Our expert says:
"Dropping hints" is no way for grown-ups to communicate about anything important. If your husband is, in fact, hinting, you two are having an important conversation without really talking to each other. To find out if the two of you are having the same conversation, simply ask: "John, are you hinting that you're curious about SM? If so, let's talk about it." Some people think that direct conversation is "unromantic," but how romantic is miscommunication and misunderstanding?
Let's assume, then, that you check it out, and your husband is indeed interested in SM. SM is short for sado-masochism, which involves playing with power dynamics in erotic settings. It only involves pain if both partners so desire. It doesn't feel like what it looks like; it's about trust and intensity, not pain. People who enjoy SM say it's extraordinarily intimate.
What exactly is your husband interested in? There are as many varieties of SM as there are kinds of flowers. There's physical domination, role-playing, bondage, costumes, verbal humiliation, and good old-fashioned spanking, with or without toys.
So talk, yes, talk about what he's curious about, as well as your own curiosity and hesitation. Such a conversation will give you a chance to discover (or disclose) whether or not, say, wrist restraints sound quite exciting. For more information, see the books Consensual Sadomasochism by William Henkin and Sybil Holiday, and Bound to Be Free by Charles Moser and J.J. Madeson, or the videos Ecstatic Moments by Libido Films and S/M Why? from Focus Films.
Of course, SM is by definition consensual, so only do what you want to do. Of course, arranging it so that your partner "forces" you to do something that you're curious about is a wonderful aspect of SM for some people. And that's what makes it mandatory to agree on a "safeword" before you begin; when you're playing, "stop" might mean, "For God's sake, don't stop," while, say, "elephant" means, "Stop, really stop right now."
Finally, you're feeling pressured by your husbands "ex-girlfriend's" enthusiasm. Let's end this right now: You aren't her, will never be, and don't need to be. She's gone, along with her unique preferences. You're the unique individual in your guy's life now, enjoy your position.
Remember always safe, sane and concensual
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