Bedroom Insider

A blog about relationships, intimacy and sex toys.


Monday, February 29, 2016

Safety and BDSM Play

Hot Passionate Lovers at Night

BDSM might look extreme and fantastic to those on the outside. For those in the know, however, it's well thought out and every precaution is taken to ensure that a scene is safe for everyone involved. In fact, it's wise not to play with anyone who won't discuss safety in regards to BDSM or prepare for potential negative outcomes!

The first line of safety available to you when engaging in BDSM is the safe word. This is something you can say – or a small but clear action – that lets your partner know when things are becoming too intense or when play must stop immediately. Although it's typically the bottom or sub who uses safe words, it's perfectly fine for a dominant or top to use a safe word to halt play, especially for those who are less experienced.

There's no ideal safe word, but you want something that you can easily remember and say even during intense play. Short safe words are better, but “No” and “Stop” are generally not a good idea, especially if you're experimenting with forced play. Furthermore, avoid a safe word that rhymes with any word you wish to avoid because they could become confused during your scene.

One system that works possible is the red/yellow/green system. When a dominant checks in, the submissive can respond with the appropriate color. Green indicates all safe, yellow indicates that you're approaching a limit so stimulation shouldn't escalate, and red implies that things need to halt. There's no need to wait until your partner checks in, however. Whenever you need things to stop, you use that safe word!

If you or your partner is gagged or otherwise unable to speak, a verbal safe word isn't an option. During these times, an action can become a substitute. Common examples include dropping a ball or ringing a bell. Anything that creates enough motion or sound to attract the other person's attention.

Safe words are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to safety in BDSM. For starters, they recall you to be conscious and aware of your status. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. You should always be prepared for the worst possible scenario. This is why many BDSM players create first aid kits complete with everything they may need in a kinky emergency. Like your safe word, you might never need to use it, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Your kinky first aid kit may include a number of typical items – bandages, non-latex gloves, Hydrogen Peroxide, gauze, medical tape, antibiotics, rubbing alcohol or alcohol swabs, pain killers, hydrocortisone and more – but there are a few items you can add. These include hot and cold packs, lube, potassium supplements, condoms and even burn treatment.

Keep your specific medical history in mind. Someone who suffers from low blood sugar or asthma, for example, might also want to keep their specific medical implements nearby. Pillows can help make it easier for someone with arthritis to remain comfortable for long periods of time, and they're not a bad idea even if you don't have such a condition.

A pair of scissors is also important, and medical scissors like the type used by EMTs can especially come in handy if you need to cut bindings. These have a safe edge that can be placed against someone's skin without cutting them, but left-handed people might want to invest in a medical scissors made specifically for them. Some kinksters only use bondage items that can be cut through or cuffs that come with a quick release. Should your partner have a stroke or heart attack, releasing them as soon as possible may mean the difference between life and death.

Keep a few other items on hand for aftercare, even if you don't need them for safety's sake. These items may be:
  • A blanket
  • A bottle of water
  • A protein bar
  • Eye drops
  • A flashlight
  • Towels and washcloths
  • A way to dispose of sharp objects
It's also recommended to keep a phone nearby in the event that you need to call for help. Because emergencies may arise, you never want to leave someone fully bound who is not able to make a phone call. However, voice assistants such as Siri add one more level of safety to BDSM.

Assuming you have everything you need to safely play, you might want to jump into things. But wait a second! Do you know that some of the things you want to do with or to your partner might be dangerous? Flogging can lead to internal damage, playing with electricity might interrupt a person's normal heart functions and the wrong type of restraints can cut off circulation.

There's a difference between the bruises you want to give – or receive – and the marks that indicate your good time went bad! To prevent this from happening, experienced kinksters have curated all sorts of advice, and we've got some of the most important here for you.

  • Don't use silk or satin to bind. This means no scarves or tries, which can constrict as your partner struggles. Rope from the hardware store is better. Leather or nylon cuffs are designed not to constrict, and metal handcuffs will stay in place. However, metal can chafe after a while.
  • Avoid organs during impact play. The butt, back of thighs and other fleshy parts are ideal targets because a flogger or paddle won't make contact with the kidneys or an exposed part of the skeleton such as the tailbone. Practice your art on a pillow. This is especially important for toys with longer tails that can wrap around and inflict pain where you don't expect them. Before you use any toy on another person, use it on yourself so you're aware of the impact.
  • Don't mix drugs or alcohol and BDSM. Doing so can impair your judgment and slow your reaction times, which might be a crucial difference if something goes wrong.
  • Choose the right support. At best, hanging someone from something that wasn't intended to bear weight might mean drywall comes toppling down. But pulling a pipe out of your wall or having a ceiling collapse on you and your partner is less than ideal. This is why it's important only to suspend people from furniture and hardware that's absolutely capable of holding their weight.
  • Leave the throat be. Some people like the feeling of a hand around their throats and others enjoy being choked until they pass out. However, any type of choking can be incredibly dangerous no matter how short it lasts or how experienced you think you are. 
  • Never leave a bound person alone. No explanation needed.
Of course, these are just a few of the pieces of good advice you should heed if you want to experience BDSM safely. As you become more involved with BDSM, you can rely on your instincts to better understand your own body and needs as well as your partner's. Ignoring these common sense guidelines can lead to injury or a negative experience that ruins BDSM for you for the foreseeable future.

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r

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