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Dating or sleeping with a masochist who’s into BDSM? You’re in the right place.
There’s no doubt that the movie Fifty Shades of Grey changed the sex habits of a generation. How so? Well, the pretty uncensored depiction of both BDSM and bondage for beginners in the character’s day-to-day lives. Seen the movie franchise and keen to know how to please a masochist? Then you’re in the right place.
BDSM has only grown in popularity in recent years, partly thanks to the likes of Fifty Shades of Grey. While there aren’t any conclusive stats as the topic is often misconstrued as taboo, one US study found that 11% of women and 14% of men have tried BDSM. Translate that to the UK and roughly four million people would have tried it – around 6% of the population.
Interestingly, one 2017 study published in the journal J Sex Res found that significantly more women (27.8%) than men (19.2%) were interested in trying masochism, that is, pleasurable pain.
Don’t just rely on a film to teach you your need-to-knows – let a qualified expert do that, instead. We’ve picked the brains of Lucy Litwack, BDSM expert at designer sex toy, lingerie and erotic book store Coco de Mer. Keep scrolling for your BDSM need-to-knows and tips for how to please a masochist, too – and don’t miss our guides to Kamasutra sex positions, dating sites, and sex apps, while you’re here.
BDSM: your guide
First things first: a short definition for you. BDSM describes a combination of sexual practices often including the likes of bondage, roleplaying, and so on, and is often performed in neutral, mutually consenting relationships.
Informed consent is of paramount importance when carrying out a BDSM act because BDSM often involves varying degrees of pain, physical restraint and servitude – for example, tying your lover up, making them your sex slave, spanking them or putting a dog chain around their neck and making them crawl around on all fours are just a few examples of various BDSM themed acts.
BDSM stands for:
Bondage – B
Discipline and domination – D
Submission and sadism – S
Masochism – M
While it is a sexual preference, BDSM is largely about the power dynamic of a couple and doesn’t have to involve sex at all. The mental connotations of some acts are more of a turn-on than sex, to some.
BDSM power dynamics: working out a dom and sub
What does it mean to be a dominant?
To begin with, you and your partner must first decide who’s going to play the dominant role and who’s going to play the submissive, explains Litwack. It’s extremely important for both of you to interchange and play both roles so you can both experience being in control of your shared sexual destiny, she continues.
Quite simply, the dominant role will demonstrate skill and power and will control the submissive role. Men and women who are normally responsible for enforcing morality and standards in their jobs or home life are said to enjoy being the dominant partner. Conversely, those of you who have powerful jobs or tons of responsibility may like the feeling of being free from decision-making and being told what to do, so the submissive role will appeal to you, she explains.
Another set of terms frequently used to describe the dominant/submissive dynamic is “top” and “bottom”.
In BDSM, the “top” is the dominant partner – you’ll be doing the spanking, bondage, clamping and whipping, shares the sex expert. The “bottom” is the submissive partner – that said, bottoms can also be the more dominant partner by demanding the top to perform certain acts of their choosing, sometimes even insist on switching roles.
With the trust of your partner, you can test each other’s sexual boundaries and discover new turn-ons you’d never have imagined, she goes on.
Do note here: placing someone into physical bondage while you remain free does not necessarily place you in command. If you take all of the power but have no idea what to do with it, you are in pretty much the same boat as your captive. Couples can gain much more from power play by leaving out the equipment at first and focusing entirely on one another, Litwack explains. Becoming accustomed to a role as a dominant lover takes time, even if you’re used to leading sex.
Although your previous dominance probably hasn’t gone unnoticed, it has been unspoken and hasn’t been the focus of your or your lover’s attention. All lights are on you and what you’re going to do next.
What does it mean to be a submissive?
As above, the position of the ‘submissive lover’ is one of trust and learning, of giving away the reins to your mind and body and allowing your lover to take them fully. Your experiences will depend entirely on your partner and how they choose to embrace your submissiveness, but this isn’t to say that you will cease to have a voice, shares Litwack.
As she explains, a submissive lover should always expect a level of balance and to be able to guide sex within the boundaries of their own desires without pressure to exceed them.
Some people worry about the effect on their day-to-day lives. By allowing the reins to be taken, will they somehow lose their dominance in other aspects of their lives? Will it affect their ability to assert dominance in a working role or a paternal/maternal role? The answer, according to the expert, is no – not unless you’re looking for a complete lifestyle change and seek to implement one.
“We have a conscious choice to act and by submitting to your lover in the bedroom, you will not find this choice has been invalidated. It’s incredibly common for confident and socially dominant individuals to act on their sexually submissive fantasies,” she goes on.
By taking a sexually submissive role, you are not giving your lover carte blanche to use you in any way they see fit. There are sexual games which focus on one partner being at the beck and call of the other, but these are usually short-lived scenarios. There are couples that choose to live in a 24/7 dominant/submissive (D/S) relationship, but just because you have identified submissive desires within yourself, it does not mean that this is where your relationship is heading.
