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Are You Ready to Submit? A Beginners Introduction to BDSM

Are You Ready to Submit? A Beginners Introduction to BDSM

Erika Lust | July 07, 2020 | 7 min. read | Photos by Mónica Figueras

A Beginners Introduction to BDSM

Last week I released the first two episodes of my Lust Cinema Original mini-series, Safe Word (you can watch episode 1 for free here!). Safe Word is a porn for women that follows Christie (Mona Wales) as she starts a journey of self-discovery into the world of BDSM.

First, by testing the waters at home by watching a BDSM adult movie and experimenting with temperature play; then later visiting Madame Opal (Nina Hartley) to have a fetish session to find out exactly what she likes; before finally going to a BDSM party and being dominated by Mickey Mod. If, like Christie, you think you might be interested in BDSM but you’ve never tried anything before and basically have no idea where to start, then this is an introduction for you into the kinky world of BDSM.

I know that BDSM can be intimidating to newcomers, so, read on for the basics of what it is, get to grips with some new vocabulary, and learn some tips on how you might get started in this very pleasurable world.

Safe Word on Lust Cinema

What is it?

BDSM is an umbrella term that includes Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sado Masochism.

Misunderstood by a lot of people, and often misrepresented by mainstream media, there is no shortage of faulty information out there about the practice. Whether it’s that all BDSM involves inflicting pain on another person, or that all Doms exploit their Subs with no regard for their pleasure, most of the misinformed stereotypes are built by people who don’t know much about it.

In reality, BDSM is an exploration of power and sensation in a safe and consensual space. BDSM communities rigorously emphasise the importance of negotiation and consent, and teach tools to communicate your erotic and sexual needs more effectively. BDSM can look very different to different people. Some people may prefer intense experiences, while others prefer to keep it silly and fun. However you practice it, when built on trust, communication and respect, BDSM can be a very fulfilling addition to a healthy sex life.

Safe Word on Lust Cinema

Sounds good, gimme the lingo!

Bondage: Bondage is the act of tying one another up. In most cases the dominant partner is restraining the submissive using ropes, handcuffs, straps, or a piece of clothing if you’re on a budget.

Dominance and submission (D/S): A dominating person has control over a submissive person who follows their orders. The relationship may be purely verbal, shown through orders or name calling, or it may be physical with slapping, spitting, choking etc. D/S relationships are all about erotic power exchange, the dom does not have more power over the sub – everything is pre-negotiated and the sub sets their own boundaries.

Switch: A lot of people feel more aligned with being either dominant or submissive, but some people are on a spectrum and can do both – these people are called a switch.

Sadist and Masochist: Often confused and used interchangeably, a masochist is someone who gets off on receiving sexual pain, whereas a sadist is someone who gets pleasure from inflicting pain or humiliation on others.

Aftercare: The practice of checking in with one another after a scene/sexual experience and giving physical or emotional comfort to your partner. It may include cuddles, word of affirmation, offering your partner food or water, or just talking and de-briefing after your session.

SSC: Known as safe, sane, and consensual, SSC keeps you on the right kinky path. To follow SSC, ask yourself three things: Is this safe to do? Is it a sane thing to do? Do we all consent to it?

RACK: Another acronym for safety guidelines, RACK stands for Risk Aware Consensual Kink. This basic phrase outlines two of the essential components of kink, ensuring that everyone has consented to whatever you’re doing and that everyone is aware of the risks and how to prevent them.

Safe Words: If you want to take your new venture into BDSM seriously, come up with safe words for your sessions. Safe words should be used as a way to say pause, stop, or even keep going. Some people like to use colours like red (stop immediately), yellow (I’m uncomfortable or reaching my limit), and green (keep going!). You decide your own words.

Hard limits: Activities that are absolutely off-limits for you. They must be communicated to your partner before you start anything.

Soft limits: Soft limits are things that you are potentially interested in but feel hesitant about trying. Maybe in the future you will change your mind, but at the moment it’s a no. Your soft limits might change over time.

Safe Word on Lust Cinema

And, what exactly do I do?

There are different types of play in BDSM (‘play’ is used by the kink community to refer to any erotic activity). Read on to see if any catch your attention!

Bondage: As explained above, this involves any type of binding during play.

Impact Play: This involves any type of impact to a person’s body. It might be spanking, flogging, caning etc.

Sensation play: Sensation play involves any play that gives a person a sensation. Some common techniques include using feathers, ice ,hot candle wax, a wartenburg wheel or an e-stim toy to create fun sensations on the body

Mental play: Activities intended to have a psychological impact on those involved such as role play, exhibitionism, power play, or humiliation.

Sensory deprivation: Using blindfolds, ear plugs or other tools to mute one of the senses and in turn heighten the others.

Edge play: Edge play refers to activities that challenge and push the limits of what is considered safe, sane, and consensual. It’s largely subjective and varies from person to person, but it can be everything from knife play, to bodily fluids, to breath play.

Safe Word on Lust Cinema

How do I know what I like?

You should take some time to think and find out what types of kinks or fetishes you are enthusiastically into and at the same time it’s just as important to find out the things you don’t want to try under any circumstance. If you’re not sure what you like, take the time to do a bit of self-reflection. Watch tutorials, read articles and books written by those involved in the BDSM scene, and you can also take a BDSM test to determine what type of kinkster you are.

Before any BDSM play with a partner/partners there should be an extremely open conversation between everyone involved about what their preferences, expectations and limits are. For more intense play everyone should agree on a safe word or nonverbal signal. I really recommend practicing BDSM with someone you know and trust, who you know has your best intentions in mind and will honour your limits. Consent is crucial. Before engaging in any type of sexual activity you must ask/give for consent. Everyone involved should be able to express their explicit and informed consent, and the easiest way to do this is to ask. Everyone has the right to withdraw their consent at any time, without explanation, regardless of what they may have agreed upon in the past.

Safe Word on Lust Cinema

Getting Started

Remember that you can start slowly. To begin, you might simply try being blindfolded and let your partner tickle you with a feather, or lightly stroke your skin with a whipper. With some things, you can also experiment alone before you try them with a trusted partner. If you think you might like being tickled with a feather, try and incorporate it into your self pleasure session.

If you feel interested in practicing BDSM with other people but don’t have anyone in your life at the moment who is interested in it, then you might want to get out and meet people who do this stuff and can help you. You can search online to see if your city hosts a ‘munch’. A much is a casual social gathering for people involved or interested in BDSM to meet other kinksters, see friends and establish a community for themselves. It is usually held in an informal setting such as a restaurant, pub or cafe.

This is a very small introduction to the big world of BDSM, if it has piqued an interest in you then you should continue your learning and exploration! Get started on your journey by watching the first episode of Safe Word for free now!

Erika Lust is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, and writer who's focus on female pleasure, cinematic values, and ethics in adult cinema have helped to change how pornography is consumed. Erika Lust Films was born in 2004 and since then Erika has ... Read More
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