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With the rise in popularity of BDSM and all things kink, there are also a lot of misconceptions going around. Unfortunately, some of the recent movies about BDSM (not naming names *cough*) miss the mark on the cornerstone principles of BDSM for most kinksters.

The principles of BDSM can be extremely beneficial for even the most vanilla couple – even if you’re not ready to implement any of the kinky aspects.

Today we are going to open pandora’s box and let all the kink out, and explore how you can make BDSM work for you.


First things first, consent is extremely important in any relationship, regardless of the type of sex life you’d like to have. While some people worry conversation around consent might kill the mood, it can actually be very erotic. Sexual and romantic preferences often change over time – and can even fluctuate with our hormones – so it’s good to regularly check in with your sexual partners (and yourself).

BDSM encourages regular, open dialogue around sexual preferences, creating a safe container for communicating. Plus, this practice enhances intimacy and increases sexual satisfaction. Have you ever wished your partner let you have more time on top? Maybe have sex in your car, or try a butt plug? Well communication is often lubrication, so get talking before you get down! If your partner is curious about something that you aren’t interested in, it’s perfectly fine to tell them so. Regardless of kink, boundaries are an extremely important part of any healthy relationship.

For the kink curious: try writing down a list of your sexual preferences, desires, and boundaries. Then, rank them from 1-5 – 1 being ‘curious to try’ and 5 being ‘want everyday!’ Have your partner do the same, and see how you match up. Is there something new you’ve both been wanting to try? Dip your toes in together. Try lighting a few candles to set the mood, and surprise your partner by dripping some DONA massage candle all over them!

If you’re not that interested in incorporating BDSM in your relationship, even just showing your partner how they could best pleasure you is a wonderful gift to you both. It’s completely fine if your preferences and desires change day to day, just keep communicating them to your partner.


One of the main challenges many couples face is meeting or missing each others expectations. With BDSM, there are no more hidden meanings, confusing glances, and subtle hints. The expectations are clearly laid out.

Once each person has made their list of desires, preferences, and boundaries, they can compare them together, and look for the compatibilities. Once you can communicate in a clear and loving way about what you’d like out of your sexual relationship, you can work on what would be reasonable expectations for each other.

For the lovely vanilla readers, try talking openly with your partner about your sexual expectations, and see where you may have been missing some puzzle pieces. For the more sexually adventurous readers, why not try making a BDSM contract together? You can make a formal statement of your expectations from your partner, and even sign it Master/slave, or Owner/pet, or any other identifier you can dream up.

If you’re anything like me, you might not even get to the end before you’re jumping into bed! If you’re curious about Bondage, but not sure where to start, try the Under The Bed Restraint System from Sportsheets to experiment with some restriction play, without needing your boy scouts knot badge!


Now that you have done all your theoretical work, it’s time to get into the delicious hands-on portion of your BDSM education. Spend some time tonight exploring each others fantasies and desires.

Continual sexual exploration within a relationship can keep the flame of passion burning for many years to come (or cum), and having a safe place to explore your sexual desires, regardless of how kinky they are, is a beautiful experience. Try blindfolding your partner and let your hands roam wildly.


One of the most important, and sadly often overlooked aspects of BDSM, is aftercare. Aftercare is the process of soothing, nurturing, and loving your partner after an intimate session. This should be specific to the individuals involved, and may involve stroking and cuddling, snacks and fuzzy blankets, and conversation to process the experience.

Even if you’re not unchaining your lover from the wall and putting your whips away, having the opportunity to debrief after a sexual encounter can increase intimacy and raise oxytocin, the “love and bonding” hormone. For both vanilla and kinky readers, devote some extra time to your sexual aftercare this week. You can thank me later.

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The principles of BDSM aim to keep sexual encounters safe, sane, and consensual, but they can also deeply enrich any sexual relationship, regardless of how much kink your actually incorporate into your sex life. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how kinky or not your sex life is, as long as you are loving it!