BDSM 101/102 Instructor Resources

BDSM 101-102

This page provides a teaching outline / instructor notes and other resources for an In-person BDSM 101/102 class

BDSM 101 is a fast-paced overview class that covers a wide range of introductory BDSM topics. It was created through the collaboration of Bondesque in Minneapolis, MN, USA and TheDuchy. This outline can support a class length anywhere from 90 minutes to 4 hours, depending on what the instructor choses to cover and how deeply, and if it will be a pure lecture or if discussion will be encouraged.

This class features a framework for BDSM encounters, including: finding and vetting potential play partners, negotiation and planning (incl. planning for risks), setting up a scene, aftercare and after-event considerations like drop, lessons-learned, etc.

The second half is a discussion of a wide variety of bondage and sensation implements, various aspects and options useful in training a bottom/sub, and touches on contracts.

This is a living document!  We get input from people from all over with ideas for improvement or refinement and we incorporate all the good ideas we hear to try to make this better and better.  So when you are going to teach a class, always make sure you have the latest version!

All the material on this page is provided under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.  This means that you can download and use this material, and even modify it if you wish, as long as you also include information on where you got it — that is, credit TheDuchy.com  🙂  — and that anything you produce that was based on this is also offered forward under this same license.  

The version below was last updated on September 20, 2023

BDSM 101/102

Description

This is a fast-paced overview class that covers a wide range of introductory and intermediate BDSM topics.

This class features a framework for BDSM encounters. The framework covers:

  1. Finding / Meeting potential play partners
  2. Vetting potential play partner
  3. Negotiation (Find common interests, agree on what will happen)
    • Plan the scene
    • Plan what you will do and how
    • … if things go to plan
    • … and if things go wrong
  4. Setting up for scene
  5. Aftercare
  6. Emotional and other processing after the fact
    • Possible ebullience or drop …or both
    • Lessons learned, positive and negative

The second half is a discussion of:

  • a wide variety of bondage and sensation implements (the B&D part of BDSM),
  • various aspects and options useful in training a bottom/sub (the D/s and S&M parts of BDSM),
  • and touches on contracts.

Target audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced)

Beginner.

Duration

2 hours if run very tight.  2.5 hours for a more comfortable pace with time for short discussions.

Format (lecture, discussion, demonstration, hands-on)

Lecture, with opportunities for short discussions, time permitting.

What should attendees bring (how much rope, etc.)

  • A curious, attentive mind.
  • You are welcome to bring note-taking material, but a link to detailed prepared class notes will also be provided.
  1. Pre-class: Connect with the group and connect the group together.
    Demonstrate that there are commonalities and differences in what drives each of us.

    1. What drew you here? | What brought you here?
    2. What kind of scenario are you looking for (or are you in)?
      (Take mental notes, talk about these things in more detail.)
    3. You are welcome to come up and look at some of the stuff I have up here.  There are many incredible things in this store, but this is stuff that they don’t carry.  You are welcome to look and ask questions, but please don’t touch.

  2. Class kick-off

    1. (Venue personnel) Venue announcements and introductions
    2. (Instructors take over) Introduce ourselves
      1. LazarusRedmayne ( https://fetlife.com/users/290579 , https://www.instagram.com/theduchy/ , https://www.theduchy.com/ )  I knew I was kinky before I knew what sex was…
      2. KajiraBlue ( https://fetlife.com/users/13585135 , https://www.instagram.com/kajira.blue/ )  I discovered kink by accident while researching sexuality in college and was immediately drawn to it.
      3. We are a practicing M/s couple. In this session we will be sharing ourselves as well as the collected experience and wisdom of many others.  Each of you has wisdom.  Things to share.  Things that you know or think that may help someone else.  Be open, share and respect when others share.
      4. During this class you are getting our perspective … informed by lots of experience and reading and conversations with other kinksters from all over, but get out there and talk with others … get their perspectives, too!
    3. Announce that detailed notes on this class are available online at:
    4. As with any other group, the kink community has our own lexicon, words that we use that you may never have heard before or that we seem to be using in an unfamiliar way.  Don’t be shy.  Ask us to define or explain anything you do not understand.

