I recently talked to a man with a sissification kink. He wanted his partner to “force” him into a dress, heels and makeup whenever they had sex. His fantasy was that cross-dressing would make him more sexually appealing to his partners. The only problem was that he was frustrated because his partner didn’t seem as enthusiastic about his fantasy. He lamented, “She’s not closed off to the idea, but I want her to want this, otherwise it doesn’t feel ‘real’ enough.” He didn’t want to put in work to communicate his desires to his partner, he didn’t want to explain, he didn’t want to teach – he simply wanted her to want exactly what turned him on.
Listen, I get it! We all dream of having sexual partners that are entirely aligned with our kinks and desires. We all long for those elusive sexual connections that don’t require hours of complicated negotiation. We want our kinkiest fantasies to be as real as possible, seamlessly executed with minimal effort. That’s the fantasy! But unfortunately, that’s also the difference between fantasy and practice. Because fantasy is not how the game works – and kink and BDSM are just games at the end of the day. It would be wildly inappropriate, in a relationship context, for your spouse to whip you because you forgot to pick up chocolate ice cream. Yet some people want that experience, it turns them on, and there’s nothing wrong with executing this within a kink context. The obvious difference between the former example and the latter is consent. The only way that you can pull off these types of scenes is by negotiating the parameters and limits that everyone will adhere to. You have to communicate in order to play. But communication is difficult…
“We want our kinkiest fantasies to be as real as possible, seamlessly executed with minimal effort. That’s the fantasy! But unfortunately, that’s also the difference between fantasy and practice.”
There are many complicated reasons why people struggle to talk to their partners about their desires and kinks. A bulk of those reasons fall under two categories: fear and lack of proper kink education. None of us want to be rejected, especially when we’re vulnerably expressing our desires. Opening a conversation about kink can be really scary for folks, especially when you don’t know how your pal will react. Layer on cultural stigma about kink as well as internalized shame narratives, and it’s easy to see why many people don’t open up. Plus, when folks do initiate these conversations, many quickly realize that they don’t have the adequate tools to turn their fantasies into reality. Further, many BDSM practices carry risks and require technical skills to execute safely. Learning to play together takes time and there can be a steep learning curve for certain practices. Many folks give up after one single try if they don’t feel like their partner is immediately into the scene or if it doesn’t feel just like their fantasy. For the other person, if they’ve never explored a certain practice before, it can be daunting to try to learn on the spot, especially if their pal expects near perfection and total enthusiasm right off the bat. It makes sense why many people have kinky fantasies, but relatively fewer ever put those desires into practice.
So, let’s talk about steps that you can take to start conversations about kink with your pals…
The first step before you talk to your pals about kink is understanding what you like. Not just the specific acts that you’re interested in but exploring the reason behind your desires. What about sissification appeals to you? What is pleasurable about your partner whipping you? Kink is psychologically gratifying; understanding what you’re looking to achieve is important when you’re proposing these activities to your pals.
For example, I love to be a brat. I want to laugh at my pal, taunt them, be bitchy, and then be put in my place. I enjoy this power play because it’s completely inappropriate within our relationship dynamic and wildly different from the respect and gentleness my pal and I normally have towards one another. I get naughty pleasure from being immature and mean during these scenes. I know I shouldn’t behave like that but I want to break the rules and be difficult. I get tremendous gratification from the process of resisting. I like to feel out of control within a scene and have someone put in the effort to tame me. This sort of play also helps me address my relationship with punishment, which feels healing. Afterward, I feel calmer and less petulant towards my partner because we have a safe space to explore these dynamics.
“I enjoy this power play because it’s completely inappropriate within our relationship dynamic and wildly different from the respect and gentleness my pal and I normally have towards one another.”
It’s really important for me to understand what I want from a scene, so I know what I’m consenting to. I am not into hardcore degradation, so that’s a limit I have to express to my partners so these scenes remain fun. The more you understand yourself, the better chance you have of getting what you want.
