Do you like to be tied up and spanked?

2011-04-16 00:00

IT turns out that Rihanna, the 23-year-old songstress who successfully charged her rapper boyfriend Chris Brown with assault last year, likes to be tied up and spanked.

As soon as I heard this, I knew what was coming. Chris, you see, beat up Rihanna in their car after a pre-Grammy Awards party in February 2009. Her face was bruised and swollen, her lip split, her nose bloodied and she had bite marks on her arm. Apparently, he choked her until she lost consciousness. She ended up in hospital.

Now, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine following the release of her latest single S&M, she confesses that she enjoys being dominated and is a bit of a masochist. She suggests it’s partly in reaction to her childhood with an abusive, crack-smoking father, and partly in contrast to a demanding career in which she takes executive decisions daily.

After news of her fondness for kink broke, the inevitable comments flowed online.

“I wonder if the boyfriend who beat her up was doing it against her will,” said one.

“Guess Chris Brown was not abusing her, just satisfying her needs,” said another.

Naturally, some were wittier: “Now we know she started the fight. He refused, being the sadist.”

There are many who can’t understand why anyone might enjoy being spanked in private. Why does Rihanna like taking the reins in her life but enjoy being submissive in the bedroom?

Turns out it’s not such an unusual scenario. Prostitutes are popularly hired by top business executives who pay to be dominated into sexual submission. It makes a nice change from their stressful dailyresponsibilities.

The correct term these days is BDSM — bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadomasochism. Some people are into being tied up and disciplined for being “bad”, some like to be sexually submissive to a dominatrix-dominator, while others like to give or receive a little bit of pain for a sexual thrill.

Much of it is about the balance of power. While we’re meant to be politically correct in our daily lives, showing equality for all, in the boudoir it can be exciting to agree to a temporary imbalance of power. One person takes control and the other relinquishes it completely.

This could simply mean popping your partner over your knee and giving his or her naked buttocks a light spanking for being “bad” — which is pleasurable because the area is highly receptive to erotic stimulation. Or it could entail being a love slave for the day and fulfilling your lover’s every sexual whim. Or it could be more extreme — like being trussed and locked in a room, stimulated to the verge of orgasm and repeatedly left high and dry, until your partner puts you out of your misery. Or you may enjoy a bit of pain, pain being relative, as the more aroused you are, the more pain you can “take”.

Plenty of people get a huge thrill from power play. Your body becomes your lover’s pleasure toy, which can be very exciting for both of you. Because you have no “choice”, it removes any guilt for performing the acts when you don’t actually “want” to (but of course, you really do). All you have to do is what you’re told — except if you’re hoping to be punished.

If you’re used to being in charge at work, it can be exciting and freeing to be submissive in sex, giving up all responsibility for whatever sexual acts you are ordered to perform. What this means, though, is placing complete trust in the person in charge. You trust them to pleasure you too, apart from “making” you pleasure them — so it’s completely consensual. And seeing that in the next session the roles could be reversed, it’s important that you don’t hack your partner off — you wouldn’t want to inspire a grudge.

Both partners need to say clearly what they do and don’t want in any power exchange, and what they aren’t willing to do. Of course, this kind of role playing can expose hidden fears or your dark side. This may make you feel helpless and vulnerable — but it’s precisely this that many people find so thrilling.

Moreover, people who battle to let go and experience an orgasm may find they climax when relinquishing control in a sexually submissive role. It gives them permission to accept pleasure without pressure or responsibility.

The crucial element is that both partners know when to stop — and agree on a safe word like “red” that means absolutely “stop right now”. The safe word shouldn’t be “no”, as part of the fun is begging your lover to stop: “No, no more — ah, please stop!” — when you’re loving it.

So in the context of Rihanna vs Chris and her fondness for some slap and tickle, picture this: “Hey, Chris, let’s have a bit of kinky fun in the car after the party. How about you punch me repeatedly in the face and strangle me until I pass out? And if I say: ‘No, stop!’, what I mean is: ‘Please bite me on my arm too!’”

No? Me neither.

Stevie Jean writes for OhZone, alocally-based online adult store.

For details, contact her atinfo@ohzone.co.za or via www.ohzone.co.za

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