When it comes to exploring your kinks and fantasies, you might quickly realize that there’s a difference between engaging with a sexual partner and just having “playtime”. Sometimes a play partner can be someone you’re sexually or romantically involved with and sometimes a scene might incorporate or turn into sex or sexual stimulation. But playing with someone doesn’t always involve a sexual aspect to the relationship. With so many possibilities, what exactly does it mean to be someone’s play partner?

What is a play partner?

A play partner is someone you explore your kinks with. Playtime doesn’t have to be and often isn’t sexual. Regardless of the nature of your play, play partners need to trust one another and communicate, just like with any other relationship. When it comes to BDSM play, trust and communication are even more important.

Is it the same as hooking up or dating?

While your play partner might also be a sexual and/or romantic partner, they don’t have to be. Plenty of people engage in non-sexual experiences with their partner. For example, a rope or impact scene can create pleasure (and pain) for both partners without being overtly sexual.

What kinds of people make good play partner?

A good play partner is either into the same kinks as you are or is willing to explore your kinks with you and vice versa. While I am no BDSM expert, from the experience of my friends, I’ve definitely realized that communication is key. Scenes can be intense, which creates a bond between two people. As with anything related to BDSM, communication is key. But just like with a FWB, be sure to consider your emotions and those of your partners if your relationship isn’t sexual or romantic, or even if it is. Feelings may develop.

Where do I find a play partner?

Be sure to discuss your kinks with any partners you already have. You may be surprised to find out your boyfriend is into the same things you are! In all honesty, my play partner is my best friend and things are non-sexual. I was lucky to find someone within my friend group, but if you feel awkward bringing the topic up or can’t find anyone, check out dating websites; many people include the fact that they’re BDSM-friendly in their profiles. Check out kink-focused and -friendly websites like fetlife.com to find people and events local to you so you can find someone like-minded.

Have fun exploring your favorite fetish with your new friend!