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Sensual Play

Decided to take a few days out to chill the hell out, but I return! I’ve been looking at the searches which lead up to my blog and I’ve seen that quite a few people have been led here looking for ‘sensual BDSM.’ I figure that this is something quite a few vanilla couples might be interested in, but there’s not too many sites to get information on it. Because of this I’m gonna look at it a bit more, put up a few ideas for those interested and then they can decided where to take it from there.

 

Anyway, as I said in my previous post on BDSM, sensual BDSM is a sort-of lighter alternative to ‘normal’ BDSM (or what most people perceive as normal BDSM anyway). It has more of a focus on sensation play and less on impact play and things like pain, humiliation, degradation, punishment, etc. Although, all of these can be used to the degree that the people involved want to involve them, but usually the focus is much more on the sensations.

This alternative is good for people wanting to bridge the gap between more ‘extreme’ BDSM or for people who never want to go beyond light pain or sensation play. The popular media often likes to portray BDSM as though it’s always as extreme as possible but this is rarely true in reality, it’s helpful to remember that, like anything else in life, BDSM is what you make of it. It’s just a label with very fuzzy edges, so it doesn’t really mean much of anything.

So saying that, what kind of activities do fall under the umbrella of ‘sensual BDSM?’

Sensation Play

–          Feathers

–          Ice

–          Hot Wax

–          Massages

–          Hot oil massages

–          Waternberg wheels/pin wheels (can be painful, but not necessarily, it all depends on the amount of pressure used)

–          Fur/velvet/suede floggers

–          Different textures e.g. Silk, fur, sandpaper (again, think about the amount of pressure used)

–          Cupping

–          Brushes (think paintbrushes, make-up brushes, oil brush, etc.)

–          Tickling

–          Be imaginative! Take a look around the house and see what you can find!

 

Sensory Deprivation

Adding a blindfold and/or headphones playing soft music can help the person receiving the sensations to focus on their sense of touch.

Role Play/Dressing-Up

Bondage

Can be painful/uncomfortable, but only if that’s what’s desired. Can also be as restrictive as is wanted, movement can actually be fairly restricted without much discomfort. It can also be done for aesthetic purposes, such as in Japanese Shibari.

Erotic Body Painting/Drawing

Can be done with markers, paint, cosmetics, any number of things.

Body Care

–          Shaving

–          Waxing

–          Body scrubs

–          Manicures/pedicures

–          Body oils/creams

–          Face masks

Mirroring

I don’t mean using an actual mirror (although that could be fun…). I mean when you mirror your partner’s actions so you feel the same things at the same time.

Tantric

Tantric sex is a very slow, meditative approach to sex. It incorporates breathing techniques, erotic massages and a generally sensual approach to sexual acts.

Sensation Overload

This is pleasure to the point of pain, it usually takes a variety of different sensations to be achieved, but it relies heavily on how the individual reacts to various sensations.

Light Pain

Think on the level of a deep tissue massage, although it can always be tailored to suit the individual. Things like soft floggings and spankings, biting, pinching, etc.

D/s

The main difference here between sensual D/s and ‘normal’ D/s is that the submissive’s compliance is usually obtained through positive rather than negative reinforcement. Pain as a punishment isn’t normally used; the submissive simply wants to do as their Dom commands rather than fearing consequences if they don’t (although non-painful punishments may be used).

 

These are only a few of the things you could try, and I’ll say again, tailor it to suit your needs. If you want to include pain you can, if you don’t want D/s you don’t need it, just take the parts you want and use them. Hopefully this has given you some ideas though!

