BDSM 101

Photo Credits: Tenor

If sex had 31 flavours to choose from, would you choose to stick only to vanilla? You might have heard of BDSM from the immensely popular “Fifty Shades of Gray”. However, the book is very far from being a comprehensive guide to the world of BDSM. BDSM refers to- Bondage and Discipline, Domination and Submission, and Sadism and Masochism(Giving and receiving pain). It significantly rose in popularity with 50 shades of grey going mainstream. BDSM includes a very wide range of practices- usually, it involves some sort of exchange or power or roleplaying. A fetish, however, could be just about anything. Not all fetishes involve an exchange of power. It refers to a type of sexual desire linked to a certain object or scenario. For example, some people have a fetish for latex. Some people find feet erotic. Others get pleasure from being watched during sex. All of these can be described as fetishes. BDSM falls under this umbrella, and all of these activities are considered “KINKY”. Kinky is anything that differs from the norm and istotally acceptable to like what you like. People do not typically control what they are aroused by any more than they control who they are attracted to! So are you curious about experimenting? Here are some things to keep in mind. The ground rule of indulging in any sort of kink/BDSM is that it should be SAFE, SANE, and CONSENSUAL. The application of that rule differs based on what you are trying, but the foundation is that all the limits, what is okay and not okay, is agreed on beforehand. Boundaries are to be respected and if you plan to roleplay, you might want to use a safe word. A safe word is a signal that is used when you want to stop the scenario and not go any further. Another guideline before trying something new is to do it sober. Don’t drink and kink! Intoxication can blur the lines of consent and it’s always better to be safe! The conversation preceding the roleplay is called a negotiation. If you are a beginner and are not sure where to begin approaching the conversation with your partner, you might want to start slow and see how they receive it. Keep in mind that “kink” itself is a very subjective thing- something as simple as a new position can be kinky. If you are thinking of exploring BDSM, you don’t have to go full on handcuffs and bondage all at once. Build up a comfort level gradually. Another way to start incorporating kink is to initiate something new during sex and follow up, ask them whether they liked it. However, this is a better idea for a trusted long-term partner.
The starting point of these discussions is knowing what questions to ask, and knowing what you are into or would like to try. If you are curious about how to initiate this conversation or simply want some questions that will guide you, you can find a very comprehensive and helpful list here- http://msmorganthorne.com/negotiation-checklist/ and here- http://12tqmg2ez9fw1qesyy4bz407.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/bochecklist92012.pdf

 

Written by: Indraja Saroha

Indraja is a sex positivity activist and aspiring filmmaker. She promotes comprehensive sex education and open dialogue about sexuality issues on her YouTube channel, Liberating Sexuality.

 

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