Skip to main content

Intro to BDSM Safety

When people ask me what they should learn about upon entering the BDSM world, one of the main things that I stress is safety. Ours is a tricky world, with lots of potential hazards. From the moment we begin, we have to be careful. That doesn't just include making sure we can quickly get someone out of an elaborate knot we've tied. It can be a whole host of things, from habitually clearing our search history to understanding negotiations and safe words to exercising caution when communicating with and meeting new people. So let's look at a few tips to keep in mind.

1) Searching the internet- If you're new to the idea of BDSM or not that computer savvy, then you're going to want to be careful what sites you get on and who else has access to your computer. The easiest ways to be careful when it comes to the sites is to keep one thing in mind. That is, there's a difference between networking and dating. When you're operating in the BDSM world you want to network, to meet people, make friends and learn from them. Sex and dating comes later (if you're smart, anyway). The overwhelming number of BDSM and kink sites devoted to dating are packed with fake profiles and creeps. If all someone expects to get out of a fetish lifestyle is sex, then they are missing the point and potentially unsafe. At the very least, they aren't very interesting or imaginative. I'll refrain from slamming any sites specifically, but simply repeat that pretty much everyone who's serious in kink these days has a Fetlife.com account. And while Fet has its own problems (they've been repeatedly accused of not filtering people who prove themselves to be a danger, for one), it's a much more reliable source than others. Good websites to learn from include submissiveguide.com and dominantguide.com, evilmonk.org, bdsmtrainingacademy.com, bdsm-101.com... My former mentor was particularly fond of bestslavetraining.com. The more you check out, the more you'll be able to spot the reputable vs. the no-so reputable. Another thing to keep in mind is computer safety. Make sure you have virus protection on your computer, just in case you accidentally click on anything weird. And be careful what you do click on. It's extremely common for people to search for a site they've heard about, misspell it and end up clicking on an imposter site with a similar name and less than altruistic purposes. So makes sure you know the exact names of sites. Look for reviews of sites and scam alerts. Also, it can't hurt to have the search filters on your web browser turned on, especially when your not around. This can keep the kids from finding out what you've been up to. And, as I said earlier, clear your browser history regularly.

2) Talking with and meeting people- While most reputable kink sites are not dating sites, the same cautionary etiquette is good to remember. If you get a short, unintelligent message from someone, they're probably not legit. Experienced community members rarely send messages to people they don't know in order to say very little. When exploring profiles look for the ones that state specifics about their interests and experience. Look for the ones that are careful themselves. If they have tons of face shots accompanied by lots of personal information, then they may not be responsible. My editor told me he found a similar profile that belonged to a co-worker of his. This girl's job involved going to stranger's homes and hotel rooms by herself. More than being the definition of careless, such behavior identifies her as someone who isn't genuinely experienced or thinking clearly. Other things to look at are the subject matter they focus on and their friends list. If their profile sounds misogynistic, misandrist or otherwise bigoted, their photos are filled with dick pics and the only people they've friended are attractive members of the opposite sex, they're probably a creep. When you do decided to meet people face-to-face, do so the first time in public! Find a restaurant that has plenty of staff and patrons. If you decided to meet in a park or similar location, make sure that it's well populated and the spot you pick is open and visible. The same goes for your route back to your vehicle or transportation. And, men, just in case you think I'm only talking to the women here, think again. When I first entered the community, I was warned about women who would lead willing men back to hotel rooms where accomplices where waiting to assault and rob them. Best bets are to have a friend with you (if you can), don't follow the stranger to a new location and have a safe call set up. We'll discuss that last one shortly.

3) Play safe- Learn, prepare, talk. That's the basics of what you need to remember. Learn how to play rough without crossing a line or being reckless. There are countless blogs and articles on the subject of safe play. Practice with new equipment and new techniques before using them (for example, got a new flogger? Hit yourself with it many times before using it on someone else. Know what's too hard and where might cause real damage). Have first aid kits that include things like bandage scissors in your toy bag. Employ safe words. If your playing with someone new, tell a trusted friend who they are and where you'll be. Arrange to call that person by a certain time. Instruct them that if they don't hear from you by then to call you. If you don't answer, have them call the authorities (Obviously, you need to be responsible on your end there. If you get carried away, loose track or time, your phone isn't charged...that could end badly). Don't let your limits be pushed too much, especially in the beginning. Take your time to avoid frenzy which is dangerous. Negotiate boundaries, safe words, hard limits and aftercare before a scene and talk after the scene as well. When all else fails, don't do anything you're uncertain of. This really is a time where it's better to regret something you didn't do rather than something you did. There can always be a next time.

