BDSM for Beginners: Let There Be Chains

bdsm for beginners
Jenna Hall
Written by Jenna Hall

When I was a freshman in college I handcuffed my lover to the bed and experienced a rush of pleasure I had never felt before. Prior to the debut of Secret Diary of a Call girl and the erotic era of Fifty Shades of Grey, this kinky incident may have been considered taboo.

Fast-forward to present day where much of the stigma around BDSM has been lifted, and bringing whips, chains, and handcuffs into the bedroom doesn’t sound like such an outlandish idea after all.

If you have ever fantasized even for a moment about the idea of BDSM sex, then you have come to the right place. If you are a beginner and have absolutely no idea where to begin with BDSM, I have you covered, perhaps in tight leather if you’d like. Below I will unveil a guide to BDSM for beginners, revealing everything you will need to get started and how to do it the right way.

First Things First: What Is BDSM?

bdsm for beginners

This kinky little acronym can stand for many things, but a general definition for BDSM is:

An erotic combo of roleplaying that may include, bondage and discipline (BD), domination and submission (DS) and sadism and masochism (SM).

To get even more specific, author Margot Weiss defines BDSM in [amazon link=”0822351595″ title=”Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality” /] as “a diverse community that includes aficionados of bondage, domination and submission, pain or sensation play, power exchange, leather sex, role-playing and fetishes”.

Whoa. Sounds like a mouth-full to me. If you are already feeling overwhelmed, don’t be discouraged. There are simple approaches to ease your way into the practice without getting your panties in a bunch, that is of course unless you want them to be.

So what do you need to be prepared before this juicy sex session occurs? I have boiled it down to the following three components:

  • Open communication
  • Asking the right questions
  • Defining roles

BDSM 101: Before You Get Started

As mentioned above, if you are a beginner to BDSM, asking the right questions before getting down and dirty should be first on your list in order to create a safe and consenting environment. From my own experience, and talking with other practitioners, the three most common questions related to BDSM sex are:

Is It Considered Abuse?

No. While from an outsiders point of view BDSM sex may come across as abusive, activities played out within this context should be performed by two consenting partners.

Michael Castleman M.A., a sex and health writer, says that BDSM is often misinterpreted as being abusive, pointing out that “many people consider BDSM perverted, dehumanizing, or worse. But aficionados call it the most loving, nurturing, intimate form of human contact and play.”

So, as long as there is trust, open communication and listening, and arrangements made this type of role play is not considered abuse.

bdsm

Am I Normal For Liking This Kinky Stuff?

Yes! Many people who are aroused by being tied up, whipped and dominated by their lover, or inflicting such practice on their partners, wonder if they are “perverted” or “strange” for being turned on by such thing. It is natural to be paranoid about being classified as a weirdo when first starting out with BDSM.

But I can assure you, that in fact you are normal and it’s backed by research.

An article published in Smithsonian Today highlights a 2005 survey which shows that “36 percent of adults in the United States use masks, blindfolds and bondage tools during sex.” Keep in mind that this study was done before the naughty novels of Fifty Shades of Grey first introduced BDSM to the public.

Some claim that this erotic publication significantly decreased the stigma around bondage sex, in turn leading to an increased mainstream acceptance of BDSM. Either way, more recent research is showing that just because you like or engage in such practice doesn’t make you a lunatic.

So take a deep breath of relief. I promise there are many kinky, yet very normal people aboard the same sensual and steamy freight train as you.

What Are the BDSM Roles? How Will I Know Which One I Like?

BDSM roles are usually defined clearly before an intimate session begins, based on the idea of informed consent. Informed consent is referred to as revocable permission for something to happen.

This means that permission can be revoked if things get too heavy.

