What Is Rough Sex? Rough Sex Facts and Ideas to Try

If you want to know what is rough sex, plus a few things you can try to let your wild side out, then let our guide help you play it safe and consensual. Read on:

Making love with a gentle partner can be a wonderful experience. The soft kisses, the quiet moans, the way they caress you, you running your fingertips through their hair

But don’t you want to SPICE THINGS UP now and again?

Sometimes you get so worked up that you want to give in to your primal side! The WILDER, the BETTER! 

Rough sex is fun and passionate, and embracing your animalistic urges really helps you blow off some steam. It might not be everyone’s “go-to,” but it’s definitely worth trying out at least once – pushing your limits just might open up a whole new world of pleasure for you.

Plus, hardcore sex helps build trust between partners.

If you’re a newbie to all of this, you probably need some guidance on playing safely and some ideas to get you started. Well, you’ve come to the right place! 

Let’s begin. 

Why Do People Like Rough Sex?

There are a lot of myths surrounding rough sex. For example, some think those who like it rough are somehow “messed up” or deviants. That is simply not true!

Accusations like that are kink-shaming. Because of them, many people are pressured not to express their true sexual desires out of fear their partner will judge or abandon them.

Some people like rough sex because the fact that it’s seen as taboo and dangerous excites them. Another reason is that the intensity of rough sex helps people blow off steam, be in the moment, and enjoy the time with their partners.

Intense sex works as a sort of meditation, where the only thing that matters is the intimacy you’re experiencing, and all day-to-day worries can be left behind. 

A lot of people like to play around with power dynamics. Rough sex can be a gateway to exploring dominant and submissive roles. Dominant roles let you take control over a situation, while submissive ones let you give up control. Both can have a cathartic effect.

Some find the combination of pleasure and pain incredibly arousing, as it is a very powerful experience.   

You might think that people who like hardcore sex NEVER want vanilla sex or vice versa. 

That isn’t true for most people.

Of course, everyone has their preferences, leaning more towards one or the other. However, most people tend to switch things up depending on their mood or just to keep things interesting.

Some Important Notes

I know you want to jump straight to the fun part but BEAR WITH ME. You need to know some important things before getting rough with your partner.

After all, you should be prepared if you want to make the most out of this experience and not mess things up.

Please read this carefully – I promise it’s worth it. 

Not Everybody Wants It Rough

Porn and movies may have you thinking otherwise, but the fact is, not everybody enjoys hardcore sex

Some people just aren’t into it. It doesn’t do it for them. In that case, there is no sense in pushing it because sex should be an experience that’s pleasurable for EVERYONE involved.

There is another, worse scenario. Your partner may have had a very unpleasant encounter with rough sex.

Bad experiences like that may have caused them trauma that you DO NOT want to trigger. This will not only hurt your partner but probably damage the relationship. 

That said, your partner may not respond positively to some of the techniques here.

That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with them, you, or your relationship. Don’t take it personally and RESPECT THEIR BOUNDARIES. 

If you want to avoid unpleasant experiences, it’s best to speak to your partner about your desires, what you’re curious about and want to try out, etc.

I know that they never have talks like this in movies and on TV, and it all seems so natural and intuitive…. but IN REAL LIFE, it’s a better idea to play it safe.

You don’t want to risk triggering or traumatizing your partner, right? 

Rough sex is one of the things that is better to discuss beforehand.

Being A Newbie

So, you haven’t dabbled in rough sex yet… but you ARE open to the idea, right? I mean, you’re here, reading this…

Going hardcore might seem a bit scary if you have never tried it before. That’s especially true if the idea of giving rough sex a go isn’t yours. Maybe it’s your partner that is into it. 

Rough sex SHOULD be neither scary nor unpleasant for either party!

Some newbies to hardcore sex get carried away with roleplay. Others are too scared to go into rough territory.

You should discuss and establish consent and hard boundaries to avoid both problems. It’s also crucial to pay close attention to your partner’s body language and ensure they’re having a good time. 

Most importantly – be open with your partner about your level of experience! 

Choosing The Right Partner

To have AMAZING rough sex, you must feel comfortable enough to ‘let go.’ Not only that, but you have to be able to TRUST your partner entirely so that you can enjoy the rough play.

If you’re nervous, that will most definitely dampen your experience quite a bit. Stress and hardcore sex are a recipe for disaster – you might be too sensitive and experience what’s happening in the wrong way instead of having fun. 

Make sure you’re with a person you can trust to respect your boundaries to have fun. If you and your partner don’t know each other very well, rough sex is a bit of a gamble, especially for newbies.


I already mentioned this a few times, but I figured it still deserves a separate heading to get my point across. 

Communication. Communication. Communication.

Properly communicating what you like and need will assure you’ll have a fun time and avoid any mishaps.

