Contents

A Beginner’s Guide to Good, Great, and Amazing Sex

Okay, troops, fair warning, I’m going to do a major link dump here!

Over the last four years one of our mods, Shakti Amarantha, has created an impressive collection of solid, well-researched articles on basic and advanced sex topics.

I’m a major fan of Shakti’s blog and I routinely link to these articles when helping people out with relevant problems. However, since her blog is primarily about tantric sex, and these articles are scattered among the tantra posts, it’s hard for people to find them. (Many of the ones I’m including here make tangential references to tantra, but — with one obvious exception — that’s not their main focus.)

So I’ve been nudging her for some time to package some of the best general help articles in a way that makes it easier for people to access them. Since she’s been too busy, I finally went ahead and put together a collection of articles she wrote at various times about sexual problems and techniques, starting with complete beginners:

Getting started

  • Aunt Shakti’s Action Plan for Proactive Modern Virgins — a guide for girls and women to having a pain-free and enjoyable first time.

  • Aunt Shakti’s Guide for Male Virgins — provides tips for getting ready and takes the beginner through a normal first time, step-by-step.

  • Better Sex 101 — an excellent intro-level sex ed guide, with anatomy and lots of tips for being a better partner.

  • Reviews: Three Guides to Sensual Massage and Manual and Oral Sex — good stuff, not porn.

  • Video tutorials for massage and oral techniques — more good stuff, definitely porn.

Focus on him

  • How Much Does Penis Size Matter? — includes tips for managing a variety of genital fit problems.

  • The Best Ways to Control Premature Ejaculation — describes aids to lasting longer, and also some long-term solutions for established couples.

  • The Art of the Handjob — Great techniques for fun or for use as part of Sensate Focus Therapy for PE, ED, or other problems.

Focus on her

  • How Women Can Become (More) Orgasmic — thorough discussion of the learning process, with links to many good resources.

  • OMG Yes!!! — a terrific app that will teach you more than you ever imagined about how to stimulate the clit and vulva with your fingers. If you own a clit, you need this; if you love someone who owns a clit, you need this. It’s charming, funny, and fascinating!

  • The Mystery of Arousal and Vaginal Wetness — no, wetness does NOT necessarily reflect your/her level of sexual arousal, which is why you should always have lube available and use it when needed.

  • Woman on Top – Sex in the “Cowgirl” Position — describes many good things you can do with a favorite, but sometimes tricky, position.

Troubleshooting

  • Stress and Arousal — an introduction to the “Dual Control” theory of sexual inhibition and arousal, with a link to a short quiz that will help you figure out where you fit in.

  • Understanding Vaginismus — what is happening when the vagina clenches tight and penetration causes pain?

  • Understanding VVS / Vulvodynia — VVS is another major cause of painful intercourse. It generally manifests as a stinging or burning sensation on contact, not as tightness.

  • How to learn to enjoy sex — advice for a sex-positive asexual woman who really wants to be able to enjoy sex. (There’s a significant overlap with “How Women Can Become (More) Orgasmic” in terms of the references at the end.)

  • Escaping a Dead Bedroom — Shakti’s own story about how she and her guy got stuck, how they fixed it, and how a self-described “unsexy nerd with low libido” ended up having great sex and becoming a sex blogger.

Taking sex to the next level

  • Understanding the Male Orgasm — explains the neurochemistry of the male orgasm, why problems happen, what causes the “refractory period,” and how some men are able to have orgasms without ejaculating.

  • Multiple Orgasms for Men and Women — this is a multi-part collection that is actually mostly for men; it includes a detailed guide for guys who want to learn how to have multiple orgasms without losing their erections.

  • The Most Intense Orgasm for Women — describes a full-body orgasm, a continuous orgasm, and the “body-sharing illusion” that can include orgasms.

  • The Fabulous(?) Fornix — hitting the cervix is usually bad, but some people report extra pleasure from fitting the tip of the penis into the recess that surrounds the cervix; it requires a good genital fit and just the right angles.

  • What Lesbian Couples Can Teach Straight Couples About Good Sex — talks about the importance of taking enough time for good sex and the danger getting caught in the rut of having nothing but routine sex at bedtime.

  • Bad, good, and magnificent sex — it turns out that “magnificent sex” is fairly well defined and isn’t idiosyncratic after all. (Who knew?)

  • What is Tantric Sex? — the secular kind of tantric sex that Shakti teaches is completely different from the “spiritual” fluff you see on the web. It’s sensual, fun, and intensely orgasmic, and it works. It’s one of the most straightforward and practical ways for any loving couple to achieve “magnificence” in the bedroom.

Sex and evolution

These are are a pair of long speculative articles on evolution that I’m sticking in here, mainly because I think they’re cool and fascinating and I don’t have another good place for them:

  • Sex and the Evolution of Pleasure — Why is sex so much fun for humans even though sex isn’t pleasurable for most animals, and even though the drive to reproduce doesn’t require pleasure as a motivation?

  • The Evolution of the Clitoris — The fun button is the ONLY organ whose sole function is pleasure. So why is it so badly placed to produce orgasms during normal sex?

Finally, I just want to remind anyone reading this that the /sex Wiki and the /sexover30 Wiki both have FAQs stuffed with good information and links to more great stuff. Just click those links or go to those subs’ home pages and look for “Wiki” in the tabs right above the list of articles.

Now, what I’d like to do is ask any of you with favorite books, articles, and websites to add your own in the comments. Shakti already has links to several that I know are SO30 favorites (like OMG Yes, She Comes First, and Come as You Are), but there are lots more, so please share!

Thanks!! ❤️💕

A Beginner’s Guide To Sex Differences In The Brain

Asking whether there are sex differences in the human brain is a bit like asking whether coffee is good for you – scientists can’t seem to make up their minds about the answer. In 2013, for example, news stories proclaimed differences in the brain so dramatic that men and women “might almost be separate species.” Then in 2015, headlines announced that there are in fact no sex differences in the brain at all. Even as I write this, more findings of differences are coming out.

So which is it? Are there differences between men’s and women’s brains – or not?

What Is A Sex Difference?

To clear up the confusion, we need to consider what the term “sex difference” really means in the scientific literature. To illustrate the concept, I’ve used a web-based tool I helped develop, SexDifference.org, to plot some actual data. The three graphs below show how measurements from a sample of people are distributed along a scale. Women are represented in pink, and men in blue. Most people are close to the average for their sex, so that’s the peak of each “bump.” People on the left or right side of the peak are below or above average, respectively, for their sex.

I’ve added individual data points for three hypothetical study subjects Sue, Ann and Bob. Not real people, just examples. Their data points are superimposed on the larger data set of hundreds of people.

Before we get into the brain, let’s look at a couple of familiar sex differences outside the brain. Many of us, if asked to describe how men’s bodies differ from women’s, would first mention the sex difference in external genitalia. The graph below depicts the number of nontransgender adults that have a “genital tubercle derivative” (clitoris or penis) of a given size.

Size of human genitalia. Data from Wallen & Lloyd, 2008. Donna Maney, CC BY-ND

All of the women in this sample, including our hypothetical Sue and Ann, fall within a certain range. All of the men, including Bob, fall into a different range. With relatively rare exceptions, humans can be accurately categorized into sexes based on this measure.

Sex difference in human height. Data from Sperrin et al., 2015. Donna Maney, CC BY-ND

Next, let’s consider another difference that we can all see and understand: the sex difference in height. Here, we see overlap, depicted in purple. Unless a person is very tall or very short, knowing only that person’s height will not allow us to categorize that person as male or female with much certainty. Yet, even though we all know that some women are taller than some men, we would probably all call this a sex difference.

A typical sex difference in the human brain. Data from Tunç et al., 2016. Donna Maney, CC BY-ND

Now let’s consider a typical sex difference inside the human brain. This graph depicts a sex difference in structural connectivity, or the degree to which networks of brain areas are interconnected, as reported in a recent study (the median effect size from the study is shown). The distributions of values for men and women are essentially the same; they overlap by 90 percent. Sue and Bob have fairly similar values, and Ann’s value is higher than the average man’s.

We can see that this sex difference in the brain is quite different from the sex difference in genital measurements. With only the measurement of brain connectivity, the odds of correctly guessing a person’s sex might be as low as 51 out of 100. Since the odds aren’t perfectly 50:50, this is technically a sex difference. The term means that sex explains a portion of the variability in a trait, not that men take one form and women another. There may be a few more women at one end of the range and a few more men at the other, but for the majority, the trait is not that related to sex.

Small differences such as this one are important. The discovery of any sex difference is valuable for scientists and physicians because it points to other, more meaningful sources of variation. Because the sexes differ according to factors such as genes, hormones, and environment, a sex difference in the brain provides clues about the impact of these other factors on the brain. Following up on those clues helps us understand why susceptibility to disease, efficacy of drugs and even the course of normal development are different among all individuals, not just between men and women.

Despite their relevance to human health, the scientific value of sex differences is rarely discussed in the news media. Instead, sex differences become clickbait for promoting stereotypes. Small differences in the brain have been reported to explain a wide variety of presumably sex-typical behaviors, from hunting to cleaning the house. Although it makes intuitive sense that a difference in the brain must translate to a difference in behavior, there is very little evidence linking any sex difference in the human brain directly to a particular function or behavioral outcome. So think twice before you assume that greater brain connectivity confers better multitasking or map-reading skills.

Do-It-Yourself Evaluation Of Sex Differences

The graphs above are meant to illustrate why it’s not particularly informative to ask a yes-or-no question like “Do the sexes differ?” We need to ask more sophisticated questions: to what extent do the sexes differ? How much do they overlap?

Any decent scientific report of a sex difference contains all of the information needed to answer these questions. But not many journalists look at the actual report; they often rely on press releases, which may misrepresent the nature and meaning of a difference. As a result, the headlines can turn out to be wrong. For example, in the 2013 study reportedly showing that men and women differ profoundly, the sexes overlapped by an average of more than 86 percent. And the 2015 study that supposedly showed no sex differences in the brain? The authors never actually made such a claim. In fact, they provided a long list of bona-fide sex differences.

The next time you read about a sex difference, if you have access to the research report you can graph the difference yourself on SexDifference.org. Enter the average value (reported as the “mean”) and variance (reported as the “standard deviation”) for each sex. The tool will automatically draw a graph and calculate the degree of overlap. You can then see for yourself the extent to which the trait is related to sex.

Don’t be surprised if you can’t find the values you need to graph the difference. The authors may not report them, or they may not have actually compared the sexes. Take, for example, the report last year on thermal comfort in office buildings. The media were aflutter for days, explaining why women are always cold at the office. A quick look at the scientific paper itself shows that there were no men in the study at all! This makes calculating the overlap a bit problematic.

Why Overlap Matters

Overlap between the sexes may seem so obvious that it needs no discussion. But its underappreciation is leading educators to separate boys and girls into single-sex classrooms in order to accommodate their different brains, and physicians to consider sex, instead of more relevant factors such as body weight, when prescribing drugs. Although well-intentioned, these practices amount to stereotyping because they assume the distribution looks like the top graph above when it may look more like the bottom one.

Nearly every day, new research is published that, if overinterpreted, could be used to promote sex stereotypes. Most neuroscientists are not interested in doing that. The few neuroscientists who do overinterpret their data, often to the great delight of the media and the public, provide fuel for discriminatory practices and cast the entire field in a negative light. The best way to deal with dubious interpretations is to examine the data and draw our own conclusions. The data will speak for themselves.