  3. Each of you is here for something different.
    Every relationship is a custom job.  Needs and situations are different, and require different things.  We are going to go over A LOT in this class and you will need different parts of what we talk about depending on the scenario…

    1. Is this something you are adding to an existing long-term relationship?
    2. Is this pick-up play, just a single scene (perhaps at a party)
    3. Is this a first scene, but in private (i.e. not at a party with Dungeon Monitors (DMs) and other protections)?
    4. Is this something more extended (you like each other enough to play routinely)
    5. Is this long term (perhaps a 24/7 or live-in arrangement, perhaps with a contract … or not)

  4. In the BDSM world, we try to help people include elements that you may not have heard of before, but that experience shows are very important.  Most of us carry these lessons back to our primary relationships if those are with someone other than our scene relationships.  Here is a way to think about them:
    Every encounter has the same general framework

    1. Find someone you’d like to play with
    2. Vet your potential play partner
    3. Negotiation (Find common interests, agree on what will happen)
      • Plan the scene
      • Plan what you will do and how
      • … if things go well
      • … and if things go wrong
    4. Do the scene – React to positive and negative things, address issues
    5. Aftercare – take care of each other, make sure everyone is ok and back to themselves
    6. Emotional and other processing after the fact
      • Possible ebullience or drop …or both
      • Lessons learned, positive and negative. Update notes
    7. Decide if you want to do more with that person or not
      • ? Establish an ongoing relationship ?

  5. Finding/Meeting someone you are interested playing with

    1. Perhaps some of you came here with your intended play partner. If so, great!  That part is done for you.
    2. But others might be looking, or perhaps they are interested in exploring or in “opening” their relationship
    3. A few important general rules in this world:
      1. Never assume. Don’t assume role (top/bottom).  Don’t assume gender (even if you think it’s obvious).  Don’t assume pronouns.  Just … don’t assume:
      2. Don’t touch people or things (people’s toys, for example) unless you have first gotten permission.
    4. Online tools can be very helpful to begin your search….
      1. General dating app/sites might work – AdultFriendFinder, Alt.com, seeking.com, OKC, eHarmony (!?)
        1. Code phrases: ENM, compersion, “The Secretary”, macrame … but more and more, people are just being up front with it…
      2. FetLife.com is currently one of the most popular, but there is a new one that is quickly gaining in popularity: Submit.gg. These are *not* set up as dating tools, but what they facilitate is better: encouraging people to join a local real-life community.
    5. …BUT, we believe that to really form a relationship, it is best to move things from virtual space to real-life space as quickly as you can. Here is where FetLife can be helpful.  Sign up and go to the Events Page, (link at the top).  It will show you local events held by local groups and you can find groups of real people that are interest in the same things as you.
      1. Groups in the Twin Cities:  <Instructors: Update this for your location>
        1. General Kink and education:
        2. Rope:
        3. Poly:
        4. Edge Play:
        5. If you are under 35:
        6. And so many more . . .
      2. Standing Events / Venues in the Twin Cities that are kink-centric or kink friendly

  6. Vetting a potential play partner

    1. Vetting them with questions
      (This is a mini pre-negotiation to determine compatibility for engaging in play … )

      1. Likes, dislikes, things that are important to each of you,
      2. Ask about their safety plans
      3. Tell me about a time when a scene went wrong. How did you handle it?
      4. Are you involved in the community/scene?
      5. What are your hard/soft limits?
      6. Relative abilities and experience in an activity that you might want to try
        … information important for informed consent
    2. Asking them for references
      1. Iffy.  They will only tell you people they have had a positive experience with. but …
      2. …it is shows that there *are* people they have had positive experiences with…
    3. Asking leaders of groups in their local area if a given person is known to them can be helpful … if the person is known … but not everyone is known
    4. What if the person isn’t part of their local community?
      1. “Oh, I stay away from ‘the community’ because <filling the blank reason/excuse>”
        • e.g. There is too much drama, I had a bad experience, etc.
      2. Can be a red flag
        • Perhaps the reason is legit … or perhaps they just picked a legit-sounding reason…
        • Perhaps they *are* known in the local community and they have a bad rep
        • For me, this has become a stronger and stronger red flag. If they are not willing to show their face to others, there is something going on there…  That’s just an opinion, but it is one that is shared by many real-life players I know.
    5. Listen to your gut. If something seems off, even if you can quantify it or articulate why you feel that way, pay attention to that sense.
    6. If a person is unknown, insist on attending multiple public scene events (munches, parties etc) first. Get to know them and play with them a few times in a monitored environment first. before you play with them in private.

