If you're reading this right now, you've probably had a moment when you were hooking up with a guy and thought, "God it would be so great if he pulled my hair right now," but it feels so weird to ask someone that—not to mention it can seem legitimately scary to ask someone to be a little rougher with you, but not so rough you end up in your own Law & Order: SVU episode. But just because it seems scary and weird doesn't make it impossible to do.
Asking for rougher sex really does just boil down to having an actual Grown Ups Using Potentially Formal-Sounding Words discussion with your partner. It's not as simple as just saying, "Be rougher!" because that could mean 40 different things and odds are, you'll only want it to mean a very specific 10 things. Here's how to do that.
1. Tell him you want to be tied up and spanked, no more, no less. â€‹I can't stress enough the importance of having a pre-sex conversation about your own limits and making sure that he understands them—and I mean really, really understands them, not just "gets the gist." You can even have him repeat them back to you to make sure you're not playing a game of sexy telephone (Cut to: You whisper "light bondage" in his ear and somehow next thing you know you're in a sex swing with a whip like, "Not this at all! Nope! Noooope!") or just walk him through it. So when you say, "I want you to tie my wrists above my head and then fuck me," get out the tie and tell him when it's tight enough but not too tight and then get into the position you want him to fuck you in. Which brings me to... â€‹
2. BYOP (Bring your own props). If you want him to blindfold you and then he's like, "Yeah sure! Where's the blindfold?" and you're like, "Oh, uh, I don't have one because I was too busy thinking of a way to ask you to blindfold me without sounding like I was asking for a whole Fifty Shades scenario because I really just want to start there. At any rate, I didn't pick one up," that'll put a pause on that right quick. Even if it's just a t-shirt or a scarf, have it by the bed so when you ask and he says yes, you can go for it. (And back to the Fifty Shades thing, if you're at his place, a tie makes a real nice blindfold or wrist binder.)
3. If you don't know where to start: hair-pulling, spanking, wrist-tying, and blindfolding are popular ones.â€‹ Ask him to tie your wrists above your head and do you missionary style (or he can just hold your hands up there with his hands). Or tie something soft over your eyes and then go down on you. Or pull your hair back during doggy style. Or spank you as foreplay. All very hot options.
4. Don't be afraid to say "Oh hell no" when he's gone too damn far. If once you get into it you realize "Eh, spanking isn't for me" or "Ow, too hard! What the hell, David?" you need to feel comfortable saying, "Back off, bro." Seriously, do not engage in even the slightest amount of rough sex play if you feel like you can't communicate your needs with him. Do it with someone you already know respects your boundaries (also if he doesn't respect your boundaries kindly show him the door and blast him on the Internet for real because that guy shouldn't be having sex with anyone ever for life.)
5. Or say "Actually, that was barely spanking. My butt is not a flimsy water balloon that will pop if mishandled. Seriously, spank me." The average guy who cares about you is probably going to start pretty light when you ask him to be rougher with you because he doesn't want to hurt you. So if you're not getting what you want, let him know, "You can actually do it a little bit harder" or "You can pull my hair even more and that'd be great" because he has no way of knowing. Once he does, believe me, shit will get real in the best way.
6. You'll know when it's right because you'll probably get off crazy fast. After 5 minutes of doggy style with too-soft spanks, he'll finally give you a perfect, sharp spank and you'll remember why you wanted to try this in the first place. Once you recoagulate from the puddle you melted into on the floor, you can try it again and this time he'll know exactly what you mean when you say "hard, but not like full-slap hard."
7. Be prepared to spank him right back. By bringing up getting rougher in bed, you're not just inviting him to spank you a little, you're opening up the sexual conversation. Which is honestly the best thing you'll ever do for your sex life, but can also be kind of intimidating. Be ready for him to ask for a little bondage, too, and be open to it. Who knows, you might end up liking being the Queen of Bed (aka the domme).
8. Remember that there is not a kinky sex tutor who will be grading you on your kinky sex performance. Everything I just said is great and all but don't be too concerned about doing things "the right way" because you'll find it as you go. If the first time he spanks you it feels like he's pressing his thumbs in bread dough and you want to laugh, laugh. If the first time he puts handcuffs on you, they get stuck and won't close all the way, no big deal. It won't be perfect but if nothing else, it's a great way to work on your ability ask for what you want. To conclude: You're never going to get that crazy sex-all-over-the-place complete with hair pulling and ass slapping unless you specifically ask. (And seriously bring cute props. T-shirts are cool, but a leather blindfold that makes you feel like Catwoman is cooler.)
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.