Best Kink Games For Beginners

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The opposite of consent is not nonconsent, it is conquest. Knowledge of and enthusiasm for sexual practices, including kink—especially kink—are tools meant for sharing with partners to achieve mutual fulfillment and gratification. They are not meant to be weapons. 


If you think you can win an otherwise unwilling person "over" by being good enough at a certain kind of sex, you are not "kinky"—you are a rapist. 


My kink does not bring a girl home and "surprise" her with rough sex. It does not lurk or linger over the desks of my coworkers, waiting on a yes. 


The degrees separating a spanking and an apple pie baked while your partner is at work are few—they come from a place of compassion, affection and the tingling warmth of seeing someone else enjoy something you made. 


Jiam Ghomeshi—the CBC correspondent facing rape allegations—and his disturbed designs for women are not "kinky." His victims, and those of us who have called him out, are not ignorant to his esoteric ways. He is an abuser. 


He and his entitlement to women's bodies can not crash at our house. We have enough men who fall back on "it's not abuse, it's BDSM!" to manifest their malicious intent.


Cleaning our house is several times easier said than done: Any and every "alternative" retains elements of the mainstream. There is misogyny in gay male culture, homophobia in the bronies and rape culture in BDSM. Confronting abuse means confronting ourselves, and this is not only exhausting work, but work that doesn't pay.


Now and again, I need to take a break from screaming at men to remind myself that what I have and what I share with other women is beautiful, healing, and worth the relentless introspection and critical inventory it takes to make that space safe and inclusive. 


With that in mind, there are a couple games I think you should play. Both are produced via a service called Twine, a tool for creating interactive stories—essentially a text adventure writing engine, though it can be used to make poems and novels. It's really neat and has helped an entire community of beginning game makers, who have no software development experience, create projects that reflect and express their identities and lived experiences.

And sometimes—not always—these projects align with my sexual preferences in profound ways. 



To call kink a "sexual preference" is needlessly limiting in scope. To allow yourself to change size and shape, to a queen or to tiny human furniture—to commiserate in magic circles where pain is pleasure and humiliation is compassion . . . this can be life saving.

Here are some particularly compelling Twine games.

reProgram

reProgram by Soha Kareem (who I recently talked to about the imperative of safety and boundaries in relationships) deftly defies misconceptions of BDSM practitioners as broken and confused—by embracing, even cradling the damage of its narrator. The game—I am defining "game" in this case by a collaboration between creator and user to pursue a narrative not constrained by the limits of reality—recounts and relays an unflinching history of abuse and clinical isolation, reconciled through the re-appropriation of stimuli.

Some of us grew up in and with abuse. We take the hurt the world has given us and modified it to suit our needs, into something that fulfills us, that excites and maintains a tether to "sanity." This is only one approach (and a holistic one) to a very complex existence—there's also the endorphin rush of experiencing pain and sometimes people just like to be hit because it's fun, and don't want to be led around on a collar and leash. This game is but a single facet in a flourish.

Some of us used BDSM to recontextualize our relationship to pain and grow, as people, into the sort of adults we strived to be when we were children—powerful, unafraid. You may not understand this, but that's OK. Someone made a game for you to play so you might be able to understand this! You can follow a woman's excruciating bloom into "human"—and if it doesn't move and compel you like it has me every time I've played it, you can stop. This is how BDSM is meant to be—mutual and optional.

You may not understand it, but it is still real.

I don't believe in carceral feminism—I want Jian Ghomeshi kept far away from the women he has hurt, but I do not feel that putting him in prison is "justice." Instead, I'd prefer that he and men like him be forced to wear a T-shirt everywhere that reads "ACTUALLY THE SUBMISSIVE HAS THE TRUE POWER IN A BDSM POWER EXCHANGE AND I'M AN ASSHOLE."

Disabuse yourself of this "default scenario" where the dominant inflicts onto the submissive and the submissive simply endures to ingratiate themselves to their captor and to prove they're "actually serious" about kink. There is, or should be, an abundance of negotiation.

Our roles (dominant, submissive, etc.) do not curtail our right to advocate for safety. I am really into blindfolds—but no amount of my excitation can render someone's aversion to blindfolds as "collateral damage." If she's not into blindfolds, or foot tickling, we simply don't do it.

Consensual Torture Simulator

My fetishes are not the cost of admission for getting to breathe the same air or share the same bed as me, but a gift. A receipt of my fetish made manifest (i.e. getting spanked or tickled) is also a gift. 

The protagonist of Consensual Torture Simulator wants to be hurt. She asks you, the player, to hurt her until she cries.

And you may not get to. If you don't pace yourself (and her) or check in with her enough, she may safeword and end the scene. This is not a loss condition or "fail state." Safewords are not an acquiescence but a means to take back control—they are empowering.

True power in kink comes from trust, not stamina or experience or knowledge of techniques. The healing, therapeutic element of kink comes from the ability to trust another person to compassionately disfigure you and then set you back together in the right order when you've had enough.

When I say I'm a sadist, it doesn't mean that I want to hurt random people. It means I've stayed up until 2 in the morning, nervous and concerned about the emotional safety of an imaginary woman who I am punching and slapping, hoping to avoid a "too much too soon." To me, a safeword is not bad because it means the scene will end (a lot of emotional gratification can be found in ending a scene and processing it with a caring, listening partner), but because it meant I may have overlooked a sign she needed me to "let up."



There's also a "human story" in my relationship to Consensual Torture Simulator: It was made by my partner, merritt kopas. Our relationship had just started when the game came out—I hungrily belabored on the beta in the hopes of learning as much as I could about her. The woman in the game was very clearly her—and I wanted to one day be as the player, brewing tea for a woman lost in the swoon of her own bruising. Bruises that were pleaded for and received with unflinching, uncoerced gratitude.

I do not recommend this game (or reProgram) in the hopes of tricking you into finding out you're into BDSM. Consensual Torture Simulator did not "excite" me in the way you might presume—it caressed me in hard-to-reach places and soothed me with vulnerable, intimate truths.

These games are not porn—and kink is not always sex. Sometimes I just tie a girl up and do her nails and stroke her hair and it doesn't get any "further" than that because it doesn't have to, because sometimes you just need a subtle manifestation of your smallness to keep you "balanced," "focused."

It may not change your mind, but it will change you. Any reaction to media, no matter how infinitesimal, is a slight deviation from your previous state—no matter how much you are "bored" or "don't give a fuck" about a piece of media, it's existence and your relationship changes you.

You may come away from these games with a sympathy, and perhaps even an interest, in joining the pursuit of those sorts of scenarios and relationships. You may come away triggered and disturbed, shaking your head saying "No sir I don't like it" and never consider kink again.

In any case, our truths, and our desires to explore and share those truths with one another, will remain.



Games like these encourage and invite you to emphatically entangle yourself in the complicated personal relationships of the women who made them. And you should take them up on their invitation because it is important for you to understand how and why men like Jian Ghomeshi do not represent us. At all.

 

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