Home > No Stupid (Kink) Questions > No Stupid (Kink) Questions: Episode 11 – Mentors

No Stupid (Kink) Questions: Episode 11 – Mentors

NoStupidKinkQuestionsGandhi said that if you want to change the world, you have to be the change you want to see. To that end, Insatiable Desire brings you No Stupid (Kink) Questions, a series of questions asked by novice kinksters around the web. If you have a question for us, leave it in comments, or send it to rayne (at) insatiabledesire (dot) com with “NS(K)Q” in the subject.

Question 11:

I keep hearing that I should have a mentor. But this one person said it should be an experienced dominant, and another said it should be an experienced submissive. Some say it should be the same gender as me. Others say it should be the opposite. One lady said that if I go searching for a mentor, and I’m a submissive, I should find a dominant mentor. But if I’m a dominant, my mentor should be submissive. Other people say that’s wrong. I’m so confused! Help!

Oy. Do I feel for you.

A mentor is not necessary.

Let me say that again. A mentor is not necessary.

But some people find them helpful. And that’s okay, too.

Generally speaking, people suggest training of some sort by experienced kinksters for the safety factor. It’s no secret that most of the fun we get up to can cause harm if not done with care. And BDSM gets a bad enough rap in the media without constant accidents like the recent genius who “accidentally” shot his wife when they combined sex and guns.

But besides that, nobody wants anyone to get hurt while they’re having fun. It ruins the mood, and ruins the fun, and everyone involved feels bad, for obvious reasons.

There are other reasons, of course.

Some people truly believe you can’t figure this stuff out on your own. Others feel it’s a good idea to have someone involved who understands and knows how to deal with the various emotions people go through on all sides of the spectrum.

However, there are all sorts of mediums to learn about kink, now. So mentors aren’t always necessary.

If you do choose to go with a mentor, though, you have all sorts of options at your fingers. For example, FetLife (must login to view, but registration is free) has all sorts of groups specifically for finding mentors. However some people suggest your mentor be someone you know and trust. And in some cases, I agree.

As for what gender, or whether it should be a dominant or submissive…

My personal opinion is that your mentor should be the gender you’re least attracted to, and of the same kinky persuasion as you. This means if you’re a female dominant, so should your mentor be. If you’re a male submissive, so should your mentor be.

My reason for this is, from my experience, any sort of close interaction between people can, and occasionally does, form bonds of colossal proportions that can sometimes get in the way of the learning that’s meant to take place. Attraction, and newness, and adoration that is better saved for your partner, not your teacher.

There is some argument for a dominant being better able to teach a submissive how a dominant will expect a submissive they’re considering entering into a D/s relationship with to act. For that matter, there’s also good reasons behind the belief that submissive can better tell a dominant what a submissive will expect from someone who will have control over them.

From where I sit, the problem with those arguments isn’t in the reasons behind them. It’s in what becomes of that sort of mentorship. (Is that even a word?)

Cause here’s the thing… No two dominant or submissive people are alike. No two D/s relationships are alike. Everyone has different wants, needs, expectations…

Going into a mentoring type situation with someone who isn’t going to ultimately end up your partner can teach you all sorts of techniques they’re not interested in utilizing. On both sides. I mean, yeah, that’s easy enough to fix through communication, and retraining. And there’s really nothing wrong with that. But sometimes it’s easier not to have to deal with that. And some actually prefer it. And besides… it’s awesome learning from each other what works best for you.

I was brand new. And when I mentioned a mentor to M, he said it wasn’t something he was interested in. Partly because there really aren’t many people who do it like we do. But also because he enjoyed being able to train me from scratch.

Which way’s right? Who knows? As far as I’m concerned, the answer is, “Whatever works for you.”

Originally posted at EdenCafe.com on January 20, 2011.

  1. alyson
    August 27th, 2013 at 09:17 | #1

    It’s interesting because I agree with you on the a mentor should be of the same “persuasion” of you, but not sure about choosing the gender that you’re least attracted to. Maybe it’s because I’m bisexual and more attracted to women than men, but I’ve found that the people I’ve considered asking to be a mentor have all been other submissive women. The fact that they’re also submissive is what removes the attraction for me, rather than their gender. (I have had Doms of both genders.)

