The Loving BDSM Podcast

Raising Sex Positive, Kink Friendly Kids LB134

This week, we’re going back to a topic we’ve touched on in the past — parenting and BDSM. Instead of talking about how to get your kink on when you’ve got kids, let’s talk about how to raise kids to accept the sexuality, kinks, and genders of themselves and others.

In this episode:

  • We’re on hiatus for a week for a much-needed vacation.
  • Kayla went on a calm but firm Twitter rant/thread about talking to kids about sex.
  • The conversations might be hard to do, and you’ll likely stumble through them, but they need to be had.
  • Too many kids learn about sex from porn. Porn is fun and great (most of the time), but that’s not the best place to learn — especially not the free tube sites.
  • You can talk about these things at any age and keep it age-appropriate. We’ve had conversations where we talked about concepts like consent and kink without every saying BDSM or sex.
  • Think about how you felt (assuming it was negative) when you discovered your kinky nature. Is that how you want your children to feel when they discover something sexual about themselves?

Links from the show:

3 Conversations We’ve Had With Our Kids About Sex and Kink (blog post)

Being a Parent in a D/s Relationship (episode 46)

Become a patron on Patreon

Support the show

Postcard Project

Kayla Lords on Fetlife

John Brownstone on Fetlife

Contact us!

Listen to the show:


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3 Conversations We’ve Had With Our Kids about Sex and Kink

We all have our own comfort level when it comes to how much we want our children to know about our personal (sexual and kink) lives and what we believe should stay private. As parents of a near-13 year old (OMG) and an eight year old, it’s something John Brownstone and I think a lot about, too.

Sex education around the world is pretty shitty, and most of us likely grew up with almost no real information. As someone who didn’t have an orgasm until age 32 and didn’t know what BDSM even was (beyond a vague idea of leather and chains) until a few months after that, I’m determined to do better by my own children.

But that doesn’t mean these conversations are easy.

If you’re struggling with the desire to inform your children and also the desire not to tell them too much or anything inappropriate for their age, we have a few ideas. These aren’t the only types of conversations or ways to approach them, but they’ve worked for us. Feel free to use them as much or as little as you’d like.


As adults we tend to think of consent in terms of sex. And yes, that’s an extremely important lesson our children need to learn. Enthusiastic and informed consent isn’t just a kink concept. Everyone needs to understand it. But the lessons can begin earlier than you realize, and you can teach it without ever saying the word “sex.”

When you teach your children to keep their hands to themselves, say something like, “We don’t touch people who don’t want to be touched” or “When someone says ‘No’ we do what they say.”

You can teach your children they don’t have to hug that random (and sometimes scary!) family member or family friend if they don’t want to.

We remind our kids they need permission before they take, touch, or get into someone’s space.

Will you repeat these lessons over and over again? Of course you will. They’re kids, after all, and they’re bound to forget some stuff. As they get older, you can begin the sexual consent conversation, and they’ll already understand the basic concept.

Your Kink Isn’t My Kink

I’m not actually suggesting you sit your 10 year old down and say, “Your kink isn’t my kink, but your kink is okay.” Unless that’s how you roll with your kids. But I had this conversation with my 12 year old and never once said “BDSM” or “kink” and he got the message.

We were talking about sex, and I said that people enjoy things that other people think are strange. I also mentioned that literally anything can be a turn on. (He understood the concept of “turn on” already.) He decided to be funny and say, “Even lamps?”

I assured him that somewhere in the world, someone got really excited by lamps. (Everything is a fetish, after all.) We finished the conversation with the understanding that anyone can enjoy anything by themselves or with a consenting partner. I also told him that he might be turned on by something that other people thought was weird. My advice? As long as you and/or a partner enjoy it, and it’s consensual, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I also told him never to judge someone for the way they enjoyed sex.

Gender and Sexuality

Maybe I’m not progressive enough in my views, but I still want grandchildren (many years from now), and I hope my kids end up with at least one partner they love very much. That being said, since they were very little, I’ve always watched how we spoke about gender and sexuality.

“If you love a woman or a man…”

“I don’t care who you love as long they make you happy…”

“Whoever you date…”

“When you grow up you might decide to get married or not…”

“Bisexuality is when you like men and women.”

“Your partner…”
The oldest interrupts with “Why do you always say ‘partner’?”
Me: Because I don’t assume that you’ll get married.
Him: But I know I’m straight, so why not say wife or girlfriend?
Me: Because your partner might not identify as a woman. They may have a different gender identity.
By the way, this lead into a conversation about non-binary, queer, and a few other topics I really don’t feel qualified to discuss, so we fumbled our way through. Which is what we do as parents every other moment of the day.

Oh, and before anyone lectures me on not discussing pansexuality, transgender people, and other forms of gender and/or sexuality, we’re working on it. And the 12 year old is well aware that transgender people exist and that they should be able to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. So I think we’re on the right track.

