Rough sex is going mainstream. Here's how to do it properly.

Hair pulling, spanking, spitting, restraints, gags, blindfolds, handcuffs… Rough sex is trending.

It’s rise to ‘mainstream status’ arrived with the release of erotica like Fifty Shades of Grey, which saw women around the world uncover a different, darker side of their sexuality. All of a sudden, whips and restraints were brought up in conversation with girlfriends, and exploration in bedrooms (and red rooms?) around the world reached a whole new level of kinkiness.

Rough sex is not new. And for many, the action in Fifty Shades of Grey possibly seems vanilla. But, for those who’ve never been in a position of pleasure while being slapped, spat on or whipped; rough sex pushes an entirely new boundary when it comes to pleasure and trust with a partner.

Expert in BDSM, kink, rope, and rough-sex, Danarama, recently gave an interview with Broadly. In it, he discusses how people interested in rough sex, but new to the logistics of it, could broach the subject with a partner. He also revealed some useful starting points for popping the kink-cherry.

Here goes:

First up, drop the stigma. Rough sex doesn’t have to be about violence, or imitating rape, it can be about mutual pleasure and exploration. (Danarama actually makes it sound quite romantic).

“Rough sex is about consensual sex with abandon, the feeling that your partner is so overwhelmed with passion that they just want to really pounce on you,” he says. “Sometimes people just want to be taken with high-exposure positions.”


These ‘high exposure’ positions are a good ‘introduction’ to rough sex. Danarama says changing traditional positions – like missionary and doggy style – to be more open and intense can make sex feel rougher, even though it’s actually not. For example, being held down on the bed, or having your legs and ankles held wide, can increase the feeling of submission and vulnerability.


Next comes knowing your limits and understanding safety.

“You have to know, and be in agreement on, what those things are that you like, and what things your partner can do,” Danarama explains. “Second, you have to have an awareness of safety. If you’re a young person, and you realise, ‘Hey, I have this fantasy of getting choked out’, don’t just say this to a stranger. Literally, that is how people get killed. Know the safety of it and kind of coach them along.”


Definitely have a safe word or signal. For example, if you want to try having your mouth smothered during sex, your partner needs to know that you will shake your head, or pull your ear (or whatever signal you agree on), when it gets too much for you.

Make sure your safe word is clear and unmistakable. It’s a bad idea to have ‘no’ as your safe word, as it might be used as part of the role play during rough sex. Make sure it’s something clear and memorable, that you can both recognise as a this-is-my-limit-you-need-to-stop-now signal.

Be honest about your fantasies. Danarama says asking for specifics ‘in the moment’ for example ‘pull my hair’ ‘spit on my face’ ‘hold me down’ can work to break boundaries while increasing pleasure.


Finally, Danarama says, it’s important to talk about what you do want, as opposed to what you don’t want.

“Whenever things do start to get rough, and you’re enjoying it, say things like, ‘What you’re doing is great‘,” he says. “You make their job easier by telling them what you like and telling them they’re hot. Positively reinforce what you like through compliments, rather than saying what don’t like, which is a boner killer, regardless of your gender.”