Think You’re Ready For Kinkier Sex? Take This Test And Find Out
You don’t need help from Christian Grey to lift your sex life to kinky new heights. “It’s no longer fringe to talk openly about things like handcuffs or blindfolds,” says Professor Kristen Mark, director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab at the University of Kentucky.
The stigma has vanished – along with the ball gags – to allow for more creative spontaneity. “As couples inject excitement into their relationships,” Mark says, “their satisfaction level rises.”
Think you’re ready? Answer true or false to the following statements to find out just how much adventure lies ahead.
1. “Kinky” means your sex life feels like a Saw sequel: False, dabbling in deviance does not have to involve leather and nipple clamps. It’s the newness, not the fear, that’s stimulating, says Dr Gail Saltz, a sex therapist in New York. “So if it’s Fifty Shades you’re after, you might put on some of the costumes, just to get a feel for it,” she says. The most common kinks are the least freaky ones. In one of Mark’s surveys, 54% of people had engaged in spanking, 19% in role playing and 11% in fetishes; 61% had used sex toys.
2. You need to be a little twisted to enjoy this stuff: True, well, kind of. Many people like a bit of rough play. In 2013, global sex toy company Lovehoney found that three out of four customers had tied up a partner, one in five had used a gag and one in six said bondage was part of their routine. But a more productive gauge of sexual success is if what you’re doing makes you feel good about yourself and enhances your relationship, says Professor Carol Rinkleib Ellison, a clinical psychologist and the author of Women’s Sexualities.
3. You two must discuss new kinks before trying them: False, but then again, it’s never a bad idea to have a quick chat if you’re rookies. Otherwise, just let it happen… but slowly. Simply being more playful in the bedroom can act as a catalyst. “Being flirtatious and dropping subtle hints can be better than jumping in all the way,” says Professor Marianne Brandon, a psychologist and licensed sex therapist. “Find objects, like her make-up brush, to use on her body and see what she’s comfortable with. Make it about inviting her to join you.”
4. Anal sex is no longer that big a deal between partners: True, these days, surveys find the back door increasingly open. Reasons include changing norms, the depiction of anal sex in pornography and a greater willingness to admit to it, says Kimberly McBride, an assistant professor of public health at the University of Toledo. In McBride’s 2008 survey of heterosexual men, 18% said they’d had anal sex in the previous 30 days; in her more recent survey, 50% said they’d engaged in some type of anal sex activity at least once in their lifetime.
5. People mostly agree on what is and isn’t kinky: False, one person’s kink can be another’s yawn. “For some people, woman-on-top is kinky,” says Carol Queen, author of Exhibitionism for the Shy. Here’s what we can agree on: a repertoire of just three or four sex positions no longer does the trick. So ease into kink – a new position, say, or sex in a new location. And props help, says New York sex therapist Dr Stephen Snyder. A scarf could be a blindfold or a soft restraint. “Anything to add a transgressive edge to your sex will work.”
6. Pinch her as often as you’re willing to be pinched: True, the key to success is to enlist her as a fellow conspirator. “Good sex involves compromise,” says Mark. “Shoot for an even split between giving and taking.” Some people balk at role-playing, dirty talk and bondage because they fear they won’t know what to do or say. Start with some simple verbal fantasising – that is, having sex while talking about more explicit acts. “You can talk about extreme things in this context,” Queen says. “But it’s perfectly safe, and you don’t have to buy gear. Yet.”
7. You’re probably going to wake up with a few marks: False, sure, some impact play, such as spanking, could have temporary side effects. The key is to know where to hit. “You want to be over flesh or muscle, not bone,” says Queen. “Aim for the lower part of the butt; that engages more nerves and makes it more enjoyable.” Other good spots to aim for: the shoulders and upper back, Queen says. Try a flogger, such as a cat-o’-nine-tails. Warm up the area before you strike, and avoid sensitive spots like the neck and the kidneys.