Sorry for the delay in this weeks discussion, there have been a lot going on on top of a halloween photo shoot which means everything has been pushed out.
By the looks of it there is a good majority of people voting yes to gay marriage (64.3% as if the latest figures) but these things are always off the mark so only the final numbers will tell.
A medical student has been convicted as a sex offender after engaging in consensual sex with someone he met on Tinder after roughly handling her breasts. The assault took place while the couple were having sex when he pulled her hair and grabbed her breasts.
Note: We do not condone non-consensual sex of any kind, but it does seem this sets a chilling president.
We discuss some of the great ways you can learn from the Internet and some good sites that will teach you a thing or two about your kinks. From FetLife to Kink Academy there is so much to see and learn and the web is a great place to start if you don't have anyone you can talk too (or even if you don't but neither of you know enough).
A long long time ago (OK not that long ago really in the scheme of things but when we are talking about the internet things have changed rapidly) if you wanted to learn about something then your choices were to go to school, read a book, find a community to educate you or learn on the job. Obviously there are lots of overlaps between these things and they didn't, and still don't, operate in isolation of one another but what if the subject you wanted to learn about or the community you wanted to find was not what one would call main stream?
Clearly that made things much harder, it is not like you could take a BDSM 101 class at your local college however if you had a good library there is a chance you might have picked up a book or two on the matter but otherwise your only hope was to find likeminded folks and create a community. Classified ads were one such place where you might have had some luck but clearly that was not without its pitfalls too.
Without a doubt the internet has changed all that. Now anyone with access to a computer (or electronic device) and an internet connection quite literally has more information and knowledge at their fingers tips than they could ever possibly have time to read and that goes for kink too.
It is quite literally a whole new world where finding information is no longer restricted because the subject you are interested in is adult or niche in nature. In fact it was almost as if the internet was designed with exactly that in mind.
I was in my mid 30's when I first started to be interested in kink and it was the internet that led me to my biggest discoveries about my sexuality. Online I found not only information but communities of people who were interested in the same things as me. Suddenly I not only had things to read and learn from but people to talk to about it as well. Without a doubt the internet changed my life in that regard, I went from someone who had always felt like something was missing to someone who not only had a clue what that was but eventually found it and took that knowledge and experience and shared it with others online.
So we know that the internet is full of wonderful juicy information but we also know that there is an awful lot of it and to be quite frank not all information is created equal. There are numerous articles online that explain, in what at first glance almost sounds convincing, why the earth is flat but that does not mean they are the articles you should be taking to heart and basing your geographical knowledge on and the same can be said for kink and sex related content.
Clearly this is the tricky bit when content is so plentiful the issue becomes not the amount or even finding it but identifying if it is any good or not. There is no one single way of doing this but something's to keep in mind when reading:
As I have already said content is plentiful and finding the good stuff can be tricky but here some suggestions of excellent places to get you started.
Fetlife - This is a whole site dedicated to everything kink and fetish related. However finding stuff can be super tricky. My advice would be to start by searching for things in your local area and making some friends. Once you have done that it will be easier to find content that they recommend.
Kink Academy - Without a doubt this site is the largest repository of education kink videos online. Both the breadth of subjects covered and the amount of fabulous educators featured here makes this an amazing resource. There is some free content but most of it membership based and prices vary depending on how long you want to sign up for. This is also a great place to discover kink educators many of whom have their own websites where you can find more stuff by them.
Two Knotty Boys - For basic knot tying Two Knotty Boys is a great resource. Sadly their Youtube channel has been deleted and they seem to have pretty much given up making new content but you can still download some of their videos here
Submissive Guide - This site was started back in 2009 and is quite frankly jammed packed full of content that deals with a huge variety of subjects around submission and D/s. The site is run by LunaKM but much of the content is written by a variety of different contributors making this a really diverse resource.
Loving BDSM - This started life as a podcast but has since transformed into a complete community resource. The podcast still takes place but there are now videos, written content and a forum where you can chat with other kink folks. Lots of it is free but there are some extra special goodies for members, and fees are eminently reasonable.
This week we are talking about the pony play article written by Emmeline Peaches. It was a little rant heavy but there is so much going on that it's hard to not do it.
This week Hugh Hefner died, while he isn't someone we have thought about much, digging into his life a little has revealed some surprises.
It is easy to see Hugh Hefner as a dirty old man, and perhaps at the end of his life that is something he has earned. But it is worth looking at some of the good he has done in his earlier life to see who he really was. Besides being a Guinness World Recording breaking scrap booker he was an advocate in the 1950's for gay rights and and sexual rights in general. He also championed black music in the late 1950's with people like Ella Fitzgerald or James Brown.
That isn't to say it has been all clear sailing and there have been plenty of peeks into what really happened behind the gates at the Playboy mansion. There is certainly a sleazy side to the whole thing, and that is what I have always seen when someone mentions Hugh Hefner. It is hard to not see someone taking advantage of young women, but it seems life is much more complex than that.
Officials in the DOJ have intervened in a discrimination case against a gay man who says a company fired him simply because of his sexual orientation. In a surprise move the DOH sided with the employer arguing that it is entirely legal to discriminate against gay employees on a federal level.
The Department of Justice now insists that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlaws discrimination in employment based on sex, does not provide any protection for gay people.