  7. How to negotiate a scene – This is the foundation of authentic informed consent.
    This is a short overview of some of the most common/important points.  SM101 by Jay Wiseman breaks negotiation into 16 sections and goes into many pages of discussion on them.  So this is a good start, but research the risks of the specific activities you are interested in so you know what should be included in negotiation for those activities.

    1. Negotiation is for the benefit of ALL participants.
      1. Both Bottoms and Tops have desires to be met and limits to be respected.
    2. BE HONEST. Be complete.  Don’t hide important things.
      1. This is critical. Without real understanding of (1) the people involved and their needs and limits, and (2) the planned activities and their associated risks, it is impossible to give informed consent.
      2. Ask for what you really want. Listen to what they really want.  Figure out if you *really* and *actually* have a path forward.
    3. Different situations require different levels of negotiation
      1. Simple pickup play or a single encounter, you can negotiate a few simple activities and discuss just the details and risks of those specific things.
      2. With regular partners, or someone you are hoping will become a regular partner, you will need a more detailed negotiation.
    4. Elements
      1. Roles and forms of address.
        1. What role or roles are you interested in? Top, bottom, Dom, sub, switch, pet, … so, so many more …
        2. What do you want people to call you? Pronouns?  Honorifics in scene, etc.
      2. Approved activities. I.e. Interests and limits
        1. Activities: Hot buttons, soft limits, hard limits.
          • Guidance on things on the approved list: e.g. “I like floggers, but only thuddy ones” (or stingy), “I love huge anal plugs, but after orgasm get it out of me quickly or it will switch from good pain to bad pain.”
        2. Level: New, light, medium, heavy,
        3. Mood: Instructional, intense, dark, light, sensual, violent, gentle, sterile, degrading, animalistic,
        4. Deportment: Obedient vs. bratty, stern, aggressive, nurturing,
          • If bratty, can the Top force compliance?
      3. When will you do this?  How long?
        1. Just the duration of the scene? All night?  All weekend?  Duration of the visit?  Longer? … Consent has a start and end date (in most scenarios)
      4. Risk management and safety – Clearly state risks and make sure everyone understands them
        1. SSC (Safe, Sane & Consensual) vs RACK (Risk-Aware Consensual Kink)
          1. We like RACK better.
            1. There is always some risk, if someone is helpless, it can never be fully safe.
            2. Also, who is to say what is sane?
        2. Safe words / gestures / actions
          1. Red/Yellow/Green
          2. Grunting/beeping SOS or 3 of anything, particularly if combined with head tilts (if gagged)
          3. Dropping something heavy (if gagged or subject to sinking deeply into sub space)
        3. Physical & Medical
          1. Injuries – Areas of sensitivity, flexibility or mobility challenges
          2. Conditions – Diabetes, heart conditions … anything that makes them react to stress or emotion in some different way
          3. Medications – Insulin, blood thinners, sugar pills,
          4. STIs – Ask, be open.
            • It doesn’t mean we can’t play. I just need to know so I can properly plan
            • Barrier methods are king
            • Get tested either annually or in between each sexual partner. You can’t know if you don’t test, but realize that not every STI is included in a routine screening
        4. Psychological
          1. Traumas
            • You could ask it like this: “Given what we are planning, are there any past traumas or triggers I should be aware of?  Things I should specifically avoid, or specifically do?”
          2. Triggers
            • Common triggers include comments on appearance (ugly), weight (fat), intelligence (dumb, airhead), competence (“you can’t even…”), gendered language.  {Blue: You can call me a dumb whore, but don’t EVER call me an airheaded slut}
            • We usually use the word “trigger” to mean something bad, but it is more complex than that. Triggers can work in different ways for different people.  They can be positive or negative.  Some things that some negative can trigger a submissive reaction in some people, but talk about it first, start slow and TREAD WITH CARE
        5. Punishments
          1. Punishment is not required to play with power exchange
          2. We don’t mean “funishment” or sensation play that might appear to an outsider to be a punishment.  We mean real negative reinforcement applied by the Top to the bottom in order to correct an undesired behavior or as the consequence of a failure, etc.
          3. If real punishments are going to be part of the dynamic, it is important to discuss them and negotiate on this point. More on this later in the class
        6.  Aftercare
          1. Important regardless, but even more important if the scene did not go to plan!
          2. For bottom, affirm them, comfort them, care for them
            • “You did well”, “That was amazing!”, “You were so hot”, “The sounds you were making turned me on so much”
            • Get them water and a snack
            • Ask if they would like to cuddle or have you pet them or provide some other physical affection or comfort.
          3. AND for Top
            • Sometimes a Top needs reassurance that the bottom enjoyed themselves, that what they did was okay.
    5. Tools
      1. Mental checklists
        1. https://www.theduchy.com/safety/
        2. https://www.theduchy.com/suspension-planning-safety/
      2. Forms
        1. https://www.theduchy.com/bdsm-checklist/
    6. Planning for risks that you uncover
      1. Safe Calls
      2. Medical and safer sex
      3. Emergency release
      4. Medical emergency – don’t let someone die of embarrassment
      5. Letting your medical providers know before they see something that may concern them
    7. Role play demo of a quick negotiation for pick-up play at a party.
      (Perhaps a Chest Harness with a pre-negotiated possibility of converting it to a Box Tie if the bottom is comfortable.)