Donna L. Maney, Professor of Psychology, Emory University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

13 Things To Try If You’re New To BDSM

OK, so you know you’re turned on by BDSM and kink. You’ve thought a lot about it and maybe you’ve even done some of the things that the experts recommend you do before you get started with BDSM. (Sign up for that FetLife account yet?) You’re ready to start thinking about and planning your first “session” but… You’re not totally sure where to start. Perhaps your fantasies are more varsity level than JV and you want to start slow, or maybe you’re just at a loss for ideas because, well, you’re a newbie.

Before we even get into activities, though, I want to take a minute and reassure you a little bit. I know that BDSM and kink can get kind of a bad rap in the media, like it’s some kind of deviant activity that only messed up people are into. Like a lot of things we see in mainstream media, though, that’s a total load of BS. BDSM and kink are practiced by all kinds of people with all kinds of backgrounds — and they play a huge role in the fantasy lives for a large proportion of women. There is nothing wrong with being into kinky sex play and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. All it means, in the end, is that you’re into kinky sex play!

Good Vibrations staff sexologist and author of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone Carol Queen, PhD, tells Bustle that before you do any BDSM play, you have to have some explicit conversations. Starting with what you’re interested in because the world of BDSM, Queen says, is vast. And, “if one person is thinking cushy, bondage gear, and dripping candle wax and a blindfold, and the other one is thinking whips and chains and painting, may talk past each other,” Queen says. She suggests having a conversation not when you’re already getting to it, which can feel like a high-pressure situation, but before.

“It’s maybe better to do it outside of that context, like, ‘Hey, I was wanting to talk to you about something kind of frisky. Do you have some time to hang out with me and have this conversation with me at dinner? Or do you want to have a glass of wine?’” Queen says. “Not too much wine when you have these conversations, though, because you want to remember what your focus is.”

Now that we have that out of the way, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. As a certified sex educator, I have a million kinky friends (well, maybe not a million, but quite a few) who are happy to share their expertise on great entry level kink and BDSM activities for those of you who are 100% new to the game. I decided to focus specifically on suggestions made by Miette Rouge, 43, and Jenna, 26, both of whom are active members of their respective kink scenes.

1. Hair Pulling

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

You might have already started this BDSM 1.0 level play: Hair pulling. A lot of people reach for the hair automatically in the throes of the passion.

Miette suggests hair pulling as a good way to start getting into kinky play. It’s easy, doesn’t require any toys, and can be as gentle or as rough as you want it to be.

Of course this (like every other type of BDSM play) requires conversation before doing it. Don’t just jump in and yank on someone’s hair. Queen recommends using a “yes, no, maybe” list before doing anything to make sure you and your partner are on the same page.

2. Light Spanking

Spanking is definitely a common fantasy and starting lightly is a good idea, with the option of ramping it up as you go, of course. Start with hands and then incorporate toys as you and your partner(s) become more experienced.

“I found it really exciting as a beginner to be told I had to count the number of blows I was going to receive, because it was not only a pain thing, but a power thing,” Jenna tells Bustle.

And spanking doesn’t have to just be on the butt. Queen points out that many people like to be spanked all around their genitals.

“Some people love really ‘thuddy’ spanks, whether it’s from a hand or paddle,” Queen says. “Because it starts to move around your muscle and fat layer so close to your genitals, it adds sexual excitement to the experience for people who may not have even been thinking about the front of themselves when their spanking started.”

3. Pre-negotiated Language

Miette suggests incorporating aggressive language into your play. Words like “slut,” “whore,” “jerk,” “wimp,” and “f*ck” are all good places to start. Name calling, however, should definitely be pre-negotiated, as one person’s turn on may be another person’s major turn off.

Queen has another note about language, but it’s about how to slow play rather than speed it up: Safe words. A safe word is a word that wouldn’t normally come up during sex play, but if someone utters it then it’s a signal that it’s time to either slow down or stop the scene.

“The safe word typically would be something like red, yellow, and green — like red light, green light, like traffic lights,” Queen says. “Green” means keep going, “yellow” means slow down, and “red” means you need to stop everything altogether.

4. Tying Up With A Scarf

A lot of people fantasize about bondage and scarves are a good place to start because they’re soft and it’s hard to do real damage with them — unlike, you know, rope and handcuffs. An inexperienced bondage fan can really mess someone up if they do rope bondage incorrectly, from cutting of circulation to not being able to untie them at all. So stick to scarves if you’re just getting started.

Miette’s main tip is to make sure that two fingers can be slipped between the tie and the skin in order to avoid cutting off circulation, which definitely can do damage. Pick one that’s strong enough to take a little pulling and have fun.

5. Under The Bed Restraints

Once you’re ready to move on from scarves, Jenna recommends trying out under the bed restraints or “just canvas strap restraints.” These types of restraints, which can be found in most sex shops, make it easier to tie someone down without having to stop and fumble around with knots. They’re also quick-release, which means you don’t have to worry about knots tightening to the point of being difficult to remove, which is a great plus for a beginner.

“Even if you don’t do anything else besides fool around, if you’ve never done it before giving up control over your body is an exciting intro to BDSM for beginners,” Jenna says.

6. Incorporating “Sir” Or “Madam”

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

In addition to aggressive language, Miette advises that a “sir” or “madam” can do wonder to set the stage. It’s a simple way to establish roles in a dom/sub scene and keep you both involved in the fantasy.

It’s also great because it doesn’t cost anything and you don’t have to add any gear. Using “sir” and “madam” language is a cheap, easy, and very low-impact way to see if that particular kind of BDSM play works for you and your partner.

7. Biting

Biting is a great entry-level way to play because you can test different levels of pain. It’s also, similar to using certain language, something you can do without any gear or any cost to you and your partner.

However, Miette warns that talking about biting beforehand is essential — and part of that talk should be about marks. Some people are into them and some people really aren’t, so make sure you know where your partner stands before you start chomping down.

You should also be clear about how hard you want to be bitten, before the biting starts. You could even make it a fun, kind of silly game with your partner biting you at different intensity levels so that they know what’s going to work — and what isn’t.

8. Subbing/Topping Role Playing

In BDSM-speak, “subbing” is performing the role of the submissive sex partner, while “topping” is playing the role of the dominant one. But you don’t have to jump right to full-on costumes and whips. You can ease your way into sub/top role play with a couple of additions to sex acts you’re probably already doing.

Jenna suggests that “something as simple as having your arms tied behind your back while performing oral sex” can be a really hot entry level activity for people who are just getting started. Other suggestions might include begging (for sex or punishment) as well as being put in or putting someone in a submissive physical position.

9. Play With “Pervertables”

Miette is really into what she calls “pervertables,” which are every day objects that can be transformed into toys. She recommends things like wooden spoons, brushes, spatulas and narrow things like canes, thin belts, and rulers with the metal guide on them if you want to make a mark. The best thing about these toys, according to Miette, is that no one but other kinksters will recognize them for what they are. They’re like a kinky secret signal.

Queen cautions, however, that different materials create different sensations. And while some might be really pleasurable for people, others won’t be.

“When you’re choosing your implements for impact play that some things are going to be thinner or a harder edged material — like say latex would be stingier feeling to the body — and things that are softer material — suede and things like that — or wider wind up feeling ‘thuddier.’ And some people have a preference one or another.”

10. Sensation Play With A Blindfold.

Both Miette and Jenna recommend blindfolded sensation play. What does that mean, you ask? Basically, you lightly restrain someone (or are restrained yourself, depending on your preference), blindfold them, and then introduce various sensations with various objects. So maybe you run a feather over them or you pinch them or you give them a spank or tease them to edge of orgasm.

The idea of this kind of play is to allow the non-blindfolded person to have control of everything that’s happening and for the blindfolded person to surrender control to them. And for the blindfolded person, not being able to see what’s going on can make each physical feeling even more intense.

11. Floggers

A flogger is a kind of whip, specifically one with a woven leather handle and lots of woven tails. They’re used for impact play, which means hitting of some kind. Some people like to use both ends of the flogger for a variety of sensations.

A flogger is more like a BDSM 1.1 step rather than a BDSM 1.0 step, according to Jenna. She recommends to newbies, though, because the pain it provides isn’t very intense but it looks scary, which can heighten your enjoyment of it.

Her second tip when it comes to this kind of pain play? “Leave the cane for once you’ve experienced a little more, because that sh*t hurts.”

12. Clothespins

Jenna thinks that clothespins — which can be adjusted and removed quickly, if need be — are a good way to start exploring pain thresholds. She recommends trying them out on nipples, stomach, and inner thigh at first as you start to understand your or your partner’s limits.

Queen says that while you’d think the painful part of clothes pin play would be when you put them on, it’s actually the removal that creates the most sensation.

“When the blood flows in the nerves are like, ‘Wait, what?’ and it can be quite painful for people who don’t enjoy intense sensation,” Queen says. “Do something distracting at that time when the clip is coming off — like if it comes off a nipple, add sucking or licking to the nipple right away or do something else on another part of the body that can distract them, clitoral touch or some spanking if they like it. That kind of thing. Distracting that sensation can be a useful technique.”

13. Candle wax

Candle wax is another way to play that Jenna says, “seems scary but isn’t, isn’t that painful, and is an exciting way to intro/explore pain.” Her only warning is that you do some research beforehand about different types of candles, as certain kinds burn hotter than others and those are the ones you don’t want.

If you try out a couple of these entry-level BDSM activities and find that you like it, you’ll be well on your way to further exploring kink with your partner. Have fun, be safe, and remember: Keep communicating. You’re in a for a great time.

Experts:

Good Vibrations staff sexologist and author of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone Carol Queen, PhD


When we hear of BDSM we often think of sex dungeons, dominatrix, whips, leather and crazy sex scenarios that seem like a lifetime away for a lot of us.

That was until now.

If you read my blog you may know that I am a fan of anything kinky and BDSM DIY is one of those things. You can get as kinky as you want with inexpensive things in your home, you can be as vanilla as you want or get as professional as you want with the easiest of things, you really don’t need to spend a fortune to explore the BDSM world and venture into some of your wildest fantasies. Here is the correct definition of BDSM.

I want to teach you how you can have some kinky BDSM sex in your own home, with your partner and without spending lots of money. Basically, this is a BDSM DIY article, Pinterest eat your heart out.

Tying, Restraining & Cuffing Your Partner

Restraint is one of the first and easiest places to start when venturing into the world of BDSM. Restraint feels awesome for either partner, take turns tying each other up and experience being submissive for the afternoon. Below I have outlined some ways you can use restrain your partner:

Using Rope (cheapest way to restrain your partner)

Using some rope is the best way to restrain your partner, this is my favorite BDSM rope, it’s inexpensive, silky and keeps your wrists and ankles bound.

A household item you can use: It’s definitely a ‘do it yourself’ idea to use strong string, thin t-shirts (rolled and tied around the wrists or ankles) or you can use a skipping rope, just get creative.

Full Bed Restraint (best restraint money can buy)

I have a huge love and admiration for these under mattress restraints, they completely bound you to your position and allow you to be totally submissive to your partner. The cuffs don’t hurt your ankles or wrists and are easy to release when you’re finished. I talk about these restraints in my article all about my favorite bondage gear see it here.

