Discussion in 'General BDSM discussions' started by Obedient Little Puppy, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. Most questions asked by newcomers to BDSM tend to be mainly in the same vein, so as has been mentioned by some members in the past, I think it's about time we made an advice thread for BDSM newbies to read before they make any posts.

    I am going to leave this thread open for others to add their own tips and advice (Sebastian, maybe you'd like to put a fully detailed version of your '4 aspects of BDSM' here, save needing to repeat yourself to different individuals).

    This thread is for basic advice, common sense etc., for those who are just starting out in the world of BDSM. People who may not have read up on the subject, or who need ther fears allaying, and so on.

    I am going to make this a sticky, for people to add to as they see fit.
  2. The main thing is, of course, communication. Talk to your partner first and foremost, make sure you are on the same page regarding ideas, concerns etc. Most of the time, until you do this, there is not an awful lot the rest of us can do to help.

    There are also several books to help people discover how to be a better dom/sub, and to help kinky people with vanilla partners who may have difficulty distinguishing between BDSM and actual physical/mental abuse. BDSM AND ABUSE ARE NOT THE SAME THING. For those of you who have recommended reading material for newcomers in the past, please list those books here.
  3. sillylittlepet

    sillylittlepet Active Member

    This is my favorite newbie website, plus it has tons of tips and ideas!
    The "Domming for nice guys" is a great article when showing boyfriends that BDSM does not equal abuse.

    Communication is the number one most important part of BDSM. Always be open and honest with your partner about what you like and dislike. Discuss your scenes after you do them. Even an experienced dom/sub hasn't learned everything yet, and they certainly dont know everything about you.

    Remember that both subs and doms have rights that need to be respected. Keep a safe word for stopping the scene, but it never hurts to always have a "go word" that the sub can use to tell his or her dom that they are okay and the scene can continue. This is a useful tool for nervous new doms who are worried about hurting their partner.
  4. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Well, if OLP has requested a full version of my standard post, who am I to disobey? (Well, I'm a dom and obeying subs is sort of inappropriate, but I'll do it anyway).

    Keep in mind that this FAQ is intended for those who are starting out in BDSM. Experienced practitioners may decide that they have the skills, training, and experience to play without the various safeguard recommended in the FAQ. As a newbie, you're not ready for that level of play yet. Start slow--you've got a lifetime to explore.

    As I see it, bdsm is divided into four spheres of activity, and understanding which of them you're interested in is helpful in communicating your desires to your partner. The four spheres are:
    1) Control: the dom gives instructions, makes demands, and calls the shots. This can be limited to the bedroom, for example the dom deciding what sexual activities and positions will be used, the dom demanding sexual service without reciprocation, and the dom setting up a fantasy that the sub must play out (pirate and captive, master and slave, rapist and victim, etc). But control can also extend outside the bedroom, up to and including 24/7 dominance, for example the dom expects the sub to do domestic chores, dress in a certain fashion, keep a dildo or butt plug inserted while out in public, use certain titles and rituals when speaking with the dom, and so on. In a 24/7 relationship, this might even extend to the dom making career and financial decisions that the sub must accept. This last is only for very advanced relationships, and probably isn't something that a new dom or sub should require.

    2) Bondage: The dom restrains the sub in some fashion. This usually involves physically tying the sub with ropes, leather straps, chains, cuffs and the like, but in more advanced play it can include straight jackets, sleep sacks, mummification with duct tape or plastic wrap, and so on. Sensory deprivation tools include blindfolds, ear mufflers, and hoods. Other, more advanced aspects of this sphere include suspension bondage (where the sub is suspended from hooks, pulleys, or frames), breath control (where the sub's ability to breath is restricted in some way or where smoke is blown into the sub's face), long-term bondage (where the sub is tied up and left for long periods of time), and chastity (where a sub is fitted with a device that makes masturbation or intercourse impossible). Be advised that while extremely pleasurable, bondage is also dangerous. The safety basics are not difficult to learn, but if you're interested in bondage (particularly as a dom, but also as a sub), you have an OBLIGATION to learn the safe way to do this before you start. Failing to learn the safety basics can result in the dom accidentally harming the sub with injuries ranging from the minor (small cuts, rope burns) to the major (dislocated joints, broken bones, nerve damage) to the severe (heart attacks, asphyxiation, choking on vomit, and death). This is not intended to scare anyone; with some common sense and a little reading, the real risks of bondage diminish sharply, but they don't disappear entirely.