Talk about what you want and don’t want before you get it on. Talk during (dirty talking is both informative AND sexy). Discuss what worked for you and what didn’t after you’re done. 

Be SPECIFIC about activities or toys you want (or don’t want). 

Be mindful of how you express yourself – you don’t want to sound judgemental or hurtful, do you? On the flip side, don’t get offended if your partner shares that they didn’t like one of your moves. 

Of course, not all communication is verbal. So paying close attention to your partner’s body language is just as important. 

Are they relaxed? Are they pulling away? Are they actively participating in what’s happening? All of this gives quite clear indications if you should go forward with what you’re doing.

Safety First

Of course, when we talk about rough sex, we talk about safety. So even if you aren’t going incredibly hardcore, you should consider ways to keep your playtime safe for everyone. 

Take It Slow

Keep in mind that there are different ideas about what rough sex is. You only need to go as far as you’re comfortable. Of course, don’t forget to get each other’s consent before and during each rough sex session.

Going out of your comfort zone might be dangerous for you and your consenting partner – both mentally and physically. So if you want to push your limits, do it gently and slowly – don’t bite off more than you can chew!

Don’t Hit Too Hard

Spanking is a popular rough sex activity. However, if you’re not careful, you can leave bruises or cause ACTUAL pain.

To avoid this. Never strike your partner where there are important organs or bones. Instead, go for meaty parts like the butt. Be mindful of how hard you hit, especially if you’re using a tool like a paddle or a while. 

Restraints Should Be Safe

Restraining your partner the wrong way might restrict blood flow. This is not only unpleasant but also dangerous. 

If you’re trying someone up, only use safe restraints made from soft materials, like a scarf, a t-shirt, or a tie. Double-check with your partner that it’s not too tight. You can also buy special restraints from a sex shop like leather bracelets that can’t restrict circulation. NEVER use zip ties – they can cut the skin.

Be extra careful with play-choking, ESPECIALLY if you’re a newbie. My advice will be to avoid it altogether if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing (and sometimes even if you do). Also, don’t press against your partner’s trachea.

If you aren’t sure about your or your partner’s health status, use condoms and dental dams to protect against STDs. 

Use A Safe Word!

I’m sure you’ve heard about the concept of a safe word. It’s a word to use when you or your partner want sexual activity to STOP for whatever reason.

Maybe a boundary was unknowingly crossed, things got too intense, or somebody got hurt. 

You can choose ANY safeword – just be sure it’s something easy to remember and say in the heat of the moment.

Also, it’s a good idea that it would sound out of place during sex and grabs attention – like maybe “mouse” or “banana,” or whatever, really. It’s also a great idea to add a safe gesture to use when you cannot speak. 

Discuss your safeword with your partner beforehand, and make sure you both know it. 

A famous safeword trio is “Red – Yellow – Green.” Think of it as a stoplight. “Green” means everything is ok, “yellow” means things are getting intense, and you might have to stop soon, and “red” means stop immediately.

Why use a safeword instead of a simple “no” or “stop”?

Some people like to incorporate fake reluctance or even begging into their playtime. Using a safeword is a surefire way to distinguish the playful “no” from the real “NO!”

Use Common Sense

Here are a few other safety tips that I think should be mentioned, even if they seem obvious to some of you. 

  • It’s best NOT to practice rough sex when you’re recovering from surgery or an injury or when pregnant. 
  • If you’re not sure about your or your partner’s health status, use a condom and/or dental dams when playing. 
  • If you plan on penetrating your partner with your fingers, make sure your hands are clean and your nails short and smooth. That way, you’ll avoid damage to the vaginal and/or anal tissue and minimize the risk of infection and irritation.
  • Use lube to avoid causing pain because of intense friction. 
  • If you incorporate sex toys, be sure to use high-quality body-safe options. Opt-out from buying them from Amazon because there is a high chance you’ll get a dangerous knockoff. Shop from trusted vendors like SheVibe or Lovehoney. If you have your eye on a famous brand, visiting the manufacturer’s site and buying directly from the source is also an option.

Rough Sex Ideas To Try Out

Yay, we finally got to the FUN PART. Are you excited?

There are many ways to have hardcore sex. The level of roughness may vary – as I already pointed out, different people have different concepts of what’s considered rough. 

Don’t worry if you’re having trouble coming up with moves to make your sex life hotter or rougher. 

If you’re new to all of this, there are some things you can try out and see if this style of lovemaking is for you. Some of the things I suggest are very basic; others drift a bit into BDSM territory. Pick and choose what feels right for you and your partner. 

1. Play With Power Dynamics

The first thing most people think about when it comes to rough sex is domination and submission. 

