What is Ethical Non-Monogamy and Should you try it?

Ethical Non-MonogamyEthical non-monogamy (or ENM) refers to the practice of non-monogamy in a, well, ethical manner. The title implies that you can be unethical in non-monogamy (which I find interesting because how many unethical monogamists do you know? Right, exactly.)

The term and practice has been explored in countless books and blogs, most notably Ethical Slut, More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory, and Opening Up.  In recent years, it appears people have become more open to non-traditional relationships or have become more open about how free they are in their relationships.  ENM might be practiced by your neighbors, friends and family without you knowing it.

In this article I will break down ENM and its different parts and give some tips on how to practice it if you find yourself called to it. If you already have some experience with ENM then you might learn something new.

Consensual Non-Monogamy

ENM is sometimes referred to as CNM, which means “consensual non-monogamy.”  For the purposes of this article, I will focus on CNM and ENM synonymously because ethical non-monogamy requires consent at its core.

First, let’s back up and get a handle on what non-monogamy means. Generally speaking, non-monogamy means having relationships with more than one partner. According to Wikipedia, non-monogamy  is defined as “an umbrella term for every practice or philosophy of intimate relationship that does not strictly hew to the standards of monogamy, particularly that of having only one person with whom to exchange sex, love, and affection.”

Swinging, open relationships, polyamory, and even what is termed “monogamish” can all be part of what is considered non-monogamy.

Now that we have that general overview, let’s look at the “consensual” part of CNM: this means that all parties to the relationship consent to the arrangement, meaning “agree to” the arrangement and boundaries. The communication and consent are what make the relationship parameters “ethical.”

But keep in mind each arrangement or non-monogamous structure can be wildly different. For example, one couple could have a rule that they must each divulge all partners to each other, while another group might have the rule that sex or relationships outside the couple are generally not disclosed to the other partners.

In any event, the “consensual” part generally means the parameters are agreed upon at the outset of the arrangement and prior to venturing out.

The difference between polyamory and an open relationship

Even though polyamory and open relationships are both part of ENM or CNM, they are distinct forms of it.

Polyamory is in the realm of an “open relationship” but is different in that typically the relationships formed both in and outside the core relationship are not just sexual. Love or romance is involved. Polyamorous people are often committed to loving and spending time with multiple partners, not just having a sexual relationship with them.

On the other hand, open relationships tend to refer to a situation where one or more partners in a relationship want to be satisfied sexually outside the relationship (in addition to inside the relationship). For example, perhaps one partner desires more sex and the other partner is comfortable with the current state of their sexual relationship. Both parties could agree that the sexually exploratory partner can go out and have sex with other people. Or both could.

Can you “cheat” while in an ENM relationship?

The answer is: yes. Cheating can be defined as doing anything that you feel you cannot tell your partner. It is not about the sex, it is about the lying and breach of trust. For example, if you are in an open marriage or an open relationship, and your rule is to not start dating someone seriously, any actions to date someone must come with that intent otherwise the dating activity will be a breach of trust. CNM requires communication on steroids – you must communicate, communicate, communicate, whether you want to or not. And especially if you are feeling weird about telling your partner- it usually means it is something that is outside the trust of the relationship and should be disclosed and dealt with.

Should you try ENM?

If you have read this far in this blog post it is clear that you have an interest in ENM. If you if are considering an open relationship, an open marriage, polyamory or just have a new partner who is into non-monogamy, then you might want to carefully consider what you might be getting into.

At the least, you should read up on ENM (check out the books listed above) before entering into a non-monogamous relationship, as well as talk to people who have experience. These resources can help you prepare for the potential pain or jealousy that can come up and also know what to expect. You need to have enough information so that you are (a) sure that this is something you want and (b) are as prepared as you can be. These relationships tend to be complicated and require communication on steroids.

Sometimes you won’t know if you want this type of relationship until you try it. And also remember that it can depend on each person in the relationship. For example, you might feel like you could have an open relationship with one person, but another partner it is clear that you or they or both don’t feel it is right.

If you and your partner decide to open up your relationship, you can use dating apps to find a “third” or other partners. Tinder has been flooded with couples seeking a unicorn (usually a woman to join as a third partner). The trouble is that Tinder wasn’t designed for this type of search. Zin, on the other hand, is designed with couples in mind, allowing them to select what type of relationship they are looking for.