    3) Pain play: The dom inflicts erotic pain on the sub. This includes spanking, face slapping, using paddles, crops, whips, and other tools, pinching the nipples and other sensitive parts with fingers, clothespins and clamps, slapping the cock and balls, and more. Sensation play involves inflicting intense, unexpected, or contrasting sensations that may be either painful or pleasurable, including hot wax, pinwheels, vampire gloves, ice cubes, silk, feathers, tickling, and so on. Cutting, blood-letting, branding and so on also fall into this sphere, but are obviously quite risky and not for the newbie. Pain play is also physically risky, so the dom has an obligation to learn the safety basics here as well. It is also important to understand that the purpose here is to inflict erotic pain, not just any pain. There is a tremendous difference between regular pain such as stubbing your toe or cutting yourself, and erotic pain, which is pain that floats on the pleasure/pain threshold. The fact that this is erotic pain is what keeps pain play from being simple physical abuse.

    4) Humiliation and verbal abuse: The dom degrades the sub in some fashion, including insulting the sub, talking dirty to the sub, forcing the sub into humiliating poses or activities, requiring the sub to be naked or wear excessively revealing, ugly, or baggy clothes, requiring a male sub to wear women's clothes (forced feminization), requiring the sub to dress in diapers or children's clothes (infantilization), requiring the sub to act like a dog, cat, pig, horse (sometimes complete with costume elements, cage, drinking bowls, food bowls, butt plug tails, masks, etc), pissing, shitting or vomiting on the sub (the last two being particularly extreme forms of play that are pretty uncommon), giving the sub an enema, and more. This area of play is less physically dangerous (although some activities such as enemas and piss play do have some potential health risks), but can be risky psychologically. A dom who enjoys humiliation needs to learn what kinds of abuse the sub can and can't handle.

    These four spheres overlap a good deal. Bondage and humiliation both have elements of control involved, and things like puppy play cross over into bondage when the dom puts the sub into a cage. Animal play straddles the line between control and humiliation--male subs (at least within the gay community) tend to view it as humiliation, but female subs tend to view it as control. Costume play can fall under control (dressing up like a pirate wench or a Roman gladiator slave) or humiliation (dressing as a baby or a pig) or bondage (leather, rubber, and the like have a restricting quality that I see as being a variation on bondage) or even pain play (having to wear extremely high heels, tight corsets, and so on). But recognizing that there are different types of bdsm play will help you figure out what you like and don't like. Enjoying one sphere of activity doesn't necessarily mean that you will enjoy any of the others. A sub might enjoy bondage but not pain play, for example, in which case the sub likes the feeling of being restricted for its own sake. Male subs typically enjoy humiliation more than female subs, but this is not a hard rule. And a dom or sub might enjoy mild play or one specific form of play within a sphere, but not others. Liking control in the bedroom does not necessarily mean that the dom or sub will enjoy control outside the bedroom or a 24/7 relationship. For example, as a gay dom, I enjoy bondage primarily because I find that it facilitates my real interest, which is pain play. So I like to tie my subs up primarily because I like watching them squirm as I torture their tits and balls. Simply tying someone up and leaving them there for a while bores me. I enjoy abusing and humiliating my subs. I like control, but I'm often a little overly cautious in that area until I know that my sub really enjoys being controlled.

    So do a little thinking about what appeals to you in bdsm. Break down your fantasies into their moving parts and ask yourself what arouses you about them. Recognizing the four spheres will give you a language to talk about your desires with your prospective partner and will help you avoid mismatches (I turn down subs who won't engage in pain play at all, for example, because I won't have fun playing within their limits). It will also help you realize that if one type of play appeals to you, other types of play in that same sphere might appeal to you as well. For example, if you enjoy the idea of being forced to act like a dog, you might enjoy other forms of humiliation or control as well.

