This Saturday, renowned educator and bondage expert Danarama will present a workshop on “rough sex” at Stockroom University. Although rough sex is consistently listed as one of the most popular fantasies among people of all genders and orientations, it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Danarama’s workshop will take on some of the misconceptions and show people how to explore some of their most primal fantasies safely and consensually. We talked to him earlier this week about what his class is going to cover and why rough sex remains such a compelling fantasy.
Can you give a quick summary of what you’re going to be teaching at your workshop?
One of the most popular fantasies out there is rough sex. It’s a popular fantasy, but a lot of people don’t know how to go about doing it in a safe way. Particularly if you’re someone who really is a caring partner, sometimes you don’t want to be rough with your partner. But at the same time, as much as you care about your partner, sometimes your lover just wants to be taken. They want to know that there’s this unbridled passion, and the way to do that is not to make love, but to have sex in a primal, rough, and almost overwhelming manner.
To do that, there are a few techniques that you can use to make sex seem really primal and rough while doing it in a safe way that preserves not only safety, but consensuality and everybody’s agreed limitations. So I’m going to show how you can have these communications with your partner, and then how to use various take-downs and armholds and ways to invigorate even mundane positions like “missionary” or “doggy style” with rough sex techniques. I’m going to show how to use points of leverage to take control of your partner in a way that makes sex much rougher and — I guess primal is the best word.
Also, we’ll be talking about basics like face-slapping and hair pulling; how to make sure that your partner likes to do that and how to do it in a way that you’re not going to hurt them.
What would you say are the basics of making rough sex safe? What kind of risks do you face when doing that for the first time, and how do you mitigate them?
With regard to take-downs and holds, you shouldn’t do things that involve gravity and loss of control. The illusion of rough sex is that it seems like it’s improvised, and it seems like it’s totally out of control. In reality, it’s a very controlled interaction. Things like taking your partner to the ground are unsafe if you let gravity take over. The controlled way of doing it is to hold on to them tightly and then bring them down with you. I can show you various techniques that don’t require you to be a martial artist that will help you gain and keep control of your partner to put them in the position that you want.
Other safety aspects include once you go beyond the communication and negotiation and you know what things [your partner] is good at doing, you can do things in a way that seems rough but isn’t, or seems primal and angry but isn’t.
There are also things that can be unsafe that people usually tend to think of in connection with rough sex. Particularly in regard to things like choking and slapping and a lot of things that people think of when it comes to rough sex. So, there are ways that you can do that, that aren’t really choking but give you the impression of being overwhelmed. We want to make sure that people do things in a way that isn’t going to harm them, so we want to make sure to show them what is unsafe. Just in case someone asks for these things to be done to them, so that you can avoid the things that could really cause damage.
The idea of rough sex goes against so much of what we’re taught sex should be and how we should treat our partners. What draws people to it, and what kind of hesitation or doubts (if any) are common?
The advantage of BDSM is that no type of sexuality is more based on communication, negotiation, and trust, as well as knowing skills and practice. With those things behind you, it gives you the capability to be much more adventurous.
When people think about rough sex, what is it that they want? The fact that it’s one of the top fantasies — is it because people want to be raped? No. It’s because sometimes people just want to realize that their partner is so sexually charged about them that there’s an animalistic element to it, and they’re just taken. But there’s a couple of things.
In modern society, we have a lot of guilt complexes where some people feel guilty to have sex in certain ways. When you have someone who’s sort of taking control in the bedroom, that absolves the people feeling that guilt of some of the responsibility, and they can just relax and enjoy it.
The other thing is that people feel the need in sexuality to reciprocate, and so if you’re partner’s pleasing you, you may feel distracted by the fact that you need to go and please your partner. But in the rough sex situation, because it’s so overwhelming and because it’s so one-sided, then that lets a lot of people on the bottom relax and just enjoy the attention that’s coming to them. Or, the realization that they’re pleasing their partner because their partner is just doing what they want. It’s sort of a paradox: Being controlled and being restrained is actually very liberating for the person who is on the bottom.
During rough sex, do you tend to recommend bondage or just manual restraint?
Manual restraint is best, and also using clothing to restrain them. One of the problems with bondage is that if you get distracted trying to tie knots or looking for equipment, then it takes the momentum out of the experience. Things can help with the planning of it. There are certain methods that are great, that have at the ready to use quickly, but we’re going to show people how to use each others’ clothing, how to use belts, how to use pillowcases, even if you happen to have a rope handy, how you can use it in a very fast way without knots, just as tools to control your partner. We’re going to be showing how you can use everyday objects like furniture to really add leverage and control and extreme positioning to your sex.
The nice thing about these techniques is that anyone can do them. You don’t have to be with a partner who outweighs you in order to make this happen. I created these things because I’m not a big, burly person. When I’ve had partners who wanted to have rough sex, I’m not the kind of guy who you’d look at and think, “Oh, this guy can just totally overwhelm me.” So, I’ve developed these techniques so that anybody — no matter what gender you are, no matter what size you are — you can use these techniques. They’re designed for any orientation and any gender pairing.
“Rough Sex” Hosted by Danarama
Note: You can also purchase tickets on arrival if you prefer.
When: Saturday October 3, 2:00-5:00pm
Where: Stockroom Hall: 2811 W. Sunset Blvd. Located next to our retail store.