KIERSTEN BUTTERWORTH | EVERGREEN PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
For a lot of people, they already know what they are into and what they are not. For me, most of my sexual interests come from a very awkward trial and error period.
Kinks and fetishes are very sensitive topics to most people. Any time I would ask someone about their interests, they usually gave me a strange look and said something similar to, “I am not the person to ask about that.”
So where does someone looking to explore their sex life start? Probably Google. But for a more hands-on approach, I decided to visit a local sex shop called Eclectica off of West Pullman Road in Moscow.
Owner Kathy Sprague has managed her store for 20 years. In that time, she has talked to many different people about their sexual relationships and helped console them into expressing themselves safely with their partners.
“We need to demystify sex,” Sprague said. “We need to admit that women enjoy it, men enjoy it. If you’re going to have a partner you should enjoy it together and you should communicate.”
Among the most popular kinks is BDSM, which stands for bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism. People who are into BDSM spice up their sex life by binding, whipping or otherwise inflicting or taking pain from their partners, according to a pamphlet provided by Palouse Edupractice.
Sprague said that more than any other kink, people into BDSM should reach out to other resources in order to be informed before trying anything potentially dangerous.
“When people get into BDSM it’s important that they have accurate information,” Sprague said. “You don’t read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and then try something in that book that could harm or kill your partner.”
One of the resources men and women interested in BDSM can use is the Palouse Edupractice, a nonprofit organization that provides education and practice to mitigate the risks for individuals exploring the kink community.
I wasn’t able to attend a workshop, but it wasn’t long before I saw the dangers Sprague mentioned.
My partner and I started slowly, with me holding down her arms and legs while also choking her with my right hand. It was very difficult to get the right amount of pressure that would give her a sexual high while also not leave her struggling for air.
It was difficult for me to enjoy myself at first. While I was talking dirty into my partner’s ear in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Is this too much?”
To my surprise, there was a lot more my partner was interested in that I wouldn’t have expected. Spanking and blindfolds were things we used before but there was a real excitement going further with the concepts of gaining control over someone else.
No matter how a person chooses to play, proper communication is vital in order to have a safe and healthy sex life. It was only after my partner and I both discussed and talked about what we were both comfortable with that I could enjoy this experience.
Sprague said it is important for people to be honest with themselves sexually and stressed that sex shouldn’t be something anyone is nervous about or afraid of.
“Have sex. Have fun. Respect each other while you’re doing it,” Sprague said.