BDSM - "The Bascis"

 

Over the years, I have received several queries in this forum about BDSM or one or more of the components: bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism. My reason for starting this thread is to discuss BDSM practices and techniques for those who are interested in knowing more and especially for those who wish to experiment with this type of activity. In this initial post, I shall present basic definitions and guidelines. I imagine that the thread will eventually expand beyond the BDSM 101 level. 

 

Honest Communications and Trust at the Core

Before you try any of these things the first time; talk it over with your partner. Many people are afraid to expose themselves as "perverts" to their partners or anyone, but often as not your partner is willing to experiment. Most people in developed countries have tried or are willing to try light bondage, spanking or mild S&M at least once.

 

Remember -

These practices should only occur between consenting adults who are competent to make such decisions. Look for a tutorial on the web, buy books about this or find your local BDSM community who have educational events dedicated to whatever you might want to try.

What is kink?

I have always said that kink is any sexual practice that is outside the usual practice of an individual, a couple, or a society. A kink is an intense bend or twist in a wire, cable or filament. Human sexuality defines a "kink" as a "twist" in the interests they have and the activities in which they engage. Therefore, kinky people are considered "twisted" by the mainstream society. Personally, I prefer to think that when we are talking about activities between consenting adults that kink is a good thing as it keeps the attraction alive.  We need to be aware, however, that all personal interpretations of kinky may vary. What seems extremely kinky for one person may be the usual for another.

 

BDSM?

BDSM is an acronym which seems to have first appeared in the late 1980s or early 1990s with the advent of public access to the internet. It is a combination of two earlier sets of initials: B&D (Bondage and Discipline) and S&M (Sadism and Masochism). Any BDSM activity should only occur between consenting adult human beings!

 

BD- Core to Lifestyle

Bondage and Discipline occur in all forms of lifestyle activity. The difference is in the later. Some individuals are merely into pain, the giving or receiving of it. The individuals vary from game playing from the very mild to severe; or a serious lifestyle commitment.

 

Bondage

Society in general usually defines this as the practice of confining or restricting a person's movement with metal, leather or other bonds or by binding the person with rope or other enwrapped material such as scarves, tape, etc that can be tied. Many people have their first bondage experience using scarves, neckties, pantyhose or other garments to bind or be bound. Others go out and buy bondage cuffs of leather or PVC, Velcro restraints or soft bondage rope. Real police or military handcuffs are not recommended. Bondage can be steel bondage which includes the use of chains, shackles, and cages, it can be device bondage with stocks and other "torture devices" or it can be rope bondage. 

 

Rope bondage can be Damsel in Distress style bondage based on the old detective and cowboy novels in which a vulnerable woman is taken captive and her partner plays the role of captor or hero or both. If the captive is a male it might be called Dude in Distress bondage, there, in either case, this is referred to as DID. This style lends itself to role-playing as you can see. 

 

Shibaru or ikinbaku-bi (a Japanese style bondage) is a sort of spiritual bonding in which both partners take an erotic journey together along the pathway of rope or nawa do. Shibaru is gaining popularity as a roleplay scenario also, but for most serious practitioners is treated as an art form.

 

Discipline

Happens in a roleplay scenario in which one person is in authority and the other is subordinate. Discipline usually occurs when the subordinate commits some act of "insubordination" or "misbehaves" and needs to be corrected. Discipline can be in the form of "corporal punishment" such as a spanking, paddling, whipping, etc. or it might be a task such as cleaning the oven, going shopping while wearing no panties or even performing a sexual service. Some popular discipline scenarios involve Teacher/student, Boss/employee, Parent/child, Police/criminal, and Master-Mistress/slave. There are many instances in which Discipline is combined with Bondage.

 

Sadism and Masochism

You cannot have one without the other... Typically abbreviated S&M, SM or S/m 

  • Sadism is the sexual arousal and experiencing more intense orgasms by inflicting "pain" on another. 

  • Masochism is the act of becoming aroused and experiencing more intense orgasms through the pain.

 

The person who likes to serve up the pain is called a sadist and the one who enjoys receiving pain is called a masochist. The term sadism is based on the name of the 18th-century French aristocratic libertine author, Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, whose literary works were filled with shocking sexual practices and acts of cruelty. An alternative name for the practice of S&M or the enjoyment of pain is algolagnia. 

 

Masochism comes from the name of Leopold Sacher-Masoch a 19th-century Austrian aristocrat whose Venus in Furs is autobiographically based on his own methods of gaining sexual fulfillment from a dominant woman or domtrix with whom he entered into a contract with him as a slave and her as his cruel mistress. 

 

Some living the S&M lifestyle now eschew the terms sadist and masochist because of the bad press this enjoyable kink has received in the past and because sadism, masochism, bondage and discipline practices have been included in several editions of various dictionaries but typically have a very negative connotation in vanilla (puritanical and socially compliant) society.

 

Building Relationships

The interactions between a submissive and dominant person in all aspects of a human relationship is the foundation of the lifestyle. The "slave" voluntarily and consensually gives up their free will to another the "master" to create a stable, safe and worry-free existence.

