This latest installment of our 'Get a taste' series is an introduction to the world of BDSM, the acronym for the combined activities of bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism. That's a big list, so we'll focus on the basics of the scene as a whole and how you can try it for yourself.
In very simple terms, BDSM is all about domination and submission, or the power play between partners. The partner who performs a dominant role is often known as a 'Dom', while the submissive partner is known as a 'sub'. Though, these roles are by no means set in stone and can be 'switched' as and when you like.
Bondage is something we've already looked at in more detail in a previous 'Get a taste' article. It's often what most people have in mind when they think of BDSM. It's the loss of physical control on the part of the sub, at the hands of the Dom, and involves them being partially or completely bound with materials such as cuffs, rope, metal restraints, body wrap or tape.
The discipline part of BDSM revolves around rules and punishments that govern the play. Rules are set by the Dom for the sub to obey, and punishment is handed out if and when the rules are broken. The sub receiving punishment is often the aim for both, so the rules might intentionally be impossible to follow.
Sadism and masochism delve further into the acts of inflicting and receiving pain for sexual pleasure – sadists enjoy causing pain to others while masochists revel in having pain inflicted upon them. S&M goes beyond simple pain however, and guys may indulge in bondage, humiliation, teasing, torture or any type of suffering to heighten or substitute sexual gratification. The key aspect is that the pain is delivered or received as a form of punishment or control, acting as part of a power roleplay between a Dom and a sub.
Experimenting with BDSM
For newcomers to BDSM, the most important thing to be sure of is that you and your partner are both happy to give it a go, as mutual consent is absolutely crucial. You should never participate in any aspect of BDSM with someone you don't know or trust.
You've probably heard of the term 'safe word'. It's important with BDSM to have a pre-agreed word, phrase, sound or symbol that either one of you can use if you're reaching the limit of what you can cope with.
Introducing BDSM play can be as accessible as simply blindfolding your partner to heighten the senses and increase anticipation. Moving on, there's a massive amount of toys and equipment available for all levels of play intensity, from feather-embellished ticklers, spanking paddles and floggers, to door jam cuffs and under the bed restraints. These can be used alone or in combination to enhance the play scenarios.
Try starting with a tickler or spanker used lightly to begin with, and try not to concentrate on one particular area. Increase the force, pressure and intensity of strokes only once you're both happy with it. When spanking, slapping or pinching your partner, build up the pain level gradually and be careful never to go so far as to cause injury. Go slowly and give yourselves time to explore what feels good.
If you're using restraints of any kind, remember to never leave your partner bound or tied up alone for any prolonged period of time, and make sure that their circulation is never restricted.
When it comes to the psychological aspects of BDSM, remember to limit any potentially abusive behavior strictly within the context of play. S&M between consenting partners can be gratifying, but should be kept within the confines of your dominant and submissive roles and should end when the play is over.
There's a huge amount of scope with BDSM and one of the best ways to find out more is to talk to other Recon members already taking part in the scene. Reach out to the community to discover more about BDSM in practice.
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