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The Master’s Voice #30: A Safety Checklist

This is the third and final part of our trip to the dark side of BDSM. As promised this is a quick look at some activity based hints and tips. I make no apology for reinforcing some of the important points covered previously.

My Ten Point Checklist for BDSM safety:

1. Negotiation and Agreement: Discuss and confirm your limits before you start.  This has been covered in some detail previously. As a novice you should be conservative with your agreed limits. As you develop confidence and trust with your partner these limits can be explored and expanded when you are ready and both in agreement.

2. Personal Safety: Set an absolute safeword. No conditions and no exceptions. Read my previous post regarding pre-session meetings and session safety. Remember to listen to your gut.

3. Cleanliness and Hygiene: Thorough cleaning of all sex toys and equipment after every session is essential. Antibacterial soap is good but the type of diluted bleach used to clean babies bottles etc is better. Never share toys between multiple partners in the same session or transfer toys from arse to vagina or to mouth. If using modern powder based lubricants which you mix yourself, store in separate labelled containers to avoid any cross contamination. Safe sex practices should be an absolute limit for all but beware of often forgotten contamination points such as eyes or bleeding gums.

4. Percussion and Impact Play: Much of this has been covered in the blogs on Spanking and I will in the near future be coming back to the broader topic of CP. There are however, some safety tips which are common to all forms of impact play including spanking, whipping, flogging, paddling, caning, birching, belting or lashing.

  • Know your own strength2da03669-c873-428c-b5cf-beb71f14d72c
  • It’s all physics in the end
  • Harder does not always mean better
  • Try every new implement yourself away from the scene
  • Be prepared for strong emotions to be roused in both the Dom and the sub (don’t lose control)
  • You may both be hurting after an intense session (e.g. spanking hands)
  • Be aware of the different effects of distance from the sub body
  • Be aware of your energy levels
  • Don’t let any implements wrap around a body surface unintentionally. The inertial force at the tip will be far greater than at any point along its length
  • Educate yourselves

5. Breath Play and Choking Hazards: This is quite possibly one of the most dangerous areas of all BDSM practice. If you are going to try any form of erotic asphyxiation, erotic strangulation, KO (knockout) or ‘gasping’ then I urge you to read everything that you can find on the subject first. There is no completely safe way to do this but I know that some of you will want to experiment, so be prepared. Ask all the relevant health questions of your partner but be aware that some heart conditions can exist that show no symptoms. I have heard of subs having heart attacks 15-20 mins after indulging in gasping so be aware and learn how to resuscitate! Take great care never to compress the throat area and make sure that when you collar your slave, that you can still get two fingers between the collar and the skin just as you would with your dog. Be mindful of any possible choking hazards such as ball gags and be always on the lookout for positional asphyxia situations as discussed last time.

6. Monitor Circulation: This is especially important when any bondage or restraint is applied to extremities. The Dom should check regularly for any changes in colour or temperature. The sub should also alert the Dom to any tingling, pins & needles sensations or numbness asap. Never ever leave bound or restrained subs unattended.

7. Sensation Play: Here I include a great many different activities from hot wax to cold ice, from TT to CBT, including nipple clamps, clothes pegs, humblers and chastity devices. Learn how to use them all and if possible practice outside of actual BDSM sessions. Sounding, needs great care and the correct equipment kept scrupulously clean. Figging, or the use of deep heat can effect the person applying as well as the sub. Keep water and wash cloths to hand. Hot wax torture is very popular but beware of the candles that you use since they are all far from equal. Beeswax candles and black candles can burn very hot. In fact all coloured candles tend to contain ingredients which can make them burn much hotter than any plain white paraffin wax examples.

8327870c-a714-4778-b440-14dec40fdc558. Stress Play: Any bondage or restraint play will cause stress to joints, bones and muscles so you should always be aware of undue pressure. Take great care with knees, shoulders, ankles, wrists, elbows and neck. Clearly the aim of the activity is to restrict movement and while it can be a big turn on to watch your sub struggling against the ties, you do need to build in some flexibility. Make sure that nerve pathways and areas of blood flow are not restricted. Be very aware that changing the position of the sub after you have tied them can change the stresses. If, for example, you have tied you sub’s arms behind his back whilst upright, but you then lay him down on his back, this could lead to a huge increase of pressure on wrists, elbows or shoulders which may not be visible to you.

9. Anal Play: If done correctly, arse play can and should be painless and intensely pleasurable for both parties. The success of this depends entirely on the preparedness both of the arse and the head. Relaxation is key but it needs to be mental relaxation as well as muscular. Use good water based lubricants (or silicone with toys), fingers, sex toys and lots of patience.

10. Expanding Limits: In the BDSM world you will often come across the terms hard and soft limits. Limits are the rules by which we protect ourselves but can also be the route to the journey of discovery and new experiences. Hard limits are non negotiable and must be respected. An violation of hard limits is non-consensual and the equivalent of rape. It is physical, physiological, or emotional abuse clear and simple. Soft limits are those that can be explored but they are still limits and so any changes must be taken slowly, carefully and only after full negotiation. Both participants need to be open and honest and neither one should compromise their limits just to please the other. Extending limits need not be only in one direction. By all means experiment but if the new activity is not for you then say so and reset the limits.tumblr_nfnlluBrUq1u2btldo1_1280

Some of you I’m sure will have found this series tedious but I hope it can be seen as a resource both for practitioners and for writers alike. Go explore and have fun. Build safety and common sense into all your activities. Know that there are few things sexier than a lover or playmate showing that they care,