MASOCHIST

Someone who enjoys pain, often in a sexual way. Remember, like sex, pain releases endorphins, those neurotransmitters associated with a sense of wellbeing. However, it can be intimidating for partners to wilfully cause each other discomfort in the bedroom, so the key is to start slowly (say, a light spanking), learn the correct techniques (in other words, know how to use that riding crop before actually using it) and to establish well defined limits.

Ouch, ouch, ooooh…

MERINTHOPHILIA

Sexual arousal from being tied up.

NEGOTIATION

This sounds badass, like some sort of a hostage situation, but it really isn’t. Any intimate relationship should start with an honest discussion about what gets you off and what doesn’t – and the same goes for the kinky stuff. It isn’t about coercion; it’s about sharing fantasies and exploring the range of your play together. In short, in addition to helping you map out your future fun, it can be pretty damn sexy just saying the words out loud.

ODAXYLAGNIA

Bite me! (No, really.) Sexual arousal from biting or being bitten.

PEGGING

Pegging involves you, her and a strap-on. (Hint: she’s wearing the strap-on.) This stimulates the prostate, which can, in turn, lead to powerful orgasms for you. Put off by the strap-on but still open – albeit tightly clenched and very nervous – to the idea? Ease into anal play by exploring with a finger or tongue first. Don’t forget the lube.

RACK

In the world of non-vanilla sex, RACK stands for Risk Aware Consensual Kink, which is very closely related to another important credo: Safe, Sane and Consensual (SSC).

These should be the guiding principals for any sexual act, not just those involving whips and chains.

ROLE-PLAY

Whether she’s a sexy nurse overseeing her patient’s recovery and kissing it all (and we do mean all) better or you’re the headmaster and she’s a naughty schoolgirl bent over your knee for a spanking, role-play is all about fulfilling a fantasy and overcoming inhibitions in a safe and positive way.

Does it mean you’re actually into nurses, schoolgirls, puppies or nuns? No, but maybe it’s easier for her to take control when she’s wearing that nurse’s outfit – or less awkward for you to make real your desires to be dominant when that’s what’s required by the part you’re playing.

SAFE WORD

The control-alt-delete of BDSM, ,this is a code word that partners agree on before a session to quit any activity. Preferably something you can mumble around a ball gag.

SOFT LIMIT

An activity that someone may be nervous or hesitant to try or would rather avoid, but that isn’t banned in the same way that a hard limit is. These are boundaries that a person may be open to slowly exploring or testing in a safe and controlled space with someone they trust.

TEASE AND DENIAL

This form of erotic domination requires no pain or bondage, but will definitely get you panting. Tease and denial involves keeping the other person in a high state of arousal and reducing stimulation just enough so that orgasm is denied before bringing them to the cliff edge of climax again – over and over.

The anticipation, heightened sensitivity and psychological need this creates are a potent recipe for an explosive orgasm when it is finally allowed. Don’t forget that mind games like this are just like any other type of play in the bedroom and require open communication and express consent from both partners.

TOYS

From butt plugs and dildos to paddles and electrical stimulators, sex toys and props are all about spicing up your bedroom antics and can be an easy way to incorporate kinkier play. “If you’re new to sex toys, it can be helpful to first try them out alone before introducing them into shared play,” says Lazarides. “That said, learning together is always fun. Introducing sex toys into the bedroom isn’t meant to be daunting, so communicate, respect each other’s boundaries and, most importantly, have fun.”

VANILLA

Like the ice cream, this is sex that is uncomplicated and unsurprising – in other words, not kinky. But, much like the ice cream, it’s many people’s flavour of choice.

WAX PLAY

Candles? Check. Naked bodies? Check and check. Lighter? Check… wait, what? For the average guy, wax play might be one of the easiest ways to warm up to kink.

It doesn’t require furtive trips into Adult World, any sort of acting ability or much in the way of technical skill. The feeling of hot wax hitting your skin releases a rush of adrenaline, firing up your arousal. The drawback? Wax play can get more painful than intended.

Beginners should use paraffin or soy wax, which have a lower melting point, and drop it from a greater height to reduce temperature.

Just mind the furniture.

ZELOPHILIA

Sexual arousal from jealousy. The one kink you can do without.