

The quality of these items is… Not Great. The flogger looks shoddily made and the materials of the ties and blindfold look and feel cheap. The cards are contain the same copy in four languages (English, German, French, and Spanish.) I can’t speak for any of the other languages, but the English passages are poorly written and feature frequent typos and weird syntax.

Not a great first impression, but let’s keep going.

How it’s played

The rules are simple: roll the 2 dice, and choose the corresponding numbered card (they are numbered 1-1 through 6-6 – the red die indicate the first number, the black die the second number.)

Contents of Bondage Seductions couples sex game

Cards in red are “for her to read,” and cards in black are “for him to read” (more on that in a minute.) You read your chosen scenario and then act it out, using the included props as appropriate.

How is it problematic? Let me count the ways…

First, this game gets its terminology all wrong. Which might seem like a small thing, but is actually a big deal.

“Bondage” is not a synonym for “BDSM” or “kinky sex”. Bondage is one specific kink: restraining other people and/or being restrained. This game should be called “Kinky Seductions” or something, because most of it doesn’t involve bondage. Again: stop using “bondage” and “BDSM” interchangeably. They’re different things.

The game also continually uses the word “whip” to describe a flogger. Again, they’re completely different implements! The two words are not synonymous! This is a whip. This is a flogger. The item in this game is (an admittedly shit excuse for) a flogger. Terminology matters in kink, because we can only negotiate and talk about our desires and limits effectively if we use the right language. If someone says they like whips but they actually mean floggers… you see how that could lead to some really troublesome miscommunications? (It also, even more inexplicably, refers to the flogger as a “paddle”. This is a paddle.)

Secondly, this game is lax to the point of being irresponsible when it comes to safety. There are cards that explain what safewords are and how to use them, which I guess is something. There’s also a mention of consent and only going as far as you want to go in the instructions. But that’s it – and that’s not enough.

Several of the activities listed can be dangerous either physically (e.g. spanking) or psychologically (e.g. non-consent roleplay) if done incorrectly. While I appreciate that game creators can’t give an essay on safety for every activity, some context is essential.

I was horrified to see one card suggesting that you flog your lover’s back, without making any distinction between hitting the upper back and shoulders (generally fine) and hitting the lower back, kidney area, and spine (incredibly dangerous and absolutely NOT fine.)

We can’t just nudge total newbies into impact play or non-consent roleplay scenes without telling them how to do so and emerge unharmed. This is grossly irresponsible.

Unnecessary gendering like whoa

This game takes unnecessary and aggressive gendering to the next level. It begins from the premise of assuming the players are a heterosexual, cisgender couple. There was absolutely no reason to do that! The cards could easily have been split by Top/bottom rather than male/female, or even just included a bunch of scenarios and left it to the players to decide who would take which roles.

Bondage Seductions kink game cards

It’s also not just cisheteronormative, but incredibly sexist. Here are a few choice quotes (all genuine, all copied down verbatim):

“Doesn’t he know you’d have an orgasm on the spot if he’d lift a finger and do the dishes for once in his life?”

“Perhaps he’d chatting with his mother when he should be asking about your day? Or worse yet… screaming at other drivers when he should be offering you compliments about your new hairdo!”

“Men are visual, and women are more sensitive to touch.”

“Don’t you wish sometimes that he would just shut up?”

This game was designed by people who don’t have a very good opinion of either men or women. It also seems to carry the assumption that people in heterosexual partnerships kinda hate each other. And honestly, I just find that sad.

ALSO. There are two cards titled “Safe Word For Her” and “Safe Word for Him.” Apart from the pronouns, these two cards are identical. There is literally zero point to this. Just have one safeword card or explain the concept in the rules! Seriously, this takes “gendering things that have no reason to be” to the next level.

The verdict

Bondage Seductions is just… really, really bad. It’s not just cheesy, cheap, and badly put-together. It encourages some really questionable – and even dangerous – practices and pushes overly rigid gender roles.

I can’t even say it’s good for people exploring BDSM for the first time, because it isn’t. It doesn’t help you to communicate your desires, explore things safely, or actually figure out what you like.

Seriously. Do not bother. This is awful.

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending me this product to review! Views are, as always, my own. Affiliate links appear in this and all my review posts. Want to support the blog? Signing up to my newsletter and buying me a coffee are great ways to do that!

