Choke Me Tighter: A BDSM Beginner’s Guide

“Choke me tighter” was never something I thought I would
hear, particularly in a sexual context. 

After a succession of particularly
kinky partners, however, it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary at all. In fact,
it’s exciting. With proper communication and safety guidelines, incorporating
BDSM—bondage, discipline, sadism, or masochism—or kinks into your sex life can be a fun way to liven things up. And after the publication of Fifty Shades of Grey, curiosity about BDSM
appears to have risen. Yet it is important that some issues of safety be discussed and that preconceived notions about BDSM be set straight before folks start experimenting. 

Firstly, kinky sex and BDSM are not for everyone! While some
might get hot and bothered by the thought of their hair being pulled in doggy
style, many people feel uncomfortable and turned off by the prospect. Communication about sexual preferences during a hook-up with a new
partner is always important, but if you are someone who likes to engage in
rough sex, it is crucial that you check in with your partner and that you ask, never
assume, that they like the same things you do. 

This goes both ways! Just because you will let your partner tie you to your bedposts or spank you until you are numb doesn’t mean that they are
necessarily comfortable with it. They might be worried about accidentally
hurting you, or just find it to be a turn-off. You may be comfortable
letting someone dominate you, but your partner may not be. This is important to respect, as sex should
be pleasurable for all parties.

BDSM can
essentially be seen as a game between two players: the dominant (dom) and the
submissive (sub). BDSM uses power play and a mixture of pain and intense
stimulation to induce pleasure. The positions of the
dom and sub can shift and change however the couple chooses. 

To ensure each other’s safety, couples who engage in BDSM and kinky sex often write a contract or a list of agreements, which may include all of the acts
that the sub is comfortable engaging in. First and foremost on this list should be the
safeword, which is used when things become uncomfortable for either
participant. Once the safeword is used,
whatever is being done will stop with no questions asked. They can be
funny, like ‘Bananas,’ for example, or more specific, like my personal favorite which is the stoplight system: ‘yellow’ for slow down and ‘red’ for stop. For example, let’s say that my partner and I
are engaging in breath play, and I am the submissive and they are choking me. I’m
enjoying myself until I start to feel myself get dizzy and want my partner to
loosen their grip without stopping all together. In this scenario, ‘yellow’ is all
I would have to say to let my partner know that I am okay, but to be mindful of
their strength. While it may seem that the dom in BDSM holds all of the power,
the person in the submissive role has the final say.

For those of you who are curious about trying out some kinks in the bedroom but aren’t sure how (I know you’re out there!), I would suggest
incorporating small amounts of pain into sex (consensually, of course) and
seeing what feels good to you and your partner and whether or not you enjoy dominating or being dominated, inflicting
pain or receiving it. This could look like spanking, hair pulling, back
scratching, biting, or choking. You can also start by blindfolding your partner
before performing oral sex on them, or tying their hands to your bedposts and
teasing them. If you realize that you are kinkier than you thought, there are
endless possibilities!

BDSM carries its fair share of taboos. It is important to clarify that BDSM is not abuse, it is not only for people who have been
abused (as some seem to think), and it is more common on the 5Cs than you know.
Trust me. Be safe, have fun, and don’t forget the safeword(s)! 

Sex on your mind? Send me questions or suggestions for future topics at sexcolumnist@tsl.pomona.edu

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