Kinks and Tricks: An Intro to BDSM

Posted by Maddie V on

Put a Little Kink in Your Step

You made it! You have hurdled over the biggest step in BDSM; learning! Becoming educated about the ins and outs of BDSM. The key phrase in BDSM is "safe, sane and consensual," and we're going to go in depth into what that really means, as well as explore all of the tips, tricks and fun activities that BDSM has to offer. If you've heard the term BDSM before, you probably have a vague idea on what is really BDSM, and whats way too 'Fifty Shades of Unrealistic'. BDSM includes bondage and discipline (B&D), dominance and submission (D&S), and sadism & masochism (S&M). These letters are categorized together based on the variety of different activities that can stem from any of these categories; BDSM can be a lot of different things to different people with different preferences. The BDSM mentality is all about trusting your partner, and feeling sexy and powerful. It's a way for people to feel a powerful connection that they can control, and that is unique and beautiful to them and their partner(s). So lets start this beautiful journey already!

BDSM Etiquette

 Let's shoot down some stigmas before we begin our excursion into the world of BDSM. It is popularly perceived that those who are involved with BDSM in any form have had some kind of past experiences with abuse or domestic violence. This is false! That's where "consensual" comes in, every activity you or your partner think to try has to have the consent of the party. Play that involves any kind of pain or violence needs to be discussed prior to playtime. It is also believed that BDSM is something done between a couple. This, while true, is just one type of people who can enjoy BDSM. Anyone in the world, no matter their background or sexual orientation or how many partners they'd like to enjoy the experience with, everyone can enjoy and take part in BDSM safely! May that be with one other partner or six, and may this be a new partner or someone you've been very comfortable with for a long time! Everyone has the ability to communicate what they want, and BDSM is all about communication!

Another tidbit that follows the example of Safe, is to never bite off more than you can chew. BDSM is a beautiful array of different activities, and some of them just aren't for you sometimes. It's absolutely okay to pick and choose what types of BDSM you want to play around with. It is also okay to say NO!!! You do not have to partake in any BDSM if you're not so interested in trying it out. Saying no to something when it's too much or you just don't want to do it (in any variance of 'not wanting', yes that means even if you're a little uncomfortable. Bring up how you feel!) is always okay, and anyone who says otherwise isn't thinking about you or your well being. You also don't have to pick one label and adhere to that one label, once we talk about what BDSM means, you'll really get to understand the different varieties and branches of BDSM there are. Always ask things like, "is this too tight," "is this pleasurable," "do you want me to go a little harder/faster/slower?" It's so easy to hurt your partner on accident by not asking if they're okay with the activity or enjoying it, and its easier to mishear them if they're, say, gagged or occupied orally. This is why Safety Words or Safety Taps are really important to establish! A safety word should be set between your partners and agreed upon unanimously as to what the safety words or signals are. This is an easy but particular word or movement that either partner can say or do if they become uncomfortable with the activities, and might want to pause or stop completely (words like "banana" are better than words like "stop", because stop could be being used as a pleasurable word, instead of a real warning

Another great thing to keep in mind when entering this new world, is that you don't need a whole dungeon to quantify yourself as a BDSM-er. Toys are so much fun, but they aren't necessary in most BDSM play. A lot of BDSM is vocal or mental, its the point and comfort of being either put in your place or giving authority. You don't need whips and gags to make your partner obey your word (although, whips are effective in making that a little more expeditious).

Terminology and Other Words

We've talked about Safe and Consensual, but Sane is a pretty common sense rule of BDSM. Sane is a nice way to say "you may be braver when you drink, but you also let go of your real limits and can hurt yourself or others." When divulging into BDSM play you should always be aware and conscious, and it's a always a much better experience if you're yourself in the moment. The right mindset for BDSM play is super important in keeping your playtime safe, sane and consensual.

