Reader Question: How Can I Explore & Get More into My Kink?


fetish // john murphy

(Note: Occasionally, I get a question from a reader that is compelling enough to become its own article. This is one of those questions.)

Dear Ev’Yan,

I have been quietly reading your blog while also coming to terms with my need for erotic play in my sex life. The thing is I don’t know where to start. I enjoy the submissive role and my partner is interested in being in the dominant role. Neither one of us really know how best to play our roles to fulfill each other that way and need some ideas/guidance. Can you steer me in the right direction? 



Good on you, Talia, for wanting to get to know & express your kinky side! As for where you should start. . .

First, start with. . . Self-Exploration

The word kink means a lot of different things for many people. So begin by uncovering what kinky means to you via self-exploration (& maybe even a little masturbation).

Ask yourself. . .

  • What words & images come up when I think of kink?
  • What things do I associate with kink? (i.e., colors, sensations, images, objects)
  • Who’s someone that embodies these kinky characteristics? (a celebrity, a fictional character, etc.)
  • What does it mean to me to be a submissive? What does it mean to be a dom?

If you’re having trouble coming up with images or words, think about your fantasies. What erotic imagery gets you off? Are there any kinds of kinky porn that you gravitate toward watching? What about sensations that you’re aching to feel at the height of your arousal? I bet you’ll see some themes arising. Feed off of that as you continue to unearth & play with what kink means to you.

Next, try envisioning who you would be as you act out these expressions of kink. How do you see yourself embodying kink? How are you behaving? What are you wearing? How are you talking? As a submissive, what would you like to be done to you? Journal it out; use lavish words. Make it into a story of some sort.

This is meant to be a playful & curious kind of exploration—no right or wrong answers, no rules, just whatever comes up naturally as you think about it.

And remember: this is your unique expression of kink, no one else’s. Feel free to pull inspiration from others’ expressions of kink, but know that you can make yours look & feel however you want it to.

Next. . . Open, Honest Communication with Your Partner

Whenever you’re ready, bring the pieces you’ve collected during your kink exploration to your partner. Share with them whatever you want them to know: your definition of kink, what it looks like to you, what you’d like to explore. You might also ask them some of the questions you asked yourself as you were exploring to get a clearer idea of what their kink looks & feels like. Be sure to create a safe space for the two of you to speak your desires, your concerns, & curiosities.

One thing you two should definitely do together: Start thinking about what kinky acts you’re interested in exploring. Babeland has this awesome list that they hand out to people when they go to their workshops. It’s called the Yes/No/Maybe list*, & you can recreate this for yourself & your partner.

Start by sectioning off three columns on a piece of paper, & in each column write one of these words: YES, NO, & MAYBE. Then, from a list of sexual acts, write down in a respective column where those acts land for you: as a Yes, a Maybe, or a definite No.

So, maybe spanking is something you’d like to try; you’d put that in the Maybe column. Golden showers. . . not your schtick; you’d put that in the No column. And so on. Have your partner do their own list, too. Then, compare each other’s lists. Is one of their No’s one of your Yes’s (or vice versa)? Are you both into some of the same stuff?

It’s so important to have these kinds of open dialogues, as they help to form strong boundaries around what you two are creating for each other as your kinky expressions are explored.

And of course:

Consent is of the utmost importance as you explore your kink. Make sure you & your partner are prepared to honor each other by renewing that consent with check-ins & heart-to-hearts about how you’re feeling—before, during, & after.

Then. . . Playful & Curious Experimentation

By now, you & your partner should have a good, solid list of some things you’d like to try with each other—likely to be found in the Yes & Maybe column of your lists. The only thing left to do is try it on for size.

Feeling a bit daunted by where to start with your lists? Start with some light pain-play, like spanking & biting (start off slow & light, & work your way up to test your pain thresholds). Dirty talk & commands can also help the two of you dip a toe into your dominant/submissive roles. Start there, & see what happens. Just make sure that you & your partner are both fully aroused before you begin experimentation.

Another thing you two could do is watch porn together that portrays the kind(s) of kink you’re into (& that’s where that Yes/No/Maybe list will come in handy).

Whatever you start with, go forth & get your kinky on.

