Want to try some kinky stuff with your partner, but have no idea where to begin?
Panelists offer tips for those curious about experimenting with power play, sensation play, and beyond.
Wild & Sublime Podcast Transcript
#S3E20 | "Please Dominate Us!" - Newbie Tips for Power Exchange
Cassie Porter: I think that weaving in power play, like during the day, even when you're not with each other — like, 'I want you to go in the bathroom and take off your panties and put them in your purse...'
Karen Yates: Welcome to Wild & Sublime, a sexy spin on infotainment®, no matter your preferences, orientation, or relationship style, based on the popular live Chicago show. I chat about sex and relationships with citizens from the world of sex positivity. You'll hear meaningful conversations, dialogues that go deeper, and information that can help you become more free in your sexual expression. I'm sex educator and intimacy coach Karen Yates. This week, our Patreon panel helps a couple achieve total kink fabulousness — or at least, gives them some really great beginner ideas you can try too. Keep listening.
Do you have trouble communicating your desires easily in bed? I work with couples, helping them increase pleasure, learn how to express desires, and become more connected. All of this through dynamic, body-centered sessions. Go to the show notes or karen-yates.com to schedule your free consultation with me, and to get your free guide, "How to Say It Better in Bed: Three Practical Ways to Improve Intimate Communication."
Hey, slut. is this the extent of your kinky, dirty talk with your partner? Would you like a few more ideas about how to expand your kinky power play repertoire? Kink is a range of activities that doesn't just involve BDSM, and can lead folks into highly imaginative areas. In January, a Wild & Sublime Patreon supporter wrote a question to our monthly panel of sexperts, looking for powerplay guidance, and a great conversation ensued. And if you're interested in partaking in our monthly dialogues and getting other cool benefits, go to patreon.com/wildandsublime.
Today we'll be joined by Peter Navarro, sex positive and somatic-oriented therapist ;Jason Best, sex-positive therapist and the founder of Best Therapies Incorporated; and Cassie Porter, somatic sex educator and sexological bodyworker. Enjoy.
Let's go to the question. "Hello, sexperts. My partner and I want to try power play in a very intro kind of way in bed. But basically, we don't know what we're doing, beyond commanding, being commanded, and saying, 'Yes, sir,' or 'Hey, slut.' It's a little sad. What are some easy directions to go in around fun power explorations? Can you be our dominants and tell us what to do? Signed, Not in Charge?"
I'm going to go straight to Jason for this one.
Jason Best: So, these are always really fun questions. I think that — first of all, great. Good for you for exploring, experimenting. That's what keeps it fresh. That's what helps add a lot of energy into relationships. It's super common, when people begin exploring with kink, that they get up in their head, they get nervous, they're worried. One thing that you may not have done, it would be a good thing to kind of check in about, would be, have you actually talked about interests, likes, fantasies, what are the things that aren't okay, and what are the things that are okay? There are various BDSM interest checklists that are out there; some people really like those. But sometimes when I have couples come in who are dealing with these anxieties, it's because they actually haven't talked about it. And so they're like, oh, well, I don't want to do the thing that might be traumatic for you, or you might not like, or you might not enjoy, so I'm just not going to do anything. I'll do something super, super, super safe, which can also be very boring after a while, or just like you're very much dipping your toe in.
So, if you talk it through, actually go through your interests and whatnot, I actually think that a good intro thing, especially if you're wanting to stay away from bondage, one thing you might want to consider is blindfold play. Sometimes part of what's going on is people are up in their head, and especially new Doms can get very nervous about, like, oh, they're watching me and I don't know what I'm doing. What do I do next? And they're seeing it on my face. And so they get very up in their head about being observed. If you blindfold the person — obviously you want to check and make sure that's okay, make sure that's not traumatic for them. But if they're into it, the advantage is, they can't see you sweat. They can't see you — like, you know, you're about to pick up the flogger and you do like a juggle and you drop it on the bed. They don't see any of that stuff. So you can come across as being more smooth, more suave. It also heightens anticipation; it can really build up that 'Oh my gosh, what's going to happen next?' If they don't have toys, that can be a really great thing to experiment with — you know, and again, having conversations about what toys have you used? Do you have any interest in toys? These kinds of things.
But if you want to start really simple, you could just use your hands, and say like, 'Okay, I'm gonna try just basic sensation play.' And try lightly running your fingers along your partner's body in various points, and then ask them, like — or command them. Like, you have to tell me — do you like this? Do you fucking like this? Like, really get into it. You can try smooth touch, you can try giving them a lot of pleasure, you can try withholding pleasure and making them beg for more. There's a lot of fun things you can do with a blindfold that can heighten and make it a little bit easier to get into some of the other stuff.
