Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Andrew Le on Unsplash

Can We Talk About Rough Sex for a Bit, and How it Might Help Your Relationship?

Patrick Byron
Aug 10, 2018 · 6 min read

I never knew so many women enjoyed rough sex, like really rough, until I got divorced.

Before I met my ex-wife I had very little experience sexually. By the time we split up in my early 40’s I had been with less than five people total.

Not once during my marriage had I ever pondered rough sex. The topic never came up. It was some fine, good old-fashioned, marriage sex with the ex-wife. No complaints.

But when I started dating after we split up…. well, I was rather stunned at what was expected, even demanded of me, from a substantial number of ladies.

People tend to say that 40 is the new 20 or 30, or something younger than 40. Well, for me the entire decade of my forties has been a realization that I failed to learn a lot of shit when I was 20 and 30 and so on.

I had never once in my entire life thought about hitting a woman during sex. However, I soon realized there were many women that were not interested in sweet, romantic sex all the time.

I was making sweet love to one woman when she casually took my hand and placed it on her neck and pressed it tight. At first I thought she wanted me to wipe something off her neck. Nope. She wanted me to choke her! Hard!

Another woman told me to hit her anywhere I liked. Thinking she did not really intend for me to actually hit her ANYWHERE I asked if she was OK if I slapped her in the face.

She said sure. I said how hard do you want me to slap you. She said as hard as you like. So I duly obliged her and she was totally fine with it. Loved it in fact.

Several women actively encouraged me to act as if I was raping them. Just take them and do whatever I wanted as forcefully as I liked.

Scream at them. Curse them. Frighten them. Make them hurt. Bruise them. Draw blood from them. Completely humiliate them. Some wanted far worse.

Before long I was planning elaborate rituals, looking for incantations to recite, and buying different types of rulers! Hmm….plastic, wooden or metal? Fuck it, I’ll take all of them.

Image for post
Image for post
“Two people face one another. The person facing away has a large back tattoo” by Jake Davies on Unsplash

I was intrigued by this. What could be the impetus for this popularity of individual women, whom collectively were growing in disdain for male chauvinistic actions and attitudes, wanting to be roughed up in the bedroom.

Now at first I thought this might be a reflection of whom I was dating. Perhaps these women had been abused in the past or something of that nature.

But I found that was not the case, and that this desire for rough sex came from women of all types of backgrounds, class, and socioeconomic status. What could it be?

Yes, dear reader, your belief that 50 Shades of Grey would eventually appear in this article was well-founded.

I never saw the movie. I was forced to take a vow never to see it after rabid fans of the books ran off Charlie Hunnam from taking on the mantle of the titular Christian Grey. The Sons of Anarchy star was a lusty favorite of my lusty girlfriend at the time and she banned me from participating in this treachery.

TV Guide describes the shuttered housewife masterpiece as “ … the tale of an innocent young woman seduced by a handsome, emotionally unavailable billionaire with a taste for riding crops and bondage…” It sure sounds super awesome!

Perhaps this was indeed a basis for the uptick in women wanting some rough di… play. Cosmo, that hallowed arbiter of American women’s tastes, sure thought so, while also citing a study that said nearly 60% of all women were interested in rough sex.

After giving some attribution love to 50 Shades in the article Cosmo brought the doctors in to pound the point home.

“Most women who are into rough sex are into it for a very simple reason: It turns them on,” said one male doctor.

Perhaps realizing that a man would say that Cosmo made sure to bring in some female perspective. And who better to bring in than Claire Cavanah, co-author of Moregasm and co-founder of sex-toy store Babeland, who is quoted as saying:

“To feel that power, that’s a seriously arousing situation!”

The author of the Cosmo article, Chiara Atik, summed up the turning on angle best: “What really makes rough sex sexy is the urgency factor — someone wants you so badly, he can’t stop himself from pinning you to the bed.”

However, she also gave some other compelling reasons: “For many women, who so often grow up thinking sex is dirty or bad, engaging in sexual play in which they’re ‘forced’ into sexual acts can help alleviate feelings of guilt or anxiety.”

Also, when you’re scared or on edge, “your blood circulation increases, your pupils dilate, your whole body is in a state of heightened arousal,” explains Zhana Vrangalova, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of psychology at New York University and founder of the Casual Sex Project blog. “When you add a sexual component to that, it can be very pleasurable.”

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jake Davies on Unsplash

But what is rough sex and why should you care? Is there a universally accepted, board certified, physician approved, Christian Grey endorsed manual that we can consult? A hotline even? Sadly, no.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, steps Cosmo with timeless and indispensable advice:

“It’s not as simple as just saying, ‘Be rougher!’ because that could mean 40 different things and odds are, you’ll only want it to mean a very specific 10 things.”

The Cosmo article is actually quite good, although I found this article in the Australian Life Hacker, very helpful as well. The author, Vanessa Marin, describes rough sex as:

“Most people would describe rough sex as some combination of wild, animalistic, passionate, kinky or raw. It isn’t defined by one specific action, but can include things such as one person being dominant, roleplaying, talking dirty, spanking, biting, scratching, or using props such as restraints, paddles or whips.”

Why you might want to consider rough sex is best summed up by the author of the Cosmo article, Lane Moore:

“By bringing up getting rougher in bed, you’re not just inviting him to spank you a little, you’re opening up the sexual conversation. Which is honestly the best thing you’ll ever do for your sex life…”

By having that conversation, you’ll find what you both consider to be appropriate for rough sex, but by having this conversation you condition yourselves to have conversations about other topics that might be, well, rough.

Open and effective communication is a key to success in any healthy relationship. Good communication in your sex life may help you establish a habit of talking about more important issues that affect your daily lives.

It always good to break out of your comfort zone as well. It has been said that nothing exciting happens within your comfort zone. Trust me, this will excite you.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is important to your own personal development. What better way to develop that habit of stepping out your comfort zone than mixing it up in the boudoir.

But more than anything, rough sex can just make things fun. When I was growing up I would occasionally hear people say: “Whip me, beat me, make me bleed, kinky sex is all I need!” All I can say to that now, in my forties, out in the wild west of modern dating, and my eyes fully opened, is… indeed.


If you would like to receive some great content from me and a chance to win a free gift please click here.


Writing about the Wonders of Sex

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store