Why These Conversations Matter

We don’t have all the answers, and my face burns when we hit the really awkward questions. But I decided long ago to do better than my parents did, and part of that is being more open about sex.

The idea that my kids might ever fear I won’t love them because they love someone or they identify a certain way hurts my heart. And I never want them to think there’s something wrong with them if they discover kink or some other way of expressing love and desire that’s not mainstream.

So yeah, we’re talking about sex and kink (in age-appropriate terms) with our kids. It’s something we all need to do, especially if you know you went through hell when you realized you were into kink. Why put your kids through that?

If you can’t tell we’re revisiting the topic of kink and parenting in episode 134, but instead of discussing how to be kinky when you have kids, let’s talk about how to raise sex-positive kids who will have better sexual futures than we did at their age.

Got thoughts on this topic? Share in the comments below or talk to us on Twitter!

Role Play vs. D/s Relationships

If you’ve listened to the podcast, you’ve probably heard me say (a lot!) that I’m no fan of role play, while John Brownstone’s got some seriously steamy fantasies that he wishes I’d try with him. Role play is a legitimate way to explore sexual desires, try new things, and have more kinky fuckery together. It’s just not my thing.

Have you ever had someone throw your D/s dynamic back in your face as “some weird role play shit?” I have. (Damn those internet trolls.)

So let’s talk about the differences between role play and D/s.

Note: You can play with D/s as part of your role play, and you can absolutely incorporate role play into your D/s. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. But they’re also not the same thing, either.

Role Play

In role play, the definition is in the name — you and your partner play a role, a part. You pretend to be someone you’re not. Typically this is part of some fantasy you have or as a way to express a desire. The vast majority of role play is sexual, even if it doesn’t end in sex. I won’t say that all role play is sexual, because as soon as I do, someone will have an example saying otherwise. But when someone slips on their nurse’s outfit and hands a stethoscope to their partner, the end goal is often sex.

And like a role in a play, it’s something you can start and end at any given moment. Just like the costume that you may or may not wear comes off at the end, so does the part you played. You’re not the naughty schoolboy with the sexy head mistress all the time…are you?

Role play gives you the chance to try out different desires, to play pretend in a sexy way, and to explore new things in what can feel like a safer environment. It’s not you who begged to be ravished by multiple cocks on the deck of this pirate ship. Your character wanted it! (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

For the record, I might be distinctly turned off by role play, but I can see its benefits, too. And for the people who enjoy it, I know they have a lot of fun.

D/s Relationships

While outsiders may call the power exchange between a Dominant and a submissive “role play,” it’s not. I get why people might think it, of course. When we scene, we sometimes wear costumes and pull out props. Our props of choice are weapons of ass destruction while yours may be something different. We speak to each other in ways that don’t fit into everyday vanilla conversations. And yes, we talk about our “role” in the relationship.

More than anything, the difference between role play and D/s is the intent.

  • My “role” within the relationship is no different than my “role” as a parent. It’s not something I turn off and turn on. It’s a part of who I am, even when I’m not actively in that role.
  • The clothes and props may enhance a scene, but they’re not needed for me to know who’s in charge and who isn’t.
  • A scene can have elements of role play in it, but it’s (for us, at least) an expression of our D/s relationship. It’s typically a combination of the physical, mental, and emotional.

So yes, from the outside looking in, from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know any different, D/s might look like role play. But we know who and what we are, and that’s all that matters.

Some might argue that bedroom only D/s might be a form of role play. Maybe it is for some people, but I doubt that’s true for the majority. They’re still Dominant and submissive the rest of the time. They only express it in a specific place.

Transitioning From Role Play Into D/s

I’ve always thought that all role play had some element of a power exchange, even if only lightly. Think of the stereotypical scenes: student/teacher, cop/robber, nurse/doctor, patient/doctor, even plumber and hot wife. Who gets the power between you is up to you and your imagination, but most of the time someone has it.

So when people have asked me how they can try out D/s or see if their partner enjoys it, I’ve suggested trying role play. Not as a substitute for communication or consent, but to keep the moment light and easy. To take the pressure off both people and make it something playful. After you play, it’s time to talk. Did you like it? Does it feel good? Would you like more of it? What if it wasn’t just role play?

That’s not a good option for everyone. But if the sexy aspect of D/s is more appealing than the serious responsibility of power exchange, it’s one way to try it out and use it as a starting point.

You can also use role play as a way to try different kink identities or types of play in your power exchange.

When people decide  something is a part of their kink identity, they tend to place a lot of weight and expectations on what they do next. (It immediately becomes Very Serious.) But exploring a desire shouldn’t have to always be so serious. If role play takes the pressure off, try out a new thing that way first before making it part of your power exchange.

