Rough sex, group sex, taboo sex...the very notions may excite you. And you’re in good company. Of the 1,500 people polled in a recent Canadian study,* for instance, 52% of women and 46% of men said they fantasized about being tied up to obtain sexual pleasure. Group sex and being forced to have sex were other commonly reported fantasies.
“Care should be taken before labeling [a sexual fantasy] as unusual, let alone deviant,” the authors conclude. So now that you know you’re not alone or necessarily deviant, how do you make those juicy secret fantasies happen?
1. Find the right partner. You want an informed, consenting adult who’s as into your fantasy as you are. Consider discussing it with a current partner first—maybe they’ve secretly been dreaming of the same thing! (Never spring new activities on a partner without discussing it; you could cause real emotional and physical harm.)
Places to find consenting partners include online sites like FetLife and Collarspace.com; gatherings held by local BDSM educational societies, such as the Society of Janus, TES, and DomSubFriends; and even BDSM-focused conferences. Unethical types do show up in these places too, however, so research potential partners carefully—asking for references and trusting your instinct are good starting points.
2. Get educated. Learn how to act out your fantasy as safely as possible. Rope bondage, for example, comes with the risk of nerve damage. Attend classes on your fantasy topic; watch video tutorials on sites like Kink University, Kink Academy, and YouTube; and check out the educational groups mentioned above. Jay Wiseman’s book SM101: A Realistic Introduction is just one of many great written resources.
Do we need to note that it’s a terrible idea to drink or take drugs and engage in potentially risky activities? The injuries and even fatalities say yes. Make the smart choice.
3. Learn the laws. Sodomy is still illegal in 12 U.S. states. Public sex and other acts could get you arrested too. And, as if that weren’t enough, “BDSM activity, even where clearly consensual, can be and frequently is prosecuted under state laws dealing with assault,” says the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. Know what’s illegal in your area so you can make informed decisions. But maybe more important, use your head. Don’t play out a pretend rape or an abduction fantasy where a bystander might think it’s real, for instance.
4. Negotiate everything ahead of time. You don’t want to be in the middle of fantasy sex play wishing you had gotten prior consent for, say, face slapping. And you don’t want to hit a mental or physical trigger so that one of you ends up sobbing hysterically instead of screaming orgasmically. Go over limits and desires together ahead of time; you can find long and short negotiation forms here. It’s not recommended to renegotiate in the middle of play, because chemical, emotional, and situational factors can affect judgment.
Also be sure to discuss safewords, which are words you can use to slow a play session down or stop it completely. You can use regular talk, but it’s pretty obvious that “no” and “stop” can be confusing in certain scenes, like one based on a forced-sex fantasy.
5. Get into it! Put together an outfit that fits the part. (Thrift stores are great for cheap clothes you won’t mind tearing off.) Listen to music that puts you in the right headspace. Practice phrases that will keep you in your role but still allow you to communicate with your partner as needed. Consider trying out sex toys, like vibrators and dildos. JT’s Stockroom has every sex toy you can imagine and more.
Give your everyday self a vacation and embrace your role—part of the fun is trying on that naughty, raunchy, or ruthless personality, right? Just because you’re letting yourself temporarily act like, say, a cheap whore or a ravager doesn’t mean you’re not the same good person who has a respectable job, reads bedtime stories to your kids, or volunteers at bake sales. You can have it both ways—I’m living proof.
6. Check in with your partner and yourself throughout play. Fantasy sex stuff can get really intense. Sometimes even what you’ve negotiated ends up not feeling right. No matter which role you’re playing, check in regularly to make sure you and your partner are into what you’re doing. Are you wantonly loving it, or is it leaving you wanting? Does your partner look hot or just bothered? Have either of you “checked out”? Both of you have the right to change your mind at any time if it doesn’t feel right.
Also, especially if you’re less experienced, things can veer into unexpected territory or just plain go wrong. Give yourself permission to go off script, to stop and start again, or call it quits. If everyone is uninjured, you can always try again later.
7. Give and get good aftercare. Transitioning back to the everyday world after intense play can be downright disorienting. If you took on a violent fantasy role, you may need reassurance that you’re still a good person, for instance. Whatever it takes for you both to feel valued, centered, and reconnected is worth including in aftercare. Maybe it’s snuggling or backrubs all around; maybe it’s one of you sleeping in a cage at the other person’s feet. There’s no right or wrong here, and the amount and length of aftercare needed vary from person to person and scene to scene. Honor your needs.
Also know that feelings don’t follow a schedule; something may come up for you days or even weeks later. Check-ins at a future date can help alleviate any weird feelings that may arise. (One common feeling is sub drop/top drop. Learn about it during your get-educated efforts.)
We don’t need science to tell us that fulfilling sex lives make for happier people. But isn’t it nice that research has proven how common sexual fantasies are, and that the education exists to help us make them happen as safely as possible?
Evie Vane is the author of Better Bondage for Every Body and The Little Guide to Getting Tied Up; has presented on rope bottoming at Bond Con, TES, and San Francisco State University; and is a regular guest on Kink.com’s The Upper Floor. For more info, visit Real Life 50 Shades of Grey and RopeBottoming.com.
*”What Exactly Is an Unusual Sexual Fantasy?” by Christian C. Joyal, PhD; Amélie Cossette, BSc; and Vanessa Lapierre, BSc; The Journal of Sexual Medicine, October 2014