A household item you can use: To mimic something like these restraints with a household item you can use two large sheets, rolled and then tied to each ankle and then wrist, they won’t hold as well as the restraints but they will keep you in place.

Different types of cuffs I Use

There are a few different types of cuffs you can use during foreplay and sex but it has to be right for you. I have a few favorite cuffs (the under mattress restraints above are my favorite) so I will talk other cuffs that I use below.

These are the soft bondage cuffs (kit), the soft cuffs are velcro fastened for easy release and easy fastening. They make for a great inexpensive addition to any BDSM bedroom, it means your hands are out of use, your eyes are completely covered and with that information, you can let your imagination run wild.

Restrain your ankles with these ankle cuffs, secure them in place and enjoy limitations bound by a chain. These cuffs are padded for your pleasure to stop friction and to give you maximum comfort. These ankle cuffs are really kinky and are an ideal way to experience BDSM but by still letting your imagination run wild in your own home.

Teasing Your Partner & Not Letting Them Cum

This is one of me and my boyfriend’s favorite things to do, granted it’s difficult (for the person not being allowed to cum) but the pay off is wonderful.

Restrain your partner, this is optional but it makes it better. If your partner is unable to move their arms or their legs it will make them feel weak and vulnerable which makes the whole situation far more exciting and erotic. I always use my under mattress restraints, so once your partner is secure, it’s time to start teasing.

What I use to tease my boyfriend

Take this advice and run with it, it’s advice I have been using for ages and it is foolproof. It makes me boyfriend weak at the knees and has his moaning my name, which makes me so horny. He always cums so hard and can’t even speak for a while. It’s like being at an at home BDSM sex dungeon.

Vibrator against his balls, perineum and shaft

I like to use this bullet vibrator, the vibrations are so strong and feel amazing on my boyfriend and on myself. I like to run the vibrator all over his cock, focusing on the balls, and the tip of the penis. I do this whilst I give him a blowjob or to just get him going when I first restrain him.

I suck his balls while stroking his cock

Not all men like this but luckily mine does. I will keep him restrained so he has no control over my head and then goes on to suck his balls cock and make my way down to his balls, I gently pop them into my mouth and lightly suck whilst using my other hand to wa*k him and it sends shivers around his body.

Massage his whole body, treating his dick like it disgusts me.

This is something my boyfriend loves but we love intimate massages (massage oil) makes this 10x better). I will massage his entire body and ignore his penis. I will go to touch his penis and make my way around it, it drives him absolutely wild.

I make him beg me or I stop

I feel like a dominatrix when doing this step when he’s horny and desperate for me to touch him I make him beg for me. You can get creative here and ask him to beg your name, beg you to make you cum or if you want to get really kinky and BDSM-esque you can have him humiliate himself by mentioning how weak he is and how much he needs you.

I put his member in me and give him 5 – 10 seconds to cum inside

When I want him to cum I will only allow him 10 seconds to cum, if he hasn’t cum in that time I will get off of him and we start the teasing process again.

I stimulate his prostate with my hand/a toy while sucking his penis, till he’s about to cum then I stop

This is my boyfriends favorite prostate massager, at first, he wasn’t sure about it but once he tried it out he absolutely loved it. I like to use this prostate massager on him whilst giving him a blowjob, the stimulation sends him over the edge within minutes and I don’t allow him to cum until I am good and ready.

What my boyfriend uses to tease me

We like to switch up BDSM Dom/sub roles in the bedroom from time to time and I wanted to let you in on what he does to me and how it drives me wild. I always tried and use restraints because I love the feeling of being out of control, so if you want to do any of these things to do your partner know that it feels so much better when you’re restrained.

He licks, sucks and touches my p**sy without going near my clit

Ugh. Just thinking about this as I am writing it makes me wet. It’s so teasing and it makes me scream, he will do everything to my pussy except touch my clit, I have found myself in almost tears because I have wanted it so badly before, he then made me beg and I came when he touched me in about 0.5 seconds.

He goes to enter me with his fingers/dick and just as I feel him pushing against my opening he hovers, then stops.

This drives me insane when I am dying to be fu**ed (Ladies, you know the feeling). This is especially hard if I am restrained, it’s like your whole body wants it but I can’t have it.

He massages my whole body, boobs, butt, neck, but then only ever brushes past my vagina lightly touching my lips

Just like I do to him, he massages me everywhere but never touches my clit. It’s so erotic and you will find waves of pleasure wash over you as they go close to your clit but never actually touch it.

He holds a vibrator cm’s away from my clit and makes me beg for seconds of pleasure

This is so kinky and seriously leaves you begging, moaning and desperately trying to thrust yourself onto the vibrator.

He allows me to have three deep thrusts every orgasm/stay quiet for 3 full minutes

If I can keep myself quiet (our neighbors hate us) for 3 minutes then he will enter me and thrust deep inside of me and allow me to cum. Sometimes the time period changes and I have to be quiet for 5 minutes and other times he will put the vibrator on my clit but he will stop if I make any noise.

He Holds a massage vibrator on my clit and gives me 30 seconds to cum

Just like I do to him but he gives me 30 seconds to cum, it’s thrilling, hard and sends me into overdrive.

Using a massage vibrator he will not let me cum, sometimes for hours on end

This is my massage vibrator and with it he teases me like we are sitting in a sex dungeon, he will get me to the point of orgasm and not allow me to cum for hours, it’s so hard but when you finally orgasm it’s like nothing you can ever imagine, I also cum 5 or 6 times over and over again when using the wand vibrator and this method.

Dominate Them Till They Obey Your Every Order

How to train your partner to do as they are told:

Spank, paddle or crop their tight ass

These are inexpensive and a must if you want to dominate like a BDSM master. They deliver a sharp slap to the area and keep your partner in check in the bedroom.

Stop, don’t let them cum till the next session

This can be hard especially if you get turned on by watching your partner beg for their orgasm but withdraw yourself and make them wait for their orgasm for as long as you possibly can.

Have them get on their hands and knees and suck, lick and touch you pussy/cock till you’re satisfied

If they’re horny and desperate for their orgasm chances are they will lick your cock/pu**y with much enthusiasm that you may end up climaxing yourself.

Lock them up with chastity device till you forgive them

This is my favorite chastity device. We don’t use these all of the time but they sure are kinky as hell and allow you to become a BDSM master in the comfort of your own home.

Tie them up, force them to have multiple orgasms

Using a vibrator on her clit and make her cum again and again and ride him or blow him making him cum again and again, even if he goes soft, keep going, till he learns.

I put my boyfriend on his back and f**k him with a pegging toy until he begs me to stop

In this article, I talk all about what happened when I tried pegging my boyfriend for the first time and now we use our pegging sex toys during our BDSM adventures, it makes for a great session and makes us both feel like we have mastered the kinky, daring world of BDSM without ever leaving the house.

Make them taste themselves (pre-cum/cum + her natural lubrication)

Not everyone will like this but it’s very kinky. Dip your fingers in her pu**y and make her taste herself, you can also do it by making him taste his precum. Very erotic but very NSFW.

He puts my glass dildo in cold water and then slowly inserts it inside me (temperature play)

These are my favorite glass sex toys, they are so beautiful to look at and incorporating them into kinky BDSM sex sessions is one of my favorite things to do, seeing how wet I make my dildo and experimenting with temperature play is incredibly arousing for us both.

Give Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend Orders

Ordering your partner around is how we can ‘do it yourself’ become a BDSM master, get used to doing the idea but doing it more and eventually you will be able to add it into your sex life with ease.

My Favorite Orders

  • Say one word and I stop everything
  • Moan once and I won’t let you cum until next session
  • Cum in the next minute (set-timer) or don’t cum for another 30 minutes
  • Lick my pussy/ass till I cum in your mouth and if I don’t cum, no more pleasure for you
  • Restrain yourself and beg me to f**k you, if you stop begging then I’ll hold a massage vibrator against your clit till you orgasm, then not move it for another 10 minutes.
  • Bend over, spread everything and stay in place till I’m done
  • Every time I precum or my cock gets to wet, suck it clean
  • Lick my boobs, pussy, and ass (if you enjoy ass play) clean, I’ll tell you when you’ve done a good job.

If they mess an order up you can use a punishment from the list above, give it a try, it’s seriously fun and makes for a great time.

Get The Right BDSM Look

You don’t have to do this next step, you can get the BDSM look with things you already have at home. Things like: thigh high boots, tight tank tops, G-strings and chains.

You also should read all about my bdsm underwear, it will give you some more insight on what goes and what you can actually get.

Dominate: When I am being dominant with my partner I like to wear this BDSM outfit. It makes me feel edgy, like a rocker chick who gives no fu**s and gives me that edge to really get into character.

Submissive: If I am not totally naked when being submissive I like to wear this submissive BDSM outfit, it makes me feel like a good little girl and my boyfriend loves it.

What my boyfriend wears: Whether my boyfriend is being dominant or submissive I love him to wear these mesh underwear, they turn me on so much. Being able to see his rock hard co*k through them does things to me.

Becoming A Walking Fetish With Clothing: When I want to tease him, be a b**ch and have him beg me to cum I use my My latex gloves. He loves the aesthetic of them and so do I, they make me feel like such a bad bitch.

Other Kinky BDSM Ideas

Ball Gagging, Choking & Rough Sex

  • I get ball gagged when I’m bad we use this special ball gag so I can still lick and suck his penis and balls when it is fastened around my head.
  • I don’t like choking, I like my neck being grabbed, you can do this too just be careful not to put too much pressure on the windpipe. I’ll be in doggy style and he will grab me by the throat as he thrusts inside me, I find it so kinky and it’s such a turn on for me, pair this with my ball gag and I am all yours.

Kinky Life-Changing BDSM Fantasies (Explicit)

Most of us like fantasies to help us get off and to allow us to really lose ourselves in certain situations and because this is a DIY BDSM article I wanted to share with you some sexual fantasies you can live out with ease. Most of these can also be pulled off without anyone else apart from you, your partner and a big imagination.

The HOT stranger

Blindfold & restrain yourself, have your partner enter the room later and have them do these things:

  • Wear different aftershave or perfume
  • play a character
  • don’t talk, use your partner like a play toy and then leave
  • use a penis extender/sleeve
  • be a kinkier, hotter and naughtier version of yourself
  • VR Porn while you touch

Tied up on display for everyone

Open windows, take pictures and share your submissive partner with the world.

Extra kinky: Go to a sex party, club and have sex for everyone to see

I’m Your Play Toy

One of you gets tied up, used as a toy by the other to fulfil all there needs and then leaves without even a kiss.

Pitch-Black Anything Goes Sex

Both of you agree that for 30 minutes you can do anything to the other, once it’s done you both don’t bring it up again. It’s a great way to let loose and get kinky with your partner, just make sure you have a safe word.

Partner sharing while restrained

Let your partner have sex with someone blindfolded, restrained and listening to your every order.

Simulate this using sex toys (How I have threesomes with just my boyfriend) and keep the room dark, so that it feels real and believable.

Slow & hot double penetration

  • Butt plugs, dildos with suction cups, sex machines or a real person if you dare…

Get In the Mood…

Get in the mood by watching a sex movie or documentary, there are loads on Netflix and they can easily lead to a lot of sexual experimentation.

