When You Just Can’t Be Good, Giving and Game

Kink lovers pride ourselves on being open minded, adventurous, and willing to stretch our boundaries to acknowledge and honor someone else’s needs and pleasures.

We know it’s important to be good, giving, and game (GGG)—an acronym sex columnist Dan Savage brought into the colloquial vernacular.

Sometimes kinky people like us can mistake this definition as meaning vanilla people should be more diverse and be accepting of our fetish proclivities. But that’s not always true—we should choose partners with a similar outlook, rather than forming expectations of how someone’s sexuality should work.

Other times, we are the ones standing in confusion, wanting to be good, giving and game with a new partner but finding ourselves disgusted by a kink that just doesn’t work for us. What to do?

“I am most interested in BDSM and the elaborate rituals and routines and equipment and aesthetics that are involved,” my sometimes lover Caroline said recently. “But sometimes someone presents a kink or fetish outside of that realm, and I just don’t find it sexy or hot. I want people to accept me and try things with me, but do I really have to be open to experiences I find revolting?”

I understand Caroline’s dilemma because I have my own favorite kinks, and I have also had a lot of fun and pleasure trying out new stuff that didn’t appeal to me initially such as golden shower play. However, some kinks are deal breakers.

I’m reluctant to say what they are because no one should be ashamed or feel bad about their desires just because I’m turned off by certain activities. At the same time, no one should be ashamed of their boundaries.

If you’re generally open minded and want to give back to a partner, then you’re doing all that you should. Overextending your boundaries to someone who isn’t yet your partner is ridiculous—GGG is for people who ARE your partners, not any old potential date you haven’t gotten naked with!

Dan Savage, who coined the term, clarified it by saying:

“GGG stands for good, giving and game, which is what we should all strive to be for our sex partners. Think good in bed, giving equal time and equal pleasure and game for anything—within reason.”

To be GGG does not imply rejecting your own boundaries or tastes!

If anyone tries to talk you into expanding your kink tastes, it’s right to consider whether this is beneficial for you or just for them. Do not do anything you don’t want to do. You might be open to trying something later on, or you might even try the same kinks with someone else, but don’t violate your boundaries in ways that will ultimately be destructive instead of an opportunity for growth or pleasure.

In the same column quoted above, Savage himself warns us not to skip the “within reason.” He acknowledges that vanilla partners won’t want the extremes that kinksters enjoy, and that we accept that. At the same time, we don’t have to play all the way with other kink folks who have practices we want to avoid.

Savage points to “…extreme bondage or SM, shit and puke, emotionally tricky humiliation play, demanding that your partner have sex with other people because it turns you on” as “fetishes too far” that no one should push others for, or yourself.

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