Interested in exploring your kinky side? Learn about BDSM, role playing & bondage toys from Dr. Jenni Skyler.

Chapter 11: An Expert Guide to Kinky Sex

Chapter 11: An Expert Guide to Kinky Sex

Ever since Fifty Shades of Grey ignited bookstores and bedrooms, there has been a huge surge in couples wanting to explore kinky sex. What is it? Why do it? How can we make the most of it? This chapter answers all these questions.

kinky sex

The term “kinky” refers to acts that bend away from the straight and narrow path. So sexually speaking, “kinky” refers to less traditional sexual acts, often known as BDSM. BDSM is an acronym for Bondage, Discipline, Submission, Masochism. It can include rope or handcuff bondage, blindfolding, role play, power play, temperature play, fetish play, spanking, and more.

For those unfamiliar with BDSM, it can feel a little overwhelming or scary. This may be because it involves experimenting with sensation, pain and/or power. When it comes to sensation and pain, we have to remember that arousal in the human being exists on a pleasure-pain continuum. Sometimes, it is through the portal of pain and release of subsequent endorphins that pleasure can be experienced. It's similar to that endorphin high you get after exercising hard. This is why so many couples thoroughly enjoy pushing the edges of sensation and/or pain.

Power play, on the other hand, can be very psychologically sexy. Don't forget that the mightiest sex organ is between the ears – aka the brain. Role play and/or exploring submissive and dominant dynamics in (and out of) the bedroom can give an erotic boost to the couple.

As long as you play safely, and we will cover how, there’s nothing wrong with following the beat of a different drummer—especially when it can expand your sexual edges to spice up your erotic connection.

Getting Started: Boundaries, Safe Words & Sobriety

Boundaries, Safe Words & Sobriety

Before experimenting with any type of BDSM, it’s very important to discuss the ground rules with your partner. The kink community utilizes the concept of “safe, safe, consensual” to emphasize that both partners are safely signing up to engage together. There is certainly risk if you play hard, and there even may be hurt, but there is no “harm.” To see what your interests, edges, and boundaries are, it's good to talk in depth about which activities or scenes you'd like to experiment with. I’ve developed a special quiz that you and your lover can take together to help jumpstart this conversation. Check out the kinky sex resource here.

Just as important, however, is establishing limits on what you want to try. For example, your partner might want to try spanking. But there’s a lot involved with that decision. Are they okay with getting their feet or thighs spanked, as well as their butt? Do they want you to do it bare-handed, with a paddle, with a riding crop, or with a flogger? How hard do they want to be spanked?

You can’t foresee every possible situation. And there are always a few things that sound fun in theory but turn out not to be once you actually try them. Situations like those are what safe words are for.

If you’re not familiar with the term, safe words are a single word or short phrase that you or your lover can use during sex when you need to stop. You might be wondering why you need a special word when you can just say “no” or “stop.” Well, sometimes saying “no” or “stop” is part of the kinky sex experience. For example, your partner could be tied up in bed begging you to release them. In reality though, the last thing they want is for you to untie them. Begging to be let go is part of their bondage fantasy. A safe word is useful in cases like that, so both you and your lover know when playtime ceases to be fantasy, and we actually may need to stop.

Safe word

When deciding on a safe word or phrase, it’s important to agree on something memorable and off-the-wall, so it stands out no matter what you’re doing. In the past, I’ve had couples pick words like “banana,” “pineapple,” or even “Hawaii.”

Though a single safe word is typically enough for seasoned kinksters, I suggest beginners use a back-up color system. Think about three colors used in stoplights. Yellow means caution—slow down whatever you’re doing and check in with your partner. Red means stop. This is a good time to check in as well. Green means it’s safe to resume play. The stoplight system is a much more versatile approach that’s better suited for handling the myriad of emotions and feelings you can experience during kinky sex. Be prepared for a lot of “yellow” situations whenever you try something new as you and your lover figure out what does and doesn’t work.

Lastly, stay sober. It can be seductive to drink or do drugs before or during sex. Many couples who engage in vanilla sex do this because the altered state of mind creates a sense of floating pleasure, and it can take away inhibitions one might otherwise have. But don't forget that the sense of floating will naturally come from the endorphin high created from the kinky play. If you are intoxicated, you might push past boundaries without realizing it and cause harm to yourself or your partner. Being cognizant and aware is essential to ensuring safety.

