Flo Perry is a writer and illustrator who has made a career out of her passion for drawing breasts and penchant for quizzing people about their sex lives at parties. The daughter of artist Grayson and psychotherapist Philippa Perry, Flo is a proud bisexual who was raised in London where she still lives with her cat. Here, in an extract from her frank and funny new book "How To Have Feminist Sex", she talks about getting kinky and consent, all in her own inimitable way...
Kinky stuff isn't for everyone. If you have no interest from straying from your vanilla lifestyle, feel free to skip this. (Of course you won't skip this; you wanna know what all the kinky people are up to, you nosey lil' vanilla cupcake.)
But what if you are having fantasies that involve more than just having sex in a bed with the person you're already having sex with? First of all, just because you're fantasising about it doesn't mean you have to actually do it.
Fantasies are really fun. You can do whatever you like! Wanna have sex with some squid man or your boyfriend's dad? Go for it, as long as it's in your brain. Because squid men don't exist (as far as I know??? Sorry if you're a squid person reading this), and having sex with your boyfriend's dad would probably really fuck up your life and not be worth it (probably, though you never know, right??).
Just because you fantasise about something doesn't even mean you would want to do it in real life. In your head you might like the idea of having sex with four strangers in an alleyway, but if you actually got into that situation you might feel afraid, or cold and uncomfortable. Because you're in an alleyway.
As long as something’s just in your head, there's no point in feeling guilty about it - you don't have to go through with it in real life. But what if you do want to do it? You've thought about it, and you wanna try a threesome/sex outside/putting something up your bum/getting spanked. What next?
Find someone you trust … Maybe don't try getting blindfolded for the first time with a guy you just met in Spoons.
Find someone you trust. Every time we get naked with another person we are making ourselves vulnerable in an exciting and beautiful way. This is even more true when we get kinky with someone else, so you might want to be extra careful that you are sure that the person you're getting kinky with knows it is all a game. Maybe don't try getting blindfolded for the first time with a guy you just met in Spoons.
Being kinky usually means playing around with a power dynamic (submissive or dominant). Both roles can make you quite vulnerable. So the first and most important piece of advice is: you have to find the right person. If you want to try something different in bed, you need someone who you can trust to stop when you say “stop” (or “mackerel”, “tiddlywinks”, or whatever else you decide your safe word is). Once you’ve found someone you wanna get kinky with you should talk in detail about your fantasies.
Ideally, sex should be like going to dinner at someone's house. You invite someone for dinner, ask if they're a vegetarian, cook them something you both like to eat, and if they refuse pudding it's not a big deal, you'll have it for breakfast. Imagine if we asked as much detail about someone's preferences before sex as we do the first time we cook them dinner.
Don't try everything at once. Don't put your biggest dildo in that hole unless you've had a finger in there first and liked it. Before you move on and try anything new, check that you're both still into it. Consent at every level.
Consent Can Be Hot
It's basically just dirty talk. But some people find dirty talk excruciating, so how do you get over your embarrassment around talking about sex?
Start by talking about sex more with your mates.
Move on to talking about sex with your partner in a more abstract way.
You could watch some porn together as a conversation prompt, talk about what you like and don't like about what you see.
If you really can't bear to talk about sex with your partner face to face, write them a sexy letter.
What should you do if your partner asks you to do something in bed that isn't something you've fantasised about before? Try not to kink shame them - be open-minded. Ask them to give you some time to think about it. Imagine yourself in that scenario: does it turn you on? Watch porn of that kink - horny yet? If you enjoy thinking about it, and enjoy watching the porn, give it a go. If you're not into it, communicate that, and hopefully it won't be a deal breaker for your sexual compatibility. Don't do something you don't want to just to please your partner. But, it doesn't have to be a big deal to try something once. And by indulging your partner's fantasy you might learn something about yourself.
Often, the things that seem most taboo to us are the things that turn us on most. It's why CEOs tend to like being stood on by women in stilettos. And some of the most feminist women like being called a dirty slut.
If you're not feeling it, say so. It's never too late to back out. Even if you're already all tied up, you've bought the spanking paddle, and lit the candles, it's not too late. If your partner tries to persuade you to do something you're not comfortable with that isn't cool. That's trash.
Just because someone wants something once, doesn't mean they'll want to do it every time they have sex. Make sure you and your partner check for consent every time you try anything. Trust me, it makes it sexier.
How To Have Feminist Sex, A Fairly Graphic Guide by Flo Perry, published by Particular Books, is out now. Hardback £16.99. Buy it here.