How to find your BDSM tutors

sexy teacher

I got a phone call from a lovely friend who asked me for suggestions about a reliable teacher for play suturing – that is, sewing up sensitive body parts in a BDSM setting. My answer didn’t exactly thrill her. «But I am in Genoa and she lives in Israel!» she observed. And yet, I honestly couldn’t think of anybody else I could trust as a tutor for sewing a vulva shut, fixing a penis to a thigh or whatever she had in mind. Things like those can be done, of course, but they simply carry too large a risk of going wrong if performed by a less than very expert hand – and teaching the proper way to do them is as hard as learning them. My friend knew that: she is a veterinarian, after all, and she stitches living bodies pretty much every day of the week – which is precisely why she didn’t trust herself enough.

You don’t have to be into extreme clinical play to face the same dilemma. All kink involves some risk, physical and psychological, even when it is not so apparent, and it can take unlikely and very specific forms no regular course will teach about. Take the young lady, for example, who very forlornly wrote in last week to say she wouldn’t attend my party because her latest bondage escapade resulted in two painful nerve compressions that put one of her hands and one leg out of commission for a stinging while. Although she and her rigger both had some field experience, he didn’t realize he wasn’t proficient enough with anatomy to attempt that specific type of suspension. Which brings us to the matter at hand: how do you find your BDSM teachers?

First of all, let me spell it out clearly: you do need teachers, even if you may mistakenly think that «that stuff is no biggie, anyone can do it and there are lots of online videos to check out if you are so geeky anyway». Swimming and singing also come rather naturally, for example, and yet people go to classes to be better at that – so why shouldn’t you with something so much more complicated and delicate as kink? It could save you from misjudging your own behavior and prevent a catastrophe but, at the very least, it will make your sessions much more fun.

There are two major issues to consider. First, differently from most activities, BDSM and alternative sex in general cannot be certified. When you hire a lawyer, say, you know they went through a specific and thorough training that made them competent with legal matters and procedures – but who on Earth can say that spanking in a certain way is more correct than another, or the proper way to do (look that up) CBT? In this field it is almost always a matter of personal taste: what delights me might easily disgust another, and vice versa.
Also, BDSM alone is composed of about one hundred different practices, further fragmented in various branches depending on the tools used, the play style and so on. Nobody can be a competent teacher for all of them. Actually, if somebody says differently it is a sure warning sign you are dealing with someone overrating their ability. I mean, I have been practicing all sorts of games for thirty years now myself and I am definitely proficient with most – but I couldn’t do any bondage beyond 101 for the life of me, for example.

So, what you need is a series of tutors who must be both experienced, knowledgeable and able to transmit their skill. A rare combination indeed, made even more elusive by how the self-referentiality of the kinky scene and the often narcissistic, overinflated egos of many “educators” make recognizing suitable candidates even harder.
Therefore, in light of the above, here are a few pointers for the next time you’ll want to seek a tutor to raise the bar of your kinky skills:

Avoid online gurus
Stay away from “online-only mentors” – if only because BDSM is an interaction you do with both your mind and your body, so you need at the least to witness any example in person. Video conferencing lectures can only go as far as teaching basic concepts, but kink is one field where getting physically involved gives a widely new perspective to whatever theory you learned.
And, whatever you do, be wary of online forums and communities: as interesting as they may look like, the quality of the information they offer tend to be very poor, due to the well-known phenomenon of vocal undesirables and the noise they manage to inject into what little signal there is in the first place.

Be suspicious of overeager teachers
It is a sad but unquestionable truth that the kinky scene is a powerful magnet for narcissists and social rejects looking for a second opportunity. While some true believers may want to share their revelations in good faith, overeager tutors probably have baser motivations like collecting followers and play partners for validation, building some reputation to appear more desirable or influential, or winning whatever pissing contest they believe they are involved in. In other words, the quality of their lessons is probably far from being their focus.

Seek reputable, non-selfreferential tutors
Today anyone can quickly create a seemingly legitimate reputation for themselves just by opening a slew of impressive social media pages and websites. Create a few Facebook groups to boost your following, find some like-minded friends and start referencing each other: soon you will be able to call yourself an “expert” and an “educator” – the tantra scene is especially infamous for this sort of circle-jerk mentality.
A good teacher has a different kind of fame. Look out for academic, peer-reviewed works; recognition outside of the kinksters’ community; a proven track record of involvement in public endeavors like books, lectures, workshops, events organization and so on. And above all, check your prospective sensei’s references with previous pupils who can vouch for actual results.

Go for the specialist
Unless you are very new to the vast and complex world of kink, and still in the phase where you are trying to make sense of it all, you want to get your information from a series of specialists more than from one general source. Most BDSM practices take many years to really master and some (like kinbaku and psychological forms of domination) definitely benefit from a lifetime of study and practice: asking those who put more dedication to perfect just one or two forms is merely a matter of going straight for the true understanding that only real connoisseurs possess.

There is no secret
Hey, wanna know a secret? Well, tough luck – because there is none. Everything there is to know about kink is public knowledge, based on solid facts and easily available. From time to time, however, you might stumble upon some guy (or gal) who claims to hold some mystical, mumbo-jumbo technique reserved for special acolytes. Or to be part of a super secret society of dark priests of kink, or to practice amazing sex magic – or better yet, ‘magick’. Guess what: they are delusional fools, or plain old swindlers. Serious teachers have nothing to hide, and they can support their claims with data you can check.

Do your homeworks before going to school
Talking about books, it makes sense to study the theoretical part by yourself, and to seek out a tutor for the practical teaching half only – and of course to bounce off them whether you learned your lesson all right. You can start your education with the excellent books I have selected for you in my Resources section.

The only absolute truth is the wrong one
Sensible people know the wisdom of the saying that goes ‘your kink is not my kink, but it’s OK’: each person interprets extreme eroticism through the lens of their experience, background, fantasies and taste, to the point that two people can play the same game in totally different ways. Those who claim to hold the knowledge of “true BDSM” are therefore just pretty closed-minded persons who are – maybe unwittingly – trying to impose their fantasy over yours.
There is only one element everyone really can agree upon, and that’s what you must not do, ever, because it goes against the law, endangers safety or health, or doesn’t take into account real-world matters like physics, physiology, consent, etcetera. Once you have that clear, everything else is your playground to enjoy.

Get into your local scene
Following a reliable tutor can be priceless, but so is measuring yourself with other enthusiasts and exchanging ideas with them. Getting involved with your local scene does wonders for this: if you keep your eyes and ears open at playparties, workshops and other social gatherings, you are bound to learn a lot from how other people play – including what doesn’t fit your style.

For complex matters, look for a coach
Once you have mastered whatever techniques you like, you may find you still have some issues to tackle of a more complex nature. Relational skills, for example, or navigating the scene, or setting up a professional dominatrix business – or even just designing your ideal dungeon. For matters like these, you don’t need a teacher as much as a personal coach, that is someone who can assess your situation from an outsider’s perspective, use their experience to help you plan an ideal strategy to solve it, and be at hand to keep you on the route throughout the process.

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