BDSM 101: Common First Time Mistakes

BDSM 101: Common First Time Mistakes

Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. She can be reached at her website, twitter, and Facebook.

The first time you decide to do a BDSM scene can be nerve wracking.

You’ve (hopefully!) done all the preliminary things, negotiated what you want to do, chosen your safe words or chosen not to use them. You and your partner are likely anticipating play, much like waiting for christmas when you were young. You both likely have some expectations about how things will play out, which may or may not be realistic.

Often people whose only experiences with kink have been adult material (books, video, the internet, etc), will have ideas that aren’t terribly feasible. Remember, you and (maybe) your partner are going into this without previous experience, you’re probably going to make some mistakes. Lets talk about some of the most common ones that people experience in their first few scenes.

Mismatched Expectations

Often there are complaints from one or both partners about going too far or not far enough. This can result from mismatched expectations and ideas, which is where more thorough negotiation is needed. It can also result from simple inexperience – partners who haven’t done something before may hold back for fear of making mistakes or push too hard due to overconfidence.

In both cases, clear and honest communication is the answer. If we check in with our partners during play, making sure that they are enjoying things, we will have a better chance of scene success.

Many people use the ‘traffic light’ system to communicate during play.

It’s fairly simple and ties into the use of traffic signals for safe words. The Top will ask the bottom “What’s your colour?” and the bottom will reply with “green” to mean good, “yellow” to mean they are getting close to a limit, or “red” to express the need to communicate further, stop the particular activity or stop play entirely.

Another way for a Top to get a feel for where a bottom is at is using the 1-10 scale.

Again, the top can ask “what number are you at?” and the bottom can reply with a number between one and ten. Generally for play that involves pain, it is good to keep the bottom around a seven. Going above that point is reserved for more intense masochists or scenes where you’ve negotiated a pushing of limits. Ending the scene before the bottom gets to a seven can result in the bottom not feeling satisfied with play.

Of course those are just general guidelines, everyone is different and play should be tailored for your individual partner.

When playing with a new partner, I would much rather have a scene be not intense enough, rather than too intense. I can always go harder or more intensely the next time we play, but I can’t take it back if I’ve pushed too far, if a bottom didn’t feel comfortable telling me when they were at their limit or other similar issues. I explain this to all my new partners, and most appreciate my caution – those who don’t aren’t a good fit for me.

Playing Above Your Skill Level

This isn’t a mistake reserved only for Tops, bottoms can overestimate their abilities as well.

As Tops, if we play above our skill level, we can have many problems. We could, as a worst case scenario, do something that causes injury to our bottoms. We could harm them in ways that they did not consent to and that we didn’t intend. Much of BDSM is potentially dangerous, and it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our bottoms.

We can also lose the trust of our bottoms – especially if we cause injury, but also if they feel that we put them at risk because of our lack of skill. Finally, in playing above our skill level, we can have an awkward and unfulfilling scene.

Bottoms playing above their skill level risk getting hurt. The hurt could be physical in nature, if the bottom exaggerates their skill or experience in an area such as rope bondage, which can be physically taxing. Unskilled bottoms who exaggerate experience can risk nerve damage, since they don’t know when to tell the rigger about issues and may think that the issues they are experiencing are normal.

They can also be harmed emotionally, if a top doesn’t know about hidden triggers or other problems. Finally, they risk losing the trust of their Top, who has to rely on them to be honest about desires and limits.

Often, in our excitement over a scene we will not prepare properly. We have a super hot scenario running through our minds, but lack the skill to prepare for it or just get too wrapped up in the fantasy to do the mundane parts.

Before starting, it’s always wise to gather all your supplies, practice anything you need to and be sure you have things there ‘just in case’. This can include a way to cut rope for bondage, a first aid kit and even condoms, in case you’re both in the mood after or sex is a negotiated part of the scene.

Too Focused on the Details

Being too focused on the details can result in a scene that can feel scripted and mechanical. If you’ve fantasized about a scene for so long that you and your partner have to learn lines before you start, you may want to re-think things. While it’s best to go into a scene having a good idea of what you want to do, be sure to leave some room for creative thinking. Sounding like the Dominatrix from a bad porno is definitely not sexy!

Nerves

Finally, the one thing that can often get in the way of a good scene are nerves! If this is something you’ve been fantasizing about forever, you may feel nervous when the time comes to actually live it. Try to relax – just don’t get into the ‘liquid courage’, you need to be sober and thinking for this kind of play.

Doing something for the first time is nerve wracking, but we’ve all been there.