 

Pages that helped me with this post:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensation_play_(BDSM) – Wikipedia page on sensation play

http://www.peter-masters.com/wiki/index.php/Sensation_play – More on sensation play, also talks about sensory deprivation

BDSM vs Vanilla Kink

Now BDSM covers a lot of aspects, but in order to be considered BDSM it stands to reasons that one of three aspects has to be present – B/D (bondage and discipline), S/M (sadism and masochism) or D/s (Dominance and submission). Anything that doesn’t fall into these three categories is considered non-kinky or ‘vanilla.’ However are non-kinky and vanilla really synonymous? Vanilla is often categorised as ‘boring,’ conjuring images of heterosexual sex in the missionary position with the lights off – but if Vanilla is simply sex not covered by BDSM, is it not possible to be kinky in its own right? Therein lies ‘vanilla kink,’ (or perhaps French Vanilla if you prefer). (There is also the argument that vanilla sex doesn’t include kink at all, regardless of whether it lies within the boundaries of BDSM – but I don’t see why this should be the case, as vanilla is often used as a term for people not into BDSM itself).

For example, does doing a bit of dressing up in the bedroom count as BDSM? Not really, unless the roles involve a Dominant and submissive character. Does anal play count? Not really – even a lot of toys that can be introduced into the bedroom don’t necessarily come under BDSM; butt plugs, dildoes, vibrators, vibrating eggs, anal beads, etc.  Or what about foot fetishes? Hot oil massages? Trying out different sex positions? Pretty much anything in the Karma Sutra? Although all these will probably seem pretty vanilla to someone into BDSM, to others they definitely come under the category of kink – ergo, Vanilla Kink.

This really makes the Them vs Us argument present on BOTH sides pretty pointless. There isn’t always a clear cut line, it’s a continuum and a person can fall anywhere on it. What is kinky to some is vanilla to others and vice versa. As well as this, the ‘vanilla is boring’ argument also loses its credibility – although there’s not as many options as within BDSM, there certainly is a lot of room for variety.

Aside from overcoming stereotypes, this offers a middle ground between totally vanilla and hardcore kink. This is especially useful for people who want to spice things up in the bedroom but aren’t ready to venture into the world of BDSM just yet, or as a stepping-stone to BDSM – especially when introducing it to a nervous spouse. Kink doesn’t always mean painful, embarrassing, or anything else for that matter! It’s whatever YOU want and YOU need it to be.

What we need people to realise is that something that works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. What may seem tame to one may be way too extreme for others – but within and outside of BDSM, there’s always room for experimentation and variety. So why the stereotypes? Vanilla isn’t always boring and BDSM isn’t always extreme (not to say it can’t be ;P) – it all depends on the person and what they want out of it.

The whole argument seems a bit silly really.

The Many Spectrums in BDSM

I wanted to take a closer look at the labels applied within BDSM – Dom/sub, Top/bottom, Master/slave, etc. To see where the distinctions lie. Of course I quickly found that there were no clear distinctions; while there did appear to be some core concepts that the majority of people agreed on, most of the finer details were subject to individual definition. Rather than having set definitions, there were rather various spectrums that an individual can lie on – one may choose a label to market themselves (e.g. someone looking for a Dom would describe themselves as a sub), but beyond that the labels themselves would describe very little of that individual, as there’s so many different spectrums they can lie on.

A post I found extremely useful in the explanation of this was written by Cowhideman from FetLife, replying to a discussion about how to label yourself within the BDSM community (and whether such labelling was necessary at all). In his post he outlined several spectrums an individual can lay on, including:

DOMINANT-SWITCH-SUBMISSIVE

TOP-SWITCH/VERSATILE-BOTTOM

SADIST-NEITHER/VERSATILE-MASOCHIST

MONOGAMOUS-OPEN-POLYGAMOUS

PAIN INTENSITY SPECTRUM

HIGH PROTOCOL-LOW PROTOCOL-NO PROTOCOL

THEATRICALITY SPECTRUM (how themed you want play to be, for example you may want a scene in a Victorian setting)

HOW PUBLIC/OPEN

So there’s just so many different options there. Say someone identifies as a sub – you got a vague idea of where they lie on one spectrum (and still only vague, after all, HOW submissive are they?), but you have no clue where they stand on any of the others. Are they masochistic? Not all subs are. If they are masochistic, do they want intense pain? Not necessarily. Just because they’re a sub, do they want 24/7 domination? You can’t know until you ask.

