Why is sex so good? Kinda like asking, “why is water wet?” But still, if we understand what makes sex good then maybe we can make it even better!

One of the main questions in life is: Why is sex so good? According to a new review paper, it’s because sex — like dance, yoga, and other body-based pleasures — is rhythmic, and that rhythm has a way of uniting and heightening the senses.

Authored by Northwestern University researcher Adam Safron and published in Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology, the paper argues that intercourse can be such a magical experience because of “entrainment,” which is a fancy way of saying that it gets your brain, sensory, and bodily systems all rowing in the same sexy direction. What happens in the run-up to orgasm, he argues, is what goes on in most ecstatic experiences (consider how a “beat drops” in your favorite new disco anthem). Rhythmic perception and action lead you to attend more to the stimuli that’s turning you on, leading to greater enjoyment, and greater attendance, making for “further enhancing entrainment, thus creating a positive feedback cycle of deepening sexual absorption,” he writes.

It’s not enough to call this increased arousal or pleasure: A better way to understand the way people can lose their sense of selves during the act of sex is with trance, the same way that you might feel a sense of absorption on a particularly good night of dancing, a particularly strenuous yoga session, a particularly deep meditation, or a particularly satisfying run. “Intensely focusing on immediate sensations — such as those produced by rhythmic stimulation — is likely to reduce the amount of mental capacity available for other things,” Safron writes, like ruminative self-narratives, wondering about what could have been, or generally having your mind someplace other than where you currently are. “Such an experience of sensate focusing and altered self-processing may be most appropriately referred to as a kind of trance state,” he writes. “If this trance occurs in the context of another individual who is similarly absorbed, then it could potentially contribute to feelings of connectedness along with the expansion of self-other boundaries.”

bolded the part that jumped out at me, and it matches my experience. Sex is best when you are “intensely focusing on immediate sensations” — which is closely related to our posts about the importance of enthusiasm and responsiveness. There’s a feedback loop: in order to have great sex you need to pull your mind away from the mundane considerations of life, and the act of pulling away is self-reinforcing, leading to enhanced focus and even better sex!

So how can you use this information to improve sex with your spouse? In addition to the posts I’ve linked to above, here are a few ways you can focus more intensely during sex:

  • Sight. Get rid of visual distractions. Unless you’re just playing around you should turn off the television, put away your phones, and lock your door. Focus your eyes and attention on your spouse. You can dim the lights, maintain eye contact, or even wear a blindfold for some power play. Wear something sexy. Do a danceKeep your bedroom orderly and comfortable to avoid seeing your surroundings as a to-do list while you’re having sex.
  • Sound. Put on some sensual music, something with a beat! Like the article says above, a good rhythm helps synchronize your bodies and senses. Turn off the baby monitors, silence your phones. Replace the batteries in the #&%&(#@% smoke detector. In my post about sexual responsiveness I talk about how important it is to use words and sounds during sex, so go read that whole post. Moan and groan, cry out, say your spouse’s name, beg for an orgasm.
  • Smell and taste. Using food in your sexy time can be fun, but it may also be a distraction.  If you want to focus intensely on the sexual experience, engage with the taste and smell of your spouse. Bury your face in your spouse’s hair or neck. Kiss deeply. Lick your spouse all over. Use oral sex not only to stimulate your spouse, but also to engage your own senses! During oral sex the attention is usually on the receiver, but try flipping that around: when you’re giving oral sex, focus on absorbing all the sensations that come from being close to your spouse’s sexuality. (Husbands especially: hygiene is important if you want your wife to enjoy your taste and smell.)
  • Touch. Sex obviously involves a lot of touching, but the touching can often be very goal-oriented: orgasm. However, sex with your spouse isn’t (usually) a race — you can focus your sense of touch more intensely if you just slow down. Revel in touching and being touched all over your bodies. An average human has twenty square feet of skin, so don’t just use your fingers: lips and tongues are obvious, but you can touch anything to anything else. (Check out Body Part Twister for some ideas (automated spinner).) Touch, tickle, massage, tease, and you can learn to build your spouse up to some huge orgasms.
  • Restraint. One of the reasons that light bondage is fun is that the person being restrained (the receiver) is free to focus completely on his or her sensations. While restrained, the receiver doesn’t need to think about giving pleasure, only receiving it. Being tied up is permission to be the center of attention, even your own attention. The receiver doesn’t have to do anything, just be.
  • Trust and vulnerability. In order to really lose yourself in a sexual experience you have to trust your spouse enough to let yourself be vulnerable. Your relationship needs to be past the point where you worry about looking right, acting right, or moving right. If you’re worried about impressing or disappointing your spouse, or being awkward, you’re not going to be able to focus on your senses. You each need to be comfortable with your own bodies and sexuality, and you need to respect and cherish each other.

