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How to Bring Up BDSM to Your Partner

Some people know that they’re kinky from the minute they get their first stirrings of sexual arousal; even as teenagers, the very sight of a piece of rope brings them out in a cold sweat, and their porn search history reads like something that might be read out in court.

Some of us, however, come to kink later in life. Some of us discover our kinky sides when we’re in our twenties, thirties or forties – and often when we’re already in committed relationships.

But if you’ve just uncovered your filthy side, how can you bring it up with your partner in a way that won’t cause upset and will allow you to both move forward together?

The first thing to remember is that your partner might just not share your interest in BDSM. While your conversations should be honest, respectful and open, you should never attempt to coerce another into behaviour that they don’t want to enter into. Talking about experimentation is fine; bribing or forcing is not.

With that in mind, try to create a non-threatening environment in which to talk to your partner. A meal for just the two of you, perhaps, or while you’re enjoying a glass of wine in your favourite bar. Maybe the best place to talk about it for you will be in bed, or cuddling on the sofa one night – whatever you choose, make sure it’s a comfortable environment for both of you.

Next, make sure you choose your words carefully. “Honey, I really want to give anal fisting a go” might not be the best way to introduce the idea to your spouse. Instead, explain that though you love, want and respect your partner, you’ve felt some new desires lately and you want to explore them with him or her. Be aware that this might seem at first like you’re unfulfilled, and reassure them that this isn’t the case.

Be honest, but tactful – and if your partner begins to react badly, let the conversation steer itself towards more positive discussions and make a note to talk about it at a later date. The idea of kink can be a shock to some people, even if they’re naturally curious and outgoing, so be understanding and kind, and know when to let things lie.

Some people find that merely planting the seed of curiosity in their partner is enough; if you allude to a desire for rougher play, you might find that your wife surprises you buy purchasing a paddle or a whip, or that your boyfriend shows up one day with handcuffs and some lube. If so – fantastic! Let the exploration begin!

If not, then revisit the conversation later on, and gauge how the situation is progressing. Most couples can find a level of kink play that they are both interested in, and though this might not be entirely satisfactory at first, keep in mind that kink is a journey, and your partner’s may just progress more slowly than yours.

For some, though, kinky play just isn’t attractive – and if this is your partner’s position, you have to be respectful of this. You might decide, together, than you can explore your kinky side outside of the primary relationship, in which case that’s a whole different conversation with a lot more diplomacy needed. You might decide that you can express your kinky side in non-sexual ways, like being a non-sexual “servant” for others. Or you might decide BDSM is something that you really do need in your life – in which case, you might have to weigh up your options.

Whatever the outcome, enter the conversation with understanding and respect – and remember, the first steps are always the toughest!

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