posts tagged "safe sex"
Forming Safe BDSM Relationships.
So over at my political blog, I got into a discussion about a novel of sorts called 50 Shades of Grey, which originated as a Twilight fan-fiction (I know.. eh) about a BDSM relationship. In short, what happened was a person posted an anti-BDSM post using this novel as a reference point to share why BDSM is inherently degrading for women and that you cannot be a feminist or an empowered woman if you take part in BDSM ect, ect. I obviously pointed out the ridiculousness of that assertion (though never having read the book myself) and a good follower of mine pointed out that, while the OP’s BDSM negative views are wrong, 50 Shades of Grey is a bad depiction of a BDSM relationship, and relies heavily on actual abuse and control that is out of the female sub’s comfort zone. So today, I thought that I would go over some stuff that makes a healthy BDSM relationship.
1: Lay Down Ground Rules.
- Subs should articulate how much they are willing to be put through and what they are willing to do. They should also discuss things that they would definitely try or like if their Dom wants to, and things that are 100% off limits that they would never be comfortable with.
- Doms should also articulate how much THEY are willing to put their subs through. If a Dom isn’t comfortable inflicting excessive amounts of pain, or using certain items on their sub, that should be expressed so that the Dom is comfortable in their role.
- Figure out simple safety words or signals, and come up with an easy to memorize system. If your particular brand of BDSM involves gags or one party not being allowed to speak, this will help communicate when things need to be turned up or turned down.
- Establish if you’re going to have a BDSM relationship where the dominant and submissive roles are played even when you’re not “in the bedroom,” so to speak. People find playing their roles in public, though not entirely with the sexual exhibit, to be a turn on. So discussing what kinds of things you’d keep about your dom/sub dynamic while in public could be a good experiment.
And as always, remember that consent is not ongoing. If someone agrees that they want to try something, but then doesn’t want to go forward with it once it starts, respect those wishes. Coerced participation is sexual assault and can be considered rape; it doesn’t matter if you’re partners or not.
2: Always Have Safety in Mind
- If you’re using any kind of equipment or toys, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. I know, reading can be hard, but it’s the difference between a good time and a bad time. This is especially true if you’re using penetrative toys, restraints, or other devices. If certain things are not used properly they can result in injury, and even though the point in BDSM is to sometimes get “hurt,” unwanted pain is never fun.
- Know your own strength/how much pain you can take. Let’s look at this on a scale of 1 to 10, one being lowest strength/pain that can be dealt with, and 10 being the highest. If you’re a Dom and you’re strength is at a 10, but you’re sub can only take a 5, you’re going to have to work a little harder at judging how much you should dish out without hurting your partner. Likewise, if you’re a sub who can TAKE 10, but your Dom is at a 5, you will have to work together to find a good middle ground so that both of you can be satisfied.
- Pay heed to any health risks that you are your partner(s) have. Allergies or physical/mental conditions that can be affected should be taken into consideration before you start.
- Properly maintain your toys and equipment! Neglected or poorly cared for “extras” pose more threats to yours and your partner(s) safety. Make sure restraints are in good condition, that anything that is holding or suspending is well maintained.
- Be aware of any cautionary notes about how much or how long your equipment can be used before it needs to be replaced.
Keep in mind the materials that your things are made of and how often you plan on using them before purchasing. If you’re not going to be using your toys or equipment often, investing in relatively inexpensive toys might be the best way to go. However, if you’re going to be using it often, or using things that receive a lot of wear and tear, invest in something a little more expensive made with materials that will last a long time.
3: Some Last Things to Remember:
- Be comfortable with your partner(s) and express any discomforts you might have going into BDSM. And, importantly, be comfortable with the idea of BDSM itself! Looking into what it’s about, reading about the various degrees of a Dom/sub relationship, ect, can help get a grasp for what you might like and will help you better understand BDSM.
- You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. While BDSM relies on one partner being “dominant” to another, BOTH partners have a say in what goes on, and a sub is only a sub in the scope of actions they are willing to be a sub in.
- If you’re a Dom, keep in mind the bolded point above. While you are exercising dominance, it is only because your sub lets you, and respectful and loving doms never go past what their subs are willing to do.
- Likewise, Doms cannot be forced to perform any acts on their subs they are not comfortable with. Healthy BDSM relationships involve both parties being completely comfortable in the roles they’re playing.
- There will be people who find BDSM degrading or “immoral,” and usually those people are people who have come by their opinion by a very warped or uninformed manner. Just keep in mind that if it’s what you want to do and you’re consenting, there is nothing degrading or bad about it. Hell, you can even tell them about it!
As always, message me if there’s anything you want to note about this post, and if you’re into BDSM, feel free to tell me what you think.
I just ordered some new Sliquid via Amazon prime (for 8 bucks!) so I thought I’d share some information! It’s my favorite lube on the market and with Amazon it gets to your house so quickly there’s no reason you have to buy any drug store brands in a rush.
Sliquid offers Water based lube, Silicon Lube, Anal Lube, Carrageenan Lube (With seaweed extract that help fight STI’s!), Menthol Stimulant Lube, Aloe Lubricant for Daily Use and a whole Line of Flavored lubricants. They’re all hypoallergenic and Glycerin free!
