Category: Couples Therapy

Show Your Partner You Love Them (Through Spanking)

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SPANKING

Wishing your lover would take a bit more control in the bedroom? Frustrated by his hesitation to be the boss while you happily submit? Don’t know how to bring this up without embarrassment and possible disappointment?

You are not alone!

Though there are a number of respectful and knowledgeable books on the market that inform new practitioners about the hands-on aspects of BDSM, what seems to be missing, or at least downplayed, are the psychological complexities many new fans are encountering.

An answer to your disappointment about your partner not taking the lead may come from an example from a client of mine.

Tom, a 53-year-old heterosexual man arrived in my office concerned about the sexual requests he was getting from his girlfriend of two years. She had told him she wanted more experimentation in their sex lives, and suggested some props. He enjoyed her sexy new outfits and picking her up in a bar while pretending they were strangers, but when she then asked him to spank her, he found himself in a quandary.

Raised by ardent feminists, he knew well the rules about “hitting” women. When he attempted to please his lover with a light spanking, she begged for more — and harder. Tom soon began to avoid sex rather than confront his anxiety. He felt torn between being a “good man” and a “good lover.” He came to me worried about his role and the future of the relationship.

Like you, Tom is in good company. Many people, regardless of gender, confront how BDSM intersects with abuse. The surface answer is simple: consent. If everyone playing clearly agrees with what is happening, it is not abuse.

The more complex answer is that, even with unambiguous and enthusiastic consent, it can be difficult to lay hands on another person. It goes against our ethics and our lifelong messages about not hitting another person. It can feel beyond naughty and sometimes downright evil.

What to do?

  • First of all, talk to your lover about your feelings. Ask for their views on what’s hot and what’s not and share yours.
  • Make lists comprised of What I Like, What I Would Like to Try, and What’s Off the Table, and then discuss those lists. Talk about your fantasies and fears. Negotiate your differences while you celebrate your similarities.
  • Establish safe words to be used if any of your limits are threatened, even unintentionally.
  • Proceed slowly…not with caution but with a sense of exploration. Add to your inventory of desired behaviours as you each and both become comfortable.

Tom found that following these tips led to increased vulnerability and intimacy with his girlfriend. In fact, ‘kinksters’ credit this open communication with strengthening their bond as well as keeping their sex lives hot and fresh.

If you long for more intense stimulation, or if someone you love is asking for more, consider how confronting your old messages and trusting in honest communication can enhance an already rewarding experience.

Trying new things is often scary. What is sad is allowing your fear to cost you growth and adventure!

Some Enchanted Evening

Some Enchanted Evening: Planning a Night of Romance

If you are out of touch with your lover’s body, or with your own, this enchanted evening may initially feel embarrassing and awkward. Just accept that this will be so for most of us, and push through it. The rewards are worth it.

Some Enchanted Evening
Some Enchanted Evening

Here’s the plan:

1) Decide your roles:

One person is the do-er tonight; the other the do-ee. Next time you switch.

2) Set the stage:

Begin by designing an environment in which intimacy can thrive. Remove distractions (phones, pagers, kids, TVs) and set aside a few hours to luxuriate in each other. Choose your mood music, light candles and incense, turn up the thermostat so the room stays comfortably warm. Heat some coconut oil (greaseless, stainless, inexpensive, and slippery) or massage oil and cover the bed with flannel-backed rubber sheeting (available where baby supplies are sold) or an extra sheet so you needn’t fret about housekeeping. Look around. Have you created sensual surroundings?

3) The Bath:

Gather your supplies together. You’ll find a plethora of treats at the dollar store and the drug store. Collect sponges, pumice stones, soft net scrubbers, brushes, soft (and scratchy) cloths….anything that imparts a tactile sensation to the skin. Don’t forget scented bath bombs, oils, and bubble baths. Collect the bath towels and your lover’s robe and pop them into the dryer to heat.

Begin by bringing your lover into the bathroom, where all is prepared, and tell them how happy you are to be indulging them (and yourself) in this sensuous experience.S-l-o-w-l-y undress the do-ee, appreciating each newly revealed bit of skin. Bury your nose in neck hollows, trace the line from chin to navel, cup the buttocks, stroke shins… Resist conversation—just coo.

Now help your lover into the tub and bathe them caressingly, paying attention to each body part. Be responsive to feedback, and try different sensations and toys as you move along. Think ‘romantic’ (watch the shampoo scene from Out of Africa for inspiration). Move slowly. Observe how you feel.

When you’re done (you’ll know), leave your mate to shower off while you fetch the towels and robe, hopefully toasty warm from the dryer. (This also affords your partner some private time to attend to any erotic needs that may interfere with the sensual nature of the evening. Orgasm is not on the menu, so suggest that this can be accomplished now if desired.) Enfold your swooning lover in the warm cloth and lead them to the already-prepared bedroom.

4) Massage:

You are now ready for the massage portion of the evening. Settle your lover on the bed and anoint them with the warm oil. Feel your own skin slide over theirs and revel in the communication between your bodies. Memorize the geography of this body before you, reading by Braille the nuances of folds and hollows. Surrender to the sensuality of it all. Do all body parts. Do not skip…or concentrate…anyplace specific. Attend to genitals as well as elbows, and accept erections as a natural reaction to such sensual pleasure. You may tarry at these delightful junctures, but remember that orgasm is not the point. Keep your caresses gentle and tactile.

When the first side’s done, roll your partner over and do the other one. By this time expect them to be a jelly-like mass of low moans and satisfied smiles. Make sure they are comfortable while you disassemble the room—extinguish candles, close the music, lower the thermostat, and undress yourself. Roll the extra sheeting off the bed and climb in behind your lover, like spoons nesting in a drawer.

5) Breathing:

Place one hand on their chest and match your breathing to theirs. This ‘mirrored breathing’ is one of the most simple and intimate of gestures. Give yourself over to the sensations of togetherness and mutual comfort and drift off to sleep together.

That’s it, folks. With these simple steps you can create an atmosphere in which resentment, hostility, and worry cannot flourish. It is enormously healing for estranged but loving pairs. Give it a try whenever you feel the need for a dose of pampering and intimate connection.

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