In last week’s Hump Day, we looked at a couple of safety tips and clarifying features for those of us who are curious to try BDSM after the release of the entire Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Here are a couple more topics that got left off last week’s article, but are still necessary safety tips to aid in your kinky curiosity.

As I teased last week, one of the most titillating features found in the second installment, Fifty Shades Darker, is the use of a butt plug. Initially used as a relaxation device that was marketed as “Dr. Young’s Ideal Rectal Dilators” in the late 19th century, butt plugs are a unique way to expand intense sexual pleasure.

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The most important thing to remember when inserting a toy or object up the rectum is that one must use a specifically designed plug for the rectum with a flared end. While the vagina is closed off by the cervix, thereby preventing any objects from traveling further up the body, the rectum leads directly to the colon. This anatomy leaves a distinct possibility of getting objects stuck up there, and no one wants to call 911 and explain that situation, trust me. Luckily, flared bottoms are standard issue with any marketed butt plug, so do not fret.

When selecting a beginner’s butt plug, look for a silicone based plug that is of small to medium thickness. While stainless steel plugs may be pretty and adorned with gem details, the weight of these plugs can cause significant strain and lead to injury.

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Sex can sometimes take one’s breath away, and that’s particularly true when asphyxiation is involved. While a lack of oxygen can add an extra layer of excitement to a sexual experience, just guessing on how to choke someone out probably isn’t ideal unless one is also currently CPR certified.

If choking is something you’d like to start experimenting with, start off with simply placing your hand on your partner’s throat in a “C” formation. Do not apply pressure at this point, as this experience can be frightening enough for a beginning submissive partner. Do without this pressure to provide excitement that doesn’t infringe upon their sense of safety.

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If your partner is comfortable with this step, slowly add pressure. Since your partner is gagged at this point, a safe word is not going to be very helpful, so make sure a safe action (i.e. tapping the bed three times in a row) is established and obliged when your partner no longer feels safe.

Even if you and your partner dig choking and want to include it in every sexy session, please refrain and keep choking as a “sometimes food” in your vast sexual diet. Prolonged and frequent choking sessions can lead to oxygen deprivation and major health consequences, so vary your activities from session to session.

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If you are attempting BDSM with a romantic partner, please remember to keep the power play inside the bedroom and outside of your relationship. It’s 2018, coverture laws have been terminated, which is essential to the mental health of both partners. There should be no contracts to be signed or expectation that a set of rules must be followed by one partner in order for a relationship to continue. That’s not sexy, that’s dating abuse and manipulation.

So take a little inspiration and try something new. As long as safety procedures are followed, you might find a new favorite activity without any scary, creepy vibes.