    Also, it's important to realize that doms and subs have limits, and those limits have to be respected and negotiated. A dom may enjoy inflicting intense pain, but if the sub only enjoys mild pain, the dom needs to respect that. Humiliation can touch on very intense emotional issues and the dom needs to respect any limits the sub has there, including limits the sub might not recognize. And doms do not have to do everything the sub wishes. Some subs desire brutal, uncaring doms, but some doms want room to express affection toward their subs. A sub may wish for aggressive whipping or strict bondage, but a wise dom knows when to tell a sub that what the sub wants is outside the dom's current skill set. The more complex levels of bondage and pain play require the dom to have received training from a mentor, to have practiced and read about the activity involved, and to have learned how to do it safely, and no dom should engage in things like suspension bondage, whipping, or branding without receiving some training first, no matter how much the sub wishes for such play.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2012
  5. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    The basic motto of bdsm is, according to many who play in this scene, 'Safe, Sane, and Consensual' (SSC). (Yes, I'm aware of RACK--Risk Aware Consensual Kink--and Consensual Non-consent as alternatives, but this is a FAQ for beginners.) Anyone who is planning to explore bdsm needs to think about this motto. There are different ways to interpret SSC, but here's my take on these principles.

    Safe: Physical safety ought to be of paramount concern when playing. When a sub submits to a dom, he or she has a right to expect that the dom knows what he or she is doing and will not actually injure the sub. A dom has a very strong OBLIGATION to do everything in his or her power not to injure the sub. Bondage and pain play both carry physical risks, and anyone who wishes to be a dom needs to do enough reading, training, and practice that he or she can perform safely in these spheres. All forms of bdsm also carry some emotional risks; a sub may have a panic attack or a flashback in the middle of a scene. So this means that if you are interested in imposing bondage on a sub, you need to read enough about bondage that you know where not to tie ropes, what postures are risky, and so on. If you are interested in inflicting pain, you need to know where you can and cannot strike the sub. You also need to have your toys in safe working order, you need to have appropriate emergency supplies, which vary depending on what sort of play you are doing (for example, if you're doing bondage, you need to have EMT scissors; if you're going to do anything that sheds blood, you need to have bandages), and your toys need to be appropriately clean (to prevent the spreading of infection and the like). You also need to be prepared to stop the scene, regardless of how much pleasure you are deriving from it, if the sub indicates that he or she is in distress, or if you sense that the sub is having a bad reaction even if he or she is not asking for things to stop.

    If you're a sub, do not simply assume that your dom knows how to do what he or she wants to do; have a long talk before you play and find out what kind of experience the dom has. Trust your instincts and do not play with a dom who seems uncertain or willing to take excessive risks, because you're the one who is going to get hurt if the dom doesn't know what he or she is doing.

    Sane: This is the trickiest of the three principles to define. Many bdsm practices, such as fisting, fire play, blood-letting, and branding seem extreme to the point of insanity to those who are not interested in them. However, as I think of it, sane describes not the activity itself, but how it is done. An activity is sane if both participants (most particularly the dom) have thought it through and are approaching it with an solid understanding of the physical and emotional risks involved and are taking all reasonable precautions to eliminate or minimize those risks. For example, suspension bondage carries substantial risks to the sub--it places considerable stress on the joints, it includes the risk of falling, and in some cases it can cause heart attacks. But suspension bondage is sane if the dom involved has read up on it, has been trained in how to do it by an experienced practitioner, is using the appropriate safety techniques, and has equipment in good working order. If these things are not true, suspension bondage is arguable insane. Thus, the more extreme the activity or the greater the potential risks, the more difficult it is to do sanely. But even very mild bdsm can be insane if the sub is not prepared for it or if the sub has significant physical or emotional limitations.

    Consensual: This means that the dom and the sub have both consented to engage in the form of play in question. Although the dom does need to consent, this is chiefly an issue for the sub. A dom must never do anything to the sub that the sub has not essentially agreed to beforehand. Particularly when first starting out as a sub, you should be having very detailed conversations with your prospective dom about what you are willing to receive and what you are not willing to receive. Do not simply tell your dom that you "have no limits". Everyone has limits, and it is better to think about what they might be beforehand than to discover them in the middle of a scene. Doms have an OBLIGATION to respect their sub's limits; because the moment you inflict something the sub has told you he or she absolutely does not want, you have crossed the line from consensual bdsm play into abuse. It is wise to distinguish between soft and hard limits. A soft limit is something that a sub is uncomfortable with, scared of, or otherwise unsure of, but which the sub thinks he or she might be willing to do under the right circumstances. A hard limit is something that a sub is certain he or she does not want to do in the foreseeable future. Thus a sub might say that anal sex is a soft limit; he or she might be willing to be anally penetrated if the dom works the sub into the right state of mind. Typically soft limits are 'pushed' gradually, over the course of several sessions; the dom may decide that the sub is ready to move beyond his or her current soft limits even if the sub has not formally consented to a particular limit being pushed. However, if that sub decides to set anal sex as a hard limit, the dom has no business pushing that limit without obtaining the sub's consent. To anally penetrate the sub in this situation would be tantamount to rape. Over time, a hard limit may eventually become a soft limit and then disappear entirely, but many hard limits stay in place.

