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How do you tell your partner that you'd like to be spanked?
Where can you find a good dominatrix?
If your husband like to wear your panties, does that mean he's gay?
What really goes on at SM clubs?
After you tie someone up, what exactly are you supposed to do?
Is there such a thing as normal sex?
If you've ever wondered about the ins and outs of bondage, spanking, or cross-dressing, look no further. Come Hither is a frank, friendly guide on how to turn your secret fantasies into satisfying expressions of love and desire. The official resource guide for SM/fetish sex at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, Come Hither proves that a little kink can be a lot of fun.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Dr. Gloria G. Brame is the lead author of Different Loving. A poet, journalist, and novelist, Brame has contributed articles to Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Working Woman, and Maxim. She can be contracted at http://gloria-brame.com.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Chapter One: Introductory Kink
Nine years ago, I began working on a book called Different Loving: The World of Sexual Dominance and Submission. When my coauthors and I started out, we assumed we would be researching the small sexual subculture of dominance and submission (also known as B&D and SM) to which we belonged. Basically, we sought to write a book about people like us for people like us -- people who knew what they liked but felt they needed to understand more about kinky sex from a broad perspective.
On this assumption, we researched the history and practice of SM, and directed all our interview efforts at people in the "Scene" (a nickname for the kinky subculture in the United States). Aiming for diversity, we talked to as many different kinky people as possible -- gay, straight, transgendered, bisexual. We recruited them from kinky newsgroups on the Internet, sometimes according to their fetishes; we wrote letters to SM/fetish organizations and attended club events, distributing flyers; and we asked friends to tell friends about our book project.
In the end, we had hundreds of terrific interviews, covering not only an amazing spectrum of sexual variations, but spanning a diverse range of religions, ages, races, and social classes. There was, however, one serious limitation on the sample: All of the people we interviewed knew they were kinky and had decided, at some point in their lives, to join the SM subculture to one degree or another.
In fact, the number of people who actually find their way into the Scene represents only a small fraction of the total number of American adults who enjoy erotic variations that would be classed, clinically, as sadomasochistic or fetishistic. During the course of our research, that larger group revealed itself to us. It comprised a largely conventional, completely in-the-closet, and clinically unacknowledged segment of society that neither seeks out kinky contacts nor even admits to having kinky fantasies to anyone other than a life-partner -- or possibly a professional dominatrix.
My husband, Will Brame (who was my coauthor on Different Loving, along with Jon Jacobs), and I were at first bemused when, at conservative literary gatherings, we would be deluged by people who asked us lurid questions. At one such prim gathering where the women wore Birkenstocks and the men wore colorless ties, one thirty-something repeatedly squealed loudly in disgust as we talked about our research. Later, she approached us privately. Dreading yet another onslaught, we were taken aback when she asked us this question: Her ex-boyfriend liked her to pee on him before sex. Would we consider this kinky?
Well, yes. We would. It's certainly kinky enough for there to be a clinical term for it (urophilia, or a love of urine).
The squealer was only the first of an unfathomable number of ordinary, conservative people we've met since who similarly react first with horror, then fascination, when we describe our work.
The most curious confessions came from a media coach. She told us later that she had been worrying all day that we would show up in biker jackets, with chains around our necks and piercings everywhere else. Our business suits apparently comforted her because by the time our meeting was over, she had confided that while she was shocked by the people who "threw their waste on one another" (which is how she characterized the squealer's boyfriend's fetish), she could easily understand why people would enjoy being infantilized (put into diapers and treated like babies). She spoke quite fondly of the Elia Kazan movie Babydoll, in which a grown woman sleeps in a crib and sucks her thumb. In fact, the coach talked quite a long time about both fetishes, and with strong emotion too.
What was really going on in her mind? Why was peeing on someone else more morally reprehensible than dressing in a diaper and peeing oneself? Is this some rule of sexual etiquette my parents never taught me: You can pee on yourself, but not on your friends?
Once the book came out, the confessions reached a fever pitch. It seemed that every place we went, there was always one person, and usually more, who wanted to tell us their secrets. On one book tour, a Washington reporter confided that he had a foot fetish; a Southern bookstore manager whispered a throaty tale about the time his girlfriend begged to be his "loveslave"; a California radio personality admitted to us that his ex-wife liked him to slap her face during sex; and so on. Occasionally, people blocked our path, grabbed our elbows, hurriedly blurted out a sexual confession, and then darted away before we had time to react. Hit-and-run confessors, as it were.