[Guest Blog] Kink: Not All Whips and Chains by Violet Grey

Ms. Grey is becoming a C&K regular at this point, and I couldn’t be happier about it. She always pitches me great ideas and writes fantastic, thought provoking pieces it’s a privilege to publish. Today, she’s here talking kink and why it’s not all whips and chains!

Amy x

Not All Whips and Chains by Violet Grey

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me!

This classic line from Rihanna’s hit song, S&M, encompasses a general flavour of sadomasochism. It’s a common perception that BDSM (Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, Sadism & Masochism) involve some form of pain or impact play. 

What comes to mind when you think of BDSM? Is it tying people up? Spanking? Paddles? Whips? Giving control to someone else, or being the one in control? 

All these kinks, and many more, are surprisingly common. But “kinky” esn’t mean the same to everyone – it depends on the person. In everyday life, as we’ve seen with books and films like Fifty Shades of Grey, BDSM is often misunderstood if not completely misrepresented. 

Two of the most common misconceptions are: 

  • BDSM, fundamentally, is abusive. 
  • As I heard one person say, “It’s just all hitting each other, isn’t it?”

Firstly, BDSM is not abusive as long as it’s done between consenting adults, limits and boundaries are respected, and they are playing safely and responsibly. While there are individuals who can and do use BDSM as a guise to abuse others, they are not representative of the majority of kinksters. Most of us just want to have good, safe fun. That being said, it is important to vet any potential partners properly and call out abuse when you see it in the community.

Secondly, no, BDSM is not “just hitting each other”. Any knowledgeable and safe sadomasochist will tell you that. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this piece, it’s this: kink doesn’t have to be about pain. 

Kink without pain!?

This can be quite a shocking revelation to some folks, especially if all they’ve seen of BDSM is someone having a whip cracked against their arse. My first introductions to BDSM were through very two-dimensional Femdom scenes in crime dramas, usually involving heavy bondage and whips. Male submissives were often ridiculed, and sometimes BDSM as a whole was the butt of a joke. 

So when I was first exploring my kinks, it came as a surprise to learn that you can still be really kinky and not incorporate sadomasochism. I’ll be candid here: I’m no pain slut by any means. While I enjoy erotic spankings and rough sex as much as the next person, if you bring a tawse or thick cane near me, I’m running for the hills! 

So how can you navigate getting kinky without pain or impact play? It’s simple: the same as you usually do. Through negotiation and consent, safety protocols and risk assessment. You have your boundaries, and they can and should be respected. 

Painless kink? Let me count the ways!

So what kind of kinks can you have that aren’t necessarily about whips and chains and pain? Oh, so many! 

From someone whose kinks are mostly not pain-related, so to speak, let me list some of mine for you: 

  • Praise kink – A praise kink is where someone feels aroused or enjoys other positive feelings from being praised by a partner in a scene or during sex. A common example is “good girl/good boy”. Basically, if you call me a “good girl” I’m putty in your hands! 
  • Dominance and submission (D/s) – This dynamic forms the foundation for many BDSM and kink arrangements or fantasies. D/s play can incorporate pain and impact play if you want, but it doesn’t have to. Something as simple as doing the dishes or cuddling can be made kinky when you add a D/s twist. 
  • Blindfolds – Pretty self explanatory. Blindfolds can be made of soft material, like a scarf, satin mask, etc., or tougher materials like leather. My go-to blindfold is my silk sleep mask. 
  • Light bondage –  Light bondage can involve something as simple as a scarf, or you can use cuffs or basic Shibari (Japanese rope bonage) ties. As well as the super-hot element of restraining someone, many people find bondage relaxing. However, bondage – even light bondage – carries a risk factor. Always play safely and responsibly
  • Sensual domination – Sensual domination is my kinky happy place. I love it. This is domination that focuses on delighting the senses, rather than giving pain. It is domination that focuses solely on pleasure, and can involve implements like feathers, satin, bondage rope, massage oils, and candles to set the mood. It can even involve all of the above (which for me, it does!) Sensual domination can often be seen as a gateway for people experimenting or getting started in BDSM, but it’s a valid activity in itself that many experienced kinksters enjoy.

Though sometimes I crave the rough stuff, which I also adore, sensual or “soft” kink (as it’s sometimes called) is where I feel most in my element. 

 On that note… 

No shame in soft kink

Some of the more “hardcore” kinks are so-called due to carrying a great deal of risk. Needle and knife play, for instance, are by no means activities for beginners and require deal of studying, safety, and risk awareness to master. 

