Setting boundaries during sex. Sounds more like a step in therapy than sexual foreplay, right? But setting boundaries is not only healthy - it’s hot. Have you ever had a conversation about what you want, don’t want and what your boundaries are before you have sex with someone? It’s not just for kinky people…. Boundaries can range from “I don’t like anything near my butt” to “You can spank me until I cry but I will never, ever call you Daddy” or “When I’m about to come please call me a dirty little chimney sweep”. Whatever floats your boat! So, where to start?
Setting boundaries is super, super hot
Think of it like foreplay. Before you start rutting*, you talk about what you’re going to do to each other. If you set boundaries at this point, it lets you both relax, because you both know what the other likes and wants. But of course, boundaries can change, and people can change their minds - so don’t think of this as like, signing a contract before you get jiggy with it**. Think of it more like handing each other a roadmap to the Holy Orgasm Grail. Amen, sister.
*an English slang word for having sex that we recently discovered and find it so silly and yet hilarious we can’t stop using it.
** we will continue to find ridiculous ways to describe having sex because it makes us laugh, so buckle up.
People of all genders have boundaries
It’s time we once and for all debunked the myth that guys are always up for sex and that they want to do everything, and that women have to “give in” or “appease” men. Heterosexual relationships are like a minefield of egos and politeness. Public Service Announcement: Men have boundaries too. In fact, all people of all genders have boundaries - so make sure you are both comfortable moving forward. It might be the first time anyone has ever asked you or them what their boundaries are - and what a beautiful moment you will share when you both feel your emotional and physical needs are being taken care of.
Keep checking in
Consent doesn’t just happen before you have sex. The definition of consensual sex is “enthusiastic” and “continual”. Phrases like “do you like this, or this?”, “do you want to keep going?” and “are you feeling good?” are all great. Yes, people can change their minds during sex - anyone, of any gender, can change their mind and want to stop, or be triggered by something, or lose their erection. Try not to take it as a blow to the ego - but setting boundaries beforehand can help ensure that everyone has the most fun they possibly can.
Have a safe word
This doesn’t just apply to heavy BDSM sessions. Imagine this: you’re trying being blindfolded for the first time. It’s a little nerve wracking because you can’t see what they’re doing. You can use words here that let your partner know, without breaking out of the vibe, that something they’re doing is good, or you’re not sure about it, or it's something you really don’t want. You can use words like green, orange and red; or come up with something more fun, like “Hufflepuff”. No-one likes a Hufflepuff.
Don’t cross your boundaries to make someone else happy…
Just because everyone seems to be doing something, doesn’t mean you have to. If your partner is constantly asking you for something you don’t particularly like, you don’t have to “give in”. If you don’t like anal sex, don’t do it. If you don’t want to have a threesome, don’t do it. Doing something just because you think it will make someone else happy or because you think you’re going to get something in return isn’t healthy. Sex is about everyone’s pleasure. It’s not about exchanging favors, if those favors make you uncomfortable.
… but be ready to push yours
Only if you want to, of course. Threesomes can be really great after all, so if there are things you’re curious about but not ready for yet, you can put them in the maybe list for future adventures. There are lots of things that you won’t know you like until you try - like sharing a fantasy, or using a sex toy together, or trying some role play. Being a little bit adventurous doesn’t have to be scary. If you’ve set your boundaries, you have more freedom to safely explore.
Don’t make it feel like a test
You don’t need to sit opposite each other with notepads and a Monica Gellar-esque military precision to boundary setting. Try opening the conversation with something like “Can we talk about our boundaries first? There are some things I really like and some I don’t. And I really want to make you feel good, so maybe you could tell me what you like and don’t like too.”
Self-respect is ho-diggidy-ot
Sitting opposite a partner and telling them what you like and dislike is hot. You being powerful and empowered is hot. And if they don’t like it when you set your boundaries… they’re probably a bit of a tosser. Thank you, next!
It might take some coaching
Maybe they aren’t ready to talk that openly about their boundaries. If that’s the case, you can try talking about it while you’re having sex - things like “how would you feel if I did this?” or “would you like it if I did such-and-such?”. In the midst of being aroused, we tend to relax a little, and feel less shy about saying what we like. DON’T try anything without their consent though. And don’t ever pressure anyone into trying anything because you think they’ll like it. No two people are the same when it comes to having their marbles cracked*.*you’re welcome.
Don’t let it slide if they cross your boundaries
It’s not okay. Ever. It’s about respect. Is your pleasure and happiness as important to your partner as theirs? If it is, they'll respect your boundaries and find ways to give your both mind-blowing, leg shaking orgasms. If they deliberately cross a boundary, tell ‘em Boy*, Bye. *translation of Boy: any human who crosses your boundaries. Or alien. You never know…
BDSM is not an excuse to cross boundaries
Master4U may say they are an experienced Dominant and that degrading you “is how BDSM works” but they could just as easily be talking shit, pretending to be your Christian Grey fantasy while actually just being a selfish lover. BDSM is all about boundary setting and consent conversations. Before engaging in ANY form of BDSM you need to have a long and serious conversation about what you want and don’t want. It’s especially important to have a safe word, or signal if your mouth is gagged. But that’s for a whole other post…
Find out more
If you'd like to find out more about setting boundaries, download the Emjoy app and listen to our Communicate Your Needs wellbeing collection.