We can't talk about sex every week without taking the occasional trip down kinky street. This week's Sex Stories We Love offers us a peek into the wonderful and wild world of sexual liberation.

A Tremendous Loss

I hate to start off with some unfortunate news, but if you don't live in the kink world, you might not know that the community recently lost an important physical landmark. Due to exorbitant rent hikes, San Francisco's Center for Sex and Culture closed its historic space on Mission Street. As the host of readings, workshops, fundraisers, art events, and much more, the Center acted as a meeting place, learning center, and community gathering space for the past two decades. It was also a model for how people can bring sex to the community in other cities across the world. Fortunately, while the location might be shuttered, the spirit of sexuality and the kink community lives on and organizers still intend to bring keep the Center going with events around the San Francisco area.

Learning from Kink

When many people think of kink, their first thoughts go to leather and whips, cuffs and chains, latex, and spanking. Yet, kink and fetish are much more than the acts and clothes that folks in the community participate in and wear. There are countless psychological elements to kink and fetish, far more than I could ever count in this space. However, one trait that those in the community just might share is that of confidence in dating. Kink and fetish require a significant level of communication, an art that seems to be lacking amongst the general dating public. These tips from two amazing Dommes just might help you get over the nervousness and fear and move forward toward great, new relationships.

Trans Kink

In many ways, we're just starting to scratch the surface of understanding kink, in much the same way that we're just starting to understand the lives of trans people. However, when kink and trans intersect, the cis-world can be knocked back on their ass...and not in the fun way. Instead, it's very important to understand the kink is both complex and not complex for trans women, as Ana Valens shares. Kink can be a part of a trans woman's identity or it might not. It might be rooted in her part...or not. As with other people, kink is widely varied for trans people, but because it is an "other" for an "other," it becomes a little too much. Yet now is the time to read Ana's words and the stories of other trans women and people and come to better cultural understandings.

Can You Lose Your Kinkiness?

When you're kinky and you talk to other kinky people, it's easy to get the impression that kink just might be part of another person's soul...an inextricable part of their essence. For some, that is definitely the case. For others, it is possible that kink could be more fluid, something that comes and goes and comes back again...or maybe doesn't come back. However, as inimitable Rachel Kramer Bussel notes, people seeming to lose "kink" from their lives is not a greatly explored topic. We hear lots and lots about people discovering kink and less about the other way around. Have you experienced a loss of kink in your life? How did that make you feel?

Know Your Etiquette

One of the most enduring images of kink that mainstream culture latched onto is that of the gay leather bar. Really big, buff men in leather hats, harnesses, and chaps is one of the most enduring sexual images out there. These guys show up in movies and TV all the time, but do we really know much about our very sexy gay leathermen. As with many subcultures, you can't just stroll up to your neighbourhood leather bar and slide right in there. Well, maybe you can...but you might not feel comfortable (and neither will the regulars). Best to take a peak at these dos and don'ts of a gay leather bar before you slip on your leather jockstrap.

Pain-ted

Finally, have you ever wondered what brands of amazing cosmetics your favourite Dominatrix uses to get that always in charge look? Siren Vandoll shares her secrets.