IT’S ten years since EL James’ erotic fiction 50 Shades Of Grey shot to the top of the best-seller list – sending sales of handcuffs and riding crops soaring.
The steamy story centres around the relationship between powerful businessman Christian Grey and inexperienced college student Anastasia, and his obsession with BDSM – which is an umbrella term for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism.
Lockdown Brits are experimenting more, with handcuffs and blindfolds ideal for BDSM beginnersCredit: Getty Images – Getty
BDSM is once again the UK’s most popular fetish and has been searched for 85,000 times each month during the pandemic.
Research by website SlotsUp shows people are finding their inner dom and experimenting.
Here, our sex and relationships contributing editor Georgette Culley shares tips on turning your bedroom into a pleasure dungeon.
Set boundaries before you experiment. Take small steps and don’t rush into anything until you and your sexual partner are both clear about what the other one wants.
For instance, do you want to be the dominant (dom), submissive (sub) or switch (someone who takes on both roles)?
Set boundaries before you experiment with your partnerCredit: Focus Features/ Supplied by LMK
How comfortable are you with being blindfolded, tied up or spanked?
Be honest with your partner regarding how far you’re happy to go and never do anything you’re not comfortable with.
Establishing a safe word with your sexual partner before you start any kinky business is a must.
A safe word is a word that means you want to stop play right away. It must be a word or signal that can’t be confused with your enjoyment or wanting to continue.
Establishing a safe word with your sexual partner is a must
While you may think, ‘Why can’t I just use the word Stop?’ Well, people tend to use that word playfully so it’s best to steer clear of any word that could cause confusion.
Go for something random like “pineapple”, or use the traffic light system — red means “stop”, amber means “slow down” and green means “go”.
Temperature play can heighten sensations. Ice cubes are great for cold play and a massage candle is a brilliant tool for hot play.
Blindfold your partner and surprise them with a sensual candle massage.
Temperature play can heighten sensationsCredit: Shutterstock
Allow the candle’s aroma to fill the room, then drizzle the warm wax over your lover’s skin and give them a sensual rub, teasing them as you go.
This game is sure to melt their heart.
Check out Lovehoney Oh! Vanilla Massage Candle 60g, £6.99 at lovehoney.co.uk.
Anyone can engage in dirty talk. For instance, if you’re being the dom then channel your inner Christian Grey and say: “You’ve been very bad, I’ll have to tie you up to teach you a lesson.”
You’ll probably end up in fits of giggles but the more you practice the more confident you’ll become and the chat will get sexier.
Anyone can engage in dirty talkCredit: Rex Features
If you always end up laughing, that’s fine too — sex is all about having fun.
If you’re interested in developing your dirty talk skills, check out Lunamatatas’ online workshop for £25 at lunamatatas.com/products/dirty-talk-workshop.
Role play is a brilliant way to experiment with kinky games.
Explore uniforms with power dynamics, such as nurse and patient, police officer and suspect.
Role play is a brilliant way to experiment with kinky gamesCredit: Ann Summers
Wearing a sexy outfit can help you to “get into character” and feel more confident in the moment.
Plus you don’t need to spend a fortune either. There are lots of online adult stores that cater for this market and Ann Summers has a great range of different outfits at very affordable prices.
Check out the Police Officer Body, £30 at Ann Summers — which is sexier than some of the naff cop outfits out there.
Bondage gear can be very pricey but you don’t need to break the bank to get going.
In fact, there are lots of household items you can use instead.
There are lots of household items you can use as bondageCredit: Alamy
For instance, tights, ties or rope can be used to tie one another up and kitchen utensils can be used for spanking.
When it comes to restraining one another don’t use clothes that are expensive or loved – like your favourite tie.
You may end up in a knot and have to cut one another loose. So only use items you’re happy to lose.
Jaws dropped when supermodel Cara Delevingne and former girlfriend Ashley Benson were snapped casually carrying a £360 sex bench into their home.
While that may seem pricey, a proper bondage horse can set you back thousands.
Improvise with your own furniture to spice things upCredit: Alamy
Fear not: you can improvise with your own furniture.
Use a kitchen table, a coffee table or even a garden bench – anything sturdy enough to support your weight.
Just make sure you add some cushions to make it a bit more comfortable.
Until you learn the ropes, handcuffs are a great tool for restraining and more user-friendly than tying one another up.
They’re also sexy to slip on in the moment and quick, so you don’t have to worry about clumsily trying to tie your partner up.
Handcuffs are a great tool for restraining your partnerCredit: Bondara
To begin, use comfy furry ones rather than metal ones so they don’t dig in to your partner’s skin.
Check out Bondara hold tight luxury furry handcuffs, £9.99 at bondara.co.uk.
Tease and tantalise your partner by adding a blindfold to play, and make them weak at the knees while you explore their body.
By taking away their vision you will send their other senses into overdrive.
Tease and tantalise your partner by adding a blindfold to play
Spice things up by adding food play and get them to guess what fruit you’re feeding them.
If they get it wrong you can punish them.
Try Lovehoney Oh! satin blindfold, £5.99 at lovehoney.co.uk.
I WAS BOUND TO HAVE FUN
GEORGETTE writes: Like most couples, my partner Ben and I had drifted apart in lockdown so I hoped spicing things up in the bedroom with BDSM might help us, er, bond.
The great thing about this fetish is you can make it as vanilla or as hardcore as you like – but if you’re a newbie, like us, I recommend taking it slowly.
We began with an “erotic bushtucker trial” – basically food play.
Blindfolded, we’d feed one another an array of exotic fruits. If we guessed wrong, we’d have to remove an item of clothing.
Annoyingly, Ben knows his grub and kept guessing right so I had to turn things up a notch.
Finding my inner dom I ordered him to strip off before I tied his wrists to the bed. It was supposed to be sexy and smooth but he kept wriggling free.
I dug out another tie from his drawer and doubled up, pulling the knot so tight even Houdini would struggle to escape.
Then I dripped hot wax from a massage candle over his body and gave him a sensual rub.
He really enjoyed this part until it came to cutting him free and he realised his “lucky” job interview tie had been destroyed. Oops!
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