Most of us are probably familiar with the fetish play etiquette term ‘Safe, Sane and Consensual’. Even so, rules are sometimes broken, says Abi Brown.


Fetish Play Etiquette Rule #1: Be Very Careful About Permanent Marks

I once had an extremely impromptu and highly intoxicated one-night-stand with a man I’d never met before and never saw again. One of the things this involved was him holding a knife blade first in a candle flame and then to my skin. This was about seven years ago now, and I still have a few visible scars - one on my chest and a couple on my stomach.

We had neither discussed nor intended on permanent marking. It hadn't occurred to either of us that this would be the effect. It certainly wasn't a part of our negotiations, which were mostly just me drunkenly hitting on him all night with increasing obviousness.

That encounter wasn't an important emotional experience for either of us. But even so, I really rather like those scars. As a matter of fact, that was probably the best one-night-stand I've had yet.
 

Fetish Play Etiquette Rule #2: Don’t Use Toys With More Than One Person

One of my closest friends has a pretty incredible kink arsenal. Whatever you’re interested in trying, he’s probably got one. His collection includes straight jackets, violet wands, vacbeds, sensory deprivation hoods, thigh cuffs and genitorture devices.

Most of his collection has been used with all kinds of people. Both he and his partner use them with anyone they play with. Furthermore, they're also the hosts of our play parties. This means that they've been used by all kinds of people on all kinds of other people in all manner of situations. I've never entirely understood the objection here, as fetish play etiquette seems to eschew this kind of sharing.

Some things, of course, are about hygiene. All of their plugs and vibes are kept separately and are a lot less widely-used. Moreover, I have had a variety of people’s vibes used on me. But of course, one must be a lot more careful and be very certain to clean things thoroughly.


Fetish Play Etiquette Rule #3: Choose Your Implements Wisely

My ex-girlfriend once fucked me with a sword—and I don’t mean the hilt. It wasn't a particularly sharp sword, but it was a full-size solid metal blade. While she was, of course, extremely careful, it sure as hell hurt like a bitch.

There are various things that we’re told not to use that are honestly fine in practice, so long as you don’t behave like an idiot. For example, don't use cable ties and duct tape.

Everyone says you mustn't use coloured candles in wax play, but the truth is the plain ones just hurt less. As long as you’re geared up for a bit of an extra kick, you're not breaking fetish play etiquette.

There’s a lot to be gained from going with the flow and using what you have to hand. You just need to take care. The same goes for beeswax-paraffin blend candles. However, this does not apply to scented or pure beeswax candles. Those are dangerous, don’t go there. And for the love of god, never use a gel candle in “wax” play. Third-degree burns are a likelihood.
 

Fetish Play Etiquette Rule #4: Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate

I once went home with someone who chatted me up at a bus stop at two in the morning. The sex we had was surprisingly and intensely kinky. It followed very little discussion of our respective proclivities. I’m not claiming that this was a wise or advisable life choice. I was putting myself in an extremely vulnerable position. It could have gone horribly wrong.

General fetish play etiquette says we should talk everything over before and after an encounter. But it was also incredible, and while I don’t think I’d do it again, I've never regretted it for a second.


Abi Brown is a freelance writer and general pen-for-hire devoted to genre fiction, social justice and M.A.C lipstick. Follow her on @see_abi_write.


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