Friday, July 26, 2013
Ten Things You Need to Know About BDSM
By OFW editor: Katrina Monroe
Published: May 17, 2013


The bestseller of questionable quality, Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, received some pretty loud backlash for the inaccurate and, some would argue, dangerous, portrayal of the BDSM lifestyle. Better late than never. Here is a Take Ten just for you, E.L. James. Are you paying attention? Good.
 
 
M/s (Master/slave) and D/s (Dominant/submissive) relationships are consensual.
Always. Without exception. Otherwise, it's called rape.
 
There are rules.
Masters and Dominants will discuss limits with their subs before any play begins. Sometimes, a contract is drawn up to outline exactly what is expected of the sub and negotiations will take place as to whether those expectations are pushing boundaries. BDSM play is dangerous and can be life threatening. Rules, safe words, and limits are required.
 
Sometimes, play goes too far.
Through no fault of their own, Doms and Masters push a limit of their sub that the sub was unaware of prior to the beginning of play. In that case, it is the responsibility of the Dom to cease all play immediately and comfort their sub until they feel calm and safe.
 
Not all BDSM relationships are sexual in nature.
Some subs require structure only and can be ordered to be celibate. They take pleasure in being dominated, ordered about, and directed how to live their lives.
 
Some BDSM relationships are strictly sexual in nature.
This could be segregated to bedroom play or as a 100% of the time lifestyle.
 
Doms have limits, too.
Dominants hold an incredible amount of responsibility in the relationship and can easily become overwhelmed. It is recommended that Doms also have a safe word.
 
Trust and education are the foundation of BDSM.
Those new to BDSM are encouraged to learn from someone they know well before entering into their own relationship. Subs should speak to other subs and Doms should speak to other Doms about the safety aspects of their roles.
 
The Third Role.
A “switch” is a person who is comfortable in both a submissive and Dominant role.
 
M/s initiation ceremonies are real, but not like what you read in Fifty Shades.
It has nothing to do with gang rape. These ceremonies aren't popular among the community any more, but occasionally a Master will present a slave with a token – a collar, piece of jewelry, clothing – and this is called “collaring.” The ceremony is a representation of the two entering consensually into the relationship. The slave is free to leave any time.
 
BDSM is not all about pain and suffering.
It is about trust and vulnerability – giving yourself over completely to another or taking responsibility of another human life. People looking into the lifestyle seek to be open and honest about what they desire.

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