RS: The ‘SM’ In #BDSM – Part Four, Safety


I suppose it would be kind to leave a warning here before you start. Many, if not all, of the links (and pictures) in this series of posts are totally NSFW. If you want to have a look, do, by all means, but don’t be surprised if you find naked boy bits at the other end . . . or girl bits.
Happy? Let’s go.

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

Here we are, right at the end of my series on BDSM and I figure now is as good a time as any to talk about safety. Part of me feels I perhaps shouldn’t have put this at the end, the rest of me feels, that the subject is important enough that it required a whole post of its own.

Safe Words

Everybody—after FSoG I’m not afraid to say ‘everybody’—probably understands the concept of safe words (mostly because Ana didn’t have them—*grr, rage, I’m NOT having this rant again today*). In its most literal sense, a safe word is something a person says or does that can be mistaken for nothing except ‘Stop, I’ve had enough.’ It’s a word that puts a stop to all play for any number of reasons, including (but not exclusive to) too much pain, needing a break, ‘real life’ interruptions. This ‘safe word’ needn’t be a mere word, it can be a phrase, or a tune, a gesture or a set of eye blinks. I’ve discussed numerous times over the last few months that those involved in BDSM activities may be physically restricted, blindfolded or gagged. This means that speaking may not be a simple thing. Having a number of ways to communicate your true desire to stop is important on both sides of any BDSM play (yes, even Dom/mes need safe words!).

After Care

Something else I’ve discovered while researching this topic is that ‘after care’ is of mega important. Depend in on the sorts of experience both dominant and submissive have, there is a ‘come down’ period afterwards were the real world filters back in, pleasure dies off and people need to be coaxed carefully into their bodies. I hesitate to say ‘as a result of an out of body experience’ but ‘subspace’ is a very real thing that can temporarily alter the mind space of those there. To (over) simplify, compare it to being drunk: when inebriated, a person is not quite themselves, unable to think clearly and/or rationally and should not be left in charge of huge decisions. Subspace is similar in that an overload of certain endorphins and hormones can make it difficult to act and be as you are in the every day world.

Consent

Perhaps I should have talked about this first, but I’m tired and sore today, my brain isn’t doing what it should be. However, consent is the one of the first and most important pillars of BDSM. Anything and everything that happens to/with/for someone must happen with their clear, coherent, informed and obvious consent. Without that, most BDSM activities would fall under the banner of abuse and even rape. There are many different ways consent can be obtained, but that does lead me neatly into the last little heading for today.

Communication

All relationships require this, but BDSM ones perhaps more than others. Across any part of the spectrum people are playing (quite intensely) with others on a physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological level. It is important to be able to talk through how one feels, and what one needs. Honesty and the ability to talk candidly about likes and dislikes are things that some people find difficult, but without frank conversations before, after and often during any BDSM activities, it would be easy to make mistakes or do harm where none is intended.

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

Wow, okay, and that brings me to the end of the SM in BDSM and the end of my BDSM series as a whole.

I’ve learned so much through talking about these things and yet I know there is still so much to know. Once upon a time I may have been intimidated by that, instead, as I reach the end of this series of posts, I realise I’ve met and spoken with a bunch of incredibly interesting, honest and helpful people, without whom I never would have been able to complete the series.

I’d like to take this moment to say thank you to everyone who has spoken to me in some small form and/or been involved with this series of posts. Your help has been invaluable and I hope my future attempts to write fiction in this area reflect the help you’ve given me.

Kisses!

Raven's Signature In Black

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About Raven ShadowHawk

I take great pleasure in writing erotica and am merely one side of the proverbial coin. My other half, 'Ileandra Young' writes fantasy and the occasional comedy piece. My six-part series 'Meeting Each Other' is available in full, through Amazon and Smashwords while my debut novella 'Sugar Dust' is now re-released (!) available through Amazon via Little Vamp Press.
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