Have you ever fantasized about being tied up or tying up your partner? Have you gotten erotically charged with the idea of receiving or giving a spanking? Does the whole S&M world rouse your curiosity?
If so, you’re in good company and you have nothing to worry about. “Getting your kink on, can actually be healthy, both for your body and for your relationship,” says sex educator Tristan Taormino.
“People who practice kink explore the territory between pleasure and pain, eroticize the exchange of power, experience intense physical sensations and psychological scenarios, and test and push their limits,” she says. “Kink can be a unique laboratory—a sacred space where we feel safe enough to try new things, push our boundaries, flirt with edges and conquer fears!”
The first rule of BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism) is consent — nothing should ever happen against anyone’s will.
Taormino says kinky sex play engages us on many levels—physical, psychological, and emotional. “It takes a great deal of trust (both in oneself and in one’s partner) to bend over for a spanking or to be tied down to the bed,” she says. “The hardest thing for some of us is to feel confident that what we’re doing is not just okay, but it’s good for us, especially when we’ve gotten the message that we’re only supposed to have sex in one (or a few) particular ways. And frankly, until we talk with our partners and share our ideas, it’s hard to get beyond that.”
The first step is an open conversation outside of the bedroom when you are relaxed and comfortable. Start out with an affirmation like: “I like having sex with you and being in our relationship.” Then add that you’d like to be more playful and explore fantasies. Ask your partner if they’d ever thought about something that could be viewed as kinky. Maybe it’s light bondage or a blindfolded massage.
“Don’t be upset if they won't hold off or if they have reservations,” she says. “They may need to get used to the idea, especially if they haven’t had any similar fantasies.”
Once you’ve broken the ice, talk about some ground rules. Make a list of what you’re willing to do and what you’re not. Think about sensation play, like tickling with feathers. Or do you want to experiment with handcuffs or a leather whip or flogger?
“There are no right or wrong answers as long as both of you are excited about what you want to do together,” Taormino says.
Next, decide your roles. The “top” is the doer who initiates activities and actions done to the “bottom.” Do you love the idea of blindfolding your partner or giving someone pleasure through a spanking? If so, you’re probably a top. If you’re more into receiving the discipline and pleasure, then you’re the bottom. Of course, you may want to switch the roles, too. It’s all up to you!
Before you start, pick a safe word that means it’s time to stop or back away. Red is a common word couples use. “Your safe word is your safety net,” she says. “If you don’t like something that’s happening and you want your partner to stop right away, simply say your safe word.”
Now it’s time to let your fantasies go wild. “Like every first time, don’t worry if it doesn’t go exactly the way you thought it would,” Taormino says.
Who knows where your fantasy will take you, your partner and your relationship? Have fun and enjoy the journey.