Kink 2.0 | Exploring Pain, Restraint and Dirty Talk

In our piece on Kink 101, we went over some pretty important basics you need to understand before engaging in any kind of kink play, including basic safety, consent and safe words. We also included the Nox Yes, No, Maybe list, which, if you haven’t already filled it out with your partner(s), is a great place to discover just what kind of kink you might like to experiment with together.

Today we’re going to take it a step further and explain the basics of restraints, dirty talk, sensory deprivation, pain as pleasure and aftercare. Whether you’re dominant or submissive, enjoy giving or receiving pain, there’s something here for everyone. Ready to jump in?!

All Tied Up

The feeling of giving up a certain level of control is an extremely common component of any kind of kink play, and having your arms and hands restricted is a simple intro this sensation. We love, love, love our silk restraints as an introduction to restraints, not only because they’re super cute and affordable but because they’re more secure than something you might have on hand, like a scarf or tie. They’re also soft and silky, which makes them a little less intimidating than a pair of metal or heavy-duty leather cuffs.

If both of you are into being submissive, try taking turns wearing them while the other one teases or experiments with a little temperature play. This will get you used to the feeling in a playful setting. If you’re into it, keep exploring, and try incorporating a vibrator or dildo into the mix. If you’re not, then use your safe word (PINEAPPLE!) and make sure your partner knows that they need to remove the restraints immediately.

Kept In The Dark

If the silk restraints are a hit, adding a little sensory deprivation into the mix can amp things up. One great way to start is to remove the sense of sight, and our silky blindfold can get the job done. However, a scarf or shirt can definitely work in a pinch! When one sense is diminished, the others tend to kick into overdrive. This means your sense of touch is heightened, making everything a little more intense. If your partner is the one blindfolded, try kissing them in all their favorite spots (discuss these first, either by using our list or verbally), this gentle sensation alone will drive them bananas. Build up from there.

Dirty Talk

When it comes to dirty and/or degrading talk, you may like hearing it more than saying it, or vice versa. You might even find the whole thing too silly for words. That’s totally OK, so long as you and your partner(s) are on the same page. Ensuring that everyone has a good time requires a little straight talk first. There’s no rule that says you must like being called names, but it doesn’t say anything negative about you if that’s what gets you going. And just because you like being called ‘slut’ doesn’t mean you like being called anything else—talk to your partner(s) about what you like and don’t like, and don’t feel shy about asking them to crank it up, or to stop.

The words for our anatomy can be incredibly gendered, but you get to choose which terms you want used, and which ones you absolutely do not. There’s nothing less sexy than someone calling your genitalia by a word that makes your skin crawl. Be upfront about the terms you like, and which ones make you squirm.

There’s a common tactic that bosses use to deliver criticism called a compliment sandwich that’s actually a really great way to experiment with dirty talk. Basically, your boss compliments you, criticizes you, and them compliments you again so you leave the meeting on a high. In the bedroom it would be more like giving praise, using a degrading word, then giving more praise. (If for you and your partner, the filthier the better, then go nuts!

Sculpture by Anders Krisár.

Pain as Pleasure

While we touched on the basics of inflicting pain—like using open hands when spanking—in our last piece, there’s a lot more to giving pain as pleasure than meets the eye. While you may not necessarily fall squarely in the sadist or masochist camp, enjoying pain as a part of sex is a really, really common and potentially gratifying experience. In fact, pain releases a similar mix of chemicals as love in the bloodstream, and there’s absolutely no shame in experiencing that ‘rush’ and wanting more!

Whether you’re practicing spanking, hair-pulling, choking, pinching or something else, make sure you’ve established boundaries with your partner(s). It’s best to start small and build your way up to more intense sensations, all the better to understand your or your partner’s limits. While your hands are perfectly good tools, using gear like nipple clamps, paddles or floggers is fun, too. If you're looking for some tools to get started, we have a whole Restraints & Sensation Play section in the shop. 

Enjoying pain does not mean that you’re damaged, and enjoying giving it does not make you a bad person. Again, this is a super common kink and many people enjoy this exchange as a healthy part of their sex lives. As long as you’re being responsible and communicating clearly with your partner, you’re good to go.


If you are the more dominant one in your play, then it’s up to you to make sure your partner feels cared for after you’re both done. Some people may want to be left alone after a kinky session, in which case you could offer to draw them a bath. Other people may need to be held, cuddled and praised after their endorphins and adrenaline drop. It depends on the person and they may feel different after each time, so always check in. If spanking or contact play is your thing, then a soothing massage might be a nice way to show some care. While communication is required before and during any kind of kink play, it’s equally, if not more, important afterwards. Make sure you both had a good time, and learn from each other what you could do to make it even steamier next time.

If you haven’t filled out the Nox Yes, No, Maybe List yet, find it here.

Ready to explore? Shop this article: