A Beginner’s Guide To BDSM: What You Must Know


If you're thinking about trying BDSM, consider these expert tips as your guide to bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism.

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What is BDSM?



This is a very basic description of what the BDSM subcategories mean. And remember, every aspect of these types of play is consensual and talked about beforehand.

l  Bondage/discipline. Bondage is a type of sexual play that focuses on restraint. Allowing another person to control your pleasure is central here, and it may involve props such as handcuffs,ropes,blindfolds, or a series of restraints. Discipline is the practice of training a "submissive" to comply, follow rules, or perform certain behaviors. Discipline is almost always present in the relationship between a dominant and submissive partner.

 

l  Submission/dominance. This describes the practice of giving power or control (submission) to another and then gaining it (dominance). Dominance and submission can be emotional, physical, or both, and the dynamics can play out either through sexual acts or through acts of control/service. For some, these roles are full-time (including outside the bedroom), while for others, they are only played during scheduled erotic encounters.

 

l  Sadism/masochism. Sadistic and masochistic behavior is carried out by people who derive pleasure from pain. The sadist enjoys inflicting pain on others, while the masochist enjoys receiving it. Remember: this is pleasurable sex and one of the safest sexual behaviors because of the amount of work put into setting boundaries and open communication. Most people who engage in sadism or masochism derive a sense of empowerment from enduring hardship.

 

How To Start?

 

  1. Educate yourself

 

In addition to often being inaccurate, the BDSM descriptions you see in movies (or pornography) may not work for you). We recommend reading the BDSM, doing a deep dive to clarify the moves and scenarios you can play with your partner, and asking your sex therapist for advice if needed so you can figure out what your version of practice looks like.

 

  1. FindYourHigh

 

There are many ways you can explore your kink and fetish, the only thing is not to go to the fetish store first and buy a bunch of toys, they may not be right for you. It is recommended that you start with fantasies of 'what is sexy to you and 'what fascinates you, these are not hard to discover as you will find out when you start exploring various kinks and fetishes.

 

  1. Discuss with your partner

 

Sit down with your partner and have an honest conversation about your desires, what turns you on, and what your boundaries are. Because BDSM usually involves surrendering control, trust and communication are everything. It is important to be as specific as possible with your partner about what you want and what you don't want, because they should be with you. For example, let them know if the idea of being blindfolded turns you on, but being handcuffed can make you feel anxious. Likewise, if they tell you they never want to be in a submissive role, listen to them.

 

  1. Choose a Scene

 

Part of the BDSM game plan is to choose a place to do this. That might be a hotel for your next vacation (where it might be easier to take advantage of different characters), a room reserved for a power play or a quiet corner somewhere outdoors. As long as it's a place you feel safe to go.

 

  1. Choose the right toys

 

There are many toys available in BDSM, ropes, whips, paddles, etc. It all depends on how you practice. If you are a nylon lover, we suggest you start by buying stockings. If you want to try bondage, smooth braided rope, tape, and stockings will be less likely to hurt your bunny than twine. Be sure to choose toys from a safety perspective and consider them both erotically satisfying and easy to apply.

 

  1. Come up with a safe word

 

Speaking of safety, if things go too far and you or your partner crosses a line you didn't anticipate, decide on a word you'll say (and obviously listen to) if that time comes. Suggest choosing something completely random that you wouldn't normally say in the bedroom, such as "pineapple" or "dumplings".

BDSM only works if everyone involved is having fun - so once things get too much, it's game over. Ask your partner if they are okay and stay with them.

 

  1. Aftercare

 

The post-experience conversation is as much a part of sex as the act itself. This conversation often called "aftercare" is an opportunity to ask your partner what they liked best and what they thought when you gently hit them, as well as their physical condition (especially after bondage).

 

The verbal intimacy and vulnerability expressed after the BDSM experience will strengthen your connection with your partner. It's another bondage worth ditching.

 

The BDSM dictionary You Should Know

Aftercare

a post-scene ritual intended to help the dominant and submissive wind down and check in

Breath control play

restriction of oxygen to increase pleasure (i.e. choking, asphyxiation)

Chastity

denial of a partner to have sex and/or masturbate — sometimes devices are used to ensure chastity (cock cages or chastity belts)

Collared/collaring

worn to indicate someone’s status as a submissive (collaring can indicate belonging to a dominant, and to some is seen as the ultimate level of commitment)

Cuckold

a man/masc person who enjoys watching their femme partner have sex with someone in front of them

Dom/domme/dominant

the partner who leads the power dynamic in a dominant/submissive scene

Edgeplay

bringing a partner to the brink of orgasm, but not letting them orgasm

Fetish

intense sexualization of an act, object or scenario

Golden showers

the act of a partner urinating on another

Hard limits

limits that never will be negotiable

Leather

a subset of BDSM culture dictated by leather-wearing practices

Pegging

refers to a woman/femme identifying person having anal sex with a man/masc identifying person, typically with a strap-on

Playspace

an area designated for a scene or BDSM play

Risk aware consensual kink

an alternative to SSC (below), as the term is disliked in the community for it’s ableist language (RACK also argues that kink isn’t ever safe, but that those that participate acknowledge the risks)

Safe, sane, consensual (SSC)

a BDSM philosophy dictating the pillars of BDSM play

Safeword

a word or physical cue meant to end play

Subspace

a mental space submissive’s can go through in the middle of a scene; it’s often considered “dreamy” or “floaty” like a high

Switch

a partner who can be dominant or submissive

Topping from the bottom

a bottom/submissive telling their top/dominant what to do to them

Vanilla

non-kink/BDSM activity

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