Clients bring all nature of concerns to sex coaches: things that can be resolved with a little information, questions that need to be explored, discomfort that needs medical attention. Something we hear a lot about is a desire for increased intimacy and connection. There are all sorts of possibilities, but today let’s take a peek in the BDSM playbook and see what it offers. How can we use BDSM as a path to intimacy?

Step one: Accept yourself, your sexual expression, and your desires.

The first process most, if not all, BDSM practitioners go through when starting their kinky journey is an exercise in self-awareness and self-acceptance. People who engage in BDSM often have desires that are not considered “socially acceptable” or even “normal.” For example, we were taught as children that it’s not nice to hit each other, tie each other to trees, or boss each other around, right? To a kinkster, any or all of these might sound like a really good time! 

What if a person is aroused by tipping the balance of power or rough sex? They might just go for it and hope they find a compatible partner. They might look online for others like them and in the process learn more about their desires. Some might pick up a book and study. 

At some point, however, all need to get to a point of self-acceptance. This step is critical because it empowers the person to own their sexual expression, which will improve their self-confidence as well as their capacity to name their desires. 

Step two: Find other people who have accepted and embraced their own kinky nature.

hands holding each other

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

What happens when people who know themselves, their passions, and their boundaries get together? Really amazing stuff!

BDSM partners intentionally co-create their scenes.

When partners negotiate, they share their desires and boundaries with each other to create the mood and space where they can happily and safely play together. They get to know one another with a nuanced depth, discovering what buttons to push and which to avoid or protect. This practice also has an arousing side effect as each partner gets more and more excited for the main event.

During play, partners attune to each other’s verbal and non-verbal communication, including breathing, moans, movement, gaze, response time, and strength. This information is vital to a satisfying scene: each needs to know how the other is doing to ensure that both stay within the wishes and boundaries agreed upon ahead of time. While striving to satisfy the needs of the other, even as they pursue their own bliss in the moment, each partner gives themselves wholly to the moment.

BDSM play can be physically demanding, emotionally intense, and even calls for the surrender of one’s ego in service to the other. Inside of the bubble of their scene, partners reveal themselves to one another. The parts that stay hidden during everyday life come out to play in all their glory. The bond this creates between them is an intimacy that can last an evening or a lifetime, depending on their mutual agreement.

It’s a beautiful thing when this happens. Exciting to participate in, incredible to witness. The rawness of human passion and the possibilities created by intimacy are powerful.

What is intimacy?

It is not the purpose of this article to suggest that raw passion is the only path or  component of intimacy. Not at all. It is just one possible facet.

In my mind, intimacy calls us to be authentic, honest, vulnerable, and trusting with ourselves and our partner(s). We must be worthy of each other’s trust and vulnerability. If we feel safe enough to share not only the pretty socially appropriate parts of ourselves, but our gritty underbellies, as well, we expand the foundation of our interactions. Whether the connection is romantic, sexual, platonic, or somewhere in between, each degree of intimacy will require a correlating degree of honesty and trust.

Consider for a moment the different relationships in your own life. There are probably varying degrees of intimacy. Things you share with a friend and other things you might share with a best friend. Inside jokes that only your sibling gets and secrets you share with your college roommate. 

What does intimacy look like for you with your lover? Is it a willingness to be seen naked, with the lights on? Is it listening to each other’s fantasies, and making them happen? There are no “right answers.” This is just a process of considering questions about intimacy and what comes up for you. 

So, next time a client asks you about how to increase intimacy in their relationships, what will you tell them?

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