And finally. . . Heart-to-Heart Evaluation

So, how was it? What was it like to play as a submissive? What was it like for your partner to play as a dom? Was there anything you especially loved? Anything you tried that wasn’t your cup of tea?

Be honest about your experience—with yourself & with your partner. Whatever didn’t work, toss aside. And what did work for you, keep playing with. The most important thing is that you’re both vocal about how you feel, & that you feel comfortable asking for what you want. Establishing trust & maintaining safety (which are must-haves for kinky sex!) is created through honest feedback & continued checkins outside of playtime.

Know, too, that it’s not uncommon for sexual acts that were once a total Yes! to somehow turn into a No with time (& vice versa). That’s totally OK. These expressions can be quite fluid (as can your own arousal), & if/when it happens, just shelve it & move onto something else (or, pick it up & give it a go).

Again, this is your kink, your expression. You can make it look & feel however you want it to.

But above all. . . keep exploring it, & try to maintain a state of innocence & curiosity about it. Exploring your kink should never feel like an obligation.

This is just the tip of the kinky iceberg.

The ideas written here are far from exhaustive. There are hundreds of books & articles out there that will help you continue to explore your kinky side, as well as cover more extensive topics, like consent with kink, safe words, & the like.

Here are just a few resources that’ll inspire you as you continue to explore erotic play:

// [NSFW]
// Exhibitionism for the Shy, Carol Queen
// Radical Ecstasy, Easton & Hardy (also check out: The New Bottoming Book)
// [NSFW]
// The Art of the Blowjob (the last page is a great resource for tips on communication)
// 150 Shades of Play, Em & Lo

*I took the liberty of scanning a page in Babeland’s book, Moregasm, which gives a pretty stellar list of sexual acts that I couldn’t find anywhere else.

Be safe, be consensual, & have fun!

Sexy Spring! Sensual Photos, Favorite Reads, & My Beloved Book for $0.99

tumblr_n2cjv5hdt61qjuvrao1_1280 tumblr_n30o8vq25b1qjuvrao1_1280 tumblr_n3tzzekNo21qjuvrao1_1280 tumblr_n2fzhcKIFM1qjuvrao1_1280 tumblr_n2amjq3Wzg1qjuvrao1_1280

Spring is my favorite season. The blooming, the buzzing, the radiance. . . everything about it makes the cells in my body (as well as my nasal passages) tingle. I love Spring so much because it embodies sensuality to me the way that no other season can.

And every year, as I bask in it, something seems to activate inside of me & I begin to bloom & buzz & radiate in unison with my surroundings: the lilacs & tulips & sweetpeas; the bees & the tiny baby birds; the moss & the cool, damp earth; the warming, plentiful sun.

 Spring awakens & seduces my senses.

I have to admit that it’s been hard for me to get a consistent amount of work & writing done these days because all I want to do is go outside & play, or take delicious naps in the sun, or read book after book. And while there is a big part of me that is usually saying, “Get back to work! Go do something productive!”, I find myself surrendering the this other voice, which is kind of small but warm & comforting, & it says:

“Go on, indulge. Luxuriate in this yumminess, nourish your desires. This is part of your great work.”

(And it’s true.)

So in the spirit of this lazing about, & as I indulge in some very simple, sensual, quiet moments. . . I’d thought I share a bit of this juiciness with you, in the hopes of inciting you to give yourself permission to steal some sensual moments of your own.

What my Sensual, Sexy Spring looks like. . .

// Wearing my hair down & out, big & curly—even when it rains or when my only errand is to buy a lemon; letting the wind catch it, letting it whip my cheeks; enjoying the deep sense of femininity that comes with it my coily goldilocks.

// Walking. Everywhere. To brunch, to the store, to the dog park, to get acupuncture, to buy flowers. Walking is sensual simply because in doing it, I can’t help but slow down & take in the sensations: the way my hips move, the light in a stranger’s smiles, a cool breeze that makes my curls dance. When I walk, I am thrust into the here & now.

// Sleeveless dresses with black stalkings & boots (+ a little bit of cleavage). Going braless, shoeless—feeling the actual ground beneath my feet. Bronzed shoulders facing sunbeams. The sound my steps make against the pavement.

