You think you want to try kink?

BDSM 101 or So you read 50 shades of grey

You are interested in BDSM, that’s great!

Let’s be clear, 50 shades of grey is to BDSM as porn is to sex - an idealized fantasy.

Just like no one, unless for plot reasons, needs to apply lube or answer an urgent phone call in porn practical items are overlooked in fantasized BDSM.

What is BDSM?

B/D Bondage and Discipline (shibari is an example of bondage that is art, but there is also just plain I shackled you type bondage, discipline is what you would think - punishment)

D/S Dominance and Submission (to be in charge of to make someone to submit to you, and to offer to do things for the other person, even when that particular thing you may not like - submission is often referred to as a gift)

S/M Sadism and Masochism (to enjoy causing pain, to enjoy receiving pain)

9 part chart (Masochist-Sadist, submissive-dominant) for some various combinations


Not everyone fits neatly in that chart, so communicating what you think you are and want is very important.

Much like normal relationships everyone defines terms and identities differently, talk it out to make sure you both are not making assumptions and leave disappointed.

In addition to identities (top, bottom, dominant, submissive ...) there are more common options for relationships in “the scene” than outside (default monogamous) like kinky swingers, polyamorous, open - you may want to ask people about what type of relationship or play they are looking for so you are on the same page (for example I have many people who I am friends and play partners with but not in a relationship with)


There are many kind of events, but they to vary place to place. when in doubt ask! Examples:

    • Munches - non kinky meetups, usually in public restaurants where you can meet other local kinky people in a low key environment with no stress of immediate play.
    • Play parties (sex positive, and not) are usually events at a location or home where there is play - but there may not be penetration, of any type permitted. when in doubt check the rules (usually posted in advance) and ask for clarification.

At all events, and even online please follow “VEGAS RULES”

    • What happens here, stays here
    • Do not talk about this event, who attended it, outside this event
    • In short many people are not “out” as kinky as it may have them lose their job or children, or other severe repercussions. So never “out” or talk about any people or events.


Once you find someone you click with - you can set up a playdate (or a scene)


Before you play you should negotiate what things you want, and what things you do not want (BOTH parties) along with what your safewords / motions are. Basic negotiation can be it’s own class so read up on this. Great communication and negotiation lets you grow as play partners as well as avoid misunderstandings.

Explaining your experience level (top or bottom) is important information for your play partner and will help you start with scenes that will be better for all players involved. If for some reason you feel uncomfortable with an expressed level of play you can always play softer/easier, feel free to ask questions to make sure you both define experience levels the same!



You should arrange a safety call - this is where a friend knows where you are, when you are supposed to arrive and leave, and calls to check in you have arrived home on time. You should read up more on this before playing, and do not overlook this!

As far as safe words - I use basic easy to remember things - green ( i am good) yellow (maybe we need to adjust a knot or clamp but let’s keep going) and red (STOP)

A play partner should NEVER disregard a safe word! if they do, please never play with them again as they are dangerous. Both tops and bottoms need/can use safe words. SPEAK UP - you are not being a good top or bottom by not mentioning something to maintain the scene, bth people being uninjured and happy with one another after is very important.

You (both) can not 100% rely on safe words, subs sometimes go into something nicknamed subspace where they get poor at communicating - so checking in is important. Also if you are going to have a gag and can’t talk it’s good to have pre negotiated safe signals (for example if you can knock, two knocks to check in with you, to see if you are yellow or red) - be aware that play spaces may be noisy and dark so checking in is again very important. You sometimes also end up playing with someone that is for example, deaf, so having a normal set of safe actions and words is best.

Things for tops to do and subs to make sure are done

Checking in (are they OK? can the even remember their safeword or say it? Test their blood flow by squishing fingertips or skin, make sure none of their extremities is cold or they feel tingly). The newer your partner is to you the more you need to be checking in! even experienced married couples still check in with one another, just less as they might be better at reading one another.

Please never leave a submissive alone, for any reason, you can talk to Jay Wiseman who presents on BDSM gone wrong to court cases where a partner dies. He makes a living out of this so it’s not as rare an occurrence as you might imagine.

Keep your safety tools (flashlight, safety scissors) in the SAME PLACE all the time so it’s easy to get to and automatic - many people carry “toy bags” that tend to be suitcases, reserve the outside zippy pouch for example as always the safety gear. also having them painted reflective or glow in the dark is not a bad idea.

You never know what is going to happen (ref: ex: oven fire)

Some basic things you would be surprised people don’t think about

    • Leave enough space you can fit a finger between the rope or restraint and your partner's skin - helps circulation and if you need to cut it off you can get the cutting device in. that makes it hard to cut them out in an emergency. Emergencies aren't always external, what if they start having an asthma attack?
    • Swinging things around open flame can lead to fire.
    • Hitting areas that have bone close to the skin (tailbone, head, spine…) is bad and can lead to bone bruising, fractures or breaks. Please avoid them.

There are tons more - so please read up on the activity you wish to participate in - some are more risky than others.

A common principle is RACK - risk aware consensual kink - you both know the risks (aka researched) and accept those risks, and still wish to participate in that kink in the safest way you can. Some other people prefer SSC Safe, Sane, Consensual

Please note both contain consensual - both parties should have agreed to what is going to occur - consent is the magic ingredient that makes hitting one another OK

Don’t fear the ER - they have seen weirder, worse, and really do want to help you. mom worked the ER, i never found out who, or specifics, but i got some weird “do not X” growing up that hints at the possibilities

A note about gear, some gear is novelty gear or not meant for what you are going to do with it. Please try and get the best gear you can to avoid accidental injuries.

After a scene, you aren’t done - you just got an endorphin rush and can crash down. after a scene people perform “after care” it varies person to person, you will find what you need, i need peanut M&Ms - protein and sugar, with some water, a blanket, and a sit down.

Again they teach whole classes on this.

So this is / was a really brief intro to the wide world of BDSM! I am happy to answer questions, but I only know about what I have done or scene or attended classes on. In general the local community and the internet (with a grain of salt) can help you find books and information about your specific interest.