When you start a new relationship with someone, you’re opening yourself up in a big way.
One of the reasons why sex is so intimate is because it makes you vulnerable– you share something very intrinsic and sometimes a little scary about yourself with your partner. And that something is something that, really, makes you happy. And is potentially very embarrassing.
1. Know what your partner is comfortable with.
If they have been a victim of sexual assault, sometimes BDSM can be uncomfortable or triggering. If you sense even suggesting it may make them uncomfortable, it’s best to wait until you have a better idea.
2. Find an easy way to open the conversation.
If you see a threesome in a movie you’re watching together, say something like, “That was really hot. What did you think?” Or even just, “What did you think about the characters having a threesome?” On the chance that your partner is extremely uncomfortable discussing that as a possibility, you can always play it off like you were interested in what the threesome added to the plot.
You can even use a private social media profile to share your fantasies, like using a tumblr blog!
3. Be open to, “No.”
Could be that something you’re interested in is just uncomfortable for your partner. Let them know that it’s perfectly alright for them to say no– remember, sex is about pleasure and intimacy for both parties. If something is going to detract from that, whatever it may be, it’s not worth destroying your relationship over.
4. Try this awesome app by Mojo.
You each take the same test about what you’re interested in in the bedroom (the Advanced version deals with kinks, like BDSM, fetishes, and even water sports) in private. Then, the test compares your answers and only lets you know the ones that you have in common. So you don’t have to be afraid of the fact that you said you were interested in something and fear having them react negatively.
5. Everyone interprets things differently.
While you may think of BDSM as an intensely intimate exchange of power, your partner may see it only as latex clothing, whips and chains. Instead of using the sort of labels you’d see on an adult site, describe exactly what you’d like to happen: “I want you to tie me up with rope and tease me with temperature play before we go all the way,” is very different from, “I want you to hit me with a wooden paddle and make me call you, ‘master,’” but both are forms of submission.
6. Sometimes fantasies are different from actualities.
It could be that you don’t want to even act on your fantasy, but it may be telling about what you need or want in your relationship, so they’re still worth exploring. So if you find that your partner likes watching adult films that involve orgies or more than one partner, it may not mean that they want to share your intimate time with other folks, just that it’s what they like to see (so many hands!).
7. Don’t just whip it out.
If you decide to do something during sex that is potentially controversial and you haven’t previously discussed with your partner, you could be risking a lot more than your relationship. You could physically hurt them, or even trigger something related to a past experience that makes them emotionally uncomfortable. Not the best mental place to be for sex, is it?
8. Communication is key.
Sometimes, there are things we need to keep to ourselves. Sometimes, there are things that are easy to tell our partners. Sometimes there are things that we need to have good, long talks about. Don’t be afraid to tell your partner what you want them to do with you (or what you want to do with them!) and figure out the best way to communicate it with them.
And when your partner shares something with you?
Remember to be kind. No matter how weird it may seem to you, this is something they genuinely enjoy, and opening up about it to you takes a lot of courage. Unless it’s something that could be potentially relationship ending due to how uncomfortable it is for you (everyone has their limits), give it a shot. You never know what you may enjoy– and for many people, just seeing the pleasure of their partner is a HUGE turn-on.