How Rough Is Too Rough Between the Sheets?

Dear Dategirl,My girlfriend and I are starting to realize that she is a masochist, or at least interested in very rough sex. We are both pretty open-minded people, so experimentation in bed is not uncommon. However, in recent days, we have talked about rougher sex. She seems very into the idea. I won't lie, I can't help but feel turned on by her wanting to be fucked harder. But I'm no sadist and feel totally lost when it comes to giving pain. She clearly wants to be hit, but what does that mean? (Spankings are already in my tool bag, FYI.) What are my limits? I tried asking her, but I get the feeling that she doesn't know, and the act of talking it out and planning it takes away from the whole point.—Over My Head

One thing I'm certain of is that good communication is generally the key to great sex, but it's never as important as with BDSM. I mean, someone could get hurt! Because I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to rough stuff, I called in an expert to help you kids figure things out.Lolita Wolf is an emeritus board member of the Eulenspiegel Society, and has been an active member of the BDSM scene since you were in short pants. Not only that, she's written two books—one on cock-and-ball play, in case your girlfriend gets the urge to turn the tables. You can check out her blog at www.leatheryenta.com.Of your girlfriend, Wolf says, "Just liking rough sex by itself does not make her a masochist. Not everyone gets off with gentle loving. Some of us need a bit more stimulation."Hear that? Don't be so quick to classify. But whether that stimulation comes from nipple clamps or an inner-thigh flogging, what's clear is that by not talking about what you expect from each other, you're asking for a world of pain. (Not the kind that gets you off.) Wolf agreed, saying there has to be an agreement between you two: "If they are doing resistance play, then a formal safeword is a good idea. If she likes to resist and say 'Stop! Stop!' but doesn't really mean it—and that can be very exciting—then they need a word like 'red' or 'aardvark'...something that makes it clear that the action has to stop."Wolf understands your discomfort with inflicting pain. "All their lives guys have been taught to not hit girls. But some women want to be manhandled!" She suggests that you "remember that there is a difference between hurt and harm." When you give your girlfriend what she's asking for—even if it looks uncomfortable to you—you're making her happy. Just be sure you don't cross the line and harm her while you're hurting her. Capisce?Maybe your ladyfriend is having trouble articulating what she wants, but if you sit down and discuss boundaries, she'll start to figure it out. This is the safest thing for both of you—if she's looking for a light flick of a switch and you deliver a wallop, that's just going to get ugly. It's a good idea to have this conversation fully clothed and in a nonsexual state of mind. That way you can figure out what she wants and what you're capable of delivering, and still have a sense of spontaneity when you finally get around to the sex.Wolf advises you to start slowly. Because spankings are already part of your play, she suggests you "up the ante by using a paddle, [but] make sure you know where is safe to hit." Wolf continues, "Increase the swats incrementally. Watch your partner, read the body language, and listen to how they breathe and what they say."Hopefully it won't be "aardvark."dategirl@seattleweekly.com

 
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