Countless wives and girlfriends went home after the 50 Shades movies and told their significant others how those BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism) scenes turned them on. Maybe you were one of those women who got turned on, only you didn’t have the guts to bring it up to your man. You may have been longing for your man to dominate you like Christian Grey, but either too afraid to tell him, or have told him with mixed or lack-luster results.
Here are our top 5 tips that can help you introduce kink into your relationship the right way. (This article focuses on a male-female couple from a female-identifying perspective, but some of these principles may also apply to all gender identities.)
- Take a light-hearted but sincere approach
This is a big one. If you are wanting your male partner to explore some kinks with you, then how you bring it up to him is key. Don’t wait until you are in the bedroom getting it on to blurt out a random kink you have been wanting. Make sure you have a full and open discussion about it outside of the bedroom first. Don’t build up to it with tense energy as if you should be ashamed of your desires. Rather, preface the conversation in a light of exploration as a couple. In other words, you are wanting to do this with him.
The best way to raise the issue without emasculating him (especially if it is about wanting to be dominated) is to ask him questions, maybe over a few cocktails or in a casual, fun setting with just the two of you. Date night can be a good time to bring it up, since it is a time you are both focused on the relationship itself. And as sex can be a key component to a healthy romantic relationship, having a conversation on date night about the direction of your sex life is sexy, fun and productive.
In addition, if you are in a large area like Los Angeles, you can take advantage of local meetups, dungeons, and maybe swinger events. As a couple, you can learn, socialize, and meet people in the LA BDSM/kink “scene” and see if there is anything that interests you.
Get on apps like Zin and start talking with other sex-positive people in your area. Open conversations tend to provide the most information and mind-expansion. Our app allows people to explore sexual desires without the fear of social stigma or privacy concerns. Once you register, you can start exploring posts seeking playmates and see what options are out there. Peruse them with your boyfriend and get his take. You might end up jumping in and participating in group play (ie, a threesome). It can be a great way to bond as a couple.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate
It can be intimidating to bring up kinks or fetishes to your partner. Most people worry they will be judged by their partner. If your boyfriend, husband or significant other seems really “vanilla” to you, you might be tempted to presume that he would not be game to try your kinks. Don’t assume anything. The only way you can incorporate kinks into your relationship is by communicating.
A great way to bring up your kinks to your guy is to each fill out a sexual exploration questionnaire. You can each fill it out separately then come together and have a conversation about each one. This process can provide some objectivity and you might be surprised to know where you and your partner’s kinks come together!
Try to find common ground. See where your particular kink could coincide with what you are already doing together. Or what you already know he likes.
For instance, if you are wanting to get into BDSM and if he in the past has spanked you lightly on the butt, you could mention that in your kink convo and start by asking what he liked about it or if he wanted to do more. Then share what you liked about it and that you’d like to “take it further.” Then you could mention some activities in BDSM that you are interested in (such as restraints, impact play, etc) and ask if he would like to try them.
- Don’t judge his reaction
It is important not to “kink shame” yourself for having these desires. It is equally important not to judge your guy for his response to your kink discussion. Remember that his initial response might be that he had no idea or it might take him a little bit to digest what you are saying if this is the first time you are raising the issue.
Sometimes men are concerned with pleasing their woman. They don’t like to feel like they might not be able to do something well (particularly in the bedroom). So if he doesn’t just burst with excitement when you first tell him of a kink you want to try, don’t judge that as meaning something. Wait. Listen. You might have to give it a little time and be patient.
- Don’t push the “vanilla wall”- go around it.
If your boyfriend has exhibited any kink behavior or brought up any kink before, then you have an opening to discover whether he is kinky or not. Or at least “kink-adjacent.”
The challenge comes when you try to open the kink window and he gives you nothing but general, “vanilla” responses. “Vanilla” tends to refer to sex that does not involve anything deemed unusual or kinky.
You can tell if someone is interested in kink by whether they follow the “yes, and” rules of improv. If you bring up a kink and his response feels more like “yes, and I like this, this and this,” then you know he is already on board with kink in general.
However, if you hit the “vanilla wall” where you bring up a specific kink and ask if he is interested and he doesn’t give you a “yes, and…” answer but a vague “I like whatever you like,” this will call for more discussion. He could either be afraid of bringing up his kinks to you, or he could simply not be interested at all.
You cannot bulldoze through the “vanilla wall.” Let me repeat that. You cannot bulldoze through the “vanilla wall.” Don’t berate him or hound him or bring it up repeatedly the same way. The only way through is around. This is where you will want to compromise in order to get what you want. You need to get him to buy into your kink enough while still ensuring he is getting what he wants in the bedroom.
Finally, kink and BDSM are based on full and free consent. If he gives you a solid “no,” you need to respect it.
- Get educated on kink
Kink and BDSM tend to differ from regular sex in that there are more safety concerns: emotional, mental and physical. For example, you can’t just tie someone up with rope without knowing what type of rope, how to tie it, how to untie it, and how the rope will tighten as you play (so as to avoid injury).
Some of the top books to help you explore kink and bdsm are The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge, The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy, Wild Side Sex: The Book of Kink: Educational, Sensual, and Entertaining Essays.
You can also check out websites like KinkAcademy which has a ton of free content including videos for people of every interest and experience level.
So there you have it! If you have been holding off bringing up your kinky desires, now is the time to take a risk and use these tips to help you open up your relationship to its kinkier side!