Let me start by asking you a question… what's your favourite ice cream flavour? When you're young, your ice cream repertoire is usually limited to vanilla, chocolate or strawberry, maybe with sprinkles and a flake if you were a tiny bit adventurous. As you grow up you discover a whole new world of flavours: boysenberry, cookies and cream, mint, double fudge… there are countless combinations.
You try a new flavour and you love it, you try a different one and it's not quite for you and then there are some flavours that you vow to never EVER taste again. But hey, at least you tried.
That's what BDSM is. It's not scary, anti-feminist or dangerous. It's just a different type of ice cream flavour that some people love and others don't.
BDSM stands for Bondage & Discipline, Domination & Submission, Sadism & Mascochism… but there's no need to get caught up in definitions. Let's just say it's probably the double dark chocolate ice cream covered with melted salted caramel, topped with fresh strawberries and baileys cream (yum!).
The thing is, you don't just want to jump right in and smother your face in this decadent ice cream. You need to make sure you're well informed, prepared, comfortable and feeling confident and sexy with what you're going to do, this is after all, ice cream, and it should be a special experience for both parties (or multiple parties if you're really stepping it up). If you're ready, tie those napkins around your neck because things are about to get a lil messy.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert on ice cream and each ice cream experience should be treated accordingly. Let's just call me an ice cream enthusiast.
1 - Communication is absolutely vital. If you can't talk openly with your partner about this then you may need to reconsider. You need to ensure you're comfortable enough to ask for what you want but also confident enough to be able to say slow down or stop.
It's like asking for a choc chip ice cream and receiving a strawberry one. That's just not ok. So you politely say to the ice cream vendor 'Hey stop, I actually asked for the choc chip.' This requires trust and respect and when you finally get that choc chip, damn it'll taste good.
2 - Safe Words. One thing that can help you explore your fantasies is making up 'safe words' that you and your partner agree on. The ones used in Fifty Shades of Grey, yellow and red, are pretty useful if you're not sure what to use. Yellow stands for 'that still feels good but don't take it any further, I'm still within my comfort zone so let's stay here.' And red stands for 'stop immediately.' If you don't like yellow and red, get creative. Either way, having some sort of code words allows you to experiment in the moment, knowing that you're respecting your partners wants and limits.
3 - Safety. Sure, things might be getting a little kinky but it doesn't mean that you're safe sex morals go out the window. You should ALWAYS practice safe sex. That means a new condom for each new toy and each new area explored. Are you really going to go and buy your ice cream at 2am by yourself, down a dark lane? And are you going to put hazelnuts on your ice cream if your partner has a nut allergy? Hell no! Safety is sexy and sexy is important so don't you go forgetting that.
4 - Have an open mind. Eating this decadent ice cream together is a special moment for both of you. But it's also a time where you can feel vulnerable. Either physically or mentally. Asking for something or admitting to a certain fantasy might be one of the biggest steps your partner has taken. And regardless of whether or not you're into it, you need to respect their fantasies and their courage for telling you. He might want to add some crushed oreos to your ice cream and he might have had to build up a lot of courage to ask if he can add oreos. But if you don't want oreos just politely tell him that you're not a fan of oreos but it's cool that he likes it. If you both go into the experience with an open mind, then you'll both feel more relaxed and comfortable, therefore making the experience much more enjoyable. This is a judgment free zone because judgment will just melt that ice cream down to a runny mess and no one wants that.
5 - Yes, you're still a feminist if you participate in BDSM. This is often a misconception with BDSM. It's assumed that if you're being submissive towards a man then you're giving in to the male agenda and setting feminism back 100 years. Feminism in a sexual context is about making decisions that are right for you and doing things that make you feel the most sexy and confident person you can be.
A side note here, it's not just women who can play the submissive role. Men can take this role as well and again, it doesn't make them any less masculine. Feminism is about choice and this article is designed to help you make the best kind of choice for you.
BDSM is about fulfilling your sexual fantasies and desires in a safe and comfortable environment. For some it might be about embracing a new type of personality. For others, experimenting and trying new things. And for some others it may be their one outlet to express themselves and connect to their partner in an exciting and intimate way. Regardless of what it is for you, it will be different to everyone. So whether it's the classic vanilla, bubble gum or double dark chocolate ice cream covered with melted salted caramel, topped with fresh strawberries and baileys cream (yum!) flavour you're going for, just remember to be safe, respect your partner, be adventurous and most of all enjoy that satisfying moment of pleasure when you finish.
Image: Loren Bousefield (Obscur Photography)
Adelaide is a twenty something human and yes that is her real name. She doesn’t go far without her Doc Martens and a skinny cappuccino. She loves travelling and thinks it’s the best way to meet exciting men people. When she’s not at uni or daydreaming at the beach, you will find her writing on her blog A Worldly Addiction.