My boyfriend hasn't read the book, so when I told him my idea, he wanted me to elaborate. In great detail. So in the manner of the pragmatic Christian Grey himself, I drew up guidelines for what the game would consist of, and allowed him to have input on each provision. It became a pretty comprehensive list which I think would turn any ordinary romantic evening into something much more. So if you're looking for, shall we say, a different Valentine's Day this year, here's a simple guide to Grey up your night (props not included).
Image: Karsten via Flickr
Check out Sportsheets.com for some essential hardware — most everything Christian Grey has in his dom room is on this website, from beginner's handcuffs to something called a Spread the Love Bar. In the words of my boyfriend, "Yeah, I'm totally down."
Determine your negotiable hard and soft limits. Our hard limits were pretty much the same as in the books: no acts of fire play, no acts involving children or animals, etc. Our soft limits were a bit tamer than Christian's. Let's just say we're not going near clamping, canning or hot wax.
Agree to get each other something implicit, but not obviously sexual as a gift. For example, Grey got Ana first editions of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, because of the not so subtle connection to their relationship. Something thoughtful, and ever so slightly devious. Perhaps a little too expensive.
Image: Geoff Mock via Flickr
Agree ahead of time who's the student and who's the teacher tonight. This dominant/submissive game is probably my favorite, but you really must commit, and don't be afraid to truly punish. We've decided to make this a coin toss, and my boyfriend is playing down his excitement (and nerves) about it.
Outfits must be well thought out, and flawless. I'm playing down my excitement (and nerves) about this.
Make sure you agree on safety words before signing anything. Ours is koala for reasons known to both of us.
Keep conversation formal and proper, even when it seems ridiculous to do so. Something I could never get past was how often Christian used Anastasia's full, proper name. I mean, I know it's part of the whole control thing, but honestly, E L James, could you have made it more difficult for yourself? We will use Mr. and Miss when addressing each other. The Decided Dominant will get a "Sir" tacked on, regardless of the gender of who wins the coin toss.
All things drunk should be fancy, or at least look fancy. For example, Champagne or sparkling wine that has an interesting vintage. If it doesn't, make it up, but you must be convincing, or you'll ruin the mood.
Use protection, and decide ahead of time what kind it will be. Safety and health are very important to Christian, and he was always, always prepared. You never want to be caught at that pivotal moment, and have to go searching. That would not be very debonair.
Email each other leading up to the night, and play into your dominant/submissive roles. The anticipation game is perhaps the sexiest part of this whole book, and you want to savor it. My boyfriend and I are emailing back and forth between the office and living room as I type.
Finally, don't be afraid to let a certain moment take you where it will. I know Christian's all about sticking to the script, but then he's so pleasantly surprised when Ana throws him for a loop! Remember, these are just guidelines designed to help spark something. Don't be afraid to go off script — that's when the most exciting (and arousing) things tend to happen.
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