You’ve read about it or seen it on the big screen, but have you ever actually tried BDSM (short for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission and sadism and masochism)? This is one of those sexual activities that is so much fun, it’ll leave you wondering why you never tried before! BDSM isn’t for everyone, but it is something that many people are interested in. They’re just not sure where to start. Fear not, because we’ve got the best BDSM for beginners advice around.

Take The Quiz: Do You Give Good Blow Jobs?

BDSM can seem a little intimidating to people, especially when you think of the most extreme activities, which could even include cutting the skin or branding. However, one of the awesome things about BDSM is how you can choose what works for you. Give something a try. If you don’t like it, don’t do it again. If you do like it, add it to your sexual routine. There are so many varieties of BDSM that there’s a good chance you’ll like at least one of those flavors, but it’s best to start with BDSM for beginners.

What’s Good BDSM for Beginners?

What makes an activity good for someone who’s new to BDSM? It’s easy to understand and relatively safe. You don’t want to start out playing with fire or knives, literally. But a blindfold is something you can easily add when you’re having sex to up the ante in a safe way. If you’re not proficient with knots, rope bondage isn’t a good idea when you’re just getting the hang of things.

You also don’t have to rush off to the toy store and spend a lot of money on expensive leather goodies just to try out BDSM! Although there are many brands that make exquisite gear, you could be in for disappointment if you realize that you don’t really like the sting of a cane. Creativity lets you explore elements of BDSM, and you might be surprised some of the items you can use for beginner’s BDSM that you already own:

  • A spatula or spoon becomes a spanking implement
  • Scarves, ties or sleep masks become blindfolds (but these items are not good for tying someone up, more on that later!)
  • Clothespins can be used to clamp nipples or your clitoris
  • Knee-high boots make you look like a sexy dominatrix
  • You can tease and torture with a vibrating egg
  • Try ice to stimulate your man’s skin

So on and so forth. But before you collect a pile of household goods that can be perverted for BDSM, let’s talk about safety.

If you want to give your man back-arching, toe-curling, screaming orgasms that will keep him sexually obsessed with you, then you can learn these sex techniques in my private and discreet newsletter. You’ll also learn the 5 dangerous mistakes that will ruin your sex life and relationship. Get it here.

Beginner’s BDSM and Safety

Safety is important when it comes to BDSM. You definitely don’t want to engage with someone whom you don’t trust physically and emotionally. So it’s probably a good idea to stay away from breaking out the whip with a one night stand. More on that here. And you don’t want someone who might leave you in a compromising situation.

Even with a trustworthy partner, you’ll want to take a few precautions because BDSM be physically and emotionally traumatizing. While you’re unlikely to be doing things that could lead to injury or even death when you’re just dipping your toe in the BDSM pool, you definitely want to be careful. In fact, the BDSM community is so aware of these precautions that there are not one but two acronyms about safety:

  • SSC: Safe, sane consensual
  • RACK: Risk, aware, consensual, kink

As you can see, both of these focus on consent, and we recommend against trying BDSM, no matter how tame, if you’ve been drinking.

A common tool used in BDSM is the safe word or phrase, which you can utter if you’re becoming uncomfortable or need things to slow down. Typically, it’s the bottom or submissive who says the safe word, but it’s totally cool if you’re playing dominant and you need things to stop or slow down. The green/yellow/red system works well. Just like traffic lights, it enables you to check in. A response of “green” indicates you can keep going. “Yellow” implies to slow down or decrease intensity but without entirely stopping. If you need your scene to end or at least pause temporarily, then say “Red.”

You can pick your own safe words, but they should be relatively short and easy to remember. You don’t want to struggle while you’re being whipped. It’s best to stay away from “Stop” or “No,” which you might say during role play when you don’t actually want to stop.

To ensure a positive experience, whoever is topping should actively check in with the submissive and always, always, always heed safe words. In some instances, such as if someone is gagged and unable to speak, a ball that can be dropped or a bell that can be rung works in place of a safe word.

There are other safety concerns aside from safe words. These include not using bonds that are too tight or could constrict when you struggle in them. This is why using silk scarves or ties is actually a bad idea. They could cut off circulation. Opt for a bondage materials that can easily be cut away with a medical scissors in time of emergency. For beginners, a set of neoprene cuffs that secure with Velcro should be enough, which leads us to our next point.

Start slower than slow – Say you want to try flogging and a blindfold. Add one to your scene at a time. So, you might let your man flog you without a blindfold, which you’re comfortable with. Then, you can add a blindfold the next time. It’s also preferable to stick to one fantasy at a time and not change up the script. Although it might not seem like this is a serious step up, it definitely can be overwhelming to try too much at once, especially if you’re submitting and have never tried that activity before!

Finally, make sure to stay away from organs and vulnerable flesh whenever you’re spanking, flogging or using another impact item. The butt and back of the thighs are fleshy and ideal targets, which can be a lot of fun to spank. But the back offers access to the kidneys, which could be damaged. With longer floggers and whips, practicing on a pillow first helps increase your aim. This is crucial because those tails could wrap around and hurt your partner in places you weren’t intended to stimulate!

Take The Quiz: Do I Give Good (or BAD) Blow Jobs?

You can engage in all elements of BDSM – bondage and discipline, dominance and submission and sadism and masochism – and many of them overlap, but you can also pick and choose what’s good for you. For instance, spanking is relatively tame and perfect for beginner’s because all you need is a hand and a willing partner, and it’s a good example of discipline. You can use it because you’re roleplaying that your man has been naughty. Then, it becomes part of your dominance and submissive roleplay. Or you can simply get your man to spank you because it releases all the right hormones and feels good.

Let’s take a look at each part of BDSM.

Bondage and Discipline

Bondage is when you tie each other up. As we mentioned, lightweight cuffs are perfect for beginner’s bondage. A lot of people look for fuzzy handcuffs because they seem more comfortable, but they’re often not as comfy as a pair of neoprene or leather cuffs. Cuffs become extra versatile when employed with an under the bed bondage restraint system, which enables you to turn your bedroom into a bondage fantasy!

Blindfolds also count as bondage, and you can add a gag to bind a partner’s mouth and prevent him from speaking. Silicone ball gags are good to start, and you’ll want to start with one that’s smaller. Typically, gags will be labelled as “beginner’s” if they’re smaller. Tantus makes one with a pacifier-like shaped that’s easy on the jaw, while other companies make breathable gags with holes if you’re worried about breathing around it.

The discipline part of this acronym refers to physical and mental discipline. In terms of BDSM for beginners, it might mean:

  • Spanking with a hand
  • Flogging with a multi-tailed flogger – consider fur, suede or silicone
  • Throwing a single-tailed whip
  • Using a paddle – they come with plush sides to ease pain
  • Denying your partner access to your body or his own
  • Denying or prolonging orgasm (edging is great fun!)
  • Playfully pinching or biting your man

Of course, you know your partner best, so you know what would be an appropriate discipline. And if he’s into it, you’ll definitely get a rise!

Dominance and Submission

While the physical implements of bondage and discipline (including floggers and other items you can read about in this post) are up someone’s alley, you don’t necessarily have to participate in the B & D if you don’t want to. What do we mean by that? Simply that you can engage in dominance and submission without necessarily trying one another up or inflicting pain on your man. In fact, mental restraint and power games can be quite arousing.

Imagine your man is in power, and you’re not bound, but you might keep the same position for an extended period of time solely because it pleases you. Do you have the willpower? Does it make you drool to think about being helpless? Or perhaps your heart beats faster when you imagine being your lover’s pet. Then D/s might be for you! Read more about how to be submissive, or check out this post if you’re the dominant type.

Sadism and Masochism

For a lot of people, they worry that even BDSM for beginner’s will be too painful for them to like. They don’t understand why someone would want to hurt another person they love. If you’re wondering about this, then you’ve come to the right place! A person who likes receiving pain is known as a masochist, but there’s a difference between “bad” and “good” pain. It never feels good to stub your toe, but it can feel good to be spanked, scratched with nails or pinched. And all of these things can be done to different intensities!

On the other hand, you have the sadist, who enjoys seeing her partner “suffering” through this stimulation. She denies his orgasm or looks smoking hot in her outfit, but he can’t touch. That’s certainly sadistic, and not a hand or toy ever made contact! There is an energy flow between the two that makes BDSM for beginner’s exciting in ways you might not have understood before!

But at the end of a scene, you should expect a warm cup of cocoa or water to hydrate, cuddles and perhaps a spanking balm to help soothe skin that suddenly seems to ache, even if it didn’t hurt while you were being spanked.

If you’re still wondering where to go from here, we suggest talking about your fantasies with your man! Elements of BDSM likely play a role in one or more of your fantasies, and exploring them can lead to some of the best sex you’ve ever had!

Although this article might be titled “BDSM for beginners,” it’s okay if you simply like things less intense! There’s no right way to “do” BDSM, and someone who is into more hardcore elements of BDSM isn’t better than you. That’s why there’s truly a flavor of BDSM for everyone, and following these tips to ease into it helps ensure a positive experience for everyone involved.

Watch This: Blow Job Tutorial Video

I put together this in-depth, step-by-step instructional video that will teach you how to make your man sexually addicted to you and only you. It contains a number of oral sex techniques that will give your man full-body, shaking orgasms. If you’re interested in learning these techniques to keep your man addicted and deeply devoted to you as well as having a lot more fun in the bedroom, then you may want to check out the video. You can watch it by clicking here.

Curious about the consensual, erotic power play of BDSM, but don’t feel ready to invest in a full-scale dungeon just yet? We have good news: You can add BDSM moves to your partnered sex life without spending a mint on new accessories or mastering dozens of different rope ties.

Even in a post-Fifty Shades world, there’s no shame in being new to BDSM. And while investing in kink gear and sex toys can be fun, this kind of play is ultimately about you, your partner or partners, and consensual power exchange, not capitalism. “BDSM doesn’t require any money,” kink-friendly sex therapist Michael Aaron tells Allure. “Much of it is psychological, and if you are looking for impact play, many people feel like no toy beats their hands anyway, and that’s free. Likewise, various household items such as rope and clothespins can be used in scenes, and they hardly cost anything at all.” (A “scene” is how people commonly refer to a period in which the kinky play goes down.) From safely restraining your partner to experimenting with role-play, here are eight ways you can explore BDSM with your partner tonight.

1. Talk through your interests and boundaries.

When we talk about dominance and submission in BDSM, we’re talking about consensual power exchange: That means that even if a submissive partner is tied up and allowing the dominant partner to dictate what happens in a scene, the terms have been discussed and agreed upon by all partners beforehand. In fact, the sub can even be thought of as the one in control, since it’s the dominant partner’s responsibility to always respect their limits. Before trying anything new, talk it over with your partner to make sure you’re both into whatever’s about to go down. You may be interested in choosing a safe word that stops play if needed. Learning your turn-ons and boundaries (and your partner’s) is all part of the fun of BDSM, and discussing your encounter before it happens can be its own anticipation-building form of foreplay.

2. Try out some dirty talk.

Are you a submissive who likes being reprimanded? Do you want to be told that you’re a bad girl and that you’re going to do what daddy wants? Ask your partner to talk dirty to you. Anyone can engage in dirty talk related to BDSM themes, whether you are dominant, submissive, or both (someone who plays both roles is referred to as a switch). Dirty talk allows you to express your desires. Verbal cues also help you visualize hot fantasies. Say you have a fantasy of being restrained but for now just want to hear your partner tell you about how they’re going to tie you up and (consensually) use you, or you’d like to see how it feels to call them “sir.” Dirty talk lets you explore fantasies before physically trying them.