    One of the things that makes consensuality a challenge is that bdsm play involves the dom inflicting things on the sub that to an outside observer seem like unwanted abuse. No non-submissive person is likely to enjoy being tied up, spit on, whipped, and pissed on. But a submissive person may find such a scene pure heaven. And many subs enjoy struggling against the treatment they are receiving; subs frequently like the idea of being 'forced' into things, being 'raped', being deeply humiliated and so on. But it can be a challenge for the dom to know whether the sub is truly enjoying a scene when the sub is struggling or saying no. To help this, it is strongly advised that doms and their subs establish safe words, code words that enable to sub to tell the dom "please stop." Safe words need to be easily remembered, easy to say, and clearly defined. The most common safe words are the stoplight colors. Green means "I'm ok. Keep going." Yellow means "slow down, go easy, I'm approaching a limit but not quite there yet." Red means "stop what you're doing. I need a break." Some also use orange: "I'm having a physical problem (like I can't breathe properly, or I'm feeling faint)". During a scene, the dom may ask for a color check to make sure that the sub is ok with what is happening, and the sub may spontaneously use yellow or red as needed. Safe words help ensure that everything is consensual, regardless of what the dom and sub are saying and doing within the scene. If the sub is going to be gagged, and therefore cannot utter a safe word, some doms use a safe toy, an object the sub holds in his or her hand, which they can drop to stop the scene. Other doms have the sub make a particular sound three times in a row, such as fast exhaling, or a grunted 'uh-uh' or a repeated head shake. If the sub is gagged, it is extremely important that the dom watch for safe gestures, since they may be the only way the sub has to stop the scene when he or she is distressed.

    Another important aspect of consensuality involves appropriate partners. As I see it (and I realize that not everyone agrees here), all partners must be capable of giving mature, informed consent. This means that those under the age of majority cannot consent because they are not mature enough yet. This means that animals and the seriously mentally handicapped cannot consent because they cannot understand the nature of what they consent to. This means that corpses cannot consent. Thus all of these classes of sex partners are off limits in bdsm.

    Slightly trickier is the issue of consent in public play. Many subs fantasize about being publicly humiliated or verbally abused. But, as I see it, when you play in public, you are essentially drawing the spectators in as participants. Thus playing in public requires either that the spectators do not realize what you are doing or that they consent to be spectators. If you play some sort of obviously sexual game at a shopping mall, some of those who observe it may be offended or feel violated by being forced to watch, and that violates consensuality. So, no matter how hot you may find it to be humiliated in public, you must (in my opinion) play discretely enough that the audience does not realize what is going on, or else you must play somewhere where such games are tolerated or expected (such as a leather bar, a sex club, or a play party).
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  6. YourRhythmStickl

    YourRhythmStickl New Member

    How about a "cheat sheet" for whipping or a link to one? A list of all the materials and whips used for whipping/spanking and which ones are recommended. And a list of the body parts you should and shouldn't whip.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  7. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    The basic rules for flogging, paddling, cropping, and whipping are fairly easy to remember. The best target spots are the upper back, the pecs, the upper arms, the lower buttocks and the thighs--in essence, the meaty parts where the muscle acts as a cushion against the bone and organs. You don't strike joints. You don't strike the neck, the spine or the lower back or upper buttocks (remember that the spine extends down to the upper buttocks), and you don't strike above the neck with anything other than an open hand directed at the cheek (and don't slap if you're wearing rings on your hand). The belly is an iffy zone, since there are organs right below the surface--strike lightly (although some subs who tighten their abdominal muscles love to be punched or kicked in the gut). The cock and balls can be slapped, paddled or cropped, but if you want to flog, use a special cock flogger. Whipping is probably too much for the cock and balls. If using a flogger or whip, be careful about wrap-around--you don't want the end of the cord wrapping around and hitting a body part you're not targeting. Warm up with some light treatment before gradually ramping up to something rougher--progressively harsher treatment allows the sub to adjust to slowly handle more pain. And the dom ought to practice his or her aim with the tools. In particular, whips are very advanced--a novice should learn the ropes with paddles and floggers first before thinking about trying a whip.