So looking at that, it seems that labels really are, well, pretty much useless outside of advertising yourself for potential partners, and even then you’re going to need to do a lot more work to find out which of those partners are compatible with you. This raises the question on why so much emphasis is placed on finding an appropriate label, and why some roles are sometimes looked down on (for example, people who identify as bottoms rather than subs may be looked down by some subs in a very ‘this is the one twue way’ fashion).

As someone just starting to explore BDSM this is important to me, as I felt very confused on not being able to find a precise label for myself – am I a bottom, or a submissive? After looking into it, if I chose a label for myself it would be ‘bottom,’ or perhaps skipping over all that and just identifying myself as a ‘kinkster.’ But what use are these labels really? To someone who didn’t know me, they wouldn’t garner much information from either of those words, so it seems silly to stress over them.

If you’d like to see Cowhideman’s post, follow this link, although his reply was the most informative the entire thread is worth reading – https://fetlife.com/groups/347/group_posts/841222. I’d also like to thank him for allowing me to use the information in his post for my blog.

Sensual BDSM

After searching high and low through the many, many, many groups on Fetlife, I found a few that were perfect for me – the ones for ‘sensual players.’ Sensual BDSM has a lot less of the aggression that I initially found off-putting in BDSM, instead Doms control their subs more subtlely (is that even a word?) through their actions, words and presence. Commands are given but not harshly and aspects of pain and humiliation are applied as both parties see fit – usually to a lesser degree than more extreme forms of BDSM.

Instead sensual BDSM focuses on things such as sensation play, orgasm control, light pain, mental and pleasure domination and teasing. Mental domination is achieved through a huge understanding of the sub rather than using physical or psychological intimidation, the Dom needs to get into their sub’s head to see what makes them tick so that they can provide an intense sense whilst keeping them feeling safe and secure in their hands. It focuses more on making the sub want to submit rather than forcing them to submit (within the agreed parameters).

I think a large part of the appeal of this to me is the level of understanding required between the partners for it to actually work. It also has less of the extreme stuff that seems so scary to a beginner. It also seems perhaps more evenly balanced – rather than having a sub who does things for the pleasure of serving their Dom without necessarily expecting much back in sensual BDSM the focus can be on either the sub or Dom at any time whilst still having elements of the former (I got a bit mixed up there, not quite sure how well I explained it but I tried).

Anyway it feels like I’m edging closer towards my own niche here, much less of a ‘I might try this one day,’ to more of a ‘I REALLY want to give this a go.’ I’ve wondered about looking around for local munches but I might be too chicken to go, I wonder if I could convince one of my friends to tag along? I’d like to talk to people in person and get their views, there’s only so much you can get from writing.

Since I’ve had a few soft days to get me back in a good mood I’m going to try and go back to my previous posts where I talked about what made me uncomfortable and try to tackle something there. I feel all recharged and ready to go!

 

Sites that helped me with this post:

http://voices.yahoo.com/bdsm-101-bdsm-without-sm-erotic-art-sensual-1812299.html?cat=7 – Sensual play, what is it?

https://fetlife.com/groups/9924/group_posts/2199294 – Romantic ravishment and why it’s awesome.

https://fetlife.com/groups/9924/group_posts/2233369 – The sensual Dom – a dying breed? (Read all the comments, there’s some really good stuff there).

Slowing Down, Making Progress and ‘Wannabedoms’

Feeling much better than yesterday and a little silly over how dramatic I was. Looking back on my last post did help me sift through a lot of strong emotions though, so I don’t regret anything I wrote. I do feel as though I’m pushing myself a little hard though, perhaps going a little too fast. I’ve fast come to the conclusion that although I can perhaps relate a Dom/sub relationship, a Master/slave one would never be for me. Although the D/s aspect may leak a little bit out of the bedroom I think it would largely sexual – not that that makes it lesser, after all sex is something I struggle with, the trust I’d need for someone in that department would be much higher than what I’d need in other areas because I’m so unsure of myself. That being said I think it would be better to focus on looking at lighter aspects of BDSM before trying to wrap my head around the complexities of something as extreme as a 24/7 Master/slave relationship – otherwise I’m just going to scare myself off and never resolve me negative feelings towards such practises and their practitioners. So slow and steady is the answer.

