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Savage Love 

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Hey, Faggot: I'm in a good relationship (three years), but the sex is kind of boring. Before this relationship, I was in and out of bad relationships with great sex. The difference? The old, bad relationships involved light S/M.

I get off on being spanked, tied up, whipped, etc. There seemed to be a negative head trip that carried over from acts of kinkiness into the rest of those relationships and colored them bad. I don't want that to happen with my boyfriend now -- he's willing to experiment -- but I know what works for me. Any tips?

Pup Luck
Hey, PL: Before we get to your main issue, how to have S/M sex with your boyfriend without negative energy spilling over into the rest of the relationship, let me just say this: Having kinky sex with someone who isn't into it -- and by "into it" I mean "someone who digs your particular kink as much as you do, as opposed to someone who's giving it a shot to please you" -- doesn't usually work. First off, for the truly kinky person, nothing is a bigger turnoff than feeling indulged, of having your kink "put up with" by a "long-suffering" or "understanding" partner. It's not easy getting your kinky rocks off when the whole time your lover is a) stepping on you, b) diapering you, c) spanking you, d) calling you "Senator Gramm" and shoving rolls of quarters up your ass, you've got the sneaking feeling they're thinking to themselves, "How did I end up married to this sick fuck?" It's especially troublesome if the person who's "giving it a try" is topping you in an S/M scene. If your thing is, say, getting pissed on, that doesn't require much imagination on your boyfriend's part: You get in the tub, he thinks about waterfalls and open taps and raindrops on roses, and voilà, he's a water-sports pro. But S/M? For a person to be a "hot" S/M top, he needs to have a feel for it, a flair. Someone who's topping his boyfriend by request will almost certainly lack the erotic mischievousness a top must possess to keep safe-sane-consensual S/M sex crackling.

Now, having said all that, here's part one of my advice for you: Teach your boyfriend to top you, which is not as easy as it sounds -- "training a top" requires more than showing him how to tie knots, or flog you without hitting your kidneys. No. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is this: to instill in your boyfriend the erotic imagination required of good S/M tops. Buy your boyfriend some S/M porn -- books, not videos. Read them out loud, talk about what turns you on; ask him what, if anything, turns him on. Encourage him to develop fantasies of dominating you, of taking control and of inflicting the erotic torment non-S/Mers freak out about and call "pain." If you can get his dick hard by talking, reading and fantasizing about S/M sex before you guys actually start having S/M sex, he may end up being one of those rare people who are introduced to S/M by a lover and wind up not just getting good at it, but honestly digging it.

Once you get him going, you can guard against inappropriate S/M-ish vibes in the non-fantasy realm of your relationship by establishing -- everybody, all together -- Clearly Defined Boundaries. S/M sex should have an obvious beginning and an obvious end; something like, "Our kinky fantasy sex begins and ends with you putting a dog collar on me." If he violates those boundaries, if he starts treating you like his slave when you're not having sex, don't bottom out: Call him on it. Say, "Excuse me, but I'm not wearing a dog collar right now, and unless I'm wearing one, I'd prefer you didn't treat me like a dog."

Hey, Faggot: What's the difference between a mistress and a dominatrix?
Aspiring Submissive
Hey, AS: Not much, according to Mistress Kiersten Orthia, a professional dominatrix in private practice in a major urban center that she prefers I not name.

"There isn't really a difference, as I see it. Dominatrix, domina, mistress, master -- they all tell you pretty much the same thing: The person in question is sexually dominant." One functional difference: "I can be addressed as 'Mistress,' but no one is going to address me 'Dominatrix.' " So "dominatrix" is what Mistress Kiersten does, "Mistress" is what her slaves and clients call her. Get it? Lance Ito is a judge, but he isn't called "Judge," he's called "Your Honor."

Hey, Faggot: Please explain the difference between a "dildo" and a "butt plug." I'm pretty naive.

Almost 30 and Clueless About Sex Toys
Hey, ATACAST: Dildos look like cocks. With a little help, dildos go where cocks go and do what cocks do, without getting you pregnant, giving you an STD or talking about Michael Jordan. There are special dildos available for the cockphobic, dildos that look like dolphins or hedgehogs or goddesses, but they're still shaped like cocks, and function the exact same way nasty, patriarchal, cock-shaped dildos do. But, hey: To each her own rationalization.

Butt plugs, on the other hand, look like Lava lamps and go in your butt.

Hey, Faggot: My husband was a segregationist: There was plenty of affection during sex, but when it came to sleeping, there was his side of the bed and my side of the bed and never the twain shall meet. I wanted to cuddle as we drifted off to sleep and as we woke up; he wanted to be left alone. Why share a bed with someone if they have that attitude?

Well, I solved the problem, and I would like to use your column to advise others who have the same problem. One night, I went to bed naked. Without saying anything, he cuddled up to me. It has worked like a charm ever since.

Content Barbara
Hey, CB: Excuse me, but did you mail this letter to me accidentally? Are you sure you didn't mean to send this to Ann Landers? Or her sister? It sure reads like the soft-core sex tips that pass for "naughty" in Ann's and Abby's very fine advice columns.

But in case you did mean to send it to me -- me: butt-fucking, S/M, water sports, rimming, fisting me! -- here's my take on it: Your "solution," while cute and cozy, won't necessarily apply to all couples facing the same dilemma. Take me and my boyfriend: He likes to cuddle, and I can't sleep with him pressed up against me. Though he's one of those people who heat up like a furnace when they go to sleep, he complains he's "cold," wants the windows shut and the heat cranked up and sleeps under two down comforters. I'm always hot, and like to sleep under a sheet. If he "snuggles" me, bringing his comforters and his surface-temperature-of-the-sun self over to my side of the bed, I sweat, and I can't sleep. Now, Barbara, your solution -- my boyfriend crawling into bed naked and tempting me over to his side of the bed -- isn't going to do us any good, as he'll still be a furnace, and I'll still sweat.

And anyway, we already sleep in the nude. But thanks for sharing.

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