I just moved to Montreal, and I don’t know a lot of people here, but I started dating this really attractive guy. He asked me out at work, and he seemed like a total catch – he takes me out for dinner, he has a gorgeous downtown apartment, he’s an awesome dancer and a total gentleman. Except, when we have sex, he really likes to choke me. He started because he said I “obviously liked things rough,” and to an extent I do, but it also kind of scares me. I’ve told him I’m not into it, but sometimes he “forgets” and does it lightly, or just generally is way more rough with me than I like. Is this guy a weirdo?
Statistically, though I’m not particularly into research, your pretty-boy boyfriend (and his rougher alter ego) is not a weirdo: lots of men—and women too—appreciate a little tough love. If you must, blame your body; pain and pleasure both release endorphins, your bod’s chemical good-time high. Problem is, rough sex ranges from playful spanking and hair-pulling to love bites (though don’t break the skin; this ain’t Twilight) and full-on Michael Hutchence behaviour—a broad spectrum where your perv quotient can quickly be surpassed by your pervier bf.
Or so you’d have us—and yourself—believe. If dude’s as observant as he is deviant, and you do in fact “obviously like things rough” (though what possibly makes this obvious is beyond any experience I’ve ever had), then you owe it to yourself—not him, that’s key—to drop your inhibitions and get funky.
Firstly, the facts: choking reduces oxygen flow to the brain, resulting in a drug-like hallucinogenic state (good) and, according to racy rumours, a better orgasm (even better). Unfortunately, your brain needs oxygen and you may die (bad). But like all taboos, asphyxiation nonetheless developed into a fetish, and like all fetishes, making rules is the name of the game. Discuss thoroughly beforehand, and if you’re finding yourself strangely more into it than not, then pick an unsexy safe word and demand he respect it.
But in this case, Breathless, your forgetful date rapist has already and repeatedly disrespected these boundaries. Sexuality is a slippery slope and while it’s very possible your kinda-into-it ‘tude is confusing to both parties, No still means No. Factor in the heat-of-the-moment factor and his supposed inability to control himself and you’re looking at a very dangerous situation in-the-making.
So if you really dig this dude, and not just the free dinners, ditch any coy indecision and talk it out very clearly. Decide definitely what you will and will not do, and tell him straight. If he “forgets” one more time, then do yourself a favour, admit your peaches and cream boyfriend has gone sour, and punch him in the face on your way out the door. Hey man, he’ll probably like it.