My boyfriend and I really love rough sex. We’ve talked about our limits and I feel like we have a pretty good understanding of one another. The only thing that bothers me is he sometimes takes it too far. He really likes slapping me across the face sometimes, even though I’ve told him I don’t like it. It worries me that he gets so much enjoyment out of it. I don’t have a specific question, I’d more like your input on the entire situation.
That is 100% unacceptable.
It’s really disheartening because the point of having those open conversations about rough sex is so that each partner can feel comfortable pushing their limits in a safe space. He broke that arrangement by doing something he knew you weren’t okay with, and he completely shattered that agreement. He likely damaged your trust.
It is so incredibly crucial that we listen to our partners and not do things that they don’t want us to do. We should also not find enjoyment in doing things that they do not like. That’s a deal breaker for me, and at the very least should be a serious discussion. You need to be able to have sex with him with the complete knowledge and trust that he will only do things to/with you that you have told him is OK, and that if you tell him something is not OK he will not do it, or will stop doing it immediately. It doesn’t matter if you used to like it, or if you were the one who initially suggested trying it. You don’t like it now, you don’t do it now.
I would not have sex with him again until you’ve sat down and expressed how his slapping you made you feel and re-establish that this was really not something you were comfortable doing.
It can be difficult for some people to speak up in the moment because it can take them off guard. If you were unable to immediately react and say “no – I don’t like that” during sex, I would recommend that this conversation be had immediately after sex, when you are both fully clothed and out of the bedroom. “You know what happened when you slapped me when we were getting rough? I really don’t like it when you do that and it made me feel bad because _____.”
I think it is super important that you explain that any messages you sent that expressed “I might be okay with this” were not messages you meant to send to him. The message you sent was the one you sent when you said “I don’t like that.” That’s the only message that matters.
I feel like there is more that I could say but I think it’s important that the first thing you do is have this conversation and get to a place where you feel like you are being heard. I don’t necessarily think your man is a bad guy, but these conversations have to be had. Get on the same page and then if there are any other issues following that conversation (a continued lack of trust, more boundary pushing, disrespect, etcetera) I would seriously question the longevity of the relationship.
If he does not take the conversation seriously or if you feel that it wasn’t just a slip up and he enjoys the nonconsensual pushing, I would not continue the relationship. That is not positive, safe, or welcome in the bedroom.
And as a message to the partner, or any other partner who finds themselves on the opposite side of this discussion. It is wonderful to find yourself in a relationship where these boundaries can be pushed and where you can enjoy rough sex with your partner. None of these things can be done safely or enjoyably without the consent of each individual. Work as hard as you can to make sure you and your partner are on the same page by communicating frequently about boundaries, fantasies, hard limits, and safe words. If you get a lot of arousal out of something your partner doesn’t enjoy (like face slapping) see if there is something else that you can do that elicits the same effect. Your partner might not feel comfortable with face slapping, but might like ass slapping, or having her arms held. Why don’t you ask them?
Everyone has unique boundaries and it’s important that you discuss rough sex before sleeping with a new partner because everyone judges rough sex differently. It is important to pay attention to what your partners body is saying (if they look like they are enjoying themselves) but it is also important to pay attention to what they are saying, because you cannot always be trusted to properly read anyone’s body language alone. Talk, talk, talk, and talk some more, and you will be able to have these experiences in a way that makes everyone leave the room feeling satisfied. No doesn’t mean “I need convincing” and “yes” doesn’t mean “yes always.”
Good luck and keep it safe.