I’ve seen less “extreme” kinks, or those not involving pain, described as “diet kink.” Some even go as far as to kink-shame people for “not being kinky enough”. Obviously this is not ok.  It’s easy, when looking into BDSM, to internalise “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”. I should like hard spankings and floggers, or I should be able to do 24/7 Total Power Exchange if I want to be “really kinky”.

But the truth is, if you’ve got a kink, even if it’s just one? Congratulations! You’re kinky!

No two people are exactly the same. It can be easy to internalise (guilty as charged) feeling like you have to fit into a kinky box – and, of course, feeling you have to be into pain. For all the reasons I’ve discussed here, you don’t have to be and if you’re not, that’s ok. Your kinks are entirely unique to you. 

So go forth, experiment, and have fun! And as always, play safely and responsibly!

Violet Grey describes herself as “your 20-something lady who loves to write. I write erotic fiction, along with real-life sex stories, thoughts on sexuality, kink, BDSM, and generally whatever else is on my mind.” Check out her blog and give her a follow on Twitter!

Oh, and if you enjoyed this post, tips and shopping with my affiliates help me to keep paying occasional guest bloggers.

[Guest Blog] Vote by Mr CK

Today’s bonus post is a piece of guest smut by none other than Mr CK himself!

Content note: this is a medical play scene featuring aspects of CNC, public humiliation, voyeurism, and mindfucks. If any of those things are difficult for you, feel enormously free to skip this one. All characters are fully consenting adults!

Five Smutty Flash Fictions

Hey everyone! Smutathon 2020 is well underway, with writers from all over the world typing furiously for 12 hours to raise money for Endometriosis UK, a wonderful charity who deserve all your support.

I asked for one- or two-word prompts for smutty flash fictions on Twitter, and y’all DELIVERED. To that end, here are the first five inspired by your words.

More Tea?

(Prompt: “tea, please,” offered by @luminiferous)

It takes about 15 minutes before my knees and wrists start to ache. 25 minutes before “ache” turns to “pain”. Maybe half an hour before I can feel my muscles trembling with the sheer effort of holding me up.

Have you ever noticed how long half an hour is when your task is to stay very, very still in one position and not do anything?

I’ve been on all fours with the tea tray resting on my back for thirty one minutes, and my body and mind are engaged in a battle of wills. I know I could safeword if I had to, but I keep bargaining with myself to hold out for just another minute. Then just one more minute. And another. And another.

Sir and his friend are mostly ignoring me, except for occasionally reaching out a booted foot to caress me. I have long stopped listening to their conversation. I like doing this because I don’t have to talk, I don’t have to listen or think. Instead, I can let my mind go blissfully blank.

The feeling of Sir’s hand sliding across my naked ass sets my nerves tingling. Coupled with the challenge of staying still and in position, it takes all my concentration not to drop the tray.

I feel him pick up the teapot from the tray on my back.

“More tea?” he asks his friend.

Dessert

(Prompt: “hive mind,” offered by @jennkryst)

I don’t know how, but it seems that all this time, they were both thinking exactly the same thing as me. When I got the text message – “dinner at ours on Friday night?” – I allowed my mind to wander into a delicious fantasy realm for just a moment.

Dinner was delicious, of course – Kate is a chef and everything she makes is incredible. What I didn’t realise until part way through the meal, when their flirtation switched from “plausibly deniable” to “too obvious to ignore,” is that they had something very special in mind for dessert – me.

The way they laid out their proposition, seeming almost nervous for the first time all evening, might have been sleazy coming from anyone else. But from my two dearest friends, married for over twenty five years, it was both sweet and incredibly enticing.

From there, it happened with all the fluidity of long-term lovers coupled with the excitement of a brand new partner. First she ate me out while I sucked his cock, then he fucked me from behind while I went down on her until she squirted in my mouth. Later, they spit-roasted me, her strap-on filling my cunt while his cock filled my mouth until I came so hard I saw stars.

Hours later, and I’m the filling in a sweaty, exhausted, but very happy human sandwich in their big bed. “How did you know I wanted to fuck you both?” I ask them.

Their eyes meet over me and they both grin.

“Just a feeling,” Joe says.

“Call it the hive mind of thirty years of friendship,” Kate adds.