    Any form of impact play can raise welts, and cause cuts and bruises. Pay attention for that--if you or your sub is new to impact play, you probably want to stop if that happens. Be prepared to dress a cut if need be. Any time you cut someone, there is some possibility of scarring, so if the sub has specified 'no permanent marks', it's best to stop impact play before you start seeing welts. (Some experienced doms may object that this is too cautious, but this is a faq for newbies, who should definitely be extra-careful until they have some experience and training under their belts, and start to get a sense for how impact play works.) Some people have very sensitive skin that welts and bruises easily, while others welt or bruise only with greater force; until you know which is true for your sub, play more carefully.

    After you've finished, clean your impact tools to prevent transmission of skin and blood diseases to the next person you use the tool on. Any time you draw even a little bit of blood, the tool needs to be seriously cleaned, and it is a prudent precaution to at least wipe down the tool after any session, even if blood is not drawn.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  8. Tumbl3

    Tumbl3 Member

    To add on to whipping I've heard that you should practice your aim with a pillow or something similar. It definitely makes a difference. I've been whipped before with someone who hadn't practice their aim, and they got my lower back. Needless to say it hurt like a bitch, unlike the safe zones. So, be careful, practice. If you have any doubts, practice some more! And practice it correctly lol.
  9. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Thought I'd add another 'big concept' to this faq, this one having to do with the most confusing and misunderstood aspect of bdsm, what I call the Outer and Inner Layers of BDSM. The Outer Layer is what's going on externally in a scene, what a spectator would see if they watched it. In this layer, the dom is taking what he or she pleases from the sub, who is forced to endure what the dom chooses to do. The sub is expected to please and pleasure the dom, and the dom may present himself or herself as demanding, cruel, verbally abusive, emotionless, and lacking in compassion for the sub. The sub has little to no power in the interaction.

    The Inner Layer, however, is quite different. This is the emotional interaction between the dom and sub, the 'deeper reality' of the scene. In this layer, the sub is receiving considerable pleasure from the dom's actions, physically, emotionally, and perhaps spiritually. The dom is concerned to please and pleasure the sub, so that the dom and sub are reciprocally concerned about the other's pleasure. The sub in fact has a good deal of power in the interaction, because it is the sub's consent that allows the dom to do what gives the dom pleasure. Should the sub refuse to continue playing, the dom is morally obligated to stop; in essence, the sub has the ultimate control because he or she can always end the scene. The dom's cruel, heartless exterior is part of what the sub derives pleasure from, because it enhances the feeling of control, humiliation, and powerlessness.

    Different doms and subs like different elements of these two layers. Some couples prefer to place the emphasis on the Inner Layer, so that the dom downplays the cruel persona in favor of a more nurturing and tender persona. Some doms wish to nurture their subs emotionally, while others place more emphasis on the Outer Layer and chiefly look for a sub who will tolerate the degree of control and cruelty that the dom wishes to express. Some subs want a dom who shows little emotional attachment or affection for them. Each dom and sub has his or her own balance to strike between the Outer and Inner Layers.

    So what does this mean for a newcomer? Several things. First, it means that if all you've seen of bdsm is the Outer Layer (which is what is typically depicted in film, television, and porn), you've only seen half the action. Until you start playing, you're a spectator, and you don't see the emotional interactions, the respect that most doms have for their subs. Don't expect real bdsm to be just the Outer Layer.

    Second, it means that subs have more power than you think they do. The sub always legally and morally retains the right to withdraw consent, and the dom is obligated to respect that. New subs sometimes talk about meeting a dom who gives them some of their sexual fantasies and then proceeds to make unreasonable demands, ignore them emotionally, and so on. The new sub asks, "Is this how doms really act?" The answer is that doms only act that way if they're focusing entirely on the Outer Layer. As a sub, you need to decide if you want a dom who wants your relationship to be entirely Outer Layer, or if you want something of the deeper Inner Layer. If all you want is a dom who will ignore your needs, treat you like a plaything, and make unreasonable demands, then by all means play entirely on the Outer Layer. But if you want to feel like your dom respects your submission, treasures you as a possession or plaything, and wants you to enjoy the whole experience, then look for doms who recognize the reality of the Inner Layer. When a dom treats you like crap outside the scene, exercise your power and walk away; you will definitely find another dom who will treat you better on the Inner Layer.