“Losing yourself” doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but I think we can take some intentional steps to eliminate distractions during sex and really focus on the sensations we’re creating with our spouses. If you have any tips to share, please leave a comment!

When Sexy Corte and I were dating, I somewhat randomly drew on her a couple of times with a sharpie and we both found it to be fun and sensual. A few weeks ago, she suggested I use henna to create temporary tattoos on her body. I was game, but also intimidated — she’s the artistic one in the family, and I’ve never done anything like it before. She sent me this video of design ideas and then told me to draw whatever I wanted on her. No pressure, right?

I did a bit of research and decided to buy a jagua tattoo kit. Apparently henna can cause skin irritation for some people, so I decided to try an alternative considering the intimate areas involved. The kit included all the tools required to mix the ink and apply it to the skin, and simple instructions for a beginner. (Now that I’ve got a bit of proficiency I will probably just buy the ink next time.)

As for the design, I really debated — and in the end I didn’t use any of the patterns from the video above. The first tattoo I created was a design I stole from one of our board games (so geeky) that I drew on the lower front of SC’s hip (about half-covered by her panties). The second tattoo was simple: I wrote my name across her right breast in cursive.

The application process was great foreplay. She laid naked on the bed with a wand vibrator between her legs (and tried to hold still) while I used the tiny applicator to draw intricate lines on her body. By the time the tattoos were done we were both eager to get down to business!

So what’s fun about tattooing your spouse?

  • Marking your territory. It was awesome to use SC’s body as a canvas for my creativity, and she enjoyed coaxing it out of me. As I mentioned, I don’t have a lot of artistic talent, but there was something primal about marking my wife — especially with my name written across her breast.
  • Submission. SC made a few suggestions and requests (e.g., the tattoos should be concealable with clothing), but it was extremely sexy to be given carte blanche to draw on her body however I wanted. That she wanted me to express myself on her body was a huge turn-on.
  • Durability. Most sex is over when it’s over, but temporary tattoos can last two weeks! Whenever SC looks at herself in the mirror she is reminded of me and her act of submission, and whenever I see her I’m reminded of my dominance. For us, that’s sexy! Just seeing the tattoos on her skin turns me on and makes me want her. (Similar to why trying-to-get-pregnant sex is some of the best sex.)
  • Creative. You can draw anything, anywhere. A picture, a love letter, an abstract pattern, a symbol, a poem, anything you can imagine.
  • Vulnerability. It takes vulnerability to be creative, and vulnerability is sexy. I was pretty nervous about tattooing SC — afraid it would look bad or be silly — but her enthusiasm and encouragement nudged me along. And, of course, she was even more vulnerable than I was, since she was the canvas!
  • Secret. Hidden tattoos are a sensual inside joke to share with your spouse. If the drawings are on intimate areas, you can even flash them discreetly to get your spouse’s attention in public.
  • Temporary. The tattoos are durable, but they eventually fade… and then you get to draw something new! I’ve already got several ideas for our next round of tattooing.

Here are a few tips that will make your tattooing experience as awesome as possible.

  • Prepare your kit in advance. I started mixing the ink after SC was already naked, so I rushed while she waited.
  • Set expectations. Make sure you agree on where and what are desirable.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t make the tattoo too complicated, especially if it’s your first time. Pick a simple pattern and practice it on the skin with magic marker.
  • Stimulation during application. Figure out a way to physically stimulate each other during the tattooing process. In this instance, with SC on her back, we used a wand vibrator. Next time I’m planning to tattoo her butt, and we’ll try doing it doggy style.
  • Plan for drying time. The tattoos take 30-40 minutes to dry, so plan accordingly. In our case, we did the hip tattoo first since it would be hard to avoid smudging it during sex.

