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…

The BDSM Community – If You Can’t See It or Touch It, Does It Exist?

We often use the term “BDSM community”, “kink community” or “lifestyle” for convenience, but the fact is that there is no BDSM community in the singular sense. We are a thousand separate tribes with different opinions, customs, ideals and beliefs. A united voice doesn’t exist, though we often pretend, for convenience, that it does. WHY…

Consent and BDSM: The State of the Law in the US

BDSM activity, even where clearly consensual, can be and frequently is prosecuted under state criminal laws dealing with assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault or sexual abuse. Such criminal prosecution can arise in various circumstances, including: • The BDSM “scene” turns out to be more intense or painful or harmful than the submissive participant anticipated, and…

Assent Matters

by SherynB Okay, there’s a 600lb gorilla in the room, and I’m done pretending it’s not there. What we do isn’t pretty or politically correct, and frankly, it’s dangerous if we can’t get (and stay) honest about the reality of it. So here it is as raw and real and un-PC as it is: There…

I Wanna Push Your Limits

Should I put my red flag away now? You will hear “I wanna push your limits” from some Dom at some stage, so I think it’s worthwhile talking about what that really means. LET’S TALK ABOUT CONSENT Consent flows both ways and both parties have to retain both responsibility and consent. A bottom can’t say…