Does She Deserve a Spanking?

Yes! In fact, she’s far kinkier than you think. Read on—and make her scream

We’re willing to wager that all the guys who didn’t bother to read Fifty Shades of Grey will have no problem standing in line for the film. Let’s face it: Compressing Anastasia and Christian’s freaky antics into a visual sexiest will hold male attention far longer than mere words on pages.

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But they haven’t even begun filming the whips and chains yet, so take this lull in the BDSM hype (that’s bondage, domination/discipline, sadism/submission, and masochism for you newbs) to find out if your woman truly is up for this brand of kink, and if so, how to ease yourselves into it.

Think she’ll run screaming? Not so fast. A University of Saskatchewan study found that women are quite similar to men when defining what’s normal or acceptable in bed. Plus, dabbling in kink can provide a host of bonding benefits. “BDSM challenges couples to communicate better and to be more creative,” says Richard Sprott, Ph.D, coauthor of Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities. “You imagine new ways of finding pleasure with a partner.” In fact, research suggests that merely acquainting yourselves with the core concepts of kink can heighten your sexual satisfaction. So throw on some leather and enjoy the ride.

TEST THE WATERS

You can’t just show up in the bedroom with a ball gag and chains, or you might find out the hard way that she’s a member of the “Fifty Shades of No Way!” club. Start by recalling the phenomenon created by the books. This can give you a sense of whether the idea of submission and dominance—which is the foundation of most BDSM experiences—leaves her repulsed, indifferent, or intrigued. Some experts say she will probably be intrigued because humans are hardwired to have a biological “opinion” on the matter. “A person’s preference for domination or submission is as biologically fundamental to his or her sexual identity as sexual orientation,” says Ogi Ogas, Ph.D., a cognitive neuroscientist whose book A Billion Wicked Thoughts used Internet behavioral patterns to study human desire. (See how to master your dirty talk here.)

So what do you do with that intel? Unpack it a bit. “A good way to start a conversation with a partner is with a ‘yes, no, maybe’ list,” says psychologist Meg Barker, Ph.D., a researcher at the Open University in the U.K. Lists are available on BDSM websites, or you can take a look—together—at the list on this page. Barker cites a University of New Brunswick study revealing that after 15 years together, couples knew only about 62 percent of what their partner liked in bed, and 26 percent of what their partner disliked. Whether you end up getting kinky or not, you should both find this exercise enlightening and empowering.

GIVE HER A TICKLE

If you’ve ever massaged, bitten, or scratched each other, you’ve already dipped your toe into the most basic type of kink—sensation play. “This generates a biochemical chain reaction, which creates a state similar to the glow of orgasm,” Sprott says. Being the target of someone else’s actions allows the recipient to relinquish control and enjoy the sensations.

Start with a blindfold or sleep mask, which can help you each embrace the submissive role; after all, you can’t really take control if you can’t see. It’ll help both of you focus on the sensations, stay in character, and avoid the nervous giggles, say sex writers Em & Lo, authors of 150 Shades of Play: a Beginner’s Guide to Kink and founders of EmandLo.com. After you plunge her into darkness, graze your fingers or a feather over her inner thighs, the nape of her neck, and the inner part of her forearms, Sprott says. Don’t touch her at all for 15 or 20 seconds at a time in between; this makes her anticipate where the next sensation will take place. If you both decide to inch a little closer to the pleasure/pain threshold, try nibbling her earlobes while pinching her nipples and labia.

TEST HER NERVES: Consider a Wartenberg wheel ($12, amazon.com), a popular BDSM gadget originally designed to test nerve sensitivity. (It looks like a tiny pizza cutter—with spikes.) A little pain from this guy can equal a lot of pleasure.

CRANK THE SPANK

Bare buttocks simply scream to be spanked, but if either of you swings too hard your first time at bat, the move may be summarily ejected from your kink repertoire. That’d be a pity, because spanking can hurt so good. “When you’re spanked, flogged, or caned, it feels awesome and for some may actually be a pain reliever,” says sex writer Reverend Jen Miller, the author ofBDSM 101. “It’s certainly easier to get than Percocet.”