  8. How to set up a scene (getting ready)

    1. We are all human. Check in with yourself and with them immediately before the scene.
      1. Do you really want to do this scene at this time?
      2. Do they? Make sure.    Don’t rely on negotiations held days, or even hours, earlier.
        1. Make it clear that you respect them and their needs more than your plans.
    2. Giving instructions beforehand to submissive (for how they should prepare)
    3. Setting up the room or play space
      1. Gear and material needed for the scene itself
      2. Emergency gear
      3. Clean up material
      4. Material and space for aftercare
    4. Wearing clothes that make you feel your role (ex: slutty or revealing clothing, perhaps a corsets & heels for femdom, harness for sub, big stompy boots for a Dom) or whatever a bottom was instructed to wear
    5. Preparation ritual: Maybe you do it at a particular time, maybe you decide to do it at a play party, maybe you take a bath, read your favorite BDSM book, polish your floggers, watch some inspiring porn … whatever it is that puts you in the right mood & headspace. (This is for both the Dom and the sub to do)

  9. Coming down from the scene, aftercare and afterwards

    1. Aftercare – Make sure everyone is ok and back to themselves. Take care of each other.
    2. Physical care – address any strain or injury.
      1. “It looks like you have some rope marks. Hand me that lotion, let’s massage those for awhile.
      2. “Wow you were in that position a long time. Here is some water.  Drink more tonight and take some aspirin to reduce potential muscle soreness tomorrow (helps reduce lactic acid build-up.”
        1. Important note: (Over-the-counter pain medications (particularly ibuprofen & naproxen) helps reduce inflammation and soreness that may be felt from micro-tears in muscle fibers that may happen if muscles have been stretched or put under stress beyond what they normally experience.  Note however that aspirin, ibuprofen & naproxen also tend to thin the blood a little (acetaminophen does not).  If your partner is taking any medication that would conflict with a pain killer like this (prescription blood thinners, for example), it is crucial that they follow all medical directives/limitations associated with their other medication).
    3. Emotional and other processing
      1. Possible ebullience or drop … or both. (“Top drop” “Sub drop”)  Endorphins are a double-edged sword.
        • This may happen in a few hours, or the next day, or the day after, or never. Different people react differently.  And the same person may have one reaction one time and another a different time.
      2. Lessons learned, positive and negative.
        1. Be honest and clear, have a mindset of receptivity and growth.
        2. “What would have made that even better?”
        3. “Is there anything that didn’t work as well for you?”
        4. How did you feel when I . . . ?
        5. You seemed to react in a (x) way when I did (y); what was running through your mind at that point?
        6. Use “I feel” and “I felt” statements when describing your own experience.
    4. Decide if you want to do more of that or explore further with that person or not
    5. Later: Update your notes on that person so you don’t forget what you learned about them, their body and their reactions to the things you tried.
      • I personally find it helpful to keep notes so I don’t forget important things. (Once early in a relationship we ordered pizza after a scene, and I privately noted my partner’s favorite pizza toppings.  A few months later I ordered them their favorite pizza without having to ask.  You wouldn’t believe how many points I got for that simple act of attention and caring.)

… So … let’s talk about the kinds of things you might want to do!


As this is “BDSM102″, let’s start with the “B” – Bondage!
(Have example items on display)

  1. Collars
    1. For play – Aesthetic or control … or both
      1. Pulling/tugging/squeezing (safely)
      2. Attaching to other restraints
    2. As a symbol of a D/s relationship
      1. Day collars
      2. Control collars
      3. What is “collaring”?
        • Different people see this differently.  Some people have strong opinions on this.  Listen respectfully to their points of view but know that their opinions do not need to be your opinions.
  2. Types of wrist & ankle cuffs
    1. Leather/Nylon
      1. Aesthetics of leather – “submissive-level bondage”
      2. Durability & comfort – wider and softer, better distribution of forces
    2. Metal
      1. Aesthetics of steel – “slave-level bondage”
