My first experience of being kinky was in the bedroom when I asked my partner to tie me up and have his way with me. At the moment he emphatically said yes, I was hooked. Like me, you may find that exploring sexual submissiveness is a fun, exciting way to bring an element of power exchange into your life. There is no wrong way to get started as long as both of you have a curiosity and sense of adventure. Are you ready to let your partner take the lead?

Power dynamics exist in all relationships. They are most often fluid exchanges where whoever is in control can shift even within the same conversation. Dominance is about receiving power, while submission is about giving power. Sexual Power Exchange involves submissive partners who willingly and voluntarily relinquish control to their dominant partners, either in certain situations, for a specified period of time, or completely. This power exchange is and can be fluid based on your preferences.

Sexual role play is a great way to start creating new elements of trust, intimacy, and excitement for your relationship. Role-playing can be just for the evening, only on weekends or any time you're both in the bedroom. As long as you keep it fun and enjoyable, a bedroom power exchange can bring variety and playfulness to your sex life.

Embrace Your Kink Identity

You may be asking, "what's wrong with regular sex?" There is nothing inherently wrong or right about the kind of sex you enjoy. I want to take a minute to reassure you a little bit. I know that BDSM and kink can get kind of a bad rap in the media, that you have to be some deviant or only messed up people are into it. Like a lot of things we see in the media, though, it's total BS. Several studies have concluded that the number of people who enjoy power games in the bedroom is growing. There's nothing wrong with you if you are into kinky sex play.

You're allowed to be different. Despite the progress around gender and identity, there's still a huge stigma and judgment around kink. There is pressure to conform, but you have the right to explore your sexuality just as you'd explore your career, hobbies, or the ice cream section at the mega-mart.

Accepting that it's okay to surrender control to your partner is sometimes tricky. Society teaches us that we need to be equals and in control of our bodies. But remember, power dynamics exist in almost every relationship. Amplifying roles in the bedroom can be the spice you need for more pleasure and healthy relationships.

Tips For Getting Started

If you are interested in giving sexual power exchange a try, there are some great ways to get started. But before you hit the sheets, you should get a few things lined up first.

  1. Do a little research. There are some great online resources available to learn about the activities you might be interested in, like Submissive Guide and FetLife. A few book-length guides that I always recommend for beginners are “ How to Be Kinky” and “ How to Be Kinkier” by Morpheous, and “ Different Loving: The World of Sexual Dominance and Submission” by Gloria Brame, William Brame and Jon Jacobs.
  2. Bring it up with your partner. Suggestions and hints are an excellent way to feel out how your partner might respond. "Would you like to be tied up and made love to?" (or "Would you like to tie me up and make love to me?") A face-to-face talk is necessary if you want to do more than occasional power games.
  3. Complete a “Yes, No, Maybe Sex List” or BDSM checklist to help you figure out what fantasies or activities you both might have an interest in trying. You might be pleasantly surprised to learn your partner has been thinking about some of the same things! We have a BDSM checklist for sexual power exchange available for select members in The Submissive Society and you can get it too when you join.
  4. Get consent. Before doing anything, always talk it over and get and give permission only to do what you are comfortable with. You'll have plenty of time to explore more in the future, so keep things relatively safe the first few times. If you feel pressured to agree to something you didn’t consent to at the beginning, stand firm and stick to what was already agreed. Neither partner should cross the agreed-upon limits.
  5. Make a stop plan. Before doing anything, agree on how activities would or could stop if you need it. Choose safe words to indicate when the Dominant should slow down or stop whatever they're doing. Easy safe words to remember are green, yellow, and red. Much like they mean on a stoplight, they say, "I'm okay," "pause or slow down," and "stop immediately," respectively. Even if the safe word isn't used, the dominant should check in with the submissive often.
  6. Check-in with your partner afterward. Sometimes after play, you can feel a bit off, called sub drop or top drop. Drop can include symptoms such as anxiety, depression, irritability, and crying. You can counter this a bit by taking care of each other afterward, by checking in, providing emotional intimacy and communication. So don't just go to bed after intense sex. Make sure your partner is okay with what just happened.

Let's Get Playful!

If you're a little intimidated by all the kink out there and you just want to explore a little, start with something small and non-threatening. A good first step would be to try a blindfold during sex. It will allow the submissive in the scenario to explore giving up control while the Dominant is in charge. The restraint is only mental, so if they get uncomfortable or afraid, it can come off quickly.

You don't need to buy any special equipment to get started. You likely have things around your house that could serve a kinky purpose. Scarves, wooden spoons, sleep masks, clothespins and other “pervertible” items are great to add to your toy kit. Don't forget the best sex toys at the end of your wrists. Your hands can do a lot of delicious things and provide so many wonderful sensations; stroke and tickle, squeeze or fondle.

If you are looking to try a bit of painful stimulus, your hands can also pinch, scratch, slap, and spank. When spanking, for example, go easy at first—a few gentle taps, then stronger. A person can usually take more pain (and enjoy it more) if it's ramped up slowly and if they are highly aroused at the same time. So don't go out at full force. Ask your partner to let you know if it gets to be too much.

You can act out your own version of adult make-believe and role play different power-based roles, like teacher/student, doctor/patient, boss/secretary or pirate/captive. Act out a sex scene from your favorite kinky movie like 9 ½ Weeks or 50 Shades of Grey. Orgasm games are a must-try when exploring sexual power exchange. Having to ask permission to orgasm, or being told how to masturbate is so hot.

You're probably going to feel silly or awkward the first few times you try to tie a fancy knot or are ordered to kneel. But keep it all in a spirit of adventure and fun. You're opening up the floodgates of excitement and intimacy with your partner, and there's a learning curve, so take your time and enjoy the journey.

If you try out a couple of entry-level BDSM activities and find that you like it, you'll be on your way to further explore kink and power exchange with your partner. Have fun, be safe, and remember: Keep communicating. You're in for a great time.