    Third, for new doms, it means that while you get to explore your dark fantasies, you need to realize that you don't actually have total control. The sub can always walk away if you aren't meeting his or her needs. So you need to pay attention to what the sub wants and needs and include those factors in your own plans for the sub. Ignoring the Inner Layer means that you're going to have a hard time keeping your subs, because the subs who want complete, permanent, and inflexible slavery are very few in number, and most of those still want to feel respected, listened to, and appreciated. Subs need to trust their doms, and that trust is built on the Inner Layer. Doms do not have an automatic right to be trusted by their subs; the dom must earn that trust through demonstrating a knowledge of safety issues, respecting the sub's limits, treating the sub with courtesy outside the scene, and so on.

    Fourth, the Outer Layer is, for the most part, the level of the scene. Unless the dom and sub are in a 24/7 relationship, before the scene starts, the dom and sub need to negotiate the rules and limits of play, and once the scene is over, the dom needs to provide aftercare, gently easing the sub out of whatever place he or she has gone. The sub may feel very turbulent and frightening feelings during a scene, and the dom needs to recognize that the sub's experiences may require help processing. Aftercare may be as simple as a quick hug or kiss and the dom asking "is everything ok?" or it may be as complicated as the dom cuddling the sub for a long time, talking with the sub about the scene, and reassuring the sub that everything is fine. A dom who is cruel and uncaring during aftercare is not a dom you want to play with a second time.

    Fifth, the Outer Layer involves a certain amount of role-playing. You're not really master and slave (since slavery is illegal); you're pretending to be master and slave (although in 24/7 relationships, the pretending runs very deep). So give some thought to your persona as dom and sub. What parts of your personality will you express as you play? Will you be a cruel, sadistic dom or a gentle, parent-like dom? Will you be an obedient sub or a willful sub that requires a lot of correction to tame? Different scenes may call for different personas, different types of play may call out different aspects of your personality, and different doms want different types of subs (and vice versa).

    Finally, the Inner Layer is the level on which dom and sub do their emotional bonding. As the sub learns to trust the dom (and vice versa) over the course of multiple scenes, the sub is more likely to be able to push limits, open up emotionally, and become truly vulnerable to the dom's desires. This bonding is what allows doms and subs to build lifetime relationships of love, trust, and mutual dependence. If you don't realize that the Inner Layer exists, you're less likely to find that deep connection.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  10. Tumbl3

    Tumbl3 Member

    Things to Be Worried About/Considered with your Dom

    For you subs out there who have questions about how your dom is acting, I've compiled a list of yellow/red flags. Please, other Doms/Subs add-on anything I miss.

    Things to Be Worried About

    - Little to no communication/avoiding questions. If your Dom is not communicating nor trying to communicate, that is a major problem and red flag.

    -Wanting to "Collar" you near the beginning of the relationship. There's nothing wrong with a training collar, but actually Collaring is a commitment akin to marriage. It is not something to be taken lightly. It does not mean that you are owned and that you now have to do whatever your master says. As many people have touched on and explained in this thread as a sub your needs need to be respected. The way I see it, you choosing to be submissive to me is a gift and a privilege. It is in no way an ownership as if I've bought you like a car off a sales lot. It is a commitment and a relationship, something to nurture and enjoy.

    - Your master wants to tie you up the first session you meet. NO. No, no, no, and no. There are people who seem incredibly nice and sweet on the internet, but as my mother taught me, just because someone SAYS something doesn't mean they're actually going to do it. Plus, on the internet anyone can seem normal. Look at me, on the internet I seem like a suave bad-ass domme with an amazing ass while in reality I am a clumsy, still learning domme with an amazing ass. :p

    - This isn't so much about a Dom behavior, but just something to remember: always trust your gut. If something doesn't feel right, if you feel red flags going up, be alert and don't do ANYTHING you are NOT comfortable with. Don't let any Dom push you into something you are uncomfortable with. The more someone tries to sell themselves to you as trustworthy, the less you should trust them. You can always find another master, and definitely one who will respect your wishes.

    - If you think your master is a wannabe or predator but you're not sure, ask pointed questions. Not just yes or no questions. Don't accept vague answers. A Dom who is worth their salt and is serious about the lifestyle will admit that they are still learning, will (try to) be patient and understanding, and will RESPECT you. If you feel uncomfortable they will respect your wish to stop, or they will respect your wish to go extra slow and easy.

