are whenever people step up to me, claiming that all BDSM is about violence towards Women. I tell them it's not! I'm a Woman and I hit other women, Consensually. I also spank them too, Consensually.
That's the key, Consent.
I then remind them about Male submissives. ( No, not all Males are submissive either, so put away your pitchforks.. )
Then, I state that only through negotiations not only do I find out a new play partner's skill level within BDSM, and perhaps any pre-existing medical conditions they may have. It's good information to get right up front, before play begins! I once did Shibari on an older gentleman at a public kink event. This guy was being aloof and not really answering any questions. After a few minutes, I finally got the information about his medical condition. A pace maker. He was being silent, hoping for a suspension. Yeah, not a good candidate for suspension, it could end badly. ( It doesn't just just to be a pace maker, it can be poor blood flow that could derails a suspension! ) We settled on some light Shibari. With the safety shears always within arms reach.
When BDSM doesn't have Consent, then it's abuse!
I personally would rather have Consent to play and take it easy with the first few times, get a sense of each other. I don't want my play partner to red out in the first five minutes simply because there was a Consent violation. Why would anyone want to end the play so quickly???
For me, The Traffic light system is best at the very start of relationship, "Red Light" the universal kinky person's code for what I interpret as, FULL STOP, everyone gets dressed, everything gets packed up and everyone goes home.
"Yellow Light" to slow things down, a possible urgency or emergency. Agree on a hand sign as a non-verbal arrangement in case Red or Yellow lights are given.
You don't have to keep saying "Green Light" as play progresses, unless that's part of your scene.
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Play in public, it's also a great way to hone your abilities!
A tough road ahead for those who have Consent Violations in the past. Rumors spread like wild fire. Trust is a very fickle thing. You loose it, some times you can never get it back.