The 10 First Things You Should Try in BDSM

Woman in chains

The world of BDSM has only recently become more mainstream, but it’s been around for centuries, at least in some form or another. While the community may be larger now than ever before, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to do your research if you want to get involved with BDSM activities like bondage and discipline or sado-masochism. Before you try anything too risky, though, check out this list of the 10 first things you should try in BDSM. You can then feel free to venture out into more extreme play when you feel ready!

1) Light bondage

It may sound scary, but there’s no need to panic. Light bondage doesn’t mean you’re getting yourself into hardcore sadomasochism—though a lot of people do. It just means being bound to a bedpost with silky ties, or having your partner pull at your arm as he slides deep inside you. It’s not as kinky as it sounds; more like erotic rope-play than anything else. And if that sort of thing does nothing for you, that’s fine too. Just try it once and see how you feel about it afterward.

2) Blindfolds

In a sexual context, blindfolds can be very powerful. When your partner can’t see what you’re doing to them, they rely on other senses to experience pleasure. This causes anticipation and excitement to grow—and often leads to mind-blowing sex. It’s also great for roleplay, where one partner pretends to be forced into sexual submission or is forbidden from seeing their partner. Just make sure not to lose a contact lens! Blindfolds are an easy way to experiment with new things in bed without being too intimidating.

3) Spanking

This is one of those first kinky things that a lot of people try at some point. The impact on your bottom is hard to beat, and it’s also very easy for most people to get into. As with everything else, start slow and experiment! Use your hand or a paddle—but avoid objects like rulers or hairbrushes, which can really hurt if you hit too hard. If you want to make sure you’re doing it right, check out our guide on spanking (and other common beginner mistakes).

4) Bondage with an object

Use ropes, cuffs, a collar or anything else to restrain your partner. Chances are they’ll love it and ask for more—which means you should probably have a few more restraints ready. Just be sure to get permission before tying someone up. If you haven’t already tried handcuffs (or don’t know what those are), don’t make them your first restraint of choice! Start with something soft and easy to escape from. After all, if you can’t let go when things start getting hot and heavy, that defeats half of bondage’s purpose.

5) Hitting gently with an object

We’re talking about real spanking here, not a sexy little slap to make your partner tingle. Spanking is one of those things that can feel great and also leaves marks—if you want it to or if that’s part of what gets you going. It’s a big step to take as it can be difficult to keep someone safe while they’re being hit, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If you do decide to go for it, though, we suggest starting with something soft like a paddle or a wooden spoon before moving on to more intense implements like floggers and paddles.

6) Rope bondage

Rope bondage is a form of rope play that involves tying up your partner. The ropes can be simple or elaborate, and can constrict movement to varying degrees. Depending on how tight you tie your partner, rope bondage is not necessarily intended to restrict circulation or cause pain; it’s meant to simply create a feeling of being bound, restricted and/or submissive. Use soft cotton or hemp ropes for bondage—don’t use nylon or other synthetics, which can actually cut into skin!

7) Sensory deprivation

Sensory deprivation is one of those things that sounds like a really cool idea. If you’re trying to add more spice to your sex life, try experimenting with complete sensory deprivation. It sounds more extreme than it actually is. While sensory deprivation may sound similar to sensory play, they are two very different practices. In sensory deprivation, all senses are cut off from stimulation. For example, if you wanted to practice sensory deprivation with your partner, you could blindfold them and then cover their ears and restrict their movement so they can’t feel anything else. This would be a good start for beginners as there isn’t much risk involved and will allow both partners to get used to each other being vulnerable. Once you have tried out some simple forms of sensory deprivation together, consider moving on to some more advanced techniques!

8) Collar and leash play

According to Jay Wiseman, author of SM 101: A Realistic Introduction, a collar and leash is one of the most tangible symbols of power exchange. Wearing a collar is almost always an indication that ‘I am here to serve you and will obey you,’ he writes. For people just getting into kink or experimenting with new types of play, collars are a low-risk way to get into something different and fun.

9) Roleplay

Roleplaying can be a fun way to get to know your partner and try out a new dynamic or fantasy. Whether you’re inspired by D/s (dominance and submission), M/s (master and slave), or any other type of relationship, roleplaying is easy and an excellent way to introduce yourself to kink. Start off with some simple dress-up—wear your partner’s clothes, put on his favorite cologne—and see where it leads! If you want to take things further, try incorporating light bondage into your roleplay: For example, have him tie you up while wearing that silky nightgown he loves so much. Or ask him to spank you with his belt before getting dressed for work. The possibilities are endless!

10) Fisting

The act of inserting your entire hand into someone’s anus or vagina. Though many people consider fisting to be an advanced sex position, it can actually be quite pleasurable for all parties involved with adequate preparation. Start by using a few well-lubricated fingers to loosen up their sphincter and slip inside before going all-in with your hand. As you progress, you can try other toys like butt plugs and dildos to help them get used to having something in their ass. Once they’re ready, you can move on to more extreme play like anal beads or even fisting itself! Don’t forget that plenty of lube is key when exploring anal play; if you don’t have any on hand, coconut oil makes a great natural alternative that won’t cause irritation.