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In the previous blog, I discussed BDSM and what is involved in this form of sexual play. Rather than BDSM being abusive, as is commonly thought, this sexual practice involves a lot of open communication between two partners who trust each other. When a person is assured that no harm will come to them and everything that is being done between them is consensual, this kinky sex-play can be fun and is a form of intimacy for some people (Castleman, 2012).

According to statistics published in a study in The Journal of Sex Research, 47 percent of adults have thought about trying some form of non-conventional sex, and about 33.9% admitted to having tried it in the past. It was also found that more men rather than women fantasize about sexual domination, whilst on the other hand, more women were turned on by the idea of being dominated than men (Alberts, 2020).

To keep things safe and create boundaries, BDSM partners agree on a safe word that the submissive partner can use at any point during the activity, to let the dominant partner know that they want them to stop what they’re doing. They can then discuss the reason for the sub to invoke the safe word, and from there decide if they should continue with the activity or stop. A dominant who does not stop when the safe word has been said, breaches the boundaries and destroys the trust in a relationship, and no longer makes the practice consensual and safe (Alberts, 2020). A safe word can be any chosen word, but ideally should be different to words that may be said during the sex play itself like ‘stop’ or ‘no’. A safer word would be something unrelated, like ‘pineapple’.

Here are some important points to keep in mind in case one is interested in trying out BDSM:

– Get informed as much as you can about BDSM before trying it out. See which parts of it you are more into, and which parts of it you would rather not try.

– Find a partner who is trustworthy and whom you feel safe with. Make sure that all limits and safe words are discussed. An open communication is important. Let the partner know what you find acceptable and unacceptable.

– Discuss roughly how the scene will play out before it actually happens. This way, both partners have an idea of what is going to happen, while still leaving room for spontaneity.

–  Agree on a safe word that will be respected and used to stop the activities.

– Make sure that any equipment and props used in play are safe and sterile to prevent any injuries or infections.

References:

Alberts, N. (2020). What Is BDSM? Fundamentals, Types and Roles, Safety Rules, and More | Everyday Health. Retrieved 7 February 2020, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-sex/bdsm/

Castleman, M. (2012). The Truth About BDSM Relationships. Retrieved 9 February 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/all-about-sex/201206/the-truth-about-bdsm-relationships

Becky Faenza is one of the Triage Officers that form part of the Triage Team with Willingness. She is a University graduate, with a B.A Degree in Philosophy and Psychology, and also a Higher Diploma in Psychology (H.DIP).