So we know what BDSM stands for, but what do the words in the acronym themselves mean? Starting with the sandwiched letters, D&S, dominance and submission is your easiest form of BDSM. This kind of play can form role play scenarios, where one partner takes the dominant role (teacher, master, Daddy, etc.,) and the other is the submissive role (student, slave, Little Girl/Boy, etc.,). This kind of play doesn't always have to have roles. You and your partner(s) can experience a simple Dominant and Submissive role, someone in control and someone being controlled. Playtime like this, though, should have some kind of recuperation period afterwards, some kind of coddling and transition out of the role play and back to a loving, comfortable atmosphere. Aftercare is as important as being safe before and during your session.

S&M, or sadism and masochism, refers to the joy taken in either receiving or dishing out pain, including but not limited to, whipping, spanking, using nipple clamps, or just restricting actions, like wincing. This area of play can also include humiliation play, such as using "negative" wordplay/nicknames, and go as far as full on degrading wordplay and activities. S&M doesn't have to be all physical pain, it can also be mental (referencing back to humiliation play). This can be a good example of the importance of communicating what you do and don't want included in your playtime. Some parts of S&M you might find enjoyable, like the name calling, but maybe humiliation is something you're not totally turned on by or comfortable with. It all goes back to trusting your partner(s) and communicating with them throughout the whole session.

All categories in BDSM can be experienced together if you and your partners want that, but Bondage and Discipline ranges and, really, is included in all areas of BDSM. In any area of BDSM, you use certain words, actions, toys, and have certain attitudes throughout your playtime, B&D simply refers to the type of play where one partner enjoys being tied up/restrained, and the other takes joy in tying their partner up and pleasuring them as they see fit.  Using toys or play like hogtying, door swings, collars and leashes, ropes and cuffs are all awesome methods to experience your kink. If you're more into B&D, this is the kind of play where using toys is the best way to take your playtime to the next level! Simply having a partner tied up can allow a whole world of sexual favors to be done, and you never know what toy could be pulled out at a moments notice! The Discipline part of B&D is a little vague, but refers to the "punishment" part of the play. Every action, in one way or another will require a punishment or a reaction from the partner. Punishment should be something a partner wants to experience, and not so much an actual punishment for their actions. For example, the Dom could set the Sub up for failure so they get the satisfaction of punishing the Sub, or vice verse, the Sub disobeys their Dom's orders in order to get the treatment they want (to be punished). This can include anything, such as being ignored, whipped, being told not to ejaculate until permission is given (it is extremely common for the Sub in the situation to purposefully disobey their Dom in order to get the treatment or punishment they want.)

 Tips for Toys

Having some toys to play with is always the most exciting part of play time! Because BDSM is such a wide variety of play, there is a whole world of toys to pick and choose to add to your toy box. A good suggestion to start with, no matter what branch of BDSM you'd like to experiment with first, is an easy restraint to play with. There is a special bondage tape that is self adhesive, so it only sticks to itself and doesn't grab hairs or leave gross sticky marks. There are also just cuffs, and even they have a bunch of different ways to use them. Cuffs can be worn on the ankles and wrists, and many bed strap set ups either come with cuffs or allow for different cuffs to be used. The material that the cuff is made out of can be important information as well. Something like Quickie Cuffs are a great start for people trying out BDSM for the first time, since they are an easy set of silicone cuffs, and a more expensive leather cuff is great for a more experienced user. Along with bed straps, things like spreader bars, gags of all sorts, and swings are all really cool toys to try out. Swings can range from a simple door swing to a fully secured ceiling sex swing! There's all sorts of gags too, things like spreader gags, gags that just have a ring, gags with rubber, plastic or silicone balls(or even jaw breakers; yeah! Candy!) but really the world can be your gag. Things like underwear, lingerie, neckties or pantyhose can be used as well. When toys are involved, the world is always your oyster.