I have made another little step in the right direction though. Today when I masturbated I managed to more-or-less comfortably finger myself just using a single finger. It may not seem like much but any previous attempts have only resulted in at best mild discomfort and at worst quite a bit of pain. So I feel a bit of progress has been made there – although I can’t say it really felt all that good, not painful or uncomfortable, but not good either, maybe that’s a bit too much to expect at this stage (I have been considering visiting a gynaecologist to check that everything’s as it should be, but I’d have to no idea how to approach the situation and I’d hate the whole experience. I’ve heard loads of horror stories from women who’ve gone for check-ups and been repeatedly told there’s nothing wrong by careless doctors, only to find that they’re suffering vaginismus or something along those lines years later – anyone have any advice on this?). Looking back on the pain I’ve always associated with that area as opposed to clitoral or anal stimulation it’s clear that it’s made me actively avoid the idea of vaginal penetration – for years I’d always avoided porn videos showing it, always looking for alternatives. I couldn’t even watch it. Is this level of pain normal for virgins? From what I’ve heard that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Today I decided as a task for myself I’d try to approach a problem that many newcomers to BDSM struggle with – the idea that everyone involved in BDSM engages in every kink, that they all want nothing but the most extreme and that a ‘French Vanilla with a few sprinkles’ just didn’t fit into the scene. I’ve found several very encouraging sites that I’ll post links to that helped dispel this illusion of an ‘all-or-nothing’ universal approach. I also found that several people familiar to the scene were also getting tired of the way a select few people who engaged in more extreme BDSM were scaring off beginners of misleading them into thinking that it’s all about pushing the boundaries. Take a look at this table:

Any of these sound familiar? Even with what I consider to be my fairly limited research I’ve come across all of these at least once – and I haven’t even been to a workshop! All of these are worrying to a certain degree (especially to those who are only using BDSM as a way to spice up stale sex lives rather than engage in it as a lifestyle), but some are far more concerning that others. For example – ‘playing privately doesn’t count?’ What the hell? It amazes me that people can strut around and tell people that if they’re not doing it in front of a load of strangers, it’s not BDSM at all. Fair enough if you’re into exhibitionism but what the hell kind of message is that to put across? Luckily I think the majority of people would see straight through that but the more complicated things such as Doms insinuating that they can tell right off the bat exactly what a sub wants or needs the moment they lay eyes on them could get a newbie sub into a really dangerous and damaging position. This seems to be a problem that quite widely acknowledged. I’ve found quite a few articles on the subject of ‘wannabedoms’ or ‘fake Doms’ who use the concept of dominance as a pretence for abuse or getting people who don’t know any better into a full-on relationship as quick as possible, often taking on more control than has been agreed on.

These are often people who have little control over their own lives and so are certainly in no position to take on the responsibility of others’ safety and well-being. They’re often extremely insecure and use BDSM Dom/sub relationships as a way to feel validated and strong. They don’t view the sub as an equal, rather as someone weak they can control – not through desire or agreed limits but through fear and guilt. They often step over the set boundaries and tell the sub that they’re being a bad sub for not doing as they’re told, although it was a hard limit. They instil feelings of guilt, shame and fear to keep that person where they want them – it’s abuse, not BDSM in any sense. They impose strict limits on subs that allow them little breathing room for communication –either with them or other Doms/subs they could seek out for help – because they’re scared they’ll be given the very good advice to get gone. Instead of building the sub up they try to break them down and the effect can be devastating – in a few cases subs have completely dropped the lifestyle for fear of getting used like this again. When they do finally leave the wannabedom quickly moves onto finding their next victim and despite the many safety nets put in place by the various BDSM communities, it seems that many of these men/women go on unhindered.