So there you have it, our first experience with temporary tattoos! Have you ever done this kind of thing with your spouse? Got tips or questions? Leave a comment!

Maybe you’ve wanted to try role-playing for a while, or maybe you’ve read some of our role-playing posts, but you just aren’t sure how to get started — if so, this post is for you!

It’s common to feel a little uncomfortable, awkward, or embarrassed when you first start role-playing in a sexual context with your spouse. This is completely normal! Sexual role-playing combines two of humanity’s greatest fears: public speaking and the risk of sexual rejection. Either one of these alone is enough to make most people feel anxious. However, with a little bit of preparation and practice you can psyche yourself up to take a some risk with your spouse, and the payoff will be fantastic!

The first thing to remember is that role-playing with your spouse should be fun. While you’re reading the rest of this post, don’t lose sight of this principle:

If you’re having fun, you’re doing it right!

The ideas in this post are intended to help you and your spouse have fun, not to give you a bunch of rules for role-playing “the right way”. Follow the spirit of the ideas, and do whatever creates the most fun for you and your spouse.

Before you get started, it’s important to set expectations with your spouse. You may think it will be more fun to completely improvise, but it probably won’t! Here are a few topics to cover:

  • What are your roles? You can each define your own role, or one person can pick for both. Are either of you playing a role that has power over the other in the context of the scene? The person in this role doesn’t necessarily have to be in a sexually dominant positionbut the power dynamic is usually an important aspect of any scene.
  • Where’s the scene going? Is there some particular relationship, dynamic, or experience that you’re working towards? A specific sex act? Do you have expectations for how you want your spouse to act? Or how you’re going to act? Be explicit, so that no one is disappointed that their spouse isn’t a mind-reader.
  • What are your boundaries? This goes hand-in-hand with the question above. Make sure you and your spouse understand what you don’t want to do.

These questions create a stage for you to perform on; as you get comfortable with the process and with each other you won’t have to spend much time on preparation.

Role-playing your first scene can be awkward and even scary. Sexual role-playing has a lot in common with other kinds of improvisational acting, so let’s look at some general improv guidelines that will help you get started.

  • Separate the role-playing from real life. You and your spouse are acting. The things you say and do during a scene don’t “mean” anything beyond the scene itself, so don’t take things personally.
  • Explicitly begin and end each scene. There’s a reason directors say “action!”. You can use verbal cues as simple as “begin scene” and “end scene”.
  • Commit to the role. When you’re in the scene, stay in character. Ham it up. Have fun being someone else!
  • “Yes, and…” — the cardinal rule of improvisational acting. Always do your best to accept and build on whatever direction your spouse goes in the scene. Negations and denials will often kill your momentum and your scene. (Of course, everyone needs to respect the boundaries in place.)
  • Make your spouse look good. Build on what your spouse is doing, and make their choices work in the scene. Don’t break character to criticize or “help” them.

One last bit of advice: be vulnerable, and respect your spouse’s vulnerability. You’ll have a lot of fun if you let yourselves! Don’t take things too seriously, and don’t forget to have sex at the end.

(For a detailed example, see: Role-Playing: Professor and Student.)

To generate some random prompts, check out our naughty story generator. Share some role-playing tips in the comment!

On this blog we tend to spend the most words on the physical and mental dimensions of sex with your spouse: topics like games, positions, role-playing, toys, and having more sex. We also talk a lot about the spiritual dimension of sex, about how God wants sex in your marriage to be awesome and fulfilling. Today I want to talk about the fourth dimension: emotion. As your marriage matures and grows, the emotional intensity of sex with your spouse can wane over time. Sex can be fun and frequent, but the emotions may fade to the background as you grow comfortable with your spouse.

It may not be realistic to expect to recapture all the joy and wonder of your honeymoon and maintain it for decades, but here are a few ideas for increasing the level of intimacy in your sex life.