    - Remember, you have ALL the time in the world with your relationship. Why rush it? A Dom who wants to rush into a 24/7 relationship (or again, collaring), usually just wants the "control" aspect of BDSM, without the respect or communication. I believe we call this abuse in most respected social circles. Never be in a rush. And you should never feel afraid or scared to talk about something seriously with your master. If you are, you might want to reevaluate your situation.

    Alright, for now that is all I can think of. Please feel free to add-on anything you think I have missed, or even correct something I've said. I want all of you subs out there to be safe, because you're all amazing people. And if any doms have any questions, don't be afraid to ask.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  11. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Really good points, Tumble. A couple of other important things to look for involve safety.
    1) Your prospective dom ought to ask you about your limits, things you are unwilling to do or receive from the dom. (For example, you might decide that bondage is out of the question in early play sessions, as Tumble suggests, or that you don't want to be pissed on.) If your dom doesn't ask about limits, or tells you that you shouldn't have or don't need to worry about limits, that's a bad sign. As a new sub, you definitely have limits, even if you're not sure of them. Your dom ought to respect your limits. And if the dom agrees to limits and then ignores them the first time you play, that's a very bad sign.

    2) Your prospective dom ought to give you safe words, code words that signal that you need to suspend or stop play. If your prospective dom doesn't give you safe words before you start playing, ask for them. If your dom says you don't need them or he or she doesn't use safe words, DO NOT play with him or her. Advanced d/s couples sometimes agree to forego safe words, but they are absolutely critical for a new sub, in case you start feeling overwhelmed, turned off, or too scared to play or simply can't handle the pain or humiliation.

    3) Tell your new prospective dom that you want to arrange a safe call. A safe call involves you telling a trusted friend exactly where you will be when you play with this new dom (including the dom's name and address). Your friend will call you at a pre-arranged time during your play session. If your friend gets no answer or cannot speak with you (or if you use a pre-arranged code word during the safe call), the friend calls the police and asks them to go to the play location and check on your safety. Any reasonable dom will agree to allow a safe call during that first play session. Any dom who refuses to allow a safe call is absolutely not to be trusted; find another prospective dom. This is a precaution that might save your life (I know of one female sub whose life was saved by this arrangement, and there are certainly others).

    4) Meet your prospective dom in a public location before you play with him or her. A coffeeshop or shopping mall is a good choice. Your dom will be assessing you during this meeting, but you should be assessing him or her at the same time. If the prospective dom seems creepy or turns out to be different than he or she said in your initial chats (for example, if he's much older than he said), trust your instincts and don't play.
    In general, any quality dom will understand the need to put you at ease and earn your trust. Although when a dom and sub play together for the first time, both are taking a risk, the sub is risking much more than the dom is (at least usually). So a good dom will be willing to discuss whatever the sub needs to feel safe and comfortable playing, and should agree to any reasonable safety precautions that you ask for.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2012
  12. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Let's talk a little about what BDSM isn't, because newbies often have enormous misconceptions.

    1) BDSM isn't domestic violence or spouse abuse: BDSM is consensual. If the sub does not consent to receive the dom's actions, it's not BDSM. It's abuse. Doms and subs often speak of 'abuse' because it's a way of intensifying the Outer Layer experience, but no true dom wants to truly abuse his or her sub.

    2) BDSM isn't about harming the sub: The sub must derive some form of physical, emotional, or spiritual pleasure and satisfaction from the activity, or it's not BDSM. It's abuse. The trick here is that BDSM isn't about pain as a whole; it's about erotic pain, pain that stimulates the body and spirit in a pleasurable fashion. Subs may love being flogged or tit-tortured, but they don't like stubbing their toe or twisting their ankle any more than anyone else does. Another important point is that a sub may not directly like a particular form of play, such as flogging, but may derive deep satisfaction from knowing that he or she has been able to help the dom meet his or her needs.

    3) BDSM isn't about expressing anger or hatred toward the sub: A dom's actions are an expression of affection and even love toward the sub. In casual play, it may be simply about the dom and the sub having fun and pleasure with no real emotional component, but a true dom never strikes the sub out of anger or hatred. In the Outer Layer, the dom may use angry tones, but that is to intensify the experience, not to express what the dom is actually feeling.