// Music: Beyonce, Prince, Little Dragon, Erykah Badu, Grizzly Bear, Bob Marley & the Wailers, Sade. Windows open, volume up, dance parties in the kitchen while I’m cooking dinner.

// Colors of flower petals on my lips. Experimenting with all shades of red & pink. I like the way it brightens my complexion, whitens my smile. A red mouth goes gorgeously with an illuminated crown chakra.

// Waking up earlier to catch the perfect (yet fleeting) amount of unfiltered sunlight that hits my back deck for a few hours. Ginger tea with my favorite mug in hand, a good book, stillness, & closed-eyed sungazing. Mmmm!

// Speaking of. . . I’ve been reading some very incredible books these last couple months.

> She, Robert Johnson
> Wild Feminine, Tami Lynn Kent
> Women’s Anatomy of Arousal, Sherri Winston
> Coming Home to Myself, Marion Woodman
> Sex Matters, Osho
> salt., Nayyirah Waheed
> Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes
> The Gift, Hafiz

// Sex. Hot ‘n sweaty, slow & sensual, multiple orgasms & quick seconds. There’s something about the warming air & my heightened senses that brings my sexual desires out, pulsating—no matter where I am in my cycle.

// Sleeping in when my body is craving it. Waking up when my body is ready for it.

// Wide open space in my schedule. Keeping from bogging my calendar with engagements & commitments. Spaciousness & ease is sensual.

// Flowers: in my home, in my hair, giant blooms in the palms of my hands & at my altar. Stopping to smell them, capture them, marvel at them, pet them. (This is what makes my walks so glorious.)

// Impromptu, cherished dates with my beloved. Sushi. Frisbee in the park. Laying in bed together & waking up slowly. Walking together to get fixin’s for dinner. Movie marathons. Tickle fights. With so much pleasure.

// Journaling my first thoughts, with a good ol’ pen & piece of paper. Letting things flow, letting ideas unfurl. Allowing patience for poetry to form. Easing into creation.

// Gratitude. Big, big heaps of it. Bathing in it. Praying for it. Using it as a mindfulness practice. When I am aware of the blessings around me, even the little ones, life breathes technicolor, words resonate like poetry, & love becomes tangible. All thanks to gratitude.

MORE. . .
horoscopes; moon-gazing & star-watching; Tumblr; fresh, organic berries; watering the plants; legs entwined; coconut oil; people watching; rose quartz & hematite; coloring my hair; selfies & self-worship; long bubble baths; going back to my roots.

 tumblr_n32tlp74gd1qjuvrao1_1280 tumblr_n1qij32WJN1qjuvrao1_1280 tumblr_n326vwrsgp1qjuvrao1_1280 tumblr_n3y8dvebhT1qjuvrao1_1280 2012-07-11 19.39.50


In honor of Sexy Spring (& because I’m bathing in gratitude): Get my book (Kindle style) for $0.99—starting now!

SLL-Book-Cover-kindle-smallMy best-selling ebook is on Kindle now—updated, expanded, & freshened up for you.

AND I’m offering it to you for $0.99 for the weekend.

Kindle version entails. . . 65-ish pages of soul-stirring poetry, bold affirmations, & heartfelt tête-à-têtes, from my heart to yours, + you can take the book wherever you take your phone. Simply download the Kindle app onto your smartphone.

(NOTE: The Kindle version does not come with the workbook or email course.)

If you’ve ever wanted a taste of what sexual liberation & self-actualization looks & feels like for you, this manifesto, my little labor of love, is the perfect place to start! & if you love it, leave me a review for it. That would be lovely.

Want a copy? Here you go, with my sincerest thanks.

(Sale starts now, ends midnight on Monday, 4/21.)


to your sensual, sexy spring & self:


If You Desire a Deep, Lasting Embodiment of Your Sexual, Sensual Self. . .

If you want to experience waves of delicious pleasure; if you want a deep connection to your orgasm & sensual expression; if you want to banish the inhibitions that keep you from accessing your carnal nature;  if you’re longing to reclaim your wildish, sexual, feminine self. . .

Know your body.
Know your inner cycles.
Honor your natural rhythms.

First & foremost.