 

Slaves versus Submissives

Many times, slaves come from very poor or threatening existences and want the protection of their masters, classic is those who wish to escape extreme poverty, war or other equally terrifying situations. Others use it to further their education or have opportunities that would not be available in their normal existence. My experience shows that most slaves evolved into total surrender (or Total Power Exchange) fro starting with submissive desires, tendencies, and activities. Others (in the minority) are comfortable and safe in their day to day lives but are stressed in the burdensome professional lives and seek the refuge of being free of making decisions in their private lives. Many people (mostly the game players) view this as solely sexual, in lifestyle members it far more complex and overarching that. There are usually very detailed and specific agreements rose that govern the lives in the "home". 

 

Individuals who have professional, high-profile, celebrity public lives develop a clear delineation between their private and public lives. This process takes time and requires the establishment of a trust that the dominant will come up with an appropriate and working contract. Many contracts are for terms, others have specific exit clauses, and while other agreements are open-end.

 

In a lifestyle situation, many factors come into play, down to appearance, communications, forms of address, even the disposition of children. All cases have clear guidelines for sexual, disciplinary and domestic arrangements. Think of it as prenuptial agreement on steroids. No two contracts are the same, but all usually start with the same tenant. My base contract is 40 pages long, I have had ones a short as 5 pages and as long 80 pages. All are vetted by a lawyer and can be deemed enforceable. Many have specific appendices that are tuned to the items listed above and I always start with a Generic form for each engagement.

 

Is BSDM a Mental Illness?

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or simply DSM used by the American Psychiatric Association. Since 1994 the APA has backed away from classifying people who practice BDSM as mentally ill, now it is generally referred to as being social NON-CONFORMISTS. 

 

Impact Play

Some favourite activities of S&M people are impact-play with whips, paddles, canes, and other kinds of "corporal punishment devices"; fire-play with dripping hot wax, or alcohol fuel tips, etc; contortion-play with clamps on nipples, genitals and other body parts; "humiliation"; cutting-play with scalpels, sharpies, needle, piercing devices, etc and any number of other activities which stimulate the nerve endings. 

 

While the idea of using a bullwhip, flogger (scourge) or paddle on another human being or having such an implement used on oneself may sound terrible the fact is that the blows are often little more than light caresses given with implements made of suede, rabbit skin or other soft materials. The terrifying aspect of play is the sound of the devices (whips, crops, etc.) in-flight more so than the actual impact.

 

Safe Play

For beginners, Whichever of these activities you decide to try it is recommended that you follow the first rule of the worldwide BDSM community (yes, we have a community called "the Scene") and that rule is safe, sane and consensual. Let's begin with consensual. This means that all activity involves live, mentally sound, legally adult human beings who knowingly and willfully give their consent to participate in such activities. 

 

"Safe" is a word which may seem debatable when we are talking about suspending someone from a rope, whipping someone with a bullwhip or some of the other practices. Be aware of what the potential dangers are in any situation, know how to eliminate or minimize them and know how to react to a worst-case scenario. Rope people always have safety shears within a split second's reach for example. Sane is again a debatable word it would seem. If the risk seems too high they don't do it.

 

Personally, I would rather take my risks having wax dripped on me as foreplay or having sex while skydiving rather than appearing on an episode of Jackass.

 

Not for the Uninclined

Necrophile, zoophilia or bestiality, paedophilia and real-life abductions or forcing people to participate or even tricking people to unknowingly into activities is not acceptable. This is what constitutes the line between informed consent and willful abuse. BDSM is not about abuse.

 

Players

People who engage regularly in BDSM activities often refer to what they do as a game are deemed, players. The person who runs the scene does the binding, administers the discipline or inflicts the "pain" is usually called a Top. The person on the receiving end is usually called the bottom. These are words the BDSM community has borrowed from the Gay community. Other terms used in Bondage are Rigger, Rope Artist Captor or Rope Top for the Top and rope bottom, rope slut, and nawa-jujuun for the bottom. people who specialize in spanking are called spankos the Tops often being Daddy/Mommy, Sir/Madame or Professor and the bottoms being girl/boy or boi, or baby-girl. Other people like to call themselves or be called Master/Mistress or slave.

 

An advanced form of role play is called Domination and submission, abbreviated D/S, D/s, and Ds. Some people prefer to only perform one role Top/Dominant or bottom/submissive. In D/s the top is called a Dominant and the bottom is called a submissive. Female Dominants usually prefer Domme. It is very difficult to precisely define D/s as no two people seem to agree about what exactly it is. It is frequently called the "mental side of BDSM" and the fact that it is a personal emotional understanding of one's role and one's relationship with a partner that makes it so difficult to define in comparison to B&D or S&M which are definable activities. Most serious D/s people will argue that it is not role play as stated above but is in fact very real.

 

A person who enjoys both topping (being dominant) and bottoming (being dominated) is called a switch.
 

Safe Words

As you can see there are many possibilities for Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, and Masochism to overlap. In many cases involving role play, a safe word might be recommendable. Since a naughty underling might be yelling "no, stop please stop!" as part of the scene being played code word understood by both players might be needed. It should be a word which would never have any context in the scene being played. "Ocean" is a good word because it can be understood even if a person is gagged. The most common safe word is red which means stop. When the safe word is uttered everything comes to a halt, that's it, game over. There is a sticky on this Forum about safe words.

 

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