What’s really important here is really getting to know a Dom before meeting them. Don’t just discuss BDSM but observe how they perform in other areas in life – do they seem stable? Do they handle the stresses of life calmly and with control? Or are they easily angered, with constant mood swings? If they can’t keep their own affairs in order how can you trust them to look after you and concern themselves with your safety? If they’re trying to push your limits further than you’re willing to go, speak up. If they ignore safe words or hard limits then get gone. Even after meeting them the first time don’t just let them tie you up straight-away. Have a few no-strings attached meetings, use safety calls for your first few scenes and don’t incorporate bondage into those scenes those first few times. It’s sad that people should have to be advised on how to avoid abusers when the emphasis should be so much more on teaching people not to abuse, but there’s not much that can be done. Just try to stay safe and if you do come across a wannabedom, out them so that others won’t be so easily drawn in.

Sites that helped me with this post:

http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/bdsm-workshop-bingo/ – The BDSM workshop bingo.

http://www.smittenkittenonline.com/blog/12/sexandculture/vanilla-girl-in-a-non-vanilla-world-by-coochie – A Vanilla girl in a non-Vanilla world, one woman describes where she fits on the Vanilla/BDSM spectrum and shows that you can be anywhere on that scale and that the scale itself is largely open to interpretation.

http://gentledom.tumblr.com/post/27189513222/wannabedoms – An informative post on the subject of ‘wannabedoms.’

Why Your Partner May Be Unsure of BDSM and Tackling These Issues

Something I would like to mention here is that if you feel your partner has developed negative sentiments towards you due to the desires you expressed, don’t necessarily jump to the conclusion that these people are just horrible and judgemental. While it is possible that they are, it’s unfair to assume so – the issue could be a lot more complicated than it initially appears. I’ll try to explore some of the possibilities here.

 

  1. Someone’s past or background

It may be difficult for someone if they or someone near to them has experienced sexual and/or violent abuse or trauma in the past. It’s also worth saying that just because someone hasn’t themselves experienced abuse, they haven’t been affected by it. In some cases a case of abuse experienced by a friend or family member may trigger negative feelings. Don’t even discount the effect of abuse from outside someone’s immediate circle – many people haven’t had any experience of abuse but have heard horrible stories in the newspapers or other media. If this seems far-fetches take this example:  many people don’t come from and don’t know anyone who comes from a family who had children at a very young age (say 15 – 19). However they’ve seen stories on the news about irresponsible teen parents who leave their babies at home whilst they go out partying. Now this person may assume that all young parents are irresponsible and neglectful, but this is certainly not the case. Neither is it the case that only young parents are either irresponsible or neglectful. (Of course there can be issues around the age of consent with the very young parents, but try to put that aside for the sake of this example).

 

So the person you’ve proposed BDSM to has some kind of experience with sexual/violent abuse. Imagine for example, the train of thought of a rape victim may take if someone proposed a pseudo-rape scene to (I’m sure no-one would be that callous, this is purely used an extreme example). It was extremely traumatic, an absolutely horrific experience that took them years to recover from. And now you’re there, proposing to pretend one of you is being forced to have sex, for fun? Of course it’s not hard to see where feelings of anger, betrayal and distress would emerge from this. This could extend to stories of abuse someone may have heard – ‘there’s people all over the country whose lives have been destroyed by rape – and yet you think it’s fun to pretend it’s happening to me/you?’ You’re probably unlikely to encounter such extreme reactions, but it is important to try and get into the mindset of your partner if they appear upset. Communicate with them and try to explain that a pseudo-rape scene is nothing like the reality. It’s not rape, it’s between two capable and consensual adults. It is not intended to suggest that rape is in any way fun or enjoyable in reality, it’s simply role-playing.

 

Unfortunately it may be the case that you can’t reassure your partner that you’re not intending to cause any harm or offence with these fantasies. They may just find it impossible to place your fantasies into a non-threatening context. However strong these negative feelings may be, I feel it would be unfair to think unkindly on the person feeling them – if something brings up uncomfortable feelings in someone it’s rarely in their control to put these feelings aside. This may changes with time and communication, but it’s just as possible that you will have to accept that your partner’s feeling on the subject aren’t going to change and you will have to move on.

