BDSM: a short introduction

what is bdsm?

Let’s begin with the basics:

The term BDSM means Bondage and Discipline, Domination and Submission, Sadism and Masochism. Contrary to what people usually think about BDSM, it is not all whips, chains, and torture. It incorporates a variety of practices that change depending on what turns on the ones doing it.

Some may be interested in the mental aspect, being dominant or being submissive. Some get aroused inflicting pain or feeling pain. And others love being tied. Often we’re interested only in some aspects and that is ok! You don’t have to love all the letters to be part of the BDSM community.

Safe, sane and consensual

It is the fundamental rule of the BDSM community. What seems abuse and violence to a bystander, was actually previously discussed by the players and it is what everyone consented to do. In fact, before a scene, everyone’s needs and desires are discussed. What are the things that turn us on? What are the hard limits? Because, obviously, limits and fantasies change from one person to another. And it’s very important to speak about them before the actual play and to get to know our partner/s expectations. 

Besides limits, it is important to decide a safe word in case someone would want to stop. The safe word can be anything. As soon as it is pronounced all games have to stop immediately and we need to make sure that the person that said it is ok. Often a colour system is used:

  • green: it’s great! Keep doing what you’re doing!
  • yellow: I’m not sure what I feel about it… keep going but don’t increase the intensity because I’m almost at my limit
  • red: stop now!
  • and if it is not possible to use words make sure to use a signal, like a snap of your fingers or a hit on the bed

Lastly, remember that every act has to be consensual. And that consent can be withdrawn at any point. It doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone or if it’s something you already did. If the other person says no you stop.

How do I introduce BDSM in my relationship?

Great question! As I was saying BDSM covers a lot of games, from roleplay to bondage, to Domination and submission. If you’re interested in exploring a fantasy that you have, the first step is to speak with your partner. Introduce the subject, maybe saying that you’ve read some very interesting article about it and you want t know what do they think about it… Or if you prefer you can speak about it openly. Explaining your fantasies and asking what are theirs…

After establishing what you want to try, do a list of hard limits. What are the things you are not interested at all? And what are the ones that you’d like to do? What kind of sensations do you want to experience? Then you can decide a safe word, that stops everything if you’ll ever need it. Because when you play BDSM it’s easy to get caught up in the moment… particularly when you’re just starting and experimenting. So remember, safe word! And play in a safe, sane and consensual way.

At the end of a very intense session, take care of your partner. It’s important, especially in D/s games and S/M games. What do they need? Cuddles? A cup of hot chocolate? A movie?

Finally, keep the conversation open. Talk, talk, talk. About the experiences you just lived (what did you like? what didn’t you?) and about your fantasies (what you want to do in the future and how). Have fun and remember that there are no predefined schemes! BDSM changes depending on who plays. You can be dominant, submissive or both. And no one forces you to stay in the same role if you don’t want. Your desires are the only thing that matters.

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