The concept of alternative sex often puts people off.
The very phrase “alternative sex” may at first conjure the notion that participants engage in a lot of weird thoughts and behaviors, and require a whole kitbag of stuff and equipment for the sole purpose of getting off. However, alternative sex can simply mean looking at physical intimacy in a fresh new way. For the purpose of this article, “alternative” really just means expanding your sexual horizons, if only through learning about different practices.
Try to keep an open mind when reviewing specific alternative sex practices, here or in your general daily life. If something doesn’t work for you, don’t do it, but don’t judge those for whom that idea works. You wouldn’t like others to think badly of your sexual preferences, so do your best to allow others their particular desires. As long as no one is getting hurt (unless they’re into that sort of thing—see below) and mutual respect is in tact, there’s really nothing out of bounds!
Who’s On Top?
The practice of Dominant and Submissive sex is quite far-reaching. It can simply be a matter of who initiates sex. (The initiator would be the dominant partner, in that case.) It can also be who’s a top or a bottom (something that can switch from encounter to encounter).
And of course there’s S & M (Sado-Masochistic) sex play, where levels of pain mix with pleasure. The pain can be physical: bondage, whipping, having hot wax dripped on your body, the use of menthol ointments, or even electrical shock. The “pain” can also be mental, such as verbal abuse or being someone’s “slave.”
If you attempt any Dom/Sub sex, here are a few pointers:
Above all, you must trust your partner. This kind of play simply will not work if you don’t have a solid, foundational knowledge of the inner workings of your partner’s mind. You both need to feel safe in order to play in a “non-safe” space.
Start slow: Light bondage is a great way to start. Begin with spanking (see tip in this section) as opposed to whipping.
Keep a first aid kit handy.
Have a solid signal to use with your partner so that s/he knows when you’ve had enough.
After the session, be sure to take some readjustment time together. Hug, kiss, and thank each other for the experience. That way you won’t misunderstand or carry the power play with you.
If you’ve never tried role-playing with your partner, please do. It’s a mind-freeing and inexpensive way to open up your entire relationship. In daily life we can get stuck in the roles society has laid out for us—colleague, wife, husband, mother, father, sibling, etc. When we find a trusting partner to play with us outside of our own personal boxes, it can result not only in great sex, but also in a sense of empowerment away from the bedroom.
The scenario you choose can be anything at all, but do choose one that thrills you. I know that may seem obvious, but many people have trouble coming up with “good” characters. Forget qualifiers like “good.” The more into the character you choose, the more you’ll commit to the role-playing.
Here are a few ideas:
Masseuse/Client (This is great for beginners…and you can get a nice sensual massage as well.)
Strangers meeting for the first time (A good one for recharging long-term relationships.)
And a few pointers:
Be sure to support each other and stay in character until after the game has ended.
Have a codeword that you can use to end the game prematurely, if needed.
Always make some transition time to be loving with each other afterwards.
We normally associate spanking with negativity. Quite a few of us have at some point or another in our lives been spanked for doing something wrong. In the world of sex, however, spanking can be very fun and extremely pleasurable for both genders…if done correctly.
Some Spanking Dos:
Make sure you’re partner is amenable.
Warm your hands by rubbing them together.
Keep your hand slightly cupped but firm.
Aim for the fleshy part of one buttock.
Give a few seconds between spanks.
Keep your pressure light, and striking quick. If spanking during sex, you may get away with harder spanks, particularly as the level of arousal rises.
Some Spanking Don’ts:
Never spank between the buttocks. This can cause physical damage.
Never strike the following areas: kidneys, spine, hips, face, neck.
Don’t forget that spanking is meant to hurt in a good way—a sexy sting.
If your partner has had enough, stop. No questions asked. (See the codeword tip in the above section.)
In one way or another, we are all voyeurs. Human beings receive pleasure through receiving visual stimuli, such as a sunset, a beautiful mountain vista, or a work of art. What makes voyeurism an alternative sexual practice is the deliberate yet secretive viewing of other people—typically in states of undress or in the act of making love—in order to achieve personal sexual arousal.
When done discreetly and without deliberate manipulation of the scenario, voyeurism is actually a harmless practice. (Perhaps you’ve encountered a couple in a neighboring building who happened to leave their windows open as they get ready for bed.) What makes voyeurism a turn-on for some is the connection we feel to the universal sense of sexual arousal combined with the sense of control we have as the invisible (and therefore omnipotent) observer.
You and you lover can practice playful voyeurism at home. Next time you take a shower or get undressed for bed, give your lover a little signal…then leave the bathroom/bedroom door open. Once you know your lover is watching, you may wish to put on a little show: wash yourself slowly and sensually in the shower or linger as you slip off that last article of clothing. If you’re a bit of an exhibitionist anyway (see below), it’s a perfect combination for a very arousing encounter.
Some couples enjoy the sexual attention of others outside their relationship. This practice tends to go against our mainly monogamous society, but open relationships or “swinging” does work for some. In general, a couple will come into their relationship knowing this predilection, so engaging in sexual activity with others is not a shock.
However, if you’re just considering this idea, please accept the following tips:
Both partners must be equally willing to investigate sex with others.
A good idea is to encounter an outside lover or another couple together as opposed to separately.
If you feel it necessary, establish some ground rules about choosing your extra partner(s), where to meet, levels of intimacy, certain sex acts that are reserved only for you both in private, etc.
Always, always, always use protection.
Keep a healthy line of communication open before, during, and after all encounters. Understand that either one of you has the right to stop at any time.
A big thrill for a lot of people is being naked in public. Of course there are variations on this theme, and levels of intensity where exhibitionism is concerned. Some exhibitionists are simply so happy with their bodies that they want to show them off. As a sexual practice, however, exhibitionism usually involves exposing the errogenous areas and/or genitals to one’s partner, specifically in order to experience arousal.
Sanctioned ways to express the general exhibitionist in you include nude beaches and public clothing-optional spas and campgrounds. If you’re more the secretive sexy type, here are a few places to go au naturale on the sly.
In a cab
In your apartment/house with the curtains open
Back table at a restaurant
Start by exposing a little at a time. Use your judgment. Never force yourself on your partner.
More and more people today are taking a break from the sexual arena. This can be due to a need to clear one’s mind after an unfortunate series of sexual experiences just as it can be due to a quite happy desire to “save up” some energy for a while.
Regardless of why you may put the brakes on sex, consider taking a break. Admittedly, this alternative sex practice—or opposite of sex practice—is easier to do when you’re single. Use the time to reflect on your sexual history. Make a list of areas you’d like to improve upon, in technique, in attitude, or both. If you find yourself aroused and wanting sex, pay attention to what has triggered it. Instead of acting on your sex drive, imagine what it would be like, realistically. What could you bring to this encounter that you may not have done in the past?
Interestingly, taking a vacation from your active sexual practice is a fantastic way to become a better lover…if you look honestly at how you can improve once you begin again. If you practice elected celibacy in a constructive way (forgive the terrible but appropriate pun), abstinence makes the heart grow fonder.
This is a game that’s a lot of fun for creative couples. Find a box and cut a slit in the top of it. Put the box and a pad and pen somewhere away from possible company, like in the master bathroom or on your bedroom bureau. Every day for one week, each of you write down a sex “promise” you’d be willing to make to your partner and put it in the box. Try to make it something out of character for you both, something you’ve never done before.
At the end of the week, randomly pick one of the promises and work it into your next lovemaking session. If you do it right, you should have fourteen exciting sex ideas to try.
As always, happy loving!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Rachel Astarte
Editor: Renee Picard
Photo: kedai lelaki at Flickr