In the second part of our series about consent in BDSM, Cameryn Moore explains how having conversations about consent during a kink or bondage scene can enrich your play.

 

Misconceptions of consent

A common misconception about consent, not only in the BDSM community but society at large, is that it is an on-off switch. Once you ask, the answer is immutable.  However, it's better to think of consent as not a binary switch, but as an ongoing conversation, one that you and your partner(s) get to create together as you explore and play within your kink or bondage scene. 

The fun starts from the very beginning, even before you pull your bag of floggers out of the closet. When you have that first conversation about what each participant in the scene wants, you’re laying out the initial parameters of what you want to do together. Although this is not necessarily the be-all-end-all of your play, things may come up where you want more, or one of you may trip across a limit that you didn’t know you had - but you do want a starting place, and this first conversation is that place. 

You can find good resources if you want some structure for this conversation. When following a RACK (Risk-Aware Consensual Kink) approach, you’ll want to take the results of these conversations and do research on anything that comes up that you don’t know. Or if you are meeting at a dungeon, you can still have a quick yet comprehensive check-in. 

However you go about it and however long you have, let your answers guide you and suggest other questions until you both/all feel ready to step into an exciting scene!
 

Checking in during a scene

As you progress through a scene, you can check in with explicit questions and answers, using that dialogue to expand your power dynamic further. Even if you have developed an experience of consensual non-consent, when you take a moment to ask the questions, it will give you a moment of breathing room to assess how you're both doing.

  • Especially useful when you are trying something new, ask questions about how they like it. Even if your sub is not very talkative, you can ask questions like “answer me, yes or no!” in a way that upholds your role as the dom(me).
     
  • When asking questions, make sure you're listening to what they say, looking for answers not only in vocal responses but body language as well.
     
  • Bottoms/subs should go ahead and use their voices to give feedback (unless they have been told not to). Scream and beg, ask for what you want.
     
  • Both sides can switch it out to whispering and murmurs. Change up the dynamic, make the other person strain to hear; this sharpens their focus.
     

Rope bondage
Using dialogue during play can help expand your power dynamic. 
 

Slow down and focus deep

BDSM players of all stripes can take a hint from the bondage lifestyle, where practitioners may construct elaborate bonds and suspensions over the course of hours. They have to check frequently to make sure that the rope bottom is not losing sensation to their limbs, and that nothing is digging in or pinching in an unsustainable way. 

In those scenes, you will often see the rope top making minute adjustments to knots and layers, and talking to their partner as they make the adjustments. I have never heard a rope bottom complain that their top is talking to them too much.

Make space in the scene. This is especially true if either or both of you are talkers. But even if neither you are particularly vocal, introduce moments of stillness or pause into your play. This gives all parties a chance to rest and breathe and keeps the rhythm of your play from growing stale and monotonous. 

If you’re the top, you certainly don’t want your bottom to become jaded about when the next blow is going to land. Most importantly you will leave room to make those minute assessments, check your play partner’s breathing and body language, all those things that go beyond words that are still essential indicators of one’s current state of consent.

In spite of precautions, accidents can happen and you can end up going too hard in spite of yourself. When a safe word is used, ideally you’ve got a version of “stop immediately” or “slow down,” or “pause”: something with some nuances. Tops, observe those safe words. You don’t have to apologise - this is what safe words are for - but do take that moment to authentically check in and find out what your play partner needs. 

Liked this article? Check out Cameryn's advice on keeping consent strong in 24/7 relationships.  New here? Join Fetish.com for free!

Join the discussion in the BDSM forum on Fetish.com


Cover photo: Quinn Dombrowski. Flickr Creative Commons.  Article image: Marika Bunny. Flickr Creative Commons


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

0 comments

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



There are no comments to display.

BDSM Magazine

Similar discussions