How To Have 'Fifty Shades'-Inspired Sex

We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we actually hear the nitty-gritty details of how we might actually achieve those things? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a licensed sex psychotherapist based in San Francisco, to help us out with the specifics. This week’s topic: How to have kinky sex inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey .

Q: With the new Fifty Shades Of Grey movie, I’ve been thinking a lot about all those sex scenes. My boyfriend and I have a pretty vanilla sex life and are both a bit timid when it comes to sex, so the idea of bringing in some kink is impossibly sexy. But I’m embarrassed to bring it up, and even more embarrassed that actually trying to imitate what I’ve read in Fifty Shades would end up being awkward in real life. Also — I’m really not into the pain thing. It’s more about the control for me.

A: If I only I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked how to recreate the sex scenes from Fifty Shades of Grey !

But as a sex therapist, I would be neglectful if I didn’t point out that Fifty Shades of Grey is fiction. It’s not an accurate description of how sex works in real life, and it’s an especially bad depiction of kinky sex. Many prominent members of the BDSM community have proclaimed the way Fifty Shades portrays BDSM is inaccurate and even harmful.

Nonetheless, it’s still insanely popular, so I understand why you’re longing to shake up your sex life. Here are eight specific moves you can try, along with some instructions for easing your way into the world of kink.

Step 1: Reset Your Expectations

A lot of the specific activities detailed in the book are, as Dan Savage would say, “varsity-level.” You’re definitely not going to turn a vanilla guy into a butt-plug and riding crop-wielding Christian Grey overnight. You can set more reasonable expectations by looking for individual acts that you can emulate safely and responsibly.

Step 2: Take Ownership Of Your Sexuality

I think a lot of the reason why Fifty Shades is so appealing to women is that it portrays a man who takes the reins (literally and figuratively) and exerts complete control over their sexual relationship. Some women are genuinely into the idea of being submissive, but others want partners like Christian Grey because it would mean not having to take any responsibility for their own sex lives. You just lay back and let the guy do all the work, without having to risk looking foolish.

But even if you want to be a submissive, it’s important for you to take responsibility for your own desires. It might feel a little embarrassing to start trying to talk to your boyfriend about kink, but it’s also the adult thing to do. Trust me, you’ll be more fulfilled in the long run taking ownership of your own sexuality than you will blindly following a partner.

Step 3: Explore Together

To start introducing the idea of kink to your boyfriend, suggest that the two of you read a kinky book together. Take turns reading the book out loud to each other. Every time a sex scene comes up, describe what you like about that particular scene. Ask your boyfriend for his input. Then ask him something like, “what do you think it would be like for us to do this?” You can also read him the specific suggestions from this article, and see which ones he would be up for trying.

Step 4: Set Some Ground Rules

One of the most dangerous parts of Fifty Shades is the way that it skirts the consent issue. Anastasia frequently feels like saying “stop” or “no,” but she resists because she feels uncomfortable speaking up and doesn’t want to make Christian upset. I know you say you’re not into the pain aspect, but if you and your boyfriend are going to start experimenting with kink, you want to be very clear on what is and isn’t fair game. You may also want to come up with a safeword, which you can use in the moment to tell each other you need to stop immediately.

Step 5: Let It Be Awkward

Trying something new is always a little awkward, and hardly anyone gets it right the first time. Sex is no exception. Even partners who have a ton of chemistry are going to experience moments of fumbling and hesitation. That’s OK! Tell your boyfriend something like, “I know we’re new to this, so let’s just try to play around and not worry about ‘doing it wrong’ or feeling silly. What’s most important to me is that we explore together.”

Step 6: Try It Outside Of The Bedroom First

Most of the specific moves listed below can be experimented with outside of the bedroom first. You can get some of the initial awkwardness out of the way by experimenting without the pressure of being in the midst of sex. For example, you can figure out how to use new toys, rehearse a specific move, or test varying levels of force on each other.

Step 7: Try These 8 Moves


Wear your hair in a ponytail and ask your boyfriend to give it a solid pull during sex. During doggy-style is a great time to try this move, as it amplifies the animalistic nature of the position. You can help him get a sense of how hard he can pull during one of your outside-of-the-bedroom practice sessions.

Pushing Against The Wall

Start making out with your boyfriend while the two of you are standing up. Have him push your body up against the closest door or wall. He can also grab your wrists and pull your arms up above your head, pinning them against the wall.


Your boyfriend can use his hand or a soft whip (like the LELO Sensua suede whip) to spank your ass during sex. Doggy-style is another great position for this. Or he can bend you over his lap during foreplay, and try out a little role play by telling you you’ve been a bad girl.

Use a Blindfold

Use a tie, scarf, or sleep mask to block out your eyesight. Having your sight cut off heightens your senses, and the anticipation of not knowing what’s coming next will drive you wild. You can also switch roles and blindfold your boyfriend.

Try Ice Cubes

Another variation of sensation play is to bring some ice cubes into the bedroom. Have your boyfriend rub them across the back of your neck or around your nipples.

Have Sex In Different Places

You don’t need to have a Red Room of Pain, but you can shake things up by having sex in places other than your bed. Try the floor, in an armchair, on a desk, or on a countertop.

Use Restraints

You and your boyfriend can take turns tying each other up and teasing each other mercilessly. You can use scarves or ties, which will be much more gentle on your wrists than metal handcuffs. Try having him tie the other end of the restraint to your headboard. If you don’t have a bed frame that works, you can look into the Sportsheets Under The Bed restraint system.

Try Anal Play

I appreciate that Fifty Shades made anal play a little less taboo. Most people are hesitant to try anal play, but the reality is that the anus is rich in nerve endings and is extremely sensitive. Have your boyfriend put a bit of lube on his fingers and gently press against your anus while he’s going down on you, or when you’re having sex in doggy-style.

Be safe and have fun!