How to start with BDSM as a couple

Author: Marina
Kinky Life | Recommendations

It’s that special ouch moment in every SMer’s life when he or she realizes that the preferences and fantasies that he or she has been feeling for a long time fall under BDSM. Even in vanilla relationships, it often happens that one partner expresses the desire to live out one or two BDSM fantasies. But how do you implement this? How do you feel your way forward? We have put together a guide for BDSM beginners.

Step One: Define the basic rules

Before you start, it’s essential to have a clear, almost factual conversation. Because at the center of every BDSM session is always a power dynamic that needs to be defined. Who is the Top, and who is the Bottom?

Second, you decide who controls and who submits and agree on a safe word that will stop the game immediately. It is important that the safe word is unambiguous, because a “no”, or “please don’t” or “stop” could also be part of the game. So it’s better to choose something unusual that probably doesn’t occur in your sexual context, such as “flower vase” or “Playstation”. You can also use the traffic light system, where the word “red” signals immediate termination and “yellow” indicates that the intensity may not be increased any further.

Thirdly, it should be clarified what exactly will be done and what will not. It is important that each party openly expresses their desires, fantasies, and limits. This may require some courage from most people, but it is essential to avoid misunderstandings that could potentially lead to trauma. If the desires involve one person not being able to speak, go back to the beginning and agree on an unmistakable signal instead of a safe word, such as forming a ring with the thumb and index finger.

Communicating sexual fantasies is especially a skill to practice for BDSM beginners. The more you talk about your needs and fantasies, the easier it will become over time. Fear of rejection has no place here. Always remember that your partner has the same fears and approach each other without judgment.

Step Two: Take it slow

Your first BDSM session doesn’t have to be hard hitting, tying you up or spitting on you, but could start with one part giving the other orders like simply kneel down or take off your clothes. But it could also start with a non-sexually motivated instruction, such as cleaning up the apartment.

Observe how it feels for both you and your partner, and depending on your comfort level, decide whether to proceed or not. Then think about what comes next. For example, the submissive person could change their position, lower their gaze, or touch themselves.

You don’t have to pretend and suddenly speak differently or in a particularly bossy manner. You don’t have to conform to a specific image here. Quite the opposite: It is important that you remain true to yourself and connect with your usual sexuality. So free yourself from certain ideas or supposed role models. Films in particular are not a good reference. Neither 50 Shades of Grey nor porn corresponds to reality. Hardcore practices like those found in SM porn also require years of experience.

If equipment is involved, it should be tested slowly. For example, a rope could be slowly dragged across the skin to observe the submissive’s reaction, and then with a bit more force.

Step three: Start with what you have

Speaking of equipment: special equipment is generally not necessary to create a BDSM power play. Your own ideas and thoughts are enough. Equipment only comes into play when it comes to concrete fantasies such as bondage games, locking up or blindfolding.

A blindfold is always a good start to deprive the other person of their sense of sight. A sleep mask from your last vacation flight or a scarf are not only for BDSM beginners perfect.

For games that head into a painful direction, you can find useful items around the house to explore pain pleasure before spending a lot of money on expensive impact toys that might not be used again if you don’t like them.

For spankings on the buttocks, it can simply be your hand or a wooden spoon. Start gently and increase the intensity depending on the recipient’s reaction or feedback. You can use wooden clothespins to try out how it feels to pinch nipples or other areas of skin. You can use a fork or toothpick to test how you react to light pricking or scratching.

Always remember: the main actors are always you and your own desire or creativity, not the equipment!

Harder practices where things can go wrong, such as needle play, candle wax or choking (“breath play”) are not suitable for a first session, as their effect may be completely different to what you expect. It is better to try out such practices in a non-sexual context first. For example, dressed on the couch in the evening. The same applies to complicated knots, cable ties, bondage with cling film or generally unfamiliar materials. If you venture into this area someday, make sure to have a pair of scissors on hand to quickly cut ropes or tape in case of emergency.

Step four: Talk about the experience

Talking about the experience after the session is just as important as the initial discussion. What did you enjoy and what not? What would you have wanted more or less of, what thoughts went through your mind, and what impression did you have of your partner in which situation?

Conversations are part of aftercare in BDSM and help to process the intense impressions, to get to know each other better and to organize the next sessions on this basis. If sex was involved, the best time to talk about the experience is directly afterwards. Provided the experience was positive. This is because the hormone oxytocin that is released strengthens the feeling of connection, loosens the tongue and allows us to better read the emotions of the other person.

Be open and honest if something, or even the entire session, didn’t appeal to you. It’s completely okay if you decide that BDSM isn’t for you. What’s not okay is doing something just to please your partner.

Step five: Exchange with others

If you have found what you like and want to get deeper into BDSM, we recommend exchanging experiences with others. Online, at munches, which take place several times a month in every major city, or even at special parties. By the way: going to the latter doesn’t oblige you to do anything. You can just have a look and have a chat. Or you can simply visit a fetish store. There are also special BDSM coaches who also advise couples or generally BDSM beginners and less experienced people.

Anyone who dares to talk to people quickly realizes how big, open and helpful the BDSM scene is.

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