Understand your pals’ level of interest
This is a hard step for most people. Of course, ideally, we would tell our pals what we like and they would magically have the exact complimenting desire, but that’s usually not the case. I deeply want a partner who worships my feet, but I have yet to date someone long-term who loves feet. Sometimes, our pals are simply not interested. And rejection can hurt, as well as potentially adding to our feelings of shame about our kinks. But don’t give up just because you initially get a tepid response. Being able to explain to your partner what you enjoy about a dynamic or practice can help you both brainstorm entry points that feel accessible.
More often, it takes time for pals to get onboard if they’ve never tried a specific practice before. Going back to my example, my partner really likes to be praised in bed. So when I brought up being a brat, she initially didn’t seem interested. But, the more we talked, the more I realized she also likes being in control. We started discussing how she could lean into that facet of her sexuality if we were to execute these brat/tamer scenes together. Be patient with these initial conversations.
Take classes together
As I mentioned, BDSM can be risky. It’s really important to read up on the practices that interest you. I get so worried by the number of people who tell me they’re into choking, but don’t know there are proper techniques to avoid serious injury or even death. Take education seriously. Power exchange has potentially serious psychological implications. Bondage, pain play, breath play, and so forth can be super dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Plus, when you take classes from pro-doms, sex educators, and other folks in the BDSM community, you get a chance to refine your interests. My partner and I frequently attend Lola Jean’s virtual workshops. Even if we think we aren’t into some of the topics, it gives us new ideas. Plus, this allows us to increase our awareness of safety protocols and it keeps things interesting for us. When I started bringing up the possibility of setting up a brat/tamer scene, I shared with her some overview posts that discussed different ways that she could set up punishments and I let her know what was more effective for me.
Start small & play the long game
Real life unfortunately is constrained. Unlike fantasies, we can’t just jump into our desires and execute everything perfectly. If you’re into bondage, you will need to start by learning how to tie basic hand restraints; you can’t start with suspensions. You will need hours and hours and hours of practice before you work your way up to more complicated scenes. Be a good beginner, keep it light-hearted, learn from your mistakes, and slowly add more complexity to your scenes as you go. Usually, the more that you play, the more you’ll get into it. It can be awkward to assume characters if you’ve never role-played before. But if you return to your favorite roles over and over, you’ll become more comfortable over time and your scenes will inevitably get more interesting. Remember, kink requires practice. So be nice and patient if your pal doesn’t do exactly what you like – there are going to be a lot of mistakes in the beginning. Talk about what worked and what didn’t so you can make adjustments each time. For us, our brat/tamer scenes started simply with me saying “no” and her responding with some consensual force. We didn’t go beyond that for a while… It takes practice.
Praise & aftercare
Whenever we’re learning something new or stepping out of our comfort zone, it feels good to be validated and supported. It’s important when you’re setting up your scenes to praise your pals for their effort. Aftercare means that you’re taking the time to connect outside of the scene and make sure everyone’s needs are met. As I mentioned, some scenes can feel very raw and psychologically difficult, so taking care of each other is an important step to ensure everyone wants to try again next time.
“Some scenes can feel very raw and psychologically difficult, so taking care of each other is an important step to ensure everyone wants to try again next time.”
Take some time to also discuss how you both prefer receiving and sharing feedback. It’s normal to have constructive criticism, especially when you’re starting out, but you don’t want your opinion to hurt your pals or make them shut down. As we mentioned in the previous step, this is all about the ‘long game’, so find a way to safely communicate about the incremental changes you want to make in your practice. Above all, remember that this is supposed to be fun. We practice kink because it is ultimately satisfying and pleasurable, so set yourselves up for success.
There’s no magic to executing your fantasies, besides communicating with your pals. Even if these topics feel difficult to broach, it’s important to try if you want to experience your kinks in real life. Be kind and respectful to each other when you’re having these conversations: it can feel really vulnerable to open up about desires, and no one wants to feel ashamed of what turns them on. If you’re not sure how to bring this topic up to your pal, start by sharing this article! One small step is all it takes to get the ball rolling. Good luck!