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BDSM relationship tips for beginners

Elizabeth Mitchell is a freelance fashion and beauty writer living in Los Angeles. A graduate of New York University, she regularly contributes to The Fashion Spot, The Luxury Spot and authors the Star Style column for StyleBakery Teen. ...

A beginner's guide to BDSM

So you devoured all three Fifty Shades of Grey books, and now you think you might be interested in a BDSM relationship yourself? Before you go out and find your very own Christian Grey, peep these tips to ensure your safety.

1

Do your research

First things first, it's important to know exactly what you're getting yourself into and what it is that you want out of the BDSM relationship. That's why board certified sexologist and sexuality educator Dr. Justine Shuey recommends exploring your own desires and doing some research to determine what turns you on, gets you off and what things cross the line for you. "Self-awareness is key because you need to know what you like and don't like to be able to communicate that effectively with your partner,” she explains. "If something you're interested in trying seems complicated or requires some level of skill (e.g. rope bondage), there are a lot of great books on BDSM technique, plus articles and tutorials online, you can check out. There may even be local classes in your area you can attend.”

2

Find a trusting partner

When it comes to BDSM relationships, it's critical to not only find a partner you trust, but someone who will respect your boundaries and be willing to explore with you, says Dr. Shuey. "Clearly communicate your limits and boundaries, as well as your wants, needs, fantasies and desires, to your partner.” If he's not on board, he's not the one for you.

3

Create a yes, no, maybe list

panties with handcuffs

To confirm you and your partner are on the same page, Dr. Shuey advises sitting down together and creating a list of all the things you could possibly do sexually. "Include things you might do, would never do and things you would like to try. If you want to skip this step, you can find lists on the internet,” she points out. "Next, you and your partner should go through and check off yes if it's something you would like to try, no if it's a hard limit and it doesn't interest you, or maybe if you aren't really sure or might be willing to try something under certain circumstances. Once you've made your lists, try one or two things at a time so as not to overwhelm yourself,” she warns. This is a great way to explore your boundaries, not to mention things you may have never thought of doing.

4

Meet other kinksters

How? Log onto Fetlife.com, a social networking site for kinky people. "Fetlife lists educational and social events on their site,” notes Dr. Shuey. "You might find local meetup groups (or ‘munch' groups) in your area. A munch group is a social gathering for kinky people. There is often food, either potluck or at a restaurant, and socializing. Sometimes there are educational components to these,” she says. Regardless, it's a great way to network with other kinky people.

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