Keep things simple, you can always get more elaborate later on.

You may feel more comfortable doing your first scene in the privacy of your own home, or you may want to play at a dungeon, where there are others you can ask questions of. It’s your choice, do what makes sense to you.


Now that you know some of the common pitfalls, you can hopefully avoid them. It’s really important to have a good, honest idea of your skills, be prepared (for the scene and for emergencies) and do your best to relax. After all, this is supposed to be fun!


Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. As a former health care worker, she is very knowledgeable regarding safety in BDSM. She is a sex work advocate and an outreach worker with The Naked Truth Entertainment. Morgan is also a fetish film performer and model. She is a writer with Kink E Magazine and volunteers in her local community as a DM and event organizer. She is a kink educator who teaches across North America. Identifying as pansexual/asexual, Morgan tries to be inclusive of all identities and orientations during her teaching. Her new book “A Guide to Classic Discipline” is expected out spring/summer 2015
BDSM 101: Contracts

BDSM 101: Contracts

Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. She can be reached at her website, twitter, and Facebook.

Contracts are sometimes used in BDSM and have become quite famous after their mention in the 50 Shades series. So let’s talk about what contracts are, if you need one, when you may want to use one and how to create one.

In any discussion about BDSM contracts, it has to be said that they are not legally binding, just a bit of kinky fun for people to indulge in. Some people take their contracts very seriously – in that a breach of contract by either (or any) party results in the relationship being dissolved. Like so many things in the kink lifestyle, you can pick and choose what works for you in this department – contracts are totally optional.

Not every couple (or triad, quad, etc) in a BDSM relationship has a contract. In fact, I know very few players who make use of them – and I know a lot of kinky folks! Contracts are often a part of more protocol heavy kink, and are more likely to be found in those types of communities.

With that said, many people do enjoy having a contract – for both erotic and practical reasons.

It is a tangible symbol of power exchange, much like collars, and can emphasize the feelings of ownership within a relationship.

Many people who use contracts view signing one as a profound sign of commitment (again, much in the way that collars are regarded by some). Contracts can also be very practical – the people involved have clear expectations of their partner(s) and know what is expected of them in return.

If you want to design a contract that stipulates a power exchange relationship on weekends only, go for it! If you want a contract with precise details about what is expected from partners, to apply 24/7, have at it! Kinky contracts can cover as much or as little as you see fit, you just need to sort out what works for your relationship.

Things to consider when creating a contract

  • The slave/submissive’s responsibilities: What will they be responsible for in the relationship? Will they do all the household chores? Will they be sexually available to the Owner/Dominant at all times? Will they obey all commands or face punishment? Will they give up financial control? Worldly possessions?
  • The Owner/Dominant’s responsibility: What will they provide to the slave/submissive? It is generally assumed that they will lead the relationship, but will they have power over all decisions? Financial, career and household? Will they provide financial support? Will they punish transgressions? Generally, Owners/Dominants are expected to care for the safety and wellbeing of the slave/submissive.
  • Safewords: Will there be a safeword? Will the slave/submissive have the chance to say no to a command without consequence? Under what circumstances (breaking the law, bodily or psychological harm, etc)?
  • Will punishments be used or will partners talk about disobedience? What are the punishments or consequences to disobedience? Will breach of contract dissolve the relationship?
  • Will there be consensual non-consent (CNC)? Will the Owner/Dominant be able to order the slave/submissive to do something they wouldn’t normally want?
  • Limits: What are the hard limits of all parties? Soft limits? Under what circumstances may those limits change (for instance, when the person who has the limit decides to reopen negotiation)? Can hard limits be added as time goes on?
  • Activities: Do you want to list specific activities that are required from any party, or leave it more open ended?
  • What will be public and private protocols? (for instance, slave/submissive nude at home, dressed in a way that pleases the Owner/Dominant while out of the house)
  • Relationships: Will the people under the contract be allowed to have kinky or sexual play with others? Under what circumstances? Will the Owner/Dominant be able to lend out the sexual or kink services of the slave/submissive (act as a waiter at a party, be used as a demo bottom, sexually please others, etc)
  • Under what circumstances can the contract be dissolved?
  • How will you handle it if someone’s (Owner/Dominant or slave/submissive) needs aren’t being met?
  • How often will you sit down and evaluate the rules and other specifics of the contact, if ever? How will changes to the contract be made? Who can initiate changes?
  • How will switching (people who enjoy both Dominant and submissive roles) be handled (if applicable)?
  • Will there be a trial contract? How long will it last?

