Love it or hate it, there's no denying that the 50 Shades franchise has struck a chord (a very sexual cord, likely made of leather). And while it's far from the most accurate depiction of a BDSM relationship, reading and watching that Fifty Shades sex — whips, blindfolds, and all — has piqued the curiosity of millions of women. It's brought out a kinkier side in just about everyone, from grandmothers to college students, all of whom are now down to bring a little BDSM to the bedroom.
That said, jumping right into a Fifty Shades affair with your partner is a risky move. It's important to note that the series presents a flawed portrayal of a BDSM relationship (Christian and Anastasia's dynamic is built almost entirely around his needs and desires, not hers). Introducing any aspect of BDSM, whether that's bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, or sadism and masochism, into your current sex life requires a great deal of trust, vulnerability, and communication.
"There are many things to think about before you dive head first into a power dynamic relationship," sex educator, instructor and coach Lola Jean told Elite Daily earlier this month. "The control — or lack of control — can be intoxicating, though it comes with much responsibility."
Much like Spidey Senses, great sexual power comes with great responsibility. Ease in slowly, surely, and with the explicit consent of your partner. If you two are definitely interested in bringing some Fifty Shades-inspired action to your sex life, though, and aren't quite sure where to begin, here's Jean's expert advice on getting started.
1. Start with dirty talk.
According to Jean, working BDSM into your dirty talk and sexting convos is a great way to introduce a kinkier dynamic to your current relationship — especially if you're both newbies to the world of BDSM — without pushing you past your limits.
"You may not know how you will react to a certain scenario or phrase in the heat of the moment," says Jean. "Better not to leave it to chance and use this time to test the waters to figure out your likes and dislikes."
In other words, talk through some ideas and moves you're interested in trying, and get a feel for what does or does not turn you on. Then you can start to work these ideas into your physical relationship.
2. Try orgasm control.
If dirty talk did the trick and you're ready to take things to the next level, Lola Jean recommends trying orgasm control, also known as "edging."
Orgasm control is all about stopping and starting arousal at your own will. The trick is to practice bringing yourself to the edge of an orgasm, so to speak, before attempting to reign it back in (something you can try by yourself or with a partner). No whips or blindfolds required.
"No one is in danger of getting harmed physically..." says Jean. "So this is a fun and sexy way to play with control."
3. Try using words like "Sir" and "Madam."
Giving your partner an authoritative title, like Sir or Madam, is another low-key way to bring some dominance and submission to your sex life.
"You can experiment with calling the other a name like Daddy, Little Girl, Mistress, Madame, [or] Sir and see if it resonates with one of you," suggests Jean. "It takes a lot of trial and error to find out what you like, so it's most important to have an open discussion afterwards to talk about likes, dislike and desires."
Remember: It's only going to be sexy if you're both into it — if words like "Daddy" turn your partner on, but not you, try something different. Experimentation is key.
Additionally, Jean advises against trying BDSM the first time you and a partner have sex. "There's just too much room for error," she says. But if you and your partner have a well-established sexual relationship and feel comfortable trying something new, why not give this all a go?