I coach a fair amount of women who receive a request from their partners to engage in some form of kink, BDSM, power play, or lifestyle. They may want to consider the request and worry that if they don’t agree to it, the relationship might be in jeopardy. So what exactly do you do when your partner comes to you interested in doing a certain activity or living a certain lifestyle?
The concept of Kink is relating to, having, or appealing to unconventional taste, especially in a sexual context. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be sexual in nature. Kink, BDSM, and power play are not specifically good or bad, they can have very different meanings to each person, and the most important thing is that all parties consent and understand the activity in question.
In this episode, I’m sharing some things you need to consider when you receive a request from your partner to try something new in or outside of the bedroom and how to ensure that it is fun for all parties. Discover why you should never engage in an activity you are not comfortable with, and some things you should consider when thinking about trying out kink, BDSM, or power play.
You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast episode 91.
Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling, and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues, and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.
Hello, hello, hello Diamonds. How are you doing? I am so excited for this month because it’s one of my favorite months. It’s June and in June we celebrate Pride. I celebrate people’s right to define their sexual identity for themselves. And in the simplest of terms, sexual orientation is who you’re attracted to sexually and/or romantically or not at all as asexuality is also a sexual orientation. I think that most of you know that I identify as queer and have identified as non-heterosexual since my late 20s.
I personally like the label queer since my sexual orientation has been fluid over the years, evolving as my experiences inform my identity. I know it’s not the way for most people but it is my experience, heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, pansexual, all those in that journey I get to incorporate into the word, queer. That’s me. I didn’t come out until my 40s after my first marriage ended. I can’t describe the pure that comes from just saying, “Hey, look, this is who I am.” It’s a feeling of freedom, of being whole.
And I want to thank all of those people that have gone before to make it possible for me to be myself, to be loud, proud and queer. Happy Pride you all.
Today I want to continue my series on partner requests. You may not realize this but I coach a fair amount of women that come to me after they have received a request from their partner to engage in some form of kink, BDSM, powerplay or lifestyle.
Before we get started this is the disclaimer section. I’m not advocating that you engage in kink. I am advocating that you stay safe in all times and while doing all activities. And I am a doctor but I’m not specifically your doctor nor am I suggesting that you engage in any of these activities from a medical perspective. This is common information that I’m going to be discussing, okay, that’s done. Let’s begin.
There are many definition out there about kink. I like this one, relating to, having or appealing to unconventional tastes especially in a sexual context. I’ll add in, but it does not necessarily have to be sexual in nature. If you’re specifically talking about BDSM then I look to Midori, an expert on BDSM, female dominance and shibari. She defines BDSM as childhood joyous play with adult sexual privilege and cool toys. I like that definition, play, adulthood, cool toys.
So kink, BDSM, powerplay are not specifically good or bad and it can have very different meanings to each person. One person might say that they engage in kink and they’re talking about sensual play with ice cubes. While another person might be saying that they engage in kink and they mean they’re being tied up or spanked, so different experiences, different definitions, different interests, different people.
So what do you do when your partner comes to you and they tell you that they’re interested in doing a certain activity or living a certain lifestyle? Maybe they would like to be dominant or submissive in the bedroom, or possibly dominant or submissive inside and outside the bedroom. Maybe they would like to be tied up or tie you up. What do you do when you get these kind of requests? I’ve had several Diamonds come to me and they show up with a shocked look on their face. They’re like, “I’m not sure what’s going on here.”
And they feel like they’ve been broadsided like a deer in the headlights and they’re feeling under a lot of pressure. Often they feel like if they don’t agree to this request then the relationship will be in jeopardy. They have nowhere to go to discuss the situation. It’s not like our society encourages us to sit down at lunch and tell our friends that, “David wants to be a male servant in the home.” My job as a sex coach is to give them that safe space that they need in order to continue to process and to consider all their options. I’m here to be a support while they begin to make some decisions.
But there are certain areas that I focus on when having the kink discussion. The first two most important topics are around safety and consent. You will often hear the term ‘safe, sane and consensual’ when discussing kink. All activities should be safe. All participants should be informed and should be able to make a decision and agree to engage in these activities, basically give explicit consent. Are you safe emotionally or physically in this situation? That is the first question to ask yourself.
If you’re not feeling safe then get the hell out of there, get out of that situation immediately. Also activities that involve blood, drawing blood, asphyxiation, electrical shock, things like that, they for me go under the edge play category. And they’re things that I’m concerned that are not safe and I would not put that in the safe category. It is important to be informed. Are you aware of all the conditions and the actions involved in this activity? What exactly is your partner requesting?
Have you had extensive discussions about these activities? Do you agree to these activities without duress? Do not agree to these activities because you’re afraid of losing your relationship or a partner if you do not agree. Let’s be clear, that is not consent, that is coercion. Coercion is the practice of persuading someone to do something either by force or by threat. So ask yourself, is coercion involved here? Your partner gets to make a request. Your partner can request whatever they want to but they don’t get to link that request to leaving or the relationship’s over or anything like that.
And if the request is tied to threats you might want to reevaluate the relationship overall. Is this relationship a safe relationship? Is this a relationship that you want to be in that somebody thinks it’s okay to threaten you? After safety you need to look at consent. Is this something that you would like to agree to? Take some time with this. If it’s not a hell yes then it’s a no for now, at least until you get all the information that you need.
But look at that no, is it a maybe, I need more information? Is the no a no not now but possibly in the future? Or is the no a no not now and not ever, no way? Whatever your decision get all the information. Feel free to ask all the questions just so that you really understand what they are requesting. Have a discussion about what you are comfortable with and what you are not comfortable with doing. If you are not comfortable with an activity, do not engage in it.