Getty Images

3. Add a blindfold.

Adding sensory deprivation to your sex life is an easy and tantalizing way to build tension. When you temporarily subtract stimuli from one sense, you can heighten others: For instance, when you can’t see because you’re wearing a blindfold, a whisper in your ear or the taste of your partner’s mouth may seem all the more intense — and exciting.

If you want to buy a blindfold, start with a comfy silk one such as this $8 satin mask from Babeland. You can also use a sleeping mask or the silk tie of a bathrobe. Depending on what role you want to play, ask your partner to blindfold you or ask if you can blindfold them. Once the blindfold is on, the partner not wearing it can tease and tantalize the wearer, leaving them guessing what’s coming next by kissing all over their body, whispering dirty talk into their ear, or tickling erogenous zones with a feather.

4. Explore orgasm control.

Orgasm control, especially when done to a person with a penis, is usually referred to as “edging.” This involves bringing someone nearly to orgasm and then abruptly stopping the stimulation, then repeating as desired. If you’re new to orgasm control, you probably already know that delayed gratification can make the end reward that much sweeter. You don’t have to have any sort of rigid edging routine to explore orgasm control: If you’re the submissive partner, simply relax and give your dominant partner permission to take your orgasm into their hands. Have them use their mouth or a sex toy to bring you close to climax, stopping right beforehand. When you can’t wait any longer, let them help you cross the finish line and prepare for the most intense orgasm you’ve had in a while.

5. Buy a massage candle.

Candles are useful for more than just creating mood lighting. They can also be used for temperature play, or using hot and cold to provoke arousal during sexual play. (This technique can feature in both vanilla and BDSM encounters.)

How Do I Get Into BDSM? A Guide For Beginners, Because The Most Important Thing You Do Is Probably Not What You Think

BDSM means different things to different people. Some may be pretty sure they aren’t into it, while many of us can’t help but be really curious. But what do you need to know if you’re new to BDSM? Like open relationship, kink is a term that covers a variety of activities and forms of sexual expression.

“It is a catch-all word for sexual practices and interests that are outside the mainstream — from role play to dominance and submission, a vast array of fetishes, and sadism and masochism,” says Patricia Johnson, co-author of Partners in Passion, Great Sex Made Simple, Tantra for Erotic Empowerment, and The Essence of Tantric Sexuality. We’ll explore some of the terminology of the kink world in more depth a little later, but at the outset, it’s important to take note of this diversity because outsiders often think of kink in limited and perhaps somewhat sensational terms. You may already have certain fantasies that you want to explore. If that’s the case, you can do research online or consult one of the ever-growing number of BDSM/kink-centric books that are available, says Johnson. You can also take classes online at kinkacademy.com.

When starting to explore BDSM, remember that there’s no need to rush to create your own “Red Room of Pain” a la 50 Shades! “To begin, you might simply try being blindfolded and let your partner tickle you with a feather, or lightly stroke your skin with a whipper. If that turns you on, move towards slightly racier bondage play, like binding wrists with a silk tie or handcuffs, a massage candle being dripped on your skin, or exploring the sensation of playful spanking,” says sex expert and Booty Parlor founder Dana Myers.

If you really want to take your new venture into BDSM seriously, come up with safe words for your sexy session. Safe words should be used as a way to say let’s pause, or stop. This will allow you to feel safe and have some control during this new experience. “Just as Anastasia and Christian discussed her Hard and Soft Limits, you want communicate with your partner before you bring any BDSM into the bedroom. Discuss who’s going to play the dominant and submissive roles, and be clear about what you’re willing to try and what’s simply too far outside of your comfort zone. Having this talk will strengthen your communication, build intimacy, and create a strong sense of trust so that you can let go of your inhibitions and explore some kinkier sex play safely and comfortably in your relationship,” says Myers.

Here’s what else you need to know.

1. Avoid shiny object syndrome.

Giphy

That is to say, go slow and take your time, says erotic coach and sex educator Dawn Serra. BDSM is a wide network of countless activities. “From spanking and bondage to Dominance, needle play, and beyond, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole when you first begin exploring this new world. At first it can feel like you’re a 5-year-old let loose in a candy store. Many people who are brand new to BDSM immediately want to try all the things and end up over-indulging,” says Serra. Take it slow, go in knowing there will be endless temptations, and have fun in a smart way. 2. Consent, consent, and did we mention consent? If you don’t know the basics of consent, you MUST start there, says Serra. “All BDSM is based on this very important concept. Skipping this means you risk doing significant harm to others and to themselves. Oh Joy Sex Toy has a great infographic on consent,” says Serra. Just remember, consent must be enthusiastic, on-going, informed, and voluntary. Which is to say it’s a fully engaged, un-coerced, un-manipulated yes.

2. Have fun.

You are probably going to feel silly or awkward the first few times you try to tie a fancy knot or command someone to their knees. “You’re going to make mistakes. BDSM is all about having fun and exploring new parts of desire and fantasies,” says Serra. Keep it all in the spirit of adventure. Also remember that many BDSM activities are dangerous, so find a trusted educator (this is not necessarily the most popular, vocal, or charismatic person in your local BDSM community, either) and enlist their help, suggests Serra.

3. Determine your role

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Remember that if you’re doing power play (Dominance and submission or Master and slave or Sadist and masochist), both of you have equal power when you negotiate the activity ahead of time, says Serra. “Everyone has an equal say as you decide on the framework for how things will unfold, especially in the beginning. As you get better at negotiating a scene, you’ll learn how to make it endlessly sexy and even an important part of your foreplay,” Serra says.

4. Safe words are critical

Some people like simple colors like red (stop immediately, no questions asked), yellow (I’m uncomfortable or reaching my limit or need to slow down), and green (keep going!). Other people like plain language — stop, I’m OK, etc. Just remember that any kind of “I’m unsure” or “I don’t know” in a scene is equivalent to a stop. Some people come up with really usual words for use in their scene, but just remember — if you are in a highly intense scene where it’s difficult to think or form words, simple is usually best, says Serra.

5. Know your boundaries

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Just because you are doing BDSM in the bedroom doesn’t mean you need to give up control outside of the bedroom, says Cassie Fuller from Touch Of Flavor. “Some people are not interested in anything more than using BDSM as a way to spice up sex and that’s fine. In fact, most people don’t have a Master/slave style relationship and just like to have a little kinky sex. You and your partner should understand what the other is looking for and respect each other’s boundaries,” says Fuller.

6. Always be honest

Honesty is the most important aspect to BDSM. ​”Your partner(s)​ need to know basic information about you such as past ​experiences, health concerns, emotional triggers, and turn-offs. Don’t expect your partner to be a mind-reader and to instinctively knows your needs, wants, and limits. If the person that you are thinking about engaging in BDSM activities with doesn’t ask you these things, make sure you speak up and tell them,” says Fuller.

Images: Chickpea./Flickr; Giphy

‘BDSM for beginners’: Everything I learnt when I went to a bondage workshop

Fifty Shades of Grey has sparked an interest in BDSM across the globe – upon the first film’s release in 2015, there was a sharp and sudden increase in people searching for the term online, according to Google Trends.

However it turns out that the film is in fact not an accurate depiction of BDSM at all – it’s one of the first things I learn in my ‘BDSM for beginners’ workshop.

“It’s rape, it’s abuse, it’s not an accurate representation,” says professional dominant and leader of the workshop, Master Dominic.

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It’s a Monday evening and I’m in a dimly-lit basement room in The Book Club in Shoreditch, East London. Sitting alongside me in rows of chairs are a mix of men and women – some are with their partners, others with mates, a few are alone.

Part of The Book Club’s ‘sex-ed for adults’ series, we’ve been promised an “introductory workshop in kink” – we have been assured, however, that there will be no audience participation.

I am usually the type of person to volunteer, but even I might draw the line at this one.

As someone who knows little more about BDSM than what one sees in Fifty Shades – and I’ve only seen the first film – it doesn’t take me long to realise I have a lot to learn.

Master Dominic is blunt but hilarious in an understated way. Most importantly, however, he is undeniably an expert in BDSM despite the fact that – as he points out – “there’s no qualification.”

He encourages us to ask questions whenever we feel like it, and away we go.

Before you try BDSM

“BDSM is not something you can just have a couple of beers and fumble your way through,” Dominic tells us. Which, I feel, is quite important considering that’s how most people lose their virginity.

I’d never actually considered how one would go about experimenting with BDSM, but when you think about it, how would you bring it up?

Dominic says you should just say it and then do as much research as you can.

It’s also important to discuss what language your partner likes and dislikes – Dominic recommends using verbs over nouns, so asking “How does that feel?”

The next key step in preparing to try BDSM is to work out what everything feels like on yourself first. “You need to try things out in a non-sexy way because bondage can induce panic,” he says.

Dominic tells us various stories illustrating just how important it is to do this – the woman who thought it would be a good idea to walk over her partner in stilettos, for example, or the man who decided to put kebab skewers through his nipples.

I alternate between nearly falling off my chair with laughter and wincing at the thought of the pain. Fifty Shades certainly doesn’t show how much can go wrong.

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“You have to learn how to scare the living sh** out of someone but in a sexy way,” Dominic says. And I realise there’s a lot more to this than just blindfolding someone and giving them a little spank.

Dominic drops a bag of terrifying props on to the floor and I see things I’ve never seen in my sheltered 24 years on this earth.

How to get into a BDSM session

When you’re in a long-term relationship, you see each other in pyjamas so how do you suddenly put on a corset and switch into different personas?

Maybe my pink polka-dot PJs aren’t as sexy as I’d like to think.

So how do you start?

According to Dominic, the trick is for the dominant person to leave the room for five minutes – this gives the submissive the chance to get into what’s known as “sub space” and allows them to decompress, get ready and feel comfortable.

When the dom comes back, they need to be suddenly bold and in charge rather than polite: “Nothing says dominance like crippling anxiety,” Dominic deadpans. He has a point.

Impact play

According to Dominic, there are three most common interests when it comes to impact play: bondage, spanking and feet.

Feet? Seriously? My friend and I exchange puzzled looks because, well, we both think feet are gross.

It’s spanking, however, that is the entry-level area of BDSM.

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Dominic’s first top tip surprises me: “Don’t hit them in the kidneys,” he says. And again, I am confused. Why would anyone want to hit someone in the kidneys? Perhaps I am too innocent for my own good. Am I missing something inherently sexy about the kidneys?

The main rule is not to hit anything that isn’t protected – it’s best to stick to the bottom, and particularly the fleshy area where the bum cheeks meet the top of the legs. This, he says, is “the sweet spot.”

Oh, and don’t bend over so your buttocks are stretched out – the more taut the skin, the more likely it is to bruise and split. Ouch.

Start off gently because you have to build up tolerance to impact play, apparently. And whatever you do, don’t use a cane, which Dominic says is a particularly British vice. I can’t decide whether this surprises me or not.

If you’re the spanker rather than the spankee (my terms, not his), you should cup your hand and hit 25 per cent less hard than you think your partner can stand.

Dominic rotates his hands in circles and his wrists click loudly and continuously – the result of years of spanking. You have been warned.