      2. Less comfort but many bottoms enjoy the sensation & weight
    3. Handcuffs
      1. Real cuffs vs “police-style”
      2. Pain compliance & double locks
      3. Great source for both common and unusual cuffs: handcuffwarehouse.com
    4. Disposables
    1. Duct Tape – Adhesives can irritate some people’s skin, test with that person first
    2. Vet wrap – Sticks only to itself, can buy by the case at Fleet Farm, some places online
    3. Latex Tape – Sticks only to itself
  3. Rope
    1. Types of rope designed for bondage:
      1. Hemp – Aesthetic, strength, durability, suspension, holds knots the best
      2. Nylon or MFP – Colors, washable, strong, but slippery, knots need to be doubled
      3. Cotton – Inexpensive, soft, holds knots well
      4. Silk, bamboo, coconut
    2. Hardware store rope?
      1. “Solid core” rope doesn’t flatten properly and can press into the skin in a more concentrated way. This can increase the risk of compression injuries.
      2. If rope is too soft, knots can more easily “jamb” and might need to be cut off.
      3. Hemp, jute and sisal at a hardware store is not designed for bondage, it is rough and fibrous and can irritate, damage, or leave heavier, more irritated marks on the skin.
      4.  
    3. Go to TheDuchy to learn to use rope safely https://www.theduchy.com/
      1. Words on safety
        1. Particularly sensitive areas: Wrists, neck, brachial plexus, under arms
        2. Collapsing knots (sunstone story)
        3. Much more at https://www.theduchy.com/safety/
      2. Safety rule: always keep EMT safety cutters nearby
  4. Gags
    1. MANY types: Overmouth, cleave, ball, panel, ring, muzzle, harness … the list goes on
    2. You will achieve muffled at best, complete silence is pretty much impossible
    3. Risks to discuss:
      1. Cleaning – These have to cleaned just as thoroughly as other insertables (dildos, butt plugs)
      2. Sensitivity to having jaw locked open (TMJ, grinding)
      3. Gag reflex (can lead to vomiting and aspirating (breathing) vomit is very bad)
    4. Tip: When inserting an in-mouth gag, have them put their tongue on the roof of their mouth, then relax it when you have the gag in place, test for gag reflex before you strap in in place.
  5. Sensory deprivation
    1. Blindfolds
      1. Risks of putting pressure on the eyes: contacts, lasik, sensitive eyes
    2. Hoods
    3. Taking away vision can enhance other senses (touch, physical sensations) in as little as 20 minutes
    4. Risks: fear of dark, claustrophobia
  6. Full-body bondage & mummification
    1. Gear: Sleep sacks, arm binders, sensory deprivation hoods, bondage tape, vet tape, large saran wrap
    2. Can be combined with sensory deprivation
    3. Materials: Leather, latex, rubber, plastic
    4. Risks
      1. As helplessness increases, so does risk – what happens if the Top loses consciousness?
      2. Heat dissipation
      3. Claustrophobia
  7. Predicament Bondage
    1. Placing the bottom in a position so that they must hold the position or they will experience discomfort or pain. Often incorporates some element of anticipation or fear of what the Top is going to do to them.
    2. Testing flexibility &/or strength – But give them the opportunity to stretch before hand
      1. Hair bondage, tied to overhead point, forcing them to their tip toes … then paddle them, make them dance and feel their limits.
      2. Command them to stay on their tip-toes, put a pile of legos under their heals or “if your heels touch the floor in less than 5 minutes, I will paddle you until you cry”
      3. With an overhead point connect one thing to another with rope.
        g.  “If you relax your arms, it will pull on the nipple clamps…”
      4. Tie them in such a way that they need to be on their toes or to stay in a squat to reach the hitachi on a stand.
      5. Strappado
      6. Anal or vaginal hooks
    3. Forcing them to keep still
      1. Candle holder full of hot wax (not really, just a mind-fuck)
    4. More ideas:
      1. TheDuchy’s DIY Predicament Bondage
  8. Chastity – Many submissives feel a sense of receiving attention or belonging when they are in chastity
    1. No matter what type of anatomy a person has, there are devices out there to help lock it up!
    2. (Be careful of gendered language on this one … it is an easy slip.  The wording above is an attempt to avoid this, but if you say “male” or “female”, just follow it up with “I am using those words in their anatomical sense only.”  In discussions with representatives of the non-binary and transgender community, this approach was said to be generally acceptable.)

