Dear Lani: Starting Out with a Vanilla Partner

Welcome to this week’s Dear Lani, an advice column to answer all your kinky questions. Want to know how a guy gets fitted for a chastity cage? Want to know what gag reflex training looks like? We’ve got your answers, or at least advice…okay, opinion.

Q: My partner is pretty conservative when it comes to sex. How can I start introducing him/her to BDSM? How do I even start the conversation?

A: First of all, BDSM is an umbrella term that covers an extremely broad spectrum of kinks. Even as an acronym, it can have different interpretations on what the individual letters stand for, including Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Machoism, Dominance and Submission. Thanks for popular media, often when people think BDSM, they think whips and floggers, bondage and latex and leather. Yes, that’s definitely part of the BDSM spectrum but there’s no need to jump right into the deep(er) end when starting out.

Open communication and continuous dialogue are always important, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, especially if your partner is not very aware of their own sexuality in the first place, which is common amongst people that have been raised conservatively. Many of them may not even be aware of what they like or don’t like. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Okay, so you’ve agreed to start exploring? What’s next? Start slowly introducing toys like cuffs and rope with your partner. But what kind of toys? Take a trip with your partner to a sex store and note what they gravitate towards. It’s often an enlightening process and you may be surprised at what will draw the curiosity.

If your conservative partner is against a public place, find a very tame BDSM video and ask to watch it in the privacy of your own space. It’ll allow for a chance to see they’d like to try something similar.

One recommendation on a “starter” toy the blindfold. Everyone has one somewhere around, whether it’s a scarf, eye mask, a tie etc. Many people think spanking is a good introduction to BDSM since it can be done with just the palm. However, spanking can be a very hard thing to introduce as a beginner. The reason is twofold: people associating spanking as something they did wrong as a kid and it takes a lot of awareness to recognize it as a kink and not as a demeaning punishment; there is some techniques and learning required to spank properly such as where best to spank and how best to hold your hand to what shape.

Once the door is open, enough that your partner is also comfortable exploring their own sexuality and reading on their own, things like kink quizzes online can then help narrow down on the types of play and help you and your partner find common ground.

Got a question?

Join the Of Sweets and Spices Facebook group to submit your questions and join in on the discussion. Every Tuesday, we’ll be picking one question to answer for the following Monday.

Disclaimer: We are expressing personal opinions and views. These opinions or views are not intended to treat or diagnose; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed physician or mental health professional.

2 thoughts on “Dear Lani: Starting Out with a Vanilla Partner

  1. I love this ❤️
    Thank you for sharing your opinions and experience.
    And I absolutely agree going to a sex store is I first took my S/O and we went at an off time so he could look with minimal glances from others.

    1. I always try to find a way for people to safely and discreetly figure out what they enjoy. It’s very much like watching a child in a candy store. Just a kink store is the Adult Candy Store. Now I want a Lollipop. Cheers!

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