The Best of Bondage: Tips on Getting Tied Up

Tips on Getting Tied Up

When most people hear the term kinky sex, bondage is often the first thing that pops into their mind. Did you know that Dr. Justin Lehmiller, the foremost researcher on sexual fantasy, has found that bondage is the second most popular fantasy among all Americans?!

To understand this popularity, it's important to think about how we can go from scary to sexy. It can feel scary to think about being tied up for real. But when we fantasize about it, or play it out in a mutually consensual manner, we gain mastery over our fear. Playing with this edge is what makes bondage so exciting to so many people.

Bondage, whether with ropes, handcuffs, or other means, is all about control and power. The person getting tied up (the bottom) surrenders their power to the person restraining them (the top). This leaves the top completely in control, with the bottom at their mercy.

At least that’s the illusion! If you’ve followed my advice about setting boundaries and safe words, then you know that the bottom can exercise just as much power as the top. It’s a different form of power to control the scene if it needs to be slowed down or stop.

Bondage typically centers around physical restraints. Some couples like using things they have around the house, such as an old shirt or necktie. I strongly recommend against doing this. Both of those items can become uncomfortably tight as the bottom wiggles and squirms. They can also be hard to untie as well, which can make them dangerous. Instead, I tell all my clients to use specialized bondage restraints. These restraints are much safer and more effective, which makes them more fun for both you and your partner.

Scarlet Couture Bound to Surrender Cuffs

Bondage beginners should start with a simple pair of restraints like the Bound To Surrender Cuffs. These faux leather handcuffs feature a safe Velcro closure, so they’re easy to slip on and off. They’re also lightly padded for a more comfortable fit that won’t leave any marks behind. You can use the handcuffs to restrain your partner’s hands behind their back to limit their ability to move. Or you can attach one cuff to a heavy object like a bedpost, while using the other on their wrist.

Under the Bed Restraint System

If you really need to tie someone down, then the Under The Bed Restraint System is the way to go. The set fits underneath your mattress – even king-sized ones. It comes with two pairs of restraints, one pair for the wrists and another pair for the ankles. This lets you tie your lover in a spread-eagle position across the bed and a variety of other bondage positions depending on your imagination. When you’re done, you can simply tuck the restraints under the mattress where no one can see them… until your next bondage adventure! Adam & Eve has sold over 125,000 of these – making it one of their most popular bondage toys. It’s also one of the highest-rated items on their site with an average customer review of 4.7 out of 5 stars. In other words, this bondage toy is definitely worth trying out!

If you and your lover are comfortable with bondage, nothing says kinky sex like a pair of metal handcuffs. I really like the Fetish Fantasy Cuffs because they come with a built-in safety release just in case you lose the keys!

Mastering & Surrendering to Spanking

Spanking

Spanking, for many couples, is a key element of kinky sex. You can use spanking during foreplay to help set the mood, or during role-play as part of the fantasy. Certain sex positions like doggy and cowgirl/cowboy provide the top partner with easy access to the buttocks for playful smacking. The sharp sting at just the right moment can be all it takes to send the bottom over the edge into an orgasm. Even if it doesn’t elicit orgasm, spanking connects us to our carnal side.

Erotic spanking, also known as consensual impact play, involves one person using their hand or toy to slap the other person’s buttocks, thighs, or other soft, fleshy area. This causes the body to release pain-killing endorphins and increases blood flow to that area for increased stimulation and sensations.

As you can imagine, spanking can vary greatly. Some people prefer a light, playful tap. Others like a strong swat that turns their cheeks red and makes it hard to sit down. And lots of people don’t like spanking at all. It’s important to find out what your partner likes before trying spanking. After talking it over, you should take a few “test spanks” on a fleshy area of the body such as the upper thighs. This gives you a much better idea for what your partner wants.

fur Lined Paddle spanking toy

The Fur Lined Paddle is a must-have for spanking beginners. One side features soft, sensual fur, while the other is faux leather. The fur acts like a gentle cushion for playful taps. The leather side delivers a much firmer swat to lay down the law. Try alternating between the two sides to keep your partner clenching the sheets as they beg for another!

