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I know a girl who had a boyfriend with a “baby” fetish, and on more than one occasion she indulged him by wearing a diaper. This may go without saying, but take note that she did not actually enjoy dressing up like an infant or directly benefit from it any way — she was simply open-minded and in love enough to give it a whirl.

However, if you do not have someone so adventurous or smitten with you in your own life, proposing even a mildly taboo sexual conquest to your significant (or insignificant) other may be a daunting task. I’m not talking about diaper-wearing levels of kinky here, but something more along the lines of an innocent desire to try handcuffs or hot wax.

Personally, I have struggled with this. I’m always inclined to subtly hint at new ideas, and I do this until I realize it’s the sort of thing that only works if your partner is literally waiting for your near-invisible clues. Unless you and your bed buddy happen to share the same secret wishes (lucky), or you’re able to call in the team from “Inception” (even luckier), the subtle approach tends to end only in frustration and failure.

As an avid Cosmopolitan reader (try not to let this affect your views of my credibility), I’ve read about 500 crappy tips on how to suggest trying new things in bed.

Most articles suggest the straightforward approach, assuring readers that their partner probably won’t be as freaked out as they think. Before following this advice, I recommend you take an honest look at your fetish or area of interest to determine whether or not it’s actually incredibly weird.

For example, that diaper thing? Nine times out of 10 that idea is going to get shot down. Granted, it does depend on where you’re finding your sexual partners, but since I write for a college paper and not Cosmo, I feel confident in my assumption that most people reading this aren’t picking up strippers and porn stars.

The point is: Try not to get your hopes up. If you want someone to wear a clown suit and feed you pickles, you might be better off waiting until you start grad school in San Francisco.

So you’ve determined that your idea is a normal one, probably something that your partner would at the very least consider, but you still can’t bring yourself to come out and say it. If you’re like me, you don’t want to say anything until you’ve achieved some degree of certainty that your partner won’t awkwardly decline or, worse, laugh at you. This is why it’s good to get creative.

I tried to weird a guy out once by telling him that the girl he liked was into intense levels of bondage, but it only ended up furthering his enthrallment with her. You might be tempted to write that off as a one-time deal, but I’ll have you know more than one of my friends have expressed interest in this girl. However, I try the bondage thing every time to no avail.

Why do I do this? Because every time I mention to a guy that a girl he likes wants to be tied up in a cage and have her feet caned, and the guy says “cool,” my own insecurity is diminished. When I wanted to ask my boyfriend about using a blindfold, I assuaged my fears by reminding myself that this request wasn’t nearly as deviant as what most men seem willing to consider.

This approach can be applied in a much more direct way as well. Instead of broaching the subject with other men or women, go right ahead and bring it up with your target. Saying you had a friend who tried something once is a great way to gauge a person’s feelings about that activity before allowing you to segue into a proposal. Not only have I done this (with great success), but I’ve had it

done to me (with equal success).

For those of you who are into full-grown adults dressing up as infants and just can’t wait for the day you can afford a prostitute, this article could work as a fantastic conversation starter with your current lover.

Just remember not to bring it up in public, because you’ll never know if your man or woman is just acting disgusted because there are other people around. Believe it or not, this type of fetish can be a real source of embarrassment for some people.

Bazarian is a member of the class of 2013.

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