Posted on March 23, 2011



If, as old Willy said, “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” then maybe the most radical and most subversive thing we can do is to break the suspension of disbelief; to point out, if only for a mere moment, that we are only playing parts constructed by the narrative, and not essential to the player. It is when we make the conscious decision to perform that we come to an awareness that we are always performing.

Maybe that was a bit of a dry way to begin a D.I.Y guide about BDSM. Most people’s immediate associations with bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism include latex fisting gloves, handcuffs, masks, leather, chains, and riding crops. True, these things can all be part of play, but as props in the pants-down-panto that is BDSM. The core of BDSM is to expose the fact that power in sexual relationships is just a script. With that in mind, my voyagers in the land of kink, before you blow your hard-earned wages on a brand new hooded spandex full body binder sack or a fancy set of nipple clamps, you should probably think about a few things.

0 . Consent is Key

Explicit consent (because there is no other kind) is the most important part of any playing you do. If BDSM is the process through which we reveal the performative nature of power in sexual relationships, then consent is essential to its nature. Without consent there is no real reveal of performance, only its repetition; power isn’t engaged, only enforced. The first part of this is communication, about what the play will consist of, and what everyone involved is comfortable with. The next parts are all also communication. This can be difficult when a play involves gagging, a rape roleplay, or any other situation where simply saying “stop” or “no” won’t work. This is why it is important to establish a safe-word or gesture for any participant to put an end to play. This must be respected, once one player no longer consents anything that happens afterwords is rape.

Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, on to the kink:

1 . Create the Play

This is where you can let your imagination run wild. Do you want to get fisted by a Mistress in leather while licking some Bear Daddy’s boots? Do you want to role play, and live out that fantasy involving David Cameron, Barack Obama and a latex maid’s uniform that you’ve always had?

This is your chance to act out your fantasies, to experiment with new things. Maybe you’ve always been in control in your relationships, and this is your chance to get handcuffed and ball-gagged, and let someone else call the shots; or maybe you’re used to be being bossed around and just want to fit someone for a cock-cage, and give orders; maybe you want to re-enact the power dynamics of your relationships to come to an understanding of what goes into their construction. If you want ideas, browse the massive wank-bank that is the Internet, it’s full of ideas.

2 . Figure out How

Now come the logistics, the big important questions. What tools and toys will you need? How many people will need to be a part of the play? What kind of knot should I use? How much lube will be necessary? There are an unimaginable number of things involved in the full spectrum of play, and there simply isn’t room to tell you how to do them all, but chances are you aren’t the only person that wants to do whatever kinky thing it is you want to do, so do what all the yuppies are doing, network. Go to seminars, shops, and clubs, go on forums, rent books and videos, get a account. People in the BDSM scene are friendly, and always willing to introduce someone to the scene. Ask around, you’ll find someone who knows how to safely tie up an entire person and suspend them from the ceiling, while leaving their orifices easily accessible, or whatever else you might need help with. These are people who are coming to an awareness about sex, they won’t judge or exclude you for your fantasies, that’s the whole point.

3 . Go Ahead and Get Off

Gather what you need—whether that is fifteen people, three buckets of liquid latex, padded walls, bondage tape, and a set of engraved cock-rings; or just yourself, a glove, a bottle of lube, and a Kate Bush album. Once you’ve got it all, communicate about consent before, after, and during, and go to town. Have fun. This is sex, enjoy it. Resist empire with democratic sexual congress. Just go wild, safely. Remember to clean up afterwards, you want fond memories, not stubborn stains.

4 . Keep Playing Around

Now that you’ve begun deconstructing sex you can really start to play around with it, stay in the scene, do some things you thought you’d never do, some things you thought you couldn’t do, and some things you’ve never heard of before. Flip the sexual script on hegemony, because when you refuse to let silence stand in for consent, you can make loud your cries of dissent, and when you claim the power to decide what fucking is, you can know when you’re being fucked.

Posted in: 3. Ed One