Sexual liberation, multiple orgasms, uninhibited erotic expression, total sensual living—none of these things can exist in wholeness, in fullness, without first considering & cultivating a deep knowing about your body. This means understanding how your body works, & allowing it the space it needs to speak & interact its wisdom with you.

You are already connected to your body; this has been established simply by your inhabiting it everyday. The foundation is there, the next step is in the noticing. And in noticing, in honoring the interaction between your physical body & your sexual energy, a deeper enrichment of the relationship begins to form.

Ways to connect yourself with your body:

  • Develop an intimate relationship with your yoni; get to know her beyond “vagina.”
  • Start a body log which charts the rhythms, energies, & moods you contain on a daily basis.
  • Breathe (our breath has a miraculous way of bringing mindful connection to the body).
  • Create some kind of self-care ritual, one in the morning or before you go to sleep.
  • Practice getting out of your head & into your body; get still, tune in, & listen.
  • Learn about the intricateness of your anatomy (my favorite books below).

When we connect to our bodies on a deep level, only then will the vibrant, electric world of sexual connection be unlocked fully to us. . . otherwise it’s all in the head, & sexual energy doesn’t just live there.

So start from the source, your roots: establish a relationship with your natural internal landscapes, as well as your unique feminine body temple.

In doing this, the work you’re doing in the realm of sexual awakening & reclamation will have a deeper meaning, & essentially more staying power.

Stellar reads about the female body & honoring your inner cycles

// Wild Feminine, Tami Kent
// Women’s Anatomy of Arousal, Sheri Winston
// Emergence of the Sensual Woman, Saida Desilets

My Little Rituals, Creative Mannerisms, & Sacred Practices

Before I sit to write. . .

tumblr_mvt8g5aqHn1qjuvrao1_1280Coffee, decaf—a little too sweet. Anytime of day. A notebook & fine-point marker pen on my right, a book feeding my wisdom to my left. Sitting at my kitchen table; window cracked, curtains pulled open, copious amounts of light pouring onto my work station—even on a cloudy day.

Laptop. Flowers. Post-it notes at my wrists. Heater whirring. Music; likely Air’s Pocket Symphony or Zero 7′s Simple Things or Björk’s Vespertine. 

Then begins the writing.

In the process of writing. . .

Typing. As fast as I can before the inspiration leaves me. Short, quick fragments of thought. Trying not to edit & fuss over sentences not yet fully birthed. Anxious, hurried, passionate typing—I don’t want to lose this! Looking to my right, face to the sun, watching clouds pass & birds fly & squirrels hunt for food in the rain gutters. More, more typing.

Working for hours, working for minutes, depending on the content. Nearing the finish. It reads good, but I want it to read great. I bring it to Jonathan—reading it aloud to him or having him read it himself. Pacing, heart-thumping, hopeful; expecting him to say, “This is no good. Start all over.” He never says that, just smiles & says, “Beautiful.” Always.

One more read-through to check for typos & see if any darlings need to be killed. Asking Jonathan one more time, “Are you sure it’s ready? Are you sure?” He nods. Asking myself the same question; a resounding Yes.

Then, I publish.

Before I get on the phone with a client. . .

An hour or so before: Going inward. Opening space for what’s to come, while simultaneously sealing off a part that’s all for me (for self-protection). Glasses of water. Indulging in quiet, intimate, slow, playful moments: reading a book, stealing kisses from my beloved, taking my dog for a little walk. Then. . . making tea (Tulsi, Indian Breakfast), gathering my supplies (headphones, matches, my notebook). Then, upstairs I go to my office-slash-Goddess-Space.

tumblr_n18262C2oS1qjuvrao1_1280Thirty minutes before: Lighting candles, lighting incense, lighting sage. Cleansing the space, cleansing my energy. Deep breaths, little stretches, a little cleaning & rearranging of my altars. Then . . . tarot reading for the week, + a card of the day pull, all while listening to my Spiritualized soundtrack. Making note of what was uncovered in the reading, placing it on my altar. A quick read of one Hafiz poem, jotting down words that resonate. More breathing.

