I’ve interviewed countless people for my classes and articles, and whenever I talk to people into kink, BDSM, or fetish play, there’s a common thread. When I ask people why they do what they do, the answer is almost always to feel some kind of vulnerability. We’ve got lots of different ways of getting there, but that core truth remains the same.
So much of the fun, juicy stuff happens when you allow yourself to be vulnerable. But it’s easier said than done, as giving up control, letting ourselves be seen, and receiving sensation (rather than thinking about what we can do for our partners,) can be tricky to do.
Even if you don’t identify as kinky, even if you never want anything to do with whips and chains, there are elements of BDSM you can use in your own bedroom, within your own comfort levels.
A little bit of bondage goes a long way. Whether you use rope, cuffs, or items you’ve already got around the house, like scarves or pantyhose or ties, getting someone lightly restrained can transform an experience.
When we’re bound – even if it’s so gentle we could easily escape – there’s a powerful psychological impact. With light bondage, a few things happen:
- The feeling of vulnerability and exposure we feel heightens sensations
- We’re released from the pressure to reciprocate. We simply have to lay back and receive sensation.
- We experience the sensation of trusting our partner with our safety, and this trust builds intimacy.
While you can certainly learn rope bondage, you can also simply and safely bind someone’s wrists for starters, to see if you like the experience.
So once you’ve got someone bound, what should you do?
- Light spanking on the more padded or muscled parts of the body, like the buttocks, thighs, and upper chest.
- Sensation play with feathers, fur, ice, or finger nails.
- Simply exploring your partner with your hands, taking your time to feel their skin and watch their reactions.
- Slow sex or tease & denial – take advantage of the fact that your partner must focus on receiving, and make the experience last.
If you feel like it, you can supercharge the feeling of vulnerability by adding a blindfold to the mix. It true what they say about taking one sense away, and when you suddenly can’t see, you’re more aware of what you’re feeling. Plus, it can help take some of the self consciousness away, and make it easier to relax into the experience.
The important takeaway is that while many of the pictures you may see are extreme, and you may identify as vanilla, there are still elements of kink & BDSM that you can use in your own sex life to deepen or expand your experiences. There’s nothing you need to buy, and very little you need to learn in order to get started.
One of the core elements of kink is consent, so make sure before you try any of this you have a clear conversation with your partner about what each of you do and don’t want to try, and what your limits are. You don’t want any surprises during this experience. The point is to feel safe. So make sure you talk through what’s going to happen, and keep having check-ins while you play. Talking doesn’t ruin the mood, it keeps people safe and makes sure everyone is having an optimal experience.
Play safe and have fun! xoxo