What a dominatrix can teach us about communication, consent – and desire.
Thirteen years ago, I was newly divorced and lonely, working days as a singer at Disneyland and spending nights with men from Craigslist. One time, I drove to a stranger’s house expecting a one-night stand. I wound up having my first experience with a “dominant”. I sought more information about BDSM (role-playing, bondage, domination and submission), first from books and then by making friends in the BDSM community. And through becoming a professional submissive, I learned about safety and graduated to dominatrix, or “domme”.
Today, as reports of abuse and harassment emerge in the #MeToo movement, I realise BDSM taught me vital skills: how to communicate desires and how to better read and understand the giving or withholding of consent. Some news stories – like the one about the New York attorney general who suggested his “role-playing” excused his violence against women – give consensual kink a bad name. But the answer isn’t abstinence or inhibition; it’s openness and honesty. Whether you’re traditional, kinky or somewhere in between, the basic consent principles of BDSM can lead to healthy conversations and better sex. Don’t bury your desires – communicate them.
TALK (AND WRITE)
Want hotter sex? Ask what turns her on. This is BDSM 101—talk first.
The benefit for you: giving a partner permission to be emotionally vulnerable and to share deep desires creates a space for your confessions, too.
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