  • Eye contact. Instead of closing your eyes and focusing inward, keep your eyes open and on your spouse. Look each other in the eyes while you touch each other and when you climax. Eye contact is one of the most primal, direct forms of intimacy in any social situation. It shows that your attention is completely focused on one thing only: the person you’re looking at. You can’t make eye contact with two things at once! Eye contact during sex may feel awkward, embarrassing, or vulnerable at first, but with a little practice (and humor) it can add a lot of intimacy to your sex life.
  • Kiss more. Remember how much you made out when you were dating? Sexy Corte and I would make out for hours while “watching a movie”, and not even remember what we supposedly watched. Instead of jumping straight for the genitals, make kissing a significant part of foreplay and sex.
  • Responsiveness. Moan, scream, talk explicitly about what feels good and where. As I wrote in the linked post: “What’s more intimate than crying out your spouse’s name when you climax? When you’re sexually responsive to your spouse you’re sharing the most personal, internal details about yourself, private knowledge about your secret inner workings that no one else gets to experience. If you’re shy about being overtly responsive then work intentionally to overcome that barrier and share yourself more fully with your spouse.”
  • Enthusiasm. As the song says, “I want you to want me / I need you to need me”. Enthusiasm and eagerness for sex increase intimacy — no one needs to feel pressure ask for sex in the “right” way, to perform, or to look a certain way. Enthusiasm builds your spouse’s confidence and breaks down the walls of insecurity that hinder intimacy.
  • Hold hands. Even if you’re in a position that limits eye contact, it’s often possible to hold hands during sex. Holding hands is an innocent intimacy, and a special sign of love and friendship.
  • Orgasm together. This can be difficult unless you’re really in tune with each other. I always try to make sure that I don’t climax before Sexy Corte — because that’s just disappointing — and it’s tricky to hit my peak just when she hits hers. If you want to try this, have the wife do her best to give her husband a few seconds warning before she actually reaches orgasm, and then let him follow as best as he can.
  • Vulnerability. Intimacy is increased when one person trusts another enough to show vulnerability, and that trust is rewarded and respected. Vulnerability can be mental, emotional, or physical. It can be embarrassing to tell your spouse, hey, I’d really like to play Sexy Jenga, or, I’d really like you to swallow — there’s a risk of judgement or rejection. Similarly, there’s physical vulnerability involved with bondage or spanking, and emotional vulnerability to wearing lingerie or asking for more sex. But each time one of you offers vulnerability and the other rewards and respects it, the door is opened for greater vulnerability, trust, and intimacy. The surest way to shut down intimacy is to punish vulnerability from your spouse.
  • Speak your spouse’s love language. Your spouse will receive your love best when you speak his love language. Our inclination is to show love in our own love language, because it’s the most natural for us, but that’s not the best way to touch your spouse’s heart. Learn his or her love language and use it during foreplay and sex.
  • Stay positive. Not every sexual encounter will go perfectly. Not every game, toy, or position you try will work. Not every date will be magical. Not every disagreement will go your way. Despite all these realities, fight hard inside yourself to stay positive about your sex life. Be willing to say yes again and again. Work to improve yourself. Communicate with your spouse, especially when it’s embarrassing or awkward. Laugh together, forgive quickly, and go have great sex with a smile on your face.

Do you have any tips to share to increase intimacy during sex? Leave a comment!

Several recent studies show that up to 30% of men admit to faking an orgasm with their current partner. The potential for a woman to “fake it” is a common trope, but it’s often ignored that men can fake it, too.

Previous studies have shown that men’s rationales for feigning orgasm are not so different from the reasons why women play pretend in bed. Both have reported that they fake because they’re intoxicated, to arouse their partner, and to end sex sooner; the most common reason among both genders is preserving partners’ feelings. This new survey indicates that men who pretend to orgasm because they want to avoid having a talk about their sexual needs are less likely to be satisfied in their relationship and in bed. The study’s authors say these men “might be contributing to [their] own low desire and satisfaction by reinforcing unsatisfying sexual activity by feigning orgasm rather than communicating [their] sexual needs and desires.”

But the root cause of this problem—faked orgasms as sub-ins for honest conversations about sexual desires—lie in gender norms that compel men to strive for unrealistic benchmarks of sexual performance. “The image is that men are always up for sex, which makes you feel under pressure to perform even when you don’t want to,” Harvard urologist Abraham Morgentaler said of men’s reasons for faking.

Those same improbable expectations have given rise to women’s pretend orgasms, too. The authors of a 2010 study that found up to 80 percent of women faked orgasms wrote that women often do so “because their men are so goal-directed they won’t stop until a woman climaxes.” Our social construction of sexual pleasure has pegged men’s orgasms as simple—inevitable, even—and women’s orgasms as complicated reflections of their male partner’s sexual abilities. The authors of the new Canadian survey write that these reductive ideals may encourage men to feign orgasm to “appear normal” and women to fake it so their partners’ egos don’t crumble.

