Lagos - So you read 50 shades and then the sequel and you made it all the way to 50 shades darker.
Perhaps, since then, you’ve discovered Syliva Day and JR Ward or any of the other newly popular BDSM writers that have recently flooded onto the market.
Whatever path you followed, you’ve found that the writing and ideas titivate and tantalize you and you’re now seriously considering the idea of introducing a bit of kink and sizzle into your bedroom play.
So just how do you actually broach the subject with your husband or wife… and do it in a way that doesn’t do damage to your already existing relationship?
A touchy subject
Sex, finances and children; as anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship or marriage will tell you, are up there with politics and religion in terms of the quickest ways to pick a fight.
Few people like to be criticized on any of these issues and because these issues are amongst those that we consider within our right to approach the way we want to approach them, very few people want to hear feedback on these issues.
This is likely to be your biggest hurdle when approaching your partner about introducing kink into your life… they may fear that you’re telling them you’re not satisfied or they’re not good enough in the bedroom.
It’s a tough one, no doubt about that.
No surprise attacks
The first thing you have to know is that you cannot just jump into this subject unannounced… in fact, simply jumping in can and probably will cause a major fight.
So the first clear thing you have to remember is that you’re here to improve your relationship – and avoid at all costs anything that could do damage or take you leaps and bounds backwards.
Similarly, if you’re the person raising the issue, you also probably have to take responsibility for coaching or leading the conversation.
To begin with, approach your partner when you both have time and are calm.
If you broach the initial subject when they’re hurried or stressed, you may get a bad response simply because you’ve interrupted them or shocked them.
Your mission here is not to have the conversation itself, your first objective is actually to open the door for the conversation.
So, it could look or sound something like:
“Honey, I have a few suggestions around how we can add a bit of spice to what happens between us in the bedroom. Would you mind if we made some time to sit down and chat about it please?”
One of three things is likely to happen at this juncture:
1. Your partner could feel insulted and think you’re saying that they’re not good enough in bed.
2. Your partner could give you a lukewarm and non-committal response that leaves you not quite knowing where you or they actually stand on the issue raised.
3. Your partner could be very excited to hear what you have to say.
If it’s the worst-case scenario and your partner responds adversely, your very first job is to reassure them that you love them and that you in no way want to make them feel bad or that they’re inadequate in some way.
Whatever you do, do not let this situation result in a fight, because if that happens you will anchor the negative emotion to the discussion making it a contentious issue every time you want to raise it going forward.
If your partner gives you a lukewarm response, it's okay and better than him giving an outright no.
In any case, whether it’s a maybe or an enthusiastic yes, your next steps will be the same:
1. Tell your partner what you’re thinking of talking about. For instance, I read the book 50 Shades of Grey and there were ideas in there that really appealed to me. I’d like to discuss introducing them into our bedroom time slowly.
2. Offer your partner a resource that they can use to read up on the ideas themselves.
3. Set an appointment with your partner at which you will discuss what each of you has discovered and how you feel about the things you’ve read:
a. Make sure that you have at least 2 or 3 hours of uninterrupted time blocked aside.
b. Get the kids and any other distractions away from you.
c. Schedule the appointment in your diary and send your partner a meeting request.
d. Confirm that your partner is ready for the appointment 24 to 48 hours before the time.
e. Give each other at least a week or two to prepare and to process what it is you’ve uncovered.
As with any situation, if you approach this initial request calmly and coolly, it will set the tone for discussions going forward, so aim as far as possible to make it a positive and joyful experience.
Also remember that every positive communication you have helps add to the stability of the foundation you’re building for your future relationship – and that’s what you’re here to build after all.