Happy new semester! I’d wish you a happy new year, but since it’s already February, that would feel a little outdated. I usually spend my first January column writing about sex resolutions for the new year— ways to make this year the year of the best sex you’ve ever had. But at this point, pretty much all of the new year’s resolutions have already been dropped, broken or forgotten, and we’ve given up the shiny promise of a new year and reconciled for another year just like any other.
p. However, just because it’s not January 1 doesn’t mean it’s not a good time to try new things. As far as your sex life is concerned, it’s almost always a good time to try new things. Like bondage, for example. It sounds a little scary and intimidating, as sexual techniques go, but it can easily be fun, safe and totally hot.
p. Why experiment with bondage? Well, to begin with, there is something incredibly hot about knowing that for a brief period of time, you have control of your partner’s sexual pleasure. You get off watching them get off, knowing that you’ve brought them to this place where they are wriggling and moaning with orgasm, or the anticipation thereof. All of the touching and teasing of foreplay can be taken to another level of intensity, and the desired main event is even more explosive as a result of all that build-up.
p. On the other hand, bondage is also hot for the partner relinquishing control, or more accurately, pretending to, since stopping the activity is always still in your control. But you have to give yourself up to your partner and trust them to take you somewhere sexually you may have never been before. The vulnerability involved can be a little scary, but that risk is what makes the payoff so excellent. Feeling powerless and watching your partner take control over you in a sexual situation is a major turn-on for many people.
p. The first important thing about experimenting with bondage is that this is clearly not meant for one-night-stand sex. To enjoy this kind of sex, you need to trust your partner completely. A little nervousness about a new situation and new sensations is normal, but feeling uncomfortable isn’t, and in those situations you should decline or stop. Always agree on a “stop” word before really getting started, so that you can easily communicate if you get uncomfortable or want to end things. The word you choose should be completely unrelated to sex, as to avoid confusion. It’s important to remember that this is sexual play and to create a pretend situation of being out of control, without actually being powerless. The level to which you take this play is up to you and your partner, and it’s a good idea to start slow and discover what you enjoy.
p. Getting started is easier than you expect. You don’t need anything more complicated than a couple of bandanas and something to which you can tie your partner. The bars on the ends of the dorm room bunk beds work well, as do the arms of a typical desk chair. Wrists can be tied separately or together overhead. Also, hands tied behind the back can work if you don’t have an object to anchor them to, although they have the tendency to go numb. Once you have a tactical plan, make sure the hands and feet are comfortably restrained (unless you are going for a more masochist-erotic uncomfortable restraint, in which case you probably don’t need my beginner’s advice).
p. Directions for the tied-up partner are pretty easy — try to let go of some of your inhibitions and go where your partner takes you. A good example is how many women feel uncomfortable with the sensations building up to a G-spot orgasm and stop early. In a bondage situation, their partner may “insist” that they continue through to an orgasm — and many women discover something they really enjoy.
p. As the unrestrained partner, it’s a little bit trickier. You have this hot, naked person tied up in your bed waiting for you to do something. There can be a little pressure in deciding what to do. The best recommendation is to do what comes naturally to you, starting with simple foreplay, and building from there. The key is remembering that while your partner is restrained, you want to drive him or her wild while keeping yourself patient and controlled. Enjoy his or her body and reactions to your touch. Tease your partner with the suggestion of oral sex until they beg for it. Intercourse can be a little bit trickier with the positioning restrained, but you can make it work with some practice, or you can untie your partner after foreplay for intercourse.
p. Other suggestions include buying some real handcuffs — these up the kinky factor quite a bit. You might also want to blindfold your partner in addition to binding his or her wrists. Make sure that you trade roles and experience the different positions. It’s sexual play, so have fun with it. Just remember that trust and comfort with your partner are the keys to making this play both safe and rewarding.
__Kate Prengaman is the Flat Hat Sex columnist. She loves sharing a special bond with her readers.__