Dear Health Conscious Consumer,
I would enjoy the opportunity to briefly introduce you to Sliquid Naturals, the only entirely glycerin (sugar derivative) free and paraben free intimate product line available. All Sliquid intimate products are formulated with safety, especially women’s safety, as the number one priority. We offer several water based natural personal lubricant formulas, as well as a premium silicone based lubricant and a water / silicone hybrid, all of which are 100% vegan friendly. We aim to bring an entire line of safe, natural personal lubricants for women, as well as other intimate products that are a necessity for healthy, sexually active people. All of our female focused natural personal lubricants and intimate products are 100% latex safe and condom friendly, so always use Sliquid lube in good health. All Sliquid products are formulated by sensitive women, for sensible women. Why should you use Sliquid products?
Why are Sliquid products glycerin/glycol/glycerol free?
I could write a love letter to sliquid.
SLIQUID IS THE BEST.
This sounds so neat!
The Importance of a Safe Word
Safe Words are often a concept we think of exclusively reserved for when you’re engaging in BDSM, however a Safe Word is something we should expand to all aspects of our sexual relationships.
One example of why I love Safe Words is because I am ticklish. I am ticklish in a way that is unpleasant, terrifying and makes me feel totally out of control. Tickling has brought on anxiety attacks and bouts of hyperventilating, however, not everything that tickles is totally unpleasant. When I sit down to have a talk with a new partner about how tickling is NOT okay with me (a previously awkward, but now totally comfortable conversation) I like to bring up a safe word.
Like I said, I am ticklish, particularly when I’m tense, particularly aroused or in the beginning of a relationship. I don’t want my partner however, to believe that when I’m getting a massage and I wiggle with what is actually pleasure, that they have to panic and completely stop. A safe word lets them know when I need things to absolutely cease and desist. The same goes for sex.
Sometimes when we say ‘No’ in bed, we do NOT mean stop that entirely. We mean, ‘Not right now’, ‘Not there’, ‘Not like that’, and in particular with consensual relationships that I enjoy, sometimes it even means ‘Fight me for it’. We do not need to take ‘No’ out of our vernacular in consensual loving relationships, what you and your partner need is a word that means ‘Absolutely Not. No questions asked’.
The nice thing about a safe word, other than the fact that it encourages clear conversations about consent between partners, it also encourages partners to ask or know WHY they can’t do things. Sometimes you may need to use a Safe Word if you are over stimulated. Either in the moment (or after) your partner can start a simple dialogue with you ‘Is that too much? How would you like it?’ etc. Safe Words make conversation in attempts for better sex totally Okay, because they are Necessary.
Safe Words also make a clear distinction for your partner about things you are not okay with NOW even if you were Okay with them previously. Maybe you tried Anal Sex or play for the first time and very much enjoyed it, but the next time, although your partner was very much into it, something doesn’t quite feel right and you need to stop. Safe Words help create a language where stopping is non-negotiable. It is a very clear way to say ‘That is too much, I am not enjoying myself. Stop it’.
As I said previously, my ideal usage of a Safe Word comes to tickling, so they need not be sex specific or specific to one act. Just make sure that you choose a word that is totally non-sexual and you know you will be able to say if you are in distress.
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Rules for good sex
Active consent and waiting for a yes, instead of going ahead when you don’t get a no always work better. Talk about what you like, what you don’t like, things never to do, and so on and so forth. Knowing the boundaries is always excellent and can make everything go so much smoother in the long run.
Bodily fluids should not mix unless you know that your partner is clean. Dental dams, condoms, gloves, and so on are your friends! Sex toys can spread infections too. Make sure your sex toys are body safe, and if they aren’t use a condom. If they smell like chemicals, they probably aren’t safe. Sterilize your toys or use condoms if they are doing to be shared between partners.
And that’s it. Seriously. These are the only two hard and fast rules for good sex. Everyone defines what make sex good differently, and these are pretty much the only universals.
This concludes Mike’s feels about sex. Feel free to send asks if you have more specific questions!
Great resources for safer sex include:
http://www.scarleteen.com/ - an excellent queer and body positive site
https://www.smittenkittenonline.com/ - a site that sells only body safe toys and discusses some of what’s bad about them. A member of the Coalition Against Toxic Toys.
We’ve been getting some questions about sexual education/health resources and I haven’t had time to put together anymore dedicated answers. Here’s some great advice and a few resources for anyone that might be looking for them :D
A ban on hugging is a terribly sad an completely non-effective way to try and stop sex from ‘maybe’ happening.
Hey, Tennessee. Yeah, you, little guy. Can I have a word?
I see you’ve got some sex ed programs there. That’s nice. We want our kids to be able to make safe and informed decisions about their sexual health.
Oh, “abstinence only”? You say it’s the only way to keep kids from getting pregnant or passing STDs? That’s funny, your abstinence only program that’s been around for a while now hasn’t impacted the 26.7% of 10-19 year olds that were pregnant in 2010.
What’s that little guy? You got a plan? Okay, lay it on me.
What the-? Oh god, what is this? SB 3310 and it does what? It potentially bans hugging? Because it might lead to sexual behavior?
Hugs might also lead to friends. Should we ban human emotion?
Let’s get this straight. If you have to tack on an ad-hoc amendment that steps outside of actual sex education to put restrictions on behavior outside of the classroom, your program isn’t working.
Abstinence-Only education doesn’t work. Morals don’t play into it. The numbers speak for themselves.