Ten minutes before: Heart beating strongly, steadily as I read through last weeks notes; anticipation & excitement is beginning to rise up from my belly to my throat. Opening my heart even more to prepare for the space being held for her, my client. Resting a bit, waiting for the moments to tick down in stillness. Saying her name in my heart. Still breathing.

Moments before: Heart racing in eagerness. A chime of my singing bowl, vibrating. Waiting for the phone to ring—then it does. I take in one deep, big breath, let it out slowly as I smile. Then I answer.

As I’m in session. . .

tumblr_n2ccw7q9Qf1qjuvrao1_1280Breathing. Deep listening & witnessing. Note-taking, truth-telling, praise-giving. Heart staying open, holding sacred space. Always coming back to curiosity, always allowing my intuition to guide me.

My focus is only on her: the sound of her voice, the pauses in between, the inflection in her sentences; I notice everything. I give space for her blossoming. I laugh, I cry. The way I work is a lot like being in a constant state of prayer: lots of gratitude, lots of trust & openness, lots of sinking in to listen. Patience, compassion, empathy. Also: heart welling with pride; she is so courageous, so strong, & blossoming beautifully.

After session. . .

Blow out the candles, turn off the lights. Smoke begins to billow & fill my space. Collecting my things—tea cup, notebook, pieces of wax that spilled & dried at my altar. Then. . . crawling out of my space, stretching my legs & smiling big as I celebrate the fact that I showed up fully.

Going downstairs. A hug & a kiss to Jonathan; a kind word & made-up song to my pup. A bubble bath. A walk around the block. Tea. Starting to make dinner. Unwinding, relaxing, deep breathing, resting.



Joy of joys! One space has recently opened up in my coaching practice. Could it be yours?

If so, put your information below & get on the wait-list. Very soon, I’ll be writing to everyone interested about how they can nab this one spot. Want to know what working with me looks like? Click here, & I’ll tell you everything.

One Woman’s Trash is Another Woman’s Pleasure


still from Papi Pacify

FKA Twigs is one of my most-played musicians these days. Her song Papi Pacify is one of my favorites from her, but the music video. . . the music video that accompanies it makes me hot.

How to describe the video? Well (to use the word again) it’s hot, for one thing. Black & white, subdued, minimal—yet unspeakably, utterly bold. Starts & stops. Sensual, erotic, aggressive. If you’re reading this in a safe space, you should check it out (but fair warning, it’s kind of graphic & kind of not safe for work).

If you are not in a safe space, I shall describe the video to you as best as I can. The video starts with Ms. Twigs’ head cocked back, resting on the chest of a very muscular, chocolate-skinned man standing behind her whose face looks down on her, & whose hands & fingers are engulfing her mouth repeatedly. There’s lots of choking, embracing, intimate eye-gazing, dominating grabs & jerks, caressing. Complete submission & surrender.

(Again: hot.)
(To me, at least.)

Now, this video would convey a totally different message if it weren’t for Ms. Twigs crooning in the background “Mmmm, pacify me. . .” which I think adequately sets the stage for what we’re witnessing: good ol’ fashioned kink, yes, but most especially. . .

A sexual woman in the throes of a consensual act of erotic power play, as well as a very shameless display of the broad spectrum of female sexuality, one that, for me, isn’t often shown so blatantly before my eyes.

Very, very powerful, were my first thoughts.

And then this. . .

One woman’s trash is another woman’s pleasure.

It’s crass, but I say it because it’s very, very easy to look at that video (or any other that portrays a sexual expression not akin to ours) with contempt & confusion. Like, “Good heavens, but she’s being brutalized! This is violence! How could she consent to such violence! I would never do this! This is trashy!”—things like that.

But it’s very important to be mindful that sexuality—especially the sexualities as expressed by the feminine—is not always roses & chocolates & negligees. No, it can be coarse, savage, aggressive, & all by her own volition.

So here is your friendly reminder: As we are all on our journeys toward sexual sovereignty, don’t forget that sexual expression is as varied & vast as the persons who partake in its actualizations. And while we ourselves may not choose to indulge in certain types of pleasure-pain play, this doesn’t make those unique expressions of other invalid or unsexual.

You don’t have to understand. To each their own. Live & let live.

Or, as I like to say. . . fuck & let fuck. (Tweet that if you dare!)