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Consent

Sasha Sobolevsky

Not to get all serious, as we do believe that sex and kink should be lots and lots of fun, but safety is a big concern and it’s important to discuss.

We’ve recommended it before, but Jay Wiseman’s SM 101 is the holy grail guide to starting out in kink. However, in our own words and for the sake of this blog being a repository of information, we will detail some basics here.

What is consent? Consent is HUGE in the BDSM community. Anyone who disagrees is either 1) delusional or 2) an asshole. Seriously. Consent in the vanilla world means to give permission, and it’s the same for kink. To me, the operative word in that definition is “give.” Consent isn’t assumed or taken, it’s given explicitly. Consent doesn’t just apply to sexual touch or acts; it also applies to words and treatment of others. For example, if I do not consent to be called a little whore, nobody should call me that.

How do I give / retract consent? This is sometimes a tough topic, especially if you are playing with someone new or trying a new experience. When I started talking to people in the community who I wanted to play with, they would give me a list of kinks and ask me to fill out my likes / wants / dislikes / limits, and they would also give me their filled-out form. The form looked something like this. That way, my partner could read what my desires were, and what I would NOT do, and we could have a conversation from a place of mutual understanding. Honestly, the first time I filled the form out I was terrified. I had to Google what some of the things were, and acknowledge to myself that some things on there were very erotic to me, even though socially they were deemed unacceptable (see: rape fantasies). One important thing to note, is that even if you say you are willing to do something on the form, or even verbally, it does not mean you can’t change your mind! I had a partner ask if I would try pet play, and I was comfortable giving consent. During the scene however, I felt very uncomfortable and wanted to stop immediately, so I used my safeword. Which leads me to my next topic…

What is a safeword, what should it be, and how do I use it? A safeword is a specific word that you and your partner(s) pre-determine which ends all activity. During my first scene, my partner recommended to use “green” for “I’m ok, keep going,” “yellow” for “Stay the course, but do not increase intensity,” and “red” for “Stop all activity immediately.” Every now and again he would ask me “what’s your color?” to gauge where I was emotionally and physically. I really liked that he would ask me during our scene, as it made me stop and check in with myself to make sure I was ok.

In the end, you are responsible for yourself and your own well-being. You can prepare yourself and protect yourself by speaking frankly with your partner (it can be very sexy to outline exactly what you want done to you, and for your partner to do the same), checking in with yourself or asking your partner to, and not being afraid to stop activity if you are feeling off for any reason. You know yourself best, and if you are feeling off, it’s because something is off, so listen to that little nagging voice. Be strong, and have fun y’all!