No matter your gender or sexual orientation, both domination AND submission can be incredibly arousing. Of course, everyone is naturally a bit dominant or a bit submissive during sex, but why not push it further and explore the possibilities. 

Take the lead and try out the dominating role. Initiate sex. Get grabby and take what you want. 

For starters, уou can put your hands on either side of your partner’s face and pull them in for a kiss. Then, grab them by the hand or the waist and lead them to the bedroom. Start undressing them yourself. Push them on the bed and climb on top. 

If you have the physical strength, you can toss and turn your partner in whatever positions you wish. 

It can be EXTREMELY hot when the woman takes the dominant role since it’s not the traditional power dynamic most people are used to. 

What about the submissive role? 

It can be very freeing to let go and let someone else take control for a change. Then, all you need to do is just lay back, relax… and listen

Obeying takes the pressure off of being creative during sex. Also, you KNOW for a FACT that your partner is having a good time because they’re the ones taking the lead. 

Some soft whimpers and moans can make your dominant partner very aroused, so be sure to add plenty of those. 

2. Leave A Mark

When you give in to your animalistic side, you may feel the urge to scratch and bite your partner. Don’t hold back! Getting wild really shows how aroused you are. 

Some people LOVE the combination of pain and pleasure. Some are also big fans of getting love marks and bruises as a reminder of the passionate fun they had. 

Start gently.

You have to test the waters before figuring out how much pain tolerance your partner has. Start with light scratches and nibbles.

For scratching, it’s best to focus on your partner’s back and thighs. The best places to bite are the earlobes, neck, and shoulders. Be careful not to bite down on an artery! 

Play around with the level of intensity. However, be careful not to go overboard and cause too much pain.

If biting and scratching are too hard for you, you can always suck on your partner’s neck and leave a mark anyway! The sucking sensation is also a very pleasurable one. 

If you have UNWANTED bruises, you can use a cold spoon to reduce swelling.

3. The Greatest Hits 

Try getting even more intense with slapping, spanking, and even hitting.

Focus on places with soft tissue like the butt and thighs. Definitely avoid hitting close to organs like the kidneys or very sensitive areas like the ankles. 

Try spanking with your open hand. If you want to go harder, you can get paddles, whips, or even a belt. Keep in mind that some tools require more expertise and dish out more pain than others.

Explore your and your partner’s pain tolerance. Start light and get more intense as you go. 

Some people like being slapped across the face as a sign of dominance. But as a general rule, slaps like that should be light and playful. Of course, not everyone will enjoy this, so process with caution. 

DEFINITELY ASK your partner beforehand if it’s OKAY with them to incorporate slapping and spanking into your playtime, no matter which one of you is the receiving party. 

4. All Tied Up

Restraints can be a great addition to any rough sex scene. One of you is totally in control, one at the other one’s mercy… if you want to take the domination/submission dynamic to the next level, restraints are the way to go! 

Tying someone up can be a prelude to some teasing and even edging. Even if you’re not into long foreplay, the simple act of being unable to do anything can be very exciting. 

You can always use a scarf or tie you have lying around.

I advise against buying rope from the hardware store. I have made that mistake… unless you’re big-time into getting rope burn, stick to scarfs or buy special bondage ropes from the sex shop. 

Another way to restrain someone is simply using your own body if you’re strong enough!

You can hold your partner’s arms above their head. If you cant manage this with your hands, you can kneel on them to keep your partner still. 

5. Talk Dirty

Dirty talking not only goes perfectly with rough sex but also has a bunch of practical benefits. 

As I already said, communication is essential for rough sex.

Talking dirty helps you communicate your needs and desires in a sexy way.

Ask your partner SIMPLE questions like, “Do you like that?” or “Do you want it harder?”

This will be way easier than trying to guess what they want.

Complimenting your partner can also be part of dirty talking – you can describe exactly how horny they make you and how much you like the things they do. 

If you’re into it, dirty talk can include degradation and humiliation.

Some people like to be called derogatory names like  “whore,” “bitch,” and “slut.” Others want to describe how much they like it when their partner submits to them.

Sometimes, praise like “good girl”/”good boy”  for your willing partner might be something they’re more receptive to.

Dirty talk can feel a little awkward in the beginning. Explore what feels natural to you and your partner. Remember, practice makes perfect.  

6. Thrust Roughly

Penetration can also be rough in and of itself. 

Make sure you use enough lube to prevent delicate vaginal/anal tissue damage. 

Water-based lubricant is your best bet because it’s safe for your body, AND condoms and toys. 

Go FAST and go HARD. You don’t have to be the penetrating party. Even if you’re being penetrated, you can still set the desired intensity with your own thrusts.

7. Silence 

If you want your partner to feel totally under your control, you can gag their mouth with either a professional ball gag or just whatever you have on hand. You can even use a pair of panties.

