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Why is it so hard to find advanced BDSM classes online?

I recently got this comment on one of my youtube videos. It’s one I get asked quite a bit so rather than keeping it hidden inside a comment thread there, I thought I’d share the info here with everyone.

Question:

Why does every BDSM tutorial only concentrate on “FOR BEGINNERS” – whether books or video tutorials, it is universally agreed that anyone reading or watching is JUST STARTING OUT. Does anyone but those who write books or who does videos think no one but themselves are past BDSM 101? I continually hunt for advanced/expert tutorials on various psychology, play, safety, etc.; topics, but all I ever get is ” For those of you just starting out”. Beginner learning is great – for the beginners – but HEY PEOPLE NOT EVERYONE IS A BEGINNER!!!!!! So please, someone out there start making videos for people for those of us who want to advance our skills and have passed BDSM 101 102 and 103  Thank you.

My Answer:

Unfortunately, making free advanced BDSM instruction available to the general public would be highly irresponsible– both from an ethical and legal standpoint (And a financial one too. As a sexuality educator this is my job and I need to get paid for something! But that’s another aspect of this topic for another day). It’s necessary for students to have a solid background in BDSM basics (the principles of RACK/PRICK, negotiation/consent, and knowledge about the actual technique, for instance) before attempting a lot of the advanced stuff or someone could get hurt.

There’s no way to make sure of that with free youtube videos, and hence, it could be putting people in danger. No BDSM educator wants to be indirectly responsible for someone breaking a bone, damaging and organ, burning their house down doing fire play, getting an infection from incorrect blood play technique, killing someone attempting breath play, psychologically damaging someone, etc.

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Ken and I both teach intermediate and advanced BDSM classes but ONLY in person (and sometimes everyone has to sign a waiver). Many of these classes are multiple hours long intensives with hands on instruction (which is really necessary for some of this stuff) and are still only an introduction. Some techniques take hours and hours of learning and practice to master. Many of my intermediate and advanced BDSM classes are at BDSM conferences and sexuality conventions but not all. The reasoning is, if someone is willing to take the time to physically go to a class/event and pay for it, they are less likely to be just “screwing around” without actually putting thought and care into what they are doing. This minimizes the possibility of someone getting hurt because they jumped into trying something they weren’t ready for. Unfortunately, some these workshops can be quite expensive which is prohibitive for many. 

Online BDSM Learning Options:

Not everyone lives near a larger city that hosts BDSM conventions and events. Others aren’t able to afford the cost. A great, low-cost online learning option is Kink Academy. It’s a huge video library of kink instruction from some of the leading experts in the world from basic to advanced. It’s $20 per month to access over 2,000 instructional BDSM videos by nearly 150 different instructors (and less expensive if you commit to 6 months or 1 year subscription). It can also be purchased for only one month without further commitment– it’s up to you.

Yes, videos may not always be quite as helpful as hands-on intensives for some of the very advanced stuff– but Kink Academy is still a pretty darn good alternative for those that can’t get to live events or afford some of the higher cost ones.

You’ll be hard pressed to find anything that covers advanced BDSM technique and theory free for the ethics and liability reasons I mentioned above. Even as far as paid instruction goes, there isn’t much else out there for online on demand BDSM education aside from Kink Academy (Full disclosure– I’ve heard of one or two other similar services but they are relatively new and don’t have the large library or instructor pool Kink Academy does. I’ve also taken Kink Academy courses, know many of the instructors, and can personally attest to their quality.)

In-Person BDSM Learning Options:

If you are able to get to larger cities for kink conventions and intensives but can’t afford it financially, you have some limited options. Some sex shops and BDSM centers offer sliding scale or discounted tickets for students and lower income individuals. I’ve even seen a few hold a few free tickets back for scholarships or for people that volunteer to help out during the event. I’d suggest calling shops near you to see if they do this.

BDSM membership clubs also sometimes offer free events before regular club hours. I’m in Chicago and membership club GD2 regularly offers weekend classes and meet and greets that are open free to non-members 18+. 

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Many kink conventions and conferences offer free weekend admission in exchange for working the event. Keep in mind, many of these events are at hotels or resort spots and there are still costs involved there. Luckily, it’s common for people to bunk up with others to save money on hotel rooms (that are already often at a discounted room block rate for the event). Most events have dedicated Fetlife groups where people post ads looking for others to split room costs with.

Volunteering won’t make these events completely free. Volunteering and room sharing, however, can cut your out-of-pocket costs by more than half so that’s something to consider. Some of my favorite kink overnight events are Dark Odyssey Fusion (in Maryland, plus they do other events on the West and East coasts), Kinky Kollege (Chicago), Ropecraft (moves to different cities– will be in San Antonio and Chicago in 2018), and the AIS BDSM events in Columbus, Ohio. Check this worldwide BDSM events calendar to see what’s in your area.     

If travel, as opposed to cost, is an obstacle, Ken and I are available for online Skype BDSM coaching and private lessons. We teach many of the same things we do in our BDSM and sexuality workshops and we can tailor sessions to your specific needs. Send us an email to inquire about rates and book a session.

Do you know of other ways to make BDSM classes more accessible? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Thanks!

 

 

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