Something to always consider is where to restrain and where not to restrain. There are so many things in BDSM that you must talk about doing and not doing. Setting boundaries is super important! Places like joints, places where there are important organs underneath (lungs, guts, kidneys) and the neck area are places to either avoid or use extreme caution when trying to restrain. No matter what, when you're playing with restraints you want to be aware of the color of the area you're restricting, as well as just making sure your partner can move fingers and toes. This is an easy way to tell if restraints are put on too tightly; if your fingers or toes, whatever smaller body part or digit that's at the end of what you're restraining, have a hard time or just can't move with the restraint, it is waaay too tight!

 One of my favorite BDSM toys to use has got to be whips! The word whip is an umbrella term when it comes to these toys because there are a lot of different varieties of whips that can vary in intensity, sound and use. Toys that fit the whip description are things like canes, floggers, ticklers, both elastic and feather, riding crops and paddles. They all fall into two kinds of categorizes of whips when it comes to pain: firm and flexible. Firm whips would include, but are never limited to, riding crops, canes and any paddle with a solid head on it (household items aren't excluded here! Belts, spoons, hair brushes, and rulers are all awesome makeshift toys, just pay good attention to how, where, and how hard you're hitting your partner). Even firm whips can vary in exactly how harsh they are against the body. Certain floggers like horse tail floggers are much more intense than, say, a leather flogger. This is why its always an awesome idea to buy things that you'll be lashing someone with in person, so you personally can test out how hard the impact is before you even purchase your first toy. Some examples of flexible whips can include floggers and riding crops from before, but these toys have one specific difference. More flexible riding crops and paddles will have a separation between the layers in the material, and will usually have a piece of paper between the layers. This piece of paper acts as a noise maker, so this is a good toy for someone who enjoys sensory deprivation. Sensory deprivation is a play that includes usually the Dom blindfolding and tying up their Sub, maybe even putting earphones on them with the Sub's music, to close off 3 whole senses. This then heightens their other senses and allows the Dom to inflict whatever sorts of fun pain or pleasures to their Sub.


Aftercare and Recovery

As we approach this section, it is very important to keep in mind that aftercare is something thought about before and during your playtime. If you notice your partner getting tired or fatigued, its a good idea to start thinking up a little list of things to bring them when you're all done. Water, a snack, a blanket and possibly an ice pack for any raised or bruised areas are great things to start with. After a long session, its good to recuperate with sugars especially. Its very common for play partners to experience fainting or lightheadedness during or after play, and if this occurs, the partner experiencing this should use their safety word or tap to indicate a short break. It is the job of the Sub and Dom to recognize uncomfortable signs of fatigue from themselves or their partners bodies and body language. This is another reason why communicating is so important. Not only safety words and commands/requests, but also basic sounds of pleasure. If you're so into your role that you don't notice your partner experiencing some discomfort and isn't making sounds that communicate pleasure, it is very easy to hurt them or go too far.

Aftercare isn't just physical either. BDSM is about being someone else for a moment and enjoying a unique connection, but we all have to come back to reality at sometime. Returning to your regular roles and actions is a great way to do this. Cuddling, coddling, pampering your partner, these are all ways that you can come back from your BDSM roles and put your Human costumes back on. Its a good idea to take the time to do something from your regular schedule, like put on a TV show or make a good meal. Comforting things after a scene is the healthiest way to come back to reality and recuperate. 

Tying Things Up

After this blog, hopefully you'll feel a little more confident to try out some of your own fantasies with a partner. BDSM isn't just a fun bedtime activity, its a lifestyle full of excitement, ready to push your limits and find your breaking point to ecstasy. Its a connection you form with your partner(s), a bond formed by communication, understanding and pleasure. Its a chance to be someone else, feel confident, sexy and in control.  There's no limit to the fun activities and tricks you can prepare, but of course always remember the fundamental rules of BDSM, being Safe, Sane and Consensual. As long as you and your partner(s) have those rules in mind, the sky is the limit!

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