"My boyfriend says he wants to try S & M but I don't really know anything about it."
My boyfriend says he wants to try S & M. I don’t really know anything about it but what I do know, doesn’t thrill me at all. He says he wants to play games where I’m in charge or he is and we get to boss each other around. I’m usually up for most things but do you think this involves causing pain because I’m definitely not into that!
Being into S & M now is like being gay 25 years ago. Bondage (tie-up games) jumped the fence between kinky and commonplace some time ago, spanking is currently straddling it and S & M is pawing at the ground, poised to take a flying leap, but hasn’t landed yet. Back in 1980, being gay was accepted by the young and open-minded but still raising eyebrows and huffs and puffs in others. S & M is equally borderline: true devotees are still considered ‘weird’ and unsavoury by the great unwashed but a rising number of ‘normal’, contemporary couples are incorporating elements of it into their sex play.
S & M seem to go together like gin and tonic but the truth is, they’re two separate sexual practises. (I actually think what your boyfriend is talking about is power games and not S & M at all. But I’ll explain that first, then move onto your particular situation, because this is a topic that most people are confused about.) Sadism is inflicting pain on others in order to feel sexual pleasure, masochism is the need to feel pain in order to feel sexually aroused. That’s the true definition but S & M but it is also about power – playing dominant and submissive roles – and that’s where I think your boyfriend has got confused. Power games simply involve one of you gives up control and the other taking it. Which is a damn sight less scary than full blown S & M.
Ask your boyfriend if he means he wants to play a power game. If he does (and I’m betting I’m right here) and you decide you would like to give it a try, decide whether you want to have the power – or relinquish it. If you choose to be the ‘submissive’ person you’re released from all responsibility (great if you have to make all the decisions at work), get to be the centre of attention, desirable and alluring. The ‘dominant’ (the one that takes control) will stop at nothing to possess you. For this first attempt, keep it relatively simple and nothing too out there. If you’re the ‘submissive’ one, you might have to be obedient: give an erotic massage, perform a striptease, draw a bath for your ‘master’ and dry him off afterward.
If you choose to be the ‘dominant’, you call the shots. It’s up to you to set the scene, keep things going – calm them down or hype them up. You get to be selfish, cruel, superior (in short, a right bitch or bastard) without getting in trouble. It’s usually the most confident person who assumes this role, but if you’re not, give it a whirl. It can make you feel more confident in real life.
It goes without saying that you should only agree to this if you feel comfortable. But if he’s simply trying to make sex a little edgier, why not try a safe version of his fantasy and see how you like it?