Basics

Why Is Monogamy Rare in the BDSM Scene?

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Close-up of two hands wrapped together in chains

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When Vagabond and I met, neither of us realized just how lucky we were to stumble across each other—two monogamous BDSM practitioners in a sea of nonmonogamous kinksters. At the time, I was still fairly new to BDSM, and though Vagabond was not, he didn’t realize how overwhelmingly nonmonogamous the BDSM scene is. It wasn’t until we started attending BDSM events together that we noticed what a rarity we are as a monogamous couple. But why? 

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Why BDSM Education Is Essential 

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Man at a teacher's desk holding a book and microscope while woman in plaid skirt stands above him on desk holding a pointer.

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What’s one of the main things that separates good BDSM players from bad ones? Education! Learning as much as you possibly can about how to do various kinky activities is crucial not only for safety but for maximizing pleasure. We might all have different kinks, but we doubt you’ll find a partner who wants to see you fumble around in the bedroom or make a careless yet dangerous mistake. And even if you already have great chemistry with the only play partner you’ll ever want to fuck, we’ll explain why education is not only necessary and fun, but can take your BDSM life to the next level.

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The Ultimate Guide to Breath Play and Choking

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Woman in lingerie on a bed wearing a collar and leash while another woman straddles her and pulls on the leash while holding her neck with her hand

As many as 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men have been choked during sex. Why, then, if choking is so common, is it so difficult to find information about how to do it? Because it’s dangerous. So dangerous, in fact, that many seasoned BDSM players avoid it at all costs. Despite this (or maybe because of it?), a lot of kinksters—like us—enjoy breath play and approach it in a risk-aware way, which is what this guide is about. We’ll cover the inherent risks of choking and breath play and the best techniques to mitigate them. Note that we didn’t say eliminate them, because breath play is never going to be truly safe. That said, some types of breath play are more dangerous than others.  

On that note, what this guide is not: A how-to on choking someone until they lose consciousness or autoerotic asphyxiation. We don’t engage in breath play to that degree because the risks are too high.

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The Complete Guide to BDSM Spanking

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Illustration of a man bent over a woman's lap while she spanks him.

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Spanking is one of our favorite BDSM activities because it’s such an effective way to combine intimacy, eroticism, and D/s in one maneuver that’s pretty easy to learn and doesn’t require any special equipment. Our guide covers everything you need to know. 

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Intro to BDSM Knife Play

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Knife with damascus steel blade resting on sheepskin.

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Knife play is the use of knives for sensation, fear, or both in BDSM scenes. Sound exciting? It is! But there’s a lot to learn before you attempt this form of edge play. Our guide covers all the basics. 

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Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) BDSM Resources

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This post was originally published on June 21, 2020 and was updated on August 15, 2021.

Black Lives Matter!

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If you’re White, keep reading! Don’t make the mistake of thinking these BIPOC BDSM resources don’t pertain to you. They absolutely do. 

In the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black people, we, like so many Americans, have joined the effort to prevent such atrocities from occurring in the future. But the changes that need to occur in this country go far beyond ending police brutality. Every community needs to take a step back and reflect on what it can do to not only make space for BIPOC but ensure they are welcome participants and leaders. And the BDSM community is no exception.

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SSC vs. RACK: What’s the Difference?

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Originally posted on October 9, 2018; updated on August 13, 2021

Wooden blocks stacked on top of each other spelling the word "Risk"

“I am a Dom (switch) and my sub has requested that I drug them and play with/use/have sex with them while they are asleep or near-asleep, in a drugged state. I’m wary . . . but I’d definitely try it if there was a guaranteed safe way of
doing this. . .” —Reddit

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Early in our BDSM journeys, we both strongly connected with the popular mantra of practicing Safe, Sane, and Consensual (SSC) kink. We interpreted this abbreviation to mean that BDSM has an advantage over vanilla sex because of the deliberate acknowledgment of safety between partners.

When we first noticed people replacing it with Risk Aware Consensual Kink (RACK), we were skeptical. The contrast seemed unnecessary, so we imagined these groups just wanted an edgier tagline—”We’re not safe or sane. We’re risky kinksters!” But once we started looking into the history of both abbreviations, we started to feel differently. (more…)

BDSM on the Cheap

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A photo of several wooden spoons, spatulas, and a rolling pin.

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Although BDSM is often associated with fancy leather or latex outfits and expensive equipment, the truth is you don’t need any of that to partake. You can be just as kinky using homemade gear or things you already own. Here are some of our favorite ways to do BDSM on the cheap.

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