Where did they all come from? How many of them (or us) are really out there? At present, there are no hard data on how many adults engage in consensual kinky sex of one type or another. Sex theorists have made estimates ranging from 5 to 50 percent of the adult population, with the consensus opinion closer to 10 to 15 percent. From my own experiences, I know the interest is much higher than the consensus.
In 1987, under the handle "Angelique," I founded an SM educational outreach/support group on Compuserve. The group was part of a larger network of specialized sexuality support groups in Compuserve's Human Sexuality Forum (HSX). At the time, the HSX Forum had roughly 50,000 subscribers. When we set up the new SM group, we expected only a tiny membership. This was partly because other support groups already were in place for certain fetishes and partly because we required members to fill out an online application stating that they had a personal interest in SM/fetish sexuality. Even though people could apply under pseudonyms, we believed this requirement would help to filter out gawkers.
In three months, our membership swelled from an initial sign-up of a few dozen people to over 3,000. By the second year of operation, we had drawn over 15,000 people to our membership roster and were hosting the single busiest message board on HSX.
The advent of the Internet has been an eye-opener. For the first time, kinky people from around the world -- whether living in rural communities in the United States or major cities in the Third World -- had free access to materials that confirmed there are others just like them out there. And access them they did!
By 1994, the alt.sex.bondage newsgroup on UseNet (since abandoned) was attracting nearly half a million visitors every week. Dozens of smaller newsgroups, for more specialized fetish interests, were springing up left and right, as were IRC chat-rooms devoted to BDSM. By the following year, dozens of kinky sites had set up shop on the World Wide Web, offering everything from amateur photos to personal diaries and educational resources.
In 1996, I built gloria-brame.com and continued the work of Different Loving. One of my Web site's most popular features is the "Kink Links Catalogue" (http://gloria-brame.com/love8.htm), a resource guide to over 1,500 SM/fetish Web sites. As of mid-1998, according to my research, there were roughly 3,000-plus sites catering to SM/fetish interests. My site alone draws roughly 2,000 people daily from places as far away as Peru, Bahrain, and Singapore.
Needless to say, I get a ton of E-mail. Most fall into two categories: people asking to be listed in my links catalogue and people requesting personal advice.
The queries about listings are interesting for two reasons. First, there are so many of them! Second, while I expected to see lots of bondage, spanking, cross-dressing, and infantilist sites, until the requests began pouring in I had had no idea, for example, that there are enough people sexually aroused by toy balloons (yes, the kind you blow up at kiddy parties) to support the hundred or so sites which now cater exclusively to that fetish.
The personal letters fall roughly into two camps. One is made up of pleas for advice from people who, until discovering kink on the Internet, believed themselves the only ones in the world with these interests. When they read other people's writings about subjects they've never permitted themselves to talk about, it has an immediate and powerful effect. They are both thrilled and desperately frustrated by the discovery because they don't know how or where to begin.
The second type of personal letter comes from people who know there are others like themselves but who have not been able to find a sympathetic partner. Reduced to pursuing their interests in secret, surfing the Web or anonymously subscribing to kinky publications that are sent in plain brown wrappers to discreet postal drops, they often feel trapped in troubled marriages to spouses who angrily reject their sexual needs. Their attempts at communicating their needs or introducing variations in bed have resulted in fights and tears. Some blame their partners for being puritanical; others blame themselves for being sinful or sick. Yet almost all hope that I can give them advice to help save their relationship.
This book will provide answers for them, as well as their partners, their friends, family members, healing professionals, and anyone else dealing with kinky sex issues. Even if you've never tried kink, and don't intend to try it, this book will round out your personal understanding of the range of acceptable sexual variations that consenting adults may enjoy. Frankly, in an age when STDs make many of us choose safe-sex alternatives to intercourse, and when we're all living longer and remaining sexually active longer, picking up new ideas on ways to spice up your erotic life may not be such a bad idea.
I'll guide you through all the key issues related to kinky sex, beginning with the most basic questions (What is normal sex? Are there others like me?). I'll tackle more advanced topics as well, including how to hang on to a relationship when one partner can't accept the other's kinks; religious and moral conflicts about sexual differences; and how to differentiate between a positive, loving kinky relationship and an ...
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