50 shades of adult dating
Dec 12th 2012, 01:16
Ms Minx, you went through considerable efforts to research the impact of 50 Shades of Grey. Do you think the book is changing sex in this country?
Even if South Africa’s adult population, or a part thereof, is still conservative from the outside, those 50 Shades are flying off the shelves, and now rumour has it that she will write the books all over again from his perspective, and this is already getting the women hot to know what he was really thinking. When you walk into a bookshop and see the sexuality bookshelf next to the gift books by the sales counter … this tells me that people’s attitudes towards sex and erotica really has changed. If it gets people talking, that can only be a good thing.
Your brief was to immerse yourself in the kink scene. What kind of approach did you choose?
I first played it safe, from the comfort of my home, and checked into what is called “regular” dating sites. I found out that most sites are inter-linked – join one and you can end up on any of the others. For example Matchmaker.co.za is linked via DatingBuzz to at least another 11 sites. Costs get cheaper the longer you sign up. There are some others such as www.datingagency.com, or www.headoverheels.co.za. They all run along the same lines: create a profile, add a picture and hope it catches some interest.
What about proper adult sites?
Well, there are many – naaibuddies.co.za gives a whole list such as shagbook.co.za, socialsex.co.za, kinkysingles.co.za and many others which also seem to be interlinked. These sites are more direct – sex chat, and flirting (be warned they come with a nightmarish amount of junk mail promising you a lot of attention, and also they send out on your behalf messages to get the ball rolling – which can be embarrassing if it gets sent to someone you know, or someone you really don’t like!). These are about quick hook-ups and one-night stands, but mainly they are about virtual and instant gratification … flirting, sexting, etc. Although some people are looking for their soul mate on these sites also. The profile pictures are a lot more graphic – be prepared to be introduced immediately below the belt.
Focussing on the kinky stuff, what’s out there?
These sites are all still very “vanilla”, even though some people think they are kinky with their profiles – that is not actually what kink is all about.
The real kink is actually a way of life – a lifestyle, a conscious decision to explore sexuality and all that surrounds it, from what you wear to how you express yourself through your daily life and with a partner. There are people exploring this in Cape Town and you can find them at two main sites: www.collarme.co.za and www.fetlife.com. Here you can ask questions, discover what you like, and chat with others who like the same thing. 50 Shades has opened people’s eyes to a world beyond the missionary position and these two sites offer forums, groups and connections to people living the lifestyle. They also have social get-togethers which can involve a “play area” for kinky activity, but also often are just perfectly normal gatherings where like-minded people can meet and chat about the same things everyone else chats about with the comfort of knowing that there is no judgement on how you dress and what may interest you.
Both of these sites are highly recommendable. In order to set up a profile you have to answer a lot of questions about what you like and what you don’t like – it is a great way to explore yourself and realise that there are many more things to being kinky than spanking and rope!
Mixed and married?
Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was to discover how many married people are on all these websites – looking for something outside their marriage, or something to add onto their marriage. Casualclub.co.za “safe from prying eyes” provides a comprehensive site for hooking up for whatever you may desire. Of course then there’s the widely advertised Ashleymadison.com “life is short … have an affair” website that launched in April in South Africa and is already oversubscribed with thousands of marrieds looking for something on the side.
For consenting adults there are also swingers options such as www.lizaslounge.co.za.
Fortunately for the more open-minded, polyamory is also becoming more accepted in South Africa now and there is a site with more information (www.polyamory.co.za) and discussion groups available to chat about what’s involved in having open relationships.
So, once you found your site, what’s next?
Join some groups and get chatting. Read up more – there is a huge range of books available beyond the 50 Shades and erotica is now centre stage for writers. Explore and accept what you like, and don’t be afraid to explore that within yourself and hopefully find a partner to share that with.
You may also need to go shopping – most shops are online. Two of the best in Cape Town are www.matildas.co.za and www.whet.co.za. Here you will find an array of toys, lingerie and other goodies to inspire your desires further. Also books, information and discrete advice. They will even come to your home to discuss your needs. Lingerie is big for Christmas and some have even added to their usual range following the inspiration of 50 Shades. Check local girl www.ruby.co.za for her stiletto range. Talking of stilettos – all the standard retail outlets will leave you with too much choice in that department!
Now that you have meticulously observed the scene, what’s your personal take on it, Ms Minx?
Well, on some levels it can all be great fun … on others it’s quite sobering and empty. There is a feeling of being on a conveyor belt. People quickly move along to the next, and being rejected by a virtual person can hurt just as much as by a real one. To meet someone online gives you a chance to know them without the chemistry getting in the way – sense of humour, attention to detail, patience. But whether it’s a quick hook-up or a long-term relationship, in the end it still all boils down to chemistry and the real deal. Virtual sex can get you steamed up, but nothing beats the thrill of looking into someone’s eyes … the touch of their arm and a long, lingering caress. 50 Shades has opened up some minds to realise that once you have the connection, then there’s a lot more fun to be had in and out of the bedroom. Imagination is, after all, one of the sexiest things and I think my Christmas list will contain a few surprises. And once that is out of the way, I’ll see about Valentine’s…