  9. Sensation play – Not bondage, but some things you can do to them once they are in bondage, to … inspire … them to test the limits of their bondage and really feel it.

    1. Impact – Spanking, punching, paddles, floggers, theragun, more…
      1. Stingy (light, thin, small, fast) transfers energy to the skin, but not much deeper vs
      2. Thuddy (heavier, slower, bigger) transfers more energy more deeply into the muscle
        1. Only hit large muscle groups. Ass, thighs, hamstrings, upper back, upper chest, (bottom of feet)
        2. Stay away from areas where the bone is close to the skin or where there is little protection for internal organs.
    2. Temperature – Hot or cold (candle wax, fire play, ice cubes, IcyHot, more…)
    3. Sharp – Fingernails, pinwheels, blades
      1. Risks:
        1. Infection – If tools are not properly cleaned and sterilized.
        2. Blood, and blood-borne issues, be aware of and manage that.
    4. Pinching – Clamps, clothes pins (plastic or steel are easier to clean than wood), fingers
      1. Nipple clamps can be lovely one time and horrible the next, for some sensitivity is connect to hormonal cycle.
    5. Suction – Mouth, penis pumps, cupping (mechanical), fire cupping,
    6. Other – Fuzzy/furry, abrasion, sensual massage, more…

Taking things to the next level:  Training your submissive | more possible elements to include in a scene or in your relationship

 

