Is Too Kinky?"
by Gloria G. Brame
this article was first published in Cosmo in 1999
He's buff, he's tough, he's cool. So
why is he handing you a pair of fuzzy bondage cuffs with a twinkle
in his eye? Maybe you think he's losing his mind. Or, worse,
you're afraid he's losing interest in you and needs weird stimulation
to feel satisfied.
The truth is requests for kinky sex
usually have nothing to do with boredom, much less with insanity.
The most buttoned-up guys often have weird fantasies and bedroom
quirks, even if they aren't admitting them to you. "There's
a secret that sex-workers all know very well. Men who are nervous
about admitting their fantasies to their wives or girlfriends
will tell them to sex-workers instead," reveals Dr. Carole
Queen, cultural sexologist and author of EXHIBITIONISM FOR THE
SHY (Down There Press).
Don t think it's all over if your guy
expresses a sexual need that you don't think you can fulfill,
either. "It's really okay to have limits and times when
you go 'eeuw, I don't want to do that,'" Queen says. "All
couples have some places where they aren't compatible. That
doesn't mean the relationship has to end."
While you should never feel obligated
to try something that repulses you, if you keep an open mind,
you might find you enjoy a little over-the-edge lovin as well.
Here, Cosmo and the pros coach you on how to cope when kink
is the topic of your pillow talk.
KINKY CRISIS #1 He Wants to Talk Dirty
For most men, "let's kiss under
starlit skies, my flower of delight" really means "let's
play hokey-pokey under mirrored ceilings, you sex-crazed slut
of my dreams!" But only the few and the brave have the
nerve to express their lustful thoughts. When they do it can
meet with unpredictable results.
"My boyfriend is a nice, sweet
guy," gripes Bernadette, 27, "He's always been a perfect
gentleman, even in bed. That is until one night when he started
grunting and moaning obscenities and strange fantasies. And
then he wanted me to talk dirty too. All I could think was 'who
IS this guy?' It was like he had turned into a werewolf between
my legs. I care about him but the dirty talk is gross."
While Bernadette's boyfriend may lack
subtlety, the urge to vocalize one's lust and to really "get
down and get dirty" is actually common for both men and
women. Sex, after all, is about all the senses. Some people
feel that speaking and hearing dirty words is as erotic as touching
and being touched.
If your man wants you to engage in
wicked dialogue, keep your cool. Chances are he thinks he's
paying you a compliment by letting his inner bad boy speak.
He may not have a clue that your inner good girl is barfing.
The key is to negotiate boundaries and set limits which make
you feel safe to explore the possibilities with him.
"Negotiation is important in all
areas of life," notes sexologist and sex therapist, Dr.
Bernie Zilbergelt, author of THE NEW MALE SEXUALITY (Bantam
Books, 1999). "If a couple can't trust each other, they
shouldn't be together. If they can, then there should be room
for new experiences."
Gain some control over the situation
by asking about his favorite words and phrases. If your tastes
don't coincide, work on a compromise. "A couple can always
bargain--'I'll do this if you do that,'" suggests Queen.
"The real problem is when a woman refuses to give up a
judgment. She needs to develop the attitude of, 'this is not
my thing, but I respect that you have this need.'"
For example, if you find four-letter
words ugly, invent your own pet words for body parts or sex
acts, and use those. Women who cringe at the vulgar terms for
sex organs might be charmed by playful ones.
Don't be afraid to let him know what
your own verbal hot-buttons are. Marla, 27, claims she can climb
to the top of the big "O" when a lover whispers "my,
what a naughty girl you are to wear those lacy panties!"
"Something about 'naughty girl' and 'lacy panties' just
makes my toes curl!" Marla declares, adding, "When
he says those things, it's an instant turn on."
KINKY CRISIS #2 He Gets Off Going Public
"I had this fantasy of doing it
on a beach," confesses Lilah, 22. "Stupidly, I told
my boyfriend. I told him that some things are just best left
as a fantasy, but he can't stop talking about it. I'm afraid
he's going to insist we try it next time we go to the beach."
Lilah says her biggest fear is that
people will find out and think she is a tramp. According to
Dr. Bernie, such emotional conflicts are not unusual. "Some
people draw a strict line between what's in their heads and
what's in reality. They have no idea that this could become
real. They think of it as their 'private stuff.' Others want
to enact their fantasies but feel shame about it. They worry
what their friends would think of them if they knew."
Still, whether the thrill comes from
the risk of being caught, the outrageousness of breaking a taboo,
or both, the dangerous thrill of outdoor sex gets an awful lot
of people awfully turned on.