Scarlet Couture Beat Me Please Flogger

The Beat Me Please Flogger is my choice for more advanced spankers. Part of Adam & Eve’s Scarlet Couture collection, the faux leather flogger features a stylish black & red checkered design. Multiple strips deliver stimulating stings with every flick of the wrist, for better spanking coverage.

ve’s Fetish Dreams Beginner Bondage Set

If you’d prefer something with more kinky options, then give Eve’s Fetish Dreams Beginner Bondage Set a try! This 5-piece kit comes with a terrific faux leather paddle that delivers a satisfying smack and tingling sting – at least that’s what my source at Adam & Eve says. The kit comes with two pairs of matching cuffs so you can restrain your lover while administering their spanking!

Lastly, spanking can involve a psychological sexiness involving dominance and submission. When we try to control numerous aspects of our lives, surrendering control can feel scary. But in a consensual and safe setting, that very edge creates an erotic energy. The same is true in reverse. When we feel powerless in numerous places of our lives, having full control and dominance can be sexy and thrilling.

Sensory Play Part 1: Blindfolds

The B for bondage in BDSM may “dominate” kinky sex. Sensory play, however, is a vastly underappreciated alternative. Sensory play can amplify and enhance sexual stimulation to make everything you do feel much hotter and more intense. With a little practice, you can use it to play your lover’s body like a fine violin.

As the name suggests, sensory play involves any sexual activity focusing on one of the senses—sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Focusing on one or more of the human senses highlights the sensuality of sex. It's also one of the most accessible and easiest to use forms of kinky sex.

For beginners to sensory play, I suggest using a basic blindfold. It’s one of my favorite sex toys because it’s so simple to use, and yet incredibly versatile at the same time. Blindfolds have two key sexual functions. The first function is that it removes sight, thus enhancing the elements of mystery and surprise. The second function is an adjunct of the first. By removing one of our key senses, we focus on the others available to us, like sound, smell, taste, and touch.

Sight is something that so many of us take for granted. Yet, suddenly losing it can feel simultaneously surprising, and exciting. Removing your lover’s ability to see means they can’t anticipate what you’re about to do. They have no clue whether you’re going to kiss their nipples, lick their thighs, or spank them until you do it. It’s a great way to keep them guessing as their imagination runs wild trying to figure out what happens next!

Blindfolds also help your lover concentrate on their other senses. They can experience any music you might be playing on a visceral level as the beat stirs something in their soul. If you’re using scented candles, incense, or cologne/perfume, the aroma can enhance their passion. And – most importantly – blindfolds can make the slightest touch positively electrifying. You can only imagine how good touching a sensitive erogenous zone like the clit or tip of the penis can feel!

Lastly, being blindfolded means you have to trust and rely on your lover. Dropping into this submissive role allows you to fully surrender to the sensation you are feeling, making the whole experience more erotic and intense.

Scarlet Couture Obey Me Blindfold

Many couples use a variety of household objects as blindfolds, especially neckties and scarves. However, I strongly recommend using one made expressly for sexual play. Most of these sex blindfolds are lightly padded with a soft inner lining for a more comfortable fit, especially when worn for longer periods of time. They also have elastic straps to help hold them securely in place while making them easy to remove afterwards. The Adam & Eve Scarlet Couture Obey Me Blindfold is made from faux leather, which gives it an edgy look that’s perfect for kinky sex.

ve’s Fetish Dreams Intermediate Bondage Set

If you prefer something with more kinky options, then give Eve’s Fetish Dreams Intermediate Bondage Set a try! This kinky 6-piece kit comes with a nice blindfold plus two pairs of restraints, a paddle, and more. The blindfold is made from faux leather with a special diamond stitching for a sexy touch.

Sensory Play Part 2: Temperature Play

Temperature Play

Temperature play involves titillating your lover with hot and cold. I admit – it may not sound very thrilling until you try it. Yet, just think how soothing a hot towel feels around your neck after getting your hair washed at the stylist or barber. Or how you feel jumping into a cold body of water after getting super-hot on the shore.

