Behind Closed Doors: Spicing up vanilla sex with BDSM

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COURTESY PHOTO / PIXABAY

The purpose of this article is not to follow the common practice of social scholars who assert normative assumptions or theories about why a person may desire BDSM, what effects the practice of BDSM may create on society or relationships or the effectiveness of vanilla sex in comparison to sex that involves BDSM. The purpose of this article is to provide some hopefully objective information on the logistics of utilizing this practice to anyone who is curious about or has considered trying BDSM in the bedroom.

While BDSM is defined as including bondage and discipline (B-D), dominance and submission (D-S) and sadism and sasochism (S-M), your experience with it does not have to include all of these aspects and, in fact, most don’t.

There is a lot of information about BDSM out there. An important thing to remember when first doing your research — which you should do much of before getting into some of the trickier practices and techniques — is that none of the available sources should act as a prescriptive bible. Feel free to take bits and pieces from various sources and utilize them to the extent that you and your partner(s) feel comfortable with.

Something else to keep in mind is that you can always say no when things are getting too far away from your comfort zone. The issue with saying no in practice, however, is that the point of a lot of BDSM is resistance. This can be solved with the implementation of a safe word, which is a key word or phrase that you and your partner(s) decide on at an earlier time that signals something is wrong. When deciding on a safe word, make sure that it isn’t something that could be misinterpreted as encouraging in BDSM, such as “no” or “wait.” Instead, use something like “baskets” or “sassafras” to ensure the safety and comfort of all participants. Additionally, even if you’ve agreed to certain practices of submission or domination in the past, that doesn’t mean that you have to continue practicing those techniques in the future.

If you’re starting out in your exploration of a BDSM relationship, here are some easy ways to dip your toes into the vast BDSM pool.

Dominance-submission is one of several terms used to describe the time in which you and your partner(s) are using BDSM techniques or are in that headspace. One simple way to test out some dominance-submission relations is to have one of you take the lead position and dictate what happens during your scene. This may look like a step-by-step explanation of what the other(s) is going to do, or it could be something that is stated throughout the scene, or it could be neither — it’s all up to you!

One of the beginning techniques for the bondage-discipline aspect is to invest in handcuffs or rope to get started. Handcuffs are one of the easier ways to utilize bondage, given their particularly user-friendly nature. However, try the fuzzy or cushioned styles of handcuffs — just for safety and comfort — unless you want to lean more toward sadomasochism, which I’ll discuss in a moment. Ropes tend to have a bit more of a learning curve, but, on the bright side, it’s pretty easy to motivate yourself to learn tying and knotting techniques when you know that you and your partner(s) will be getting pleasure from them in the near future.

The sadism-masochism portion of BDSM is defined as finding pleasure from inflicting pain, suffering or humiliation on another (sadism) or finding pleasure in having these things inflicted upon you (masochism). Some common and simple ways to test this out include some hair pulling, light choking, bodily slapping or tighter restraining. Be sure to be careful and do a fair amount of research and checking in with your partner(s) if you escalate to more intense forms of sadomasochism such as whipping or ball gags.

Finally, I cannot stress the importance of enthusiastic consent and aftercare in a BDSM relationship enough. Aftercare is the practice of you and your partner(s) supporting and caring for each other after your scene, both physically and emotionally. This can involve bags of ice, band-aids, cuddling and tenderness — despite finding sexual pleasure in aggressive interaction, sadomasochists need love too!

William W. is a Behind Closed Doors columnist who wants you to be informed about the inner workings of BDSM.

If you have a question that you would like answered in the next installment of “Behind Closed Doors,” please email it to [email protected]

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