Some argue that this is one of the most critical steps before diving head first into the erotic realm of bondage sex. According to Rev, a BDSM practitioner and lead author of Dominant Guide, it is vital to define roles “Particularly if someone is new to BDSM, new to us and our particular play style, then it’s crucial that we explain how it is we like to play.”

domination and submission

The Roles in BDSM Can Be Defined as Such:

Bondage & Discipline: The submissive partner is restrained, trained, or taught a lesson. These practices rarely involve physical pain, only restraint by devices and/or psychological practices.

Dominant & Submissive: An erotic role-play between two partners where one partner takes over the control (Dominant) and the other (Submissive) partner relinquishes all control to the Dominant partner. Dominant females are known as “Dommes”. Dominant Males are known as “Doms”

Switch: Partners can also fall into a category of “Switch” where together they may decide to interchange roles several times in one session.

Sadism & Masochism: This term can often cross with other defined roles, but is distinguished by the pleasure that is aroused by pain. The sadistic partner will derive pleasure from inflicting pain, while the masochist will derive intense pleasure from receiving pain.

These are simplified definitions for the BDSM beginner. As you get more comfortable with BDSM rules and roles, you can begin to extend your play to be even more deviant.

For now, stick with the BDSM basics!

Also, make sure you define what roles you believe your partner and you would fall into. This will be a crucial building-block in creating a safe and pleasurable experience for your first time with (how many was it?) shades of grey.

BDSM For Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide

BDSM for beginners

Step #1 Research Other BDSM Stories: Tune Into What Turns You On

“I do just as you tell me. I kneel on the floor for what feels like hours, but it’s really only a few minutes. My pussy is dripping down my thighs. I’m becoming increasingly aware of how wet I am, even just waiting here for you. You walk in just as my juices roll down my leg and to the floor. “My, you are a little slut, aren’t you? I think you’re far more excited than you should be for your punishment tonight.”

Did this excerpt make you feel wet or enraged? Did you see yourself as a dominant partner or the submissive one kneeling on the floor?

Reading BDSM stories from other BDSM practitioners is a way to go.

An excellent way to decide what type of situational fantasies really turn you on.

A useful BDSM library resource is Literotica a free erotic fiction website with thousands of BDSM stories from individuals couples. Take your time and read through a few different fantasy BDSM scenes. Have your partner do the same. Decide together what really gets your juices flowing. Define your roles before moving onto the next step.

Step #2 Choose Your BDSM Equipment: Whips, Chains, And Other Kinky Things

Anal locks, ball gags, ball locks, bondage mittens and cuffs, if you search google, there are endless lists of BDSM equipment. When it comes to choosing the right one, these lists can throw any beginner into a tailspin.

Don’t get flustered trying to decide what equipment best suits your kink.

To start out there are three essential toys that any BDSM beginner can kick off with.

Bondage Blindfolds: Blindfolds are used in BDSM sex as a way to heighten a partner’s senses during sexual play. Since sight is blocked, smell, sound, and touch can be particularly stimulating. An element of surprise can also be arousing for the partner who is temporarily blinded. The partner who is wearing the blindfold is often the one submitting to the partner without one. We recommend this blindfold »

Paddles: Paddles are a BDSM equipment essential item. They are versatile, easy to use and require little instruction. A paddle usually has two flat sides and can be made with leather. Since paddles are intended to inflict pain, this is a good toy to use within a Sadism and Masochism role-play. We recommend this paddle »

Nipple Clamps: Nipple clamps are the timeless classic and most of sought of BSDM item. They can be used not only on male and female nipples, but on various areas of the body if you’re feeling adventurous. Good nipple clamps provide a light initial sensation and become increasingly stronger, clamping down harder as the more you pull. We recommend these nipple clamps »

These basic toys serve as a rudimentary introduction to the complex world of BDSM. If after a few sex sessions, your insatiable carnal desire has you drooling for more, you can always check out the BDSM section over at our friends from Lovehoney.

Step #3 Set The Scene

bdsm for beginners

Now that you have established roles and gathered your equipment, it’s time to get this pleasure party started! Setting a kinky play scene will be the last component to creating an erotic environment that will lead to mind-blowing BDSM sex.

