Does She Deserve A Spanking?
Yes! In fact, she’s far kinkier than you think. Read on – and make her scream.
We’re willing to wager that all the guys who didn’t bother to read Fifty Shades of Grey will have no problem standing in line for the film.
Let’s face it: compressing Anastasia and Christian’s freaky antics into a visual sexfest will hold male attention far longer than mere words on pages. But they haven’t even begun filming the whips and chains yet, so take this lull in the BDSM hype (that’s bondage, domination/discipline, sadism/submission, and masochism for you newbs) to find out if your woman truly is up for this brand of kink, and if so, how to ease yourselves into it.
Think she’ll run screaming? Not so fast. A University of Saskatchewan study found that women are quite similar to men when defining what’s normal or acceptable in bed. Plus, dabbling in kink can provide a host of bonding benefits. “BDSM challenges couples to communicate better and to be more creative,” says Dr Richard Sprott, co-author of Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities (R456, Kalahari).
“You imagine new ways of finding pleasure with a partner.” In fact, research suggests that merely acquainting yourselves with the core concepts of kink can heighten your sexual satisfaction. So throw on some leather and enjoy the ride.
Test the Waters
You can’t just show up in the bedroom with a ball gag and chains, or you might find out the hard way that she’s a member of the “Fifty Shades of No Way!” club. Start by recalling the phenomenon created by the books. This can give you a sense of whether the idea of submission and dominance – which is the foundation of most BDSM experiences – leaves her repulsed, indifferent or intrigued. Some experts say she will probably be intrigued because humans are hardwired to have a biological “opinion” on the matter. “A person’s preference for domination or submission is as biologically fundamental to his or her sexual identity as sexual orientation,” says Dr Ogi Ogas, a cognitive neuroscientist whose book A Billion Wicked Thoughts (R181, Kalahari) used Internet behavioural patterns to study human desire. So what do you do with that intel? Unpack it a bit. “A good way to start a conversation with a partner is with a ‘yes, no, maybe’ list,” says psychologist Dr Meg Barker, a researcher at the Open University in the UK. Lists are available on BDSM websites, or you can take a look – together – at the list on this page. Barker cites a University of New Brunswick study revealing that after 15 years together, couples knew only about 62% of what their partner liked in bed, and 26% of what their partner disliked. Whether you end up getting kinky or not, you should both find this exercise enlightening and empowering. Be safe If you score a green light, hold your horses – and your horsewhip. There’s just a bit more communicating to do first. Sprott advises establishing the scope of activity your partner is up for, deciding who will start out in the dominant role and then selecting a “safe word” that will halt the action. Simply saying “no” or “stop” or “that hurts” isn’t recommended, since they can be part of the fantasy. Opt for something with zero sexual relevance – such as a place or a type of food. “Sushi” would be a pretty effective buzzkill, for instance. Now you’re ready.
Give Her a Tickle
If you’ve ever massaged, bitten or scratched each other, you’ve already dipped your toe into the most basic type of kink – sensation play. “This generates a biochemical chain reaction, which creates a state similar to the glow of orgasm,” Sprott says. Being the target of someone else’s actions allows the recipient to relinquish control and enjoy the sensations. Start with a blindfold or sleep mask, which can help you each embrace the submissive role; after all, you can’t really take control if you can’t see. It’ll help both of you focus on the sensations, stay in character, and avoid the nervous giggles, say sex writers Em & Lo, authors of 150 Shades of Play: a Beginner’s Guide to Kink (R195, Loot). After you plunge her into darkness, graze your fingers or a feather over her inner thighs, the nape of her neck and the inner part of her forearms, Sprott says. Don’t touch her at all for 15 or 20 seconds at a time in between; this makes her anticipate where the next sensation will take place. If you both decide to inch a little closer to the pleasure/pain threshold, try nibbling her earlobes while pinching her nipples and labia. Test her nerves Consider the Spartacas Tweezer Chain Nipple and Clit Clamps (R150, Matildas) a popular BDSM gadget originally designed to test nerve sensitivity. (It looks like a cross between a necklace and your girlfriend’s eyebrow tweezers). A little pain from this guy can equal a lot of pleasure.
