Before you put on your leather pants, grab that 4-foot Single Tail Whip and go on the prowl for the perfect Dominant or submissive, it’s imperative to understand a few basics about the world of BDSM).
Nothing is more basic than that learning your alphabets—or acronyms in this case. BDSM literally stands for Bondage, Discipline, Sadomasochism. However, within the community, it is a catchall phrase for dominance and submission and the Power Exchange.
Though it’s often said that BDSM is the one lifestyle that has no rules except the ones you make for you and your partner, there are a few guidelines which the community observes as a whole and which makes for safe practices. These guidelines are also the standard by which we can easily differentiate Dominance and submission from domestic violence—something no one desires in their relationships.
The underlying golden rule of BDSM is the practice of SSC or RACK. SSC stands for Safe, Sane and Consensual. Without it you have abuse! SSC is drilled into novice (newbies as they’re called) to remind them that although BDSM is as much fun as setting them free at the mall (the Leather Mall—in this case) with an unlimited VISA card, it’s imperative to be conscious of your actions and those of anyone you plan to engage with and it’s imperative to be realistic about those choices.
Of course, we don’t all like to play it SAFE, do we? For those more adventurous players, as well as everyone in between, there is RACK—Risk Aware Consensual Kink. In essence, you’re acknowledging the fact that even though you don’t plan to injure your partner, you are both aware that there ARE some inherent elements of risk involved in anything you do whether it’s emotional or physical. Kind of like jaywalking! You know you could get hurt but you do it anyway—and it’s such fun isn’t it? Being naughty? Getting away with it? Not conforming to rules. Being a little adventurous.
I want to make a distinction here between injuring someone and hurting them. No Dominant wants to injury his/her submissive; however, hearing their submissive cry out in pain and seducing them to take more is a thrill that’ll make your toes curl in delight. It’s the ability to blend just the right about of pain with sensual pleasure that leads to an erotic release that has submissives coming back for more and Dominants happy to oblige. Yet this is a topic for another time and will be covered in our PLEASURE & PAIN section. And yes, for those of you noticing, I am purposely capitalizing the D in Dominants. It’s a sign of respect to do such in written form.
Now let’s talk about the SAFEWORD. A Safeword is an agreed upon word that will call a halt to the Scene. (What you’re doing.) The Safeword is used by either the submissive or the Dominant. It is their way of saying they need to stop; whether it’s to fix something before continuing, stop a particular activity, or end the Scene altogether. Typically it is the submissive that calls the Safeword. The Safeword cannot be “Stop”, “No”, or “Don’t”. These are words we typically say when feeling guilty about an erotic sensation, emotion or thrill. For instance, have you ever told your partner, “Don’t. Stop.” If you say it fast enough it takes on a totally different meaning, doesn’t it? Thus these words aren’t good to use. However you can use any word you don’t commonly use in a sentence. For example: pumpernickels, Beatle Juice, or Pegasus. Something a bit obscure that you’ll remember. Then again, the fall back is using the street lights as an indicator of how the submissive is coping and the Safeword. For instance: Red, Yellow, Green. Red means stop. Yellow means you’re limits are being pushed and the Dominant may want to lighten up or realize that your getting close to calling a halt to the Scene. Green means everything is great, don’t stop!
I’ll talk more about an individual’s limits, the distinctions between Dominant, submissive and Switch, as well as continue to provide you with valuable information and insight into this uniquely erotic lifestyle as we continue our BASICS SERIES. For those of you that are more advance in your knowledge, review our upcoming PLEASURE & PAIN section coming soon.
Review BDSM The Naked Truth for more information on Dominance and submission.
PS: To learn more about BDSM join us for BDSM WRITERS CON August in New York City. It’s for everyone interested in writing about and exploring the world of Dominance and submission.
Where fantasy and reality come together!