Temperature play, especially with a surprise element, shocks our nervous system into alert mode. Alert mode when we don't feel safe can shut down arousal. But alert mode when we do feel safe can elevate an already excited state. This is why temperature play can be super fun and arousing!

To easily experiment with temperature play at home, you only need two small bowls. Fill one with warm water, and the other with a little cool water and some ice cubes. Drizzle a few drops of water all over your lover, alternating between warm and cool to tease them. You could dip a small towel in the warm water and use it to sensually wash your lover. Or you could use the ice cubes directly on their body. Ice cubes are quite exhilarating for both clit and nipple play!

If your lover really enjoys the towel or ice cubes, you can up your game and use a glass sex toy. Because glass naturally retains temperature, it can stay warm or cool longer than other materials. It’s also super easy to use. For hot temps, run some hot water over the glass dildo. For cold temps, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes. Always test it on the back of your hand to make sure it’s not too hot or too cold. Then let the fun begin!

A warm sex toy can feel extremely soothing and relaxing. The warmth can make realistic dildos feel even more lifelike. A cool sex toy, on the other hand, can leave your lover shivering in all the right spots. It offers a sexy shock that can give anyone goosebumps for added sensitivity.

Twisted Love Glass Dildo

The Twisted Love Glass Dildo is the perfect candidate for temperature play. Colorful blue stripes running down the shaft make it look less like a sex toy and more like a piece of art. What I really like about this dildo is its double-ended design. One end features a longer shaft that’s perfect for vaginal stimulation. The other end is shaped like an anal plug for backdoor play. The stripes add texture for extra stimulation. It’s a true couple’s sex toy that you and your lover can share!

If you want to take temperature play to the next level, you can explore the fine line between pleasure and pain with more extreme temps. Before taking this step, it’s extremely important to talk about it with your lover. Take the time to carefully explain what you’d like to try, how you plan to do it, and what it might feel like. Show any toy you plan on using to your lover and let them try it on a non-sexual part of their body, like a finger. Finally, make sure you’ve got a safe word or phrase in place just in case things don’t work out like you planned

Sensory Play Part 3: Teasing from Neck to Nipples

The skin is our largest sex organ. There is so much surface area to explore, especially when we all have different preferences on different body parts. One person's neck may want to be tickled with a feather, while another may want to have their lover bite them until bruised. Someone may want to have their nipples nibbled, while another wants nipple clamps. Don't know what you want? Explore gently and slowly on less sensitive places like arms and legs. Then if you are up for it, try a fun pair of nipple clamps.

The First Time Fetish Nipple Teasers are perfect for beginners. These clamps are fully adjustable so you can control just how tightly they squeeze. Soft rubber tips keep the metal clamps from biting into your skin. A weighty metal chain creates a gentle pulling sensation for extra stimulation, while adding a kinky flair as well.

Eve’s Naughty Nipple Clamps

The Eve’s Naughty Nipple Clamps are shaped like a hair pin, which offers a gentler squeeze compared to more traditional clamps. This design also works better for anyone with larger than average nipples. A small slider moves up and down the pin, allowing you to adjust just how tightly they squeeze. These clamps also feature rubber tips for comfort and metal beads for a stimulating tugging sensation.

Nipple clamps not for you? Try out a soft feather instead. The Fifty Shades of Grey Tease Feather Tickler offers a much gentler and more playful sensation, making it ideal for anyone with more sensitive bits. It offers just the right tickle in just the right places.

Going Deeper with Domination & Submission

power play

Role-play is at the center of the dominant-submissive dynamic. That said, the exchange of power is very real. The Dominant person, often called a Dom or Top, may like to be addressed as Sir, Madam, Master, or Mistress. They like to call the shots and keep the control. The Submissive person, often called a Sub or Bottom, may like to be addressed as a slave, student, or patient. They enjoy surrendering control. Pleasing their Dom is often all it takes to make a Sub happy—and aroused. This is because doing so typically leads to being rewarded with an orgasm or two!

Many common role-play scenarios include: master-slave, teacher-student, nurse-patient, cop-robber, and royal-commoner. The role-play power difference highlights the erotic nature of the power inequity.

