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

Take a Walk on the Wild Side: BDSM for Beginners

Welcome to Take a Walk on the Wild Side: BDSM for beginners. No one can deny the 50 Shades Trilogy sparked the interest of millions of women (and men). It left many taking to the internet to search BDSM. I’m sure you all found lots of very interesting sites. Maybe you’re a romance reader who found my blog after you read my novel, or perhaps you’re someone new to the lifestyle and are looking to learn more—just for fun or because you’re thinking about taking the next step. Although this blog is geared to readers who are new to the lifestyle, I welcome everyone with all experience levels. My hope is we can all grow and learn together as we explore this mysterious lifestyle that was once only whispered about and is still shrouded in mystery

Let’s start at the beginning. What is BDSM? On its most basic level, BDSM stands for Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadochism, and Masochism. Wow, that’s a lot, right? But wait, there’s more. Most people think BDSM revolves around handcuffs, whips, and a lot of kinky sex. That’s all part of it, but did you know that many BDSM relationships don’t involve sex at all? Yes, some relationships involve only acts of service, sensual play, or mental acts. Everyone is different, so it’s only natural that everyone will fit into the BDSM lifestyle differently.

            For me, I’m a submissive in the BDSM lifestyle. I guess you’d say the roles of my Dominant and myself follow a lot of the traditional relationship roles in that He’s a man and a Dominant; I’m a woman and a submissive. Where that works for us, not everyone’s relationship will be the same. I’m also married to my Dominant, adding another dynamic to our relationship.

What does my relationship look like?

Think of a 1950’s style marriage—that’s where we fit. He’s the head of the household. He works, thankfully, from home these days. I don’t work outside the home. I take care of housework and laundry and make sure He always has what He needs. Before I go out or make any decisions, I always ask His permission. Nothing happens without His approval.

 We also have four young adult children—and yes, they know about our relationship. No, we don’t discuss what we do in the bedroom. They see a relationship where their parents respect each other, where their mom takes care of their dad, and their dad adores their mom. Honestly, I think it’s an excellent example of what to look for in a future mate, regardless of if they choose to enter the lifestyle themselves. One big thing you won’t see—I don’t do much cooking. My family prefers it that way. LOL

Many people would look at all that and think I’m being taken advantage of, but they’d be wrong. Before we entered into a Dominant/submissive relationship, we discussed everything, and I mean everything, before we came to any final decisions. Even though we’re married, things that are specific to our Dom/sub relationship are in a signed and written contract. It’s not legal, but it gives us concrete definitions. From time to time, when we both feel things need renegotiations either because there are things that aren’t working for us or we both want more, we go back to the drawing table and redo it. There is nothing in our relationship that I haven’t willingly agreed to. 

Which might leave readers asking, what do you, as the submissive, get out of it, because it looks like you are doing all the giving? That’s easy. He makes sure I know how much He adores me, that I’m His world. I know I’m cared for and loved by the most wonderful man, the most caring (and strict) Dominant.

Is this lifestyle for everyone? Nope, but if your interest is piqued, I want to challenge you this next week. Do something for the person you love that puts them before yourself—test the waters and see how it fits, how it makes them feel. If you’re comfortable, come back and share it with me!

Next time, we’ll talk about the motto Safe, Sane, and Consensual.

Until then, happy playing ~Tara