Okay, if you’re reading this, I imagine that you’ve also already read the three steps I described to introduce bondage into your relationship. They’re the fun part of this series! This fourth article isn’t nearly so fun, because it’s about what to do if things go wrong. It would be great if you never needed to read this at all, but I don’t believe that’s likely. After all—the point of this whole series has been about pushing boundaries and broadening horizons, so there’s definitely an opportunity for stress. And everybody takes a mis-step sometime. I know I have. So now I’m going to write about what to do when it happens to you.
So let’s suppose that you’re in the midst of a bondage adventure and your partner gets angry, or bursts into tears, or just says, “Stop! I don’t want to do this anymore!” This could happen right in the middle of Step Two, or it could happen six months later when you’ve explored many fun activities together. What do you do?
The first thing obviously is to solve the immediate problem. Stop whatever you are doing that has caused this reaction! If your partner is bound, free them. If they need comforting, comfort them. If they need space or time, hugs and kisses, or God forbid, medical attention, give it to them. Whatever they need to feel better, you should try to provide!
After the problem is solved, it’s time to try to figure out what went wrong. Please note that I said after the problem is solved! That means you should spend time trying to comfort your partner while their feelings are hurt rather than jumping right into diagnosis!
When things have calmed down and you have a moment to reflect, think about where things went off the rails. Chances are pretty good that whatever it was, it involved breaking one or both of the two basic rules!
- Walk slowly, and take baby steps
- Always leave them wanting more
Did you try to take a giant step, perhaps? Or maybe two or three baby steps all at the same time? Or have you gotten so into this bondage thing that you’ve insisted on one adventure after another after another with no breaks for reality and more traditional love in between?
I bet that if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll know right away what happened. If not, however, there’s an easy way to find out. Ask your partner!
I know that sometimes talking is not easy. That, however, is going to be key to resolving whatever went wrong. Even if you already know your mistake, you’re still going to need to talk about it.
An apology makes a good start. And don’t pretend that you’re not at least partly (if you were in the dominant role, make that “mostly”) to blame! Of course you were! So tell your partner you’re sorry, and ask what happened and where things went wrong. Do this even if you think you already know the answer. It’s better to be sure!
Hopefully this question will lead to a positive and helpful conversation. I have no insight into what you were doing or what happened, so I can’t advise you very specifically. However, here are a couple good rules of thumb to follow when you address what happened:
- Work with your partner, not against them! Don’t get mad, and accept what they say, even if it’s not what you wanted to hear. If there’s some activity near and dear to your heart that they don’t like, chances are good you’re just going to have to learn to live without it. But ask them if there were parts of this or previous adventures that they did like. And ask what about bondage excites them. I’d bet that if they’re honest with themselves and with you there are aspects of their experiences that really turned them on. If you can discover those aspects and focus on them in future adventures, you and your partner will go far together.
- Take blame. You probably deserve it.
- Talk about ways for your partner to let you know if they’re not enjoying something earlier in the adventure. That way you can change direction and avoid a problem before it happens. Do you have a safe word? Perhaps it’s time to implement one.
Once you’ve talked things out and have a good idea what upset your partner, give it a rest for awhile. Stay away from bondage for at least a few weeks. Concentrate on showing them that you love and care for them.
When you decide that it might be okay to try again, go back and re-read the two basic rules. You must adhere to them like they are written in stone! As a matter of fact, for this first attempt to return to the bondage path, I suggest that you fall back to whatever activity you know your partner likes. If you had a good time with a blindfold, return to that. If they told you something during your conversation that excites them, then that might be a good option. Don’t try to push beyond safe territory. This is one time when you need to let your partner live well within their comfort zone.
Hopefully you’ll have fun together doing whatever activity you select. If so, then you can again return to taking baby steps, but make sure they are really little ones! And start from your last adventure, rather than from wherever you were pre-problem. It’s more important than ever to go slow right now. Follow BOTH of the two basic rules, and you and your partner should both have fun.
I do need to warn you that it’s possible that you may not be able to recover from a problem like this. It’s possible that your partner’s opinion of bondage may be permanently marred. Therefore, it is much better to not get into this situation in the first place! Be sensitive to your partner, listen (with your eyes as well as your ears) to what they are telling you when you set out on an adventure together, and always remember the two rules!
If, after reading this series of posts, you’d like more information about BDSM and how you can incorporate it into your relationship, you can check out my e-Book, “Exploring Dark Dreams: A Beginner’s Practical Guide to BDSM” available on Amazon.