A couple of years ago, the 50 Shades trilogy hit the shelves (as in bookshelves, remember those?), and our lives were more or less unaffected never the same. In a heartwarmingly American response, the millions of people (ugh) reading these books promptly went out to their local hardware stores and started loading up on rope, presumably to hang themselves with try out these saucy new bondage techniques. While these horned-up, determined women stocking up on duct tape were definitely friends with your mom a little misguided, it can be really hard to give your sex life the makeover equivalent of Lindsay Lohan pre-Mean Girls to Lindsay Lohan post-the greatest movie of all time (y’know, minus the STDs), but here are a couple tips on how to take things to the next level:
DO: Buy the ** Appropriate ** Supplies
Again, if at any point in the “spice up your sex life” routine you find yourself standing at an Ace Hardware register inquiring about the roughness of certain rope fibers, just tell the cashier to cut your credit card in half and go home. This is 2017, so there’s no reason to be leaving your house—that’s what Amazon reviews were invented for (I mean, I’m assuming). Also, if you’re embarking on an “Intro to Bondage” journey, you’ll probably be just as well-equipped with scarves, tights, or even handcuffs as a low-maintenance alternative. You’ll be better off spending your money on mood-setting materials (silk sheets, candles that you will under no circumstances drip onto your partner) than having your partner wonder why you’ve ordered a load-bearing steel hook and six feet of cable wire. You’re having sex, not disposing of a body—don’t make this scarier than it needs to be.
DON’T: Make It All About You
At the end of the day, the sexiest thing about Christian Grey was his willingness to drop buckets of cash on a glorified secretary how turned on he got doing all that kinky stuff to Ana. Assuming your boyfriend doesn’t already have the inclination toward rough sex, he might not be as psyched about certain scenarios, which will lead to him weakly patting your ass and then asking if he’s hurt you. To actually have an enjoyable rough sex experience, you need to find something that your partner is excited to try, so you get to have the complete inanimate sex doll Ana Steele experience of being dominated. Also, it doesn’t hurt to introduce the whole rough sex experience as something you specifically want from your partner. It’s a lot less off-putting to hear, “I really enjoy getting the shit beaten out of me during sex,” than it is to hear, “I get so turned on at the idea of you throwing me around a little.” If he feels like he’s what’s turning you on when he does get a little rougher (and not the memory of the ex who probably gave you this sexual preference in the first place, oops), then he gets an ego boost and you get an orgasm (which is like, platinum level win-win for both parties).
DO: Ease Into It
I mean this in literally every single way. First, lube. Buy a lot (no cooling or heating shit), and incorporate it liberally. Second, talk to your partner before. It’s super tempting to just try and move his hands during sex and hope that he’ll read your mind, but since my boyfriend has literally replied, “what’s up,” when I said his name during sex, I don’t have a ton of faith in that practice. And since nothing kills the vibe faster than putting on your mom voice and saying, “no, do it like this” mid-act, get this out of the way beforehand—preferably over a glass, or six, of wine. Which brings me to my next point: drink. It’s called a “social lubricant” for a reason, and if this is your first foray into rough sex, you’ll probably want your typical inhibitions at least slightly lowered. I’m not saying get wasted, I’m just saying have enough to lose all sense of shame get out of your head and feel a little adventurous.
DON’T: Freak Out About Any of This
It’s obviously daunting when you’re suggesting something new, you’re in a vulnerable situation, and you’re not sure how the other person will react. But honestly, if a guy tries to make you feel embarrassed for bringing it up or acts like you’re a slut for wanting it, this guy is an insecure prude who’s worried that he hasn’t been satisfying you sexually. And if you do give it a shot, and it turns out you don’t like it as much as you thought you would, that’s okay too! Sex is sex, and if you’re not trying new things, you’re depriving yourself of potentially mind-blowing sex. Life’s too short, and your list of back-burner bros is too long for you to get hung up on one bad experience. If you want something more aggressive than what you’re getting, I’m sure there’s a guy out there who’s more than happy to oblige (just please not the people who are buying rope at hardware stores).