10 Things About Rough Sex And Dominance (The Safeword is “Ow!”)

I’ve had a few recent comments that basically assume I’m advising husbands to violently rape their wives without regard to consent or her injuries. Frankly I think I’m being trolled, but trolling or not, let me restate the facts plainly and clearly one more time.
(1) Many women enjoy rough sex, it’s worth experimenting with that to see if your wife does. If she likes it, she likes it.
(2) Many women enjoy dominance, it’s worth experimenting with that to see if your wife does. If she likes it, she likes it.
(3) Sex needs to be consensual. Forced sex is rape.
(4) Dominance needs to be consensual. Submissive women don’t need to be forced anyway, if you’re attractive enough you just need to lead them and they follow naturally.
(5) If sex hurts, you’re doing it wrong and should stop, or there’s a potential medical issue and you should stop. “Ow!” is a safeword.
(6) You should talk about rough sex and dominance attempts together before getting into it. 
(7) Only about 30% of what you try in the bedroom together will work for you as a couple. Hair pulling may not work, spanking might not work, gentle biting may work. You need to try and evaluate each thing together.
(8)  Trying out rough sex together is a process and you aren’t going to leap to a cat-o-nine-tails and her wearing a collar with the word “Slut” on it on the first attempt. Or even do that ever.
(9) There is no requirement she likes any of it. If she actively dislikes some aspect of sex, don’t force it on her as it’s both unpleasant to her and counter-productive in terms of turning her into a more willing sex partner. The less she’s into you, the less she’ll be into trying any of this.
(10) Most of rough sex’s erotic power comes from the intensity of the experience. A small amount of interpersonal frustration can add to the intensity of the experience, a lot of anger easily translates into a loss of control and increased possibility of trampling over her safety and consent… getting you into serious legal trouble.
In addition, let’s review some of those exact same points I’ve made in earlier “rough sex” posts. The safeword is “Ow!”…
Sexy Move: Hair Pulling While On Top – “This is a very firmly held position even compared to her being tied up with low end bondage equipment. That she could probably break out of if she wanted to, but you on top of her holding her head turned to the side leaves her with zero leverage. Unless you let her go, she’s… ahh… fucked. Which is the idea and the excitement, but also she may find it a little more than she expected. So a safeword may be in order. If you don’t have a safeword, consider “stop” or “let me go” or even “ow my hair!” acceptable attempts at using a safeword.”
“And like anything else rough, this is something to talk about before you do it.”
Sexy Move: Pretend To Hold Her Against Her Will – “Then get a fair bit more vigorous in the thrusting department. As always, consider “ow!” or “stop” a safeword. Maybe not “no” though… talk about that first though.”
“Just try it out together. If it works for you, then great. If not, at least you tried something new which is still a good thing.”
Try A Rough Sex Experiment – “So give it a trial run if you haven’t already. She may just like it. And if you haven’t talked about a safeword, consider “ow!” the safeword for now.”
Getting A Little More Sex From Your Husband – “Also I realize that this isn’t exactly what you want, but you can ask him to chase you. It may feel awkward and slightly fake at first, but in time it can become more natural feeling. It can be as simple as texting him earlier in the day that you just want him to “just take you”, or “tonight I’m going to say no but I don’t want you to really believe that“. You may want a safeword for that last one. (My wife’s safeword is “Dershowitz and Feinstein” for example.)”
I hope that covers it.
Jennifer: There’s a big difference between the “being into you” of firm/intense sex, and angry sex.


  1. Anonymous says

    Athol, you said " Only about 30% of what you try in the bedroom together will work for you as a couple. "

    You've said this before, IIRC. Two questions.

    1 Where does this number come from? Is it a rule of thumb or is it more research-derived?

    2 Does it actually mean that one woman in three will do pretty much anything and the other two will do missionary only?!

    Right, I'll get my coat… ;_)

  2. Anonymous says

    Frankly I think I'm being trolled, but trolling or not, let me restate the facts plainly and clearly one more time.