As I bolded above, Morgentaler is right: faked orgasms are a poor substitute for honest conversation. For both husbands and wives, it’s important to be honest about our needs and desires. We’ve written a lot here about the importance of sexual enthusiasm and responsiveness, so I suppose it’s important to reiterate the importance of genuine vulnerability.

No matter how great your sex life is with your spouse, not every sexual encounter will go perfectly. Our bodies aren’t machines: sometimes the stars don’t quite align for orgasm, even for men. Don’t be ashamed, be honest. Sometimes there’s some circumstance about the situation that can be fixed or avoided in the future, but sometimes there’s no real explanation — let it go. Try again later!

If your sex life with your spouse is generally good but you have a few misfires, don’t sweat it, that’s normal. If the misfires and frustration begin to overwhelm the successful encounters, then consider talking to your doctor or a Christian counselor who has experience dealing with sexual issues. In either case, honesty is the best policy. Faking an orgasm might spare you and your spouse some immediate embarrassment, but it won’t help in the long run.

Share your thoughts in the comments!

Doggy style — or “rear entry”, or sometimes “doggie style” — is one of the most popular and common sexual positions. According to Jay Dee’s (unscientific) reader survey of sexual positions doggy style is basically tied as one of the top three positions along with missionary (basic man-on-top) and cowgirl (basic woman-on-top). In fact, wives as a group appear to prefer doggy style to cowgirl!

Doggy style has a few distinctive benefits that make it a fun part of your repertoire:

  • DepthDoggy style is the best position for maximum penetration. Depth feels awesome for the husband, but make sure to take things slowly so the wife is comfortable. The penis will tend to rub most strongly against the posterior wall of the vagina, which creates a different sensation for the wife than in a face-to-face position.
  • Dominance. Doggy style is a dominant position for the husband, and it makes him feel like a king; a wife who enjoys a submissive posture will like the position for the same reason.
  • Tightness. Depending on the variation used (see more below), doggy style can provide a very tight experience for husband and wife. Another reason to take it slow.
  • Visual. For a husband who likes his wife’s butt the view is amazing, second perhaps only to reverse cowgirl.
  • Comfort. Studies show that doggy style can be one of the safest and most comfortable sexual positions for men with back pain.
  • Bonus activities. Doggy style also enables a few bonus activities such as spankinghip grabbing, and back and butt massage. The wife or husband can also reach underneath to play with the wife’s clit or the husband’s balls.

So what kind of variations are there?

  • Standard doggy style. The wife gets down on her hands and knees and the husband enters her from behind, either standing or kneeling. All the variations build on this basic configuration.
  • Leapfrog. Instead of being on her hands, the wife rests on her forearms, or elbows, or lowers her head to the floor. This variation changes the angle of penetration and increases tightness.
  • Arms restrained. Similar to leapfrog, but the wife’s arms are pulled up behind her back, creating an even more submissive posture. The husband can hold her hands (increasing intimacy) or her hands can be bound.
  • Jockey. The wife lays down on her stomach, possibly with a pillow under her hips for positioning; the husband lays on top of her and enters from behind. Jockey could be considered its own position rather than a variation on doggy style, but it’s part of the same family. Penetration won’t be nearly as deep as with standard doggy style, but there’s a ton of skin-to-skin contact which feels awesome, and lots of tightness if the wife keeps her legs together.
  • Over the Desk. This variation has the wife standing up and bent over a desk (or couch, or rock, or tree, or whatever). Perfect for times when you can’t get naked (like in public places).
  • The Magic Corner. The wife straddles and bends over the corner of the bed, supporting her weight. She can stimulating her clitoris with the surface of the bed, her hands, or a vibrator.

Here are some tips for making the most of doggy style.

