Whether you’re new to kink, or have been involved in kinky play and relationships before there are some things you should take into consideration. Below are some tips for submissives that you can use to safely navigate in this erotic world!
Consent is key. Many kink relationships and scene revolve around what we call ‘power exchange’, where one partner is able to make decisions or carry out certain acts…in other words, with one of the partners taking a position of dominance, and the other taking a position of submission. However, it is important to be sure that you’re only engaging in kink with your partner’s consent, and that you only engage in activities that you have decided you’d like to participate in. Remember that consent can also be withdrawn at any time, and when it is your partner needs to respect that decision and cease whatever activity you are engaging in together.
When it comes to consent, remember that only ‘Yes’ means yes! If you say you aren’t sure, or that you don’t want to engage in a certain type of play, and your partner tries to force you into doing it, that’s not good behaviour on their part. You and your partner(s) should discuss the types of play you’re interested in and decided what you’d like to explore together. When it comes to consent, it’s never a bad idea to have consent in written format. Emails, text messages, social media private messages…those all are good ways to protect yourself in the off chance that a relationship turns sour and accusations are thrown around.
Be an active part of negotiations. We really can’t stress the value of negotiations enough. It goes hand in hand with consent. I know that you likely feel submissive and may have fantasies about letting your partner have their way with you. That’s all something you can work up to, but it’s not wise to enter a relationship or scene with such broad guidelines for them to follow. It’s important to realize that just because you have given consent for a certainly sexual act or type of play (flogging, wax play, etc) doesn’t mean that it’s okay for your partner to just spring other types of play on you. If they do, it’s possible that they just got carried away, and sometimes a bit of communication can repair the damage done. Ask your partner what types of play they are interested in, and what types of play they are not interested in. Ask them what their hard limits are, and be sure to respect them. Ask if they have any known triggers that might cause the experience to turn from good to bad suddenly.
Communicate clearly, and often. Communication is the key to any successful relationship. Giving feedback to your partner allows them to tailor scenes to their liking, and will likely lead to new avenues of exploration. I like to compare your play experiences to the orgasm. Let’s pretend that you are absolutely agitated by what your partner is doing with their mouth while they go down on you, but you decide to pretend to have an orgasm so that the experience will end sooner. That seems like a great plan, except the downside is that you’ve now taught your partner that if they just do that same thing over and over they can bring you to a screaming climax in short order!! It’s the exact opposite of what you want, so be careful with the feedback that you give to make sure its genuine!
One valuable way to give feedback is to use the colours of a stoplight (green, yellow, red) as a way to gauge your desire to continue with a certain type of play. Most of Ontario’s play parties use this system in their dungeon areas. Saying the word ‘green’ means that you’re enjoying what you’re doing. Saying ‘yellow’ means that you’re approaching the threshold of what you can handle with that activity, and saying ‘red’ means you want that activity to end immediately. Some play parties require a scene to end entirely when red is called, while others allow the scene to continue if the partners so decide.
One other thing to take into consideration is to be gentle with your feedback and take your partner’s feelings into account. Keep in mind that if your scene wasn’t pleasurable to you, they will likely feel badly about their skill level, and feel as though they let you down. It’s good idea to reinforce that although it wasn’t something you enjoyed, you’ve learned that you are better off exploring other avenues with them. In some cases, you might find there was an element of the ‘bad’ scene that you did like…so tell them that and say you’d like to explore that more!
It might be a bit of a ‘trip’. Since the play that we engage in is often extremely intense and causes your body to have physical reactions (endorphins and adrenaline are increased), you might experience a bit of a ‘high’ during and after play. Some people go into an almost trance like state where they become non-verbal and seem ‘spacey’. Many people call this ‘subspace’ and it’s not a bad thing! You’ll likely want to discuss how you’d like your partner to react if you become non-verbal (slowly wind down your scene, or stop altogether). Subspace does often signify that your body and mind have experienced about as much as they can handle, and it’s often they time when people will begin to slow down their scenes or switch to something more sensual.
Aftercare is key. Following your scene, you’ll probably be overwhelmed with feelings. It may range from ecstasy, to pure exhaustion, to feelings of shame or even anger. Many bottoms/submissives might question why they aren’t ‘normal’ like everyone else because they take pleasure from ‘deviant’ activities, and you might even question how someone that cares about you could hurt you like occured during your scene. Most people have those thoughts and many flying around in their head, and it’s a very good idea to verbalize them. They might also be feeling similar thoughts as they come down from the scene, and this is a good opportunity to remind each other that you care about each other and that you both enjoy the activities that you did! Some people just really like to cuddle or kiss their partner and enjoy the ‘afterglow’ and re-establish the caring aspect of their relationship.
As you come down from your scene you might feel cold. A lot of people like to keep a nice blanket or sweater handy for that reason. You will also likely need to drink some water to keep yourself hydrated, and you’ll want to eat something with sugar or carbohydrates to give yourself some energy.
Everyone’s idea of aftercare is slightly different. Experiment a bit as you have different scenes to see what works best for you! Don’t forget to let your play partner know what you’d like for aftercare before you play with them, as part of your negotiations!
Mistakes happen. Sometimes your dominant can plan a great scene for you, and things just don’t turn out as enjoyable as you hoped. Maybe some aspect of the play went awry and it ruined things for you. Maybe your partner made an error. It’s important to remember that since we’re all human, mistakes are bound to happen. They likely feel horrible about it. It’s best for you both to discuss it openly and deconstruct what went wrong and talk about how to improve on it next time. When mistakes happen, hopefully your top/Dominant will own their role in the situation and do what they can to rebuild the trust between you. If they show disregard for your safety, or will not accept their role in the situation it will have very negative effects on your relationship as trust begins to disintegrate. You also might want to read this post on ‘red flags’, which are things to look out for when choosing a partner that might help you recognize an unhealthy situation.
Have ‘safecalls’ in place. If you’re just meeting someone for the first (or first few times), it’s a really good idea to have a safecall in place. By informing your partner that you have a safecall in place you’re letting them know that you expect them to be respectful, and that people are looking out for you. It’s even a good idea to encourage them to have a safecall of their own! For more on safecalls, please read this post.
Do NOT play privately until you have developed a strong relationship with your partner. Trust is intrinsic in kink relationships, and you need to develop that trust before putting yourself in a potentially compromising situation. Since as a bottom/submissive you’ll be giving control to someone else temporarily, its very important to make sure that your play begins in a way that keeps you both safe. Play parties are a great place to play in the presence of other kinksters, and with ‘Dungeon Monitors’ or ‘Play Monitors’ nearby who can be witness to the scene, and also be there to assist in an emergency.
If you’re planning on playing with someone, or are exploring kink with your partner you might want to ask them to read this similar post geared towards tops/Dominants.