SAFE, SANE, and CONSENSUAL

Welcome back! I hope you all had a safe and fun week. This week I want to talk about one of the most fundamental aspects of the BDSM lifestyle. The motto of Safe, Sane, and Consensual.

What does that mean? It’s pretty simple, don’t do anything that will place yourself or someone else in danger. Simple things that everyone should practice—if you’re going on a date with someone new, make sure to let a trusted friend know where you’re going and when you should be back. Have them check up on you, possibly have a code word you can use if you feel unsafe. If at all possible, take your car or have your own transportation. Meet in a public place. In BDSM terms, don’t play with someone you don’t know or trust. If you’re playing with a partner for one night, talk about everything ahead of time and don’t proceed until both parties agree—don’t be afraid to walk away if something doesn’t feel right. Make sure safewords are designated and used. Don’t jump into a Dom/sub contract right away. If you don’t feel safe—don’t do it!

 BDSM is often villainized as a lifestyle where women are taken advantage of by predatory men. I’ve heard stories from women about that happening, and I can assure you that behavior is in no way condoned or accepted as appropriate in this lifestyle. It is contrary to everything we believe. That’s why negotiations and vetting (the process a potential Dominant and submissive go through before they agree to enter a relationship. We’ll talk about that more later) are so important.

            Why is Safe, Sane, and Consensual important? Because many of the activities involved in BDSM have a certain level of risk involved. Both participants must be aware of them and have the opportunity to make a fully informed decision about whether or not they want to participate. This is also where honesty comes in, part of the safe. Each participant must be completely honest in order to keep play safe. That means disclosing health issues, fears, potential triggers, everything ahead of time, so there are no surprises mid-scene. The goal is to have fun, not cause physical or mental damage.

            One of my favorite activities is bondage. To me, there’s nothing like having my Dominant tie me in ropes, placing me entirely at His mercy. Mentally, it forces me to let go so I can fully enjoy whatever it is we are doing together. Sometimes he will add a blindfold to the experience. This is where my honesty comes into play and where I learned a hard lesson about not disclosing things upfront.

            From the beginning, the idea of being blindfolded was intimidating. I don’t know exactly why, but not being able to see made me feel really anxious. The problem was, I agreed to be blindfolded but didn’t tell my Dominant my hesitations. He went into the scene, thinking I was okay, not knowing my anxiety level was skyrocketing. I refused to call my safeword and ended up in tears. He stopped the scene immediately and provided loving aftercare. Once I was recovered, we did have a serious discussion about my lack of honest communication. We also talked about my feelings when I’m blindfolded. I don’t have a specific trigger, and that’s okay. Being blindfolded is still on my list of things I agree to, but now that He has all the information, He knows to check in with me more frequently. He lets me know where He is and will touch me more. He doesn’t let me go for any period of time without hearing His voice. It was a difficult lesson to learn and is a mistake I won’t make again. Had I not been with a partner I trusted, that situation could’ve turned out much differently. Honest communication between two partners helps keep everything safe, sane, and consensual.

            This week’s challenge—talk with your partner about trying something out of the ordinary. It could be something out of the bedroom like serving your partner their dinner or letting them order for you at a restaurant. If you want to try something in the bedroom, it could be something as simple as trying a new position or maybe some role play. Make sure your communication is open and honest. Respect each other’s boundaries. Always practice Safe, Sane, and Consensual. If you are comfortable, come back and share your experience with me, I’d love to hear about it!

            I want to give a shout out to Eden at Kinky Bones (www.kinkybones.co.uk) for the incredible picture of the dog tags. She has lots of great BDSM themed jewelry and accessories. If you’re looking for a gift for the Dominant or submissive in your life, stop by her shop and show her some love.

            Next week we’ll be exploring the process of Vetting a partner.

Until then, happy playing ~Tara

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