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A beginners guide to BDSM by Simply Pleasure's guest blogger Violet Fenn.

Over the years, media coverage of sexual happiness has become more and more mainstream and this can only be a good thing – especially if it enables people to think about what they really want from intimate relationships and how to achieve it.

One of the biggest surges in interest is in BDSM, particularly since the advent of the Fifty Shades phenomenon. But alongside the increased availability of kinky equipment comes the risk of landing yourself in at the deep end before you’ve established just how far you really want to go.

BDSMforBeginners

With this in mind – and with the help of several lovely people who have far more experience in the scene than I - I’ve put together this beginner’s guide. It’s very basic and some of it will seem obvious, but all of it is important. I’ve also included suggestions for items that might be useful in your sexy explorations.

Comment below if you have any questions and I’ll do my very best to answer them.

Know yourself

Think long and hard about what you do and don’t want, and what your soft and hard limits are (‘soft’ limits things you don’t usually do but might consider with careful persuasion, whilst ‘hard’ is the stuff you will never do and don’t want to be asked to). Do not be persuaded to change your mind about these – if you decide to change your boundaries then think about it in your own time without outside influences. The only person who makes the rules for you is you.

BDSM is all about pushing boundaries both physically and emotionally. You need to think about the potential effects of different activities well before you indulge in them yourself.

Know your partner
By which I mean, know your partner really well and feel confident that you can trust them implicitly.

If you are submissive, do not trust yourself to an inexperienced dom(me).

 

Your safety could be at risk. Only take part in BDSM activities with a partner who clearly knows what he or she is doing and will absolutely respect your boundaries and wellbeing. They also need to understand aftercare – how to reassure and comfort you to help you manage what is commonly known as ‘sub drop’.

“I spent months freaking myself out because I was constantly becoming emotionally unstable with one partner during scenes. I thought it was me, but the emotional, loving and caring side was just missing from him.” Kate

If you are interested in BDSM but don’t have a partner, consider joining ‘munch’ groups – these are meet-ups for likeminded people that are purely social and fully clothed. Or read through some of the many blogs written on the subject – I’d particularly recommend Cara Sutra.

Safety is paramount. And that means at all times, even if danger gives you a thrill. I’m talking practical safety here – any situation in which a person is restricted in any way, whether that be with rope or tape or cuffs, needs an emergency exit. Either keep scissors, rope-cutting equipment and/or bolt cutters in an accessible place, or only use kit that can be broken out of in an emergency.

Regardless of what certain bestselling books might tell you, cable ties are NEVER acceptable as a form of restraint. Some experienced kinksters might use them, but there are so many risks involved – nerve damage, for one thing – that it’s just not worth the risk. Things like this are why it’s so important to read and research and learn.

The ‘safety first’ rule applies even when playing alone. In fact, it applies especially when playing alone, as my friend Mel discovered:
“When testing out door cuffs on your own, do not slam the door. This will render you unable to free yourself #truestory”

Communication is key  Talk, talk and talk some more. Establish what each partner’s expectations are. Safe words are well named – they’re there to keep you safe. If you or your partner won’t be able to speak because you’re using a gag, then you need to prearrange a hand gesture or similar. One person told me she holds a bell off a cat collar so it can be dropped as a warning if her hands are out of sight, which is rather ingenious.

You might occasionally hear talk of subs ‘topping from the bottom’ – this literally means that the supposedly submissive partner is actually leading the activity, hence ‘topping’. Many people would argue that this is incorrect terminology - a sub communicating their feelings and needs, as they should absolutely feel able to do, is not ‘topping’, they are communicating.

Consent is sexy – and utterly essential. Be absolutely sure that both partners know exactly what is and what isn’t allowed before playtime starts.

Stay in control of your own reactions. That means no mind-altering substances, including alcohol. Okay, so plenty of us like a G&T to get us in the mood, but if you’re outright drunk you are not in control of your reactions. And being sick whilst tied up could be very dangerous indeed.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Whether you’re dominant or submissive, you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself - and so, obviously, is your partner. Role-play is great, but don’t get so caught up in it that you lose your sense of humour. Sex can be accidentally silly even when you’re taking it seriously - it helps ease the tension if you can both laugh when something doesn’t quite work out.

And don’t forget that you can use your imagination as well as implements to think up somewhat unusual methods of ‘punishing’ your partner – this from a friend is possibly my favourite tale of deprivation ever:

“I once prevented my partner from drinking a cup of tea at the right temperature as a 'punishment' – he had to sit there watching it go lukewarm. It struck me as a very British approach....”

If you're just starting to explore bondage, these are some of Violet's favourite picks for beginners.

scandal_collar_body_restraint

The Scandal collar and cuffs body restraint

Kinx Bound to Please Ankle and Wrist Cuffs

Scandal Control Cuffs

Fetish Fantasy breathable ball gag

Tease and please flogger

Tease and please silicone flogger

Serve Me Couples Kit

Violet Fenn is Simply Pleasure's very own guest blogger - she's a UK-based lifestyle and sexual happiness blogger and is also the founder of the fantastic blog Sex, Death, Rock 'n' Roll, where you can read awesome articles about Sex, Death and yes you guessed it - Rock 'n Roll! (Violet also tackles mental health issues and we love her latest article, Mental Health 101: how to survive in interesting times.)

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