Tips for Newbies in the BDSM Community

by | Aug 9, 2019 | 0 comments

BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Domination/Submission, Sadism, and Masochism) has certainly been having a moment. With songs like S&M by Rihanna and of course the wildly popular Fifty Shades series, it is now more than ever a part of the public consciousness. With that we are seeing many more people interested in experimenting with the BDSM lifestyle. However, many people are jumping in with little more information than what they have gleaned through pop culture. This is certainly not a safe way to get started in a potentially dangerous subculture.

Here are a few tips for any self-describes ‘newbies’ to BDSM and kink in general.

Start out slow

It is one of the most common mistakes of those wanting to dabble in the BDSM fetish to start with what is called breath play, i.e. choking. It not hard to understand why, it’s easy to do since you don’t need special equipment, and it can be easy to agree to in the heat of the moment. Please do not start you journey into kink with this. A lot of people get seriously hurt, or seriously hurt their partners when attempting this all the time. The problem with breath play is that when someone cannot breathe it is very difficult for them to vocalize that they want it to stop and things can go beyond their control very quickly.

       Do not attempt to experiment with BDSM without talking about it first, make sure your partner is into it, and start out with something a little less likely to cause permanent bodily harm  before moving on to the wilder stuff.

Figure out what role you want to play as

There are two general roles to choose from in BDSM kink: dominant and submissive. Some prefer to only play one of these roles; others choose to switch as the fancy strikes them. Both approaches are totally fine! Outwardly, the dominant directs the scene. In this fantasy they hold the power, directing the submissive however they please. Secretly, the submissive actually holds much more power in BDSM than they pretend to. In order to feel comfortable enough to release control to their dominant, the submissive must feel they are in a safe space, that the dominant will not overstep the boundaries they set before the scene. Only then can they relax and enjoy the fantasy.

Determine your hard and soft boundaries

       One of the most important conversations you must have when entering the BDSM fetish world is the setting of your hard and soft boundaries. Your hard boundaries are things you don’t see yourself interested in at all. These will be different for everyone. For instance, you might be interested in bondage BDSM and taking orders but know that you have no desire to explore giving and receiving pain.

       Soft boundaries are similar but you think you might be interested in them given the right opportunity. For instance: you might not want to incorporate whips, but an open palmed spank can be ok if your partner asks first.

       Understand not only your own boundaries but also the boundaries of your partner. Know whether they want to keep the BDSM fetish strictly to the bedroom or if they want to take a more submissive role in your relationship in its entirety. Be clear and open about what you both want before jumping in feet first.

Set your safe words

       Part of the BDSM fetish for some is the roleplaying of fantasies that don’t want to actually occur in their real life, like scenarios of reluctant consent or traditionally taboo power dynamics like teacher/student or boss/employee. At this time your partner may want to play at the refusal of sex, but not actually mean it. How then are you to know when they are playing their roll or when they actually want you to stop? Easy, agree on clear safe words before engaging in the scene. These should be words that will not naturally come up in the heat of the moment (to prevent confusion). If one of you says the safe word, immediately pause the scene to determine and rectify the problem

       You might also be exploring BDSM bondage scenarios that don’t allow for easy speech, like the use of a gag. It is a very good idea to also have a “safe gesture” like a head movement or an easily recognizable tapping pattern.

Keep communicating before, after, and during the scene

       Although communication is important in any sexual encounter it is especially important in the potentially dangerous scenarios that can be associated with BDSM, bondage in particular. Be honest about your past experiences and any health concerns you might have regarding possible encounters. You can’t assume that they will be able to read your mind.

Just as important as pre-scene communication is communication during the scene. Check in with your partner regularly and tell them if you are enjoying yourself. If at any point you or your partner feels uncomfortable or as if you or they may be hurt then immediately stop. Do not take silence as a positive answer. In order to fully enjoy the scene you must completely trust your partner to keep you safe and vice versa. BDSM and kink is never fun if you are in serious danger.

It’s a good idea to rehash everything that happened either directly after the scene or a couple days after. Share what you enjoyed and what wasn’t working. The better you and your partner get to know your wants and desires the more fulfilling your foray into fetish can be.

Have fun!

       Most importantly remember to enjoy yourself and actually have fun. Take the scenario seriously and stay safe but you’re exploring the BDSM fetish for a reason, you want to explore and fulfill some fantasies. Let yourself fully enter the scenes and roleplay without reservation. If you and your partner have communicated sufficiently and set strong boundaries then you can let go and just enjoy the scene. That’s the best part of kink and fantasy, you can explore a part of yourself you don’t always get to embrace in a judgment free scenario with a person you trust.

So, get out there, communicate, and have fun!

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