How to Play Safe in BDSM

Whether you are planning to engage in BDSM games with a professional or a lifestyle partner, safety should come up in conversation before the first strike lands, or lock clicks. Personal responsibility and communication is vitally important in a fulfilling D/s.

With a professional, the conversation will possibly be more formal, but they will expect you to have done a little research, know some of the risks associated with a particular kink before you begin, they will be happy to fill in the blanks. Experience obviously comes into play with someone who does it week in week out for their job, so we do understand you aren’t necessarily as familiar with the language we use to talk about some of the safety aspects.

“You can’t over anticipate but you can definitely under prepare”

BDSM Jargon

You might well see RACK and SSC used interchangeably in BDSM. Both factor in consent which is the only absolute rule in BDSM. It is fundamental to the integrity of our community but it’s a word that applies to many aspects, both the seen and unseen – let me explain:

R- Risk
A – Aware
C – Consensual
K – Kink

 

S – Safe
S – Sane
S- Sober
C – Consensual

They do amount to the same thing > know the risks – don’t get carried away – and prioritise consent throughout the scene. It should be common sense, but as a scene builds and one or both parties slip into top / sub space, things can go wrong if one of you isn’t still firmly rooted in reality and monitoring the risks as they escalate. So have a plan for that. Have a plan for everything if you can. You can’t over anticipate but you can definitely under prepare. I’d also like to clarify this is not just a job for the Dominant. Yes they are directing the scene, the pace, the risks but as a submissive, you can help them by communicating throughout, as a minimum.

Early stages of communication

One of my biggest fears as a Domme is someone coming out of a scene, THEN saying they felt too uncomfortable or too unsafe. Which I know sounds contradictory, but there are expected levels of violation and degradation, then there is doing something that pushes beyond that. This is why once a scene has been discussed and planned on the day you won’t usually get to request other activities or more things. You can take away, but you can’t easily add (so don’t bring an extra friend to join in, that will not go down well). I won’t session with you unless I know you through previous sessions or lengthy online communication. I will have already loosely discussed your interests with you, you will have filled out my online booking form. I will have been assessing your character, which clips of mine you choose to watch, which posts you like and comment on. All this builds my understanding of you. I will have arrived with a plan and parameters in mind, to keep the scales of sanity tipped the right way, I won’t consent to adding in the new ideas if they then undo my planning around the session. It conflicts with the ability to keep you safe, which is my overriding priority. Mutual safety is more important than what your dick wants.

 

how to play safe in BDSM

“If you have concerns about any activity, tool, location – speak up”

how to play safe in BDSM

Safe words

Whatever your chosen word may be, if you need to use it make sure you do so clearly. I appreciate this space is about giving up control, taking a break from reality and letting the Top do what they want with your body for mutual pleasure. However, I’d be upset and angry if someone didn’t use the safe word or signal to me in any way that they needed a break for fear of disappointing me. That is insane, and while at the hands of a beautiful Domme you may well have an excuse for temporary insanity, it is really not helpful to try to impress her that way. You are making her violate consent, and that is a not fair. 

Safety on the day 

Before any play begins, your Domme should talk through her basic rules and parameters of play. As professionals we use this time to confirm your interests but also to gauge your nerves, trepidation and excitement in certain areas well as confirming your soft limits and absolute NO GO’s. 

At this point you will also have an opportunity to discuss any physical limitations you may have. A bad knee or sore hip that may stop you from doing certain activities. If you’re intending on using poppers; have you taken Viagra today? Electrics; Do you have a pacemaker or chronic heart problem? We don’t need your entire medical history but if there something medically that separates you from the ‘average’ guy, we need to know.  The “risk aware” / “safe” cornerstones of BDSM H&S, so let’s talk about the reasons behind the questions you can often be asked by a professional Dominant before a session. 


Risks on both sides

I have had people pass out, and heard from other Dommes about subs collapsing and scaring the shit out of us because they failed to mention something health-related when asked at the start. When asked afterwards what the hell happened, and they say “oh this has happened once before when I was bent over but I thought it wasn’t important enough to mention” (It was important enough to mention!). Any episodes of dizziness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, recent injuries need to be mentioned. I can use a different type of wrist cuff so that if it does happen again, you don’t snap your wrists.

We need to manage risk, and by failing to mention issues, problems and one-off’s, you violate that unseen consent. We are consenting to play with you on the basis that you are “risk aware”. You are risking our lives, reputations and livelihoods when you leave details out. We need honesty and if you don’t trust us with all that personal information, look at the levels of trust you are about to offer us. We control your ability to breathe in a session. You are literally risking your life, so the risks associated with the disclosure of personal information is minimal in comparison. Just keep some perspective, and if you have concerns about any activity, tool, location speak up. If you have concerns about your privacy – speak up, ask questions. A professional won’t mind because it shows risk awareness and that is a very good sign. If you ask a question relating to RACK from a “Pro-Domme” and they are defensive or dismissive, that should be a red flag. Subs need to be just as aware of those as Dominants.

“Communication is a skill many of us need to work on.”

The best thing about a D/S dynamic

A fully developed, fluid D/S is a beautiful thing when it works. Because there is a level of openness and transparency that grows over time. You finally find a person you can be honest with, about a part of you that has felt ashamed and hidden for a long time. Communication is a skill many of us need to work on. But here it is especially important. It could actually save your life.

In this setting, you can be the dirty whore you always wanted to be, and still be cherished at the same time. It’s an amazing thing. But to get to that level of trust and intimacy with someone, you have to start somewhere. Make sure the place you start is the health Q&A.

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