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BDSM – safe, consensual

Rope

Let’s have safe, consensual BDSM.  That means bondage/discipline, dominance/  submission and sadism/masochism.  By now, everyone has at least heard about  it, thanks to the notorious Twilight fanfiction,  Fifty Shades of Gray, which is a great  example of an unhealthy BDSM relationship.  Unfortunately, the book and film  industry is not concerned with representing  healthy relationships in any regard, so it’s  hard to point out any positive examples.  Luckily, we don’t need them to discuss it!

A healthy relationship is a positive one.  Both partners consider themselves equal  and contribute equally. Both partners readily  communicate on any subject, despite  potential awkwardness and both people are  accepting without judgment. Unfortunately,  popular fiction would have you believe that  BDSM requires one person to be unequal  and willing to subjugate themselves for the  other’s amusement. This is absolutely not  true. That type of depiction is equivalent to  abuse. While it may seem “sexy” when an  incredibly wealthy man ties you down for  his pleasure, it’s definitely not healthy.

Not everyone is interested in having a  fully involved BDSM relationship, which  is more than fine. BDSM can be for everyone!  Whether you enjoy dipping a toe in  the water or jumping in, everyone can  have a little fun. The most important rules  of BDSM are: only do it with someone  you trust, and always communicate everything.  While trust is crucial, love is not. It  doesn’t have to be with someone you love,  but often trust and love coincide. With this  trusted person, you must discuss everything.  There should always be a discussion  before and after any “scene”. A scene being  the sexy, fun thing you’re going to try.

Ask each other some important questions  before starting, and set some boundaries  and guidelines. What are your goals?  How do you expect to achieve them? How  will you track your progress? How will you  signal when you want to stop? After a thorough  discussion, follow through with your  plan. When it’s done, step out of your roles  and take care of each other. Ask more questions.  What worked? What didn’t work?  You both need to be aware of how the other  person is feeling and make sure to never  leave anything up to guesswork. It should  be crystal clear.

So if you love when your partner  spanks you, tell them. If you’re uncomfortable  spanking, let them know! Don’t bother  pretending to enjoy something you hate –  you’re hurting both of you. The only real  enjoyment is from knowing your partner  likes it too. And don’t assume just because  you did something once before, means you  get to do it again with impunity. Talk to  your partner. As always, communication  is key. Just remember: take chances, make  mistakes and get messy!

– Arielle Trischuk

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