 

I’d also like to take a moment to say that the fact that someone has experienced abuse does not necessarily mean that they will have negative feelings associated with comparable aspects of BDSM. They may be easily able to distinguish the two scenarios as completely different situations, it may even give them a safe space to come to terms with any buried negative feelings that have resulted from their abuse. However it’s also possible that people will not experience distress until you’re already in the middle of a scene – if you don’t think you’ll be able to take them through the experience in a safe and non-damaging way, then don’t even consider it. Really this is just common sense.

 

2. Moral Objections

 

People may hold specific moral beliefs or views that simply don’t allow them to view a certain aspect of BDSM in any kind of positive light. For example, someone may view all forms of violence as unacceptable, in any situation. As such trying to convince someone that it’s okay to flog or hit someone is alright as long as both parties consent and enjoy it could provoke reactions of outrage or disbelief. It may be possible that they’ll change their mind with enough reassurance that no-one will be hurt, but it could also be possible that their mind cannot be changed.

 

It could also make the person very anxious if they cannot separate the two situations. Because they don’t understand the motivations behind the actions in the BDSM scenario, they start to wonder if you really want to hurt them, if they’ve done something to make you angry with them, or if you’re secretly harbouring negative feelings towards them. Or if you’ve asked them to dominate, they may wonder why you want them to hurt you, if you feel you deserve to be hurt in some way, if there has been abuse in your past or if you believe they’ve been burying aggressive feelings towards you.

 

You can imagine how difficult such anxieties would be to overcome – they may be similar to the questions that someone discovering their own desire to participate in BDSM asks themselves as they initially come to terms with their sexual needs and feelings. What is needed here is plenty of time, effort and communication to relieve your partner’s fears. It’s essential that all worries have truly been laid to rest before trying out any scenes – you don’t want to discover after the scene that your partner was engaged in some painful internal struggle and still harbouring doubts about your true intent. Continue to communicate throughout the entire process, especially afterwards when your partner needs to process what they felt during the scene and why they felt it.

 

It needs to be felt that both of you are able to speak freely, that you and your partner can express any negative feelings without fear of causing guilt or offence. If a certain action makes one of you uncomfortable it needs to be said – however close you may be neither of you are mind-readers.

 

3. Initial Feelings & Reactions

 

After expressing your desire to engage in BDSM it may be wise to give your partner a little space to think. This doesn’t mean leaving your partner to stew in their thoughts alone but does mean not nagging them or demanding answers or responses quickly.

 

If your partner’s had little experience with BDSM then there will probably be a lot of mixed emotions fighting for attention in their heads. One may be anger, which could be experienced for a number of reasons. The first may be that they simply find the acts you’ve suggested to them disgusting or immoral. They may not understand the actions as anything other than violent and degrading – directing them to appropriate information online or buying informative books may help them to overcome these knee-jerk reactions. Another reason that you may not have considered is that they may feel resentful that you’ve only just expressed these desires to them. They may fear that for the whole duration of your relationship you’ve secretly been unsatisfied with your sex life and worry that they’ve not been pleasing you when they believed that you were both enjoying good and healthy sex lives. Of course they needn’t be the case – just because you have an interest in BDSM doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy sex without it (although that may be the case). You may have also only just discovered your own feelings about BDSM, you haven’t necessarily been keeping them under wraps for years.

 

It’s easy to see where these insecurities stem from – it’s important to assure your partner that it isn’t the case that you haven’t been enjoying your sex life up to the point (this may also be one point where honesty isn’t necessarily the best policy. Even if you have always felt that you sex life has been missing something, this is probably not the time to say so, or at least it needs to be said in a way that doesn’t increase your partner’s feelings of inadequacy).

