Your handy checklist of bondage & BDSM top tips!

In this post Fifty Shades of Grey world, you would need to have spent the last couple of years on a desert island to not now about bondage. Or at least, not to have heard about this mysterious activity. Bondage and kink are much more approachable by everyone with an interest in sexual adventure, instead of being seen as an underground, dark and seedy activity for perverts. With an emphasis on personal empowerment and forming closer and stronger relationship bonds, bondage has found its way out of the dungeon and into millions of couples’ bedrooms and love lives around the world.

If your curiosity is piqued, first you’ll need to know what bondage is so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s something you’d like to try. Bondage is a consensual adult activity where a person restrains another for both parties’ enjoyment, whether sexual, psychological or both. There’s a heavy emphasis on fun, yet safety and consent are always top priority.

Safety and consent should always be respected in all aspects of kink and BDSM, whether bondage or another power exchange activity. As BDSM focusses on handing over control of another person (physically yet with psychological impact), it’s obvious that this responsibility should not be taken lightly.

How can you make sure that you always respect these key facets of bondage and BDSM? Here are some top tips which are useful to keep in mind whenever you want to indulge in kinky roleplay or bondage with your partner:

Only ever with someone you know and trust

Only ever engage in bondage and BDSM activities with someone you know and trust. Trust is a  big part so not an activity to take part in with strangers or even those you have met but don’t know very well. Aways try to let someone external to the activity know where you are and who you’re with.

Consent isn’t optional, it’s mandatory

This is one of the only set rules of BDSM and bondage: consent is absolutely mandatory. If you’re concerned whether the other person truly is consenting or whether you’re misreading body or verbal signals, don’t be afraid or too embarrassed to ask. It’s much better to clarify the consent than to assume it’s implied and cause anyone to be upset or come to emotional harm.

Similarly, if you do not consent to an action or activity, speak up clearly. Not only do you always have the right to a solid, clear yes or no, there should also be a way to ‘safe out’ of activities – just in case verbal representations of consent and passion get muddled up.

Set and use safewords

Following on from the consent issue, you should always have a safeword in place. A safeword is a word that wouldn’t usually be said (even at the height of passion and excitement) which means ‘no’ or ‘please stop immediately’. Saying the words ‘no’ or ‘stop’ can often be an exciting part of kinky roleplay, so make sure your real safeword is something altogether different and unusual so it can be immediately identified when spoken. Safewords should always be respected; beware of engaging in bondage or BDSM with those who say they don’t require them.

A popular method of ‘safewording’ is to use the traffic lights system. This is a universally recognised system of ‘safing out’ in BDSM where ‘red’ means ‘stop, immediately’, ‘amber’ means ‘stop, let’s talk about how to proceed’ and ‘green’ is the assurance that everything is ok to continue.

During situations where a spoken safeword isn’t possible – such as when using ballgags, fetish hoods and other mouth gags – you will need to arrange an alternative method of safeword. This might be a buzzer or a bell given to the gagged partner, or arranging finger signals.

Your Kink is Not My Kink

One of the primary tenets of BDSM is YKINMK. Thsi acronym stands for Your Kink Is Not My Kink and should always be kept in mind when speaking with anyone in the BDSM scene. This ethos is respected by those ‘in the scene’ as many power exchange dynamics include extreme elements and fetishes which aren’t to everyone’s personal taste. However, tolerance and acceptance should always be the order of the day. BDSM is not only a fun adult activity for millions around the world, it’s also psychologically as well as physically liberating and this unique form of therapy should be accepted in whatever manner the participants choose to enjoy it. As long as consent is at the core of all activities, of course!

Emergency exits

In the interests of keeping everyone safe, mentally and physically, and avoiding the possibility of anyone becoming hurt in either way, it’s sound advice to ensure you have quick escapes arranged from any bondage. Make sure you know how to use and detach bondage fastenings on cuffs, spreader bars, straitjackets and the like. For rope bondage, it is reassuring to keep a pair of surgical scissors nearby in case a fast exit is required.

With safety and peace of mind top priority, it follows that you shouldn’t ever leave someone alone when they are in bondage, and never leave them in bondage overnight.

Likewise, rope harnesses and other forms of rope bondage should never be tied around the neck. Keep this area free from restraint for easy breathing at all times.

Electrify your sex life

Electrosex is a unique form of stimulation which adds a whole new and exciting dimension to not only foreplay and penetrative sex between couples, but also when used to enhance a BDSM or bondage scene. There are some safety tips associated with electrosex equipment use which will help you and those you scene with to avoid any hurt or harm.

Don’t use electrosex equipment above the waist. Forming a connection above the waist risks the current forming a connection through the heart. Electrosex equipment and sex toys shouldn’t be used in or near water – and those with heart conditions, epilepsy or who are pregnant should avoid their use entirely.

If you keep these main facets of advice in mind and pay them close attention when enjoying BDSM and bondage you will ensure that the emphasis is on fun and pleasure for you and your partner. Above all, keep the lines of communication open with anyone you hope to include in your BDSM playtimes so that you both know exactly where you stand on issues such as consent, safewords and which particular kinks and fetishes you’d like to explore, and how.

When it comes to exploring your bondage fantasies and making them a red hot reality, there’s no need to rush although of course it’s very tempting. Take your time and relish every new sensation and discovery. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, use your safeword (whether you’re in the Dominant or submissive role) and stop the session so that you can collect your thoughts and feelings, talking about them to your partner.

Above all, enjoy your adventures into the seductive world of bondage and BDSM, there are so many thrilling and sensational discoveries just waiting to be enjoyed!

- Cara Sutra