If you're very new to this lifestyle, I recommend that you give this a read. Safety should be a serious concern of anyone looking to partake in BDSM activity.
If you're potentially going to end up giving up control of your mind and body, through the use of bondage or with power exchange, you want Read more…to know for certain, that the person you're submitting to, isn't going to abuse that position of power. You also want to know that they have the necessary knowledge and skill to carry out the play scene without causing real mental or physical damage.
Safety in dating -
One night stands are a thing and they can be in BDSM too. Though most experienced BDSMers would advise strongly against them. If someone is potentially going to tie you up and hit you, you want to be able to trust that they won't abuse that power over you. It's a sad fact that there are many genuine abusers who mask their activity using BDSM as cover.
When getting to know someone, tell them about your life and they should be telling you about theirs, but avoid specifics on details about where you live, where you work. Don't give identifying information away freely before you know someone really is who they claim to be.
When chatting oline don't immediately give away personal email addresses or phone numbers, keep chatting through sites such as this, or anonymous chat apps, until you have built up some level of trust.
When you plan to meet someone, same goes for dating in vanilla life, you should meet somewhere public the first few times you see each other. Don't agree to go back to their place after 15 minutes in a coffee shop either. You should always push your eagerness to play aside and take a little time to get to know someone. Any genuine kinkster will be accepting of this. People that want to rush into play and then get funny about it if you want to build trust first shouldn't be trusted!
Red flags -
Being able to recognise red flags is important, some are the same as in vanilla life, some are quite different. If you see some or any of these red flags when talking with someone, you should proceed with greater caution or stop talking with them.
- Both parties need to be open and transparent with each other before you can build the trust needed for a BDSM relationship. If someone is secretive, it usually means they have something to hide! Be very wary of people who will share little or nothing of their life with you. Be very careful of those that only want to talk about sex and BDSM.
- On the other side of that, people that want to very early on know identifying details about you, where you live, where you work, details about your children, friends or family should be treated with extreme caution.
- The first sign of abusive relationships is the abuser trying to isolate the victim from friends, family and in the BDSM world sources of information. If you're new to the lifestyle you should be making friends and speaking to experienced submissives as well as potential partners, anyone that tries to prevent this should not be trusted!
- Someone wanting to dominate you right away is warning sign. Your submission is a gift and you shouldn't give it away to the first person, saying "I will be your master now, you will submit to me". You should only ever submit to someone you trust and has complete respect for you.
- You should be willing to provide a normal photo of yourself showing your face. People who demand to see explicit photos of you, should never be trusted and those that use threats or say they will cut contact if you don't provide photos should be ignored. You have no obligation to send sexual imagery of yourself to someone you don't know.
- If someone is higly critical of your appearance or your dress, you should stop speaking with them, this constitutes abuse, unless you consented to being criticised on these things as part of play.
- If your personal boundaries for interaction are being disregarded, or someone gets angry because of your limits, you should cut off contact with them.
These are just some guide lines, but most importantly, trust your gut, speak to people with the intention of learning, not just for play, seek out as much information as possible and protect yourself from the predators out there!
Consent is the cornerstone of BDSM, without consent it is just abuse.
Before you play with anyone, you must agree on what you consent to, what you don't and what are your hard limits.
Consent should be explicit, not implicit, you should agree to and discuss separately all the activities you intend to do with someone, before play takes place.
If a new element is introduced during a scene, then consent must be asked for.
Communication is incredibly important in BDSM relationships for drawing out boundaries and setting limits.
Safety in play -
BDSM can be an inherently dangerous activity, if you're tying someone, there are risks of cutting off circulation, or causing suffocation if done incorrectly, gags can cause choking. If you're hitting someone there is a risk of causing major injury if not done with skill and experience.
Before you engage in BDSM you should heavily research this for yourself, as the safety concerns will be specific to the play you are engaging in. For more extreme forms of play you should seek out someone as a mentor to teach you how it should be done safely. By attending local munches (vanilla meetings of kinky people) and play events, you will meet people whith a wealth of experience across all types of BDSM play and they are often very willing to share what they know and teach. You should always find and reach out to these people, if you intend to attempt more extreme sorts of play, though some books can be helpful too.