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From Red Room to Real World: BDSM in Your Boudoir

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With the hype brought on by media like 50 Shades of Grey, how can typical couples incorporate a dash of BDSM into their sex lives?

50 Shades of Grey gave BDSM mainstream life. While this kinky topic is more prevalent in casual conversation, the actual practice is still considered taboo in many circles. As intimidating as it may seem, BDSM is nothing more than a different avenue for sexual pleasure. Many of us find certain aspects of BDSM exciting, but have no desire to commit to the accompanying lifestyle. Fortunately, a happy medium exists. Many Red Room behaviors can easily be incorporated into your sex life. I’ll show you how…

The basics of BDSM

For those who don’t know, BDSM is the consensual exploration of erotic sensory and power dynamics. This all-encompassing acronym derives from sexual subcultures that use bondage, discipline, dominance, submission and sadomasochism to reach orgasmic heights. Common BDSM practices utilize sensations like pain to elevate pleasure.

The appeal of physical pain during kinky play can be attributed to the presence of dopamine or the feel good hormone in the body’s chemical reaction to pain. This extra bit of hormonal bliss boosts the heady dose of dopamine coursing through your system during arousal. Erotic combinations that employ both pleasure and pain such as spanking send the human body into arousal overload during kinky play.

Isn’t the human body amazing?

When it comes to BDSM, it’s usually pretty obvious who’s in control. The dominant party calls the shots and the sub… well, submits. It’s important to understand that no matter which position you play during your journey, you and your partner actually share the power.

Submissive players ultimately control the intensity of their pain and sensation play via the use of a safe word. Conversely, dominant players are slaves to their responsibility to pleasure their partner and keep them safe. This balance is what makes your exploration a transcendent erotic experience.

Before you break out the ball gag…

Are you ready to play with fire? No really, fire play is a thing. Is your partner ready to join you? Have you asked them? Consent and communication are crucial parts in the BDSM machine. If you aren’t’t sure how to get your partner on board, these tips will help you lay the groundwork for an exciting experience both of you can enjoy.

#1 Know what you want. The scope of BDSM is broad. Some elements are bound to entice you more than others. Eventually, you’re going to have to articulate your specific desires to your partner. You can’t tell your lover what you want if you don’t know. The best way to learn exactly what gets you off is through good old-fashioned exploration and education.

Erotic novels and x-rated bondage clips are awesome for instant enlightenment. If you’re a technical learner, manuals like “The Topping Book,” and “The Bottoming Book,” are excellent points of reference. [Read: 3 easy ways to get what you want in bed]

#2 Talk it out. A healthy, open sexual dialogue between partners is crucial for BDSM exploration. Period. Initiating a taboo conversation can be intimidating, but closed mouths don’t get fed. If you’re shy, move at your own pace. Pour yourself a glass of wine, snuggle in with your partner and slowly divulge exactly what you want, with as much detail as you can muster.

The only thing hotter than an explicit confession is the exploratory sex that will undoubtedly ensue. If you’re more playful, try a “Yes/No/Maybe” list. Try listing every naughty sexual act you can think of, then categorizing them with your partner under headings like “Yes!”, “No!”, and “Hmm…” If you play your cards right, you’ll be answering those carnal calls by the end of the night. [Read: 10 tips to help you open up about your kinky side]

#3 Keep good company. Communication and consent are what differentiate BDSM from an episode of Law and Order SVU. Play safe is the motto, and for this reason, BDSM exploration is best suited for familiar lovers. Read: not for the randoms. Kinky play can be especially beneficial to those in long-term relationships because of the great deal of trust required to test the limits of sexual boundaries.

Before you begin, negotiate the type of play you’d like to explore and the intensity you’d like to use with your partner. Also, discuss the inclusion or exclusion of sex within your scenario, because, contrary to popular belief, BDSM play and intercourse are not mutually exclusive. Use and respect your partner’s use of a safe word. In many circles, “red” means stop, but you can say whatever you’d like to let each other know when to hit the brakes.

