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I recently discovered that I'm turned on by bondage and spanking. How did I discover that? I picked up a traveling executive and let him tie me up and spank me in his hotel room. I  realized afterwards that I foolishly put a lot of trust in a complete stranger and it could have  gone terribly wrong. But still, I have this burning desire to explore this side of myself. Where do I find like-minded people? How can I do it safely?

-Eager for More

One might think at first blush that the bondage is the one requiring the safety while spanking is just spanking. But I know you're asking about both, as they both require both physical and mental safety. Remember the mantra is safe, sane and consensual. Communicating with a partner (or multiple partners if it's a group thing) doesn't kill the mood. It allows for mutually good experiences to happen. If someone tells you it's more real and better to just go with it, to genuinely give up control, steer clear.

And give yourself some credit for trying something new. Just remember the same thing that could have made a negative, dangerous and unsafe experience (i.e., your executive's potential horribleness and evil) was true whether or not bondage and spanking had been on the table. Being nude with a stranger in his territory is inherently risky. Did he make  you a drink? Even if water, was it always visible to you?

You  could have gone there for a make out session and it could have gone wrong. But yet give yourself credit for trying some new things and, at least this time successfully reading the energy and having a safe, good experience. You need to go with your gut here and you did and it worked out. But you do recognize that may have been a bit of luck.

And  though of course, you don't want anything hurtful or dangerous to happen, your focus is also on exploring more and having positive experiences.

Spanking,  whether implements or hands are used, has to be done carefully so as not to smack delicate, vulnerable areas. And caring for the skin,  knowing its limits is so important. Often if you get your endorphins  going, your perception of pain changes. You may be okay with harder, but the spanker needs to know he can only go so far. 

There's also thuddy pain vs. sharp pain vs. no pain spanking. Just more like being an emperor beaten by palm fronds, like an assertive massage. There could be role play variants, like you're the Uber driver who purposely took wrong turns and sexually harassed your passenger. He's the passenger who exacts revenge by at first seeming to give in to your advances, then turning the tables. That's based on reality, except it tends to end after the non-consensual sexual harassment.

Probably knowing the guy was an executive gave you some solace in the moment. But just think about the executives responsible for the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, or the executives responsible for exploitation of garment factory workers in so many places, and it just boils down to it being important to get to know and trust someone. 

Bondage can be incredibly powerful and sexual. It's exciting you want to explore it. Just don't ever bring up 50 Shades of Grey  as then you'll seem trendy and awful. I would suggest learning how to be a bondage top with an experienced bondage bottom. That person can model for you strong communication skills, even if the specific bondage they want differs from yours. It can range from fluffy cuffs to rope to mummification. It's extremely important to be technically skilled and responsible. 

Letting  go of control can be a powerful experience, made more powerful by coming out the other end of the experience feeling that it was positive and arousing. You can give up control and good things and connections  can happen. But you're not going to be able to just relax with some new random person. You need more of a foundation to build a connection upon.  Don't let someone bully you into submission by demanding you go with  the flow and act like you're being sex-negative in some way because you aren't ready for something yet.

Depending where you live, there are some places that have group play venues. You could watch someone being tied up, or be tied up in front of others. I don't mean a bathhouse or standard sex club. I mean a formally, nerdily  organized, rule-having, orientation-requiring play space. Not necessarily the hottest for one-on-one but some people like the extra exhibitionism element, and regardless it will show you a community of people who navigate BDSM successfully.

Then because there's totally an overlap (think Klingons), you can watch Star Trek together after.

Also exploring bondage separately than spanking and vice versa could be a good option, as well as considering other combinations or new  interests. 

Keep  the emotional component here. Go with your desires, but do explore them in a safe way at your own pace and that of future partners. While there are more modern books out there, and I'm sure plenty of online articles, here are a couple of classics to consider. They have ebook versions too I'm assuming, so you can get them on your tablet and smack  yourself in the ass with your tablet. I think that's how reading works with those.

  • The Leatherman's Handbook by Larry Townsend
  • SM101: A Realistic Introduction by Jay Wiseman
  • A Piece of My Mind by Charlie Sheen

Remember you can skip the leather aspect if you're not into animal-based garb or toys because there are alternatives. That last one is a horrible celebrity autobiography, so do the opposite and you'll be good.

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