One way to determine if you might want to try ENM is to start to “dip your toes” in the ENM water by getting on a dating app like Zin and communicate with your partner as you look for posts. You can also create a post looking for potential couples (ie, if you are single looking to form a triad), or a post looking for singles (if you are a couple looking to form a triad or a third).

Talk with your partner and get feedback every step of the way. Also, remember to be respectful of the singles or couples you are talking to on the app. They have their specific needs and desires, too.

A successful relationship is built on trust. If you find that it is difficult to overcome jealousy or if you just don’t trust your partner, then it is probably not a great idea to jump into ENM. If, however, you have a solid foundation of trust and have great communication, then ENM might be for you.

Done right, opening up your relationship to ENM could be an adventure that is worth having!

 

With Kik shutting down its messaging app, who will take its place?

kik alternativeOn September 24, 2019, Kik Interactive announced it was shutting down its popular messaging app due to a lawsuit filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  The suit was filed against the company in June over its 2017 digital token sale. The sale raised $100 million, but the government accused Kik of making an “illegal unregistered securities offering.”

With Kik rebranding itself as “Kin,” focusing on cryptocurrency, and abandoning its messaging app, it begs the question: who will fill the gap?

Alternatives to Kik include Whatsapp, Viber and Snapchat.  Recently launched, our app Zin, offers an alternative closely aligned with Kik’s use for casual encounters and chats (ie, sexting).

Whatsapp/Viber

Whatsapp is a pure messaging app. It was acquired by Facebook and has millions of users,  availing themselves of features like texting, calling and sharing various media.

Viber offers a more Skype-like appeal, with instant messaging and voice/ video calling.

The drawback to using these types of messaging apps is that they do not offer end-to-end encryption or have security features that protect your privacy and anonymity. In fact, just this year Whatsapp was hacked and the security of 1.5 billion users was threatened.

Zin: messaging with extra privacy protection 

Kik was known as a top sexting app due in part to its feature of allowing users to create anonymous usernames difficult to trace back. Zin goes even further with safety and privacy and offers users a similar private and anonymous registration, protection from data breaches (by not keeping messages on our servers), and some features seen only in high-security apps.

Zin offers screenshot protection and self-destructing photos. For example, if a user wants to send a sensitive photo, they can turn on the self-destruct feature, which will allow the recipient to view the photo and then it will erase itself. Zin also blocks a recipient from taking screenshots with their phone. When you preview a photo to send, you can restrict the recipient from taking on-device screenshots.

Zin will also offer something sexters might find useful: the unsend feature. The app allows you to delete messages you already sent. When “Unsend” is tapped, the message is deleted from the chat dialogue for both sender and recipient.

On top of being a highly secure messaging app, Zin is also a casual dating app, allowing you to post and find matches in your area.

So, if you are looking for an alternative to Kik, head over to Zin!

For Bisexual Women: How to Have A First Date With A Girl

women meeting womenToday the world celebrates Bisexuality Day! In the spirit of celebrating the bisexual community and bi visibility, this post is dedicated to bi dating for women.

When you first discover you are bi, there can be a flurry of emotions and thoughts around that. Some can be confusing, others bring clarity.

In any event, if you know you are bi (or bi-curious) and you know you are ready to go on a first date with a girl, this article presents our top 3 tips to having a successful first date.

  1. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there

In order to have your first date, you first need to find one. Our app, Zin, can help you find a lesbian woman in your area and provides safety features in messaging so you don’t have to worry about biphobia. You can search posts and see if there are matches close by.

As intimidating as dating can be, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and ask a woman out on a date. And, once you are on the date, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and open up to your date about who you are and what you are looking for.

Be prepared for questions about your experience with men and women. But don’t feel like you have to justify yourself. It is perfectly ok to be exploring and not know exactly what you want or have a need to put a label on it.

A great place to date women is in Los Angeles, where there is a large bi-sexual community. If you are in LA and looking for bisexual companionship, you have a good chance of meeting lots of like-minded women.

  1. Manage expectations

Dating is dating, regardless of the gender or sexual identity of the participants. It is good to get excited – that first flush of greeting, that sweet anticipation, the butterflies in the stomach – those are things that make dating fun and thrilling.

Make sure that you manage your expectations and know what your limits and desires are prior to going on the date. For example, if this is your first bi-sexual experience, you are going to want to discuss this with your date. It can help calm your nerves.

I remember my first date with a girl. I was so nervous. But once we started really talking and connecting, those nerves lightened their grip on me and I relaxed into just getting to know her and enjoying her company, without expectations.

