A Dip Into The Shallow End Of The BDSM Pool.  

Posted in   Sex Ed 101   on  February 6, 2015 by  Lanae minutes remaining

or “The Vanilla Guide to BDSM terms”.

 

 

With “50 Shades of Grey” ‘—the movie—about to be released, you can anticipate that mainstream media is going to have a field day with BDSM. So what is it? In this very brief post, I’m going to lay out that alphabet soup acronym and overview a couple of the key terms.

BDSM is a blanket acronym. BDSM is a very complex concept. Contrary to how it is often portrayed in Hollywood, it is not always about penetrative sex. In fact, it’s not just one thing; it’s a combination of four or five different things, and underneath, dozens of other fun practices. For the purpose of this post I will only be defining the most basic level but if you want more information, check out the bottom of this post for a list of some recommended sites.)

To put things very (very) simply, allow me to explain what the letters stand for (notice they are sometimes referred to in pairs).

 

photo credit: taversia.net
…get it?  Photo credit: taversia.net

B: bondage (tying or being tied up)

D: discipline (usually means “corporal punishment”, spanking, flogging)

 

D: dominance (aka “top”, directs activity)

s (small “s”): Submission (aka “bottom”, takes direction)

 

M: stands for master (gives orders)

s (small “s”): stands for submissive (takes orders)

 

S: stands for sadism (dishes out pain)

M: stands for masochism (receives pain)

 

S & M also could mean “stand and model,” which indicates more fetish-oriented aspects of the clothing people wear in BDSM. This is not a compliment because it is a slam to people who are seen as just playing dress up and/or who are not viewed as serious practitioners.

 

RACK: Risk Aware Consensual Kink, the industry standard when talking about BDSM practices. Some also say “Safe, Sane and Consensual.” Both terms serve to indicate reducing risk of bodily, physical, emotional, or psychological harm.

 

Switch: When talking about Tops and Bottoms, Dommes or Subs, you might also hear someone refer to himself or herself as a “Switch”. A Switch is someone who can alternate between playing in a dominant or submissive role.

 

Scene is the time you spend playing.

 

Safeword is a word, phrase, (or gesture if your mouth is covered), that either player uses to indicate that play must stop immediately. In #FiftyShadesOfGrey they use the words “red” & “yellow,” like stoplights.

 

Aftercare is time the participants take to check in, process how things went, snuggle, and get cozy after playing or a being in a scene. This is important.

 

Zipties are not good bondage choices (they are described in the FSOG book). Why not? Because with just a little action, they can work themselves ever tighter and potentially cause damage to the nerves in the wrists or ankles. If you don’t really know what you’re doing, the same could be said for silk ties as well. Invest in the good stuff or get a real education from an expert who can steer you in the right direction. And no, Craigslist is not a good resource for this.

————–

I’ll stop there because the water gets WAY deeper fast. Those of you already steeped in BDSM may scoff at how basic this little blurb is, but remember, you were a newbie too once.

 

What is the biggest point someone who doesn’t know anything about BDSM needs to know? This is all dependent upon negotiation and CONSENT. Both parties have the ability to stop the play if they are not comfortable where things are going; mutual, ongoing consent is of the utmost importance. In BDSM, everyone’s consent matters and both people are responsible for being respectful of their partner’s signals or safewords. Let me emphasize this with an example: The dominant must stop whenever the submissive says stop (or whatever the safe word/motion is) or vice versa. The BDSM community leads the way in practicing communication, consent and respect.

Side note: This is also why I personally would never play with someone I didn’t know. (Sorry again, Craigslist). You never know if they’re going to respect you and keep you safe.

 

Some of the best, sex-positive resources I can share with you on this topic are the following:

 

Andrea Zanin – sexgeek.wordpress.com  where you can go to her Kink Resources section.

**Thank you to Andrea for clarifying a few items for this blog! xxoo

Cléo Dubois, Academy of SM Arts  http://www.sm-arts.com/

Jaleen Bennis www.bondassage.com

Hercules Leotard, www.thepleasurecoach.org

Galen Fous Mtp, Fetish Sex Expert, www.galenfous.com

Kate Loree, LMFT, www.KateLoree.com

Eve Minax, http://www.mistressminax.com

 

This is serious stuff. Please, if you are going to take part in some of the things you read, hear about, or see as a result of viewing this FSOG movie, get some education and proceed with caution. Talk to your partner and enjoy the fantasy!

 

xxoo,

The MamaSutra

About the Author Lanae

Dr. Lanae St.John is a Diplomate of the American Board of Sexology and certified sex coach with a background in sexology and a passion for helping people improve their sexual health and relationships. She is the author of "Read Me: A Parental Primer for "The Talk"" and the upcoming "You Are the One: How stopping the search and looking inside will lead you to your romantic destiny," and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the field. Dr. St.John aims to share her knowledge and expertise in a relatable and approachable way through her blog on themamasutra.com.

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