Never Fear: BDSM

BY RACHEL RICHARDS '17 

I think I’m into bondage, but I don’t really know where to start exploring my potential kink. My partner is supportive but we don’t know where to start. The thought of handcuffs just makes me nervous giggle! Help!

It’s important to laugh! If you’re comfortable, let sex be funny. It is fun and sometimes passionate, emotional, and exciting. But this does not mean it always has be serious. In fact, I’d say it should be both fun and funny. There are a lot of weird sounds and strange choreography. So if you want to giggle, then giggle.

I think you should start with a ‘wish list’. It’s a list both you and your partner are going to make of things you want to do, things you do not want to do, and things you would consider doing. If you need help thinking of things to put on the list there are pre-made lists online. Would you want to be tied up? Would you want to do the tying? How much of you? How tied up? Hands? Legs? Toes? Torso? If you don’t know, do some research about options and maybe some how- to’s.

These lists are best to compose separately and then compare and contrast together afterward. What did you both say yes to? What did you separately say no to? Where are your maybes and what conversations do you want to have about those?

Then start slow — do you want to start with hand cuffs? Personally, I’d start with rope. It’s inexpensive and versatile. There are a lot of different types of rope that you can use, and all of them can be purchased at a hardware store inexpensively. I am going to suggest cotton rope. It is soft and cheap, and the knots stay well — unlike something soft and slippery like synthetics. The problem is that sometimes the knots stay too well, and can be difficult to untie. My understanding is that hardware store rope is no different than rope marked up and marketed to those who want to use it for sex.

The diameter of your rope is important. Anything too thin will dig into you in a dangerous way. Buy at least 5 millimeter diameter — 5 to 6 mm is the best size. When using rope, always have EMT scissors with you. If something were to go wrong, you need to be able to cut the rope fast.

If you want to try handcuffs, they are a little more straightforward. Most sex toy shops will offer you a variety and you can choose how pink and how fluffy you want them. There are also more expensive and dedicated cuffs available. They usually have leather bands that snap or buckle closed. There are D rings or clips attached to them that allow them to be clipped to each other, or to anything. Those tend to have a steeper price range, but come in a wide variety. My favorite store in Provincetown sells handmade leather ones that are crafted onsite, but they can run $45 and up for a set.

Make sure you have a safe word when you are participating in BDSM of any kind!

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