Step One: Communicate Your Desires
Before any bedroom action begins, it’s always good (and necessary with this kind of play) to sit down with your partner and discuss exactly what you will be getting into. It’s not enough for a partner to just say that she (or he) “wants to be dominated”, or “wants you to take charge”, or “wants to be taken”, or “wants you to be rougher (or more aggressive)”. Every person is different, every couple is different, so obviously desires, fantasies, expectations, and actions are going to be very different. An “I want to be dominated” from one girl may mean “I want you to pin my wrists gently above my head”, but to another girl it may mean “I want you to face fuck me with your cock until I gag while getting flogged with a rider’s crop.”
So get a clear picture of what you and your partner are comfortable with, and would like to explore together. If you or your partner are unsure or unable to come up with specific acts, consult resources (basic Google search, BDSM websites, erotica, porn, etc.)! For example, here are some great BDSM checklists that you and your partner can go through together:
This leads nicely to the next step.
Used with permission from http://apolloniasaintclair.tumblr.com/
Step Two: Establishing Boundaries & Negotiation
For many of these kinds of checklists, you can indicate which acts are of interest to you. Both partners should fill these out – it’s not just about what the submissive is willing to engage in, the dominant also must feel comfortable performing these acts as well! For example, if a sub expresses the desire to get slapped in the face, but the Dom feels uncomfortable or uneasy doing so, then it’s just equally important that (s)he indicate that (s)he has no desire for slapping.
When going through these different items/acts, it’s helpful to indicate:
- Things you definitely want to try
- Things you are interested in trying but may need more time (i.e. more research needed, not ready to try out just yet, etc)
- Things you are tentative about, but are willing to try if your partner expresses an interest in
- Things you do not really want to engage in, but are negotiable (soft limit)
- Things that you definitely do not want to try ever (hard limit)
Another aspect to consider is the intensity level of a desired activity. Maybe you and your partner have indicated an interest in spanking. But how much does s(he) want to be spanked? One spank every few minutes? 10 spanks in succession? Continuous spanks for 20 minutes? And with what? Your hand? A belt? A ruler? A flogger? A riding crop? A cane? These are all important things to consider! You should do a “test-trial” of such activities to get a good idea of what your partner can handle and/or is looking for. For example, give your partner a few spanks on the ass and get their feedback, i.e.: “Harder”, “Softer”, “More”, “Less”, etc.
These boundaries are also not limited to just physical activities. It may also involve any verbal activities as well, such as dirty talking during a scene, verbal degradation and/or humiliation. For example, some people like to be called a “dirty little slut/whore/cunt/bitch/slave/pet” – maybe they really enjoy one term, but another they absolutely hate (i.e. being called a “slut” is okay, but “cunt” is a hard limit).
If this is your first time “playing” (enacting out a Dom/sub dynamic in the bedroom), it’s good to outright establish the boundaries for that first “scene” – i.e., even though you both may have indicated an interest in choking, perhaps you don’t want to start out with that on your first time – start slowly, there will be plenty of time to experiment and try out all kinds of different things in the future!
Always respect established boundaries – even if things are going amazing, and you think s(he) would be okay with going further, please don’t (unless they give you verbal permission during the play session). Remember, it’s always better for your partner to ask you to take things further later on, than for you to take things too far without permission and ruin the experience and make him/her reluctant to want to try again in the future.
Come up with a safeword. Always. Even if you don’t think you need one…fantasies are one thing, actual enactment of them is another, your partner may not actually enjoy the reality of a particularly Dom/sub play once (s)he experiences it so always play safe than be sorry.
The most common safeword system is the “green-yellow-red” light system:
- “Green”: Everything is going great, keep going!
- “Yellow”: Starting to feel anxious/worried/hesitant, please be careful and check in with me.
- “Red”: STOP NOW!
In cases in which you may not be able to use a safeword (i.e. gagging, breath play, having your face shoved into a pillow, face-fucking, etc.), you will need to establish a “safe gesture” – it can be anything like blinking one eye a certain number of times, tapping your partner’s wrist a certain number of times, holding up a certain number of fingers for your partner to see, snapping your fingers, whatever.
Another thing in regards to safety is if you are ever engaging in anything potentially risky – i.e. breath play (including light choking), knife play, impact play, bondage, etc. – please do your research (consult online resources, books, guides, BDSM communities, etc) so you know how to engage in these acts safely and responsibly!
Lastly, constantly be aware of yourself and your partner during your play sessions. If (s)he appears to hesitate, looks anxious or uncomfortable in their behavior, STOP IMMEDIATELY. Check in with them, ask them if anything is wrong, MAKE SURE NOTHING IS WRONG. Or if you just want to do a quick check in, ask for a color (assuming you are using the “green-yellow-red” light system). You can still check in with your partner without breaking the Dom/sub dynamic: You can ask them questions while still engaging in the Dom role: “I think you deserve to be punished, you’re going to get 10 spanks to your tight little ass. Tell me, do you think that is a fitting punishment?” “I want you on your knees sucking my cock until you’re gagging. Now tell me, are you going to be a good girl and do what I say?” You can determine a lot by their responses to these kinds of questions – whether they are enthusiastic and eager in their reply, or whether they seem a bit nervous or anxious or hesitant.
If you have any doubt in your mind, just stop. If (s)he uses the safeword, STOP IMMEDIATELY. Give her/him a second to relax and decompress. Talk about it, get them to communicate what went wrong. Please, please DO NOT continue, even if (s)he says (s)he is okay to get back into it. Just stop for the night. And please reassure and ENCOURAGE her/him to use the safeword.