Crank the Spank
Bare buttocks simply scream to be spanked, but if either of you swings too hard your first time batting, the move may be summarily ejected from your kink repertoire. That’d be a pity, because spanking can hurt so good. “When you’re spanked, flogged, it feels awesome and for some may actually be a pain reliever,” says sex writer Reverend Jen Miller, the author of BDSM 101 (R192, Kalahari). She may balk at first, so ease into it. Janet Hardy, co-author of The Ethical Slut (R194, Kalahari) recommends starting gently with your open hand, which offers a wide range of sensations, has a built-in feedback mechanism and feels more intimate than implements. “For most recipients, the lower inner quadrant of the buttocks is the sweet spot – it shares a nerve group with the genitals,” she says. Don’t assume you can just spank her during intercourse and that’s enough to turn her on. You’ll add to the spanking experience if you actually have her over your knee. “Start very slowly with light smacks that just barely sting and build gradually,” Hardy says. If she’s enjoying the experience, her breathing should sound smooth and sexy and her butt should be pushing up towards the spanker’s hand instead of flinching. Go paddling If you’ve done a few hand-spankings and they’ve gone well enough that you want to try an implement, start with a small leather paddle, Hardy recommends. “They sting a lot but don’t usually bruise or raise welts,” she says. Try the Twitchy Palm Spanking Paddle (R425, Matildas).
Next, tie the knot, so to speak. Some people want to be tied up so they can feel controlled. Some enjoy being teased and denied. The appeal for the dominant player, of course, is being in control. Just don’t try gleaning any tips about tie-ups from Fifty Shades – it’s full of dubious practices tha make BDSM pros wince. For instance, using cable ties as wrist restraints is a really bad idea, say Em & Lo. Some other bad ideas: leaving your partner alone while bound, tying her up in a way that restricts circulation or putting something over her nose and mouth and obstructing her breathing. Don’t do those things. Instead, start out by loosely tying her wrists and maybe her ankles, with something that won’t be abrasive to her skin, such as silk scarves or ties, and watch that they don’t become too tight. “Keep that first session short, and make sure you take the time to get some feedback about how you both felt about it,” says sex educator Jazz Goldman. There are Satin Wrist Cuffs (R165, Matildas), Leg Restraints (R340, matildas.co.za), Leather Blindfolds (R249, Passion Fruit) and Bondage Tape (R170, Whet) that can be employed when the mood strikes. All of these items can be purchased at no scarier a place than the interwebs. (All Matilda’s orders are discreetly packaged if you’re worried about being judged by the postman.) Add control Rope is a mainstay of bondage apparel, with true aficionados responding to both the look and feel of it. But instead of rooting around in the garage, invest in some silk ties (R340, Matildas) that’ll do the job without irritating skin. Once you’ve explored tying or being tied up and liked it, you might want to try over-the-door suspension cuffs (R615, Matildas) – bondage equipment that enables you to both restrain and raunchily position your partner.
Put on an Act
Role playing is a great kink-starter as well. But unless you were a drama major, pretending to be someone else is going to make you feel silly and require you to suspend your disbelief. That can be tough, but not as tough as you might think. “It’s much easier to lose your inhibitions when you’re pretending to be someone else,” says the Kinsey Institute’s Dr Debby Herbenick, relationships advisor. “The real benefit here is that role playing can be a gateway into sex play you might not otherwise try.” Skip the elaborate script and period garb and make it easy on yourself. For instance, you could arrange to meet at a club that neither of you has been to before, Herbenick suggests. Arrive in clothes you haven’t seen on each other, and after some fleeting eye contact, start chatting as if you were perfect strangers just starting to flirt with each other. From there you can take it in any direction you want. Perhaps one of you can play hard to get while the other portrays the wolfish seducer. You can be an entirely different person, exaggerate a specific facet of your actual personality, or just reconnect with the feeling of meeting your partner for the first time. Act up If after tinkering with different scenarios you find that you like role play, try one in which the dominant and submissive parts are explicit. “The classic is the master/slave scenario, in which one partner surrenders free will,” Herbenick says. Feeling sheepish about where to begin? You can always let fate decide: Open Hearted Sex Talk cards (R80, Matildas) have over 100 assignments and questions to fuel some fun. Pick a card and be someone else for an hour or two – or forever, for that matter. After all, maybe the kinkier you has been aching to get out!
– Grant Stoddard