Getting into BDSM for the first time? It doesn't have to be as kinky, edgy or expensive as you might think. Here are some tips on how to get started.

Start With the Rear

Anal play is a kinky thing first-timers can definitely experiment with. There are more nerves in the sphincter than any other part of the body. You can use anal beads, anal stimulators, butt plugs and prostate milking. (Get some tips on how to get started in Your Top 10 Questions About Anal Play - Answered!)

Use What You've Got

Bondage gear doesn't have to be overly complicated. In fact, the scarves and stockings you have around the house can make excellent restraints and blindfolds.

When experimenting with bondage for the first time, it’s best to have your partner lie down before restraining them, rather than having them stand in one place, even for a short period of time. When tying restraints, use the two finger rule, as you would when testing the fit on a dog collar, to make sure that ties aren’t too tight. (Learn more in The Ins and Outs of Rope Bondage.)

Experiment with Sensation Play

Bondage can provide visual stimulation for a Dom/Domme and push the limits of trust for a sub, but it also intensifies the effects of sensation play. Try alternating between dripping soy candle wax, which melts at a low temperature (110 degrees), and ice on your partner’s skin. Once you're a bit more experienced, you can use a violet wand or electro-stimulation as a safe way to turn the entire body into an electrical conductor. (Learn more in Spark Your Sex Life: Electrosex for Couples.)

Nipple clamps can also be a lot of fun and can come in a variety of intensities. Try testing your comfort level by trying the clamps on your hand at the store before you buy them.

Blindfolds are another way to heighten the sensations of touch during play. They force your partner to become focused on sensations other than sight, like hearing and smell, which can be very erotic. While leather masks are sexy for effect, sleep masks and scarves may be more accessible and work just as well. (For more reasons to tie each other up, read Why Bondage Can Be So Much Fun.)

Try Spanking

Before going out to buy a paddle, crop or flogger, try spanking play with the most available tool: your hand. Then, if you really want to get your hands on spanking implements, start with a paddle that has leather on one side and a softer material on the other. Skinny, thin wood paddles used with a light tap are recommended for genitals. Wood and silicone paddles have much more bite; they’re more intense. Perforated paddles hurt more too.

Flappers and riding crops are great implements for beginners that can be used just as effectively by more experienced players. So are suede floggers, which can be used very lightly on the skin but can also deliver a bit of a sting.

Regardless of what you’re using, you want to use it on soft tissue to avoid damaging internal organs, such as the kidneys. (For more spanking tips, read Your Hand, My Ass: Erotic Spanking for Beginners.)

Don't Spend a Fortune on Toys

Does it pay to spend more on handcrafted or premium material toys? It depends. Novelty implements found in most sex toy shops are not worse than handmade toys, but they may not be as durable or last as long, depending on the materials they are made from. You may also get more comfort with higher-end, more carefully crafted items. That said, it may be best not to make a big investment in BDSM gear until you're sure that you’ll be using it for a long time.

Seek out BDSM Communities Online

Wanna-be Doms and Dommes might also try playing a submissive role to know how it feels to be on the receiving end. BDSM play is a bit like having a dance partner; one leads and the other follows. Beginners might also find it helpful to seek the advice of a mentor and chat with others on message boards and online groups like FetLife.

The Brain Is the Most Powerful Sex Toy

More important than having the right toys and implements is understanding the power of the mind when it comes comes to BDSM and any other kind of sexual play. Sex isn't just about the body - it's about the head! Communication is also key, especially when it comes to getting kinky. Talk to each other, figure out what turns each other on (and what doesn't) and get to work.

Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?