With the emergence of social media, it has become easier than ever to go out and search for the special somebody that, how do I put this delicately? Rocks your mutha’ fucking socks off. Taboos are disappearing, boundaries are expanding, and people all over are starting to accept that the missionary position is not always the best position.

Because of this, women are going out and exploring their true, secret desires, and no longer feeling guilty about it. Of course, not everyone likes the same cup of tea now, do they? What may be exciting for you and yours could seem very dangerous or frightening to someone else. Your vanilla friend is a great example of this. We all have at least one and most of us actually have several. They’re beautiful, well meaning people that we adore endlessly. However, they tend not walk at all on the dangerous side. Despite our efforts, there are still certain stigmas one can fall under once you’ve officially come out as a kink.

Any sort of kink that someone chooses to follow must be their decision and theirs alone. Therefore, don’t avoid your desires just because you’re worried about your friend’s opinion. There are many ways to calmly discuss what your situation is with your friends, but starting off with a sudden ‘I’ve found I’ve really liked pain’ isn’t one of them. Instead of explaining the ‘how’ kink works, try explaining the ‘why’ kink works for you. Kink can be an extremely delicate topic, and unfortunately many types of media try to link sex crimes to kink or BDSM. Those that live the lifestyle, however, know this isn’t true because the very first rule is: Be Consensual. That’s right, every act must be consensual, but of course you already know that!

So, that should be the first thing you start out with too. Let them know that whatever it is that you’re into and every person(s) that you are involved with are completely sensual and happy in the dynamic. Once into the proverbial meat and potatoes of your description into your kink, remember to be as calm and honest with them as possible. It’s very difficult to gauge how a person will react, especially if they themselves are a more conservative lover. Coming out as kink is something that you must do for you, not them.

We all want friends we can be honest and open with, but coming out of your cuffs can really test those boundaries. For your sanity and well being, remember that they will have a lot of questions, and expect you to have all of the answers. You can’t just drop a bomb on your friend like hey, so I like making my guy wear a chastity belt, and then just go back to eating your ice cream and watching How I Met Your Mother re-runs. No, you have to be prepared with positive and educational facts for them to help them understand why do what it is that you do.

Once they’ve settled into the fact that your freak flag flies a little higher than the rest, then it’s okay to start making jokes about it, and even invite them to read some books and materials on the subject. There are so many great ones out there now to help almost any novice from the kink world understand why their desires are the way they are. So if the time comes where you’re ready to come out kink to your vanilla friends, remember to be calm (despite their initial reaction), be informed, and of course, be careful. True friends always come around.

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Cassidy Pittman was born in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania, and has lived in various parts of the United States and China. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s in Literary Studies and Writing Skills in May of 2012. Cassidy has worked as a ghost writer and editor for international companies.