Consent... gain it. You must discuss what it is you want from your partner and what your partner wants from you. Consent is not a shade of gray. It is black and white and should be gained sober, alert and 100% confirmed by both sides every time, before you play. Consent is never bullying or manipulative. Consent is a straightforward conversation you have with your partner long before you engage in any physical contact. If someone tells you that they can’t be with you if you don’t consent to a type of play they like, that is manipulative and shady (I’m looking at you shady Mr. Grey) As a top, I always negotiate the type of play I will be performing with my bottom. If they don’t like something, we don’t do it. It is psychologically traumatizing to push someone in to a sexual act the are not ready and willing to perform. And don’t get me started on “slave” or “submissive” contracts. They are the lazy Dom’s negotiating tool, a way of saying “You signed, so I get to do whatever I want as long as you are with me” Really? So no room for growth on the sexual journey, huh? Just a signed piece of paper that has no legal standing nulling the bottom’s right to negotiate play in the future? No person with zero experience in BDSM should ever sign a contract because what you like and don’t like changes the more you learn about BDSM. I say burn the contract. It would be laughed out of court anyway since the law requires you to gain consent every time you in engage your partner in a sexual act. Every fucking time you fuck or play, your partner must consent. Bottom line. A partner who is unable to make you comfortable in your play every time, is not someone you want to be with because they are only concerned with satisfying their needs, never yours.
Safe word… use it. It can be unique to you or a plain standard “mercy”, but a safe word is a necessity if you are playing in BDSM, especially if you are new to this type of play. As a bottom, using a safe word in a scene does not necessarily mean the scene has to end, just that the play that you are engaging in at that time must cease because you have reached the limit of what makes you comfy. As a top, when the safe word is used, you must stop what you are doing, and check in verbally with your bottom. I personally like to check in with my bottom throughout the scene because I like to know where my bottom is mentally. If a safe word is used, I stop what I am doing and ask if they wish me to continue the scene. If the bottom wishes to end the scene, the scene is over. End of story. If they are enjoying the play, but not the intensity, I switch it up. Simple as that. If the scene has gotten to intense, but the bottom wishes to continue, I also like to take a second and apply sensual contact like stroking or petting to relieve stress and reset the brain before I continue.
If you are using a gag, never gag the person on their back, laying face up. They can asphyxiate on their saliva and die, which would totally not be sexy.
If you are using handcuffs, keep the key visible and handy, or prepare for a visit from the fire dept or an amused lock smith.
If you are tying someone, be aware of circulation issues. Tying them to tight or with thin rope can create permanent nerve damage. If hands are turning purple, you’re doing it wrong. First timers stick to silk ties or invest in a pair of bondage cuffs that have rings on them. Rope can be strung through the rings for safe easy play. And always have a pair of safety scissors handy incase you have to cut someone loose from their bonds.
Do not leave people alone in any kind of rope bondage or gaged. Bottoms who are bound in rope and gaged should always be monitored. If you are new to BDSM play, it is better to be in the room with your partner at all times until you both become comfortable with mind games like walking out of a room while your partner is immobilized.
Impact play is any play that involves the striking of another person, i.e… spanking, whipping, paddling, etc. And impact play is best when a warm up is involved. Seriously, your partner is not some high school bro you ball tap in the shower as hard as you can and then run away. If you care for your partner, want them to have a good experience, and want to impress them with your skill, you need to warm them up with light impact (light hand spanking is great for warming up the body) before you move to heavy impact. The warm up gets the brain ready for heavier impact and releases the endorphins we BDSMers love so much. So unless you’re a guard in an Afghan prison administering an “I don’t give a fuck” 3rd world beating, warm your partner up.
There are many different implements used in impact play and different intensities of use. In the BDSM world we classify implements as light to heavy. We also classify how we use them as light to heavy.
Some implements that are considered on the lighter side will be made of soft, pliable leather or fur and will not usually leave marks. I say usually, because if you are using something at a heavy intensity, it has the potential to mark regardless of whether or not it is a light implement. Heavier implements are made of wood or hard leather and will leave marks. The heaviest implements in the BDSM arsenal are synthetic (rubber or acrylic) or canes (all types). You should always confirm with your partner whether or not they wish to have marks before choosing which implements to play with or how hard to play with them.
Your hand, in BDSM, is also considered an implement. I have one of the heaviest hands in the business, which some people love. When giving a hand spanking, I always confirm with my bottom what type of impact they desire and if they want marks. I have done some of my best bruising with my hand. It is always a crowd pleaser. Hand spanking can be very intimate and are a great way to warm up your partner or begin your BDSM journey.
If you are doing impact play for the first time, it is better for you to stick to using your hand and or a light paddle. Floggers, whips or straps require aim and skill. Before I flogged someone for the first time, I was first flogged by my partner… repeatedly. Then, I practiced on the couch pillows for weeks to perfect my aim and technique. I also took classes on how to flog and whip. And finally, I practiced on another skilled bottom who was able to give me valuable feed back about what I was doing. If you are new, and insist on trying flogging with your partner without the benefit of a lesson or practice, then it is better to get a flogger that has short, soft leather falls (falls are the multitude of strips attached to the whip handle that create impact). These floggers will be easier to aim and handle and create less of a risk to your partner.
There are places on the body that you can hit with heavy impact, and places you can’t. With any impact that is med to heavy, you always want to avoid the kidneys, the stomach, the back or front of the knees, the tailbone, the spine, and the neck. If you are face slapping, go light and set your aim away from the side of the head by the temple or ear. The safest place to hit on the body is the butt or thighs. Riskier but ok places are the breasts, upper back, or genitalia. A good reference is the Monadnock Chart used by the law enforcement to guide in proper baton usage.
If you are using hot wax, the closer the drip is to the body, the more intense the sensation. Also, candles with a narrow taper burn hotter and more intense. Light intensity wax candles like religious candles are great for wax play, were as little birthday candles have the potential to scar you. And don’t forget that wax play is very messy, so don’t do it on the new silk sheets.