May 08, 2002



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Archives | Andrea's Website | Ask Andrea

by andrea nemerson

Tie one on

DEAR ANDREA: I want to tie my wife up, but she is against it. I got her to tie me up once, but she said she didn't know what to do. Do women not like bondage games, or is it just my wife?

Love, Untied

Dear Un:

Which would you rather hear: that a taste for bondage is linked to the Y chromosome, or that women love bondage – except for your wife? I can't imagine that either version would make you particularly happy.

Actually, plenty of women like bondage, and if I read your letter correctly, all your wife said after her one and only such experience was that she didn't know what she was doing, which is indubitably true. Maybe she'd be willing to learn more and try again (it doesn't sound like she's much interested in being tied up, but you can't have everything). While learning the ropes was once a matter of trial and error and oral tradition, there are now so many books, videos, Web sites, and classes available that it's almost harder to avoid learning kinky sex techniques than it is to learn them. If she's willing but daunted, that's easily addressed.

More than that I really can't tell you. Your wife can, but that would entail talking to her about it. If you hope to get involved in complicated, negotiation-heavy sex games like bondage, you're going to have to do that anyway, so you may as well get started.

When you do get talking, you may find out that your wife is flat-out uninterested in pursuing this with you. You will then discover that pleading, whining, guilting, bargaining, and bribery are all pretty much guaranteed to fail.

Should that turn out to be the case, but you're still itching to be half-hitched to the bedposts, you can stick with fantasy or consider paying a pro (with your wife's approval, if you want to avoid some terrible scenes later on). Or you can just let it go. If this is some huge, driving passion of yours, that's going to be a problem. If it's just some passing fancy, let it pass.

Love, Andrea

Dear Andrea:

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 10 months. I want to try something different with him, but I'm scared he'll get offended or something. It's always the way he wants it, and I think that if I make any suggestions, he will get offended. Can you give me some suggestions on how to go about suggesting things to him?

Love, Newbie

Dear New:

Has he given you any reason to believe he'd be offended? He probably won't, you know. I get these letters ("I wish my wife wanted to try new things." "Do you think my wife wants to try new things?" "How do I get my wife to try new things?") all the time. Never once have I heard from a man who is deeply offended because his partner wants to get a little kinkier. It's true that some people worry that a partner's suddenly acquired interests or skills indicate unfaithfulness. As long as you reassure him about that and don't say, "Honey, your way is really boring and kind of annoying; can we try something else?," he'll probably be delighted.

Love, Andrea

Dear Readers:

Remember last week, when I refused to tell Breathless how to get her ex-medic boyfriend to knock her unconscious? Well, I still think it's too dangerous; that hasn't changed. But a friend suggests that I refer interested readers to Jay Wiseman's widely reprinted article "The Medical Realities of Breath Control Play" ( I concur – anyone who has thought about breath control ought to check it out. "As a person with years of medical education and experience," Wiseman writes, "I know of no way whatsoever that either suffocation or strangulation can be done in a way that does not intrinsically put the recipient at risk of cardiac arrest." There are people who contend that Wiseman overstates the dangers, but you know what they say about safe versus sorrier than you can even imagine.

Love, Andrea

You can reach Andrea at, Bay Guardian, 520 Hampshire St., S.F., CA 94110, or


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