BDSM: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink

Black lingerie

With the rise in popularity of BDSM and all things kink, there are also a lot of misconceptions going around. Unfortunately, depictions of BDSM in movies and even porn miss the mark for most kinksters on cornerstone principles.

The principles of BDSM can be extremely beneficial for even the most vanilla couple–even if you’re not ready to implement any of the kinky aspects. Today we are going to open Pandora’s box and let all the kink out. Let’s explore how you can make BDSM work for you.

The Sensual Consensual

First things first, consent is extremely important in any relationship, regardless of the type of sex life you’d like to have. While some people worry conversations around consent might kill the mood, it can actually be very erotic. Sexual and romantic preferences often change over time–and can even fluctuate with our hormones–so it’s good to regularly check in with your sexual partners (and yourself).

BDSM encourages regular, open dialogue around sexual preferences, creating a safe container for communicating. Plus, this practice enhances intimacy and increases sexual satisfaction. Have you ever wished your partner let you have more time on top? Maybe have sex in your car, or try a butt plug? Well, communication is often lubrication, so get talking before you get down! If your partner is curious about something that you aren’t interested in, it’s perfectly fine to tell them so. Regardless of kink, boundaries are an extremely important part of any healthy relationship.

For the kink curious: try writing down a list of your sexual preferences, desires, and boundaries. Then, rank them from 1 to 5. Anything with a 1 means ‘curious to try’ and 5 is ‘want every day!’ You can even do our own Yes, No, Maybe List to see where you match up. Have your partner do the same, and see how you match up. Is there something new you’ve both been wanting to try? Dip your toes in together. Try lighting a few candles to set the mood, and surprise your partner!

If you’re not that into incorporating BDSM in your relationship, just showing your partner how to best pleasure you is a wonderful gift to you both. It’s completely fine if your preferences and desires change day to day, just keep communicating them to your partner. 

Great (Sexual) Expectations

One of the main challenges many couples face is meeting or missing each other’s expectations. With BDSM, there are no more hidden meanings, confusing glances, and subtle hints. The expectations are clearly laid out.

Once each person has made their list of desires, preferences, and boundaries, they can compare them together, and look for compatibilities. It’s a practice of clear and loving communication of your sexual relationship and intimacy. You can work on what would be reasonable expectations for each other and how to reach them together.

For the lovely vanilla readers, try talking openly with your partner about your sexual expectations. Aim to listen rather than just be heard; see where you may have been missing some puzzle pieces. For the more sexually adventurous readers, why not try making a BDSM contract together? You can make a formal statement of your expectations from your partner. How about signing it with your roleplay name or title? Some examples are Daddy/little girl, master/slave, or any other identifier you can dream up?

If you’re anything like me, you might not even get to the end before you’re jumping into bed! If you’re curious about Bondage, but not sure where to start, try the Under The Bed Restraint System from Sportsheets to experiment with some restriction play, without needing your boy scouts knot badge!

Frisky Business

Now that you have done all your theoretical work, it’s time to get into the delicious hands-on portion of your BDSM education. Spend some time tonight exploring each other’s fantasies and desires.

Continual sexual exploration within a relationship can keep the flame of passion burning for many years to come (or cum). Your relationship should be a safe place to explore your sexual desires; regardless of how kinky your desires are, sharing them is a beautiful experience. Try blindfolding your partner and let your hands roam wildly.

Aftercare

One of the most important, and sadly often overlooked aspects of BDSM, is aftercare. Aftercare is the process of soothing, nurturing, and loving your partner after an intimate session. This should be specific to the individuals involved and may involve stroking and cuddling, snacks and fuzzy blankets, and conversation to process the experience.

Even if you’re not unchaining your lover from the wall and putting your whips away, having the opportunity to debrief after a sexual encounter can increase intimacy and raise oxytocin, the “love and bonding” hormone. For both vanilla and kinky readers, devote some extra time to your sexual aftercare this week. You can thank me later.

The principles of BDSM aim to keep sexual encounters safe, sane, and consensual, but they can also deeply enrich any sexual relationship, regardless of how much kink you actually incorporate into your sex life. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how kinky or not your sex life is, as long as you are loving it!

Isabella Frappier is an Australian writer, holistic life coach, tarot reader, birth doula, and apothecarist who is currently based in LA. When she’s not busy championing her sex-positive agenda she… oh wait – she’s always busy doing that. You can connect with her at www.isabellafrappier.com or follow her Instagram @bellatookaphoto!