But the other thought I did have as a basic kind of early thing, can be predicament bondage, which is essentially bondage in the mind. So oftentimes, you might tell a person, 'Hey, I don't want you to move. I'm going to start going down on you. If you start thrusting your hips, if you start moaning very loudly, I'm gonna stop.' There's no rope involved, you don't have to have the fuzzy handcuffs out. But it is a way of kind of enforcing that control. And it's — again, the stakes can be lower, because you could be doing stuff that you would already be doing, just with this heightened kind of command element.
Peter Navarro: Yeah, I dissected this one when I read it. First, I just want to say, shame is not the way to go. Okay, shaming yourself for where the dynamic currently is, is not the way to start the process. It's not going to help. Right. So again, just going back to that love, grace, and compassion. This is where I'm at. We all start where we start. And this is where you're starting. And that's all right. I think we invite that in. And I think there's nothing easy about navigating power play, in my opinion. You know, because I think it's power and control. There's a lot that comes with that. And it can be kinky, and it can also be harmful. And so, going back to communication about what are our boundaries here, so that we can set a nice scene of exploration where we feel safe, and we can have some fun, and some kink and be safe. And then, I really liked what you said, Jason — the word 'fantasy' came right up for me when I read this question. What is the range of fantasy for these folks to have that conversation? What have you thought about when you're alone with your eyes closed before you go into bed and you felt that tingle in your body? Like, having those nice conversations with each other can be gateways, can be portals into that erotic zone. I also made a list. I just made a nice little list of some ideas.
Karen Yates: Oh, great. Are you going to tell them what to do, Peter?
Peter Navarro: I would love to tell them what to do. What's up, slut!
Okay, one of them's gonna get a hotel room.
Karen Yates: Oooh.
Peter Navarro: And then throughout the day, they're going to try some command verbiage to each other. Maybe they'll send photos. Maybe they'll send just text messages here and there throughout the day. Basically, I'm inviting some kind of edge play, kind of going back to what you were saying, Jason. There are many forms of edge play here. And that can be one of them. A public-private edging kind of a play can be very erotic command-oriented. And that can be very fun. Hair pulling. That's great. Hair pulling is a great thing to do. Languaging, biting, sensation play, blindfolds. If you want to level up to the blindfolds, just working on closing the eyes. One person can close your eyes — now open. Good job, slut. It can be invited in. Flogging, clothespins, you know, spanking, pain, pleasure play, sensation play. These are all great places to kind of explore.
Karen Yates: Thank you, sir. [laughs]
Peter Navarro: You're very welcome.
Karen Yates: Cassie.
Cassie Porter: So, yes to all of that! You covered so many ideas that I'm glad I at least have one more to offer. What I was thinking about was roleplay, and just role playing different power dynamics. So, like teacher/student, boss/employee, doctor/patient, those kinds of things. But also, you know, kind of tying into what Jason was saying, like being aware of trauma, having those discussions, right? Because some of the kinkier explorations, you know, that are really igniting for a lot of people, are just like a babysitter and like, teenager or child, right? And there's juice in that for people, but also, you know, being careful about that. And that's a way to kind of explore different power dynamics. And then also, I think, even if there is kind of a history of trauma, it can sometimes be a way that folks can let that move through or heal that or reframe that, or reclaim an experience. So also, I think that weaving in power play during the day, like, even when you're not with each other — like, 'I want you to go in the bathroom and take off your panties and put them in your purse.' And so, following instructions, and having that buildup throughout the day, of like, flirting throughout the day and telling your partner what you want them to do — maybe taking turns, or maybe there's someone who is, you know, more inclined to be the dominant, that would create a list of, this is what I need you to do today. Or someone leaves a list at home, when their partner gets home — it's like, 'Okay, first you're gonna take a bath, you're going to touch your pussy, then you're going to put on my favorite outfit, and then you're going to wait in bed for me until seven o'clock,' or something like that. So that's just some thoughts that I had.
Karen Yates: I think we're all cooking here. This is some good stuff. Yeah, Cassie, I was thinking about roleplay too, because roleplay is a — it's the headspace, right? It's pure headspace. No implements needed. It's really like, you can dive in this way. And it's a way, I think, too, of understanding where each person is coming from. You know, like, what scenarios just sort of naturally turn you on? Is it historical? You know what I mean? Is it a historical thing? And by that, I mean, some, you know, lord of the manor kind of thing — is it that zone? Is it, whatever. You get to have a nice dialogue with your partner. And you don't even have to buy a flogger to do it. Right? Yeah, anything else?