One of the other main forms of impact play is using a flogger – Dominic suggests you start with a small one made of leather or faux fur.

You should flog in a downwards motion and continue for three and a half to four minutes. This is, apparently, the optimum length of time for the sub to relax and enjoy it.

I imagine trying to do any of these things without knowing anything about how to do them properly and cringe – it must result in a lot of awkwardness and pain.

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A question pops into my head and – having been encouraged to do so at the start – I decide to be bold, stick my hand up and ask: “Do you wash the sex toys?”

The room reacts in a mix of sniggers and chuckles. I decide never to ask a question ever again in my life.

Dominic, however, respects my question and explains that you should wash toys in hot, soapy water, spray them with Dettol and hang them up to dry. Once a month should be enough if you’re not using them loads.

“Insertables” however – his word not mine – need to be thoroughly cleaned after each use though.

I try not to giggle at the word.

Sensory deprivation

The most important thing to remember when trying sensory deprivation is to have a safe word – oh, and it’s not about pushing someone to their limit.

Some clever so-and-so in the audience with me asked how you have a safe word if someone is gagged, and Dominic said you need to have a hand signal.

He does not recommend gagging and binding someone at the same time, but if you switch between the two, you need to switch safe words too.

He explained the challenge of not breaking the sexy bubble whilst equally ensuring no one panics. Hmm. Quite the dilemma, I imagine.

As a dom, you need to trust that the sub will use your safe word – one of the ways you can avoid panic setting in, Dominic explains, is by ensuring the sub can set themselves free.

“Knowing you can get out of it yourself removes panic 95% of time,” he says.

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As the session draws to a close, I notice the dog snoring in the row behind me which somewhat ruins the sexy vibe.

Before I went to the workshop, I imagined everyone would be sitting there cringing, but they weren’t. Although we laughed throughout, it was refreshing how, well, casually but seriously the whole topic was treated.

And by the end it was safe to say I understood how real BDSM isn’t anything like Fifty Shades at all. Who’d have thought it?

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The vocabulary of BDSM can be intimidating to newcomers (newcummers, heh heh). What is your domme talking about when she tells you to to stop topping from the bottom and take off your Zentai suit for some CBT? What, while we’re at it, is a domme? So, let’s start with the basics: “BDSM” stands for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism, the core pillars of kinky fun. Beyond that, there’s a whole language to describe the consensual power exchange practices that take place under the BDSM umbrella. At press time there’s still no “kink” on Duolingo, so here’s a handy glossary of some of the most common BDSM terms, from A to Z.

A is for Aftercare
Aftercare is the practice of checking in with one another after a scene (or “play session,” a.k.a., the time in which the BDSM happens) to make sure all parties feel nice and chill about what just went down. The dominant partner may bring the submissive ice for any bruises, but it’s important to know that aftercare involves emotional care as well as physical. BDSM releases endorphins, which can lead to both dominants and submissives experiencing a “drop.” Aftercare can help prevent that. There’s often cuddling and always conversation; kinksters need love too.

B is for Bondage
Bondage is the act of tying one another up. In most cases the dominant partner is restraining the submissive using ropes, handcuffs, Velcro, specialty hooks, clasps, or simply a belt if you’re on a budget.

C is for CBT (Cock and Ball Torture)
In BDSM, CBT does not refer to cognitive behavioral therapy, it refers to “cock and ball torture,” which is exactly what it sounds like: The dominant will bind, whip, or use their high-ass heels to step on their submissive’s cock and balls to consensually torture them.

D is for D/S
D/S refers to dominance and submission, the crux of a BDSM relationship. While kinky people can be on a spectrum (see: “Switch”), typically you’re either dominant or submissive. If you take away one fact from this guide, it should be that even though the dominant partner in D/S relationship may be slapping, name-calling, and spitting on the submissive, BDSM and D/S relationships are all about erotic power exchange, not one person having power over another. The submissive gets to set their boundaries, and everything is pre-negotiated. The submissive likes getting slapped (see also: “Painslut”).

E is for Edgeplay
Edgeplay refers to the risky shit—the more taboo (or baddest bitch, depending on who you’re talking to) end of the spectrum of BDSM activities. Everyone’s definition of edgeplay is a little different, but blood or knife play is a good example. If there’s actually a chance of real physical harm, it’s likely edgeplay. Only get bloody with a partner who knows what they’re doing without a doubt and has been tested for STIs. You don’t have to get maimed to enjoy BDSM.

F is for Fisting
Fisting is when someone sticks their entire fist inside a vagina (or butthole). Yes, it feels good, and no, it won’t “ruin” anything but your desire for vanilla sex. Use lube.

G is for Golden Showers
A golden shower is when you lovingly shower your partner with your piss. It’s high time for the BDSM community reclaimed this word back from Donald Trump, who, may I remind you, allegedly paid sex workers to pee on a bed that Obama slept in out of spite. This is not the same thing as a golden shower. Kink is for smart people.

H is for Hard Limits
Hard limits are sexual acts that are off-limits. Everyone has their own, and you have to discuss these boundaries before any BDSM play. Use it in a sentence: “Please do not pee on me; golden showers are one of my hard limits.”

The Beginner’s Guide to BDSM

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner and the latest installment in the Fifty Shades movies series, Fifty Shades Darker, hitting theaters today, chances are you could have some sexy thoughts on the brain-so maybe you’re looking to kink things up a bit. Fantasies and experimentation are what keep sex exciting, so if you want to tear a page out of Anastasia’s steamy sex logs but aren’t sure where to start, we got you. (And if you’re interested in spicing up your solo sex life, we’ve got you covered there too: 12 Steps to Better Masturbation.)

BDSM 101

BDSM is often referred to as power play or dominant/submissive play, and can involve bondage and discipline (B&D), and sado-masochism (S/M), in which partners explore sensations, including pain, while testing the power dynamics of their relationship, explains certified sex therapist Kat Van Kirk, Ph.D. “Because it’s considered a ‘power exchange,’ this means that play should be consensual, safe, and sane,” she says.

No type of power play is considered “abnormal” so long as those involved in the action are willing participants and it doesn’t interfere with other aspects of life. You can make the experience whatever you want-some people may dabble in a specific behavior or two, while others prefer to act out entire scenes. (BTW, apparently kinky sex can make you more mindful, so that’s another bonus.)

“A little power playing can be just what the doctor ordered for a stagnating sexual relationship because it can shift the dynamic, create a healthy sense of sexual drama, and improve emotional intimacy,” says Van Kirk.

Ready to get down to business? Here’s everything you need to know about adding a little spice (and spank) to your sex life:

1. Ditch the shame-and do your homework.

“BDSM is about intense sensations, role play, and physical challenges endured for the sake of pleasure,” says sexologist Gloria Brame, Ph.D., author of Different Loving Too. “Whatever BDSM games may look like on the outside to frightened prudes, the inside reality is that it’s insanely exciting, unbelievably intimate, and so fun that you lose all track of time.” However, rushing into BDSM before you’ve accepted and embraced your needs and given yourself permission to ask for what you really want is, in short, a bad idea. “The number-one mistake women make is expecting their partner to give them permission to enjoy their own fantasies,” she says. So, read a lot, surf a lot, and make sure you feel empowered to go after what you want, instead of just dumping fantasies in your partner’s lap and expecting someone to act on them.

2. Make a list of what you want to experience in the boudoir.

“Before you deep dive into your fantasies and go naughty before nice, it’s actually useful to make a list of what you want and check it twice-once by yourself, and once with your partner,” says Los Angeles–based sexologist Christine Milrod, Ph.D. Planning in advance helps you gauge what each other’s boundaries are-breath play might be kosher, but blood play not so much-while building anticipation for the big event. (And if you’re not sure what your fantasies even are, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedoms provides a thorough list of practices that fall under the BDSM category.)

3. Approach your partner with a BDSM-positive attitude.

Approaching this particular sex talk in an upbeat, frisky way will make your partner more curious and willing to explore your fantasies. “We’re all wired to be curious about sexual variety,” says Brame. “We all instinctively want to try things that could make us more turned on too.” Need a super-easy way to broach the subject? Read him your favorite passage from a sexy book-you know, the one you read when it’s just you and your vibrator. “If nothing else, it’s a great place to start the conversation and let him know what turns you on,” says Brame.

4. Try each activity one at a time.

“Many people are vastly unprepared and end up going overboard, with less than optimal results,” says Milrod. If you want to explore spanking, for example, focus on that activity specifically, thinking about the location of your session (think: bed, or kitchen), laying out the props (hair brush, paddle, riding crop) and then engaging with each other in a way that feels comfortable for both of you, she says. Savor each move, and the effect, whether you’re the giver or the receiver.

5. Respect each other’s boundaries.

“Creating and adhering to the safe word is paramount,” says Milrod. “Activities can always be up for negotiation, but not usually while you’re engaged in play. This is why it’s so important to write the prescription beforehand-nasty surprises aren’t always what you bargained for.” Always remember that the second it stops being pleasurable to you, it means your relationship has gone to an unhealthy place. “Use safe words, negotiate boundaries, keep it safe, and expect pleasure,” says Brame.

6. Don’t be afraid to switch things up.

If you’re just starting your journey, don’t limit yourself with labels or assume you’ll always play only one role. You may find that you enjoy switching roles or that your own definition of yourself needs to be stretched in new ways. “Let your turn-ons guide you to explore new fantasies and roles, and don’t feel like you must pick one and stick with it,” says Brame. (Next up: How to Have a One-Night Stand with Your Partner.)

7. Check in with each other afterward.

Processing the experience after-the-fact is just as important as planning for it. “Practicing BDSM requires communication-so don’t walk away with assumptions in mind,” says Milrod. Being honest and asking questions won’t just help you create future mind-blowing experiences, but will boost your intimacy and closeness in a big way. (P.S. Here are the conversations to have with your partner for a better O.) “Remember, this is your (and your partner’s) very own world,” adds Milrod. Treat it with respect.

  • By By Krissy Brady

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BDSM is an umbrella expression for: bondage and discipline (B&D), dominance and submission (D&S), and sadism and masochism (S&M). The terms are grouped together as BDSM can be a lot of different things to different people and can even be non-sexual. Here’s a beginner’s guide to the world of BDSM.

Breaking it Down

BDSM includes a variety of practices, ranging from light bondage and erotic spanking to advanced suspension bondage and even electrostimulation.

Whilst bondage and discipline encompasses the physical elements including restraints and sensation play, dominance and submission encompasses the emotional and psychological elements including role play between the dom and sub and consensual power exchange.

Sadism and masochism refers to the roles in which one player takes pleasure in giving a physical sensation (the sadist), and one player takes pleasure in receiving physical sensation (the masochist). The use of whips and chains naturally falls into this category.

Many people consider BDSM weird, dehumanising, or worse. Nevertheless, fans of this sort of play refer to it as the most loving, nurturing, intimate form of human contact to exist.

How to Begin

Firstly, decide if you’re more into B&D or S&M. If the former, blindfolding the sub can be a fun way to start but if the latter, then spanking is a prevalent way most people begin.

When introducing the idea to your partner, or your partner introduces the idea to you, be specific about the types of activities that interest you both the most, such as spanking, biting, handcuffing or being tied up. This will help you to both be on the same page and therefore will prevent any embarrassment or misunderstanding.

