Things You Need to Know Before You Get Kinky

Cropped hands of topless guy with jeans unbuttoned playfully holding a whip BDSM. The picture in the studio on a background window.

Thanks to ’50 Shades of Grey’ we are seeing an increase in BDSM. This has also led to an increase in the amount of accidents happening in the bedroom; from nerve damage to broken bones to internal bleeding.

This is not to discourage you from fulfilling your kinkiest wishes! However, if you’re ready to embark on the journey of bondage, domination, submission, sado-masochism, and all combinations therein, there are some important things to consider to ensure that everybody’s safe and happy. The number one rule and motto of healthy BDSM is ”safe, sane and consensual” — so know the risks, be safe, and don’t panic.

Safety First

No matter how many articles you have read about the world of BDSM, this step won’t be new to you. It’s mentioned all the time, and that’s because it is such an important step.

The risk of accidents will be drastically reduced if you read up about what you’re doing beforehand. Particularly if it involves aspects of pain, edge play, asphyxiation, and knots. This is not the time to start improvising. You can start small and adjust things according to your and your partner’s enjoyment, but don’t aim too big too fast and don’t try anything on a whim just because you saw it once.

When it comes to kinky play, safety is important. It should always be consensual and safe. Your safeword is your safety net. ‘No’ and ‘stop’ could be bandied about haphazardly throughout your scene, so pick a safeword that will stop the scene immediately.

If There’s a Problem, Stop Immediately

Yes, this might sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often this is ignored. The second the safe word happens, even if it’s not for reasons of accidental pain or distress, play stops: this is a fundamental part of BDSM practice. Take of all blindfolds and bondage, turn on the lights, and pull your pants back on.

Accidents Are Not the Norm

It’s surprising the amount of people who take severe injuries as a standard norm, and consider it part of the BDSM experience. Of course, accidents can happen, we are only human after all. However, these accidents should be few and far between and not seen as part of the package. With proper information and advice, the risk of injury will drastically decrease.

Take your time to familiarise yourself with your toys and maintain a strong connection with your partner throughout the experience. If you’re the one who is being tied up; it shouldn’t be more than a little uncomfortable – and don’t be afraid to communicate your pain to your partner when it gets too much.

It’s All About Communication

This part goes hand-in-hand with safety, but because they are both such huge parts of the kinky world of BDSM, they need to be addressed separately. Communication is important in any relationship, but it is even more vital when it comes to kink.

Self-awareness and speaking up and letting your partner know if they’ve hurt you is key to a strong and sexy BDSM relationship. If you’re the partner helping the situation, keep checking the vulnerable person’s mental state, and what you can do to make them feel comfortable and safe. If you’re the one who’s been stuck or hurt, or you both are, be open about what you need and what might make you feel better, and be honest about what the pain is.

Before and after each session; discuss your pain threshold, what you enjoyed during the last session, what could be improved upon, re-establish safe words – don’t be afraid to tell your partner that they’re not pleasing you. Without being honest, how can you hope to improve?

If every sub spoke up and refused to be tied by those who repeatedly cause discomfort or someone who is unwilling to learn and is dangerous, think how much the standard would improve. Don’t struggle or start getting angry and finding fault; you need to solve the problem first.

Don’t Mix Drink and BDSM

When we drink, there’s always a chance we let our guard down and become more adventurous. This is often when accidents happen. Sure, you may believe that you need a little Dutch courage to get yourself through the session. But alcohol can ruin the experience. You’ll find that your reactions aren’t what they should be in order to safely practice BDSM.

You might take things too far, or you might not even realise that your partner is hurting you until you have sobered up. And by then, it is too late. One drink is fine, but if you start to cross over into tipsy, you need to stop.

Don’t Forget Aftercare

All scenes, no matter what the focus is, should include some form of aftercare. Once a BDSM play scene has ended, it hasn’t really ended - the intimate and emotional connections will still be there, and so aftercare is important for everyone involved. Aftercare doesn’t need to be overly sentimental or grand, it just needs to be an intentional display of appreciation and acknowledgement that will ensure you and your partner return to an everyday state of mental, emotional, and physical steadiness. Aftercare should be discussed before every session as your partner may require a different form of aftercare depending on their emotional state.

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