    4) BDSM isn't about contempt for the sub or misogyny: A dom must always respect his or her sub, and appreciate the gift of submission that the sub is offering. Verbal abuse needs to be pleasurable for the sub or it shouldn't be done.

    5) BDSM isn't about breaking the sub's spirit: It's about helping the sub learn to be the best, most submissive sub he or she can be. Different subs have different capacities for submission and service, and the dom needs to respect that. A good dom sees the ideal sub inside the sub in front of him and works to guide him or her to become that ideal sub. That's why it's called 'training'. BDSM is constructive, not destructive. (Having said that, some subs may have bad habits or stubborn feelings of independence that they wish to overcome with the dom's guidance. In that sense, they may speak of breaking the sub's spirit.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2012
  13. L8NightQ

    L8NightQ Member

    General Safety Issues for a Dom/me

    I Mentioned it in another post but thought it belonged here.
    Hope it helps.

    This does not cover everything (nothing does), but it does cover many of the more serious things a Dom/me should consider when working a session with a sub. Things like;
    Safe Words - and Gestures (for the gagged)
    Fainting and Falling
    Fires and Emergencies
    Medical Conditions
    Rope Burns and Splinters
    Strangulations, Choking, Breathing Difficulties
    Nerve Damage
    Where Not to Tie
    Harness Hang Syndrome
    History and General Issues

    I like this also because it covers something that many do not, and many of us have never heard of.
    Harness Hang Syndrome

    Many new Dom/me-s seem to find suspension so exciting that they move towards it pretty quickly, often without understanding anything about nerve issues, circulation, joint damage, or even how strong the rope and anchor need to be (a struggling sub can increase their own weight by a factor of up to 10).

    Beyond those obvious issues, harness hang syndrome affects people who are suspended with their legs down and immobilized. It can be fatal and can be caused by a simple suspension that looks like a beginner effort.

    Since I brought up suspension, I should include this link

    This is a suspension tutorial from John Warren's Lovingdominant site has several tutorials that are definitely worth reading

    If you are cuffing, tying, suspending, or otherwise restricting and immobilizing a sub, remember that they are putting their trust, and their life, in your hands.

    Start easy, and don't do what you don't know.
  14. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    A very good safety guide for bondage. In general, any time you run across a safety discussion, it's good to read it even if you think you know what you're doing. Every time I read a safety guide, I find something I didn't know. Any time you move out into a new form of bondage or pain play, you should do a good deal of reading first before trying it.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  15. L8NightQ

    L8NightQ Member

    Toy Bag Essentials

    Thought I'd give some suggestions to those who wanted to know what kind of toys would be nice to have for play.

    My toy bag is geared towards male domination of a woman, so your needs may differ.
    Many things have come and gone, but these things have to be around

    Rope 3/16 nylon braid or twist. 4 12 foot, 3 24 foot, 2 36 foot sections. Whip the ends so they don't unravel

    Training collar, preferably front loop and back D-ring

    Leather Wrist, Ankle restraints

    Carabiners 2 small, 2 large (real ones please)

    Cafrabiner Snap hooks Medium

    Bandage Sheers (safety pointed heavy duty shears)


    Ball Gag - small if for woman no larger than 2 inches

    Soft foam exercise ball (3 inch) to stuff mouth in on the fly

    Clothspins - regular laundry variety (get specialized clips and clamps as experience dictates)
    Pick out the ones with medium grip… try them on you first

    Lube (Water Soluble) - not the cheap stuff

    Insertables Vibrating Egg - waterproof, reinforced cord
    Insertables Cock Dildo, Ribbed Dildo, Vibe Dildo, (for beginners, no more than 8")

    Large Vibe - Hitachi Magic Wand (recommended), or large battery operated Vibe
    Extension cord (if you have the hitachi)
    Batteries (for other toys.... you don't want go dead in the middle of a session)

    Flogger, leather - similar to "Strict Leather starter flogger" (add on later)

    Small rubber Flogger for spanking smaller areas or breasts (be careful)

    Pin wheel

    Candles – regular household paraffin candles (2nd degree burns are no joke…. Know your wax)

    Saddle Soap, Bic4 or other leather cleaner and conditioner

    Toy Soap (anti bac) Keep your toys clean or they will hurt someone

    Please feel free to add your suggestions.
    Keep in mind that this is a beginners thread when you make your suggestions.

    Hope this helps.

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