Intro to BDSM

The Basics

There are plenty of other explanations of what BDSM is and isn’t, so I’m just going to cover a few simple things to reduce any potential negative impressions on those who don’t understand.

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Informed Consent

The first rule is that everything is consensual, even the appearance of a lack of consent.  In one sense, this is a role-playing fantasy.  In another sense, we are getting in touch with a repressed part of ourselves that exists and seeks an outlet.  A surprising number of normal people, like many of your friends and coworkers, have a desire that somehow involves issues of power.

The fantasy might be Teacher/student, Doctor/patient, Master/slave, or anything else.  We seek out others interested in the same role-playing scenario, and then participate until our desires are satisfied, which could range from a few hours on a Saturday night to many years of 24/7.  The Dominant and the submissive choose each other, and enter into the relationship because they want to, just like the real-life counterparts they play.
 

Expectations, Limits, and Respect

The second rule is that both parties, the Dominant and the submissive, communicate what they do and do not want from the relationship, thereby establishing their expectations, limits, and building respect for one another.  This typically occurs much more frequently than in conventional relationships.  In my own experience, from reading and from participating in the local BDSM community (and just common sense), before any fun starts, the ground rules are established.  The Dominant goes through the list of usual activities and interests for his or her particular type of fantasy, asking questions of the submissive relating to things like sex, restraints, pain, atmosphere, acceptable public displays, demeanor, etceteras.  Since there are so many questions, it’s not uncommon for the Dominant to have the submissive fill out a pre-made questionnaire, though this does have the drawback of missing all of the non-verbal communication that would have otherwise occurred.

Since the D/s relationships, by their very nature, tend to restrict open communication, most Dominants schedule a recurring interview, where both people step out of their roles and discuss the successes and difficulties of the existing arrangement, and make changes.  Interviews come frequently in the beginning, but as the people involved learn more about each other, the frequency naturally decreases.

Unlike in the movies and erotic literature, a breech of the agreement between the Dominant and submissive is a breech of trust, and damages the relationship, often to the point of destroying it completely.  This is the real-life consequence of a real-life violation of trust.  No fantasized control is bigger than reality.

Conclusions

Properly handled (and that’s the purpose here), BDSM is not abusive; it is not hateful; it not unethical or immoral.  Participants in the lifestyle do so because they want to.  We like it.  Personally, I think it serves a more significant purpose than simply an unconventional entertainment.  Many feel much more like themselves when role playing than in real life.  Perhaps it helps people find a balance in their lives, and therefore serves as a kind of psychological therapy.

Whatever the case may be, people’s lives are their own, to live in whatever way they choose, so long as their actions do not violate the rights or freedoms of any other.  We choose differently.  Please respect that.


One Response to “Intro to BDSM”

  1. Nice post

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