Tie them up.... and then what

All right, you've worked out your preferences, limits and safewords with your partner. Now he or she is safely trussed up on your bed, couch or floor and waiting for you. What do you do now?

You can combine bondage with “vanilla” i.e. Non-sadomasochistic sexual technique. The bound partner (the “bottom”) can be released from the expectation that he or she has to actively please the unbound partner (the “top”).

The softest, mildest form of SM play is tickling, something just about everybody has given and received. This can be a good way to introduce people to the idea of sensation play, of experiencing carefully controlled amounts of intense sensation.

A step up from tickling is sensation play, combining strokes with stronger sensation, such as fingernail scratching, pinches and spanking.

Hairbrushes are a useful toy. The wooden kind with a handle can be used for friction play with the brush, as well as spanking with the flat opposite site.

Bamboo skewers, available in most supermarkets, are another versatile toy. You can poke or scratch with the sharp or blunt end, use them like drumsticks or flick them against your partner's skin. If you happen to break the skin a bit, they're cheap enough to throw away.

Don't forget to mix up hard and soft sensations. Alternate fingernail scratches with strokes from a piece of rabbit fur or a silk scarf.

This can be an opportunity to groom your bound partner: face, genital or body shaving, applying makeup, manicures, pedicures. This can feel like a parent looking after a child, or a master or mistress preparing a show dog for the competition.

If you know your partner's responses well, you can take him or her to the edge of orgasm with toys or your bare hands, but deny them final release. See how long you can stay that way. Being on the edge of release for as long as possible can be its own kind of torment.

A more intense variation is what could be called interrogation. In this case, the top increases the sensation until the bottom releases the “secret information”, i.e. Says the safeword. That's for when the bottom wants to see how far they can go with more intense sensations.

Remember, how our bodies handle sensation depends a lot on our frame of mind. When we're with a person we trust in a safe situation, sensations that would otherwise be painful transform into delight.

However, you should always be careful when exploring your limits. If the point where your bottom stops enjoying it is less intense than you think it could be, just accept it and work within that limit. You're not in competition. You're having a good time with your partner.

Have an idea for a sex tip? E-mail info@theartofloving.ca