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Tips for BDSM Beginners

Maybe it was Fifty Shades of Gray. Maybe it was the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. Maybe you've always known you were different, but are just now realizing that there's a word for it. And an exciting unknown world that comes along with it. Whatever your inspiration, you want to start your BDSM journey. Well, I'm here to help with tips straight from someone who was once new herself.

Who Are You, Really?

The first step to enjoying BDSM is to learn who you are within the lifestyle and what you want. Do you want to scene at your local dungeon? Do you dream of serving a Master as a 24/7 slave? Here are a few questions to ask to get an idea of where you are on the spectrum. For a detailed analysis, check out BDSMTEST.org. Their test can give you insight into what your role is in the lifestyle.

You get more turned on by:

  • Taking control, giving directions (Dom)
  • Giving up control, following directions (sub)
  • I can't pick. I like doing both (switch)

You would prefer to:

  • Have a casual relationship or play partner. Once the scene is over, it's over(scene, top/bottom)
  • Have a committed relationship with a clear 24/7 power exchange(Dom/sub)

Which of these statements best describes you: 

  • I love sensation play, romance, the softer side (sensual BDSM)
  • The rougher the better. Not a party without tears, blood, or bruises (sadomasochism)
  • I don't want to think about what to do. I just let my animal side out and do what I feel (primal play)

Learn

Once you know where your interests lie, learn everything you can about them. If you are interested in a power exchange, learn how they work. Learn what to look for, and the different types of power exchange. If impact is your thing, learn about paddles and floggers. Stingy and thuddy. Safe areas and dangerous ones. 

There are a few great places to learn. Books like Real Service and Screw the Roses, Send me the Thorns are excellent for an in depth education on BDSM. Facebook groups and Fetlife allow you to interact with others in the community. Fiction or adult entertainment can give you inspiration, but don't forget that it is only entertainment. It's a far cry from reality. 

It's also important to know SSC and RACK. SSC means that the activities you choose to participate in are Safe, Sane, and Consensual. RACK means Risk Aware Consensual Kink. Edgeplay practices that are considered risky would fall under RACK. You choose to engage in activities with risks fully aware of the potential consequences. 

Communication, Communication, and Communication

Communication is absolutely key in this lifestyle. Once you know what you want, you need to know how to ask for it. You also need to know how to set boundaries. In BDSM we know these as limits. These are things that you aren't willing to do. They are valid for Doms and subs, scenes, and 24/7 relationships. You aren't ready to try BDSM without a basic limit list and a discussion about what you want and don't want. Here's a great BDSM checklist!

Safe words also fall into this category. When you are beginning, a safe word is a necessity. Just as with limits, either the Dom or sub should be able to stop the scene with the safe word. 

Understand Your Responsibility

There's a common misconception that the Dom takes all responsibility in any BDSM relationship or scene. This is not true. A Dom or Top is responsible for the sub's safety. The sub is putting their life, literally sometimes, in their hands. However, subs are also responsible for their own safety. Yes, your Dom or Top should have your safety in mind. This does not relieve you of responsibility for knowing how to safely perform the activity you are doing and know the risks involved. 

Enjoy Yourself

Lastly, enjoy yourself as you explore BDSM. Open yourself up to new possibilities and ways of seeing the world. Take your time. Remember, it's a journey. There's always more to learn and experience. 

September 01, 2020 by Oleksandr Yefremov

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