It can be very arousing to hear your partner moan behind the gag. And it can come in handy if your partner tends to be loud and you have nosey neighbors. 

8. Spit

It’s best to ASK YOUR PARTNER if they’re into spitting before you do it. A lot of people tend to be grossed out by spitting. 

On the bright side, many people are turned on by it.

If you combine it with some degrading dirty talk for a stronger effect. Practically, if you don’t have anything else on hand, saliva can also be a good lube.  

9. Fist It

Fisting means inserting an entire hand into a vagina or anus.

For some, this may sound painful. However, many people adore the combo between pleasure and pain because of its intensity.

Don’t try this if you’re a total newbie because you risk hurting your partner. 

10. Aftercare

Aftercare is the term used in the BDSM community. It means care that helps you balance out (mentally AND physically).

Rough sex can be highly mentally exhausting even when it goes without a hitch, even though you have had a great time. It’s a hundred times more tiring when it gets more intense or rough than planned. 

This means that after getting wild, you need to balance things out with some tenderness.

Discuss how you and your partner feel. Talk about what works and what doesn’t. Be gentle to one another. Cuddle, kiss, put on some music, have a snack, watch a favorite show… whatever helps you and your partner balance out. 

Some people need alone time after particularly rough play sessions. Respect that and give them space.  

Don’t forget to check for bruises or other marks you and your partner might have. Now it’s a good time to treat them. 

Аftercare helps you avoid negative experiences in rough sex, even when not everything goes according to plan.


Does liking rough sex mean you’ll never like vanilla sex? 

Of course, not!

Yes, people indeed have their preferences, and some are more interested in rough sex than others. They might even prefer hardcore sex to tender sex. 

However, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t enjoy playing gently once in a while. 

Most people actually enjoy a MIX of rough and gentle sex. Too much of the same thing will eventually get boring. Furthermore, your partner and your mood have a lot of influence on your preferences for the kind of sex you like. 

The important thing here is not to stick to labels. Sex should be freeing and fun.

My advice would be to explore both hardcore and gentle sex regularly. We change, and our tastes change, so staying open-minded is essential.  

Is there a risk of rough sex?

Rough sex can get pretty aggressive, so it does hold some risks of bruises, marks, or the occasional strain. Also, if the sex was particularly hardcore, your genitals might feel a bit sore afterward.

In any case, if you practice rough sex SAFELY and with common sense, it shouldn’t be riskier than any other type of sex. Just remember to use protection and communicate with your partner. 

Of course, when done wrong, rough sex can go bad and leave someone seriously hurt or emotionally traumatized. But that’s what this guide was for, wasn’t it?  Now that you know what to avoid, you’re sure to have a blast. 

What if only one of us wants rough sex?

Well… that is a tricky one indeed… but it’s not unsolvable!

Sex, no matter if vanilla or hardcore, should be enjoyable for EVERYONE involved. More than that, everyone should feel SAFE. 

That means respecting each other’s boundaries and also being willing to compromise. But, of course, hard boundaries shouldn’t be crossed.

If you’re on the fence about something your partner wants to try, it’s good to give it a go. Who knows – you might like it as well. 

If only one of two partners want rough sex, there should be some sort of COMPROMISE. 

Maybe the sex wouldn’t be as rough, for example. Or perhaps it won’t happen very often. The important thing is that both parties meet in the middle. 

Of course, sometimes, a compromise can’t be made.

NO ONE should be forced to participate in sexual acts that make them feel uncomfortable or threatened. 

That’s why it’s so very important to find a partner who’s SEXUALLY COMPATIBLE for you. Sexual compatibility is as important as all other aspects of a relationship.

Do people like rough sex because of porn?

That may be the case for some people – after all, many folks use porn to explore their fantasies. Hard sex is quite popular in porn, where everything has to look extremely passionate. 

However, rough sex has existed before porn. So I would say it’s more of a primal thing than an invention of modern pornography.

So although porn definitely has its contributions, I wouldn’t say it’s the only factor here. Even those introduced to rough sex via porn had to like what they saw first before trying it out. 

My personal take is that porn doesn’t create kinks: it just exposes people to different sexual styles so they can find the kinks they had all along.

Final Thoughts

Now you know a fair bit about rough sex and how to practice it SAFELY.

I hope you were even able to learn some tricks that might come in handy when you explore the depths of hardcore sex.

I’m pretty confident that even if you’re a total beginner in hardcore sex, you are well prepared after reading the article. I hope your first experience with rough sex is a fun one! 

Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

Over last 4 years Dainis have helped millions of people through his advice on this site (200+ guides and 1M+ visits/monthly). His work & advice has appeared on sites like: Healthline, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, WomensHealthMag, MindBodyGreen & more. Read More

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