Those points should be enough to get you started on writing your own contract, or at least give an idea of what to think about when doing so.

You don’t have to cover all of those points or you can add any that are important to you. While there are many pre-made contracts available online, I suggest creating your own. Not only will it be more personal, but the act of designing it from scratch can be a wonderful bonding experience.

A contract generally comes later in a kinky relationship, not at the beginning.

It takes time to build trust, to know your partner’s limits and how total you would like your power exchange to be. Many people regard BDSM contracts in the same way as a marriage contract, not something to rush into. Of course, if you find the concepts of contracts erotic, you can have a play contract, that outlines the timing, style or types of play that you will engage in with your partner(s).


BDSM contracts, while not needed, can be fun, intimate and useful for some people. Don’t think you need to have one before you start playing, but if you enjoy the idea, have fun with it. The best thing about BDSM is that there is no ‘one true way’ (we often joke about people who preach ‘true BDSM’) – everyone is free (or not) to play and engage in whatever way they choose.


Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. As a former health care worker, she is very knowledgeable regarding safety in BDSM. She is a sex work advocate and an outreach worker with The Naked Truth Entertainment. Morgan is also a fetish film performer and model. She is a writer with Kink E Magazine and volunteers in her local community as a DM and event organizer. She is a kink educator who teaches across North America. Identifying as pansexual/asexual, Morgan tries to be inclusive of all identities and orientations during her teaching. Her new book “A Guide to Classic Discipline” is expected out spring/summer 2015
BDSM 101: Negotiation

BDSM 101: Negotiation

The Importance of Negotiation in BDSM Play

Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. She can be reached at her website, twitter, and Facebook.

Negotiation isn’t really a word that a lot of people associate with sexuality. It’s something you do in business or when buying a new car, not when you’re trying to get hot and heavy with someone sexy.

In BDSM, negotiation is very important and one of the first steps in arranging an encounter.

While kinky negotiations will look different for everyone, there are some basics that you should cover. We discussed in our conversation about consent that only a yes means yes, and negotiation is how we get to that yes. We will begin by discussing things that are important in negotiating a play scene.

I always encourage people to be very thorough in negotiating with new BDSM partners – even if you’ve been married for years. If this is a new area of exploration, it’s best to be rather explicit in what you want to get into. As you gain experience with your partner, you may find that you don’t need the same level of negotiation, knowing each others likes and limits means you don’t have to discuss them every time, unless something changes.

No matter how experienced in BDSM you or your partner are, if you are new to each other, detailed negotiation can save a lot of trouble down the road.

Limits

The first thing we will talk about are limits. This is a word you will hear often in kinky circles, as people talk about what they are and aren’t into. There are two kinds of limits, hard and soft, and it’s important to communicate these to your partner before any kink activities get started.

Hard limits are things you will not do.

You may not have any interest in the activity, you may find it repugnant or too dangerous. There are a million reasons for an activity to become a hard limit – your reasons are your own and you don’t have to explain them to anyone, unless you want to. If something is listed as a hard limit, by either the Top or bottom, Dominant or submissive, it needs to be respected.

Partners should not beg or harass, pushing to do things on your hard limit list – it is incredibly disrespectful to hound someone about limits, often grounds for the ending of kinky relationships.

Soft limits are things that you may not enjoy, but would be willing to do for the right person.

They could also be an activity that you do enjoy, but that you will only do with people you trust or know well. They could be activities that take a high level of skill or energy, so you won’t engage in them with just anyone. Again, activities on your soft limit list can be anything you want them to be, but let your partner know if they are things you’re interested in exploring with them at this time or not.

Everyone is allowed to have limits – they aren’t just for bottoms! Dominants/Tops can have limits for the same reasons that submissives/bottoms do – they aren’t into an activity, it makes their skin crawl, they don’t have the skill set, etc. No one should ever be shamed for having limits, there are no activities that make one a ‘true’ Top/Dominant or bottom/submissive that everyone must engage in.

Keep in mind that your tastes can change over time and so can your limits.

There may be things you see at the beginning of your kinky journey that freak you out, that after a few years you come to regard as hot. You may fantasise about an activity for years, but after actually trying it, find it’s not what you thought or that you hate it. Think of it like food – many things we hated when we were young are now things we love – our tastes change over time. If or when your limits change, be sure to let your partner(s) know, so that they can adjust their expectations of play accordingly.

