S&M: Sex and Mastery

When many people think of sadomasochism (S&M) typically disturbing images pop into their minds. “Freaks” clad in leather and horror scenes from “Pulp Fiction” swim through many imaginations, and most people shudder and then swear that they would never do anything of the sort. Don’t be so quick to judge, nor too hasty in your declarations of purity. Sometimes it’s good to be bad. Let me rephrase that: It’s amazing to be bad.

p. First off, let’s get this idea of what’s acceptable in bed out of our minds. Who is to say what is normal? Not me and not you. If you are someone who has never experimented with a little light bondage or dominant and submissive role-playing, it’s your time to start. As long as both partners are consenting adults who understand and accept the physical and emotional risks of what they are doing, then it’s game on.

p. Next, it’s time to think whether a little S&M is the right thing to spice up your sex life. Have you ever fantasized about giving up control to another person? Would you rather have a chance at taking charge? Your chosen partner is an important part of this; it’s all about finding a compromise that fulfills both of your fantasies. This covers going through exactly what your fantasy entails and what you’re comfortable with. Discuss the language, who wears what, and what goes where on whom. You might be wondering what the big deal is, but nothing cuts the mood faster than unexpectedly having your hair yanked or getting a hard smack on the ass. A safety word is always a good idea, no matter what you’re up to in bed. Stick with something that has no sexual connotations, like “blue” or a nonsense word like “skwang.”

p. Now it’s time for specifics on the fun part: what you can use for your first S&M experience. These accessories are by no means required, and can be mixed, matched or altered in whatever way suits your needs. Blindfolds are the base level, allowing either partner to heighten their other senses during foreplay and sex. If you want to try some mild spanking, start out by using your hands or a wooden spoon (one specifically for this, I hope). Start the spanking when you are fully turned on, you’ll enjoy it more. Begin lightly, then as you get more aroused build up to more powerful smacks. Once you’ve tried a few spanking sessions and want to add to the excitement, you may want a whip or riding crop instead of a hand.

p. As for bondage, some neckties can be used to tether your partner to a bed frame or perhaps a computer chair. These will be softer for beginners and are sure to be lying around somewhere. Tie your “victim” to a chair and then give your partner a striptease. Touch just enough skin for just the right amount of time, and your partner will be writhing under the restraints. If you feeling up to it, try some dirty talk. Imagine everything you’ve ever wanted to say during foreplay and sex but didn’t because you were too ashamed. If you’re going to say something really crazy, you might want to prepare your partner and make sure they are okay with it. Again, a code word is absolutely necessary for this type of play. Trusting your partner is also essential. That being said, if you don’t know the other person well enough, this can quickly take a turn for the worse. Protect yourself and know your partner before attempting any type of bondage or role-playing.

p. Where do you get the trappings of this type of pleasure? Any sex shop will be fully stocked with handcuffs, Velcro bondage kits and a variety of leather whips and slappers. Sex shop owners are friendly and they’re there to help; I guarantee that no question you could ask will be new or weird. If you’re still a bit too timid to walk into a shop and ask about riding crops, then be glad for the beauties of the internet. There are an incredible amount of sex shops online, and most have very discreet billing and shipping policies. I would recommend well-known companies like ticklekitty.com or passionparties.com. But remember, anywhere you buy your gear, it may run you quite a bit of money. Expect to spend between 10 and 40 dollars for some of these items, with the bondage kit probably costing closer to 50. With the proper planning and attention to safety, you too can get in touch with your bad side.

p. __Emily Powell is the Flat Hat sex columnist. She recieved furry pink handcuffs for her birthday.__

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