How Having Rough, Hard Sex Makes Me Feel Like A Virgin

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How Having Rough, Hard Sex Makes Me Feel Like A Virgin

I thought I'd had "rough sex" before; I'd been spanked on my butt plenty of times, had my hair pulled, even been caned once while strung up with my hands over my head. That hurt, and I cried, and I liked it, because I'm submissive like that, but it was just a one-time thing.

I'd had plenty of encounters with talking dirty, spinning all sorts of nasty fantasies, where, most of the time, I was on the receiving end of some very hot epithets. But I'd never wanted to be choked until I got together with the guy I'm dating now.

He knew I was into spanking and we'd been friends for over a decade, so the first night we got together was plenty kinky. But from there, in the past four months, it's only gotten more intense.

I don't know exactly when it started, but once he put his hand around my neck during sex, I realized I loved it.

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At first, it was just a bit of added pressure, almost an afterthought, somewhere else to touch me. Since then, though, it's become something I crave in a way that sometimes scares me, and I like both parts: the physical intensity, and the scariness.

Sometimes, in addition to spanking my butt, he also hits my breasts, and, at my request, slaps my face. Sometimes this happens during sex, sometimes while I'm going down on him. He'll grab my hair, yank it hard, pushing and pulling me like a puppet, and I love it. Actually, love is an understatement. The more dominant he is, the further I want him to go.

There's something both exciting and arousing for me about the way we interact. I've done kinky things before, but usually in a more casual context, or in a more playful way, and I've never been choked before.

The newness makes me feel, to invoke Madonna for a moment, in some small way, like a virgin, like I am giving him some part of myself I've never given anyone before. Even if he doesn't know that, I do, and it makes it feel special.

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I've been trying to find words to describe just why it's so exciting, and, despite writing daily, I find it a challenge. If you're not into any type of BDSM, I doubt you can understand the thrill, but I'll try.

You know how sometimes your mind drifts off during sex? (And please don't tell me it's never happened!) Even if the sex is good, sometimes your mind just goes somewhere else. Well, when someone is slapping your face or choking you, that doesn’t happen.

It's not only that it keeps me firmly rooted in the present, nor is it only psychological, though that's a big factor. It's physical; the minute he starts to get rough with me, I get wet, excited, ready. My body responds just as much, if not more so, as my mind. The same way kissing might pull the trigger for some women, choking does for me — or rather, getting choked by him.

I know for sure that there are plenty of past lovers who'd have been booted out of bed for trying it with me; that just wasn't what we were about. But with this guy, it's all about adrenaline.

Is it scary? Not in the sense that I think I’m going to get hurt, but sometimes the depths of my reactions do unnerve me.

I also think there's a cultural sense in which women, especially feminists, aren't supposed to say they like rough sex like this, lest it be equated with violence against women, so let me be clear: I'm not condoning violence or non-consensual activity in any way. This is something that we both get off on.

The misconception that consensual BDSM is a precursor to violence, which has been addressed here before, disturbs me greatly. It's why I'm so glad that porn company Vivid just released Penny Flame's Guide to Rough Sex, with instructions on how to do it safely; knowing that other people are into choking makes me feel like it's more acceptable.

Maybe I shouldn't need that added validation, but I do. Because it’s one thing to tell your friends you're into spanking — people do that at birthday parties and in fraternity houses — and another to say you like to be choked during sex. Claiming that is probably scarier for me than actually doing it.

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For me, playing rough is also a way to depart from my everyday "I've got it all together" façade, because it truly is a façade.

Half the time, I feel like I'm barely making it through the day, a panic attack waiting to happen. When we go there, into the very intense world of rough sex, there is no pretense that I am holding anything together. I'm not, on some level — I'm letting him run the show, even though I sometimes make requests ("hit me harder, pinch my nipples," or move his hands toward my throat).

He is (and I mean this as a compliment, I really do) a sensitive, sweet guy. I wouldn't say shy, but certainly not macho or caddish. Yet when we engage this way, he becomes someone tougher, meaner, fiercer.

Knowing that deep down he's a good guy makes that transformation really hot for me. I don’t think I'd be into playing that way with a guy who thought he was God's gift to women or one who thought that all men are meant to dominate all women (I've met kinky guys like that and they’re horrible).

To me, the only truly "dangerous" part about it is that every time we do it, I want to go further.

Rough sex takes me into a heightened state where it feels like anything can happen. I usually end up with tears in my eyes, but they are tears of intensity, pleasure, arousal, excitement, fear, uncertainty and submission, all rolled into one, like when you're moved by a piece of art and can't let your emotions out any other way.

Rachel Kramer Bussel is a New Jersey-based author, journalist, copywriter, anthology editor, erotica writing teacher, consultant, and event organizer. She writes widely about sex, dating, books, pop culture, feminism and body image. Rachel has written for numerous publications, including, BUST,, The Daily Beast, DAME,,,, The Frisky, Gothamist, The Hairpin, Harper's Bazaar, Inked,, Jezebel, Marie Claire, Mediabistro, Men’s Health, The Nervous Breakdown, New York Post, New York Observer, New York Press, The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Penthouse, Philadelphia Inquirer,, Playgirl, The Root, Salon, San Francisco Chronicle, SELF, Slate,, Time Out New York, The Village Voice, and The Washington Post, among other publications. 

This article was originally published at The Frisky. Reprinted with permission from the author.