Oct. 31, 2012 - Issue #889-Human Trafficking Problem
Fifty shades of comfortable
Spicing up the kinkiness takes more than just a paddle
In the wake of Fifty Shades of Grey, it's not uncommon for couples who have been together for a long time to experiment with a little kink or bondage play to try to spice up their sex lives. I've talked to lots of couples who have done this, but I seem to hear only two responses. Some couples say, 'Meh, it didn't really do anything for us.' And other couples say 'Oh my God, it was the most amazing experience we've ever had. It has completely changed our relationship.' Why would the same type of activity result in two completely different experiences? After attending a recent workshop by Midori—author, sex educator and rope bondage expert—I realized what it is. It's not about the handcuffs or the paddle or whatever it is you choose to use, it's about you and where you're willing to go with it.
Midori explained that, although we are very complex human beings with a huge range of interests and aspects to ourselves, in our daily lives there is only a small part of that range that we ever get a chance to express. We have jobs to go to, kids to care for and houses to clean. The parts of ourselves that pertain to those things are the ones that get the most air time. So in our sex lives, many of us in long-term relationships get used to a small range of expression that fits comfortably into our lives. We rarely explore anything outside of that.
If we allow ourselves to take one little part of our personality or our deepest desire that rarely gets a chance to express itself and just let it loose to play for a short time, the results can be amazing. We get a chance to break out of the everyday and indulge in something that we have always wanted to be, or secretly knew we were. Our partner gets to see that, to react to it, to love it and explore it. Then it becomes a secret knowledge that we can go back to and revel in whenever we want. We can allow ourselves to do that because it's contained within this particular time, place and situation. We don't have to worry about whether it's appropriate or who will find out, we can just be free and enjoy. This is what those couples who have the, 'Oh my God it was amazing,' experience tap into.
One of the women who had the, 'Oh my God,' experience didn't just buy a pair of handcuffs, cuff her partner to the bed and then look at them and say, 'Now what?' No, she saw those handcuffs and the fiercely dominant woman inside of her started getting some ideas. She knew that her partner loved it whenever she took a little control, so she went home and let that secret inner domme take over. She told her partner that she was going to rock their world and they'd better listen closely and behave or she would cuff them to the bed and make sure they behaved. It's no longer just a pair of handcuffs; it's taking intimacy to a whole new level.
It's not about bringing home some bondage tape, it's about bringing home a new attitude and willingness. The handcuffs or bondage tape are only the catalyst that lets you tap into another side of you or your partner. As Midori said, you only need three things in your play bag and you can't buy them at a store. They are your gaze, your voice and your touch. V
Brenda Kerber is a sexual health educator who has worked with local not-for-profits since 1995. She is the owner of the Edmonton-based, sex-positive adult toy boutique the Traveling Tickle Trunk.
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