  1. Perhaps all you really want is to put someone in bondage and poke them with sticks or fuck them. If that is what you want, cool!  Now you have some good options for that ::grin::, but there *can* be far more to, if you are both into it!  Here is where the D/s part of BDSM can come into play!
  2. Protocol
    1. How the submissive is expected to behave in various situations
      1. How they address the Dominant
      2. Attire: how they should dress
      3. Can they speak freely to others?
      4. Many other considerations (ex: do they walk in front of or behind the Dominant)
    2. Can be as strict or as lax as the partners decide … and can change based on situation or over time
    3. Partners can have multiple levels of protocol (such as “high protocol” for special events vs “low protocol” in a relaxed environment)
      1. Protocol can be different in different environments and groups as well, it is not universal
      2. Some people have their opinions and can be quite vocal about those opinions ::eyeroll::, but their opinions do not need to be yours. Figure out what works for you.
    4. Expectations should be taught to the sub in advance. It can be helpful to write them down in a document for reference.
  3. Service
    1. Train the sub to do certain tasks the way the Dom wants them done
      1. Ex: cleaning the house, pedicures, cooking a meal, cleaning and organizing toys or rope, entertainment, personal body care of submissive or dom
      2. Have them watch videos on how to properly wash latex, wash Mistress’ wigs, or polish shoes; or read a book on how to massage feet, take a class on a specific style of cooking etc.
    2. Can incorporate play into service ; for example, cooking a meal while wearing metal cuffs and nipple clamps, scrubbing the floors wearing a humbler, using a We-Vibe plug while washing latex, being gagged and cuffed while vacuuming, wearing fun gear (or nothing) while working, wearing an e-stim device while doing the dishes.
  4. Control
    1. Commands
      1. Expressions of your desires and expectations … that they can meet or choose to fail to meet them
      2. You can also think of these as verbal or psychological restraints
      3. Reward or punish based on how well they do
    2. Behavioral restrictions or requirements – Standing commands and expectations
      1. Eye contact restrictions
      2. Speech restrictions
        • Honorifics
      3. Positional requirements
      4. Bathroom control
      5. Food control
        • When, how, what, who chooses?
      6. Orgasm control (permission to cum)
    3. Bondage – As we discussed, you can add physical restraints of many types.
    4. Other methods of control
  5. Discipline (Enforcing compliance with your commands and expectations)
    1. Consistency: In order for a Dominant to structure discipline for a submissive, they must be consistent and they must be true to their word. This is central to keeping the submissive’s trust. Make a calendar, keep notes for reminders, and the anticipation will be exciting for both.
      1. Obedience app
    2. Good boys and girls vs. Brats
  6. Reward & punishment
    1. Rewards – Negotiate these!  Ask them is most meaningful to them 🙂
      1. Praise
      2. Attention
        1. Play time … doing something with (or to) them that they enjoy
        2. Permission to do something they enjoy
        3. The privilege of serving can be a reward
      3. Treats of other types
        1. Incorporate non-food treats.  Food as a reward can feel natural, but can be problematic for some people. Discuss first.
    2. Punishments – Negotiate these, too!  This can be an incredibly important conversation.
      1. What we mean by punishment:
        1. Not “funishment” (sensation play that might appear to an outsider to be a punishment)
        2. Real negative reinforcement applied by the Top to the bottom in order to correct an undesired behavior or as the consequence of a failure, etc.
      2. Notice that this is a very different psychological space from sensation play, even if it visually appears the same. This is a moment in which the Top/Dom(me)/Master/Mistress (from now on, just “Top”) may be genuine displeased or disappointed with their bottom/sub/slave and is allowing that displeasure to show.  This means that the bottom/sub/slave (from now on just “bottom”) does not have the emotional safety blanket of knowing they are pleasing their Top.  This can leave them profoundly vulnerable … and in ways that the Top does not intend.  Therefore:
      3. If real punishments are going to be part of the dynamic, it is important to discuss them and negotiate on this point. Otherwise, it is entirely possible for the Top to select a punishment that may actually damage the relationship.
        1. One good example that resonates with many is the punishment of withdrawal of affection or attention. If used on the wrong person, they could assume their partner is pulling away because of their failure, which could send them into a shame or anxiety spiral which could be psychologically damaging and/or could destroy their trust in their Top, and be a possible step toward the end of that relationship.
      4. Punishment is not required to play with power exchange
    3. Some Types of Punishments – Here is where the SM part of BDSM can come into play!
      1. Corporal punishment – Impact – Spanking, flogging, whipping
        1. The difference between actual punishment vs play “punishment”
          • Can look quite similar and include similar activities but is qualitatively very different
          • Real punishment:
            • no/little warm up or cool down (the body interprets this type of pain as an emergency),
            • includes real disapproval from the Dom
          • Play “punishment”:
            • nice warm up and cool down (the body interprets this more like a growth opportunity, kind of like exercise),
            • any disapproval from the Dom is likely mock or part of the expected dynamic
        2. Particularly sensitive areas: Wrists, neck, kidney
      2. Other sensations, particularly ones they don’t like or to a degree they don’t like
        1. Ice, electricity, wax (heat)
      3.  Deprivation
        1. Withdraw attention
          1. Not spanking them!
          2. Not allowing them to pleasure you
        2. Take away privileges
        3. Orgasm denial
          1. Edging
          2. Deny them the right to masturbate
      4. Service
        1. Extra chores … done meticulously
          1. Perhaps with extra difficulty in the form of bondage of some sort
        2. Run errands in vibrating panties or with something inserted inside them
          1. Steel ball … in a condom so it can be removed…
      5. Humiliation
        1. Make them eat on the floor
        2. Walking them like a puppy, especially in front of others (at a party)
        3. Wear a shirt that has “slut” printed on it in public
        4. Time out in the corner as if they were a child
        5. Writing lines
        6. Pointless tasks: move that pile of dirt over there … then have them move it back
  1.  

