What Turns You On?

Viktor knows me and knows my body, so being intimate with him is relatively easy and effortless. I don’t have to think about what he’s doing that turns me on; it just does. But, as I mentioned recently, being with a new sexual partner can be daunting. You want to please each other (if not, that’s just plain rude!) and a very reasonable question to ask is: What turns you on? I have, in fact, been asked this question by a partner as well as by my S Factor teacher (in different contexts, of course). Yet, in both cases, I had no real answer for them, at least not in the moment that the question was posed.

For the most part, I should know the answer, but I think some of my trepidation at answering this question is the expectation that it has to be something that absolutely, physically arouses me. I feel like I am supposed to be able to say do x, y and z and I will climax, guaranteed.

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Third Date’s A Charm

On our last date, Matt and I took advantage of his children’s visit to grandma and grandpa’s and he hosted us at his home in Queens. Since his children are usually at home (obviously), I invited him to come to my apartment for our third date. Unfortunately, we were unable to capitalize on Viktor’s quick trip to Europe, but we arranged to meet up on a recent Monday night and Viktor agreed to go to the movies, thus giving us some time alone.

Matt arrived in a torrential downpour, which I chose to see as nostalgic of our first date (on which it had rained). I welcomed him in and gave him a tour of our home. In the lead up to our date, we had decided to conduct research on BDSM and compare notes. I wasn’t sure how seriously he would take the “assignment,” but I took it to heart, writing up a formal document complete with images and a bibliography. I plied Matt with wine and we sat down to a lively discussion on this topic, filling in gaps in each other’s research and generally enjoying the connections we were drawing between the past and present, as we learned more about the history of BDSM.

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Book Report: The History of BDSM

As we seek to increase our understanding and knowledge of BDSM, Viktor shared an article with me, which I also sent along to Matt. He was pleased to learn more since he is very new to kink and BDSM. In response to reading the article, he posited the question:

Is [BDSM] a new thing? Did it exist in ancient times? Or is it only a byproduct of the Industrial Age giving rise to leisure time? Because it’s a world full of rules and shared terminology…who’s writing the rules?”

His query piqued my interest and I advised him of my desire to find out. He also expressed interest in pursuing the question and then sharing the information, so I suggested that we write “book reports” which would be due on our next date.

Here is my report:

While the term BDSM, which comprises the activities of Bondage, Discipline, Domination, Submission, Sadism, and Masochism is a more modern acronym, historical evidence through archeology, art and architecture provides proof that BDSM did, in fact, exist in ancient – very ancient – times. In addition, cultural evidence in the guise of books, magazines, comics and movies (and now the Internet) offers up further guidance on how BDSM has evolved and changed as a consequence of human cultural evolution.
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Getting Better at BDSM

I was a little disappointed to say goodbye to Brady but was actually more disappointed to give up what had seemed to be an exciting D/s relationship. I have clearly been seeking such an arrangement for some time by evidence of other potential connections and matches on the app that had, as of yet, yielded nothing.

However, more recently, I matched with Gary who has significant experience and knowledge in the D/s scene. In fact, while I was unaware of this until we met face-to-face, he actually teaches classes around the city and plans to write an instructional guidebook on the subject.

Needless to say, he was aghast when I shared my Brady story with him, but thankfully he recognized that I was aware of my mistakes and would be much wiser going forward. We had a lovely first date at a wine bar near Union Square and talked through our interests and desires in connection with life in general and BDSM in particular.

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Second Date Syndrome

People often get anxious about first dates, worrying about what to wear or how to act. But, I actually look forward to them. For me, there is the excitement of meeting someone new and unknown. Yes, there is a little nervousness, but I’m not really that invested in the person yet. Plus, at worst, it’s a chance to get to know someone, have some fun and maybe do something interesting. And, if you’re lucky, a delicious, first kiss.

Rather, I think that second dates are actually much more anxiety-provoking. First, there is the fact that you now like the person enough to meet up with them again, so I feel the stress to not screw things up. And, while there’s certainly no written rule, in my experience thus far, the second date in the poly world is the sex date. Clearly, as per many posts here, I am not against having sex on the second date, but there is a lot of pressure and awkwardness that such an encounter brings.

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A Little MORE Conversation

While Elvis crooned, “A little less conversation, a little more action, please” and also – funnily enough in this context – went on to ask for “more bite” and “less fight,” it’s not exactly a recipe for success in BDSM.

Admittedly, although Viktor and I took a full-day course with Dom Om Rupani, once upon a time, we are still relatively new to the scene. And, I am more aware of my naivete now that I have had time to reflect on my encounter with Brady.

As I traveled home from our date, Brady texted me to thank me for a lovely evening and added, “Next time. Hopefully soon.” Nearly two weeks passed without comment, so I sent him a quick “Happy Friday.” He responded later that day, at which point I advised him that I was surprised not to have heard from him for a debrief of our scene. He apologized for the lack of communication, citing an upcoming deadline for his latest book along with planned travel.

While I acknowledged his busy schedule, I pushed back on my request for a debrief. He agreed, promised to be in touch upon his return home and followed up accordingly. We eventually arranged to meet for a drink on a Saturday afternoon at the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel (he apparently has a love of classic NYC hotels).

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Innocent’ish

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I waited until I was 18 to lose my virginity; not ancient but not precocious either. I then married at age 26 with only a handful of serious sexual relationships in between. The next 15+ years were those with limited sex. I wouldn’t say that we had a sexless marriage per se, but perhaps more correctly an undersexed marriage. Therefore, I don’t feel as experienced as I might given my current age and feel very new to many aspects of sex itself aside from my journey into the realm of polyamory and an open marriage. So, I sometimes feel a little lost and unsure if I am “doing it right,” when I am with new partners who have more knowledge and exposure than I have.

All about that bass
You want to stick what where? What’s up with the fascination with anal sex? This has to be the most common question I am asked when we start talking about sexual likes and dislikes. I guess I am pretty sheltered in this regard because I didn’t realize how mainstream this seems to have become.

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