Monday, March 12, 2007

Starting Down The Road
author unknown

OK, so you've decided you're kinky, and you want to try something in real life. Congratulations on taking that step. But before you go out, make sure you're ready. There's a lot to learn...safewords, negotiating scenes, where to hit, how to hit, how to use some of the toys, keeping it safe, sane and consensual. I'm not going to get into that...there are others who can do that so much better than I can. There are webpages and books devoted to safety. The information is there, and easy to find.

What I do have to offer is one piece of advice that can make the difference between a good scene and a bad one. A recommendation that applies to dominants, submissives, and switches equally. Know yourself before you start to play. That may sound so trite, but it is true. And there is no way you will know everything about yourself that you need to when you take this up in real life. But there are certain things you should have an idea of already.

Be aware of your limits, your triggers, and your fears. Know what gets you going, whether it's a little humiliation or severe thud...what is it you fantasize about? Where is your head at? Are you carrying a lot of emotional baggage with you? That should be dealt with before getting into anything like this (trust me, I'm the voice of experience on that one). You need to be able to leave the past behind you. Can you differentiate play from abuse? That's something to be careful of, there's a fine line there that absolutely can not be crossed. My rule of thumb for abuse is if your partner knows it is not enjoyable for you in the least, yet persists in doing it, it's become abuse.

Are you ready to say STOP or whatever word you have agreed to use if things get too intense? You may never have to use the safeword, but you do have to feel comfortable enough with yourself that you will, should the occasion arise. Are you prepared to set limits on what you are able to do? It's better to say I don't know how to do this, or I don't want to do that than to end up hurting yourself or someone else. Naiveté is so much easier to live with than guilt. Keep in mind that you need to be strong to play the humiliation game. Even if it's only verbal humiliation, you need to be able to end that thinking once the scene is over. Are you comfortable enough, self- assured enough to let someone call you names and degrade you without losing self-esteem? That's something you need to know.

Most BDSM relationships, even play-only relationships rely on both parties being open and honest with each other...that's how trust evolves. Are you comfortable sharing yourself with another person? There's something else you need to know about yourself. Your mindset has a lot to do with how you play. If you're working things out in your head in the middle of a scene, you won't be able to focus on what is being done. Not paying attention is how people get hurt. Knowing yourself means being secure in who you are, and accepting what you are. It means being able to break free of the way society has programmed you to respond, and daring to think for yourself. It means being strong in your submission. It means being gentle in your domination. It's common sense, it's being considerate of your partner. It means using your head, something we all should do a bit more of.


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