 

They may also feel that they’ve been deceived initially. To your horror you may find that your partner feels that you’ve only put up with vanilla sex to put them into a sense of security before springing your true desires on them further down the line. This may seem absolutely awful to contemplate, but it’s likely that these feelings come from a sense of insecurity rather than true notions of deception. It does seem unlikely that anyone would take the trouble to deceive someone when there are so many people who share their fantasies – it really is just a knee-jerk reaction. They may feel cornered, you need to give them space and not badger them. With a bit of time they’re likely to realise how unlikely it is that you’re just trying to trick them, which will be consolidated by the fact that you’re showing respect for their feelings by not pushing things.

 

One particular reaction which could be surprisingly problematic is interest. At first glance you’d probably think ‘great! We’re on the same page!’ However this interest may be accompanied by very confused and mixed feelings. They may feel self-disgust or self-hatred for being interested in things that they’ve always been told or always believed were wrong. It may take a long time for them to accept their desires as healthy and non-abusive to either themselves or you. This is a case whereupon agreeing to try something out you need to proceed very slowly (I believe this is probably best for anyone just starting out in BDSM, although other people may not think it necessary to exercise quite so much caution).

You don’t want to dive into a really intense scene that seemed great at the time but leaves either you or your partner feeling badly about themselves afterwards. Having a few light sessions can help you partner feel assured that neither you or they are inflicting any real damage – that the scenes aren’t a result of buried or concealed hostility between the two of you. Talk to each other, if negative feelings have been experienced they can be tackled. This may mean completely backing off for a while, to show and assure your partner that things aren’t going to change between the two of you just because your sex lives have taken on a different dimension.

 

One of the big emotions you’d probably expect to encounter is fear, for a lot of very good reasons. The first is that it’s incredibly scary to think of handing over or completely taking over complete control. There are slightly different issues involved depending on what it is you’re wanting though.

 

If you want to dominate your partner, they could be absolutely terrified at the prospect of being tied-up and defenceless – that’s a natural reaction. Try to put yourself in their shoes – how would you feel in that position? What emotions do you think you would need to tackle in order to feel safe and secure in that position? Again pacing is important here – don’t just tie them down and start shouting insults in their face (I imagine few people would be so incredibly careless to even contemplate that). First try very light bondage, something they can get out of easily, or even just hold their arms down. Use soft materials and keep a pair of scissors handy just in case. Assure them that they can get out of it anytime they want and assure them that just because you want to dominate them it doesn’t mean that you think them weak of less of a person. If they respond well move slowly into heavier bondage and always monitor their reaction. Remember there’s a different between someone who’s a little submissive and someone who really enjoys truly submitting and handing over all control.

 

They may not mind feeling tied-up because they feel so safe with you that they don’t feel at all vulnerable, while others may get off on the idea of a little helplessness. It’s important to distinguish the two early on as the former may get anxious very quickly if they start to feel that they really have no control. You may want them to feel helpless and maybe somewhat nervous, but it’ll just be scary for them if they don’t enjoy those feelings. Remember safe words and never, ever ignore them – trust needs to be there, otherwise it’s just abuse.

I’d also advise that if there are multiple things you want to try that you only introduce one at a time. That way it’s much easier to gauge the reaction of your partner to each individual element and it also prevents anyone from getting a bit overwhelmed (again this may seem over-cautious to some. But you have a lifetime to get it right, why rush things?).

 

If however you want your partner to dominate you, that’s a whole different can of worms. They may feel awkward and nervous at first – they may struggled with their instincts for a time, feeling that even in the context it’s wrong to hurt or humiliate you and it could take a lot of time and reassurance that hurting you doesn’t mean damaging you.

 

Once again, the key’s to take things at a comfortable pace. Maybe you could start outside a sexual context – do little jobs or chores for your partner that they dislike, show they that it makes you feel good to do these things for them. Try a little light bondage so they can see that you’re not going to get afraid of them when they begin to take over control. If you want to be spanked, flogged or anything along those lines they’ll need to work up to it – they’ll be scared of hurting you and so probably won’t be too enthusiastic to begin with. But they may relax a little when they see you react positively. The same thing goes for dirty talk – they’re probably going to feel a little silly at first and there may be a lot of giggling and awkwardness before they really take on the role. It may help to suggest a few phrases, so they have a better idea of what it acceptable to say and what is too much.

