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Fetish advice for couples, from a pro-dominatrix

Our love and relationships writer, Bobby Box, quizzes a pro-dominatrix on the do's and don'ts of expressing a fetish to your partner.
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Bobby Box, September 9, 2013 9:27:53 AM

Fetishes exist. I think with the introduction of the successful novel,Fifty Shades of Grey, and every rip-off that's been written as a result that we can all agree on this.

Though no one is certain what causes a fetish, it often begins when sexual excitement is inadvertently linked to a particular object or circumstance. Of course, lots of people are turned on by various parts of the body. But, they don’t need them to get turned on. This is what separates an attraction from a fetish.

So what are we to do when struggling to communicate a fetish with your partner? I spoke with Lady Azelle, Toronto-based pro-dominatrix, on how to do so effectively.

Method one: The subtle and safest approach.

Bring up the topic while both you and your partner are turned on. We all know that our inhibitions are greatly reduced when we are aroused, so use that to your advantage. Don't beat your partner over the head with it, just let him or her know that this is something that you have always thought about. More importantly, let them know that you think they are special enough that you can trust them with this. They will appreciate the compliment.

Once you have brought it up, it's okay to ask them what they think. Once. Don’t be attached to the answer. If your partner mentions it, great. If not, bring it up two or three weeks later when you are intimate again and ask your partner if they have been thinking about it. Odds are, they have been.

Don't expect your partner to have the same level of interest that you do. If they are simply willing to listen to you and think about what you are proposing, you are on the right track. If they are also willing to try things that are stepping-stones to what you ultimately want, you are on the right track. Under NO circumstances should you act disappointed with them for not sharing in your desires.

If this is a deal-breaker for you, then it's up to you to consider what to do. Another no-no is telling your partner that if they don't try this, the relationship is over. Blackmail is ugly. (Well, unless it's a consensual fetish, then it can be quite enjoyable).

One final point: if you are normally not very verbal during sex, change that for a few encounters before you talk to them about your fetish, otherwise it will seem out of the blue.

Method two: Have your bodies do the talking.

A second way to subtly introduce your partner to your fetish is to gently ease them into it without many words. This would be done using the 'stepping stones' I mentioned in the previous point. With this, you can gauge your partner's interest within various aspects of what you are presenting and move forward accordingly.

For example: let's assume that you fantasize about extreme bondage and sensory deprivation. You can start by keeping a blindfold or a scarf by the bed. Suggest that your partner puts the blindfold on you or ties your hands with the scarf. Use your body language to let your partner know how much you are enjoying this new sensation. Unless they are completely oblivious, they will pick up on this. Likewise, pay attention to your partner's body language. Are they as aroused as they normally are? Are they more aroused? If less aroused, try something different, a variation on the theme.

If you sense your partner is enjoying it, up the ante after a few sessions, use scarves on hands and feet, or add blindfolds and scarves together. As things progress, you can become more bold knowing that your partner is enjoying things as much as you are. Come home one day with leather wrist and ankle restraints.

Method three: Be bold and upfront.

The third method I'll mention is for couples who have a very strong level of communication. The sort of couple that keeps nothing from each other, and tells each other exactly how they feel. If you are in a relationship with someone like this, you don't need to use either of the 'tricks' above. Have a nice quiet evening together and simply pour your heart (well, other organs really, no?) out. Stop and ask what they think.

This method takes far more courage than the previous two, and you run the risk of being shot down cold. On the other hand, this method can also yield the quickest foray into exploring your fetishes. Is the risk worth the reward? Only you can tell!

How to react when informed of a partner's fetish.

Now, what do you do when your partner comes to you with a fetish? Most importantly, you need to show some empathy and compassion. Follow Azelle's steps before making a response that could potentially hurt your partner. (Hint: don't laugh):

1. Remember that your lover is telling you because he or she trusts you enough that they are comfortable sharing this with you. This was likely very, very difficult for them.

2. If your first thoughts are negative, ask yourself why that is. Why do you have a negative association with what is being offered. Do you truly find it offensive, or is it simply based on some societal expectation that has no place in the bedroom?

3. If what they are suggesting is out of your comfort level, is there something similar that you might be comfortable exploring? If so, tell them.

The real bottom line is that there is no 100 per cent effective formula to guarantee that you will be able to introduce your fetish to your lover. Life is full of adventure: victories and defeats, but that is why we live. So stop thinking about sharing your fetishes and fantasies and actually DO it.

For the record: I have not yet experienced a session with Lady Azelle. At the same time, I wouldn't be opposed to it.

MORE RELATIONSHIP ADVICE FROM OUR EXPERT:

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