Dear Ty

Reading Time: 4 minutes


Dear Di,

With all this hype about 50 Shades of Grey, my girlfriend and I are looking to start working a little BDSM into our sex life. I haven’t watched 50 Shades.  So I am completely inexperienced when it comes to trying out some new moves. How can we get started (safely) without killing the sexy vibes with our inexperience?

Baby, Do Spank Me

Dear BDSM, 

A little BDSM 101 is a perfect way to amp up the passion between you and your partner at your own pace. The initials stand for bondage & discipline, domination & submission, sadism & masochism. These forms of sex explore what can be seriously stimulating fantasy play based on dominant and submissive power roles between you and your partner. BDSM involves stimulations with high intensity, discomfort, and sometimes pain. It may sound extreme, but it can also be the source of incredible sensations if it’s done with lots of pre-coital communication.

The most important thing is consent. It really comes down to what hits your hot spot when thinking about starting to build some BDSM into your sexual repertoire, since it focuses on the fine line between pleasure and pain. Experiment with what you and your partner have done so far; it’s up to the two of you to determine how far you want to take the level of power play. A visit to a sex store can help give you some ideas to get started together. Something simple, like using a pair of pink fuzzy handcuffs, can be an easy way to try BSDM. 

Another good idea might be to take solo time to fantasize about what you’ve always wanted your partner to do to you, or what you have always wanted to do to them. You both can then bounce ideas off of each other about what scenario you want to experiment with to determine what you want to get out of the experience. It will also give you each a chance to discover what truly whets your appetite. Finally, it’s a good time to set limits on how far you want to go. 

There’s no need to jump right into the most hardcore of BDSM—take it slow! Having a safe word that you or your partner can use when things are getting a little too steamy is the best way to keep it safe yet sexy. This word should be unrelated to sex—choose a word that you typically would not say during sex so that your partner gets the cue to cut off their action.  

Ultimately, BDSM can open sexual avenues that you and your partner were previously unaware of, and can add a new dimension to your sex lives. Recent publicity about sex scandals and 50 Shades of Grey have exposed the more dangerous side of BDSM, but when done consensually, I believe it can help you and your partner reach new sexual heights.

(For more tips and information about BDSM check out this article from our sex issue!



Dear Di,

I have recently started to see someone who has a disability that impairs their ability to move, and their ability to have sex, I imagine. I personally don’t have a disability, but I don’t want that to get in the way of our relationship developing further. What can I do to accommodate for their restrictions but also be able to have a mutually pleasurable sexual experience (when and if it happens)?

—Putting on
the Moves

Dear POTM, 

I’m really pleased that you’re taking your partner’s needs and abilities into consideration to understand where they’re coming from. Learning about their disability and which moves may or may not work for them will help you both to experiment it o ensure your sexual activity together is truly a time to remember. 

Talk it over. You want to understand what your partner’s comfort zone is, both physically and mentally. Here are a few other pointers for when you get on to getting it on:

Explore your bodies. It doesn’t have to be all about sex, and it probably shouldn’t be your focus right off the bat. Learning about each other’s bodies and desires is just as important, and will help you both reach a mutual comfort level. Keep it relaxed and open to experience, so you can laugh off anything that goes wrong. This is all about experimentation and imagination to see what feels good and how your body responds to different positions and sensations.

Be open to new sexual expression. Depending on your own sexual background, you may have different expectations.  Remember to stay positive and embrace trying new things. You may need to try certain cushion placements, sex toys, lubricants, or positions to hit that sexual peak.

Communicate with your partner during the experience to determine what feels good, and what doesn’t. Over time, you will both be able to develop techniques to maximize eachother’s pleasure. A disability that affects one part of your partner’s body might result in heightened sensations in another area—it’s yours to find. 

Don’t forget to be safe. A disability doesn’t mean that either of you are immune to STIs. Disabilities may impact the contraceptive options available to you and your partner.

The Kama Sutra was created for a reason. There’s a huge range of positions that can be adjusted for just about everyone. If you’re interested in more info, there are a lot of online resources and how-to guides to explore pleasure with a partner who is disabled. If you and your partner are looking for a good read, try The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability by Cory Silverberg, Miriam Kaufman, and Fran Odette.

Get creative. There’s bound to be a sexual learning curve ahead of you, but that just makes it all the more thrilling to discover what gets your body moving in ways you never have before.