How To Start Exploring BDSM With A Partner, According To The Dominatrix Duo At La Maison Du Rouge

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With Valentine's Day earlier this week and a new installment of that faux kink series in theaters (you know the one), there's no better time to talk about BDSM. Too often, Bondage, Domination/Discipline, Sadism/Submission, and Masochism gets a bad rap — mostly because the practices are portrayed so inaccurately in popular movies, music videos, and advertisements. While some representations might be well-meaning, it's still a bummer that BDSM has been harnessed as a marketing ploy to make a buck.

Despite what Fifty Shades might suggest, kink isn't about coercion but consent, if pain is involved it is eagerly asked for and given with pleasure, you don't have to be a billionaire to play — and, perhaps most importantly, it isn't inherently patriarchal by any means.

So if you're curious about kink, the best place to go for introductory tips would be the kink community itself — not a Rihanna music video. I caught up with New York City dominatrixes Dia Dynasty and Lucy Sweetkill, the owners and proprietesses of femme domme dungeon La Maison Du Rouge who are dedicated to sharing their conscious kink with the world.

Here are five of their tips on how to start exploring BDSM with a partner.

1Discrete Public Play

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"Thank you technology for creating bluetooth toys such as this vibrator," Mistress Sweetkill tells Bustle. "I like to come up with a game to determine the intensity of the vibrator. For example, if you are at dinner, the partner in control of the remote (TOP) will pick five numbers from 1-10 (keep it a secret but write it down). Every time the server comes over, the TOP will ask them to choose a random number from 1-10.  If that number happens to match, the TOP gets to turn up the vibrator one notch. If the server happens to match all the numbers by the end of the meal, the vibrator will be on the highest intensity."

2Sensory Deprivation 101

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"Taking someone's sight and sound away can be a very erotic experience," says Mistress Sweetkill. "For newbies, I recommend using a blindfold or a dark scarf. I actually prefer a contoured sleeping mask as they fully block out light and are quite comfortable to wear long term. Noise-canceling headphones are great to block out noise but I prefer to double up with earbuds playing a sexy playlist and add the noise canceling headphones over them."

3Tease And Denial

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"Getting dressed up in some seriously seductive lingerie (the kind with *slits* if you know what I mean) with a garter belt and stockings is key," Dia Dynasty tells Bustle. "The main element of tease and denial is verbal play: speaking about what you would like to do to your partner, and then not letting it happen — just yet — and prolonging the experience of a mind-melting foreplay with words. Making suggestive motions with your body, and using a light touch on your partner can all generate maddening levels of arousal. After all, the most powerful sex organ is the brain."

4Intermediate Sensory Deprivation

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"To take it up a notch, I usually like to layer sensory deprivation with bondage of some kind (rope or cuffs) and add a ball gag or a panty gag to take away your partner's speaking abilities," says Mistress Sweetkill. "Many enjoy the sensation of full helplessness and loss of control that sensory deprivation can provide. Keep in mind that it is best if they are laying down if taking away sight, sound, speaking, and movement. Due to the fact they will not be able to say their safe word, I would recommend giving your partner a small item to hold in their hand and if there are any issues they can drop it or toss it."

5Discipline Dice

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"We use discipline dice to let luck determine your fate," Mistress Sweetkill says. "Discipline dice are a game within themselves but using two regular 6-sided dice will work as well. For each person, determine what each number will entail. For example, rolling a 2 is handcuffs & blindfold, rolling a 6 is butt spanking etc. For the ones that require an amount attached to the action such as "how many spankings?" you can roll the dice again to determine, and the rules can be set up in whichever way that works for the individual's comfort and experience level."

Have fun!