People regularly partake in casual, conformist sex that involves little conversation or emotional connection before getting physical. However, this is not true of BDSM. Players always arrange details in advance with clear, intimate communication and instruction, which creates a special erotic bond.

Learning the Ropes

Using a blindfold, fluffy handcuffs or an ice cube are all relatively harmless beginner behaviours if you’re into them. However, before you play around with some of the more intricate tools, you need to learn how to do so safely. Even a rope or a whip can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

There are light floggers, leather whips, whips with single tails, whips with multiple tails that are flat and wide – the list really is extensive. As certain kinds of props can be harsher than others, you really do need to learn how to use them properly. Signing up to local workshops and classes can be a fun but crucial way to learn the ropes so to speak.

It’s About Trust

People are often intimidated by the world of BDSM and wildly misunderstand the whole concept, but BDSM can be as hard-core or as tame as you want it to be. Think of the game, ‘Trust Me’, in which one person stands behind the other. The one in front falls backward, trusting the other to catch them before crashing to the floor.

The game contains an element of danger and the risk of not getting caught and hurt. When the falling player trusts the catcher enough to let go completely, and the catch happens as planned, both players experience a moment of exhilaration that’s difficult to duplicate any other way. BDSM is similar. It is all about trust. When trust trumps the possibility of harm, the result can feel incredibly intimate and erotic.

Safe Word

BDSM is often more theatrical than real. Sessions are called ‘scenes’ and participants, referred to as ‘players’, carefully choreograph their moves in advance.
Firstly, participants agree on a ‘safe’ word, which is a stop signal that the sub can invoke at any time. The safe word immediately stops the action until the players have mutually agreed to resume. Any dom who fails to honour pre-arranged safe words violates the sub’s trust and in turn, destroys the relationship.

Subs Are in Charge

Although the submissive player feigns subservience, the irony of BDSM is that the sub is ultimately in charge. They can invoke the stop signal using the agreed safe word, and the dominant must obey immediately.

Meanwhile, although the dominant acts like the chief, they must also be caring and nurturing, taking the submissive to their agreed limit, but never beyond it. In this way, BDSM provides an opportunity for everyone to experiment with surrendering power, whilst always feeling safe. People who enjoy BDSM claim that it results in the most incredible erotic intensity.
So, the question is, are you ready to try something new?

Writer’s Tip:

Try to have an open mind and remain non-judgemental as we all, at times, knowingly or otherwise, have dabbled in softer elements of BDSM.

Therefore, if your Sugar Daddy confesses to having a kink for the more hard-core stuff, it shows he trusts you enough to share his sexual secret. Even if you decide to never go there yourself, creating a secure and safe environment between the two of you to discuss boundaries, is key.

On Top: How to Be a Dominant

The first time I ever found myself in a bedroom, surrounded by rope and in the presence of a willing girl, I will confess I let the moment go to my head. I was 20 years old, she was eager to please, and I had absolutely zero experience with neither rope play, nor acting like someone who was supposed to be “in control” of a kinky situation. As such, we spent very little time talking about scenes and expectations, and plenty of time getting hot and bothered by the prospect of playing master and slave. Or in the case of my mind, kidnapper and victim.

Read: BDSM 101

It took all of five minutes of looking into what should have been a satisfying scene before she got a flat look on her face, stopped squirming and sort of sighed. I asked her what was wrong, and she said “this isn’t how I pictured it. I wanted…” followed by a short description of a fantasy she had been dreaming about since she was a teenager. As it turned out, my fantasy, which I had held for just as long, was the opposite. Overcome with awkwardness, we just sat there, she restrained by some pretty terrible knots, and me feeling like the jerk in the room because I hadn’t stopped to ask her what she wanted. It ended up destroying the relationship, all because nobody thought to speak up; we just blushed and giggled and launched into something far beyond what our emotional comprehension could handle.

The lesson here? Communication.

One of the “traps” associated with being the dominant in a relationship (which becomes a common pitfall with a novice Dom) is placing far too much emphasis on expectations and fantasies, without stopping to consult or confer or even pay attention to the other person. We think “Dominant” and immediately fantasize about power and control and exercising those desires, without acknowledging the reality: we are not the only person here, we are not an actual master or kidnapper or whatever, but somehow that can get lost and we assume that “Dominant” means just that, and the other person is just a replaceable prop that we are playing with. And then, to make matters worse, we have the potential to get angry when said person voices an objection – in this case a perfectly reasonable, nay, important gesture – and we react as such.

Lesson One: The Dominant Is Not (Really) In Charge

It doesn’t need to be this way. Not at all, not ever, and especially not with someone who trusts you enough to be “in charge” of a scene or fantasy. Because it must be emphasized repeatedly: as a Dominant you are not in charge. At best, you are a co author in this story. As such, you need to be aware of your partner just as much as yourself.

Do not be a dick. By all means use one, but do not abase yourself by acting like a slender watercraft trying to go through a vast sea of genital emission. (In other words, “don’t be a douche canoe.” Seriously.)

We say this because it’s easy to power trip as a Dominant during a scene, and there are altered states that may happen to you (known variously as dom-space, top-space, other various terms). Now the power dynamic is important here. As a dominant, you are deriving your sensual experience and potency from being in that role. But being a Dominant isn’t just calling yourself Master or Mistress and flogging someone. In fact, being a dominant might not include any traditional elements of dominant play at all; it can reside in a look, a facial expression, a heavy breath or a selection of choice words that evoke a sense of power, strength and authority. But by and large, communication is the priority. A good dominant knows when to listen, when to take action, and when to step back. This is just as important to you as it is to whoever you are with in the scene, if not more so. The Dominant is the one who has to be in control not only of the scene, but of themself … at least for the duration of the scene. Your play partner is the one who is trusting you to be a safe person and to create a safe space for them to express their own pleasures, their own pain, their own desires and shadows. They are trusting your sense of control over yourself.

Self Control and Safety as a Dominant

The first part of this consideration is safety.

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There’s the obvious side of safety in kink and in sex in general: the submissive partner – whether known as a bottom or other term – is trusting you with their physical safety. (And believe me, there’s a whole associated cluster of both power-triggered arousal, euphoria and fear that comes packaged in with it. Even as a Dominant you can, and likely will, experience fear, anxiety, concern, and awkwardness. This is normal. Trust me. It will happen to you eventually.)

Has contraception and safer sex been discussed? What tools will you be employing for this specific scene and how can the scene be as physically safe as possible within those boundaries and within that context? While both partners are responsible for ensuring the scene proceeds faithfully and properly, the Dominant needs to be the one to remember to check in regularly during the scene, using the agreed upon safewords and other methods of communication that were set up before the rope was even taken out of its bag. (Seriously, before you even try to set a scene, you need to know how to end it. Communication is key, even if a ball gag is in use.) Because once the scene begins and emotions are flying around, endorphins pumping through the blood, and both of you are lost in your respective roles, things can sour pretty quickly if both parties forget what they are doing. As a Dominant, you must be fully aware of your actions and your partner’s reactions. Always.

There should also be safety scissors if necessary, such as if you are doing any sort of bondage play, just in case either partner start feeling a lack of circulation in their limbs – or need to be cut / untied immediately.

You may have heard the phrase “safe, sane, and consensual” when hearing about kink. That’s a good one, but I’d like to substitute that here with the guiding phrase we use: RACK.

RACK stands for risk-aware consensual kink, and is often used to describe situations in which some risk is known. Perhaps your play partner is autistic, or under treatment for depression. Perhaps they get panic attacks every now and then, and while they are eager to play, want to talk about what you can do if they start getting a panic attack in the middle of playtime. Or – more visibly – perhaps you have back pain you need to adjust for, or an old ankle injury. Other aspects of risk are included as well; with things like flogging, or hot wax, or rope, where pain and pleasure are blending together, it’s very possible to forget that you are in fact causing harm for the sake of ecstasy. There’s a line there can be crossed very very easily.
Read: Why Pain Makes Us Horny: The Process That Turns Pain Into Pleasure

Sexual risk is another factor included in the RACK system – from effects of prescribed antidepressants to risks like STIs or pregnancy. It’s not like you cannot participate in kink, but any risk does need to be discussed and mitigated. How you discuss this, and what you decide to do, is up to you and your partner. Sometimes it’s just a few words, sometimes it’s a longer conversation and sometimes a continuing dialogue is needed. This ties in to the second point.

Dominants: Know Thyself

The second is personal: the prospective Dominant must be self-aware.

Skills and limitation awareness seem like a no-brainer, but in my partner Lily’s early days as a Dominant, she handled her tools awkwardly because she was afraid of them (she had baggage surrounding bondage and gender roles). But once she unpacked her feelings about WHY she was handling her tools awkwardly, she became a much more capable Dominant. It also helped that she habitually makes certain to handle her tools herself first – feeling how the rope holds knots when tied to her arm or wrists first, for example – before applying untested rope to her partner during play. But we’ve seen prospective Dominants who think that all you need to be dominant is to shout at or threaten your partner, and have gear like chains or rope or a gag. We all have read about a certain trashy novel that suggested that chains and cable ties are a good thing. No, they’re not. And an experienced Dom will know this. They will be familiar and comfortable with their toys and tools. They will observe their subs and act according to what makes them feel comfortable. Dominants may shout at their partners, certainly, but only within boundaries the partners set together.

This goes for faults just as it applies to Dominants knowing what their skills and limitations are. Dominance contains all that too. Know thyself, the saying goes, and a Dominant should at least be on the journey to know themselves and what they want in order to best provide, give, and nurture their submissives. If you’re interested in becoming a Dominant, you do not need to have all the answers, but you do need to be willing to explore where your baggage came from, and what you can do about it. You need to take responsibility for your own actions. Will you make mistakes? Yes, you’re a human; people are going to make some mistakes along the way, sooner or later. That’s part of gaining experience and leveling up.

Now, this also means that if there are risk factors or hard limits you have, that you discuss them with your prospective partners as well. Just because you are a Dominant in a relationship does not mean your partner does not have agency or power. What would happen if you are sick? In hospital? Do you want your partner to be able to look you in the eye and tell you something is wrong or that something you did or said bothers them? Does the submissive partner – if the submission is outside the bedroom as well – have the agency to make the choice to call after you, to send you a card, to pay any shared bills? If you are sick and cannot meet a play date, is there any protocol or ritual to deal with that? Is there a protocol that will help you and your partner feel secure? Does the submissive have the agency to leave you for another Dominant if your time with them is not to the benefit of both parties?

All People Do D/s a Bit Differently

The third key thing to keep in mind as a Dominant is to be aware that people are all different.

Even if there are two Dominants using similar tools (say, both use flogging) who come from similar backgrounds, they are still two distinct people. There are many types of dominance and submission play, and Dominants also have different flavors, even if the tools they use are the same. What bothers one may not bother another. What may be one person’s hard limit may be a non-issue to someone else, and so on. What that means is that you need to start at ground zero with communication and introspection for each and every partner you play with.

One example of variation is what the Dominant is called and what language they might use. Some Dominants prefer the use of particular terminology to address them, and the terminology itself may have particular meaning. For example, a Dominant partner may insist on being called “Sir” – and with the first letter capitalized to symbolically represent the power dynamic when in scene or discussing a scene. Another Dominant may be simply “Jane,” while another Dominant will not use their given name at all during a scene but instead a title. Some Dominants pay very close attention to how some titles may be loaded with gender norms and expectations, and/or with racial supremacy undertones. “Master” can carry very different connotations than “Mistress” and unpacking those titles and feelings about them may be useful. Feel “Sir” is too masculine for you and want to go by “Ser” instead? Sure. Really like how being called “Your Majesty” makes you feel? Go right ahead. Don’t want to use an honorific at all? Sure. Be your awesome self.