A discussion about safe words should also happen – decide if you want to use safe words or plain language to communicate during the scene. If you do want to use safe words, you should agree on which word or words to use and what they will mean for you. Everyone has a different interpretation of safe words, so again, it’s much better to talk about it so you’re on the same page. It can save unwanted pain, both physical and psychological, for everyone involved.

Deciding on which activities you do want to engage in looks different for everyone. Some people choose to fill out BDSM activity checklists (google that phrase to find many examples to use or make your own). Where ‘likes’ overlap you have an idea of what you may want to do together.

Some people will negotiate every activity they want to engage in for a particular scene – covering each implement or action to ensure their partner is consenting. I suggest this type of negotiating with new play partners. Again, once you get to know someone’s play style, you can shift to less detailed negotiation.

Scene Agreement

One way to do this type of negotiating is to agree on a type of scene – let’s say an impact play scene – then allow the bottom to choose which implements they would like used. The top doesn’t need to use all of those implements, but at least has a general idea of what the bottom is hoping for. This also helps with misunderstandings that can happen.

For instance, if someone agreed to playing with floggers, they may have meant only fur and suede floggers (anticipating a more sensation focused type of play), where I may take it to mean they are ok with all the floggers in my collection – including the metal weighted falls that make even the most eager masochist think twice.

With more established play partners (someone you’ve played with many times and have a good idea of their likes and limits), you can simply negotiate a theme for the scene – impact, sensation, etc. Just be sure to negotiate anything new; toys, limits or anything else that may have changed since your last play time.


Communication is essential to a good relationship and this is especially true when it comes to BDSM relationships. Without consent, our play becomes assault or abuse. While talking about what we want to do or have done to us may be uncomfortable in the beginning, it is an essential skill that those who want to engage in kink should develop. It gets much easier the more you do it and those improved communication skills (and the confidence in them) can have a positive impact on more than just your sex life!


Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. As a former health care worker, she is very knowledgeable regarding safety in BDSM. She is a sex work advocate and an outreach worker with The Naked Truth Entertainment. Morgan is also a fetish film performer and model. She is a writer with Kink E Magazine and volunteers in her local community as a DM and event organizer. She is a kink educator who teaches across North America. Identifying as pansexual/asexual, Morgan tries to be inclusive of all identities and orientations during her teaching. Her new book “A Guide to Classic Discipline” is expected out spring/summer 2015
BDSM 101: Safe Words

BDSM 101: Safe Words

The Importance of Safe Words in BDSM Play

Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. She can be reached at her website, twitter, and Facebook.

One of the best known things surrounding BDSM is the safe word. In kinky circles, the use and necessity of safe words are often debated. In this article, we will take a look at safe words, whether you need them and when to use them. This isn’t meant to cover all instances of safe word use, nor all the subtleties involved, but simply to give a general overview.

The easiest way to let your partner know what’s going on with you is to communicate in plain language. Checking in and communicating is essential to many play scenes. People should feel able to talk to their partners during a scene: to talk about how they are feeling and indicate if something is wrong. However, there are times when this is not possible or appropriate, which is when safe words (or signals) come into play.

If you are engaging in consensual non-consent (CNC) or resistance play, you may want to use a safe word.

CNC and resistance play can refer to scenes where the Top ‘forces’ the bottom to perform activities, and the bottom resists (verbally or physically). These activities are negotiated beforehand, so the resistance is more role-play than genuine distress.

Safe words allow partners to engage in this type of play, where the bottom may be saying ‘no’ or ‘stop’. The Top then knows that they can continue in their actions, even overcoming resistance, without having to figure out if the bottom really wants them to stop. If the safe word is used, the Top then knows to check in and find out what the bottom wants or needs.

Safe words are also very useful when engaging in many types of pain play.

A well known line in the kink world is “ouch is not a safe word”. A bottom receiving intense pain play will often say/yell things that would make us think twice about continuing. I’ve been called a bitch (and much worse) by bottoms while in one of my sadistic moods. I know that they are simply processing the sensation rather than genuinely upset with me in part because they aren’t using their safe word.

Of course, if a Top is ever unsure about the reactions a bottom is having, it’s best to check in using plain language!

Safe words are also used in public dungeons and many private play parties.

This is one of the ways dungeon monitors (DMs) can keep track of play. You wouldn’t want a monitor stopping your scene to make sure everything is ok, just because one of the people involved is role playing distress. While it is a general rule that you must let the DM know that you will be engaging in this type of play before hand, they do expect a certain amount of dramatic yelping during play. A DM will step in (or should step in) if they hear a safe word used and the Top doesn’t stop play to check in with the bottom.

