By Chris Slater

“So, what are you into?” It’s a rather simple question, but it has so many possibilities. I never know how to answer it; either in a sexual framing, or even the simpler way of asking what my hobbies are.

This new girl and I were talking, and she wanted to know what I was into. We were not discussing hobbies. I gave a vague response and flipped it around to her. I wanted to know what she liked. “I’m into just about anything,” she told me, adding, “But I won’t call you Daddy.”

Before I even had time to type out an LOL, she had already sent her frantic follow-up: “I’m so sorry to kink shame, if that’s what you’re into.”

This girl was about a decade younger than me, and it struck me how casual and easy-going she was with things of that nature. It made me think about the differences between people my age or older, and her generation; the biggest one being a lack of shame with sexuality. And, that’s great. That’s how we all need to be. Nobody should be shamed for exploring their body and enjoying themselves sexually, as long as it’s done in a safe and consensual manner.

I find it hilarious that a person in their 20s will get so much anxiety from having to make a telephone call, but have no qualms explaining the details of how they like to get choked during sex.

I think one of the biggest differences between the younger generation having a more casual relationship with sexual kinks and fetishes is that they have easier access to learn about them. Phones are good for more than Snapchat and Tinder; you can learn a lot of information from that box of parts and glass in your hands.

A friend once sent me a link and asked me to take the test and show her my results. It’s called the BDSM test, and all the kids these days do it. You answer a series of questions about your sexual preferences — if you enjoy being tied up, if you like role play, dominant or submissive, etc — and you get a list of what percentage you fall under all of these categories. (My results are pictured)

People my age and older, we would have feelings of shame and weirdness when we would have a sexual urge that society deems to be abnormal or weird. Then we go around for a few years and eventually find out, “Oh, that’s a thing! Lots of people are into this.”

Now, kids are taking these tests and finding out about things like sadists, voyeurs, brats, switches, and things of the like. Now they’re thinking to themselves, “Hmmmm, maybe I’ll try this one. That other one seems cool. I don’t think I wanna do this one.”

It’s a wonderful shift in sexuality. Things are more fluid these days; kids are out doing whatever with whoever, however and whenever.

When the #MeToo movement began happening, and we saw all of these truly awful people being brought to justice, I felt a sense of sadness for several reasons. Of course, for the victims. But, there were some stories that made me feel for the person involved. Take the case of now-disgraced NFL owner Jerry Richardson. He did abuse his power and verbally degrade his female employees. But, he also had a habit of asking these women if he could shave their legs.

If we were going to analyze this situation, one could come to the conclusion that this man likely had issues expressing himself sexually. An elderly man today likely wasn’t comfortable 50 years ago asking for something that is admittedly a little quirky. So, he got into a position where he had enough power and money that he could try and force his sexual requests to happen.

Realistically, all he needed to do was create a profile on Fet Life dot com — the social media site for kink-related hookups — and put in his profile that he wanted to shave a woman’s legs. I’m sure there would be some willing participants; every woman I’ve known has always complained about doing that and would likely enjoy some help.

I guess, the lesson to learn here is that there is not a single thing wrong with enjoying sexuality and making you and your partner(s) feel good. As long as you’re not breaking any laws, and everybody involved is giving an “enthusiastic yes,” then you do you and have fun.

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Questions? Comments? Let me know in the comments section, follow me on Twitter or add me on Facebook. If email is your thing, hit up chris.slater@wvgazettemail.com and say hello.