Communication

The Hottest Thing in a BDSM Relationship? Trust.

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Wartenberg wheel on bare skin

Would you let someone you don’t trust spank you, tie you up, and call you names? Probably not. Trust is integral to a BDSM relationship and is ultimately what makes any kind of power exchange so hot. Taking another person’s control away or letting them take it from you is thrilling, risky, and raw. Without trust, neither partner can completely let go and enjoy the moment. But with trust, BDSM and power exchange can bring partners closer together and eventually pave the way to rougher or riskier play.

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About CNC But Were Afraid to Ask

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Originally posted on September 25, 2018; updated on January 22, 2021

Man's arms pinning woman's arms to a wall

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When I first started getting in touch with my kinky side, I became obsessed with consensual nonconsent (CNC)—also known as rape or ravishment fantasies—as a way to lose control. By obsessed I mean I thought about it daily, researched it constantly, and knew it was something I needed to do. I started reading Casual Encounters on Craigslist regularly (back when that section still existed) to see what my options might be. Ultimately I was too scared to go that route, though, and it wasn’t until I met Vagabond that I was able to make my dream come true.  (more…)

How to Negotiate the Kinky Sex of Your Dreams with the One You Love

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Man and woman on bed together smiling at each other.

If you’ve spent more than a few minutes researching BDSM, you know that negotiation, or the process of deciding what will and will not happen in a scene, is one of the cornerstones. Much has been written about how to negotiate before a scene with a new play partner. Tools, from worksheets to checklists to illustrated guides, abound to help you cover all the bases and inspire you to dream up new fantasies. Here’s how to take those negotiation skills and weave them into the fabric of your relationship. (more…)

SSC vs. RACK: What’s the Difference, and Does It Matter?

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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

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…)

The Importance of a Shared Kink Language: A Conversation About Negotiation

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Man holding a card that says "Are we on the same page?"

Mimsy: On our first date, you mentioned the importance of having a “shared language” to talk about BDSM and kink. Although I had some experience doing kinky things and had researched terminology, I didn’t quite grasp what you were getting at until later—namely that a shared language helps provide a framework for play and ensures that everyone who’s involved understands how negotiation should work.
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