If you feel like your partner is taking advantage of your submissiveness by making you spring clean the house, do the gardening, defrost the freezer and walk the dog before you get yours, then feel free to tell them where to go, she advises. You get to set the boundaries of your sexual play just as much as they do, submissive or not, and if you’re unhappy with any part of play, then raising the issue is a must, she encourages.
Your relationship may develop into a 24/7 D/S arrangement, but it won’t be without you wanting the same, she shares.
Side note: it’s worth remembering that sex slave games are fun and can really heighten your experiences. Being made to sing for your supper can be an arousing act, if you’re supervised in the right ways, so don’t fly off the handle immediately if your partner suggests this as a role-playing game.
How to please a masochist: your guide
First things first – what is a masochist? In short, someone who gets sexual satisfaction from their own pain or humiliation.
If you’ve found yourself dating or sleeping with a masochist and feel comfortable and open to the idea of inflicting some pain into your bedroom sessions, let the expert guide you through your need-to-knows.
1. Discuss their desires
There’s no such thing as a healthy relationship without communication, so do make sure to communicate your innermost desires to your partner, the sex expert encourages.
Listen to what they want from the sexual experience, too – it’s likely taken them a fair bit of courage to try and communicate that they enjoy pain during sex, so entering into the discussion with an open mind is key.
2. Implement a safe word
After your talk, ask yourself this: are open to the idea of trying to implement a little pain during sexual intercourse? If the answer to that is yes, good for you – but do not try anything without implementing a safe word.
It’s common practice for lovers who indulge in regular BDSM acts to introduce such a word, shares Litwick. When spoken, it means any and all acts are immediately stopped. It’s put in place to make sure neither party are ever made to feel uncomfortable or out of their comfort zone. This is a pretty essential part of knowing how to please a masochist.
It can be a word unrelated to sex, such as “lamppost”, just as long as you both agree that your chosen safety word means everything must stop until the situation has been resolved, advises the expert.
3. Try some toys
How to please a masochist step three: the expert advises you have a play around with her pick of the best sex toys for BDSM.
The popularity of bondage toys has skyrocketed over the last couple of years, she explains. “Things like the use of a blindfold stops the wearer from seeing what is happening, and handcuffs prevent them from moving,” she goes on.
This sensory deprivation – which is of course one of the best and most important aspects of bondage – can be a little unsettling for newbies, but bring pleasure to those who are more advanced.
For masochists, taking your time and moving through the gears not only reassures the restrained partner but works as a wonderfully tantalising way to tease them to even greater excitement.
4. Get inventive with your positions
And finally, step four of how to please a masochist – once you know exactly what your partner likes, dislikes, and would like to try with you, try some of the below sex positions, advises Litwack.
A basic position in bondage is one in which the submissive lies on their back with arms and legs apart and with their limbs tied to the corners of the bed, explains the sex expert.
Why try it? “This position is great for those wanting to be penetrated as it allows for a pleasurable penetration”, she shares.
Up in Arms
This is the position you typically picture when you imagine sexy uses for handcuffs or restraints, she shares. Using one cuff on each wrist, the cuffs are used to tie both hands together.
Why try it? Because it’s versatile and a great beginner step. “They can be threaded through the headboard (if you have the right kind of bed) or something else, like the bannisters of a staircase, with the restrained partner lying on their back or stomach,” explains Litwack.
Up against the wall
Sometimes the sexual energy is too much to be confined to a bed, and that’s where this position comes in, she explains.
Why try it? Whether it’s against your bedroom wall or somewhere more exciting, letting your partner pick you up requires a great deal of trust as they support your body completely. Because it can get so energetic, it can also be quite tiring, so you can also be bent backwards over counters or a high table if extra help is needed, she advises.
Do note: this position puts you face to face for greater intimacy but can be tiring. If you wrap your legs securely around their hips, they’ll be able to pin your arms to the wall, but even using the wall for support will take a lot of energy, so is best for a passionate quickie or as a starting position.
Divide and Conquer
You already know that propping up your bottom during missionary positions allows for deeper access, but letting them pull you up into their lap puts you in a more vulnerable position, with most of your weight on your upper back and shoulders, explains Litwack.
Why try it? For the dom, you’ll be able to watch their every gasping reaction to your movements plus will be at an excellent eye level for intense dirty talk. As mentioned, this may take a bit more flexibility to keep your legs and arms spread, but they can also be moved over your shoulders if you need a break.
Remember here: the top priority should always be having fun, staying relaxed, going with the flow, and being respectful to your partner. Be prepared for the fact that everything might not go exactly according to plan – this will only increase your chances of a successful introduction to BDSM, adding an exciting edge to your sex life that will always keep your lover guessing.
How to please a masochist and safely try BDSM for the first time – sorted.