To create a BDSM scene, think with your private parts, not with your mind.

Consider roles and juicy stories that made your genitals engorge. You can recreate a particular scene that turned you on or come up with a spin-off of your own. If you are feeling nervous, try listening to the advice of Youtube sensation Layla Martin where she gives a super easy-to-follow instruction on how to build a BDSM sex scene with your partner.

If you are still having trouble choosing a scene you can fill out the kink negotiation worksheet, a useful guide offered on Rekink.com. This negotiation worksheet helps once again to define roles, decide on a scene, as well as establish boundaries and safewords that will be used during your BDSM session.

Step #4 Use Safewords And Hit The Brakes if Things Get Too Uncomfortable

Safewords are another detrimental component when creating a safe space for BDSM sex. Using them can be particularly reassuring for beginners. Safewords can be anything from a random food like banana (seems fitting), to a simple command such as stop. Once defined, safewords will end all play immediately.

bdsm for beginners

Step #5 Have a “Check-in” After Your Session

The provocative undertaking of BDSM doesn’t just stop after you’ve rocked each other socks off. The rousing adventure of BDSM sex continues after your initial session, and into the next scintillating session between the sheets. For this reason, it is important that you and your partner have a “check-in” once both of you have fetished your way to the finish line.

Sometimes this “check-in” is referred to as BDSM aftercare which is defined as the time you and your partner take after play time to recover and also to see to each other’s emotional and physical needs.

Another way to figure out what worked and didn’t work during your kinky fuckery is to refer back to the kink negotiation worksheet, making modifications to your play scene where it seems necessary.

Step #6 Make an Action Plan for the next Erotic Romp Between the Sheets

Similar to step five, together as a couple, try to devise an action plan for your next bedroom rodeo. This may require tweaking your original BDSM rules and roles. Keep communication clear and open between you and your partner.

Create a proposal with list of scenes, outcomes, and new BDSM equipment you want to try.

Step #7 Be Open to Exploration: The Possibilities Are Endless

bdsm for beginners

While feeling safe is paramount when probing the realms of BDSM sex, don´t be afraid to explore your limits. Many practitioners started out somewhat reserved, only to find out later, and with more practice and time, an inner wild beast was yearning to be set free.

In other words don’t be afraid to let your freak flag fly.

Last Step: Bondage Up And Enjoy The Ride

The world of BDSM can be that electrifying spark in an otherwise mundane sex life that brings intimacy between you and your partner to a whole new level. The key is to go slow when first getting started and to remember that aftercare is just as important as preparation.

The best BDSM advice for beginners is to set clear boundaries, keep communication open, and be honest with yourself and your partner. When experimenting with BDSM, remind yourself that being curious and vulnerable is part of the journey!

So sit back, fasten your leather seatbelt, and enjoy the stimulating ride of BDSM erotic play. If we’ve sparked up your sexual curiosity then you might also enjoy reading one of these articles:

How To Practice Tantra – The Beginner’s Guide
Why Do Women Have Rape Fantasies?
38 Sensual Sex Games for Frisky Couples

About the author

Jenna Hall

Jenna Hall

Jenna discovered her passion for freelance writing in 2005 when she started a sex and relationship column for her university newspaper, The Tartan. The column eventually went viral, and shortly after she was recruited by Elle magazine to write as a Top Ten University Sex and Relationship Columnist for Ask E. Jean. In 2009, Jenna graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills, earning a B.A in Communications with a concentration in Technical Writing and English. After graduation, she headed to Latin America to study to become a yoga teacher and was picked up by a Portland, Oregon-based activewear company to write for their blog on yoga, dating, and relationships. In 2014, Jenna permanently moved to South America, where she worked for one year at a local non-profit in Bolivia helping with fundraising and grant writing. She now writes and edits for several online publications on a variety of topics including health, relationships, travel, yoga, and fitness. She lives a simple life in Bolivia with her husband and son.