Remember that a first date is a chance to “try each other on” and see if there is a fit. And, it is just fun to get to know someone knew.

  1. Take it slow

Dating takes time. If you are new to this game, you really need to not rush things. This ties in with tip 1 and managing expectations. Don’t expect your date to want to jump into bed right away. On the flip side, don’t allow your date to overstep your boundaries and set a pace that is too fast for you. You want to take your time and feel out how this is feeling for you. Sometimes dating a girl means remembering that neither one of you wants to make the first move. In that case, someone has to. If that someone is you, make sure that you have consent and communicate and listen to your date and pick up on her cues. If she puts her hand on your leg or shoulder during the date, is flirty and touchy, then you might be getting the signal that she is interested in some physical touch. However, that does not always translate to sex. You may be in the girl crush stage, where there is a lot of flirting but one or both of you are not yet ready to go “all the way.” And that is ok. Feel it out and communicate.

When you are ready, take the plunge and have a great first date!

 

 

Top 5 tips to introduce kink to your man

Introduce Kink Into Your Relationship

Countless wives and girlfriends went home after the 50 Shades movies and told their significant others how those BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism) scenes turned them on. Maybe you were one of those women who got turned on, only you didn’t have the guts to bring it up to your man. You may have been longing for your man to dominate you like Christian Grey, but either too afraid to tell him, or have told him with mixed or lack-luster results.

Here are our top 5 tips that can help you introduce kink into your relationship the right way. (This article focuses on a male-female couple from a female-identifying perspective, but some of these principles may also apply to all gender identities.)

  1. Take a light-hearted but sincere approach

This is a big one. If you are wanting your male partner to explore some kinks with you, then how you bring it up to him is key. Don’t wait until you are in the bedroom getting it on to blurt out a random kink you have been wanting. Make sure you have a full and open discussion about it outside of the bedroom first. Don’t build up to it with tense energy as if you should be ashamed of your desires. Rather, preface the conversation in a light of exploration as a couple. In other words, you are wanting to do this with him.

The best way to raise the issue without emasculating him (especially if it is about wanting to be dominated) is to ask him questions, maybe over a few cocktails or in a casual, fun setting with just the two of you. Date night can be a good time to bring it up, since it is a time you are both focused on the relationship itself. And as sex can be a key component to a healthy romantic relationship, having a conversation on date night about the direction of your sex life is sexy, fun and productive.

In addition, if you are in a large area like Los Angeles, you can take advantage of local meetups, dungeons, and maybe swinger events. As a couple, you can learn, socialize, and meet people in the LA BDSM/kink “scene” and see if there is anything that interests you.

Get on apps like Zin and start talking with other sex-positive people in your area. Open conversations tend to provide the most information and mind-expansion. Our app allows people to explore sexual desires without the fear of social stigma or privacy concerns. Once you register, you can start exploring posts seeking playmates and see what options are out there. Peruse them with your boyfriend and get his take. You might end up jumping in and participating in group play (ie, a threesome). It can be a great way to bond as a couple.

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate

It can be intimidating to bring up kinks or fetishes to your partner. Most people worry they will be judged by their partner. If your boyfriend, husband or significant other seems really “vanilla” to you, you might be tempted to presume that he would not be game to try your kinks. Don’t assume anything. The only way you can incorporate kinks into your relationship is by communicating.

A great way to bring up your kinks to your guy is to each fill out a sexual exploration questionnaire. You can each fill it out separately then come together and have a conversation about each one. This process can provide some objectivity and you might be surprised to know where you and your partner’s kinks come together!

Try to find common ground. See where your particular kink could coincide with what you are already doing together. Or what you already know he likes.

For instance, if you are wanting to get into BDSM and if he in the past has spanked you lightly on the butt, you could mention that in your kink convo and start by asking what he liked about it or if he wanted to do more. Then share what you liked about it and that you’d like to “take it further.” Then you could mention some activities in BDSM that you are interested in (such as restraints, impact play, etc) and ask if he would like to try them.

  1. Don’t judge his reaction

It is important not to “kink shame” yourself for having these desires. It is equally important not to judge your guy for his response to your kink discussion. Remember that his initial response might be that he had no idea or it might take him a little bit to digest what you are saying if this is the first time you are raising the issue.

Sometimes men are concerned with pleasing their woman. They don’t like to feel like they might not be able to do something well (particularly in the bedroom). So if he doesn’t just burst with excitement when you first tell him of a kink you want to try, don’t judge that as meaning something. Wait. Listen. You might have to give it a little time and be patient.

