BDSM For Beginners: Intro & Guide To The Lifestyle

You might think that BDSM has become so popular due to the success of 50 Shades Of Grey, but it’s not true. BDSM has been around for a long time and is practiced by many people!

Of course, before the movie, people were shyer to talk about their kinks, where now it’s becoming a norm. 

And that’s why you’re probably here, right?

You’ve heard people talk about it, and you think it might be fun to indulge in some BDSM play yourself. 

Well, then you’re in the right place!

Today, we’re going to talk about what exactly BDSM is. We will discuss all the aspects of it, safety, and so much more. 

So, let’s jump right in!

Intro to BDSM: What Is BDSM?

A lot of people have a wrong understanding of what BDSM is. 

They somehow imagine that it’s all about creepy black leather masks, gothic sex dungeons, and cutting your partner for pleasure with knives. 

And while a part of BDSM can be just that, it’s not all so dark and heavy!

BDSM encompasses a wide array of sexual and not activities that usually revolve around power exchange. 

You’re either giving up your power, or you’re taking someone else’s, or you do both. 

As I mentioned, there are different levels of BDSM intensity:

  • Vanilla: includes light activities like light bondage, casual spanking, sensation play, and more. 
  • Heavy play: here, we have some more intense activity like heavier restraints, flogging, and more. 
  • Extreme BDSM: includes things that could be considered dangerous like knife play, humiliation, and more. 

So, as you can see, it’s not all black leather masks and gothic sex dungeons!


The ‘Ingredients’ Of BDSM

BDSM is an acronym for bondage and discipline (B&D), dominance and submission (D&S), and sadism and masochism (S&M).

Let’s took at each ‘ingredient’ individually:

B&D – Bondage And Discipline

Bondage is a fundamental part of any BDSM play. 

It’s where you tie your partner up, or they do the same for you, and you give up your power to them. 

The easiest way to try bondage is by using ties and scarfs you have in your closet. 

If you want something more advanced, then you can get some fun fuzzy handcuffs in your local shop. 

They won’t be as comfortable as leather or silicone cuffs, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money on the toys when you’re just testing the waters. 

Blindfolds also are a part of bondage play and can be a very safe way to glide into a more advanced BDSM play.

The point of BDSM that turns so many people on, apart from giving or taking power, is the intense sensation when one of your senses is taken away from you.

So, for example, if you’re blindfolded and let your partner guide you, you’re going to feel things more intensely on your body as your other senses will be more alert. 

Now, discipline is another crucial part of BDSM. It includes both mental and physical discipline, and it can be as harsh or as light as you choose. 

You can try some of the lighter punishment ideas such as:

  • Denying your partner an orgasm
  • Denying your partner the ability to touch you while you tease them
  • Light spanking with your hand
  • Edging
  • Biting, scratching, and pinching

Once you progress in your BDSM journey and get to know your partner and your needs better, and see what you’re comfortable with, you can add more edgy discipline methods. 


D&S – Dominance And Submission

While most people think that physical pain or restrain is the main point of BDSM, it’s actually not true. 

The exchange of power with your partner, the dominance and submission play is the very heart of BDSM. 

Many times people, who have big responsibilities in their day-to-day life, seek release through submission.

Others love being responsible for their partner. Control might range from domination in bed, to making every little decision for their sub in a 24/7 lifestyle.

While many think that Doms get to take advantage of their receiving partner, it is not true – submissives only agree to things that are fully comfortable with them.

Yes, they surrender to their Dom and allow them to do what they want, but Doms always have their sub’s interest and safety in mind.

Some Doms like to take caring, parental roles and help their subs become the best version of themselves, some enjoy giving their partners pleasure through pain, others just like having the final word in everything.

Either way, D/s dynamic doesn’t have to end in bed just as well as it doesn’t have to include any physical elements if you don’t want to.

Although, most likely you will find yourself having some juicy rewards and punishments in place. 

The power exchange can be played out in myriad ways, and it should only include what both of you feel comfortable with. 

Regardless of the role, you feel best at, it is important to discuss all the aspects and limits of your kinky playtime.

Once the terms are in place, you can fully relax and have fun.


S&M – Sadism And Masochism

This part of BDSM is the one that gets people worried. 

They think that BDSM is going to be too painful, and some never even try it just because they’re afraid of pain or don’t want to hurt their partner. 

But here you have to know one thing:

There is a difference between good pain and bad pain. 

It might not feel bad to be cut by a knife or hit your head on the corner of the table. 

But, it can feel mind-blowingly great to be lightly spanked, bitten, or scratched with nails. 

Now, if you’re the dominant one who has sadistic tendencies, you might not want to hurt your partner with knives or by humiliating them, but there is something you can still do. 

For example, denying them orgasms while teasing them is a form of sadism that is healthy and good for your sex life. 

It doesn’t involve any hurtful physical things, just some mental sex torture!

As a beginner in BDSM, you have the power to decide how far you want to go with your partner. 

You can both decide whether you can find pleasure in pain, and if you do, start slow and build up from there. 


Safety In BDSM – Consent & Communication

Safety is very important in BDSM. 

There has to be strong mutual trust and understanding between the partners, as BDSM can be traumatizing if not done right. 

