This is a question that I get asked a lot – possibly more than any other. Whether it comes from a submissive type frustrated that their partner won’t take control, or a dominant type worried that their partner won’t be into it, there are clearly a great many relationships in which one partner has no idea how to share the truth about their perverse desires with their significant other.
And I get it – opening up further to someone you’re already intimate with can be a scary thing. Especially when you’re not sure if your innermost desires are going to be met with a wry smile or a look of disgust. Submissive peeps in particular often find it hard to ask for what they want without feeling as though they’re taking control.
That said, there are things you can do to make the process a little easier. That’s what this guide is all about. More than others in this series though, this how to is somewhat nebulous. When it comes to slapping your partner in the face there are right ways and wrong ways. Here… there’s just ways. It’s up to you to pick the one that’s right for you and your partner.
One thing before we begin – you have to accept the fact that your partner might just not be into it. Whether that IT is your foot fetish, rough sex or your favourite role play scenario – some people are as vanilla as a seed pod. They don’t want to get involved, and if that’s the case you have no right to push them into it, even if they are your long-term partner.
Take a moment to think about how things might go if your partner isn’t interested. Is kink essential to you? Can you live without it in your life, or will that be a recipe for unhappiness further down the line? Might they be open to some limited play, or to the idea of you playing with others? Is this a slight difference in preferences, or a deeper sexual incompatibility? Tough questions, sure, but they’re ones that you really do have to answer.
Approaches To Corrupting Your Partner…
Talk Out Hypothetical Scenarios
Fantasies are a lot easier to discuss when they’re hypothetical. If you’ve never talked to your partner about kink before, this can be a great way to start. Pick one of your favourite obscure sexual practices and tell your partner that a friend at work was talking about it, or that you read an article online about it, or that you saw a reference to it in a film. It doesn’t matter what origin story you give it – the point is to shift it away from you and your desires so that it’s safe and easy to actually talk about.
Gauge their response. If it’s positive, then it should be easy enough to push the conversation towards the idea of maybe trying it out sometime. Hurrah! If they’re lukewarm, suggest why you think it would be fun, and hint that you’re curious. If they’re vehemently disgusted… well, let it drop, and try again another time, perhaps with something a little more tame.
Explore Outside Of The Bedroom
There are plenty of ways to explore and expand your mutual interests outside of the bedroom/dungeon/kitchen if that’s where you like to do it. You can read erotica together and talk about the bits that you found enjoyable. You can shop online for sex toys, or pretend that it’s the 1990s and go to an actual sex shop. You can watch porn together, or (if porn’s a little rich for your tastes) check out a documentary about unconventional sex – Channel Four is overflowing with them. All of these are ways into talking about kink that don’t involve you just coming out and saying you like to do it while wearing a bunny suit.
Actually Explain Things
Vanilla people don’t understand kink. Of course they don’t. Their reference materials are Fifty Shades Of Grey, some unsubstantiated rumours about adult babies, and the vague inclination that some people like to be spanked. You can help ease their transition into being a kinky freak by actually explaining away some common misconceptions. Let them know that people do actually enjoy pain sometimes, that love and kink aren’t mutually exclusive, that they don’t have to be a capital-D Dom in order to dominate you, and that gimp suits really, really aren’t mandatory.
Don’t Push Them In The Deep End
The fetish scene can be an odd and scary place. If you want your partner to come away with a favourable impression of it, don’t just tell them to join FetLife and leave them to it. Don’t show them your stash of hardcore bondage porn. Consider what is going to look the least scary and the least unfamiliar to them. Begin with that. It’s the difference between breaking out a blindfold and breaking out a realistic rubber dildo gag.
Ask Your Partner To Do Something Specific And Small
Maybe you want your partner to take control in bed – but that’s a pretty wide remit. They likely have no idea what will go down well and what won’t. You can help them out immensely by asking for something specific and not too complicated. Ask them to hold you down, to pull your hair or to put their hand on your neck. You may not want to ask for every little thing, but it’s helpful to do so at the start to get your partner into the right headspace, and show them the kind of thing you enjoy.
Demonstrate That You Enjoy It
When your partner does do something you like, make sure they know you like it. It can be confusing for them, especially if the thing that you like makes you squeal in pain. Affirm for them that you enjoy it, that it’s pleasurable for you, that you want more of it. Without this confirmation, how are they supposed to tell the difference between good pain and bad pain? For a lot of people this really is essential to their enjoyment of BDSM. And it applies even if your partner is submitting to you. Tell them what you enjoyed, and what responses of theirs particularly turned you on. It may be obvious to you, but until you actually put it into words for them they likely have no idea.
Write A Journal For Your Partner To Read
Writing things down can sometimes be easier than saying them out loud – and a journal is a good way of saying things to your partner that’s a little less direct that just announcing it to their face. After experimenting or playing make a record of your thoughts and feelings. Focus on the positives – the things you enjoyed and want to do more of. Explain how they made you feel, and emphasise that you liked them. Let your partner read your journal. A glimpse at the inner workings of your brain can really help to ease confusion and get them on board with the things you desire.
Deal With Mistakes Appropriately
Mistakes happen. That’s a standard part of life. If you’re trying to introduce your partner to kink, be mindful of how you react to mistakes. Don’t be too shy to bring it up if they hit you in a sensitive spot or get hot wax in your hair – but be sensitive about how you frame your feedback. Often negative feedback is better received if it’s given hours or days after the event, and backed up with some reasoning. You might, for example, say something along the lines of, “I really loved what you did with that avocado, but the marks it left of my neck were a bit obvious. Next time let’s try it on my back.” Isn’t that better than, “Ugh. Look what you did to my neck”?
Try Some Basic Things First
Like it or not, there are some practices that are more generally well-received than others. For an indicator of what’s basically mainstream, check the contents of the (utterly cringeworthy) Fifty Shades Of Grey Beginner’s Bondage set: some toy cuffs, a flogger, a blindfold, and a ping-pong ball gag. These items are at least a little familiar. Few people are so vanilla that they’ll find a blindfold completely appalling. Even if your interests lie elsewhere, start with something along these lines and work your way patiently up.
A Final Caveat
If you’re reading this guide, then you’re likely more experienced in kink than the partner you’re hoping to corrupt. As such, it’s up to you to make sure that you play safe to start with. Have in mind the things you need to discuss before actually doing anything. Take safety precautions. Have rules and stick to them. If your partner is at all unsure about being corrupted, then a bad first experience isn’t likely to help.