Core Values of BDSM

I believe that BDSM has a few core values that apply to everyone to some degree.  The fundamentals, if you will.  No matter how much or how little you into BDSM,  no matter what role you take art in or what part of BDSM interest you.  There will always be the core values of trust, respect, honesty, and communication.  Without these four values, we run the risk of losing ourselves in the world of kink. 

 

First of all,  BDSM is based on trust.  Weather its entrusting your body to a sadist and trusting them not to push your past your pleasure/pain limit.  Or being bound in tight rope bondage and suspended in the air, trusting that the person tying your knots knows what they are doing and won't let you fall.  Sometimes it's simply the trust to hand over your control as a submissive and trust that your dominant will make the right decisions with your best interest at heart. Trust is such an important part of all aspects of BDSM because, without trust, we can't actually relax into our play, if you can't trust the person or people you are engaging with,  you are too nervous and worried to enjoy what you're doing! 

 

Me personally, I trust my Sir with my life.  That's the amount of trust I have developed with him over our few years together.  He has never given me any reason to question that trust.  Trust is something that has to be built up over time,  it's a very difficult thing to have if it's just a casual scene or play with someone.  But when it comes to long term relationships, trust is one thing that is paramount to being able to progress and take a relationship further. In order to push your limits and try new things,  you need to trust your partner. 

I trust Sir to be able to read my body and my reactions when we play, trusting that he would never push me further than where my unknown limits are.  He has taken me from believing that I could never ever bring myself to allow my face to be slapped... To actually begging for it and enjoying it during play now.  How? Because of the trust, I have in him. It took a few years and it wasn't until our relationship developed a little deeper once I moved in with him that I allowed him,  yes I just said that I, as a sub,  allowed my Sir to slap me.  To me, I couldn't have a Dom/sub relationship with my Sir without trusting him.  In the same breath,  he also has to put his trust in me too.  He trusts that my reactions are honest and he had to trust that I will call a safe word if he misreads something and goes too far. Sir trusts me to bring my problems to him and discuss anything that's on my mind or that may hinder me from doing my job as his submissive. Trust goes both ways.

 

Respect is one of the biggest things people have to keep in mind in regards to BDSM. We must respect one another's limits, decisions, preferences and lifestyle choices. Not only that, we have to have simple human respect for each other, no matter our roles.  At the end of the day,  no matter what role you take on, we are all still humans, still people with feelings and we need to have respect for each other regardless of the rules and protocols involved in BDSM.

 Although a submissive may hand over their control, it does not mean they hand over their right to be respected. Even when involved in play such as humiliation or degrading play,  be it verbal or physical, a submissive is still to be respected.  Their limits and choices are to be respected just as much as their person.  In saying that,  submissives are to show respect to their dominants as well.  You are giving the dominant the respect of having higher power than you at that moment.  Dominants have limits as well and those limits are to be respected. Just because you are submissive,  doesn't give you the right to push a dominant to play outside of their own limits for your satisfaction.

 When it comes to D/s, respect also comes into play by respecting the rules your dominant and yourself have agreed upon. You show your dominant respect by following those rules and by completing your tasks without complaint. Something as simple as letting my Sir know when I am on my way home shows him respect.  It means that I am acknowledging the fact he cares about me and worries for my safety. It means that I respect him enough to not have him questioning where I am or if I'm okay.

 

Honesty, this is a big one for us and one of the only two things that my Sir truly asks of me.  Honesty with both yourself and the people involved in your BDSM journey is paramount. It is up to you, to be honest with your partners, weather that be one person,  multiple people, different people, whatever the situation may be.  You must be honest about your health, just as you would be with any sexual vanilla partner. This includes little details though, such as the fact that you have a bad knee and can't kneel for long periods of time or that you bruise very easily or your blood doesn't clot as quick as others.  These are all small little details to do with your health that you wouldn't think of in a non-kinky sexual encounter but are actually important factors when it comes to BDSM. 

 

Honesty about your experiences, weather it's being honest about past bad experiences that may affect your reactions during certain aspects of a play or being honest about your lack of experience and therefore uncertainty about things. 

You need to be able to sit down with your partner, long term or casual and have an honest conversation about your limits.  This applies to both dominant and submissive types.  You both need to be upfront and honest about where your limits lie and what you will and won't consider pushing.  Not being honest about your limits can enjoy you up in a potentially dangerous situation, so honesty does go a long way when it comes to BDSM. Being honest about your emotions after a scene is also important, while one of you may feel that it went well and was a good time, if the other person isn't honest about the fact that they didn't enjoy the scene for whatever reason, it can cause major issues in the future. 

 

This ties straight into communication, our final core value.  Now, this is a big one and something I myself am constantly working to be better at.  Having good communication skills enables you to be honest, develop trust and show respect.  You need to be able to have an open discussion with your partner and effectively communicate things such as your limits,  your desires, the things you want to try. You should be able to sit down and communicate exactly how you'd like a scene to go and what you both expect from that scene.  Communication also comes into play for more relationship based bdsm when discussing things such as rules, protocols and contracts.  Both parties must be able to speak openly, honestly and negotiate positively. 

The other big part of communication is the ability to communicate with each other during play and feeling able to use your safe word.  Especially when engaging in casual play or scenes, you must be able to communicate with each other how you are doing throughout. This relies heavily on the dominant party taking notice of the submissive reactions and the submissive communicating both verbally and physically that they are content to continue. Usually, the traffic light system is put in place in order to do a brief check in with each other without disrupting the mood of the scene. 

For D/s relationships such as myself and Sir,  communication is also about talking about our feelings and our headspace outside of the kinky bedroom stuff. It's no use us trying to have a play and Sir wondering why I'm not myself. It's far better for me to communicate with Sir that I'm not feeling well or am overly tired or just having a bad day as opposed to snapping at him and likely disrespecting him.  It's important to communicate before, during and after play as well as in everyday life situations.

 

Overall, these four little fundamentals of BDSM all link in together. You need communication to be able to show respect. To show respect you must be honest and be honest in your discussions. Lastly, to build trust between partners you need to be able to communicate honestly whilst showing respect for each other as people, not just dominants and submissives.