 

There is however always the possibility that despite both your best efforts your partner simply doesn’t fit the role you want them to. You’ve both tried but it simply isn’t them. In that case you may need to consider alternatives or at worst case abandon your desires altogether – it all depends on how important it is for you that you’re with someone who takes on that role.

 

It could also be the case that you experience few or none of these problems. Your partner may take to their new role like a fish to water, so you may not need such a cautious approach. But do still remember not to rush in too quickly, your partner may like the idea in theory but be very uncomfortable with the reality. It’s also worth remembering that Doms also have their own limits and as you’re both exploring what you do and don’t like you’re likely to make a few mistakes. Remember not to get angry or upset if your partner accidentally takes it a little too far, just look at it as a lesson of what works for you and what doesn’t and grow from it. That doesn’t mean letting somebody constantly cross your limits, but does mean not blaming them if they unintentionally do so while you’re both still learning.

 

I think that covers the majority of concerns, although in the end I think it’s all about reaching a point where you are both comfortable. Your notion of BDSM may be intense and limit-pushing, whilst for others it may be light-hearted and giggly. It’s all about what works for you as a couple.

 

Telling Your Partner That You’re Into BDSM

HOW YOUR PARTNER MAY REACT TO YOUR BDSM DESIRES

Of course the majority of you would never dream of treating your partner this way. So if you do want to participate in BDSM, what are some of the reactions you may encounter? Everyone would react differently, but I’ll try to cover as many possibilities as I can here.

  1. The other person tries out a few things and comes to discover that they enjoy them. You both go and have fantastic freaky sex until you’re both sitting in rocking chairs all old and wrinkled on the porch of an old folks’ home.
  2. The other person tries a few things and likes some, but not others. You reach a healthy compromise that has you both happy.
  3. The other person tries a few things, but simply isn’t into them. However they’re willing to incorporate some of the ideas as despite not liking them, they’re not particularly uncomfortable with them either – it just doesn’t really do anything for them. You reach a compromise where elements from both your sexual preferences are included. There is the possibility that this just isn’t enough for you, in which case serious talks may be needed to assess where you go from there.
  4. The other person tries some things, but simply isn’t into them. Their negative feelings are simply too strong to bring themselves to participate. This could force a very difficult decision – you need to determine how important your sexual needs are and whether the other things you get from the relationship are enough for you to ignore them. (Some people may get up on their soapboxes about this, but the fact is that sex is important in a relationship. I talk a little more about this later).
  5. The other person tries some things but simply isn’t into them. Their negative feelings are simply too strong to bring themselves to participate. However they are willing to let you seek out someone to fulfil your sexual fantasies outside the relationship. This probably isn’t going to be the case very often in monogamous relationships, but it is a possibility.
  6. The other person refuses to try out any of your suggestions because they simply can’t be bothered. They like things the way they are and don’t want to make the effort to come to a compromise with both your preferences. These people probably deserve to be shown the door, a relationship is give and take – one person’s needs don’t come before another’s.
  7. The other person refuses to try out any of your suggestions as they feel seriously uncomfortable with all of them. Again, you’ll need to weight up your sexual needs against the other benefits of your relationship.

There are other aspects which may make some situations even trickier. It’s a possibility that your partner may develop negative feelings towards you due to strong misgivings about this new side of you. I’d like to think that this wouldn’t be too many people’s reaction, but there’s an outside chance that it could happen – especially if they’re from a strongly conservative or religious background. The same could be said for some people from strongly liberal backgrounds, where they feel that the very thought of, for example, a man wanting to hit or humiliate a woman is barbaric under any circumstances. If your kink is just a kink, rather than something you really need to have a satisfying sex life, then it may be prudent to really consider what reaction your partner may have and if you think it’s likely to be very negative, consider whether it’s worth it to bring it up at all. It’s an unpleasant thought that you may need to hide your desires from your partner, but if it’s just something you felt like trying and you know they’d react negatively, it’s probably still not worth the risk.