BDSM isn't necessarily all about whips, chains, bite marks and bruises. Believe it or not, there's another side - soft (or light) BDSM, as Kayla Lords explains.


The crack is thunderous as it connects with tender flesh. Cries, shrieks, screams echo in the thick air. Somewhere the players wielding whips and knives chuckle, a dark sound that haunts the listener. Sounds kind of enticing, doesn’t it? Do you picture a dimly lit room where half-naked bottoms and submissives bend to the wills of their leather-clad dominant partners? It’s what most people imagine when it comes to BDSM.

Taking it down a notch, maybe you imagine a lot of hair-pulling, spankings, kneeling, crawling, and dirty talk, even if you can’t picture the dungeon scene. In these imaginings, submissives are meek and quiet, quick to do a dominant’s bidding. That dominant is probably barking orders and making demands. The truth is all of that is possible in BDSM, but it’s not the sum total of kink, fetish, or the lifestyle.
 

What is soft BDSM?

Ask any submissive or anyone who bottoms, and they’ll tell you that when their partner gives them 'The Look', they know it means something is happening. After you’ve been with someone for a while, you know that look might mean kneel or strip or be quiet. It all depends on your dynamic, but shouted orders are rarely needed. Sometimes, not one word is said, but the meaning is clear.

When I think of my own relationship, I notice that my Daddy Dom rarely issues a direct order: “Do this now” isn’t part of his style unless we’re in the middle of a scene. Instead, he makes requests, asking me to complete this task or another, to stand here, to kneel there. Because of our relationship and my own willingness, there’s no doubt I’m going to comply. But a firm command isn’t the only way for a Dominant to get what they want from you. A more gentle tone of voice denotes soft BDSM.

For those of us who enjoy pain or those who simply want to please our favourite sadist, pain may be a big part of our BDSM life. But it’s not a requirement, particularly for soft BDSM.  In kink, there’s a power exchange, even if you’re not in a D/s relationship. Someone is tied up and someone does the tying. Someone kneels while the other stands or sits. Someone does what they’re told, and someone gives the orders. With light BDSM, every bit of it can be done in a gentle, quiet way without any pain.
 

The role of laughter in soft BDSM

Hang around the BDSM community for a while, and you’ll meet a few people who take the lifestyle very seriously, rarely joking or laughing. Certain things should always be a serious matter - consent, negotiation, limits - but there is definitely room for laughter.

You can laugh and crack jokes and still be respectful, subs and bottoms. Doms and tops, you can smile and give big deep belly laughs and still command respect. Frankly, weird things happen when people get naked - for sex or otherwise - and the best way to relieve a little (unwanted) tension is to laugh.

Light BDSM couple laughing together on black background
There's room for laughter when practicing light BDSM.
 

Love can shine in light BDSM 

You may be like me and play really rough with a partner you love. But for some people, loving their partners means they won’t ever let themselves cross certain lines. That’s okay, too. It goes back to the exchange of power and the activities you enjoy.

My own partner lovingly wraps a rope around my body when we explore our mutual appreciation of bondage. His commands are issued in a gentle voice, unless we’re feeling a bit feisty. His desire for discipline comes from a place of wanting to see me grow and become a better person. It's the perfect example of soft BDSM.

Hell, even when we play rough, the act is an expression of our love.  You can love the one you strap to a cross and flog, but you can also show your love with sweet whispers and gentle hands as part of kinky, soft BDSM.
 

Soft BDSM is about balance

I would never tell anyone how they should experience the BDSM lifestyle - well, after safety and consent, of course. If you want to play rough and tumble and walk away with bruises and cuts from every interaction, go for it. But it’s important to understand that there is a gentler, light BDSM. The lifestyle is what you make of it. Kink and BDSM fun isn’t an all or nothing event. Get rough when you feel like it, and enjoy light BDSM when that feels right, too.

 

Kayla Lords is a freelance writer, sex blogger, and a masochistic babygirl living the 24/7 D/s life. Follow her on Twitter @Kaylalords.


Looking for someone to explore soft BDSM or want to chat in real-time about light BDSM? Find it all on Fetish.com for free :gimp:
 

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Images: model released from Shutterstock.com

 

 


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Posted

I'm still looking for a 'softer' D. My previous Dom was into more than I liked. It's all in what we desire.

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This one took me a while to come to terms with. Daddy is in to the softer sensual things and I just thought we weren't "doing it right". In the end it really only matters what is right for us. :)

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