A long long time ago (OK not that long ago really in the scheme of things but when we are talking about the internet things have changed rapidly) if you wanted to learn about something then your choices were to go to school, read a book, find a community to educate you or learn on the job. Obviously there are lots of overlaps between these things and they didn’t, and still don’t, operate in isolation of one another but what if the subject you wanted to learn about or the community you wanted to find was not what one would call main stream?
Clearly that made things much harder, it is not like you could take a BDSM 101 class at your local college however if you had a good library there is a chance you might have picked up a book or two on the matter but otherwise your only hope was to find likeminded folks and create a community. Classified ads were one such place where you might have had some luck but clearly that was not without its pitfalls too.
Without a doubt the internet has changed all that. Now anyone with access to a computer (or electronic device) and an internet connection quite literally has more information and knowledge at their fingers tips than they could ever possibly have time to read and that goes for kink too.
It is quite literally a whole new world where finding information is no longer restricted because the subject you are interested in is adult or niche in nature. In fact it was almost as if the internet was designed with exactly that in mind.
I was in my mid 30’s when I first started to be interested in kink and it was the internet that led me to my biggest discoveries about my sexuality. Online I found not only information but communities of people who were interested in the same things as me. Suddenly I not only had things to read and learn from but people to talk to about it as well. Without a doubt the internet changed my life in that regard, I went from someone who had always felt like something was missing to someone who not only had a clue what that was but eventually found it and took that knowledge and experience and shared it with others online.
So we know that the internet is full of wonderful juicy information but we also know that there is an awful lot of it and to be quite frank not all information is created equal. There are numerous articles online that explain, in what at first glance almost sounds convincing, why the earth is flat but that does not mean they are the articles you should be taking to heart and basing your geographical knowledge on and the same can be said for kink and sex related content.
So how do tell the good from the bad?
Clearly this is the tricky bit when content is so plentiful the issue becomes not the amount or even finding it but identifying if it is any good or not. There is no one single way of doing this but something’s to keep in mind when reading:
- Don’t rely on one single source or person. If you read something you like or that strikes a chord with you search for more content on the same subject and see if the advice, opinions, thoughts being shared support or compliment the piece or directly contradict it.
- If it’s not obvious try to find out whom the author is. Are they a name you recognise? Do they have experience in the subject? Are they considered an authority by others? Have they published in multiple places? Of course not every well written piece is written by someone like this. There are many brilliant articles about kink related subjects written by anonymous individuals so don’t discount something just because the person is not a name. If the article speaks to you then have a look around to see if their opinion is shared or…
- Read the comments. Hopefully the piece will have the facility for commenting and have some comments left by people on it. Read them; Are they positive? Do the comments indicate that the piece is useful, enjoyable, liked etc? If applicable has the author replied to any comments and if so do those replies seem positive?
- Watch out for pieces that deal in absolutes. Kink is rarely about absolutes, for example there is no one right way to be a submissive or a dom and anything that tells you there is should be treated with scepticism.
- Talk to other people. One of the great things about the internet is that it has made it much easier to find communities of people who share interests and that is particularly true of the kink community. There are whole sites like Fetlife where you can make friends and social media platforms like Twitter that have thriving kink communities of people who share content that they have found.
- Trust your gut. This is probably the most important one of all but if you read something and it resonates with you then that is all that matters. )
Some places to start
As I have already said content is plentiful and finding the good stuff can be tricky but here some suggestions of excellent places to get you started.
- Fetlife – This is a whole site dedicated to everything kink and fetish related. However finding stuff can be super tricky. My advice would be to start by searching for things in your local area and making some friends. Once you have done that it will be easier to find content that they recommend.
- Kink Academy – Without a doubt this site is the largest repository of education kink videos online. Both the breadth of subjects covered and the amount of fabulous educators featured here makes this an amazing resource. There is some free content but most of it membership based and prices vary depending on how long you want to sign up for. This is also a great place to discover kink educators many of whom have their own websites where you can find more stuff by them.
- Two Knotty Boys – For basic knot tying Two Knotty Boys is a great resource. Sadly their Youtube channel has been deleted and they seem to have pretty much given up making new content but you can still download some of their videos here
- Submissive Guide – This site was started back in 2009 and is quite frankly jammed packed full of content that deals with a huge variety of subjects around submission and D/s. The site is run by LunaKM but much of the content is written by a variety of different contributors making this a really diverse resource.
- Loving BDSM – This started life as a podcast but has since transformed into a complete community resource. The podcast still takes place but there are now videos, written content and a forum where you can chat with other kink folks. Lots of it is free but there are some extra special goodies for members, and fees are eminently reasonable.