"One of the most exciting experiences
of my life was the time my husband fondled me at a restaurant,"
confides Olivia, 31, "I was studying the menu when I felt
Rich's fingers creeping up my thigh, under the tablecloth. I
was about to push him away when the waiter came over. Good thing
the tablecloth was long! With his hand still between my legs,
Rich calmly placed our order. I almost died of embarrassment.
But our love-making that night was awesome."
While tablecloth tango isn't for everyone,
there are lovers games you can play which are safer and lower-key.
For example, you don't have to dance in your birthday suit on
a public beach to satisfy Nature Boy. Instead, pitch a tent
in the woods where you can zip yourselves into a cocoon of love,
surrounded by the sounds and smells of the wild. The only ones
watching will be the raccoons.
KINKY CRISIS #3 He Wants You to Tie Him Up
"I think of myself as an adventurer,"
says Felicia, 29, "I've heard about bondage, and I'm curious.
The man I'm dating told me that he's done it. He asked me if
I'd like to tie him up. I would but there's a part of me which
worries that it's too weird. Plus I don't know how!" She
laughs, " I almost flunked Girl Scouts because I was so
bad at tying knots."
Bondage may seem like a new trend,
but it's been a recognized erotic art for thousands of years.
The KAMA SUTRA endorses it to heighten foreplay and orgasms.
So does the JOY OF SEX. According to Queen, "One of the
attractions of bondage is the fantasy of having to lie there
and take what your partner dishes out." Whoever is bound
can safely experience erotic helplessness, while the partner
teases with fingers, hands, tongue.
Still, bondage isn't for everyone.
"It's good to stretch yourself and try new things. On the
other hand, you can't violate yourself," says Dr. Bernie.
Before you experiment, be sure you know what you're getting
into. "When he says bondage, find out exactly what he wants
to do," Dr. Bernie advises.. Some men would be satisfied
if you simply held their wrists down, others are hoping for
something much more elaborate."
And forget about metal handcuffs or
rope for now. Opt for soft, fabric wrist-cuffs. "It's easy
to do simple bondage with a set of cuffs," observes Queen.
"You don't need need to wrap someone up like a mummy. Just
tying their wrists can be enough to increase the eroticism."
KINKY CRISIS #4 He Wants to Watch
"A few months ago my lover suggested
we vary our sex-life by trying mutual masturbation. I agreed,
reluctantly, " Penny, 38, says worriedly. " Now he
wants me to get myself off while he watches. What's next? A
video camera? I'm not a prude, but this is too kinky to be good
The desire to watch a lover pleasuring
him or herself is common. If you don't share the desire, just
say no. But, as Dr. Bernie points out, "One person's kink
is another's normality. As long as no one is being hurt, as
long as it furthers the couple's pleasure, it's good. If it
hurts them then it's bad--that goes for anything, even intercourse."
Men, as a rule, crave visual stimulation.
This explains their thirst for smutty magazines and adult videos.
Watching a lover pleasure herself is the biggest voyeuristic
thrill of all: it's a private sex-show in your own boudoir.
Unfortunately, women tend to be squeamish about providing it.
But it's possible to meet him part-way.
"It doesn't have to be all or nothing," says Dr. Bernie.
"Most things can break down into half-steps. Instead of
going all-out try taking a little step." For example, if
you can't stand the thought of him staring at you, tell him
to turn his back and listen to the sounds you make. This gives
you a bigger comfort zone, while partly indulging him. Bolder
types can ask their men to help out. Guide his hand, showing
him what really gets you going. Also, turn-about is fair-play.
Ask to watch him. You may discover that you enjoy it.
KINKY CRISIS #5 He Wants A New You...in Bed!
"My fiance's fantasies weird me
out," exclaims Jessica, 24. He wants to pretend he's a
famous male model and that Madonna falls in love with him. I'm
supposed to dress up like Madonna and seduce him! Is this freaky
or what? Now I'm wondering if he's bored with me, and wishes
I really was her...or anyone else."
When a man brings his fantasies to
you and asks you to act them out with him, it doesn't mean he's
bored. Wanting more variety in your sex-life is a positive thing
and being honest enough to admit it usually signals a commitment
to keeping a long-term relationship exciting.
"One thing women might want to
remember is that fantasies are keys to the lock of his eroticism,"
notes Dr. Queen. "It's very powerful to have that key.
Once you know what really pushes your
man's buttons, you will be even more sexually attractive to
him because you will know better than anyone exactly how to
make him sweat. If you know what your own hot-buttons are, and
can share them equally with him, the chemistry between you will
Meanwhile, if you're creative, role-playing
as different people is an opportunity to liberate the sex kitten
within. For a few hours, you get to be anyone you like--whether
it's Madonna or perhaps a ballet prima donna. Experiment with
wigs, make-up, and outfits (from classy to trashy) that let
him know you are all the woman he could ever hope for.