Navigating kinky communication can be tricky. There are so many possibilities, so much subtlety and nuance. When we are discussing our place in the leather, kink, and fetish communities, effective communication can be vital. While the nostalgia will always be with us, the truth is that the hanky code of old is no longer the best or most reliable way to express our adult interests in the leather, fetish, and kink realms. We have to learn to use our words, whether we like it or not.

I have written this to offer some insight and guidance into making kinky communication clear, strong, and effective.

Who Am I?

The online profile is the bane of everyone’s existence. We don’t know what to say or how to say it. Still, it’s a necessary evil for kinky folx trying to connect with similarly-minded freaks. The problem is that describing ourselves is not only difficult for many of us, but next to impossible because we don’t truly know who we are. That’s where effective communication begins, in discovering and understanding who we are.

Start by taking a personal inventory. Ask yourself tough questions, and then answer them honestly. Be real and vulnerable with yourself. This inventory needs to dig deep into your wants, needs, and desires, so don’t hold back. At this point in the process, what you write down is only for your eyes unless you decide to share it with someone you trust.

No matter how much time and effort I put into my website, the most popular and commonly-visited page is My Adult Interests page. As much as I’d like that to be because everyone is truly interested in what makes my kinky heart flutter, the conversations I’ve had tell a different story. People visit the page because the framework I use there tells a clear story about the leather, fetish, and kink subjects that interest me.

On that page I separate my intimate interests into levels, each one being increasingly intense, and deeper than the one that came before it. Here’s a breakdown of how I used the level system to tell my story, and what those levels mean in my case:

LEVEL 1: What Do I Need?

The things I list in Level 1 speak to who I am as a person (information taken from my personal inventory), and what I need out of connections. Before delving into any of the fun stuff, it was critical that I established a baseline from which to expand. Level 1 is the gate through which someone must pass in order to access that intimate fun stuff.

LEVELS 2+: What Do I Want?

Interests in Level 2 indicate a willingness to explore trust and to allow space for physical intimacy. This level introduces things I want out of connection. In my case, interests in this level are the most rudimentary of sexual encounters.

Interests in Level 3 indicate an increased intimacy marked by a developing trust and rapport. This includes what I consider an entry level connection in areas of leather, fetish, and kink.

Interests in Level 4 indicate a deep level of trust that allows for exploring, testing, and pushing boundaries.

Remember that my list is just the guideline that I used. It is not a rule book, nor does it need to be comprehensive. Use it as an opportunity to give a brief overview of the scope of your interests, but don’t get too caught up in making it “complete.” In my experience, such lists are never really complete anyway. That said, you can treat it as a living document that can be edited and amended at will.

A Final Note

I want to end this at the beginning (of my adult interests page). Specifically, the topics I cover at the start of that page. I felt that it was important to kick things off with a clear understanding of where I am coming from on topics including health, alcohol/drug use, and attraction. This not only helps the reader to better understand me as a kinky leatherman, but also helps to navigate conversations and negotiations that may be necessary along the way.

Whatever you take away from this, don’t let it feel like a chore or a punishment. Effectively and honestly communicating your needs, wants, and desires will go a long way toward helping you meet those needs, wants, and desires in mature, healthy, and informed ways.