So 50 Shades Turned You On…Now What?

By now, most people are familiar with the 50 Shades of Grey book series that has sold more than 100 million copies, and spawned a movie adaptation. In this article you’ll learn how to turn your fantasies into reality. I’ll cover both some things to keep in mind, as well as a few techniques to use to spice up your love life!

50 Shades

Before you begin…

First, it’s important to recognize that 50 Shades has quite a few scenes that are not depictions of a healthy BDSM relationship. When you strip away the sexy charm that Christian seems to have, and look past his confident facade, you realize that many of his actions aren’t as much ‘kinky’ as they are emotionally abusive in nature – shown by him using such techniques as stalking, intimidation, coercion, isolation, and even violating consent. There’s a great article about that here, that you really should read. At the very least, recognize that 50 Shades shouldn’t be treated as a resource manual when it comes to kink, or as a guide to determine what is normal/healthy. The story may be sexy, but the author got a lot of things wrong, and you could actually harm yourself permanently if you find yourself in a relationship with someone that behaves like Christian Grey.

Now…on to the fun stuff! How do you explore the kinky world of BDSM?

Moving beyond 50 Shades…

  • Research everything! Understand that most of the kinky things that we do have an element of risk, you need to make sure you understand those risks (as well as how to be as safe as possible), and are willing to assume that risk.
  • Participate in BDSM play only with a partner(s) that you’ve come to trust. Power exchange requires trust as the foundation, and a foundation always needs time to solidify before you can build upon it. If you meet a dominant that demands your submission right from the get go, you really should run the other way.
  • Start by negotiating all aspects of play carefully. Talk about what you’d like to happen, what you want to make sure doesn’t happen, and let your partner know about anything that could potentially cause a problem (health issues, past trauma, fears, hard limits, etc.). Remember that 50 Shades does a piss poor job of explaining how negotiations work, because Christian Grey uses coercion to manipulate Ana into doing things that he wants. Not cool Mr. Grey. Not cool.
  • Take small steps. While it may seem like a hot idea to be someone’s 24/7 slave and check every type of play off of your bucket list ASAP, you need to make sure you’re taking enough time to develop and process your new experiences.
  • Understand that it’s not all roses. Though BDSM play is exhilarating and can feel amazing, in the hours and days after playing, you’ll feel the opposite of the high that you felt during the sexy time. You might feel confused, numb, or even question why you enjoyed it. This is known as ‘sub drop’.This is natural, but it takes a bit to get used to it. You’ll need to work with your partner to develop an ‘aftercare’ plan, so that both of your needs are met following play. Dominants or Tops can also experience what we call ‘Top drop’. You might also have some play experiences that just don’t work out. If something doesn’t feel right, communicate that to your partner.
  • Remember that you have the right and ability to end a scene, despite handing over control to your partner. A partner that refuses to stop a scene when you use an appropriate signal (such as a safe word) has violated your consent, and is not worth your time. By doing so, they have proven they are not worthy of your trust or devotion. Once again, Christian Grey has problems honouring Ana’s decisions in 50 Shades, and that boils down to consent violation.

Let’s get to the fun stuff!

Start out by discussing what roles you’d like to play, and what your turn ons are. If you have a fantasy in mind, discuss it with your partner and tell them you’d like to explore it!

Below is a shopping list of some inexpensive things you can purchase to help out with your kinky adventures. Remember, it doesn’t hurt to do some research on proper techniques for the types of play mentioned below before you try them yourself!

Shopping List:

  • Wooden clothes pins & string
  • Large wooden hairbrush (which can double as a paddle)
  • Paraffin candles & plastic drop sheet
  • Handcuffs (with key)
  • Duct tape



A common place for couples to begin is with spanking. It’s easy to incorporate into sex, whether as encouragement during rough sex, or as part of a roleplay scene. Start out gently spanking the butt, and slowly increase the intensity till that butt is a rosy red! Remember that hair brush you bought? Use the flat back side of it as a paddle instead of spanking with a hand! You can also flip it over and use the bristles to drag across the skin and create other fun feelings.


Photo credit: Shawn PerezSourceCC License

Clothes pins and ‘zippers’

Wooden clothes pins can have some nefarious uses! Simply take a bit of skin on the breast between your fingers and squeeze, then slide a clothes pin onto the skin. You can use clothes pins as nipple clamps! You can also be a bit more sadistic, and use a piece of string to tie a number of clothes pins inch or two apart, then rip them all off at once.

clothespin zipper

Photo Credit: Joel S. – SourceCC License


One of the things people tend to really enjoy is the loss of control through bondage, which can be accomplished using rope, duct tape, pallet wrap, handcuffs, and a number of other ways.

You can learn some simple rope bondage techniques that will allow you to tie someone to a bed or otherwise restrict their movement by Googling terms like ‘single column tie’, ‘double column tie’, and ‘hogtie’. Just make sure to have a pair of safety shears (which are stronger than standard scissors) handy in case of emergency, and take time to read some articles about rope bondage safety before you begin.

rope bondage

Photo credit: Clarence RisherSourceCC License


Another fun thing that you can do is restrict the ability to speak by using a gag. There are quite a few types of gags, but the most popular one that people tend to start with is called a ball gag. You can also use a piece of duct tape to cover the mouth (just make sure it doesn’t also cover the nose).

It’s important to remember that when you’re using a gag, you need to come up with another way that the bottom can signal that they want the scene to stop, since they won’t be able to verbally tell you. We suggest the use of what we call a ‘drop signal’ such as having the bottom hold an item like a ball in their hand. If they decide to let go of the ball, that is equivalent to them using ‘red’ as a safeword.

ball gag

Photo credit: Open Source DudeSourceCC License

Wax Play

You can use candles to create some pretty fun and kinky scenes. Wax play is all about using temperatures to create an intense ride for the bottom. The preferred wax to use is pure white paraffin, with soy candles being great for massages, but not very warm, and beeswax melting at too high of a temperature to be safe to use. Test out the white paraffin candles you bought by dribbling a few drops on your wrist. It should be warm to hot, but not so hot that it burns you. The heat should dissipate after only a few seconds.

Put a drop sheet down on the floor to keep the wax from splattering everywhere. The bottom lays down on the sheet, covers their hair with a towel (that you don’t mind getting wax on), the top lights the candle and begins to dribble the wax on the bottom’s exposed skin. The bottom will likely yelp or squirm as the process the pain of the hot wax falling on them. You can also use an ice cube to rub across the body, or give a bit of a mindfuck by alternating the drops of wax with the cold water dripping from the melting ice cube.

You can remove the wax by gently scraping either a dull knife or credit card across the skin.

wax play

Photo source: trailerparktrashSourceCC License


One of the easiest things that you can do to develop a kinky relationship is simply weave acts of service into your play scenes or every day life. This could include cooking your partner’s favourite meal, having a drink waiting for them when they come home from work, giving them a foot rub, shining their shoes/boots, cleaning the house in the outfit of their choice, or servicing them sexually.

More to explore!

Now you have some tools to begin exploring kink, in a more realistic (but perhaps even sexier) way than portrayed in 50 Shades. As you continue to explore kink, you’ll want to consider becoming a part of your local kink community. Doing so is a great way to learn new techniques directly from people who have experience, and it’s also a great way to continue to develop your relationship by learning through the experiences of others.

Here’s some links that will help you as you explore kink:

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