I’m back with another post in my BDSM workshop and today we are going to be talking about rules, the ones you need, the ones you don’t, and why.
The importance of trust
In BDSM, trust is the key of what we do. If we don’t trust our partners, somebody can end up seriously hurt, or worse. Before we even consider rules, you need to ask yourself “do I trust my partner?”. If the answer is no, find a new partner now. It never ends well when you don’t trust someone, especially not in our kinky world.
The three rules you need in BDSM
Communication – In all it’s forms, communication is so fundamental to what we do. Communication allows us to talk about what we enjoy, what we don’t. It allows us to tell our partner if we want more of something, or if we want our partner to slow down. If you haven’t read my post on communication, go back and read it here.
Honesty- This encompasses not just our interests, desires and feelings, but our health and that of our partners (if appropriate) as well. Sexually Transmitted Infections & Diseases can be spread quickly and easily if we aren’t honest It’s not only unkind to put someone at risk, but it could even be considered a form of assault in some jurisdictions. STI’s aside, nobody wants to wake up from a good play session with a banging head cold. Be honest with each other, and nobody needs to worry.
Respect – I don’t care how rough you like to play, respect is crucial. Respect doesn’t mean not calling them degrading names, respect means stopping when they tell you to stop and it means not using names or phrases they ask you not to use. Additionally, respect also means not doing something if your partner asks you not to do it, or doing as they ask, even if only eventually, after a little bit of bratting first!
A quick pointer on law & morality
On some BDSM checklists, you may see kinks like incest, beastiality, necrophilia and narcotics. It’s absolutely fine to refuse them and many, many kinksters will, too. Many of us also refuse acts like a collar and leash in public (because of the risk of exposure to minors), scat and blood play, so if you’re not cool with something, for any legal or moral reason, it’s absolutely fine to say so. If someone tries to convince you otherwise, disengage with them because they aren’t respecting you.
5 Common rules you don’t need if you don’t want them
Sometimes, in BDSM dynamics, we hear about rules that seem almost bizarre. I’ve taken some of the seemingly more popular ones and given you my thoughts on them,
- The submissive may only masturbate with the Dominant’s permission – Why? I get the whole power exchange thing, but as human beings, we don’t practice BDSM all the time. We have families, jobs and hobbies. If there is a reason (such as wanting you to be more receptive to stimulation during a session, for example) then fair enough, but if it’s just for the sake of having control, then I don’t typically agree to it. If you want that rule, then fine, but if you don’t agree on it, then you absolutely don’t have to have it.
- The submissive may not wear underwear without permission – Again, I get the sentiment of this, the humiliation factor, but when you’re around friends and family, you might actually feel genuinely (and non-consensually) embarrassed. If this is something you aren’t comfortable with, say so.
- The submissive shall address the Dominant as Sir/Master/Mistress at all times – Again, around family and friends, that can raise a lot of eyebrows and lead to some very awkward conversations. If you only want to use titles in certain scenarios and not in others, agree the details and arrangements.
- The submissive shall obey the Dominant without question – Our submissive partners are people, too. If they’re picking the kids up from school, it’s inappropriate at best for them to send you a photo of them torturing their nipples. If you feel like this rule is something that you couldn’t give for whatever reason, don’t have it.
- The submissive shall kneel at all times/ not speak to others without permission- I’ve seen this happen in a few circumstances and it can lead to some unusual looks. Sometimes, you need to leave the rule book at home and go out for dinner like a regular couple. It’s fine to go out out for coffee and then go home for all kinds of kinky debauchery. Really, it is. Unless you want to have to explain to mall security and inquisitive glances as to why your partner is kneeling at your feet (and possibly any heckling and abuse that goes with), you may prefer to omit this rule.
3 Tips on picking rules for your dynamic
- Focus on YOUR dynamic
Maybe Suzie the submissive likes to be humiliated or Pete the pain pig likes to address his wife as “Mistress” at all times. That’s up to them, in their relationship. You aren’t them, and neither is your partner, so only focus on adopting rules that interest or benefit the two of you.
2. Only make rules you’ll both remember
It’s fine to draw up a list of 16 rules, but if you only remember 5 of them then the other 11 are pointless. Only make them if they are meaningful and important to you.
3. Review often
You’ve got your list of rules, but three months in and 3 of them are no longer appropriate. If something starts to grind on you, be sure to review your rules. BDSM dynamics, like all relationships, are fluid and evolving. If something needs to change, be sure to make time to discuss and adapt it.
BDSM Contracts & Agreements
In many BDSM relationships, some people like to have a contract or an agreement that lies out the rules which both parties have greed to. These contracts are not legally binding, so they serve no purpose in a court of law. They are purely symbolic, rather than anything official. You can see a copy of our own agreement here.
That’s all for me for today. What rules do you have that you find really helpful? Let me know in the comments!
Hugs & kinky cuddles,