Does it even need to be said that Rihanna inspired my column this week? “S&M” is one of my favorite songs of the year. It’s bold. It’s catchy. It’s a booty shaker. And I really appreciate that a mainstream female pop artist is singing lyrics that are unapologetically sexual and straightforward. No metaphors, no coy double entendres, just Rihanna proudly claiming that whips and chains excite her.
I like it, like it.
S&M, more formally known as sadomasochism, is a range of sexual activities that are inspired by getting pleasure from pain. Sadists inflict pain and masochists love to receive it. S&M can be manifested in a lot of different ways – from hardcore bondage and flogging to mild spanking and humiliating wordplay.
I flirt with S&M from time to time because it allows me a certain level of freedom that I can’t access during conventional sex. When my partner and I have regular sex, while it’s totally enjoyable and awesome, it’s too grounded in reality and I find it almost impossible to completely shut off my brain and be completely in the moment. But when I play around with S&M, I’m able to lose myself in the fantasy of it. It allows you to embrace aspects of your sexual being you usually repress, whether it’s your aggressively sexy dominatrix side or your desire to be a super submissive wanton hooker.
S&M can start off very simply – dirty talk using words that are maybe more vulgar than you may usually use, or introducing spanking during a back massage. Then, once everyone is comfortable, it could lead to integrating props like handcuffs, scarves, paddles, or nipple clamps into the mix, which may eventually lead to more advanced play. Regardless, there are a lot of different levels and ways to engage in S&M, so if it’s your first time, you can ease into things slowly.
The Trust Issue:
Sadomasochism can be absolutely terrifying because it requires a certain level of trust and responsibility. It’s absolutely crucial to set clear, well-defined boundaries that both partners have the utmost respect for. It’s also a good idea to have a “safe word” to use when either partner wants to stop or decrease the intensity. The word should be simple, but not something you’d typically hear during nookie, like “fettuccini” or “xylophone.” Safety is absolutely essential in S&M scenarios. One partner is put in an extremely vulnerable position, and that partner’s well-being should be the top priority at all times.
After an intense session, you may feel a “drop” afterwards. All the endorphins and the adrenaline rush you were feeling during sex may suddenly decrease and you may feel overwhelming sadness or depression. This is completely normal, because your hormones are trying to stabilize themselves. There are a lot of ways you can address it – talking, kissing, and cuddling with your partner are all common strategies. Don’t hesitate to treat your drop like any other time you feel down. Eat your favorite comfort foods, light some candles, take a bubble bath, sleep it off. Do whatever you need to do to lift yourself back up
Ultimately, though, S&M is just as mild or just as rough as you and your partner want it to be. It can be an incredibly rewarding experience as long as you keep everything safe, sane, and consensual, and really, that’s what sex should be like all the time anyway.
Chains and whips don’t excite you? Here are a few other ways to spice things up between the sheets.