  1. Don’t push the “vanilla wall”- go around it.

If your boyfriend has exhibited any kink behavior or brought up any kink before, then you have an opening to discover whether he is kinky or not. Or at least “kink-adjacent.”

The challenge comes when you try to open the kink window and he gives you nothing but general, “vanilla” responses. “Vanilla” tends to refer to sex that does not involve anything deemed unusual or kinky.

You can tell if someone is interested in kink by whether they follow the “yes, and” rules of improv. If you bring up a kink and his response feels more like “yes, and I like this, this and this,” then you know he is already on board with kink in general.

However, if you hit the “vanilla wall” where you bring up a specific kink and ask if he is interested and he doesn’t give you a “yes, and…” answer but a vague “I like whatever you like,” this will call for more discussion. He could either be afraid of bringing up his kinks to you, or he could simply not be interested at all.

You cannot bulldoze through the “vanilla wall.” Let me repeat that. You cannot bulldoze through the “vanilla wall.” Don’t berate him or hound him or bring it up repeatedly the same way. The only way through is around. This is where you will want to compromise in order to get what you want. You need to get him to buy into your kink enough while still ensuring he is getting what he wants in the bedroom.

Finally, kink and BDSM are based on full and free consent. If he gives you a solid “no,” you need to respect it.

  1. Get educated on kink

Kink and BDSM tend to differ from regular sex in that there are more safety concerns: emotional, mental and physical. For example, you can’t just tie someone up with rope without knowing what type of rope, how to tie it, how to untie it, and how the rope will tighten as you play (so as to avoid injury).

Some of the top books to help you explore kink and bdsm are The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic EdgeThe Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy, Wild Side Sex: The Book of Kink: Educational, Sensual, and Entertaining Essays.

You can also check out websites like KinkAcademy which has a ton of free content including videos for people of every interest and experience level.

So there you have it! If you have been holding off bringing up your kinky desires, now is the time to take a risk and use these tips to help you open up your relationship to its kinkier side!

 

How to date a non-binary person

non binary datingDating is tricky enough, but when you add the ever present layer of society’s binary viewpoint, it can be downright difficult to navigate….that is unless you start to educate yourself on what non-binary really means.

First, I should say that I am not speaking as a non-binary (or “NB”). I am a cishet person who identifies as a womxn and goes by the pronouns “she/her”. I identify as queer or fluid. I have never dated an NB. So my perspective on this topic is much narrower than I would like. I have a close friend who used to date a non-binary and took the time to call me out on a few things.

Even though I identify as kinky and really open-minded and sexually “worldly”, one of the first things that had to change was my vocabulary.

“What are your pronouns?”

Yes, it is 2019 and we do give a f*%ck about pronouns. So if you have any resistance to asking a potential date about what pronouns they prefer or if the idea of calling someone a “they” bothers you, then I would take a step back and really assess whether you can call yourself an ally. If you don’t have a problem with this, but are simply in unfamiliar territory, you can either (a) read up on pronouns (if you are into comics, this is a fun read and informative) or (b) simply and respectfully ask questions. An honest question can avoid a whole heap of trouble in misgendering someone.

Realize it’s a daily battle

The world is ridiculously binary. And people get stuck in that mindset, making it hard to get out. People who don’t identify with a gender tend to have to deal with constant assumptions about their gender and who they date. Calling someone a “partner” instead of default to “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” is a good way to start offering a better dialogue.

Go ahead and talk sex!

Don’t shy away from getting to know your potential date or getting to know your partner even more by asking about sexual desires and preferences. Don’t assume anything. Be curious and open and listen. There are many ways to have sex, and gay or queer sex is a broad category.

See if your sexual desires match up to theirs.

But whatever you do, don’t ask questions like “how do you do it?” or you will out yourself as blatantly heteronormative.

Above all, remember that we are human beings first, and whatever gender we choose to put on top of that is a personal choice.

Top 3 Rules To Have A Successful Threesome

Seems like everyone these days is either looking for a threesome, fantasizing about one, or both.

A recent study showed that 82 percent of men and 31 percent of women said they are interested in having a threesome.

Despite this interest, only about 24 percent of men and 8 percent of women own up to having had participated in a threesome.

So what is getting in between the fantasy and the reality? For one thing, if you can even get over the common insecurity of jumping into group play for the first time, finding the right third can be a lot of work. If you have a significant other, not only do you have to find the right match for yourself, you also have to find the right match for your partner.