A word about Contracts:

  1. Despite what the world saw in “50 Shades”, it is not that common for people to use formal contracts. Pro-Dom/mes tend to use them quite often, but it isn’t so common among regular people.  That said, writing things down (whether you like to imitate a legalistic approach or not) can be helpful and many do so.  Blue and I did, especially at the beginning.
    1. Some do write down their yes/maybe/no list, their limits list. This is to be kept up to date when planning each encounter.  Any new limits?  Anything that you are now open to you were not last time?
      1. “There is 6 months between ‘Hell no.’ and ‘Hell, yes!’” – Common quote in the scene
    2. Some write down general expectations for ease or clarity and reference (helps them remember what is expected and helps the D/M with consistency)
    3. But I have rarely seen this take the legalistic form scene in … some books & movies …
  2. How to discuss
    1. Be open, be honest, be inclusive
    2. Talk about everything – things you need, things you want, things you are scared to try but might want to once you get more comfortable, things you definitely do not want to do under any circomstances – all of it.
    3. If you are not ready to talk about something, clearly state that
    4. The more honest you are, the more likely you are to have your needs understood and met
  3. Things to include (using a form or checklist can help)
    1. What is the goal of the relationship?
      1. Sexual gratification or no?
      2. Service? What types?  When?  Limits on this?
    2. Safe words. Always or only in non-con?  What will they be?  (Red/Yellow/Green/Beige?)
    3. Expectations & responsibilities that each partner agrees to within the scope of the contract.
      1. Not just scene-related responsibilities, but practical boundaries as well.
        1. Confidentiality
        2. When each part is permitted to contact the other and by what means (e.g. don’t call me during normal work hours)
        3.  
    4. Desires, hot list and possible related limitations.
    5. Hard and soft limits & boundaries for each person – what is not allowed, or what must be treated with care and the conditions in which such things may be used/attempted
    6. Scope of the relationship (is it just when we’re together, is it 24/7, etc.?)
    7. Provisions for canceling the contract. Typically at-will, but there may be financial ramifications in the case of working with a professional in an extended contract.
    8. Date contract will be renegotiated or renewed
    9. Responsibilities that extend beyond the expiration of the contract. Confidentiality, etc.

Questions & Answers

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Class Outline / Instructor Notes

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Poster: Building Blocks of “BDSM”

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Poster: Encounter Framework

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