The three common principles of BDsM

I’ve had a few requests for some posts about BDsM.  Some of you might know that I’m interested in BDsM.  I’m both a scholar who likes to learn about new techniques, fetishes and relationships and an active participant who likes to indulge in BDsM  play in the bedroom and in day-to-day life. I’m by no means an expert, but this is something that I’m fascinated by and passionate about. I’m happy to write about this part of my life as long as my readers are interested.  And since I casually mentioned it and got a few responses asking for more information, I’m guessing that at least a couple of you are.

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I thought a good place to begin talking about BDsM on this blog would be to introduce you to the three core principles of BDsM.  BDsM covers a vast range of practices, scenes, fetishes, fantasies, lifestyles and roles.  It can be something very extreme, involving complex equipment and dedicated participants, something light and gentle or anything in between.  Even though the scope of the term BDsM is incredibly broad, there are three core principles that apply no matter whether you’re tying someone up and hanging them from the ceiling or giving your lover a few playful swats with a hairbrush.  Those are the principles of Safe, Sane and Consensual.  These three words are the cornerstone of all BDsM play and should be considered very carefully by all players involved.

So what do I mean by Safe, Sane and Consensual?  Let me break it down for you.

Safe” means that you have taken into consideration the potential risks and how to eliminate or minimise them.

  • You understand any and all equipment that you are using during your scene.
  • You have practiced the techniques that you will use.
  • You are aware of what warning signs to look for that may indicate that your partner is in distress.
  • You are able to administer first aid or quickly obtain assistance if necessary
  • You have safety equipment such as rope cutters close at hand.
  • You have discussed any physical ailments or limitations with your partner.
  • If your BDsM play involves sex, you will practice safer sex.
  • Safe words or signals should be decided upon.  If the word or signal is used, play must stop immediately.

Sane” means that you are in a rational and clear-headed state of mind.

  • You will not practice bondage, impact play, sharps play or other dangerous scenes under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • BDsM should not be undertaken to harm another person, to vent anger at your partner or to exact revenge.
  • Proper aftercare should be employed to ensure that all parties are feeling safe and stable after play time is over.
  • The person who takes on a Dominant or Top role must be aware of the vulnerability of their sub or bottom and not take advantage of them or abuse their position.
  • Extra care must be taken if you have a mental illness.  Potential triggers should be discussed with your partner, as well as any additional needs or aftercare that you may require.
  • You must act responsibly and with self-control.

“Consensual” means that all activities are undertaken with full and informed consent of all parties involved.

  • All scenes are negotiated well before play begins.
  • Parties should discuss their limits and boundaries, and those limits should be respected.
  • Honesty is essential to achieve informed consent. You must not lie or mislead a partner about what you intend to do to them during a scene.
  • Make sure that you tell your partner if they are approaching your limits, or if they are doing something that you do not like.

As you can see, there is a tremendous amount of care and consideration which must go into the practice of BDsM.  The amount of planning and negotiation is proportionate to the level of danger or the degree of power exchange involved, but it is always a vital part of BDsM.

 

I’m certainly interested in writing more about BDsM or play.  If there are any topics you’d like me to touch on in future posts, please let me know.  As always, questions are welcome but I ask that you keep them respectful.

 

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5 thoughts on “The three common principles of BDsM

  1. This is a very good article for the uninitiated, as it provides facts that are both educational and, hopefully titivating! Communication is so vitally important with this particular lifestyle and that is clearly shown in your post. My own lifestyle of Dominant and submissive is based on trust, and being in a married relationship helps us achieve long term goals together. Happy spanking!

  2. Pingback: The three common principles of BDsM — Nessbow | cwa115's Blog

  3. I want to keep this posting at least semi-anonymous, but I would enjoy seeing more posts along these lines. The ‘matter-of-fact’ way you deal with these principles normalises what for many of us should be normal but can sometimes feel out of the ordinary. So, thank you! I really valued the link you provided to the Tina Horne site recently – I hadn’t come across those podcasts before and I am looking forward to viewing more of them and increasing my understanding of what motivates various fetishes. Massive thanks! x

    • Oh I’m so glad that you enjoyed this post. I definitely plan on writing more posts about sexuality and sexual expression. For me, sexuality is such a fundamental part of being human, and yet it’s still so shrouded in mystery and taboo. I feel that it’s super important to be able to discuss it in a matter-of-fact manner, to demystify it a little and make it seem less scary and intimidating. BDsM is one of those things that so many people imagine as being frightening and extreme….but in fact most of us have experimented with BDsM in our vanilla sex lives without even knowing it. Anyone that’s ever blindfolded a lover or cheekily teased with a bum-squeeze in public has dabbled in BDsM! I’d love to write more posts about this topic. If there’s ever anything in particular you’d like to read about, please let me know, I’m very open to reader suggestions.

      And you’re so welcome! Tina is fantastic and that podcast series is fascinating. I truly hope you enjoy listening to them.

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