    Of course, you might be being trolled, but OTOH, I think there's plenty of people out there who would be / are horrified by your advice.

    Men who worry about rape allegations, women who find aggression scary, not exciting. Cover YOUR arse.

  3. Candice says

    I believe you needed to make this post – I feel more comfortable for your making this post! Sometimes you need to be crystal clear! Well done. :-) Candice

  4. Anonymous says

    If my wife said "Dershowitz and Feinstein" while we were having sex, I think I'd never have another erection in my life.

  5. Chip says

    Great post! I have to be careful with my wife because of some chronic neck and back pain, but it seems that I am able to be a bit rougher during ovulation. Does that seem to be the case with others out there?

  6. Anonymous says

    Since I read about reactions to ovulation on here, I've been watching very closely. I can put my hand on my heart and say that in the 15-18 months I've been looking, my wife's behaviour, demeanour, dress sense, speech patterns and skin colour are utterly unchanging throughout her cycle, except for the week of her period. Incidentally, her sexual capacity / willingness / whatever you want to call it doesn't change either. If you've got to use a microscope to see the changes, they're too small to make use of.

  7. lovesexandmarriage says

    I think it's a great post, and as direct as possible. For my relationship, "no" and "ow" are not safe works, but that is something my partner and I have talked about. If a safe word has not been decided on, then these work. It's good advise, and if people are offended by the fact that some of us like rough sex, then maybe they should put a childsafe on their computer. :)

  8. Tequila Mockingbird says

    I was once involved with and briefly married to a man who had been at one point in his life a professional Dom. Meaning, he would wear leather and would yell at, strike, and otherwise abuse people, for pay. Most of his clients were gay men, but a fair number were women as well. He did not have sex with his clients, but he would create dom/sub scenes that had some extremely sexy vibes to them.

    The sex life we had together was generally fairly vanilla, but now and then a dash of the spicy stuff made it very, very hot. I discovered that it turns out I like it a lot rougher than I had previously thought.

    He would occasionally play "masked bad guy" and leap out and "rape" me (all planned out ahead of time). He would never bruise me or draw blood — it was just the fact of being overwhelmed by his physical strength that was so arousing. One of the most erotic things that he would do was choke me unconscious during sex. Wow, I really do miss that.

    Too bad he turned out to be a very bad choice in a partner and husband. The sex was pretty hot, though.

  9. Athol Kay says

    One of the most erotic things that he would do was choke me unconscious during sex. Wow, I really do miss that.

    Eek! That only needs to go a wrong once…

  10. says

    “Many women enjoy rough sex”

    can’t we now confidently change that to *most?

    exhibit A:

    “set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time,”

    not to be a pain about this, but i think every man has to truly believe in his heart — and his cock — that MOST girls like it rough. if he hasn’t fully internalized this, and just thinks it is “many” girls, he isn’t going to be able to get it out of her.

    i am not a 100+ alpha male, but all the ones i have asked agree, MOST girls like it rough. as in, 95% or so.

    if she doesn’t like it rough, you are doing it wrong.

    i think that is the attitude we all need to have when we approach initiating rough sex.

  11. Carl Bennett says

    Athol, fabulous advice! How many men, I wonder (I’m a guy, 52, married/divorced twice, long marriages), have not pushed the boundaries with women during sex? I didn’t until I was divorced and befriended a buddy, Tony, who did push the boundaries with women. When I acted on what he shared he did with women, I could hardly believe how much most (80% or so) women REALLY, REALLY enjoyed it. You are wise to advocate that we guys throttle back or apply the brakes when we hear “ow” or “stop.” Why not, guys, “ramp up” the roughness, little by little, to gauge it’s effectiveness in turning her on and maximizing her pleasure? Toy’s wisdom, and that of women like you, Athol, will open a whole new world! Also, women, most guys, I’m speculating here but am pretty sure it’s on target, would really get turned on by a spontaneous revelation: a fantasy you want fulfilled. Brief details whispered in our ear, for example, while we’re slow dancing with you. The “surprise” effect is incredibly erotic! Over-n-out. Thanks for your excellent insight, Athol.

