Friday, 30 November 2012

Safety in BDSM (sub frenzy and meeting a domme)

Talking to a lot of people, I realized that often subs just don't really have a clue about what's acceptable or how it "should be", some of them run into dominants who also don't really have a clue.

Now first of all, just don't rely on the dominant always being in charge, in a scene - unless you get really scared - yes, but before the scene starts, make clear what your limits are. In short don't let your sex drive rule your thinking. BDSM is a game where everybody participates, that means as a submissive or slave, you also have responsibility, you are responsible for yourself and to a certain degree for your own safety.

I have little time and patience for subs (male or female) who think with the lower regions instead of their brain. Yeah, it's powerful, it's sexy, it can go to your head, absolutely, I wouldn't be into it if it wouldn't turn me on, but again, it is NOT a good enough excuse to stop thinking!

People go on a lot about SSC (Safe, Sane, Consensual), to be honest, for me SSC just doesn't cut it, nothing we do is 100% safe, if it is sane - well, debatable, for some people being beaten or beating somebody else is everything but sane, consensual - yes, that is non-negotiable!
In short, I much prefer RACK and it seems to be much more descriptive (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) and accurate, what we do has risks, it's our business (and by that I mean the submissive and the dominant) to be aware of those risks and consensually engage in those kinks. So subbies, there really is no excuse for you to not ask questions and educate yourself (just as much as the dominant should) because that falls under the umbrella of consensual for me.

You do know that very often the bottom (or sub in that case) breaches the consensuality rule? Surprised? You shouldn't be, if the dominant doesn't have the full knowledge and you haven't fully disclosed potential or actual medical problems, how can the dom/me truly and consensually take a risk, especially one he or she isn't aware of.

I know there is the victim mentality and people like to scream abuse, I don't deny that there is a lot of abuse in BDSM (just like there is in vanilla relationships), but remember, you can walk away at any time, you can say STOP at any time, and if you feel you are in danger or the top isn't in control or doesn't know what he or she is doing, that is EXACTLY what you should do. Some of you might be afraid to lose their dominant, tell you what, wouldn't you rather lose a dominant than a limb or end up with some serious injuries? When it comes down to it, your life and health should be a lot more important than a few moments of submissive bliss.

Personally, I'm afraid of sub frenzy, so afraid that I tend to not do any casual play anymore. So far it hasn't happen to me but I also don't want it to happen to me. Let me give you an example, you're at a club and there is also a play area, naturally there will be more guys than women, the guys see kinky things, they see women in sexy BDSM outfits, THEY WANT A PIECE OF ACTION! All of a sudden it seems all their fantasies have come true, they'll approach anybody to get some BDSM action. It happens to women too, to be honest the worst ones to develop sub frenzy are women between 30 and 50 who discover BDSM for the first time, common sense often goes out of the window.

So, you're in a club and you see subs begging tops to play with them, pretty often they don't really know what they want, they want almost any BDSM action, they won't talk about phobias and problems, they don't mention limits... Yes of course the top or dominant should ask, but again, also the responsibility of the sub to mention it, remember, it's a game for adults, so be a freaking adult! At one club there was a massive scandal and uproar, one guy freaked out completely, he forgot to mention that he's got claustrophobia and tends to freak out when being tied up. Hey, that's really smart isn't it? You know somebody who'd ask me to whip them and lets me tie him up and then screams bloody murder and abuse - I would expect that the person tells me about those problems, I am not a mind reader and it's not the most common problem, also not one you should expect. The nature of the beast is simply, that when it comes to public play the dungeon monitors have to react and they see somebody in panic, they think the top is responsible. In general everybody takes the side of the "poor subbie".

After seeing situations like that (not too often but to be honest, just the rare occasion is enough), I came to the conclusion that unless I do know you, and I know you're a responsible adult, I won't run the risk to be branded the villain or abuser, because we consensually entered a scene and you didn't know your limits, or decided to not tell me your limits, or you just "forgot" to tell me.

Also a sub, don't just play with anybody, you know it's your skin that's on the line, make sure the person knows what he/she is doing, watch them for a while, talk to them. You might be gagging for a scene, but seriously, you do want to get an impression of the person who's going to top you. A short talk can't really rule out all doubts and make something safe, but it can make it safer, if they appear to have had drinks and are under the influence of booze or anything else - give it a miss. Ask them how long they have been playing and ask a few things about their equipment. Of course you don't want to appear like an officer who's cross-examining them, but you can have a respectful discussion about their toys, like admire the whip and ask how long they had it, act a bit stupid and ask if it's difficult to care for whips, pretend to be ignorant and say "Leather is great, you just have to clean it with a wet cloth!" In case they agree with you enthusiastically, you don't play with that person, because he or she knows fuck all about hygiene standards, and do you really want to be whipped (where there is ALWAYS the danger of skin being broken) with a whip somebody else just has been whipped?

Play with somebody who has several crops, riding crops are relatively cheap (equestrian stores - end of lines, you get a lot of crop for your buck, about 3 times as many as you get in a BDSM supply store, if you don't have an equestrian store nearby, go online) easy to transport, easy to clean (if the disinfectant ruins them, it's a few bucks) they can't do as much damage as a whip. 

A really good and smart thing would be to bring your own crop(s), in the UK you can get a good riding crop for as little as £3 (that's about $5 - even cheaper if you buy in bulk) if you buy end of lines. It's a good way to start a conversation with a dominant you like, especially if you give her or him a present of a crop (most dominants are toy whores anyway) and it's a lot cheaper than buying them a drink, which is possibly what most of the other subs are trying to do.
You do stand out a bit from the crowd, you make a good first impression, if she decides to play with you, you brought your own equipment (which didn't cost a lot) and you don't have to worry how many other people were beaten with that crop without it being properly cleaned...

Actually, there is a lot more to be said about safety and meeting dominants, so be prepared for occasional updates on the subject...