Let Us Sex-plain: How do I tell my girlfriend I want to tie her up during sex?

Your personal wingwoman, Jillian Anthony, answers all your questions about dating and doing it in New York
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Illustration: Assa Ariyoshi

I get it—being single in the city can be tough, and the ways New Yorkers are having sex these days can be surprising. But whatever your dating conundrum might be, I'm here to help. Consider me (Jillian Anthony, Time Out New York’s Editor) your personal wingwoman, guiding you through dating and doing it in New York in our weekly "Let Us Sex-plain" column. Check out my answers to all your questions online and in the magazine every Wednesday, and submit your own coitus queries below!

How do I tell my girlfriend I want to tie her up during sex?

—Mandy, East Village

Sharing a new sexual interest with partners can be intimidating but also exhilarating! To be able to communicate with each other about what you like and things you’d like to explore is a key part of having a good sex life, especially in long-term relationships where adding a new toy or trying a new kink can bring much-needed excitement back to the bedroom. You should tell your partner that you love your sex life but would like to try something new, like “I’d love to tie you up and be more dominant.” She might be totally into it! Another option is to give an app like Kindu or UnderCovers a try: Both you and your partner pick which sex acts you’re interested in, and if it’s a match, you’re both alerted. If it’s not a match, your partner won’t know what you chose, so you avoid any potential embarrassment. That said, I’ll always push for open, honest conversations—just talking about sex, even in awkward contexts, can be a huge turn-on.

I’ve developed a major work crush at my new job on a guy I work pretty directly with. We text outside of work and have gone out for drinks, but I can’t exactly tell if there’s a vibe, or if I’m seeing it because I want to. I’d like to ask him out, but I’m worried if he shoots me down, it could make work awkward. Do I go for it?

—Cat, Crown Heights

You need to check your company’s policy on romantic relationships as well as sexual harassment before you make any move here. If it’s verboten, don’t do it. Even if it is kosher, this is a new job, and if it’s one you hope to stay at for a long time, you would be jeopardizing aspects of your work life to start something with this guy. The best-case scenario: You ask this guy out, he says yes, it turns out he’s the love of your life, and nothing goes wrong at work due to your relationship. Other not-great scenarios: He doesn’t return your interest and you’ve lost your work friend, and things are awkward. Maybe he reports you for sexual harassment, or people catch wind of things and you’re suddenly the topic of negative office conversation (because, let’s be real, as a woman in the workplace you’re vulnerable to all kinds of prejudice). Or, in my eyes, the worst-case scenario: You date, break up, and you’re unable to do your job to the best of your ability, stalling your career and your livelihood. To me, it’s just not worth it. All that said, couples do meet at work and always have. Just think it through.

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Sex and dating

Let us sex-plain

Your personal wingwoman, Jillian Anthony, answers all your questions about dating and doing it in New York