Let’s Get Deep: Beginners guide to BDSM

I have never been a person to pull out all the stops for Valentine’s Day. The most I have ever done to celebrate the holiday is wait for the discount chocolates on Feb. 15.

Often times, couples are trying to figure out what to get their partners, where to take them for dinner and how to make the day special. But I feel a sure-fire way to make the day special is exploring a new world of sexual desire.

BDSM, or bondage, domination, sadism and masochism, is all about trust and consent. There are some simple basics of BDSM that will take your sex life to the next level.

These are some beginner tips to exploring your physical relationship, and strengthen your emotional bond with your partner.

BEFORE:

Before taking the step to bring BDSM into your sex life there needs to be communication. Communication is key in relationships, and is one of the most important aspects of BDSM, so communicate first! Discuss any fetishes or kinks you or your partner might have and see where your interests overlap.

After deciding on areas to explore, it is now time to come up with safe words. Safe words are a single word or short phrase that signal to your partner the need to slow down or stop completely.

If your partner is going to be tied up or wear a ball gag, make sure to also decide on visual cues when they need to stop or take a break.

BDSM is ALL about consent. If there is no consent for the sexual act, DO NOT proceed. Often times the BDSM community gets a bad rap because outsiders often perceive it as violent. Although some kinks do have a violent nature, none of the acts are done without the consent of everyone involved.

Another precaution is telling your friends where and who you will be with and for how long. Encourage your partner to do so as well.

DURING:

Once you and your partner(s) decide what to explore and what safe words to use, it is now time to bring it all to the bedroom.

Hesitance can often lead to injury, especially in younger people with no BDSM experience. It is okay to be nervous and it is okay to start slow.

Rope is often a beginner’s go-to when exploring BDSM. When it comes to bondage, take it slow. Start with just tying wrists using scarves or soft rope. Make sure to tie the rope lightly — your extremities should not be going numb or turning blue.

If a partner is tied up, DO NOT leave them by themselves. If your partner is gagged, make sure to give them breaks. Ball-gags stretch out your jaw muscles and can cause discomfort after long periods of time.

If you and your partner have decided on using toys such as floggers, whips and paddles, make sure to stay away from vital areas of the body such as the kidneys, neck, face, head and the back of the knees. These can cause injury, and more often than not are far from pleasurable.  

If choking is something you and your partner would also like to explore, make sure not to take this action lightly. Most couples that do enjoy choking do it incorrectly, in a way that can cause damage to the larynx and esophagus.

When choking your partner, do not press flatly on the throat but rather use your thumb and index finger on opposite sides of the neck to squeeze lightly.

Asphyxiation play can be fun, but can also be extremely dangerous if you do not take it seriously. Just be smart and take it slow.

AFTER:

Aftercare is extremely important after what could be hours of intense sexual activity.

Some acts in the BDSM community can often drive your partner to their physical limits, but can push them to their emotional limits as well.

It is all dependent on your partner’s needs, but cuddling is a good start to aftercare — hold them tight, play with their hair, whisper sweet things in their ear. Let your partner reel back from being pushed to their limits.

Running a bath is also a good aftercare routine. Sit in a bathtub with your partner and enjoy scented candles, light kisses and caressing. After your first time, give your partner some basic aftercare. Once they have finally reeled back — discuss with them what they would like after the session.

The point of aftercare is helping your partner decompress and allows you to build a strong emotional and physical bond.

Communicating after a session is incredibly important. Discuss what you liked, what you didn’t like and what you hope to try next time.

BDSM is not for everyone and that is okay, but if it is, just be sure to do it safely and be sure to have fun!