The process can seem daunting.

Here are my top 3 quick tips for setting up a successful threesome experience.

  1. Be clear about your major “wants”

Before you start searching for a threesome, it is a good idea to check in with yourself (and your partner if you have one) and determine what are you major goals (or fantasies) for the threesome. Most people just think a threesome will be “hot” and don’t think beyond that. But your odds of success are better if you have criteria prior to searching for and interacting with a third. Whether you are looking for an multi-gendered threesome or also open to NB (non binary), the activities you would like to do during the threesome should be determined prior to contact. You should also go over what your reasons for having a threesome are – and have a talk with your partner about theirs. For example, is this to spice up your sex life? Are you using the threesome to get to do things in the bedroom your partner is unwilling to do? Are you wanting to explore sexual pleasures together with other genders? Is this to fulfill your collective or individual fantasies?

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate

There is no room in group play for “hiding the ball” when it comes to consent and boundaries, as well as desires and expectations. Make sure you discuss openly what you are looking for with a potential third and make sure you are all three on the same page. Go back to tip #1 and recount those “wants” and expectations with your potential third and see if they are compatible. However, be mindful not to openly proposition people on apps. You can be subtle and still be clear about your intentions. If you are looking for a third for a threesome, using a casual dating app is the #1 way to go. If you are messaging someone in search of a threesome, be mindful that they could be intimidated by blunt talk about sex acts, especially womxn. Try to get to know them a little as people first along with their sexual preferences. With the Zin app, you can also set up a group chat so that you can all three discuss the potential threesome in one place.

3. Be unicorn-friendly

This is a big one. How you as a couple treat your third is a cornerstone of a great threesome. I have discussed this with many a unicorn (a unicorn is a single female seeking to play with other couples) and one of their biggest complaints is that sometimes when a couple seeks a third, the unicorn is treated as an object and a toy, which is not ok (unless of course the unicorn specifically wants to be treated as such as their kink). A unicorn is a person and deserves respect. You should always do a “meet and greet” ahead of time if possible to get to know each other and see if there is chemistry. Ask questions, don’t just blurt out all your desires. You may want to ask what type of aftercare each person wants, as well as what kind of communication will occur before, during and after the threesome hookup. One specific area is to determine whether all three will be sleeping together after sex (ie, staying the night). You don’t want to just kick your unicorn out or force her onto the couch or out the door if she was expecting to stay the night and/or get some cuddling after sex.

Finally, you should always make sure to protect yourself when dealing with strangers on a dating app. With Zin your personal identity can be protected, including your phone number, and Zin also offers privacy protections if you are sharing pics with a potential partner so that those pics cannot be shared outside the chat.

Now that you have some ideas on how to have a successful threesome, go forth and “multiply” the partners in your bedroom!

Dating App Privacy Protection: How Safe Are You?

When you upload and build a profile on a dating app, do you assume your location details, consumer habits and sensitive photos will not be stored by the app? Better yet, do you think those dating apps are secure enough to protect your data from data thieves?

Think again.

As one article put it, “Dating apps notoriously collect and reserve the right to share information. For instance, an analysis in June from ProPrivacy found that dating apps including Match and Tinder collect everything from chat content to financial data on their users — and then they share it.”

When you sign up for a dating app, the app company typically has you agree to privacy policies which “reserve the right to specifically share personal information with advertisers and other commercial business partners.”

Yipes.

Even worse, aside from the apps’ own privacy practices allowing the leaking of info to others, they’re often the target of data thieves. Just this summer, the LGBQT dating app Jack’d was slapped with a $240,000 fine by the State of New York for a data breach that leaked nude photos of its users. It was also reported that OK Cupid and Coffee Meets Bagel suffered data breaches where hackers stole user credentials.

Safety:  What to look for in a dating app

Given that privacy is key when dating, especially in the casual dating community, here are some considerations when choosing dating app security:

-Does the app draw from your social media profiles?

-Does the app store your data on their servers? If so, for how long?

-Has the app been hacked or breached before?

-Does the app offer timed destruction of photos and videos?

-Does the app sell or share your information with advertisers?

Zin came into being because of privacy concerns for the casual dating community. Our mission is to connect sex positive people safely. A cornerstone of this mission is the protection of data of our users. We bring high security app functions to the dating world. Zin offers encryption, no data storing, no drawing from social media, and timed destruction of private photos.

So, with Zin, the next time you consider sending that nude, you don’t have to think twice. Try it free today!