Bondage Sex-cation Inspired By ‘Fifty Shades’ Helped Me Let Go of Control In My Relationship

My boyfriend , John*, and I have been engaged in a weird power struggle lately. I often find myself getting frustrated that he’s not taking charge, but the real issue is that I’m so consistently taking the lead with everything that he doesn’t even get a chance to do so. I go overboard in correcting, controlling, and being short with him, but it has been nearly impossible to get ahold of myself.

If past years of therapy have served me well, then I can psychoanalyze this one myself: I am a quick-talking, loud Italian from the East Coast, and John is a chill, laid-back Californian. I’m simply wired faster, and because of that, I get impatient easily. Not that it makes it right.

In just 48 hours, for instance, I did the following:

  • Micromanaged John’s packing for an upcoming trip. (“Roll your clothes so they don’t wrinkle!”)
  • Nagged him about standing up straight. (“You’re going to look like a hunchback by age 60!”)
  • Wrestled the Champagne bottle out of his grip because he was opening it wrong. (“You need to keep your hand on the cork so it doesn’t fly off!”)

Yes, I’ve been too bossy lately. And, no, I’m not proud of it.

I needed a break from my own bossiness. And I found it…

That’s where our trip to Desire Riviera Maya Resort came in. Desire Riviera Maya Resort and its nearby sister hotel, Desire Riviera Maya Pearl Resort, are luxury, adults-only, couples-only, clothing-optional , destinations just outside of Cancun, Mexico. They’re popular with swingers, polyamorous couples, and people who like to get—as Anastasia Steele would say in Fifty Shades Darker —their “kinky fuckery” on.

Maybe playing the submissive role could teach me to surrender, to let go of control, to let John lead for once. Essentially, to be a little more like submissive Anastasia Steele and less like the dominating Christian Grey, even if just for a night. It’s a lot of work being in charge all the time.

John and I are not swingers. (Though there’s nothing wrong with swinging.) But Desire Resorts hand-picked me to test-drive their brand new “Desire Bondage Fantasy” night, a private bondage experience guided by two of the resort’s pole dancers—Amber* and Antonio*—and inspired by the Fifty Shades franchise.

The $500 fantasy night, which we were lucky enough to experience sans charge, is part of Desire Resorts’ world-famous Fantasy Menu , which also features erotic massage, pole dance lessons, sex on the beach, and more. It’s designed to teach you to “surrender to your partner” and “journey into a dark, erotic place.”

It’s hard to pass up a good sex-cation, so I opted to dive into the role of the submissive. Or, at least, to try to dive in.

As I prepped for the trip, my need for this evening became even more obvious.

Even though I’ve only seen the Fifty Shades films as a “hate-watcher,” laughing and mocking them aloud, I do dabble in some mild BDSM from time to time. A little spanking. Some handcuffing. A good flogging is nice. Feather tickling always gets me going. Unable to control myself, I barked out the following orders:

Rule No. 1 of bondage : There is no giggling. John’s a happy guy, and I love him for that, but he does tend to giggle when he should be serious, and bondage is serious business.

Rule No. 2 of bondage: No smiling! Happy-go-lucky John has a great smile, but it’s not right in this scenario. “Christian Grey doesn’t smile as he spanks. I need you to put your best fuck-face on, please,” I said.

Rule No. 3 of bondage: He would be in charge. He would be the dominant. He would be Christian Grey. I would be the submissive. I would be Anastasia Steele. If I tried to direct him, I needed him to stop me, spank me, or gag me.

Realizing I’d already broken Rule No. 3 by telling John what to do, I went into the experience quietly but firmly repeating to myself over and over in my head: Don’t micromanage. Don’t correct him. Be more like Ana. Enjoy taking the backseat for once .

Before we left, I even had a dream that a bartender called me the C-word. What’s worse, dream-John agreed with him—and so did I. Upon waking, I realized I didn’t want to give up my all of my assertiveness, but I did want a more equal partnership where we could each take control sometimes rather than me calling all the shots.

Even in the Fifty Shades sequel, where Anastasia took more of a stand than in her first go-around with Christian, she was able to balance being submissive with being a strong, independent woman. Balance is the key here. If Ana could do it, I could, too.

As we walked into our bondage suite at Desire, I put my cynical mind and mocking M.O. aside and instantly got in the mood.

It was hard not to. The room was bathed in pinkish-red light (a nod to Christian Grey’s infamous Red Room) as the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack played in the background. A pink satin bed with heart-shaped pillows was quite enticing, along with the yummy spread of chocolate-covered strawberries , a bottle of Moët & Chandon Champagne, and a can of whipped cream.

There was a lot to take in: a black leather sex swing, a stripper pole, his and her masquerade ball masks (one that looked very similar to Ana’s in Fifty Shades Darker ), and a box of California Exotic Novelties sex toys in a gorgeous silk black and red brocade. They included a leather flogger, restraints, and a ball gag so I could shut up for once. There was also a butt plug , which John instantly vetoed. I acquiesced—one small step toward letting go of control.

Alas, the toy box did not have the Fifty Shades of Grey Trust Me Adjustable Spreader Bar and Cuff Set that Christian used to open Ana up wide then flip her over, but the wrist and ankle restraints were good by me!

After our bondage hosts performed a sexy dance as Christian and Ana on the pink settee, then dazzled us with their sexy moves on the stripper pole, they led John and me from the bed to the pole. (Watching was very hot, by the way! Might need to explore voyeurism a bit more.)

Game on.

As Amber took off my dress, Antonio pulled my arms over my head and instructed John to tie me to the pole with the wrist restraints from our sex toy box.

“Tie me tighter,” I told John. Ugh! Epic fail.

Before I could even correct myself for being bossy again, Amber whipped my ass with the flogger and firmly whispered in my ear, “You are Anastasia. He is Christian Grey.”

I tried to focus on what Amber said and let myself be Anastasia. John even put the ball gag on me so I couldn’t say another word. Sure, he was clumsy at bondage at first. Who isn’t? But then he surprised me and ended up getting in a good flogging. He even figured out how to use the sex swing without me helping him out.

While it’s going to take a lot more than one night to learn to truly submit, this wasn’t a bad start.

On the flight back to Los Angeles, I finally told John about the C-word dream I’d had.

Discussing my struggle with control was one of those relationship conversations I wanted to avoid. But when I told John, his reaction wasn’t what I expected.

“You think I think you’re a c*nt? Oh my God. No. I never even thought to roll my clothes; I was able to fit so much more in my bag because of it.”

“Really?” I said, surprised.

He doubled-down, although he did add: “Well, maybe you can let me figure things out a bit on my own and just let me do it!”

Upon further reflection, I think I know what’s going on. We’re nine months into our relationship and planning on moving in together in a month. It’s been several years since I lived with anyone. Naturally, a little bit of anxiety comes with that.

I think in the darkest recesses of my mind, there is this fear of having to compromise for the first time in years. I’m used to doing things my way, and the idea of having to work in a partnership again after years of being HBIC is making me a little on edge.

I’m still figuring out how to remain a strong, independent, do-everything-myself feminist while balancing how to take a backseat once in a while. It’s scary, but I know it’s doable.

“I’m glad we’re working this out before I move in,” he said.

“Me, too.”

When we returned home, I found myself starting to take charge again. This time it was a bottle of cabernet and one of those old-school corkscrew wine openers. As John struggled to open the wine, instead of taking it out of his hand like I did with the Champagne, I thought, What’s the worst that can happen? We get a little cork in our cab. So what?

I’d rather pick cork out of my teeth than be called the C-word again—even if it’s just in my dreams!

*Names have been changed to protect the kinky.

Source: Self