4) Finally, and this is something that a staggering number of kinksters seem to forget, ALWAYS PRACTICE SAFE SEX! Don't like condoms? Yeah, me neither. But the limited amount of desensitization is greatly preferable to an incurable disease. Even if you have a steady partner, who you are monogamous with and you have both been regularly checked, that's still no guarantee. Things like herpes don't always show up on std tests and flair up or become transmittable randomly. Also, people cheat. It's an ugly but true fact of life. And they aren't always careful when they do. Another thing to remember, safe sex is not just limited to using a condom (or even just one condom, when that is the issue). Any exchange of fluids is a potential hazard. There are also things like crab lice and skin infections to guard yourself against. Finally, make sure you dispose of things like condoms, rubber gloves, needles or anything else that may be contaminated safely (read as: not in the toilet or a public trash can. Certainly not on the ground, litterbug).

This is simply a quick introduction to safety in BDSM. I could go on and on and will probably dedicate more detailed posts to individual problems in the future. For now though, I recommend studying on your own what other problems can arise and how to avoid or deal with them. It also bares mentioning that, just because there is potential for harm, BDSM also has potential for a lot of great results too. So don't let your fears hold you captive. That's your Dominant's job. ;) Just make sure you're both playing safe when they do.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Break a Brat

The definition of a brat, as well as their behavior, vary. Typically they're subs with a rebellious streak. They actively try to frustrate their Doms/Dommes by being uncooperative or defiant, hiding toys, giggling when threatened with punishment or even acting like a bitch. These things naturally still result in punishment., but the pitiful, vulnerable behavior often exhibited by more traditional submissives is absent.

So it should come as no surprise that many Dominants desire to break brats. This can be fun, but it can also be risky. Trying to force someone to bend to your will when they're more determined to resist and test boundaries obviously has the potential to go too far. Its for this reason that any attempts to break a brat be handled extra carefully.

It goes without saying that strict and thorough negotiations beforehand are a must. And both parties should resist the urge to take things too far.

So what are some methods the Dominant can employ in the process of makin…

Personas

I have a sub, Mary. Mary is about as moody as they make them. Some days she is on top of the world, singing, dancing, throwing her arms in the air... On those days I can expect breakfast without asking, cute, little gifts, impromptu floor shows and spontaneous blow jobs. Other days she is hard at work, concentrating on finding that new job that pays better and treats her the way she deserves. Other days, she is sad. On those occasions she curls up at the top of the bed, clutching one of the large stuffed animals I bought her and pouting while she watches some afternoon talk show drivel. On rare nights, she's primal and hungry, practically demanding sex and even willing to try to take it before I put a lease on her collar and force her to her knees. She is a dichotomy.

When I met her, she was cold, unfriendly even. Once I got to know her, I discovered that she ran hotter than most. Mary, like many, has many sides to her. It has been up to me to learn these sides and respond to them…

Neurolinguistic Programing

Greetings, everyone. Been a while. But, after an unfortunate accident followed by some unexpected surgery, I've begun to regain the use of my left hand. I'll spare you all the gory details and just get back to what I'm supposed to be doing here, writing about BDSM and kink.
Neurolinguistic programing, the practice of saying certain things to someone in order to put them in just the right head space for kinky play and elicit the desired responses, is a big part of the lifestyle. I'm sure most of us have experience the thrill that accompanies our partner or partners talking dirty. Well, when you take it a step farther, insisting that certain things be said or done at specific times, it can get even more intense.
Allow me to give you some examples. When my current sub and I first started playing, we negotiated how each of us would be addressed. In most cases, I am, Sir. She begins most sentences and ends many others to me with the title. Unless we are in an extremely van…