Would you like a fun technique to use during your next adventure? Perhaps you already know this, but in case it hasn’t occurred to you, here’s something you can try. Mix tenderness with cruelty.

“Huh?” you say. “What are you talking about?” Allow me to explain.

Sometimes part of the fun in a BDSM adventure comes from doing the unexpected, from keeping your partner off balance and uncertain what’s coming next. Why is this fun? It creates the element of uncertainty and perceived risk that helps stimulate adrenaline and add excitement to the scene you play out together.

Juxtaposing tenderness and cruelty can create this sensation of being off balance just because the two elements don’t go together. If you treat your partner with tenderness, they expect more tenderness, and so cruelty catches them by surprise. If you treat them cruelly, you set up an expectation of more of the same, and so tenderness catches them by surprise as well. In either case, they will feel slightly off kilter, as their expectations are dashed. They won’t know what is coming next, and that leaves them feeling as though they are at risk, even though they may know intellectually that they are safe.

How do you use this idea? Well, for instance, suppose I bind Joy rather severely…perhaps in a hog tie and blindfold. In a serious hog-tie, she can’t move very much and truly is helpless. The blindfold only adds to the effect, and she’s now expecting to be used cruelly. But if, instead, I spend the next five minutes tenderly holding her and kissing her on the lips and neck, I have stymied her expectations, leaving her mystified as to what might come next, able only to wait and wonder.

Or, as another example, what if I bind Joy’s hands behind her back, get out a hairbrush and take her over my knee. But rather than spank her, I begin brushing her hair, stroke after stroke, until it shines. Again we have set up the expectation of cruelty and delivered tenderness instead. But then, once her hair gleams in the light, what if I take the hairbrush to her bottom and give it several good smacks until she squirms and whimpers in my lap? Now we’ve gone back the other direction, from tender to cruel, and once more confounded the expectations that have been set.

By now I’m sure you can think of other ways to use this technique and other situations in which to apply it. Be careful, however, of playing this particular game too often—if overused, it loses its power, as your partner comes to expect it.

The fact that this technique holds power serves to remind us how much of the fun of BDSM comes from the mind rather than the body. Oh, sure, the physical stimulation counts for a lot, but much of that same stimulation can take place during vanilla sex without it delivering nearly the same excitement. Add in an element of Dominance and submission and the proper atmosphere, though, and all of a sudden electricity surges through the air (and your two bodies). Anything that can ramp up that electricity, including mixing cruelty and tenderness, only adds to the benefit.

Enjoy Yourself,


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