Why I Tried BDSM for the First Time on Valentine’s Day

I breathed in a new sense of confidence in myself and my sexuality.

Why I Tried BDSM for the First Time on Valentine’s Day

Why I Tried BDSM for the First Time on Valentine’s Day

Why I Tried BDSM for the First Time on Valentine’s Day

6 minute read

“Point to each one and tell me what you’re okay with me using on you and what you’re not,” he said as he spread anal plugs, vibrators, handcuffs, blindfolds and several lube options across my bed. 

With sweaty palms, I looked at each one carefully and put a few back into the backpack of toys he had brought, leaving a handful on the bed.

I’ll admit it: Inviting him over was a last-minute Valentine’s Day idea. You might refer to it as a “booty call.” The idea of being blindfolded, restricted or dominated had always nudged the corners of my mind. So when he offered to spend this typically romantic night delving into some of my fantasies, I couldn’t help but agree.  

He had been completely honest with me about his sexual interests and experiences before we had even met in person. I knew what we had planned for the night but I just hadn’t been expecting the backpack. 

An introduction into the world of BDSM was literally standing at my doorway with a backpack full of sex toys, and I was nervous.

Many people often think of BDSM — or bondage, discipline, dominance and submission/sadomasochism —  as Fifty Shades of Grey experiences. People picture dark rooms with intimidating toys, whips and restraints covering the wall. And while some of those ideas are considered BDSM, it is only one part of the larger spectrum. In fact, many in the BDSM community have claimed the way the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise portrays those sexual experiences is misleading and harmful. So what else does it look like?

According to a 2019 article about BDSM published in medical journal Sexual Medicine, BDSM refers to “a physical, psychological and sexual role-play involving power exchange between consensual participants.” BDSM is meant to allow people into a different reality and test the blurry line between pain and pleasure. 

What I tried that Valentine’s Day is considered “light” BDSM. Think of light BDSM as the low-calorie version of this kink, or like a way of checking the water’s temperature before jumping in and getting completely soaked. You don’t have to cannonball into something immediately if you prefer to acclimate more slowly and see how it feels to you. After all, the BDSM community’s mantra is “safe, sane and consensual,” which is how any sexual experience – involving BDSM or not – should be. 

After we decided our limits, he started to kiss me. It was rough, aggressive, and it made me want more. 

Although the prolonged intensity left me a little sore and exhausted, I discovered that I loved being spanked and restricted. There were moments that made me laugh — like when I realized I still had socks on because my feet kept slipping on my hardwood floor. There were moments that made me cringe — like when I let him spank me a little too hard and ended up with a red handprint on my bottom for several days.

It was awkward. It was a little painful. But it was my first taste of this expansive and all-encompassing world. During that first experience, I realized there were certain kinks I did not find pleasurable, but there were a lot more things that left me in a state of euphoria. 

After my partner left, I understood the mysterious veil of BDSM had been lifted. I breathed in a new sense of confidence in myself and my sexuality. 

The abstract idea of BDSM had always sparked my interest, but my partner made it real for me. For Valentine’s Day, he gave me a jumping point to explore an even broader range of pleasures I didn’t know I could. He encouraged me to bring what I had discovered about myself and my turn-ons to future partners so I could further explore aspects of BDSM that were right for me.

For those who are looking to try something new with their partner on Valentine’s Day or who have been secretly interested in exploring these kinks but never knew how to get started, BDSM does not have to be extreme or intense (unless you want it to be). It may be a little awkward at first, but finding new ways to pleasure your partner (and new ways they can pleasure you) can be worth the momentary clumsiness. 

Easy ways to weave light BDSM into your sex life are to start incorporating things like hair pulling, spanking, consensual hitting, biting, and giving hickeys. You can also try comfortable bondage, blindfolds, sex toys, and humiliation play. All of these offer a way to test your limits by starting small and increasing the intensity according to your and your partner’s liking. You can even use items you may already own as makeshift blindfolds or restraints, such as T-shirts, tights, scarves or bandanas. 

Consider these steps to comfortably and consensually add some BDSM into your sex life on Valentine’s Day — or on any night:

Pre-Negotiate Your Boundaries with Your Partner

Before you put your sexy underwear on or dim the bedroom lights, you should engage with your partner in a straight-forward and blunt conversation about what each of you is interested in trying and what is off the table. During this talk, it is also important to establish if either one of you has any triggers that should be avoided. For example, if certain derogatory insults remind you of a previous abusive relationship or if your hands being restrained might cause a panic attack, make sure your partners know. 

Give Each Other Plenty of Opportunities to Say No

If you and your partner are just beginning to wade into the BDSM waters, you may find you have limits that you were unaware of. I thought I could handle intense play, but through trial and error, I found that there were some things I did not find as pleasurable. 

When you are both trying something new, give each other a multitude of chances to stop and say what isn’t doing it for you. Consistent, enthusiastic consent is necessary to make sure you are both finding pleasure in this new experience. Use the phrase “Does this still feel good to you?” as often as you can. Some people choose to establish safe words, or a random word you both determine which means to immediately stop what you’re doing once a partner says it. Trying new things can be extremely fun, but you should feel confident enough to say ‘no’ when you need to. 

Tell Your Partner What You Want and What Is Working

Communication is important in relationships and during sex — especially when you’re testing new waters. While it may seem awkward or intimidating to speak up during play, your partner can’t read your mind. Talk through what you want and what feels good. 

Please Don’t Forget Aftercare!

After everything is said and done, it is important to set time aside for both of you to attend to your physical and emotional needs. BDSM (yes, even light BDSM) can take a physical or psychological toll on the participants, so make time to readjust back to normalcy. For partners that are exploring the dynamics of power exchange in their sexual relationship, it is necessary to separate the two realities. 

Aftercare can be any way you and your partner find physical or emotional intimacy together such as cuddling, a massage, or a hot shower together. It is also important to take note of your individual needs. Drink water, eat something of substance and use a heating pad on any affected body part to ensure your body recovers healthily. 

Stepping outside your comfort zone can open up a whole world of pleasurable experiences you might have not known otherwise. However, BDSM is not for everyone, and that’s okay. Regardless of what sexual experiences you and your partner partake in, find what works for both of you and keep it fun. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Alexandra Applegate

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Alexandra Applegate is a freelance journalist and public relations specialist. She works with local governments to better communicate with their residents during the day and writes about anything she wants at night. She is passionate about storytelling that helps people. You can find her work on Laguna Beach Living and The Fullest magazine.

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