Peter Navarro: So it seems like these two want to be commanded. They gave us instruction to tell them what to do.
Karen Yates: Two bottoms looking for a top.
Peter Navarro: Right right right. That's what I'm thinking here. So maybe invite a third. Maybe invite a third and open it up. And maybe the two of you practice being commanded, before you do it to each other. Because that can be fun.
Karen Yates: Nice. Or you can go to a pro Dom. Valentine's Day gift. Go see a pro Dom.
Peter Navarro: That's right.
Jason Best: Support the economy. There's so many good things about that.
Karen Yates: Right, go to a pro Dom in a rental dungeon. I mean, come on.
Jason Best: Right.
Peter Navarro: That's right.
Jason Best: Keeping the system working,
Karen Yates: Keeping the system working. Capitalism, y'all.
[to podcast listener] Jason Best then included a reference to an earlier question in the evening, about gaining weight and not feeling sexy, and how kink can be helpful. Let's hear what he has to say.
Jason Best: One thing that you can consider when your body has changed, when you're starting to explore, like, who are you in this new physical form — one thing that can be very powerful is exploring kink, is exploring other forms of intimacy. I've had people who, part of, you know — whether they gained some weight, and now suddenly, spanking feels better or worse, or spanking someone else feels more powerful, because there's more weight behind the swing. I've had people who've given birth, whose suddenly sensation has changed. And you don't know those things intuitively. You have to experiment and try, and see what works for you and what doesn't. And there's been so many awesome ideas that have been thrown out by the panel. I would say, try a bunch of things. Try — anything that doesn't feel immediately like, 'Oh, fuck, no, we can't.' If it feels like that, definitely don't do it. That might be a 'you warm up and change for a year or two years, maybe become interested later.' And maybe that's never going to be your thing. And that's fine. Some people, like, a light spanking is as far as they ever go. And that's awesome. Like, if that's you, and you like that, and you enjoy that and it works, fantastic. But if you're just experimenting, you're just starting to learn about this and you don't know what you like, well, you're not going to know unless you try some things. So experiment a little bit. Give yourself permission to be foolish, to be silly, for things not to work out, for something not to get you off or get your partner off. We talk a lot with all couples about taking performance out of the equation, and making it playful and making it erotic and making it pleasurable. And try that with this. Try a bunch of things, even some things that seem weird. I've tried things before and it's like oh, I hope this doesn't awaken something with me. Oh, no, it — whoa, okay, that was amazing. Holy shit, I gotta rethink my whole life. Like, those moments can happen. And so, go for it sometimes. Give yourself some leash. And same thing with this first person. If you're not sure what your body likes now, or if you're feeling tense, one way to sometimes get out of your head is to do something really novel and really different. And make a lot of sensation and a lot of sensory stuff happen, and sometimes then you're so focused on being blindfolded, or that ice cube, or whatever, that you've totally forgotten to feel insecure about gaining some weight. And I think that can be a really powerful intervention for people.
Karen Yates: Fantastic.
Cassie Porter: I think I want to just, yeah, underscore the playfulness of it, right? And like, just staying connected to the playfulness of like, this is play, this is exploration. It doesn't have to be anything too serious, or about getting it right or doing it the right way. So just yeah, sinking into that sense of having fun together. And being able to giggle when it gets weird.
Karen Yates: To contact Cassie Porter, Jason Best, or Peter Navarro, go to our show notes. You can also find a link to our "Fat Shame" episode that I mentioned earlier. Wild & Sublime is supported in part by our Sublime Supporter, Full Color Life Therapy, therapy for all of you at fullcolorlifetherapy.com.
Well, that's it folks. Have a very pleasurable week. Thank you for listening. If you know someone who might be interested in this episode, send it to them. Do you like what you heard? Then give us a nice review on your podcast app. You can follow us on social media @wildandsublime and sign up for newsletters at wildandsublime.com. I'd like to thank associate producer Julia Williams and design guru Jean-Francois Gervais. Theme Music by David Ben-Porat. This episode was edited by The Creative Imposter studios. Our media sponsor is Rebellious Magazine, feminist media, at rebelliousmagazine.com.
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- Cassie Porter – Somatic sex educator & sexological bodyworker
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