Not sure what role you like? Try on both—known as a switch dynamic. Some couples know exactly what role calls to them. For example, naturally dominating personalities outside the bedroom can find increased sexual pleasure by surrendering control and playing a submissive. And vice versa. Others like to explore each role and swap it up. Hard core players may continue well outside the bedroom, sometimes even 24/7 in their master-slave roles.

Once you decide a scene with your location and roles, the next step is to decide on boundaries. Some couples let the Dom do all the deciding, so long as they know the edges of play, while other couples will write out a full script. Again, maintaining your safe word or phrase is key for safe, sane, consensual fun.

Below are a number of common aids to consider when role-playing or acting out a Dom-Sub scene:

Dressing Up
Our clothes symbolize how we feel about ourselves and how we present in public. Picking out what you want to wear is a crucial element of human autonomy. Therefore, surrendering this right makes it perfect for power-play. In this scenario, the Dom orders their Sub to dress a certain way – usually in a manner that’s out of their comfort zone. It could mean wearing a pair of tight pants that shows off his package or bum. It could be a dress with a low-cut top or short skirt. It might be a revealing piece of lingerie. It could even mean going commando or wearing a coat with nothing underneath!

Body Worship
Make no mistake – this experience is all about the Dom. The Dom takes charge by commanding their Sub to worship them. This leaves the Sub spending the entire night focusing on pleasing their Dom. It could mean a sensual full-body massage or a relaxing foot rub. The Sub could go down on the Dom or perform other sexual acts based on the Dom’s commands. Any sexual pleasure the Sub receives comes from satisfying their Dom.

Another side feature of body worship is fetish worship. Fetishes involve the intense sexualization of body parts or objects. The Dom orders the Sub to worship the fetishized body part or object. For example, foot worship is super common, but other fetish worship can include latex, leather, and lingerie. For heavy players, fetish worship can also include wax play and fire play.

Training
This simple scenario involves the Dom giving the Sub a series of rules. The Sub is usually rewarded for following the rules and punished in some way (typically a spanking) for breaking them. The Sub often ends up breaking the rules on purpose to test the Dom’s control or because they secretly (and not so secretly) like to get punished.

Orgasm Denial
In this situation, the Dom takes control of everything about their Sub's arousal — including their orgasm. The Dom determines when the sub can and cannot climax. They test their partner by ordering them to masturbate, only to withhold orgasm permission as the Sub gets closer and closer to the finish. When the Dom finally allows their Sub to orgasm, the climax is more intense and powerful than usual. Sound familiar? Orgasm denial is the Dom-Sub version of edging. The power-play dynamic makes the orgasm even hotter and kinkier!

incerely Collar and Leash fetish wear

Toy Play
While sex toys aren’t crucial for Dom-Sub sex, they can help enhance the experience – especially for beginners. The Sincerely Collar And Leash is the perfect symbol of the Dom-Sub relationship. The collar slips easily around the Sub’s neck, serving as a physical reminder of their duty. The leash also allows the Dom to take control as they lead their Sub. Some more adventurous couples even wear collars and leashes in public to show off their relationship.

Ball gags are another great sex toy for the Dom-Sub couple. Eve’s Fetish Dreams Ball Gag is perfect for “mouthy” Subs who need a little help learning when to keep their lips shut… and when it’s time to put their tongue to work! This beginner-friendly ball gag is pierced with holes, allowing the sub to breathe easily.

Eve’s Fetish Dreams Advanced Bondage Set

Many other bondage toys can be used for Dom-Sub sex. Cuffs can restrain a Sub easily, leaving them completely at the mercy of their Dom. Paddles and whips are perfect for punishing disobedient Subs. Blindfolds support the Sub to surrender control to their Dom. Eve’s Fetish Dreams Advanced Bondage Set contains all that and more. This 8-piece kit includes a leash & collar, ball gag, 2 pairs of heavy-duty cuffs, hog-tie connector, paddle, blindfold, and vibrating penis ring. Diamond-stitched faux leather and dark metal give it the edgy touch your bedroom/sex dungeon needs!

After-Play
This is a crucial component of Dom-Sub sex. After-play is where the Dom checks in with the Sub after playing together. This can be a time of deep nurturing, a time to clean up, or a time to reflect on the experience. Because the play can be hard on the Sub psychologically and/or physically, ensuring after-play allows for an integration and reset.