When the “D” in Your D/s Dynamic Stands for Depression

Being a caregiver to someone with depression isn’t an easy thing to do. It is even harder in a D/s or Master/slave relationship. When mental health issues surface, they can often do so seemingly out-of-the-blue. In a D/s dynamic, this can destabilise or cause fluctuation in the power flows between the Dominant and the submissive….

Ask a Neuroscientist: A Fresh Look at Marijuana in the BDSM Scene

by Hermes Solenzol The recreational use of cannabis is now legal in my home state of California and in eight other states and Washington DC. Medical cannabis is legal in 28 states. So now more than half the people of the United States has some form of legal access to marijuana. In fact, marijuana use…

Scene Etiquette and Leather Protocol: More Specific Guidelines (2/6)

by Ambrosio Part 1: General Principles Part 3: Cruising with Class Part 4: Play Parties Part 5: Flagging, Symbols and Rituals Part 6: A Few Notes on High Protocol & In Closing SOCIALIZING & NETWORKING Socializing takes place at munches, general meetings, runs, and parties. Munches are semi-public gatherings of BDSM enthusiasts for the purpose…

Can’t versus Won’t in Consensual Non-Consent (CNC)

The topic of Consensual Non-Consent never fails to get people banging heads with each other. Firstly, you have the “relationship” camp and the “session” camp firing arrows at each other. The term “CNC” is used by some to mean an interaction where the agreed boundaries are not negotiated, or are negotiated to be left entirely…

Is it Topping from the Bottom?

No-one is going to deny that Tops need feedback in a scene. This commonly includes the bottom communicating needs, discomfort and safety concerns. or communicating and processing their feelings in aftercare. At the same time, a basic working definition of topping from the bottom might be: “an attempt by the bottom to steer play or…

D/s Contracts – How to Create One That Works

by Anton Fulmen Written contracts between dominant and submissive partners, often referred to as “slave contracts,” have a long history in the practice of dominance. Some of us find the formality, structure and the sense of commitment and authority of a written contract to be highly appealing. Some contracts are works of erotic fiction: props…

Illustrated Guide – 10 Golden Rules of Negotiation

Negotiation forms the basic core of consensual BDSM practices. In fact, negotiation and consent are the primary way BDSM is distinguished from abuse. Unfortunately, I don’t know where these originally came from, but I’ve decided to repost them because I think they’re important. I think we’re often in danger of feeling like we have to…

BDSM Traffic Light Safewords – How Do They Work (and Not Work)?

Most of us are aware of the traffic light safewords system as a safety measurement/communication during a scene. Basically, a Dominant checks in by asking “how do you feel?”, and the submissive uses “green”, “orange”, “red” to indicate the subjective intensity the submissive is experiencing. Generally, “green” means everything is good, and please proceed in…

When Your Dom Can Sleep With Anyone He Pleases, But You Can’t

by Hermes Solenzol This practice seems to be quite common in the world of Dominance/submission (D/s). I have seen people who I respect a lot as Doms do it. And, given the enormous overlap between BDSM and polyamory / non-monogamy, it’s something that needs to be considered carefully from the ethical point of view. It…

Mental Health and the Issue of Consent

If you have read previous articles on this site, you will probably have noticed that we emphasise the importance of consent — basic understanding of consent, different models of consent (e.g. SSC and RACK), the complications and legality of consent in BDSM settings, and more. Consent is the important red line that exists between BDSM…