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The Line Between Bondage and Abuse

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In a healthy BDSM relationship, the first and most important step should be setting clear boundaries. Even if you’re starting out with something as simple as a blindfold, discuss what is and is not ok with your partner before embarking on your journey into bondage.

Make sure it is understood that even if consent is given, it can be revoked at any time, if you or your partner are uncomfortable. One of you may feel that if you consent to a certain act, that you agree to see it through until completion. And, there is nothing wrong with that. As long as both of you are in agreement about it! If you can’t agree, it is not something you should try.

What if saying no but not being listened to is a part of one of your fantasies? There is nothing wrong with that either! This is where “safe words” or “gestures” come into play. Agree that “no” is not to be used as a safe word but, firmly agree on a word or gesture that will always mean STOP, no matter what.

Some people choose to use “the traffic light system”. Green means “I’m really into this, don’t stop”. Yellow, as in driving, is “yield”. Use it to make sure your partner is comfortable with whats going on if you are not sure.  Red, of course is stop, in this scenario.

A BDSM relationship should be safe and rewarding for both partners. The sub needs to know what activities will take place and give consent beforehand. Being the dominant partner does not mean being the only one in control! Both parties should not only be in control but also receive pleasure.

Even if ones pleasure happens to be in the form of pain, it is never ok to surprise anyone with slaps, whips or even blindfolds if it hasn’t been discussed beforehand. BDSM is not an excuse for abuse.

Aftercare is a part of BDSM that you may not have heard of. It takes place after play and depending on the individuals involved, can consist of bathing each other, a relaxing massage or simply conversation and a cup of tea. Incorporate your own special form of aftercare into your bondage play to ease back into the normality of daily life and up the bonding factor even more.

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