She may balk at first, so ease into it. Janet Hardy, coauthor of The Ethical Slut, recommends starting gently with your open hand, which offers a wide range of sensations, has a built-in feedback mechanism, and feels more intimate than implements. “For most recipients, the lower inner quadrant of the buttocks is the sweet spot—it shares a nerve group with the genitals,” she says. Don’t assume you can just spank her during intercourse and that’s enough to turn her on. You’ll add to the spanking experience if you actually have her over your knee. “Start very slowly with light smacks that just barely sting, and build gradually,” Hardy says. If she’s enjoying the experience, her breathing should sound smooth and sexy and her butt should be pushing up toward the spanker’s hand instead of flinching.

RESTRAIN YOURSELVES

Next, tie the knot, so to speak. Some people want to be tied up so they can feel controlled. Some enjoy being teased and denied. The appeal for the dominant player, of course, is being in control. Just don’t try gleaning any tips about tie-ups from Fifty Shades—it’s full of dubious practices that make BDSM pros wince. For instance, using cable ties as wrist restraints is a really bad idea, say Em & Lo. Some other bad ideas: leaving your partner alone while bound, tying her up in a way that restricts circulation, or putting something over her nose and mouth and obstructing her breathing. Don’t do those things.

Instead, start out by loosely tying her wrists, and maybe her ankles, with something that won’t be abrasive to her skin, such as silk scarves or ties, and watch that they don’t become too tight. “Keep that first session short, and make sure you take the time to get some feedback about how you both felt about it,” says sex educator Jazz Goldman. There are fleece-lined wrist cuffs (that attach with buckles), bondage tape, over-the-door suspension cuffs, or under-the-bed restraints that can be employed when the mood strikes. All of these items can be purchased at no scarier a place than Amazon.

ADD CONTROL: Rope is a mainstay of bondage apparel, with true aficionados responding to both the look and feel of it. But instead of rooting around in the garage, invest in some Japanese silk rope ($14, amazon.com) that will do the job without irritating skin. Once you’ve explored tying or being tied up and liked it, you might want to try spreader bars—bondage equipment that enables you to both restrain and raunchily position your partner in a way that gives you unfettered access to, well, whatever you’d like.

PUT ON AN ACT

Role playing is a great kink-starter as well. But unless you were a drama major, pretending to be someone else is going to make you feel silly and require you to suspend your disbelief. That can be tough, but not as tough as you might think. “It’s much easier to lose your inhibitions when you’re pretending to be someone else,” says the Kinsey Institute’s Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., MH‘s relationships advisor. “The real benefit here is that role playing can be a gateway into sex play you might not otherwise try.”

Skip the elaborate script and period garb and make it easy on yourself. For instance, you could arrange to meet at a nightclub that neither of you has been to before, Herbenick suggests. Arrive in clothes you haven’t seen on each other, and after some fleeting eye contact, start chatting as if you were perfect strangers just starting to flirt with each other. From there you can take it in any direction you want. Perhaps one of you can play hard to get while the other portrays the wolfish seducer. You can be an entirely different person, exaggerate a specific facet of your actual personality, or just reconnect with the feeling of meeting your partner for the first time.

ACT UP: If after tinkering with different scenarios you find that you like role play, try one in which the dominant and submissive parts are explicit. “The classic is the master/slave scenario, in which one partner surrenders free will to the other,” Herbenick says. If you’re feeling a bit sheepish about where to begin, you can always let fate decide: The Fantasy Sex Deck ($25, amazon.com) has 50 cards that each feature a role-playing scenario. Pick a card and be someone else for an hour or two—or forever, for that matter. After all, maybe the real, kinkier you has been aching to get out! (And when you’re done being naughty, be nice by Buy Her Jewelry She’ll Love.)

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Are you cheating without knowing it?

A new poll suggests men and women view cheating very differently

Do you flirt on Facebook? Do you sext? Do you kiss women who are not your wife or girlfriend and consider it a perfectly innocent act?

If so, you may be cheating without knowing it. A new poll has revealed that men and women have very different ideas about what constitutes infidelity, which means that your act of harmless fun might have pretty dire consequences if your partner takes a different view.

So what is cheating and what isn’t? We delve into the brave new world of 21st century sexual mores.