Bringing the Red Room to the bedroom

Now for the fun stuff! Bringing fantasies to life can take some practice, but there’s no law that says you have to be an expert fresh out of the gate. Meek Mill said it best: “There’s levels to this shit,” and modifying common BDSM practices is an excellent way to find a comfortable starting point.

#1 Role play. The teacher and the naughty student scenario has been a porno plot line since the dawn of time. This scenario works well, because it employs clearly defined power roles, and effortlessly incorporates a believable punishment and reward system into the mix.

The key to enjoyable role play is full commitment. If you’re topping, you’re allowed and expected to be more forceful and demanding with your partner. Say something filthy and own it. If you’re subbing, know your role, do as you’re told, and beg for what you want. Have fun and surrender to the process… or suffer the sinful consequences. [Read: The sexual role play guide for beginners]

#2 Flogging. Author Margot Weiss compares being flogged to savoring a spicy dish, with its aftershocks warm and pleasurable. That sounds delectable, but the fact remains that some of us *present company included* simply aren’t about that bullwhip life. If want to include this carnal kick in your boudoir repertoire without the marks to prove it, spanking is a great substitute. It doesn’t get much spicier than the hot, prickly sensation of your lover’s hand smacking against the tender flesh of your backside.

Speaking of which, make sure those lashes land on the fleshier areas of the body like the buttocks and thighs. Knees, elbows, and your lover’s face are no fly zones. Remember: Vindaloo, not Wasabi ghost pepper. When you’re ready to step it up, hairbrushes and wooden spoons make excellent paddles during impromptu encounters. [Read: 15 ways to have the best rough sex ever]

#3 Restraints. There’s something innately erotic about the complete and total surrender that accompanies being restrained. Conversely, there’s nothing more empowering than securing your lover’s limbs to the bed post, before you have your way with them.

Make no mistake, restraints serve as a tactile reminder of the role you play in your sexual exchange. If you aren’t quite ready for zip ties, the belt of your bathrobe will work just fine. If you or your partner isn’t comfortable with complete immobility, use slipknots or restrain only one limb to start. You can always tighten your knots when you’re ready for more resistance. [Read: Top 50 kinky ideas for a sexy relationship]

#4 Temperature play. Temperature play involves the use of hot and/or cold sensations to elicit extreme sensations without causing pain. Think dripping hot candle wax down your lover’s back. Temperature play falls into the tamer realm of BDSM.

There are some extreme niches, like fire play, that aren’t necessarily for novices. That said, your main issue with temperature play will probably be the mess. Trust me, cooled candle wax in your carpet fibers is not a good time.

Hot water and ice cubes provide the same effects as hot wax/chilled metal objects, with none of the mess. Drip barely bearable hot water down the length of your lover’s back or tease their bare skin to goose bumps with ice. Also consider alternating sips of steamy water and ice chips while going down on your lover for added sensory stimulation.

#5 Sensory deprivation. Sensory deprivation is a clinical term that basically means cutting off access to one or more of your five senses. When we are denied the use of one of our senses, our bodies go into combat mode and heighten those that remain.

Pairing this defense mechanism with the dopamine kick that comes with BDSM’s pain/pleasure combo will result in a sensory experience like no other. Eliminating sight requires you or your partner to indulge in each aspect of your carnal conquest in real-time.

Imagine reveling in the warmth of your lover’s body as they linger over you just out of arm’s reach. Or latching on to their scent or the sound of their voice as they entice you from different areas in your room. You’ll be at the mercy of your own anticipation, which is one of the sexiest parts of BDSM overall. Using a silk scarf as a blindfold is a gentle way to explore sensory deprivation on your home turf.

[Read: 50 shades of dangerous sex: the right way to get risqué]

As a general rule, sex should be fun. What’s more fun than trying something new and exciting with someone you love, or at least like enough to show them your goods? Education, healthy sexual dialogue and an open mind are all you need to put Christian Grey to shame. Relax, move at your own pace and have a good time… if that’s okay with your master.

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Lex Butler
Lex Butler
I’m Lex Butler, a freelance LovePanky.com contributor based in sunny San Diego, CA, who is passionate about sexual freedom, health, and responsibility. When I...
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