5 Things to Consider when Exploring BDSM

When it comes to BDSM, it is important to understand this form of sexual expression. Here are five things to consider when exploring BDSM.

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you must make sure that you are on the same page

If you have ever fantasised about spicing up your sex life, you may have considered exploring BDSM.

BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Machoism) refers to a range of sexual acts and elements that can be used to add something extra to your sex life.

One of the most popular introductions to this way of exploring sexuality was presented in the Fifty Shades of Grey series of books and films.

But fiction does differ from reality immensely. And practising something new in your sexual relationship like BDSM does come with its safeguarding to ensure you enjoy the experiences.

Awareness of BDSM in South Asia, especially India is very gradually increasing, where couples are discovering ways to enhance their sex lives with sex toys, costumes and being more open about their sexual desires.

Majority of it is influenced by western practices of BDSM.

A well-known Indian BDSM submissive, Asmi, has been open about her BDSM practice and has written books on the subject.

BDSM can give you the chance to try out any sexual fantasies, kinks and fetishes that you (or your partner) may have in a safe and comfortable environment.

But for some, it is even a way of life and many in BDSM communities are very much dedicated to their ‘doms’ and ‘subs’. Where men and women can be dominants or submissives.

Having a BDSM session can involve Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism or Masochism.

The session allows the couple to engage in fetishes, kinks and pleasurable sex which is perhaps not so vanilla (sexual activity which is ‘normal’ and not BDSM).

It’s often about pushing sexual boundaries and trying experiences which you may find incredibly enjoyable or a ‘tried it once and not doing it again’ activity.

But, where do you start?

We look at five things to keep in mind when exploring BDSM.

Talk Limits

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Before you and your partner begin to explore anything regarding BDSM, or anything sexual at all for that matter, you must make sure that you are on the same page.

The ‘S’ and ‘M’ aspects of BDSM involve the giving and receiving of pain.

There are areas of BDSM that focus on dominance, submission and pleasure from pain.

According to Asmi, it is important to define limits which both of you are completely comfortable with.

For example, here are points which can help you agree limits when it comes to pain.

  • If you are into pain, then what kind of pain? Is it using clamps, impact play or emotional pain?
  • Do you enjoy impact play?  Which can include spanking, face slapping, using a cane, whip or paddle?
  • Are you only into physical pain but not the degrading kind? Which limits many extremes of BDSM?

Asmi says:

“This is what defining limits does to you. You actually end up identifying what will and will not work for you and your partner.”

Therefore, it is important to make sure that you are not putting your partner or yourself at any risk.

So talk things through with your partner first, agree on consent and ensure that any aspect of BDSM you explore is something you are happy to do or try out.

Have a Safe Word

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After agreeing on limits, having a safe word or set of safe words ensures good clear communication during a BDSM session.

The safe words help define the thresholds of discomfort for both parties.

Use of Safe words is a way to make sure you understand how you are both feeling. They can also prevent you from hurting each other.

Some people like to use simple language such as ‘stop’, ‘keep going’, or even a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Others use traffic light colours, red means ‘stop immediately’, amber to ‘slow down’ or ‘feeling uncomfortable and green means everything is ‘still totally pleasurable’.

The names of fruits are popular safe words as well such as pineapple, peach and mango.

Whichever you decide to use, keep it simple to avoid any miscommunication.

Under no circumstances, should any activity continue when the safe word is uttered telling a partner to stop.

This is very important if you are practising a more intense aspect of BDSM, or even just starting out.

So, it is important to be able to communicate with your partner on how you are feeling and vice versa using a safe word or set of words to control the activity.

Some people also agree on a ‘safe gesture’ as a substitute for a safe word. This is when the activity could involve a partner not being able to speak e.g. gagging.

This could be a hand movement, eye movement or use of an object to execute the ‘safe gesture’.

Different Aspects of BDSM

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Introducing BDSM into your relationships means that any sexual activity you do is around ‘BD, Ds or Sm’. Otherwise, it is not BDSM but what is vanilla sex.

Popular types of BDSM activities include:

  • Bondage – this includes typing up or creating some kind of restriction using a restraint
  • Impact Play – this activity includes slapping, spanking caning and flogging
  • Sensation – this is when you use accessories on the skin such as feathers, a paddle, burlap and hot wax
  • Sensory deprivation – where you stimulate a person using blindfolds, earmuffs or earplugs.

Therefore, especially in the beginning, both you and your partner need to decide what you want to do to each other and which aspect of BDSM you want to try.

Bondage (B), for example, does require tying up the partner using rope or handcuffs. Therefore, it’s important to use the right type of rope or handcuffs which are ideal for this activity.

So buying the right accessories and toys for your BDSM sessions also is part of the excitement and build-up.

There is room to experiment with certain roles and scenes.

The ‘Dominant and Submissive’ (‘dom’ and ‘sub’) aspect of BDSM can be a way for you and your partner to determine the roles you want to play in the bedroom or even outside.

You can decide whether you like to be controlled, or if you like being in charge.

Being a ‘dom’ is about inspiring the partner who is the ‘sub’ to engage in the activity and not forcing them to do it. The activity may not even be sexual such as dressing up in a certain way or roleplay.

Some couples experiment with BDSM activity throughout the day where a ‘sub’ may do something the ‘dom’ desires. For example, not wearing underwear all day.

Discovering new types of arousal can happen in the ‘dom’ or ‘sub’ state or even both.

A BDSM session allows the couple to use BDSM to express their specific sexual desires, kinks or fetishes.

Respect and Expectations

 

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Respect is extremely important when exploring BDSM in a relationship. This relates to limits and which aspect of BDSM you are doing.

BDSM is made up of countless sexual activities that range from mild to extreme.

You need to take your time when trying any of the different kind of BDSM activities.

Expectations are dangerous. Just because it might look great in a video clip it does not mean your partner will like it.

Therefore, if a partner does not enjoy what you are doing, you do need to respect it and stop.

Hence, it is easy to let your imagination run away with you, and lead you to try something that you or your partner are not ready for.

Doing things correctly is essential as well.

For example, tying a rope too tight or on the wrong part of the body can be dangerous, spanking wrongly can hurt immensely and overdoing an activity can be off-putting.

If you do not do something the right way, you could risk hurting yourself or your partner.

So, take it slow. Try things and understand that not everything in BDSM will be to your taste or that of your partner.

Enjoying the Experience

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BDSM can be a daunting concept at first, and you may make some mistakes.

Learning to enjoy new sexual experiences should always be the most important part of the BDSM activities you explore.

Exploring feelings, sensations and newly found desires are all part of the process, while you have the limits and boundaries you agreed.

If you are looking at trying BDSM for the first time, experts advise that you read a well-written book or guide, listen to a specialist podcast or watch informational videos on YouTube.

It’s best to learn how to try this type of sexual expression safely.

An important part of the process is learning about yourself, and being in tune with your own sexual kinks as much as your partners.

The best way to find out what you like and what you are comfortable with regarding BDSM is to experiment. So enjoy it, and enjoy exploring a new level of intimacy with your partner.

To find out more about how much your interest in BDSM is mild, medium or serious, you can take this test bdsmtest.org which reveals the areas of BDSM you might be more interested in.

BDSM is all about exploring a new way of sexual expression between you and your partner, so do not be afraid to see it as something which might awaken your sex life.

Louise is an English with Writing graduate with a passion for travel, skiing and playing the piano. She also has a personal blog which she updates regularly. Her motto is "Be the change you wish to see in the world."