For the most part, kinky activities are about as safe as any other way to have sex. Which is to say, the worst that ever happens to most people is friction burns and hurt feelings, except when things go spectacularly wrong or someone is being unethical. However there are a number of things you need to take into account.
Some of the advice here may seem painfully basic, but if you’re new I can understand kink can make people very nervous. After all, you have to meet new people. You might end up in positions of vulnerability. You have to make judgement calls based on how to trust people. Don’t let the safety advice scare you- think of this as being the same stuff you learn for vanilla dating, from condoms to mad money.
These rules apply to D/s relationships whether new or not, dom, sub, male, female or intersex. Or as one commenting person pointed out, just kinky.
1) Take things slow. It can be very tempting, when you finally get a taste of what you want, to rush things. Meet new people in public settings, and take the time to get to know them. You don’t want to fall in love with your fetish and discover the person you’re with is nothing like you imagined.
2) Make sure boundaries are respected. Kink can involve playing with things like trust, obedience and even controlled violence. This means extra attention to having your limits and boundaries observed. Even the little things, like respecting how you want to be talked to, or what people can and cannot do in a scene are crucial. For example a person who is more pushy with contacting you or who jumps into a D/s relationship with you before you have consented to that level are things to be cautious around.
3) If you’re getting to know new people, follow dating extra cautious safety rules. For example a safe call, where a friend calls you during the date to check in on you. If you wouldn’t normally meet a stranger in a hotel room, don’t. Do not give out identifying information willy-nilly, starting small. If it’s meant to be it’ll work with you being cautious.
4) D/s is not a magic world where laws and regular rules don’t apply. The dom is not always right, or an expert. It’s okay to call the cops when things go wrong. You don’t need to do everything any dom says. Even if you agreed in the past to something, if you start feeling uncomfortable, things should stop.
1) Never leave a bound person untended. You never know when you’re not there if they could get into trouble. People have strangled this way. Especially don’t leave people with things that could block or constrict breathing, including leashes, gags or muffles. NEVER use a vacuum bed alone.
2) If you’re the one doing the binding pay close attention to circulation. Check the extremities of the bound person for coolness and keep a blunt tipped pair of scissors or an extra key for any locks.
3) Disclose any health problems up front. For example if you have a panic disorder, seizures or asthma, you should make sure the person you’re playing with knows what to do. This is even more so, if you’re doing something on the edge of your comfort zone.
4) Negotiate in advance when you try new things. If you’re remotely masochistic, painful stimulation and sensations can be very enjoyable but also not all pain is the same or feels equally good. It’s better to know what’s coming, at least the first few times.
5) Do not play while drunk/stoned/under the influence. Your judgement is impaired and your sense of pain is dulled, while your co-ordination is off. This is one of the ways that accidents will happen, including not being able to communicate your limits safely.
Theses are hardly the only safety tips you could follow, but they’re a good leaping off place. Later I’ll write about things in more detail.