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Thursday, August 21, 2014

The KinkyCoach: Helping Newbies Find Their Way in the World of Fetish

Posted By on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 7:35 AM

click to enlarge KINKYCOACH
  • KinkyCoach
Ask anyone who’s involved in the scene, and they will tell you that BDSM and fetish culture is enjoying a huge resurgence — not only in the Bay Area but worldwide. That doesn’t mean the doors are always wide open, however, and for the curious, finding your footing can be intimidating. That’s where the KinkyCoach comes in.

A San Francisco resident and former porn director who’s embarked on one of those only-in-San-Francisco career paths, the KinkyCoach helps budding kinksters broaden their erotic lives and find their place in this burgeoning community. We spoke with him about how he came into it, the popular misperceptions of fetish play, and the challenges new players face.

This interview has been condensed and lightly edited.
So how did it start?

The KinkyCoach is an idea that I’ve been kicking around almost since I arrived here eight years ago. I’ve done a lot of work with the Body Electric, a group that was formed to help meet the needs of the [AIDS] epidemic when it was very severe and people were afraid of touch. In doing some of their work, I realized not only about being able to heal myself through touch, but also the transformative quality for other people.

The other track is that I was training as a life coach, which revolved around the clarification of values. I kind of toyed with it, but I wasn’t quite there yet, so I took a part-time job (which ended up being in the porn industry, for one of the studios in the city.) That ended up being a seven-year training session.

And you got a seven-year itch?

Kind of. I learned to be very open about discussing sex, negotiating what the scenes were going to be. I’ve also filmed a lot of mechanical sex. If the connection wasn’t there, my job as director was to film bits and pieces that made it seem like it was, and edit it together.

I decided it was time to do that for real. I wanted to help people reconnect. So it was kind of a perfect storm, of my own exploration of sexuality through touch, being in the kink community for 20 years, and life coaching.

So it was a natural extension. It wasn’t a big leap.

Not in terms of content, no. KinkyCoach is about helping men focus back on their erotic selves and how they express them. I directed one of the fetish lines for the porn company, so I got the opportunity to choreograph a huge number of BDSM scenes. Coupled with my own experience in the community, it’s like, “Oh, I know a lot of things that some people don’t. Especially beginning people.”

I want to pass along some of that excitement that I have for how transformative and centering and fun and downright sexy that kind of play can be. So my focus is looking at the fetish world and how to introduce curious people to it.

Fetish can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Do you mean “classic” dom-sub? Or is it more?

Well, it really isn’t about the sex. It’s about “I’ve seen this on a video” or “Since I was 12, I’ve been turned on by this and I’m afraid of what my partner will say” or “I’m terrified to pick someone off a hookup site because I’ve done that before and I had a horrible experience.”

With KinkyCoach, they get a safe environment, a known quantity, an experienced practitioner. A large percentage of my business is for the kink-curious, showing people one-on-one how something plays out — whether that’s, say, flogging or bondage or whatever. But a growing portion is working with couples. Both of them may be curious about something, but neither have the experience. [KinkyCoach] takes some of the pressure off because in some ways it’s in an artificial container. They know they don’t have to do it right. They’re not going to ruin their date by doing it wrong.

click to enlarge KINKYCOACH
  • KinkyCoach
Do people come to this with expectations of what a role implies?

There’s certainly a lot of that. For better of worse, gay men’s perception of sex is affected by what we’ve seen on video. Take flogging, for example. Some of the big misconceptions are that it’s got to hurt, I have to endure it, it’s about being completely helpless. And while there are elements of that, the reality is that it’s about starting off slow, and building to a threshold you can take. It’s about enjoying it! Making a sensual connection with your partner, but also with yourself. If you’re bottoming in this, you’re getting overwhelmed with all these sensations happening to your body, you can’t be thinking, “Did I turn off the coffee pot?” Your mind turns off and becomes very primal, and I love that. It’s so centering.

There’s a great principle we live by: safe, sane, consensual. That’s the agreement we have coming into BDSM play. The object is not to inflict physical damage. That’s the thing people don’t understand about erotic play: There’s a give-and-take, and a wonderful energy that flows back and forth. It’s some of the most intimate stuff you can do, because you’re really letting down your guard. You’re trusting someone. Or, you have the awesome responsibility that someone’s trusting you.

Do you find that people who are new feel embarrassed about what they might not know, and need to present themselves as experts? Not because they’re tops and they want to look super-masculine, but because there’s a lot of anxiety and you want to “fake-it-til-you-make-it”?

I think there’s a lot of that for new players. You’re caught up in performance anxiety. Society tells men — especially gay men — they have to be macho. But we’re not taught how to do this stuff.

One of the things I enjoy, especially when you’re with a partner who feels very safe and secure, is that the connection is so deep. One time you may be laughing, another time you may be screaming, another time you may be crying and you don’t know why. When you’re able to let down the façade, these wonderful things well up in you — plus you’ve got the endorphins, like after a great workout. To think, “Are they going to figure out I’m a poser?” is what keeps people away.

What do you think about the scene? Obviously the internet is a boon.

I have to acknowledge that we live in the bubble of San Francisco, but things are exploding. You’ve got any number of groups, from rubber men to leather men to trans. There is a play outlet for just about anybody in the city. And the heterosexual community is learning all this as well. Whether that’s American Gothic or Fifty Shades of Grey, they’re having the freedom to do these things.

So much of that can be done online, but nothing replaces the face-to-face, meeting someone, talking, seeing if it’s a good fit. We’re not stuck in a bar or a sex club anymore. San Francisco has this wonderful renaissance happening that I find fascinating. It’s a very exciting time to be kinky.

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About The Author

Pete Kane

Pete Kane

Pete Kane is a total gaylord who is trying to get to every national park before age 40


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