If a bottom is gagged or unable to speak for any reason, safe signals can be used.

A safe signal is a non-verbal cue that takes the place of the safe word. Safe signals can be whatever you agree on, as long as everyone involved is clear on what they mean. Tapping out is probably the most well known signal and it works great if partners are close to each other or able to use their hands. Dropping a ball or an item that will make noise is another common signal to use and works well if partners have some distance between them.

Likewise, safe words can be any word (or combination of words) that you would be unlikely to use during sex or play. At parties there are usually house safe words – ones that all participants are expected to use so that the DMs can identify when a safe word is used. Common ones include:

  • ‘safe word’
  • the traffic light system of ‘yellow’ and ‘red’ (with yellow meaning slow/ease up and red meaning stop)

Feel free to create your own safe words, but I prefer to use these as they are easy to remember or say and understood by kinky people everywhere.

A safe word should be used if play is getting too intense, but that’s not the only time it’s applicable.

Bottoms can indicate that they have a muscle cramp, for example, or that there is an issue with bondage that needs adjusting. Safe words can also indicate a withdrawal of consent – if the bottom changes their mind about the planned play, they can revoke the consent they previously gave by using their safe word. When I play, a safe word is reason for a check in, where what is said will be taken at face value. My partner can tell me that something needs to be adjusted, that they want to continue, but without me using a specific implement that is becoming too much or that they want to stop our scene for whatever reason.

Safe words are not just for bottoms, Tops can use them as well. Most of the time though, Tops simply stop the scene or change what’s needed instead of using a safe word. They are able to do this because they are directing the play.

When a person uses a safe word, they should never be ridiculed for it.

BDSM isn’t a competition and bottoms aren’t expected to just take whatever a top decides to dish out. A safe word should not be looked at as a bad thing, but rather for the tool of communication it is. Having a safe word in place doesn’t do much good if the bottom is afraid to use it or too proud to use one when it’s needed. As a Top, I rely on my bottom to use a safe word (or otherwise communicate with me) when they need to do so. As much as they trust me to stick to our negotiated play and keep them safe, I trust that they will let me know if something is wrong.


Again, safe words are optional, use them if and when you see fit. Safe words are not a magic word, they only work if the people playing respect their use. They are another way that partners can use to communicate. Be sure that you cover the use of safe words in your negotiation before play and don’t assume that everyone uses them or uses the same words.


Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. As a former health care worker, she is very knowledgeable regarding safety in BDSM. She is a sex work advocate and an outreach worker with The Naked Truth Entertainment. Morgan is also a fetish film performer and model. She is a writer with Kink E Magazine and volunteers in her local community as a DM and event organizer. She is a kink educator who teaches across North America. Identifying as pansexual/asexual, Morgan tries to be inclusive of all identities and orientations during her teaching. Her new book “A Guide to Classic Discipline” is expected out spring/summer 2015
BDSM 101: Consent

BDSM 101: Consent

Why Consent Is King In BDSM Play

 

Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. She can be reached at her website, twitter, and Facebook.

 

BDSM has been in the spotlight because of the recent release of the 50 Shades of Grey movie, and has had more attention paid to it in the last few years because of the books by the same name. As a long time practitioner of BDSM and a kinky educator who has taught all over North America, I wanted to both see what all the fuss was about and share some of my knowledge on the subject. I recently sat down and read the first book (the one the movie is based on) by E. L. James.

This series of articles will be inspired by the book – the things that people just starting out on a kinky path should know about what it is we do (WIIWD).

Consent is the foundation of BDSM and it’s also one of the areas where the books are criticized the most. It seemed as good a place as any to start.

Let’s start with a basic definition.

Consent is permission to do something or to allow something to be done. It is an agreement between all parties involved. There are different types of consent, depending on the situation and needs of those involved.

  • Implied consent is the assumption of consent, perhaps because consent had been given in the past or because actions lead to the presumption of consent. People in the BDSM community are not fans of implied consent – it is generally not acceptable when it comes to sex or kink and it certainly doesn’t meet the legal threshold in those areas either. Now, when a couple (or triad, quad, etc) have been together for a long time, they will often ask for and get consent in non-verbal ways – a sultry look is answered with a passionate kiss, for example. It is important to note that people just starting out with a new person or new activity should not rely on implied consent – asking for and getting affirmative or express consent is essential.
  • Affirmative or express consent is asked for and given explicitly – verbally, in writing or with a gesture – thumbs up, a nod or by signing. In kinky contexts, getting affirmative or express consent can be fun and part of the play. Having a partner beg for something not only shows that they want it, but it can be pretty hot!

