Sex + Dating

A Practical Guide to Coming Out as Kinky

Jim Vondruska/Thrillist

Even in a post-Fifty Shades world, it’s still understandable that many people have some trepidation when it comes to letting their partner know their bedroom tastes might veer a little more toward unconventional than they’ve been letting on. After all, who wants to be called out years from now for admitting clowns turn them on?

Fact is, there are actually lots of ways you can get your partner on board for all kinds of crazy behavior with just a little effort. Follow this guide and masterfully come out as kinky without all that pesky shame and humiliation -- unless that’s what you’re actually after.

Bring it up post-coitus

Always broach the topic of sexy ideas right after sex. Assuming you both got off, you and your partner should be basking in a warm, fuzzy, post-coitus glow. She’ll be more open-minded in this state -- and you’ll be far less terrified. This is the time to discuss which bits you want to put where while also convincing her that she too might enjoy a little Full Metal Jacket roleplay.

Whatever you do, don’t bring it up while either of you is stressed, working, or just plain in a bad mood. You’ll come off more sex-pest than sexy, and it won’t work out well for anyone. 
 

Take it slow

Whatever you’re into, start with the thin end of the wedge (advice that also applies if wedges are your thing). You may want to dive straight into a BDSM orgy, but you’re better off easing your partner into it by starting with something simpler. They’ll be more willing to try things out if there’s only a small step each time, and will have an easier time figuring out where their limits are. 

Whatever you do, don’t talk about the wide end of the wedge unless asked! You don’t want to intimidate anyone; though if you’re asked, you had better be honest. Moving into kinkier sex, whatever that means to you, is always going to rely on trust. Lying (as usual) is a pretty shitty way to start.

Jim Vondruska/Thrillist

Make sure you’re equally curious about what she’s into

If you’ve got some as-yet undisclosed interests, odds are that your partner does too. If you’re hoping to persuade your partner to try out some of your kinks, the least you can do is return the favor. It’s probably best to not actually suggest a straight-up trade (that kind of takes away from the fun of it all), but make a point of asking if there’s anything she’d like to try. If you get a response, do everything in your power to listen and react even handedly. No matter what is said!
 

There’s an app for that

Thanks to our fancy digital world, someone with more coding skills than me has already gone and put together the perfect way for couples to share kinky fantasies with each other. We Should Try It is a kink questionnaire that covers just about every fantasy you can think of. You can even add your own, should your tastes prove a little unique. Each partner answers the questionnaire separately, with answers ranging from “I want more” to “No.” Once you’re both done, you get a shared results page which only shows the stuff you both expressed an interest in. 

That means you can admit you’d like to partake in pegging, safe in the knowledge that if your partner is horrified by the idea they’ll never even see that you wanted to try it out. Embarrassment avoided.
 

Remember it’s OK to say no

No matter what, both parties should be clear that there’s no obligation to do anything that feels uncomfortable. That should go without saying, but it’s worth saying anyway. Obviously you want your partner to be willing to try new things, but they’ve got the right to draw a line and say no (as do you). They should also feel that they’re in a position to try something out, and then decide that it’s just not for them. It’s up to you to make it absolutely clear that trying something new doesn’t mean bringing that new thing into the bedroom every time. If nothing else, it just means more willingness to take some chances along the way.

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Dominic Preston is a freelance writer who once tried to convince a girlfriend to incorporate novelty mustaches in their sex life. Follow him on Twitter: @dompreston.