When it comes to sex, the most important thing is consent. Whether it’s to lean in for that first kiss, to unbutton your partner’s shirt, or get totally naked and ready for a good time, consent during sex should always be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. As they say, consent is sexy and there’s nothing sexier than knowing that both you and your partner, whether it’s a one-night stand or something more serious and long-term, are on the same page, sexually speaking.
But once the clothes are entirely off and consent has been clearly established, what’s next? Every time we go to bed with someone we’re bringing our former experiences with us, and in doing so we’re not just sharing our body, but what we know we like and don’t like. However, when you’re in bed with someone new, or even someone you’ve been with for awhile but want to spice things up, there are certain things that you just don’t dive into automatically assuming that your partner is going to be just as gung-ho about it as you are or as your former partners were. It’s in those moments that you should take a step back and think to yourself, “Um, maybe I should ask about this maneuver first.”
Here are seven such things you should never do in bed, unless your partner asks first.
1. Any And All Anal Play
While anal play is definitely far more mainstream than it’s been in the past, it still doesn’t mean that everyone is into it. People are, understandably, self-conscious about their butts, because, well, sh*t, obviously. Even if you’re the biggest fan of anal play in all the world and know you can give a mean analingus, this is certainly territory where you should get the A-OK, before making your move.
2. Sit On Their Face
The act of sitting on one’s face can be, for some, really exciting. As the person on top, it can be intoxicating to think that you have your vagina all up in your partner’s face, totally trapped in your vulva and labia! As for the person on the bottom, there’s a sense of being both dominated and taking control because you have all that action right up close and personal.
However, as much as you just might be dying to straddle the face of your partner, this definitely falls in the category of asking first. Not everyone is emotionally prepared to have their face smothered, no matter how much they love to give oral, so it’s best if you ask first… even if it’s National Sit On My Face Day.
3. Comment On Their Body
In some of my past experiences, I’ve been with men who just looove to hear compliments about their body. Granted, these aren’t things I just throw out there, but when a guy is commenting on his muscles or dick, I’ll chime in and give him an, “Oh, yeah… they’re totally great.” Because honestly, what else are you supposed to say in those instances?
But since we live in a body-conscious society where many of us struggle to love our bodies ― both men and women ― commenting on your partner’s body isn’t always the best move unless it’s clear that that’s what they want. Even if you think you’re paying your partner a compliment, it still might not go over well, because suddenly all the attention is on that body part and can make someone feel awkward and vulnerable.
4. Mention Past Lovers
Ah! I feel like this should be a given, but having been in bed, having sex and actually been told, “You do XYZ better/different than my ex,” I can tell you that that’s not what anyone wants to hear. If I were a competitive person and wanted to know where my skills in certain sex acts rank, then I would definitely ask and hope to get an honest answer. But generally speaking, do not bring up past sexual escapades and compare present company with your former sexual encounters.
5. Venture Into BDSM Territory
Although, similar to anal, BDSM has come into the mainstream a bit, thanks in part to Fifty Shades of Grey, that still doesn’t mean everyone is into it. You might think you’re about to blow your partner’s mind by binding them to the bed with your tights, but some people don’t want to be bound to anything, even if it’s all in fun and sexual games. Some people do not want to be spanked, whipped, or bitten. So don’t go in that direction unless your partner tells you it’s cool first.
6. Talk Degradingly
It’s one thing to talk dirty, but it’s a whole other ballpark to talk degradingly to someone, so definitely don’t go there unless someone asks to be called a “dirty whore” or a “little slut.”
In the same vein, if you like to be called those things or like to call your partner those things in bed, it’s totally normal, even if you’re a die-hard feminist. As Vanessa Marin wrote for Bustle, “That's part of what you're playing with — taking back derogatory, "pornstar" language and turning it into something that turns you on, rather than something that men might use to degrade you.” So never feel bad about it, but definitely don’t do it until your partner asks you to.
I think we can all agree that role-play can be really fun, but again, it’s something you just don’t do without your partner asking you first. You don’t want to break out the schoolgirl outfit, assuming your partner is going to be really into it, only to find out that you dressed as a schoolgirl makes them REALLY uncomfortable.
Not everyone wants to see an adult woman dressed in knee socks and a little plaid skirt, so it’s best you talk about it. Besides, according to the 2015 SKYN Condoms Millennial Sex Survey, the most preferred form of role-play among Millennials is pretending to be strangers. So definitely keep that in mind before you get all Britney Spears circa "...Baby One More Time."
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