    For me, it’s always been that I want a mentor who will understand where I’m coming from. I don’t want someone who is going to teach me their way of training a sub or what they think is the “right” way for a sub/slave to behave. That’s something for my Dom/Master to do. I do want someone who I can go to for advice on the little things, to be able to let off a little steam, and who can let me know if my reactions are reasonable. I see mentors as being less about specific training and more about support and advice from someone with more experience. I haven’t ever had an in-person mentor (although I’ve ended up mentoring quite a few of my friends who got involved in the lifestyle after I did), but ultimately I let a lot of blogs fill that role and used reading blogs by other submissives to help me figure out things I wasn’t sure about.

  2. August 27th, 2013 at 10:19 | #2

    @alyson I’m bisexual, too, so I completely understand where you’re coming from. I avoided the whole bi/pan side of the discussion in the interest of simplicity. Isn’t it funny that getting into gender complicates things?

    In any case, I’ve been in a lot of relationships with heterosexual men, and oddly enough, they’re more bothered by my relationships (whether they’re friendships, or something more) with other men than they are my relationships with other women. This is common among my bisexual female friends (and my sister!) who are dating/have dated heterosexual men. That’s one of the reasons I’ve taken the stance that I have in this post. It’s not just about how you feel about the situation, but also how your partner feels.

    alyson :
    I do want someone who I can go to for advice on the little things, to be able to let off a little steam, and who can let me know if my reactions are reasonable. I see mentors as being less about specific training and more about support and advice from someone with more experience.

    I get that. The thing is you should be communicating those things to your partner, not some random third party who has nothing to do with the relationship. Whether your reaction is reasonable or not has no bearing on how you react to something, and your partner needs to know that there was a reaction, even if it’s not “the right one”. There’s no such thing as a “perfect” relationship, and trying to create the image of one only sets us up for failure. Of course, we all need to be able to bounce things off of someone from time to time, but if we can’t trust our partners to be that someone, that’s a problem.

    I used to go that way, too. “I need submissive friends to commiserate with, and see if I’m being silly with my emotions.” But the fact is my submissive friends don’t know my dynamic like I do. Most of them are in very different dynamics. Things that seem silly to them are very much a part of who Master and I are. So they would end up steering me in the wrong direction based on their own experience without meaning to.

  3. P’Gell
    August 27th, 2013 at 21:25 | #3

    My Man didn’t specifically seek out a “mentor” but we did have a good friend, my best friend’s (let’s call her Lela) husband and Dom, who kind of “mentored” My Man when MM needed to bounce something off an other man or an other Dom.

    To say these two guys commiserated would not be enough. I don’t think they went into a lot of details about the sex, but I’m not sure. I’m not sure what they talked about most of the time. The men would go off to the workshop and the women would usually stay inside (usually with the kids) and the guys would talk about whatever they needed to get off their chests, or bitch about, or bounce things off each other etc.

    When my best friend’s Dom died a few years ago, Lela, myself and MM (and the kids) were all very distraught. Of course, she lost her Dom, her husband and the father of her children, MM lost a best friend and a mentor, and I lost a man I loved, trusted and the God Father to one of our children.

    For MM and his “mentor” it was just an extension of a friendship. I think as Lela’s Dom was older and more experienced than any of us (even older than MM) we put a lot of trust in him and he was a brilliant man. Also, as Lela and I had similar roles in our relationships as did our men, things seemed to work our well.

    For us, it just fell together and worked out well. YMMV.

  4. alyson
    August 28th, 2013 at 09:13 | #4

    @Rayne Millaray

    I don’t think we actually disagree. The things I think I would use a mentor for are things that when owned, I go to my owner/dom for. It’s one of the reasons I don’t think I feel like I generally need a mentor. The people who have come to me looking for mentorship have generally been folks in process of getting involved in the lifestyle who aren’t in a relationship yet. When they do get into a relationship, I step back.

    I have less experience with some of the gender preferences of an owner because one man who has owned me is bisexual so there was less of his being uncomfortable with my having friendships, including close friendships, with men as well as women. With dominant women I haven’t had issues either way.

  5. alyson
    August 28th, 2013 at 09:14 | #5

    @alyson
    Oops. That should have been *the one man who has owned me.

  6. August 28th, 2013 at 11:03 | #6

    @P’Gell This was typical of my family when I was growing up. Mom and Dad had couples friends, and the guys would go do manly things while the women stayed in the house and watched the kids. At least until the boys got old enough to wonder why they weren’t allowed to do manly things, too. Then they’d take the boys with them.

    It’s great that you guys had someone like that. It’s a shame he’s gone now.

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