Who’s got the control? And no, I’ve not lost the remote again. I’m talking about the give and take of control between lovers. “Tie me up and spank me.” Loss of control. “Beg me to let you come.” Taking control. Yes, it’s a bit kinky and yes it’s very much part of BDSM but you don’t need to be an expert to incorporate control in your own sex life and play.
Dominance and submission
There’s an awful lot to dominance and submission so we’re going to focus on one aspect of it. Control. In the broadest of senses the person who has the control is asserting dominance and the one losing control is being submissive.
This can involve bondage, dirty talk, impact play and lots of different, fun kinky activities that involve a level of power exchange.
What do you get from taking control?
- Enjoying having a person at your mercy
- Taking your time to get the most pleasure from and for your partner
- Sadistic delight from torturing your partner in fun ways
What do you get from losing control?
- Letting go and existing in the moment
- Pleasing the partner in control
- Taking and accepting what is done to you without feeling a need to give back
What if I’m a switch?
Switches get to experience the best of both worlds, there’s no rules about switching, everyone is different. Some people can switch while they’re playing. For example, starting out by being the one taking the spanking but turning the tables and becoming the one doing the spanking in the end. Other people can’t swap control that quickly and will only be the top sometimes and the bottom at others.
Experiment and find out what works for you. Remember, you can stop any play at any time by using pre-agreed safe words or safe signals. RED is a standard safe word if you’re not sure what to use. A signal might be 2 rapid taps for example, but pick something that works for the scene you’re playing out.
Is it all about pain?
It can be but it definitely doesn’t have to be. You can have fun with control in many pleasurable ways.
- Exploring erogenous zones – drive them wild without touching the genitals at all
- Sensory deprivation – lose control of particular senses with bondage, masks, gags etc
- Orgasm denial – Make them beg to come
- Orgasm torture – so many orgasms they become overwhelming
What if I’m Vanilla?
There’s lots of ways you can play with control that might be a bit kinky but are totally useable in a vanilla setting too. Bondage can be silk ties used to attach hands to the bed head, fluffy hand cuffs or just a simple command to not move.
Control just means one person has the power to do as they will whilst the other/s are made to wait and discover what’s happening then just enjoy it as it happens.
Things to try:
- Tying your partner’s hands out of the way as you go down on them
- Telling them exactly where to touch you and how, be specific and selfish
- Make them ask before coming, maybe say no and make them wait
Is control play safe?
In the world of BDSM we talk about Risk Aware Consensual Kink (RACK) because most kink carries some kind of risk and when you’re aware of it you can mitigate it to a safe level.
So remember before playing with control talk about it.
- Negotiate safe words and actions. ‘No’ can be a safe word and should always be respected.
- Agree on kit to be used (Dom and Sub can say no to using stuff) and make sure it’s in good order.
- Discuss any fears or triggering words/behaviour to avoid.
There’s no such thing as being too prepared! During your play make sure both people are engaged. The person in control needs to check in with the submissive/s to make sure they’re doing okay.
How to check in without breaking the scene:
“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?”
“You want more, yes?”
“Do you want me to stop?”
And afterwards remember aftercare. It’s nothing complicated. Take care of any marks that might have been enjoyed during play, make sure you’re hydrated, have something sugary if one or both of you feel tired or emotional. Also talk things over. Make sure everyone is in a good mental place at the end. Giving and taking control has a psychological effect as well as a bodily one.
So, who’s the control? Whether you lose it or take it, stay safe and have fun!