One IU Kinsey Institute Ph.D.,
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I found some pretty heavy bondage porn on my boyfriend's computer, mostly with women in corsets and leather dominating men who are tied up. I had no idea this was even on my boyfriend's radar... and I am *ridiculously* turned on by the idea, even though I have no where to start. So how do I let him know that a) I found his secret stash of whips and chains stuff b) I'm super into it and c) I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm willing to try things with him?
Here's my devious mind at work, but I can't help but wonder if your dude may have "accidentally" left his browsing data uncleared. There are two ways to handle this, in my opinion: have a conversation or go full-on freak. The former is the adult choice, wherein each party states their desires and boundaries and everyone makes a sexual game plan of sorts. The latter means going out and buying a corset, stockings, some rope, and a whip and standing in the middle of the living room when he comes over. The risk-to-reward ratios of either scenario will inform your choice, but just know that the safest default is to just to bring it up like it's your idea, not like you uncovered some dark secret. Your being unashamed of it and willing to experiment will make him feel a lot more comfortable with the whole situation. Worse comes to worse, just read this exact question aloud to him, cock an eyebrow and dangle some handcuffs off of one finger. It'll all work itself out after that.
Why not just tell him exactly that? Unless you were doing some seriously shady snooping, you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Sometimes people stumble upon Internet search history, for example, or they search for a file on a shared computer, or while borrowing a partner's computer, and happen to come across a curious folder and then go down the rabbit hole, kind of like how people start out looking for cute kitten videos on YouTube and an hour later find themselves watching Milli Vanilli's video for Girl You Know It's True. If you were snooping, you could consider admitting that - and, while you're at it, apologizing for invading his privacy and giving some thought to what it is you were looking for in the first place (did you think he was cheating on you? Are you generally insecure in relationships? Were you specifically curious about what kinds of porn he watches, or were you looking for photos of him and an ex?). If you end up sharing about your own interests, b) and c) flow a lot easier. Whether or not you two actually try BDSM related activities, you might even start by watching those kinds of videos together. And if he doesn't want to involve you in the watching or the doing, that's a possibility too - some people like to keep things private or part of fantasy. You won't know unless you bring it up.
My girlfriend asked me to choke her during sex, and, suffice it to say, I didn't really know what to do or say and kinda panicked. To the point that I lost my erection. For the rest of the night. She hasn't even brought it up once and all of a sudden I feel like I failed some test or something as a sex partner. The rest of our relationship is great, but not being able to be forceful with her in that way seems like the first real "negative" in the relationship. How do I deal with this?
There are three kinds of responsibility you should never spring on your partner: pets, kids, and the flow of breath into your lungs - especially during sex. Someone who just casually drops breath play on you like that probably doesn't understand the gravity of what she's asking you to do, and might not have a very clear understanding of healthy sexual boundaries. The simple fact is, you're choking
someone, and you're allowed to be a little weirded out if something like that came out of nowhere. Part of what pisses me off about this question is that this whole situation never had to exist if your lady had been mature enough to pause and say "Hey, I'm into a thing and I don't know how it's going to hit your palate, but let me tell you about it... " So now you have to be the bigger person and say, "So, we should talk about that whole choking thing. I want to know more about it," and let her explain it to you. If she freaks out and won't have an open dialogue about that when you have opened a non-judgemental environment for her to talk about, then you'll know that you might have to take more initiative when it comes to talking about this stuff in the future. You'll have to be the tunnel-boring machine creating an open passage in her sexual-expression bedrock. Stay sharp, my friend.
Talk to her about it. She was bold and brave enough to ask you for what she wants. The least you can do is bring it up and tell her exactly what you said her. Admitting that you felt unsure, that you panicked, and that you feel like you failed but want to please her puts you in a vulnerable place. That's a good thing because vulnerability, especially in the hands of someone who is caring and loving, can help two people feel closer to one another. As for the choking, do tread carefully. This is sometimes referred to as "breath play" and while it can absolutely be done safely, some people make mistakes and wind up hurting themselves (if doing it alone; look into autoerotic asphyxiation for more info) or their partner. So do play carefully and seek out adequate information before choking or playing around with people's breathing.
The Binary Blues
I'm a guy in a straight relationship with a woman, but I've always been curious about having a male-male-female threesome. I consider myself pretty straight, but part of the draw of the threesome is having some kind of sexual contact with another man while having sex with a woman. I'm just not sure where that puts me on the sexuality continuum, or how I should bring it up to my girlfriend.
High-five, reader! You used some cool language here that I want to applaud you for: defining your relationship
as straight, which I think points out a more concrete sense of sexual identity that maybe you're not giving yourself credit for. In short, the world really, really likes to put people in boxes (gay or straight, male or female, tall or short, black or white, etc) or as scholarly types would call them, "binaries." Except most folks are outside their respective binaries in some way or another. Let me put your mind at ease: people who enjoy sexual experiences and enjoy sharing them are just sexy, regardless of sex or gender, and it doesn't really matter to anyone but your partner(s) where you are on the sexuality continuum, so let that go as an anxiety. It really doesn't matter at all, and only informs your overall sense of identity as much as you let it. As far as making it a reality, bring it up to your girlfriend honestly and pose it as an open-ended, no-wrong-answer question like, "How would you feel about... ?" or "Would you be comfortable with... ?" and then ask her about how OK she'd be with your having sexual contact with the other guy. And try not to be disappointed if she's not down, but save this fantasy for another partner or maybe later in your relationship when things are more secure. As my friend and fictional brother Wayne Campbell wisely said, "If you spew [your fantasy] and she bolts, then it was never meant to be."
It puts you on the sexuality continuum like everyone else. People have feelings. Some people like tall people, others like short people, some people are turned on mostly by folks of a certain race or ethnicity or by people of same races/ethnicities but not others. Some men or women like older partners, others like younger or same-aged partners. There's so much variety in terms of skin color, eye color, nationality, accent, people who are super smart or serious or funny. And yet, with all the diversity in the world, we can get so stuck on categories based on people's gender or genitals. So you think it would be a turn-on to have sex with your girlfriend and another guy. It might be! Would that turn everyone on? No. But it turns you on as it turns on so many other men (and women). That's okay. In fact, it sounds like you are more aware of your feelings than many people may be. It's also kind of nice (speaking as a woman here) to hear a guy say that what's sexy about the male/male/female threesome is being with another man and a woman rather than, say, two men taking advantage of or hurting a woman. Sadly, that's the turn-on for some men who are into this kind of threesome, as is reflected in quite a bit of porn that shows two or more men picking up a woman, having sex with her, and then leaving her stranded in an unknown part of town. Know what I'm saying? Your turn-on comes from a place of being attracted to men and women - of liking a greater swath of humanity rather than wanting to be hurtful or unkind. As sex researchers often say, the only thing "normal" about sex is its variety or diversity. You're part of that wonderful, rich diversity.
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