  • Take it slow. As I mentioned above, take it slow! Doggy style is best and most comfortable when the wife is very aroused. When Sexy Corte and I use doggy style it generally isn’t our first position (unless its the jockey variant). Doggy style makes a great finisher (for him), so warm up, get the wife’s orgasm, and then move to doggy style.
  • Wife’s legs. When the wife keeps her legs together it increases tightness, which is pleasurable for both partners. However, the wife can have more movement and control of height and angle if she spreads her legs and the husband positions himself between them. In the standing variation, the wife can even cross her legs at the knees or ankles.
  • Arch your back. When the wife arches her back (pushing her tummy down) she improves the angle for her husband as well as gives him a great view.
  • Pillow support. Many of the variations can incorporate positioning pillows for support and leverage. Using a pillow will help you prevent unwanted motion and make the position more stable for both spouses.
  • Vibrator. Doggy style isn’t the best orgasm position for wives, but you can use a vibrator to assist.

So there you have it! Do you have any doggy style tips to share? Any variations that we missed? Please leave a comment!

It’s been a while since we had a link party, so let’s see what’s up around the marriage-sphere.

Q&A: Will Frequent Yeses Turn My Husband into a Sex Maniac? — No.

Oral Sex: Giving and Receiving the Gift — Intimacy, vulnerability, and submission.

29 Fun, Healthy and Sexy Things to Do with Your Spouse this Summer — Enjoy the warm weather!

Picture dares for couples — A fun print-and-play game, along with links to earlier installments.

3 Things Higher Sex Drive Spouses Wish their Spouse Knew — Don’t play games.

Honor bondage — Bondage without physical restraints.

With Fifty Shades of Grey everywhere you look (including Target, right next to the kids toothbrushes, ew!) there’s a lot of interest in bondage, and a lot of couples are experimenting with stuff they never would have thought of before. However, if you’re like me and have no intention of reading those books or watching the movies, you may be wondering what the big deal is — why would anyone want to be restrained during sex? Well, I know nothing about the BDSM “scene” so I can’t speak very broadly, but I can tell you in one word why Sexy Corte and I periodically enjoy adding some light bondage to our sexy time: vulnerability.

To understand bondage let’s talk first about the goal, then the methods, then why it’s fun. The goal is simple: voluntarily restrain one spouse to enhance his or her vulnerability and submission. It seems most common for the wife to be restrained, but I’ve had Sexy Corte tie me down and tease me and it was lots of fun. Usually though, it’s me restraining her. The purpose of the restraint is to give control of your body to your spouse, not to be painful or uncomfortable. Submitting to bondage is a huge demonstration of trust to your spouse because it puts your naked body into their control and makes you supremely vulnerable. The bondage benefits both the dominant and the submissive spouse by giving the dominant person permission to act, and the submissive person permission to let go. The various toys described below are only used to accent the submission that has already been agreed to.

There are limitless methods of bondage, but they generally share a few common features.

  • Nakedness. The submissive spouse will usually be restrained naked, or at least with her sexy bits exposed. Being naked with your spouse is already a big show of trust, and being restrained kicks it up a notch.
  • Hand restraint. Often the submissive’s hands are restrained to prevent her from “protecting” herself. (I use quotes, because of course nothing should be happening against the submissive’s desires.) Hands can be restrained above the head (for example, tied to the headboard), behind the back, in front (for front-to-back positions), or even attached to the ankles. Hand restraint is probably the most common element of light bondage. Get those hands out of the way!
  • Leg restraint. Legs, ankles, and knees can be restrained to keep the wife’s legs spread or to prevent movement in general. Leg restraint is an important element of position restraint and orgasm control.
  • Head restraint. Head or neck restraint could be uncomfortable or even dangerous. This isn’t something we do.
  • Eye restraint. Covering the submissive’s eyes can add another layer of trust and enhance vulnerability. Using a blindfold can really make extended foreplay exciting.
  • Mouth restraint. Sometimes you just want to hear your spouse moan with pleasure instead of talk. Sometimes talking is distracting. Taking away the option to talk can be liberating for the person who is restrained. Always be sure that anyone whose mouth is covered can breathe freely and can signal a desire to stop.
  • Position restraint. A combination of restraints can be used to hold the submissive spouse in a certain position, say for spanking. This can be critical for orgasm delay and multiple orgasms, which we’ll talk about below.