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Sexting

According to the new poll, commissioned by the Huffington Post, and carried out by YouGov 85% of women claim that sexting – sending sexual texts to someone other than your partner – is cheating, despite the absence of any physical contact.

The good news is that, according to the poll, 74% of men feel the same way. The bad news is that there’s a hardcore 9% who may soon be in for a very rude awakening.

The fact that the majority of both men and women view sending sexual texts as cheating, despite the absence of physical contact, is probably sensible. Recent research by psychologists at the University of Nebraska in the US found that sexters often escalate their behaviour into real world affairs. Nearly eight out of 10 respondents had made arrangements to meet someone face to face after initially communicating via text.

But while that may be true, not everyone agrees that sexting – or any sexually charged virtual relationship – counts as cheating. In his book In Defense of Sin, John Portmann, assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, says we have to distinguish between sex – and just talking about sex.

“The internet has not given us a new way to have sex, but rather an absorbing new way to talk about sex. Distinguishing between flirting and infidelity will show that talking dirty, whether on the internet or on the phone, does not amount to having sex.”

So is sexting with someone other than your partner cheating? There’s a certain amount of intellectual debate about the matter, but for the sake of your relationship it’s probably best to assume your partner will think it is.

According to the new poll, commissioned by the Huffington Post, and carried out by YouGov 85% of women claim that sexting – sending sexual texts to someone other than your partner – is cheating, despite the absence of any physical contact.

The good news is that, according to the poll, 74% of men feel the same way. The bad news is that there’s a hardcore 9% who may soon be in for a very rude awakening.

The fact that the majority of both men and women view sending sexual texts as cheating, despite the absence of physical contact, is probably sensible. Recent research by psychologists at the University of Nebraska in the US found that sexters often escalate their behaviour into real world affairs. Nearly eight out of 10 respondents had made arrangements to meet someone face to face after initially communicating via text.

But while that may be true, not everyone agrees that sexting – or any sexually charged virtual relationship – counts as cheating. In his book In Defense of Sin, John Portmann, assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, says we have to distinguish between sex – and just talking about sex.

“The internet has not given us a new way to have sex, but rather an absorbing new way to talk about sex. Distinguishing between flirting and infidelity will show that talking dirty, whether on the internet or on the phone, does not amount to having sex.”

So is sexting with someone other than your partner cheating? There’s a certain amount of intellectual debate about the matter, but for the sake of your relationship it’s probably best to assume your partner will think it is.

Facebooking

In many ways flirting with someone other than your significant other on Facebook touches on the same ground as sexting. Let your banter stray into the realms of the sexual and your partner is likely to take a very dim view.

But the Huffington Post study focused specifically on contacting an ex through Facebook, something the ubiquitous social networking site makes temptingly easy.

And there was a discrepancy between men and women on the issue. Around 42% of women would not consider it cheating if a partner contacted an ex via Facebook, while a significantly larger proportion of men – 56% – would take the relaxed view.

An interesting detail is that the study didn’t consider what someone might be contacting an ex for. In other words, whatever your motives for contacting a former girlfriend via Facebook, and however innocent you think they might be, there’s a good chance your current partner will regard it as tantamount to infidelity.

Other internet contact

She’ll do so partly because there’s a large gender divide when it comes to forming an emotional connection over the internet, regardless of whether it ever strays into sexting or suggestive Facebook posts.

According to the Huffington Post poll, 70% of women would consider it a serious betrayal if their partner formed such a bond, but only 50% of men felt the same way.

That’s a pretty serious finding. Half of men think it fine to to enter into a virtual relationship most women consider cheating, or at least next door to cheating.

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Physical contact

But perhaps the most surprising finding involved actual physical contact. You might think the sexes would be far more consistent in their view of what constituted cheating in the real – as opposed to virtual – world.

When is cheating cheating? Not when it only involves kissing, say many men. Sixty percent of the men surveyed said that kissing was OK – even on the lips – presumably so long as contact doesn’t get any more intimate than that.

