Into 50 Shades Of Grey? Don't Do These 3 Sexy Things In Real Life

50 shades
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You want to have kinky sex and hot S&M role plays but could it put you both in danger?

I see couples every day in my office committed to improving their sex life. As the author of Getting the Sex You Want, and The New Monogamy readers turn to me to find out how to spice up their love life, or to rekindle their marriages. And sure, I advise them to have a sex date, or create some adventure, or even try out some grown up dress up and role play games in bed. But there are 3 things that I caution even the most enthusiastic couples to watch for when they pull out the silk scarves and the Sex Slave contracts. 

Number One, Make Sure she is into it.

Fifty Shades of Grey is a sexy book, soon to be a sexy movie, about a hot guy who wants to dominate an innocent woman who gets turned on by being submissive. That dynamic works great when the woman is totally into being dominated. But it's not hot at all if she is just giving in because he is trying to act out a part and gets carried away.

Be careful when you watch the movie or read the book, that you don’t mistake Anastasia’s compliance for desire. In the book, she gives into Christian’s spanking even though she doesn’t really like it. In a true BDSM relationship, or Bondage, Domination/Discipline, Sado-Masochism relationship, both the dominant and the submissive are turned on by the power dynamic in the sexual relationship.

Being submissive can actually be a very powerful role. When both partners agree on a safe word, the submissive has the power to stop the role play anytime and can therefore decide what feels good and when the good feelings are too uncomfortable to continue. 

The power play can be achieved just in a psychological role play and no one needs to touch the other. If you want to try on the dominant role, try whispering to your partner all of the things you want to do to them. Get close to their ear where they can feel your breath, and whisper things that no one else can hear. Threatening to do erotic things to your partner can feel very scary, but in a good, sexy kind of way. And no one has to get hurt.

If you want to play the submissive, tell your partner in the most sexy way possible, you will: 

" … do anything they want," and perhaps whisper softly to them,

"anything … "

And then keep your wits about you, and stop when you feel unsafe.

Number Two, don’t sign anything

For some young women watching the Fifty Shades movie, the idea of giving up their power in a signed contract, the way Anastasia does for Christian, might sound a little off putting. For others, it can be sexy and erotic and a symbol of love and trust. The problem is that in the book Anastasia signs the contract without getting any of her needs met and that mistake could lead to disaster in real life. 

Ladies, don’t sign a contract where you give up your rights or your property, or your power. Unless you are signing a Master/Slave contract and your sexual and erotic rights are clearly laid out, and you're experienced with this kind of thing, put the pen down.

Number Three, learn how to tie knots safely

Tying someone up can be sexy and erotic but it can get dangerous fast. Don’t ever choke someone for fun, and make sure you don’t tie knots that get tighter when pulled. In fact, power plays in bed can be just as erotic when you play out the scene by using yarn that breaks easily away from the bed post or scarves that slip out of the knot easily if necessary. Having someone hold your wrists above your head while they kiss you is one of the most erotic things on my list of top erotic things.

And here’s a BONUS:

Number Four, it should only hurt so good

Pain and pleasure sometimes intertwine during sex. The sensation of intensity can be pleasurable if done with a lot of preparation and care. A good spanking, if done well and with erotic intention, can increase in intensity over time, where a person’s soft bottom can take much harder smacks after they are turned on than when they are first swatted. But spanking should be done with love and care, with much tenderness at first, and with lots of aftercare. Aftercare means holding, rubbing and cuddling, to make sure the one being spanked is okay emotionally and physically. It can be a very vulnerable experience to be bent over and spanked. It can be even be traumatic for some people. 

If a spanking is not pleasurable, or if it causes pain without pleasure or if it triggers emotional upheaval, it could be dangerous. If you are being spanked and you don’t like it for any reason, use your safe word and stop the spanking, and have your partner go straight to aftercare, if this happens.

In the movie and in the book, Anastasia submits not because she is experiencing pleasure or eroticism, but because she wants to please Christian, or fix him. In a real BDSM or in kinky sex or a role play experience, with a caring lover, spanking should feel good.  You should both work up to it slowly and it should be pleasurable for you both.

All sexual relationships should be mutual, and for a good, adult, sexual and adventurous relationship, both of you can and should enjoy a little role play now and then. 

But make sure you both give permission, and that you are both totally into it. Work up to it slowly, make sure you have a safe word and that it is a pleasurable experience all the way through. 

Don’t sign a contract, especially with a partner you don’t know very well. And learn how to be safe with knots and spanking. 

Being in a power play erotic relationship in the bedroom or the red room can be hot and sexy, but be sure to also play it safe.

Dr Tammy Nelson is a certified sex therapist and a licensed relationship therapist and author of Getting the Sex You Want, and the New Monogamy. She can be found at


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