So what are the actual devices that can be used for bondage play? Almost anything you can imagine can be incorporated, but here are a few ideas. Each of these items probably deserves its own post!

liberator

Wedge pillows. Sexy Corte and I enjoy these a lot for positioning, and they include attachments for…

Hand cuffs. We use some padded strips with velcro for closures and plastic clips that can be attached together or to the wedges. We’ve tried metal cuffs in the past, but they’re quite uncomfortable if you’re laying on them.

under-mattress

Under-the-mattress restraints. Looks complicated, but it’s not. The cuffs can be tucked under the mattress when not in use. These are especially useful if you don’t have a headboard suitable for tying to.

blindfold

Blindfold. If you want to improvise, use a neck tie or panties.

Gags can be similarly improvised, or you can buy one.

swing

Sex swing. We have one that can be quickly hung in a door frame and be used for a ton of positions. It’s easier than it looks.

spreader_bar

Spreader bar. Keeps those legs apart. Can be used in many positions, including standing, but isn’t great for missionary. I made ours with a wooden dowel and some eye screws.

pull-up-bar

Pull-up bar. These can be mounted in a door way and used as a restraint point for securing someone in a standing position. Also great for getting ripped.

an-unassuming-silver-bullet-vibrator-apparently-inspired-some-bawdy-attention-from-a-tsa-agent-who

 

Vibrator. There are many kinds, but we find the egg vibrator to be the most versatile. We buy cheap ones (around $7 from Amazon) and replace them once or twice a year when they wear out. We also keep rechargeable batteries charging in our bedroom. A wand vibrator can also be useful for longer duration games or when you need more reach.

Rope. Check out our intro to shibari for some awesome ideas!

karada

(Let me point out that you don’t actually need any toys! This post is getting long enough, so I won’t go into detail, but look forward to a future post on mental-only bondage.)

Finally, what’s fun about bondage anyway?

  • Intimacy. Like I said at the beginning: the essence of bondage is vulnerability, and vulnerability is the key to intimacy. Bondage will teach you new things about your spouse’s mind and body. Bondage will let you explore new levels of sexual trust. Bondage exposes you to each other in amazing ways.
  • Passion. Let’s face it: there can be something hot about dominating your spouse or submitting to his or her will. Maybe your sex is normally gentle and loving, and bondage lets you get a little rougher and more physically intense.
  • Foreplay. Bondage requires time to execute, and all that time can be used as foreplay focused on the spouse being bound.
  • Orgasm delay. Also known as teasing or edging. When the submissive spouse is free to move she can position her body just the right way to reach orgasm, and bondage can take away that ability and give control to the dominant spouse. It can be extremely difficult for a person to willingly back off from an orgasm when it’s close, but when using bondage the dominant spouse can pull back and keep the submissive spouse right on the edge without going over. This can make the orgasm incredibly powerful when it eventually comes.
  • Multiple orgasms. After a woman orgasms her clitoris may become intensely sensitive, such that further stimulation is uncomfortable. If her hands and legs are free she may push the stimulation away for relief. However, if she is bound such that she can’t “protect” her clitoris her husband can continue with the stimulation and bring her to multiple orgasms. Sexy Corte describes these as an unending plateau of orgasm, rather than the peak and descent of the normal experience. They’re also quite exhausting, so this probably isn’t something you’ll do every day. As a husband, giving my wife multiple orgasms is one of my absolute favorite things.
  • Fantasy. Bondage can be used as an element of fantasy or role-playing. It feels naughty, and once you’re in the naughty mindset you can free yourself to try some things that you normally wouldn’t. He’s the villain and she’s the kidnapped princess? She’s the super-spy and he’s the captured rogue agent who knows where the bomb is hidden?
  • Exploration. Sometimes it’s hard to ask for our sexual desires, even when the marriage has good communication. Bondage can be an avenue for exploring desires that are difficult to speak out loud but perhaps easier to request non-verbally while in the moment. New experiences can break old habits, and you’re already feeling naughty, right?
  • Escapism. Maybe it’s a minor form of dissociation, but bondage be a form of escapism from everyday life into a secret world of sex with your spouse.
  • Novelty. Bondage introduces a myriad of new sexual options, new ways to play, new positions, new toys, and maybe even new desires.

In the end bondage should be fun and promote intimacy and vulnerability in your marriage. As always, enthusiasm and responsiveness will ensure that you get the most from your sexual experience.

Let us know what you think in the comments! What are you experiences? Do you have any suggestions to add?