I have been dating my boyfriend for 18 months and we have a very strong relationship. I am more reserved and shy in public but I love having rough sex and being a little dirty in the bedroom. I want him to be rougher with me but he always seems hesitant. He says he doesn’t want to hurt me but I can tell he’s just nervous. Its hard for me to get off usually because he doesn’t need as long as I do to get ready. I also love foreplay and have tried telling him before but it just doesn’t stick. How do I let him know that I want … NEED him to go slower and longer for me to be able to get off too. And how do I bring up wanting to have rougher sex… like bondage/choking/light BDSM… without scaring him off. I feel like guys get intimidated/nervous around girls who like that stuff and I don’t want that to happen. Thanks.

Cassie Wolfe LSW, MEd
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Dear Desiring a ‘lil BDSM,Excellent questions! It sounds like you’ve already cracked the door of discussion open, which is always the hardest part; so high 5 to mastering the first step to discussing super sensitive subjects.

Communication is really the foundation of any relationship and it comes in various forms: verbal, nonverbal, demonstrative, etc. I’m not sure where you live, but something you may want to consider is going to a BDSM or Foreplay 101 information session. Sometimes local sex shops have educators come in to teach various sexual health topics and they often encourage people to come as couples. You could invite your partner to one of them so that you both can learn more about different practices in a fun, safe, nonjudgmental environment. More importantly, and more specifically to BDSM practices, there is A LOT to know – boundaries, safe words, the various behaviors that range from light (as you suggested-blindfolds, spanking) to more involved practices like flogging, being tied up by 2 hands versus all 4 limbs, to choking, wearing collars, role playing, etc. If actual classes aren’t available, you could invite your beau to the local sex shop and ask for suggestions on some introductory films. I offer this suggestion because not all porn is created equally. Most porn is viewed through a male lens, focused on male pleasure and sets up some unrealistic expectations about what sex is and what it should be. However, sometimes it is helpful in demonstrating behaviors that you can respond to with either an “Oh yes, I’d like to try that please!” or a “…Hell no, don’t you dare!” response. In either scenario, education and communication are key factors.

Now let’s rewind to the importance of foreplay! When discussing foreplay, I often give the analogy of attempting to drive a car in the winter: when you first turn it on, it’s best to let it sit and “warm up a little”; versus trying to drive it immediately and have it struggle when switching gears. Women’s bodies work similarly – we need time to warm up a little and the better the foreplay, the more likely we are to orgasm. Only about a third of women actually orgasm from regular intercourse alone. Sad! That being said, positions where there is direct clitoral stimulation may be helpful in increasing the likelihood of orgasming. You can try being on top and controlling the rhythm and pace; you can try doggy style (where your partner enters you from behind) and he can reach around to stimulate your clitoris (or you can touch it yourself). You can also include sex toys into your activities. For example, while your partner is penetrating you, you can hold a vibrator on your clitoris for stimulation. Creativity is awesome!

Also, you can offer words of encouragement to your partner while he’s in action that tell him very directly what you want, but in a supportive and ego boosting kind of way. Like if he’s going down on you, you can say things like “Don’t Stop…that feels amazing…keep doing that…I don’t want you to stop, I want you to make me cum…”

There’s also a really great book by Ian Kerner titled “She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman,” that you may want to leave on your coffee table for conversation’s sake!

All my best,


Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson
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If you have been together 18 months, we would hope that you have established a basis for communicating kindly and effectively with each other. Developing the ability to talk about sex, to communicate your desires in a way that inspires your partner to fulfill them is crucial for keeping a long-term relationship vibrant.We would suggest the following:

1. Make sure to have your conversations at a time and a place that are well removed from where you usually have sex. People are generally quite vulnerable when they are making love, and unless a strong foundation has been established and both partners feel desired, appreciated, and confident, asking for what you want in the middle of a sexual encounter can sometimes be received as criticism.

2. Begin the discussion by focusing on what you love about your sexual interactions and what is working well for you. Then whatever you are requesting can become an enhancement of and not a replacement for what you are already doing.

3. It is sometimes helpful to keep these initial conversations fairly general, so it can help to start by asking to have a conversation about sexual fantasies – his and yours. Be sure to convey interest in what turns him on, so that the discussion focuses on your mutual pleasure, not just what you want him to do.

Regarding rough sex and mild kink: try to communicate to him that these things really turn you on, and when you start trying them in the bedroom, let him know how much pleasure he is giving you. This may shift his awareness and help him recognize that he is not hurting you; he is actually giving you pleasure. Most tops in any BDSM scene get pleasure from the experience of the bottom and this is a powerful form of energetic exchange. If he can get over any initial hesitation and observe that what he is doing is pleasureable for you, he is likely to feel quite differently. Even if the activities you are engaging in are relatively mild, using safe words is also very important. If you establish safe words before you engage in any activity, he will know that he is not hurting you and you will be able to stop him before things get too intense. This is about creating a container where you both feel safe and empowered. Please be aware that choking is hardly ‘light’ bdsm, and some people consider it unsafe under any circumstances. It is not for beginners.

In terms of your need for more foreplay, again have the discussion in a non-sexual context, begin with what you love. explain that you need more time than he does, see what he likes to do to get you turned on and do more of it. It is important for you to tell him as specifically as you can what works for you and what kinds of foreplay you enjoy. It’s possible that telling him that you need more foreplay and that you’d like him to go slower are confusing him. Tell him you love kissing him and would like to spend more time doing it, or that you get really turned on by having your nipples stimulated or through oral sex. Ask him to linger on those parts of your body.

Once you have established the ability to communicate about sex outside the bedroom, it will be easier to ask for what you during an encounter in a way that makes your lover want to give it to you. Remember: never ever come across as critical when you are in bed together.

Patricia Johnson & Mark Michaels
Co-authors of Partners in Passion, Great Sex Made Simple, The Essence of Tantric Sexuality, and Tantra for Erotic Empowerment

Dick of Dick-n-Jane.com
(layman with a website)
This is one of those situations where the experts have weighed in with such authority that I really have nothing to offer that won’t make me sound like a chump. So I’ll embrace the “chump” label and tell you what would work for me.Tequilla.Good luck!