And I also want to say that you can initially think that you’re comfortable with an activity and then when you’re in the process, engaged in that activity, then you realize it’s not something that you’re really interested or want to do. It’s also important to have safe words and some people use universal red, yellow, green with green is yeah, this is great, let’s do this. Yellow is wait, let’s slow down or let’s stop a minute to discuss and process this and red is stop right now.
So at any point during the activity you definitely negotiate ahead of time but also recognize you can change your mind at any time in the activity or you can say, “Let’s slow down, let’s stop, let’s spend some time talking about this.” It’s not like you give consent ahead of time and then there is consent all the way through the activity. You get to continuously reevaluate and see if this is something fun that you’re interested in doing or if it’s something you need to stop or slow down, or whatever. So that’s an important factor to be aware of.
That being said, when you start the discussion start it with an open mind. Choose a time and a place that feels safe and neutral for this discussion. Maybe discuss ahead of time creating an environment where all voices will be heard and respected. And if at all possible don’t judge ahead of time. You can always choose to say no and definitely let your partner know that your decision to engage in the activity cannot be tied to a continuation of the relationship since that is coercion, which we previously discussed.
Okay, so if you decide you’re willing to engage in this activity you also get to negotiate that as well. You get to negotiate the when, the where, the how, the how often, the whom with, just all of it. You don’t have to engage in the activity a 100% of the time. If somebody wants to be spanked it doesn’t mean that a 100% of the time you incorporate spanking unless you too decide that’s exactly what you want to do. Maybe just occasionally, maybe 20%, 10%, 50%, 70%, you get to decide about this, maybe it’s just birthdays and holidays.
Anything you want to discuss is open for discussion. You also get to decide the when and where of it all. Is it only on vacation? Is it when you reserve a special room in a hotel? Or is it every Saturday in the bedroom at home? And you get to ask about the how. What specifics are incorporated in this kink? You get to say what activities you are comfortable engaging in and what activities you are not comfortable engaging in. I’m just trying to make the point that nothing is a 100% yes.
Even when you say yes you might be willing to do an activity, you still get to negotiate to what extent, when, how, all of it. Everything is up for negotiation and you also get to make your own requests. Is there anything that you’ve been interested in but have not necessarily been able to ask for? Now is a good time to ask for it. If you’re going to start this discussion, let’s start the discussion and put it all on the table. Go ahead, ask for it, start the negotiations. Let’s have some fun.
And I really want to talk about this word fun, because so often when women come to me and their partner has given them their request, they’re in a place of worry, and concern, and fear. They don’t know what the future’s going to be. They’re not sure about the future of the relationship. So they’re coming to me usually from an anxious perspective. And so I want to make clear that a lot of kink is about the fun of it all, it really is about the fun of it all. It can really be fun. It gets to be that joyous play that Midori talks about.
And you get to ask yourself, how can this be fun for both of us? You get to invite in the fun when you’re engaging in the negotiations. It does not have to be all about your partner. It’s about both of you. And you get to come from a perspective of fun. How can this be fun for you?
I have to say, I helped a woman negotiate when her partner made a request for her. And she was able to negotiate more help around the house from her hubby in exchange for kink. So now she is sitting pretty on the couch and the dishes are done, the house is vacuumed. Of course maybe it should have been this way to begin with. But you get to make it anything you want to. You get to have fun with this. So she has fun in the bedroom and she has fun outside of the bedroom. Her house is a lot cleaner. Her partner’s happy, she’s happy and this is part of negotiation.
So figure out how to make this fun and how to enjoy this. Ultimately the focus should be upon you and your partner, or just partners coming together and figuring out the when, what, where and how of it all. So, Diamonds have fun with this, explore the possibilities. And above all stay safe and make sure that consent is there. Lots of love. Dr. Sonia out.
Diamonds, how is your sex life? No, really, on a scale of one to ten how is your sex life? You know I’m all about the intimacy in midlife. If you rated the intimacy in your life less than an eight then we need to talk. I’m personally inviting you to check out my Own Your Sexuality Now intimate edition course. We just finished the January cohort and it was on fire. Women of all ages from 35 to 65 were learning about their bodies and expressing their sexuality and doing it on their own terms.
Couples who had not had sex in years found a new level of sexual intimacy and fun and they reestablished that connection. Other women learned about their bodies and tapped into their pleasure zone. Another one learned to set boundaries and focus on her pleasure for the first time. One more Diamond got the independence that she needed to change up her whole life.
Own Your Sexuality Now is not just about sex, it’s about empowerment, and of course, pleasure. And right now, we’re enrolling a new group. Come join an intimate group of women for the next 12 weeks and literally change your life. Let’s create that amazing, satisfying intimacy that you deserve. If you’re in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s then this is the place for you. You potentially have 30 to 40, even 50 more years of intimacy ahead of you. What do you want that to look like?
Let’s get real and talk about what’s going on with your body, your libido and see what we can do to kickstart that intimacy again. This program is for you whether or not you are partnered. If you’re single, if you’re partnered, if you’re in questionable status, whatever your relationship status is, this is for you. If you’re a woman who wants to enjoy all aspects of her life then this is the program for you. It finally gets to be your time.
And did we mention that we have added in relationship coaching? So, you get an additional four bonus group sessions with a relationship coach. You’ve really got to join us. So, click on the link below in the show notes or on my website at soniawrightmd.com and join me in Own Your Sexuality Now, the intimate edition. I can’t wait to see you. Talk to you soon, Diamonds.