You need to feel safe with your partner and know that they’re not going to cross your boundaries and harm you, otherwise BDSM can turn into something very unpleasant. 

Also, it’s important to discuss where you both stand on certain elements of the play (name-calling, edge play, restraining). 

Now, the BDSM community has two acronyms defining safety:

  • SSC: safe, sane, consensual
  • RACK: risk, aware, consensual, kink

The first stands for being fully sane and aware before engaging in any kind of BDSM play so that you can have fun within each other’s limits.

It also means ensuring the safety of the play in advance (discussing physical limitations, triggers, preparing scissors for quick release, etc.)

The second one is usually used when kinksters decide to engage in the play that is on the line of the “safe” part of SSC.

It means, that participants of the play must be fully aware of the dangers the kink comes with and give their consent to it.

It is a good practice to agree to safewords before the playtime. This provides a chance to slow down and stop the scene whenever anyone feels uncomfortable.

Many people use a traffic light system. 

It is great to communicate with your partner while you’re both playing your roles. 

Let me quickly explain it to you:

  • Green: use this code word to indicate that whatever they’re doing is working, that you’re OK, and there is no need to stop. 
  • Yellow: stands for taking things slower. 
  • Red: the play needs to stop.

This system is great, as it’s easy to remember and understand. 

However, if you want, you can come up with your own safety word, just make sure that it’s not too hard to remember. 

If you suddenly freak out about the activity, you might not remember the word that’s very unusual. 

Also, it’s best to avoid words like ‘no,’ ‘stop,’ ‘don’t,’ as you might use them in your roleplay, so then your partner won’t know whether you’re just playing the part or want them to stop.

The safety word is usually for the submissive partner, but even the Dominant might want to slow things down a bit sometime. 


How Do You Identify In BDSM?

If you’re a BDSM beginner, you might be wondering to yourself:

Well, but how the hell do I know which one am I?!

It’s alright if you’ve never tried BDSM, you might not know. 

So, let me give you a brief overview of different BDSM play options:

  • Dominant: the person who takes control (and responsibility) over BDSM sessions and/or relationships. 
  • Submissive: the person who is giving away their power, physically, emotionally, or both. 
  • Switch: someone who enjoys both sides of the spectrum, being the submissive and dominant one during the BDSM play. 

If you’re just testing the waters, knowing your position might be enough, and then you can discover more play options down the line. 

Chances are, you can feel it under your skin, which one you prefer. If not, just think about what turns you on. 

Are you getting heated only thinking about your partner tying you up and doing whatever they want with your body?

Or are you aroused by the idea of ravishing or bossing your partner around during sex? 

Just thinking about different scenarios can help you identify whether you’re a submissive or dominant partner. 

If you’re still unsure about your BDSM kinks, well, then I have a test for you that you can take which will help you find out!

Take the test here

I recommend taking it together with your partner and then having a discussion about your results and what you might want to experiment with!


Extra BDSM Beginner Tips

#1: Bring In The Toys!

Tried some DIY restraints and decided you want to play more? 

Then, get some toys and use them during your play!

From spreader bars to cock cage, there are plenty of great options out there to spice things up!

If you’re unsure where to start, I recommend reading our guide on the best BDSM toys here


#2: Consider Roleplay

If you’re feeling shy indulging in BDSM as yourself, well, then why not pretend you’re someone else?!

But really:

Roleplay can be very fun, and it might help you release that shy side of you who wants to play but doesn’t feel brave enough. 


#3: Don’t Forget Temperature Play

Get some candles and use their wax on your partner’s body or get some ice cubes and test their most sensitive parts of the body. 

Also, get your glass or steel toys and experiment with different temperatures. 

Trust me; it’s the easiest way to improve your beginner BDSM!

Just make sure to check-in with your partner first… remember the Consensual part of SSC!


Other People Tips & Experiences

And now, let’s take a look at what other people are saying on the internet about their best advice for beginner BDSM:

“Look for some bdsm 101 skills workshops in your local area. You and your partner can go and learn some basic skills.

He can ask questions to more experienced tops, maybe try his hand at something with a more experienced bottom who can objectively critique him so when you two go home he’s less at risk of hurting you.

Or try it on you while someone watches and supervises to make sure he isn’t doing anything dangerous.”

Source: reddit user, subwoofer82

“Personal collars are always kinky and hot. IMO

Like something that says “Daddys girl” or “Cum Slut”. Maybe he could place it in your neck so that you know its time to step into the role of the Sub. Masquerade masks arent really BDSM but can be fun too.”

Source: reddit user, thestormhechases

“Well, one thing I’ve seen is testing out kitchen utensils.

You could play a game where they’re blindfolded, you take a bunch of big stirring spoons/spatulas/ladles and have them guess which one they’re being spanked with. Easy, cheap, and fun!”

Source: reddit user, BookofHilarity

Conclusion

And here you have it – BDSM for beginners 101 and everything you need to know to get started. 

BDSM is a very unique and multifaceted community, and if you’ve been holding yourself back, I encourage you to dive into it!

You might be surprised how much you like it and how more intimate your relationship with your partner is.

Got Questions? Ping me on Twitter.​