Bottomline: Role play and D/s aren’t the same thing. They’re two separate things to enjoy and explore. Can they be incorporated together? Of course they can! Do both have a place in a D/s relationship? Of course they do! But how you explore and what you do is between you and your partner.

What Does It Mean to Be Dominant or Submissive? LB133

This week’s episode is a big topic to wrap our arms around, and there’s no way we could cover every aspect of this in one episode. But it’s a start. We have very simple definitions of “Dom” and “sub” because the short answer is that it can mean whatever you want it to mean with whoever you’re with in a given moment.

In this episode:

  • Everyone has a different definition of Dominance and submission.
  • All definitions are valid as long as they have two components: consent and communication.
  • Is there such a thing as a “natural” Dom or sub?
  • Why deciding who’s “real” can be a problem.
  • We shouldn’t try to be like any other kind of Dom or sub. Emulate things that speak to you but don’t compare yourself or your partner to others.
  • Dominance and submission exist on a spectrum, just like everything else.

Links from the show:

Why We Need to Be Careful Who We Label a “Real” Dom or Sub (blog post)

Support the show

Postcard Project

Kayla Lords on Fetlife

John Brownstone on Fetlife

Contact us!

Listen to the show:


Google Play

Your favorite podcast app!

Why We Need to Be Careful Who We Label a “Real” Dom or Sub

Can a submissive or Dominant be good? Yes. Can they be right for you? Maybe. What about “real” Doms or subs?

Well, that’s where it gets problematic.

Let’s get one thing straight: yes, there can be people who fake being a Dominant or a submissive to get something, to use someone, or to get themselves off while offering nothing in return. Yep to all of that. But we have language for that — abusers, wannabes, posers, assholes.

When the term “real” gets used, it’s usually to negate another person’s experience with D/s. How many times have you seen someone go on a rant about what a “real” Dominant will do or how a “real” submissive behaves? Have you ever thought, “But I do that?” I know I have.

We’ve been told we can’t be “real” many times over the years because I’m too opinionated to be a submissive and John Brownstone isn’t enough of an asshole to be a Dominant. (Insert eyeroll here.)

I think we need to differentiate between “real” and “good.”

We All Do Things Differently

There are some kinks and some power exchanges that I just don’t get. When I hear about them, it’s a bit like hearing a foreign language. I recognize what’s being said as words but they hold no meaning for me. Does that mean that the D/s relationship is somehow less real than mine? Of course not! If we say (as John Brownstone and I do) that all you need are consent and communication, then the rest doesn’t really matter. Yes, even when the things being done offend our senses and scare the hell out of us.

And yes, I’ve seen some questionable behavior, especially from Twitter Doms™ who tend to fall in the wannabe category. They throw up red flags left and right, and sadly, someone will (eventually) fall for it. Yes, we need to continue to talk about why some behavior isn’t okay but we need to be careful how we label things we don’t agree with.

We Can’t Always Be On 24/7

Sometimes John Brownstone has zero headspace to make a decision, and sometimes I love being in charge. Does that somehow mean we’re less Dominant or submissive in those moments? Of course not. Being a Dom or sub isn’t a costume we put on or take off at will; we’re always who we are. But that doesn’t mean we’re in the role every moment of every day. Just because I make a decision (and he lets me) doesn’t make us less of who we are.

Your Definitions Only Fit You

I get why some people really hate labels in BDSM. It’s because once a label is applied, it becomes almost a definitional prison. If you don’t conform to a specific definition, you’re doing it “wrong” and you don’t belong. The thing most people forget is that just because something is wrong for you doesn’t mean it’s wrong for someone else. Define your D/s on your terms and let others define it on theirs.

Struggling is Not a Sign of Failure

I’ve been called a “natural submissive” which on one level seems to fit me and on another level I find problematic. Partly because I’m not even sure what it means, and two, it seems like it excludes others. And whatever that term means, we all struggle with our Dom or sub self at some point, a little or a lot. Maybe only in the beginning or maybe all the time, but the struggle is real and normal. Outside of new relationship energy (NRE), it’s not uncommon for submissives to have a moment when they really don’t want to do that thing for their Dom.  And yes, sometimes a Dom wouldn’t mind if they could just not make a decision for a minute. When that happens, you’re no less “real” than the next kinkster.

What works for you won’t work for someone else, but that doesn’t negate the reality of whatever you feel yourself to be. As a community, we need to be careful about who we label as real or authentic. When we see bad behavior, call it out. When we don’t understand something, ask questions. But I personally don’t feel qualified to decide who’s real or not in D/s, although I might definitely have an opinion on good versus bad behavior. And I’m sure most others aren’t qualified, either.

In episode 133 this week, we’re going to dive into some of the definitions the community has for what it means to be a Dom or sub, from natural to real to good. And why we need to be very careful how we apply those definitions to ourselves and others.

Do you have thoughts on the “real” label we sometimes give or take from other kinksters? Feel free to share in the comments below or on Twitter!

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