Implied consent is doing something and waiting to hear a no if the person isn’t into it. Affirmative or express consent is getting a clear yes before proceeding.

Consent doesn’t mean anything unless all parties are aware of the possible risks, benefits and consequences of an action, known as informed consent. In BDSM, this means that both the top (dominant, Master/Mistress, etc) and the bottom (submissive, slave, etc) know enough about an activity to understand what could go wrong, since we will assume that the benefits are satisfaction (sexual or otherwise), happiness or pleasure – ours or our partners. Since the top is the person performing the action, they should be knowledgeable enough in the activity that they can share information about risks and consequences with the bottom.

If I want to do a spanking scene with someone, I need to ask them and have them say yes before I can just hit them. I need to tell them that the risks of hand spanking are minimal and the consequences are a potentially bruised ass. Now, things can be done to minimize the consequences (proper warm up, not hitting as hard, stopping at the first signs of bruising), but it’s still a possible outcome.

Consent can be withdrawn at any point.

The bottom can decide that the spanking I’m giving is more intense than they wanted, they started to feel ill or that they’re not as into it as they thought they would be. If consent is withdrawn, even in the middle of play, it is the top’s responsibility to stop immediately. Consent is withdrawn by saying ‘no’ or by using a safe word, whatever the people involved decide.

When asking for and giving consent, a person has to be sober.

This means not drunk, not high and no altered states of mind.

BDSM and booze/drugs don’t mix, since informed, express consent becomes difficult or impossible and because sobriety is needed by both parties to engage in SM safely. A wasted top could easily lose control and play too hard, an impaired bottom may not realise that something is causing unintended pain or harm. Since everyone’s limits for intoxicants are different, each person needs to decide what they are comfortable with.

Personally, I won’t play with a new person if either of us have had even one drink. For regular partners, I will make an exception to this, but only if we have had two or fewer drinks over a few hours and the play is a low risk activity. These are my limits, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).

Re-negotiating activities mid-play can be problematic.

While playing endorphins are often released, subs can enter what is referred to as ‘subspace’, tops can also experience ‘topspace’ (more on these concepts in later articles). Subspace can affect a person’s perception of pain, it can also make them more amenable to suggestion or willing to do something they wouldn’t normally do. Topspace can affect a person’s perception of their own skill level or make it harder to maintain the precise control needed to be a safe top. Adding activities or renegotiating the terms of play while either person is in this headspace is potentially unethical and dangerous.

Consent is invalid if a person has been coerced to agree to an activity, by threats (I won’t love you if you don’t do X), social pressure (but everyone’s doing X!) or nagging (want to do X? How about now? Now?).

Consent is only valid if it is given freely.

Non-kinky power imbalances can also affect consent. It’s why (real life) teacher/student affairs are looked down upon – the student may feel unspoken pressure to consent. These things can happen in the BDSM world too, a person may feel pressure to play with a popular community leader, educator or celebrity.

A form of pressure that is often seen in kinky circles is the insinuation that if a person doesn’t do X, they are not a ‘true’ submissive/dominant/bottom/top.

Saying “a real submissive would…” or “a true dominant would…” is unfair and untrue. Tops & bottoms, submissives & dominants are all allowed to have limits – things they will not do – and just because a person is into an activity, doesn’t mean they are into it with you.

Consent is an in depth topic, one that kinky people talk about often. These discussions are also seen in the wider, non-kinky world too. Schools are considering teaching affirmative or express consent. People are moving away from the ‘no means no’ model to ‘yes means yes’.

By adopting this affirmative/express model of consent, we are helping to ensure we have more satisfying encounters with our partners and that we only engage in activities with people who really want to.

Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. As a former health care worker, she is very knowledgeable regarding safety in BDSM. She is a sex work advocate and an outreach worker with The Naked Truth Entertainment. Morgan is also a fetish film performer and model. She is a writer with Kink E Magazine and volunteers in her local community as a DM and event organizer. She is a kink educator who teaches across North America. Identifying as pansexual/asexual, Morgan tries to be inclusive of all identities and orientations during her teaching. Her new book “A Guide to Classic Discipline” is expected out spring/summer 2015

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50 Weeks of V Sex Challenge

Whether your sex life is scorching or burning out, whether you're single or taken, everyone can use a little motivation to keep the fire alive in the sack.

 

Sign up for '50 Weeks of V' and get an exclusive (and FREE!) sexy challenge every week.

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