Bake Sale

(Prompt: “cookie,” offered by @ayalamoogsigan)

My wife is up shortly after dawn, making cookies for the church bake sale. Chocolate chip, lemon, peanut butter, oatmeal and raisin. She can’t decide which variety of her famous treats to bake, so she makes them all.

To my surprise, when I wander into the kitchen to get my morning coffee, she’s rolling out dough completely naked except for an apron. She flashes me a wicked grin as I pour coffee, my eyebrows raised in a silent question.

“Well, I only get flour all over my clothes otherwise,” she says. I lean against the counter and sip my coffee, watching her. She slides a tray of perfect, golden-brown chocolate chip cookies out of the oven and replaces it with a new tray of neat balls of dough.

She unties her apron, takes it off and hangs it on the peg on the door. “These take 8 minutes to bake so if you want to fuck me, you’d better do it quickly,” she says. I almost spit out a mouthful of coffee in shock. In eleven years of marriage I don’t think I’ve ever heard my shy, demure wife use the word “fuck” to describe sex. My cock, already half erect from the sight of her gorgeous mostly-naked body, springs fully to life. We haven’t connected much sexually in the last few months, and I have no idea where this new version of her has come from. Still, I have no complaints.

When I bend her over the kitchen sink and slide my hand between her legs, she’s already dripping wet. I push two fingers inside her but her hips thrust back against me, seeking more. My cock quickly replaces my fingers inside her, harder than I can remember it being in a long time.

She moans deeply and I feel her cunt clench around my cock. The gutteral noise I make involuntarily encourages her and she does it again and then again.

“Fuck… I’m not going to be… able to hold off… much longer if you keep doing that!”

“Don’t hold back, then,” she says, squeezing her vaginal muscles around me again. “Come in me, my love.”

The invitation and a couple more of those delicious squeezes is all I need to tip me over the edge. As I come down from my orgasm, I hold her close with one arm, while my other hand finds her clit. I’m wondering if I can get her off before…

Fuck. The oven alarm goes off to indicate the cookies are ready.

My wife extricates herself from my embrace and plans a kiss on my lips before retrieving the apron. “Later,” she says.

Commuter Train

(Prompt: “tickets please,” offered by @witteringwench1)

The jostling of the commuter crowd and the rattling of the train makes me very, very aware of the plug filling my ass. I feel it with every movement, just a little too big to be comfortable. Stretching me. Reminding me, with every step I take all day, that I’m hers.

“Are you going to be a good little slut and wear this for me all day?” she asked this morning when she slid the well-lubed plug into my ass. I know her well enough to understand that the question was rhetorical. She wanted it, so of course I would do it.

I didn’t complain, just like I don’t complain when she spanks my ass until I cry, just because seeing me in pain amuses her. Just like I don’t complain when she brings me to the edge of orgasm, laughs at my frantic whimpers, and then stops and tells me to go and make dinner. She expects obedience, and I willingly give it.

The train pulls into my stop. Only nine more hours of this to go.

First Light

(Prompt: “what time,” offered by @polyladyincali)

“What time is it?” she asks sleepily. I glance at the green digits on the bedside clock.

“Early enough.” We have exactly thirty seven minutes before I need to get up and start getting ready to go to the airport. I wrap my arms around my girlfriend from behind, burying my face into her hair and breathing in the faint scent of her strawberry shampoo.

After a minute or so of blissful, naked cuddling, she reaches behind her and slides her hands between our two bodies. Her fingers quickly find my clit and I shudder as she strokes it in that perfect way that only she can. I bite my lip, a gasp escaping.

She shifts, positioning herself between my legs. She looks up and her eyes meet mine for a moment, before she wraps her lips around my clit.

“Fuck!” I gasp. We’ve been dating for three years but every time we have sex, the skill with which she pulls the responses from my body astounds me. She alternates between sucking my clit into her mouth and pulling back to draw circles around it with the tip of her tongue.

I never squirted until I met her, but she can coax it from me with surprising ease. When I come, I gush, flooding her mouth and soaking the sheets beneath us.

She grins and kisses the inside of my thigh. The first light of morning is seeping around the edges of the curtains, and I know we’ll soon have to go.

“Something to remember me by,” she says. “Until next time.”

So there you have it, folks! Did you enjoy these five little smutty flash fictions? If so, please donate to Endometriosis UK using the link above! And stay tuned for more #Smutathon2020 content.