You’ve recently realized that the past couple times you have been able to reach orgasm was by thinking about your partner grabbing you by the neck and slamming you against a wall. Or maybe you fantasize about grabbing your partner’s head against your vagina and having them worship you in between gasps of air. This might be a bit alarming if you normally do not entertain these kinds of fantasies and much more if you and your partner mostly have vanilla sex. What should you do if you want to explore these kinkier fantasies? Here’s our guide to bringing up the topic of kink and possibly incorporating it in the bedroom.

1. Do your own research before you bring up the subject.

Whatever it is that you would like to experiment with – whether spanking or bondage or rape fantasy – do your research. There are plenty of places where you can find information on many facets of kink play. My personal favorite is the Submissive Guide because it’s really great at explaining many facets of kink to beginners and the kink-curious. This research might help solidify your desire to try it out, you might find out you don’t like it after all, or you might even discover new things that interest you.

2. Use subtle cues to try to engage in a short discussion.

This might be as innocent as spanking your partner playfully to assess receptiveness or light spanking during sex. If your kink desire is difficult to hint subtly, find porn that shows the kink of your interest and talk to your partner about it and whether they are interested in it. Conversation starters might go something like: “So a friend of mine was telling me that s/he stumbled into some porn that had _______ in it” or “I was wondering if you might be interested in watching some porn with me as foreplay one night.” (Or day. Don’t let me tell you when to have sex.)

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3. Create an opportunity to talk about your desires openly.

Once you have dropped a subtle hint and a line or two about your desired kink, set up a time to discuss it openly with your partner. Create the opportunity in which your partner shares their desires first. Ask. You might be surprised that they share the same desire or you might find that their desire interests you. This sharing about fantasies openly will help make the conversation easier and bring you closer together because you’ll feel like you are getting on the same sexual page. (I’d encourage this conversation to happen more often than when you are exploring kink. It’s a good way to spice things up and check-in with your partner sexually).

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4. Talk some more.

Before trying anything novel to your sexual experience, I would highly encourage you to talk about it more than once and even research it together. Looking into kink together, showing your partner articles or watching videos (as in a how-to guide if it involves whips, bondage, even gagging and blindfolding –this needs special attention) can make both you and your partner feel more comfortable about attempting it. If your desire involves sadomasochistic activities, do extra research! You don’t want to accidentally hurt your partner in a non-pleasurable way. If it involves Submission and Dominance, talk about the ways in which you can engage in a power exchange –this dynamic, while sexual, can be done publicly, and be as simple as always opening doors, calling your partner an agreed upon name in the bedroom (ie. Mister, Sir, slut, whore) or as complex as sexual training like cumming on command or deep throating.

5. Try it or don’t try it. Love it or don’t. Scrap it or compromise.

If at any point either of you doesn’t feel comfortable during your scene, stop immediately. Either continue with other sexual activities that you are familiar with or stop completely if the desire is gone after your new experience. If after your discussions and research you or your partner do not want to try it, then don’t try to force it. Maybe bring it up later or agree to give it more thought individually and discuss it in the future.

If you love it, I don’t think I need to say anything other than keep at it and maybe take it to the next level – after some discussion about what the next level might be. If either of you doesn’t love it, either scrap it or compromise if one of you does but the other does not. This might mean exploring other facets of your kink. For example, if you would like your partner to tie you up but your partner doesn’t feel comfortable doing so, perhaps ask them to hold your arms above your head or by your sides during sex. Or you might consider altering the nature of your relationship and having vanilla sex with your partner but visiting your local dungeon to get your kink fix. Either way, I encourage the two of you to talk after attempting your kink to get on the same page.

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Finally, I encourage everyone to try something at least three times, not twice. Once to see if you like it, twice to give it another shot, and thrice to be a good sport… You can’t say you didn’t try! And remember, always have safe words!