This goes for tools too. Just because a Dominant might use one particular tool does not mean every dominant who uses that tool takes the same approach. For example, both of us (Lily and Alexis) use rope. But when Lily dominates, she prefers to use more aesthetically pleasing ties and acts stern, but loving and gentle. When I dominate, well, let’s just say that there’s something more primal there. The key thing is, we’re both on the same page, we’ve communicated about what works for each of us, and we’ve learned how to treat each other in scenes. Being a Dominant is an evolving thing. It involves ongoing communication, reflection and adjustment.

5 Things You Absolutely MUST Do Before Starting A BDSM Relationship

It’s fun, but it’s not as simple as you might think.

So maybe you’ve never been involved in BDSM but have always had a relentless curiosity for it — or you maybe you’re new to the scene and wanting to start exploring the lifestyle even more. Maybe you’ve already experimented but you’re wanting to take play that one step further.

Whatever your situation, these 5 tips are a MUST — not only ensure your safety and consent, but to also TURBO CHARGE you’re enjoyment and pleasure:

1. You have to negotiate your terms when you’re on EQUAL ground.

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I CANNOT emphasize this enough! You must negotiate your BDSM contract with your dominant partner whilst you’re on equal par — while there’s an equal distribution of power between you two and you’re BOTH discussing things (not when you’re playing submissive or entering a sub space).

This way, when you’re negotiating, you can say what you want and feel and need, and they can say what they want and feel and need. When you try to negotiate contracts in BDSM in the role of a submissive, you run the risk of relinquishing your power and consenting to things you actually normally wouldn’t consent to (safe sex measures should also be discussed during scene negotiation).

2. Use the ‘Opt-In’ Method.

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Now we’re all familiar with the ‘opt-in’ method when it comes to subscribing to something online, but in this context what the term refers to is ‘only what you are going to say YES!!! to’.

What happens normally is we tend to use the ‘opt-out’ method in relationships when communicating what we want and don’t want by saying things like “these are the things I won’t do”, or “That’s a no”, or “That’s off limits”, or “That’s a deal breaker for me”. Using this method, you’re saying “no” to the things you don’t want to do, but then the things that you do want to do or things you’re willing to do or you’re consenting to, might be a little blurry and ambiguous.

The opt-out method leaves too much room for potential confusion and misunderstanding.

This way if you only opt-in for the things you want to do, and the only things you’re going to stipulate in your contract are the things you definitely consent to — there’s NO grey area. You know exactly what you want, you know exactly what you’ve consented to — and only what you’ve consented to — and so does your partner. You’re ensuring the safety of yourself and your partner.

3. Be as specific as possible.

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Now when I say this what I mean is don’t be vague in what you’re writing or discussing in your contract (BDSM contracts can be written or verbal). Be VERY specific — down to the exact acts and only the exact acts that you consent to. Describe the acts you consent to in precise detail so that way there is no possibility of misunderstanding, and both you and your partner know specifically what it is you are wanting and allowing in this relationship.

For example instead of saying “I want to be restrained,” specify exactly what you’re permitting in the scene (eg. “I want to be tied up with handcuffs while I am fully clothed.” Yes, it may surprise you to know that many BDSM acts are played out while one or more partners are fully clothed, and sex is not always an element in BDSM).

4. ALWAYS use a safe word.

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Decide on a safe word with your partner and agree on it prior to engaging in any BDSM act, that way you are able to feel safe and assured in knowing you can put the limits on any play that is taking place at anytime by using that word.

There’s also something called a “safety call” or a “safe call”. The safe call is a safety measure implemented when you’re meeting someone for the first time and planning to engage in a BDSM act. It involves you arranging to call a friend who knows you’re meeting this new play partner, at a certain time (when you’ve arrived perhaps or when you’ve met them), and during that phone call you say a specific designated code word. By saying this specific code word, your friend is able to know you’re feeling safe and comfortable with your new play partner.

If your friend has not received the safety call from you at the agreed time, then they automatically call the police.

5. Educate yourself on the differences between BDSM and abuse.

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It’s very important for you to be able to recognize whether what you’re experiencing and what you’re engaging in is real BDSM, or if it’s abuse. While there is a very very clear line and such a significant difference between BDSM and abuse, sadly many people aren’t aware of this due to incorrect media representations of BDSM.

The more you know and the more you educate yourself on these differences and the better informed you are, the safer and happier you’ll be, and the better the lifestyle will be for you and other people as well.

As mentioned above, while BDSM doesn’t necessarily involve sex, if you are going to engage in sexual contact with your partner, always ensure you practice safe sex.

(Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)

Let’s start in a very clear, very concise manner.

I’m going to assume you are two adults who want to try a bit of kink or BDSM, and you’re looking for a bit of helpful advice.

I’m going to make that caveat because I’m tired of seeing advice columns labelled ‘How do I tell my partner I want to try kinky sex?’

You just do – you open your mouth and ask.

I’m sorry if you don’t feel like you’re in an open and honest enough relationship and I feel bad for you son. But you got 99 problems and your kink ain’t one.

In recent years the S&M moniker has extended to BDSM – Bondage, Domination, Sadism, Masochism. (The S stands for Sadism – the art of hurting Someone else. The M stands for Masocism – the art of hurting Myself.)

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I’m going to take you by the hand, and give you a few hints, tips and tutorials to help you start exploring your kinky side. But first, some housekeeping –

The key phrase in BDSM is ‘safe, sane and consensual’

1. Is it safe?

Figure out a safe-word, or if you’re planning a gag, try a click of fingers or a tap on the bed.

A signal of some sort to know this is where you need to stop and have a cup of tea and a cuddle.

2. Be sane

Yes, I know you get braver after a few drinks.

I know it sounds sexy to do it all when you’re full of Dutch courage but it’s not safe, and I promise you it’s not half as enjoyable as when you get to look back on it and remember it all – that feeling of power, or submission – with full clarity.

3. Be consensual

Strike an agreement. Sit down, and discuss how far you’re willing to go. If you want to go right up to 11, but your partner wants to sail on a steady 3, then fine. Start in the shallow pool.

When they say the safeword, you stop.

This goes for both sides – I’m always wary of subs who ‘Top from the bottom’ – they can be tied up and crying out for me to start doing things to them I’m not comfortable with, so I have no qualms in stopping the session.

Don’t run before you can walk.

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Many people will ask who is the Dominant, and who is the submissive?

But perhaps you don’t know. Maybe you want to try both. You don’t have to put yourself into a box so early on.

You also don’t need fancy-schmancy equipment

(Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)

You don’t need a dungeon. You don’t need props, costume, or lighting.

You just need confidence, communication and a bit of imagination.

I say ‘a bit’ because there’s porn and your partner – a wealth of ideas and suggestions will come from both.

However, if you do want to try and bring some toys in the bedroom, then you can’t go wrong with visiting one of the monthly fetish fairs in the city.

In fact as a Londoner, it’s your civic duty to support these kinky artisans.

The London Alternative Market and the London Fetish Fair are monthly events who both offer handmade, sturdy and reasonably priced items to help anyone – from the beginner to the professional.

Clothing and articles are made to measure, furniture to suit all needs! I have to stop before I burst into a song worthy of ‘Oliver’.

But they’ll also provide demonstrations on various bits of equipment you might not be so familiar with.

‘Oh, but Auntie Miranda, these are all just WORDS! Give us something practicaaaaal!!’

Ok, your homework for this evening…

We’ll start slowly – work with what you know, and if you don’t know your partner all that well (hey, it’s 2016. It’s allowed) – explore.

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If your partner enjoys going down on you, tell them you want them to go down on you.

Grab them by the hair and say ‘you’re going to please me until I tell you to stop.’

They’re going to be your toy, your plaything until you’ve had your fill and they’re going to like it.

And if you don’t know them, they’ll either just say no, and you get a brownie badge for trying, or they might throw their own suggestion into the ring.

If you’re not too sure what each other would enjoy, you can make this part of a kinky game.

(Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)

Text them, say ‘Hey, I read an interesting blog in the Metro today (It’s OK, you can blame me) and it suggested I tell you three things I want to do to you tonight and you should say three things you want to do to me…’

Enjoy it at home.

Don’t then launch into a massive sextathon – this isn’t about blowing your load before the fun has begun in person.

Also, fantasy sexting may lead down avenues you can’t necessarily repeat in real life and it might become intimidating for your partner.

Instead, use it to gauge what you think you would both enjoy – and try it.

If you’re too shy to even start that kind of conversation, then just remember a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

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Enjoy it. That’s what this is really about.

It’s not about sticking to the rules, just following some guidelines.

It’s not about being perfect and faithfully re-enacting half of Porntube, it’s about finding what makes you feel powerful or what makes you feel submissive.

It’s about positive re-enforcement. Did you enjoy that? Say so – thank your partner, tell them how good it was (either as the Dom or the sub).

You have both tried something new, and you’re both dying to know what each other thought of it, so lie back and tell them how much you enjoyed the fruits of their labours.

Remember, this is a small step to a much bigger world so don’t feel like you have to run before you can walk.

My top 10 tips for BDSM beginners

1. Never use anything like cable ties or gaffa tape for bondage. Anything that cuts your circulation off the more you pull against it is going to be an encumbrance and a danger. Instead, use silk ties, cotton rope or invest in wrist cuffs with a buckle.

2. No head frame? No problem. You can get specially made straps to go under the mattress to tie willing limbs to. (Or try using bungee chords from the pound shop if you’re not quite as committed to the expense).

3. Wear clothes you feel good in. You don’t have to wear pleather trousers, PVC basques or cheese-wire underwear. Think about what makes you feel powerful and sexy.

4. There’s no end to household objects you can use – wooden spoons and hairbrushes for spanking, underwear as gags and blindfolds. We live in a golden age sex toys delivered in discreet packaging: there’s no need to go reaching for the fruit and veg just yet.

5. Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder. To make the whole experience more intense try teasing each other for a few days, making sure neither one tries anything on their own (wink, wink). I was once paid to keep the key of a client’s chastity device while he wore it for a year, so you can definitely go a few days.

6. Don’t send pictures. You don’t need to prove how submissive you are by sending pictures of your body to someone. Real life rules still apply.

7. Keep some arnica cream in the cupboard – it really helps with bruising.

8. Try some power play outside of the bedroom – order your partner’s food, tell them what they’re going to wear, give them rules for a day and for each one they break, they get a specific punishment that evening.

9. Plenty of cites and towns now have Munches – get-togethers where like-minded folk can meet and chat about all things kink, or just enjoy a drink. Details of these can be found on-line, just Google munches in your area for guidance in person.

10. Some things are worth investing in as there is no safe household equivalent – collar and chain, nipple clamps, bondage rope and butt plugs are good, basic things to have in your beginner’s toy bag. As well as wet wipes, lubricant and condoms.

MORE: Here’s what 7 years of being a plus-size dominatrix has taught me about sex

MORE: It’s not sex work that puts me off men – it’s dating them

MORE: What a dominatrix taught me about dating

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Beginners guide to BDSM

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