From the Submissive Guide Newsletter 5/3/14
Oftentimes, the first lines of an email to me or an opening thread in a discussion group go something like this;
"I'm new and am nervous to ask these silly questions so be nice to me."
"I'm really embarrassed to ask since I'm so new, but..."
"I'm new to the lifestyle and overwhelmed with all the information."
They go on to ask their question and still tiptoe around with the "I'm new" sign over their head. It's not a bad thing to be new - everyone has been there. Not one person in the room can say they have never been where you are and that should give you some confidence to ask what you need to ask, no matter how silly it sounds to you.
It is perfectly okay to be new, inexperienced, confused and overwhelmed. None of those are serious impediments, as long as you openly admit to them without being ashamed. - Cowhideman
I know how you feel. I know that it's like standing up in a class of people who've already taken the course and asking the rudimentary questions. You feel they'll laugh at you or call you stupid or naïve. It's hard to be the new kid. Even in school being the underclassmen or the new kid from another district is hard. You may know what they are talking about, but you are afraid to speak up because it might not be welcome from a "foreigner".
Some of those first sources of information are often flawed. The popular erotic fiction just doesn't have the facts, and if you come to a discussion thinking you know the answer the newbie fear comes out when you realize that the stories you read have no truth to them. That's the case most often but no matter where you discovered BDSM you've taken the step into the world and that takes courage.
When you visit this site, I don't expect you to have all the information you need to make educated responses, or to know what to do first, second and next. It's a process. But what I have to remind you is that everyone's process is different. You may be new for a week, a month a year. It all is based on how long you hide behind that new label. And yes, you are hiding. How many times have you answered someone's question with your "new" shield instead of taking a stab at it with whatever information you might have? Far too often, saying, "I'm new" is a fear of saying the wrong thing, of being laughed at for not having all the facts - when in fact whatever you already know is a good place to start and you should be proud of it.
It's So Overwhelming!
In this world of technology and information sharing super-highways, you can get so much knowledge from the safety of your computer. You don't have to venture to the library or munches right away. Although the information you find might be just as overwhelming, at least you can sift through it and make your own judgments about if you agree with it or not. Almost any article, book or post on BDSM or kink is a personal opinion. Once you develop your own opinions on them you'll see that we all can agree or amicably disagree. There's no one way to explore BDSM.
While you may look at FetLife and see a bunch of things that go way over your head or that need far more experience than you have you have to remember that everyone started with the basics. It's true that most people don't ask about simpler things, that's because there really isn't much to discuss. Once you know, you know. Don't be surprised if you get directed to a few posts and that's the end of the discussion.
Eventually what you will see is that, yes there are people who do the extreme stuff all the time, but there are still more who are at other varying levels of kink. And when it comes to the discussions that come up it's because the fancier, more advanced and difficult to understand things, desires for advice or to boast about their epic bondage attempt they go where they will likely get an answer - from the experienced.
Be Proud to be New
Newness doesn't last long, so enjoy it. Love the exploration, the learning, the desires that seem to creep into every waking moment and fill every dream. One day you'll be able to take that "new" card and toss it in the trash - but for now, wear it proudly. Don't compare yourself to others. Remember what I said above - everyone progresses differently. Just be open to new knowledge, experiences, and people.
Thoughts to Ponder
- Are you new to the world of kink? What intimidates you the most so far?
- Do you ever feel that you are disregarded because of your new status, that your opinions don't matter?
- If you are more experienced, what advice would you give someone who is new?