As the Australian post vote over whether gay marriage should be allowed in the country continues a junior minister for defence personnel has instructed the department to find a way out of the current protections that in place for non-binary soldiers.
If the change is successful it would revoke any protections in place for gender-diverse people serving in the military (in the field and support roles).
A new study of young British people found that only two-thirds defined themselves as completely straight. With 14% saying they are "mostly" attracted to the "opposite sex", while 9% equally attracted to both sexes. Leaving 3% mostly attracted to the "same sex".
This is a dramatic shift from Baby Boomers (born between 1960-1980) who 88% identified as completely straight.
It was a thought provoking article this week and one that has a lot more depth too than we can really do justice. The first place to start is what is pony play and why people enjoy it, but we quickly moved onto the types of pony and their roles. There really is so much to unpack that I think we could easily talk about it alone for a whole show.
But something else came up and that is how much of this is based on the culture of the country it is in?
The Western relationship with horses, especially in the UK and Europe, is long-standing and very complex.
Horses are technically 'domesticated' but no one would ever imagine cooing over a horse in the same way they might a dog or cat. Instead, there's a certain amount of dignity that comes with the human/horse dynamic: A sense of inherent respect for the ever-untameable spirit of the stallion and the eternal elegance of a show horse in dressage.
Horses are, even when owned, a commanding creature.
The aesthetics of the horse seems to have an extreme appeal too. Horses are paired with rulers and nobility in art (their heads deliberately shrunk to exaggerate the strength of their owners) and studied extensively by the great masters. For many (myself included) the most striking painting in London's National Gallery is George Stubb's Whistlejacket.
The prominence of ponies and horses in Western culture was inevitably going to bleed in to kink culture and pet play. And, much as you'd imagine, its erotic existence is just as uniquely interesting as our relationship with the animal that inspired it.
Pony play is a sub-genre of the pet play fetish, which involves at least one handler/owner/trainer/sir/mistress and at least one individual who takes on an equine role.
Even the briefest glance at the pony play kink will reveal its heavy BDSM connotations. Most noticeably pony play highlights bondage and domination, with its many forms of restraint (inspired by horse riding tack and described as such).
Given this, it's no surprise that there are two main types of pony play scenario: Those involving people who fully embrace equine roleplay (they are naturally horses) and those who are being 'forced' in to their tack (they are humans being treated as horses). In the latter case, humiliation fantasies may also be at play: with the position as a master/mistresses' new play thing being the main point of arousal.
Either instances usually involves three different types of pony. There's the Show Pony, who gets dressed in pretty tack and must meticulously model their gear; Riding Ponies, who will be ridden by a dominant; and Cart Ponies, who must cart their dominant around (sometimes in public) and may be whipped for motivation. In all instances, tack, riding crops, and whips will likely be employed and various degrees of humiliation or praise are possible.
These extensive subdivisions are fairly intricate and stand out for their complexity, even among the pet play community. There may be different dynamics for pups, a fluctuating relationship with pussies, and an almost mainstream vibe to bunny girls and boys, but pony play takes the red ribbon for categorisation and presentation.
As is expected, the somewhat stand-offish and almost professional relationship dynamic present in humans and horses also allows pony play to be more transferable to a conventional BDSM relationship. Affection doesn't necessarily exist as a fundamental requisite of any play scene. Things can remain purely rider and beast and that shows in the framework of pony play itself.
But another standout element of pony play is that it's well known outside of the kink circuit and people seem to like it...a lot.
My first experience with pony play was as a teen and it wasn't what you'd expect.
I didn't stumble upon it accidentally while browsing the net.
I didn't slip myself in to a sex museum to get some 'alternative' (and probably more efficient, at that time) sex education.
Instead, I saw my first pony on the middle shelf of a high street magazine retailer on the front of the now retired Bizarre magazine.
This was at least ten years ago and, although not exactly pervasive in society, pony play was at least accessible.
Now pony play is never that far from public exposure. Traditional 'bits' are sold alongside other ball gags in most adult stores and high-class cat walks are becoming a bit more equine; with hoof shoes gaining so much attention that they routinely trend on tumblr.
Fashion seems to be the conduit for most people's exposure to (and acceptance of) pony play and I count this as kind of inevitable. Pony play gear is well-made, inherently elegant, and has immediate fashionable appeal. This seems to have readily drawn people to pony play, or at least its gear, and through fashion people have learnt to embrace fetish.
This is very reminiscent of people's relationship with corsets and leather gear and is both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, it helps to normalize fetishes and niche desires, which is awesome! It also means that undiscovered ponies will have more chance of finding their herd, minimalizing isolation. But, alas, this does also trivialize the intricacies of pony play too and contextualize it in ways far removed from the fetish itself.
The popularity and acceptance pony play has been afforded doesn't seem to have transferred to other pets, either. Pups, particularly, are still approached with ridicule or scepticism, and this is a shame.
It is people outside of the pony play community, not the community itself, that have caused this dissonance. As such, there's not much to be done except put one hoof in front of the others and keep representing pony play with pride.
There are, thankfully, many fully-fledged pony play fetish communities willing to teach new ponies the ropes (or reigns), and you're almost guaranteed a warm whinnying welcome.
Just be prepared to save up: tack is not cheap.