I’m not going to apologise for mentioning consent several times over in this article. It is the most important thing in any relationship but is especially so in any BDSM relationship. Consent isn’t just a onetime thing. It’s not ‘sign and contract and that’s that’. Consent should be active. Every time you interact within a scene at home or at a BDSM club, consent should be checked.
Meeting a kinkster for the first time can be fun and nerve-wracking. Remember to meet up in a public space, which could be neutral vanilla territories like a coffee shop or a kink event such as a munch. Make sure someone knows where you are and who you’re with. They can check in with you to make sure everything is going okay, and if it’s not, they can be your excuse to leave!
It is, of course, your decision, but I would refrain from indulging in any kink play on the first date. It’s crucial to build up trust first. Having the first date kink free lifts off any pressure or expectation for all people involved.
Just because your partner/s wanted to do one thing the last time you were on a date, don’t assume they want it this time. Check in before you do anything - this doesn’t have to spoil the surprise! I know it’s fun to get or give a hit out of the blue, but consent is important. Ask if the sub is okay, in theory with that at the beginning of a meeting. They'll have no idea when you hit them, what with or if you will, but you’ve got consent. That’s the important bit.
Unless it’s in your agreement to only indulge in kink play when you meet, be sure to indulge in a little polite conversation first. Your partner/s aren’t just a recipient for your kink. They are a person too. Be sure to treat them as such (unless they are being a chair that day, then treat’em as a chair, that’s what they want) as that is a crucial part of keeping safe.
It’s crucial to address physical safety of course, but it is just as important to look after your partner/s mental and emotional health too. This can be as simple as checking their hard limits/soft limits and keeping to them. It can be as simple as asking ‘are you okay?’ now and then. Checking in during play can be as simple as asking them if they want a hug or providing appropriate aftercare.
Remember, it’s not just about checking for physical hurts and bruises, you need to check your partner is mentally and emotionally happy too. This is especially important if you use any psychological elements in your play. Mind games can be fun and sexy but be sure never to do any lasting harm.
Remember to check in during play. Image: Marika Bunny. Flickr Creative Commons.
If you’ve ever seen a reference to SSC kink, then this is what it means. It’s a way of practising BDSM. It’s all about making sure that people are enjoying kink in a responsible way. Making sure play has minimal risk, everyone is happy with what’s happening, and it makes sense.
Not everyone wants marks and bruises or extreme pain. This three-word tenant is best for those who want to keep risks down to an absolute minimum.
If you’re into more extreme BDSM practices, hard impact play, blood, breath play etc. this is your rule to kink by. RACK is all about being aware of the risks and minimising the chance of significant injury or death. It makes sense. Being a risk taker is fine, many people are regardless of if they’re kinky or not. However, you can’t ever completely ignore safety advice.
The more extreme an act is, the more critical active consent becomes. Someone may be happy to agree with a particular scene up front; others may even be okay at the beginning but not part way through. So if you’re the top or the bottom in a scene, be sure to keep checking in, all the way through.
BDSM safety and safe dating go hand in hand. Whether you’re in a public space, or in private your first thoughts should always be about safety. Remember safety is sexy. Taking care of your partner/s is sexy. Being responsible is sexy.
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