  12. Sarah says

    Wrong. Shades of Grey is about a young girl who convinced a young, rich, businessman to give up his rough sex and become vanilla for her. Why don’t you read the series before acting like it’s proof?

    It shows what many females have always wanted, and that is a man to change to become exactly what she wants. Read the actual books. She never signed the sex consent paperwork. She let him beat her once, and hated it so much she dumped him. He had to do a lot to get her back.

    It ended happily ever after vanilla.

    OH, and FYI? IF any guy ever tries rough stuff with me, Carl? He’s going to be very, very, sorry.

  13. Dan says

    I liked some of the insights here.
    My wife likes it very rough sometimes but not always. It is normally fairly easy to tell what a woman wants.
    If you don’t know her well yet then ask her is she ok often, so she knows you care and are not being violent or angry.
    I have found that women are more afraid of anger than of pain. Angry men are not trustworthy or predictable.
    But for the most part I think we are talking here about more intense sex , not rough sex.
    I think most women want to feel the hunger of your lust for them and only some will like to feel roughly used.
    And as I said even then only sometimes. I sleep with a hard core sex slave and she still wants affection once in a while. No woman wants to be taken for granted.

  14. Janon says


    as a guy who has never been comfortable being “rough” and has ended up being cheated on with someone who was able to do just that I guess its too bad I never knew you

    just google “wife/girlfriend wants it rough and I dont know what to do” and tell me again about how the appeal of 50 shades is turning Grey vanilla

    you are an exception. thats fine, but you need to realize that. MOST women DO want an aggressive guy in bed and on their terms.

    the difficult part is that for “the good husband type” this is NOT easy. Imo thats a big contributing factor to female infidelity. in the (many and increasing daily) cases of women who have affairs, research how many said “sex had become routine” thats code

    when you dig deeper what you find is that the husband sex was tender/loving/mutual/etc while the personal trainer sex was “aggresive pursual, backseat of car, used and dropped off” sex

    this post is definitely likely to help FAR more guys than it hurts and the guys married to a woman who would call the police after a light spank on the but already know this isnt for them, so dont worry.

    if it bothers you start an outreach and try to convince the vast majority of your fellow women. it would certainly make life easier for guys like me who really struggle trying to “play the ravager”

  15. Cheavaugn says

    The insight here has be quite helpful, I am in the very back of the dog house with my guy because of something stupid I did on new years eve. Having said that he stood me up that night and I was damned if I was going to spend new years eve alone…,Im sure you have figured out what I did :-/ However, he is very much into rough sex, like into bondage and such…I have never been that far in the sexual world. We’ve been together for 6 months now. I need you guys to help me become the aggressive woman he wants. Please I love this big jerk (not that bad a guy really) and I am totally willing to go farther in the bedroom or living room or kitchen, whereever. just need help!

  16. JustaWife says

    Our married sex has delved into the extremely rough of late (hateful talk, extended choking, hard slapping, forced anal penetration…) It was a huge turn-on for me at first. We’ve gone farther each time to the point where it’s very violent now. This morning, after the roughest sex I’ve ever had, I woke up feeling very distant from my husband and wondering if we can ever even have loving sex again after such viciousness. We debriefed and he rightfully commented that I wanted it like that. This was absolutely true, but this morning I feel such distance between us and I hope we haven’t damaged our marriage by taking things to this level.

    Bring it back a notch then. Take some time to reconnect. Tell him about how you feel.

  17. jon2lp says

    Wife would let anybody choke her during sex but me. She says that it scares her. She says I have the kind caring role and not mean tough role that her dom had when she was with him

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