It will come as no surprise that most women didn’t agree. Only 34% of women felt the same way.But there has been some debate over the issue of kissing and infidelity lately, suggesting that it is far from a black and white issue. In a recent article, the American comedian Mindy Kaling (yes, a woman) suggested that couples should be allowed to kiss other people. They just shouldn’t take it any further.“I’m not saying that kissing is a hundred per cent peril-free,” wrote Kaling. “I’m just saying it should be treated like any other enjoyable (but legal) vice, such as alcohol or gambling. In other words, it just needs to be regulated.”So maybe those men who refuse to equate kissing someone else with cheating have a point. Having said that, it’s not one that’s likely to go down well with wives or girlfriends. It seems the gender divide between men and women on what is and isn’t cheating is wide, so it might be best to err on the side of caution.

Women sleep with makeup to impress partner

New research reveals that women sleep with their makeup on to look good for their partners, despite knowing the adverse side-effects it has on their skin.

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London: A new research has found that despite the adverse side-effects of going to bed with makeup, one in four women are still doing it.

Insecurities came out top in the reasons for sleeping with makeup, with 53 percent of the vote, followed by the fact that people want to look good for their partner and nine percent just quite simply can’t be bothered to take it off.

Of the women who slept in their makeup when with their partner, the majority, 52 percent, claimed to have been in their relationship for less than a year and 12 percent admitted that they had been in their relationship for over 10 years.

Of the women who kept makeup on when going to sleep with their partner, 95 percent admitted that they kept this a secret from their partner.

And 45 percent even admitted that they openly lied to their partner, claiming to have taken their makeup off before bed.

According to the results, the most common makeup products left on by women in Britain when going to bed with their partners are mascara, concealer, foundation, lipstick or gloss and fake eyelashes.

When asked whether or not they were concerned about the effect that sleeping in makeup would have on their skin, 49 percent of the respondents said “no”.

Furthermore, just over half, 52 percent, claimed that they would continue to sleep in their makeup when with their partner for the “foreseeable future”.

As much as 59 percent felt that it negatively affected the quality of their night’s sleep, whilst 33 percent said their skin condition had worsened since doing so.

Jed MacEwan, managing director of Ergoflex UK, who conducted the research, said: “Considering the surge in awareness of the relationship between sleep and health we’ve seen over recent years, I have to admit the findings took us a little by surprise.”

Of all the respondents taking part, 78 percent claimed that they felt that their partner looked just as good in the morning as they did when going to bed and 17 percent of the women taking part said the same about themselves.

“Putting the clinically proven negative impact on skin health aside, what was most interesting from our results is just how many women admitted to keeping makeup on when they slept, despite over half claiming it negatively affected the quality of their night’s sleep,” said MacEwan.

“We’re all about a quality night’s sleep here, and as you’d expect, found that the ‘vanity’ aspect trumping that of overall health, both of your skin and sleep, well, quite astounding. Chances are, men won’t notice a blind bit of difference – I can’t speak for all of us, but I’m certain the large majority just aren’t that observant early morning! To this end, we would urge all women to prioritise health over vanity. So take the makeup off and get some good quality beauty sleep, and enjoy both the mental and aesthetic effects, as there really is no substitute for a great night’s sleep!” added MacEwan.

Rest as crucial as exercise for fitness

Results from a new study reveal that periods of rest between exercising enhance one’s fitness levels.
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Brief rests, alternating with bouts of exercise, are crucial in maintaining fitness, allowing muscles to recover and help shape up the body faster, says a new study.

The research by University of Stirling, Scotland, split cyclists into two groups. One did bursts of high intensity exercise interspersed with short rest periods three times each week.

In each session, they pedalled hard but below sprint pace for four minutes and then stopped for two minutes before repeating the pattern five times.

The second group rode continuously for an hour at a slightly easier pace, three times a week. After four weeks, the two groups swapped programmes, the Daily Mail reports.

Tests showed the first programme, which involved a mixture of tough training and taking it easy, to be the most beneficial, leading to twice as big an improvement in power and performance.

Exercise physiologist Stuart Galloway from the university, said: “It is a case of training smarter. We found in these cyclists that if you can make the hard sessions harder and the easy sessions easier, you are likely to see better progress.”

“Amateur athletes tend to spend a lot of their training in the moderate intensity bracket, which showed smaller improvements in our study. For the wider public, most people were advised to do moderate intensity exercise for around three hours a week.”