“Let’s Dance”: BDSM Groundwork

If the dark, mysterious waters of BDSM whisper your name... but you can't tell your flogger from your elbow, let Pro-Domme Cara show you what's what.

BY CARA DANIELLE

She stepped into the center of the crimson-walled room, hands fidgeting with a vicious looking bullwhip. Her generous curves were encased in supple black leather, which creaked with Her every gliding step. Awaiting Her was Her first slave, prostrate and nude on the ground, to use as She saw fit for the next hour. The scent of his fear was exhilarating. She was ready to begin…
 
As much as I would love for that to be the description of My first time in session, it is not. I was wearing boring lingerie (client’s gift), I was doing a tandem, I was caning…and I drew blood. This is a cardinal — pun intended — sin, and while I lost the client, I learned a valuable lesson: control is everything to a successful scene. Let’s back up.
 
My name is Cara Danielle, and I am a Professional Dominant Mistress. I worked for years in some of the largest dungeons in New York City before electing to work freelance with only the clients I saw as worthy. It was lucrative, it was fun, it was illegal, and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. Now I have decided to bring My expertise to you, my reader, so that you can have all the benefits of being a Dominatrix without any of the risk. That’s a lie — there’s no fun without a little risk. But I can teach you to take the right risks at the right time in order to have all the fun.
 
Your first lesson will be the same as mine was — control is everything. To have true control, you must have full mastery over yourself and you must have complete charge of the situation. In order to do this, one must obey the most critical rule: Safe. Sane. Consensual.
 
Safety is crucial to everyone involved in a scene. By scene, we mean any sort of BDSM play. This can be fantasy, this can be role-play, this can be an inverted suspension with scarification (translation: hanging someone upside down while employing specific knife techniques to permanently scar a design into the skin), but safety precautions must always be observed. Anything used for a scene must be sterilized, checked for any potential hazards (you really don’t want your whip to unravel when you’re using it on the tender flesh of your slave’s bottom…) and agreed to in advance. 
 
A safeword is also paramount to the success of the scene. If you don’t feel like inventing your own, use the traffic light system — "green" means everything is fine, "yellow" means things are getting scary, "red" means everything comes to a full and complete stop. It’s easy to remember even in the heat of an intense moment, and that’s what matters. Safety also applies to the mental and emotional aspects of this sort of play. Many different feelings and memories can come up during the course of a scene, so it is essential that everyone remains safe, mentally and emotionally. That brings us to the next part of the rule: sane.
 
As Lewis Carroll penned, “We’re all mad here.” A little madness can be the spark of genius, but too much crazy puts everyone in danger and takes all the fun out of play. So make sure you and your partner(s) are mentally sound before diving into the dark and decadent waters of BDSM play. I would also add to this that, while a little bit of alcohol can help tame inhibitions, too much will completely ruin any chance you have a successful scene. 
 
I caution against the use of substances in play unless you absolutely know your limits. And even then, why would you want something that could dull the edge of well-earned pleasure? When practiced, you will be able to achieve far greater heights without the use of any outside chemicals — moreover, getting into the habit of dulling your senses is counterproductive to this goal.
 
The word consensual should need no explanation, but I am going to give one anyway so that we are clear. If your partner is inebriated, if your partner is too far under the influence of a substance, if your partner is sleeping or unconscious, if your partner is unable to give direct and enthusiastic answers of “yes,” “please,” and “thank you,” they are not consenting. If someone cannot consent, they cannot derive pleasure from the play, so why would you want to play with them? Wait for a better time. If, at any point, you feel as though consent might have been rescinded, check in with your partner. Because if “yes” turns into “no,” or even “maybe not,” everything needs to stop.
 
I understand the rules are inherently unpleasant and may remind you of the mundane aspects of life. But I promise you, the total observance of this rule will lead you to the greatest heights of pleasure. When you can fully entrust yourself into the hands of another person, give yourself over to unadulterated pleasure and joy, there is no limit to what you can experience. That is the purpose of this rule, and that is why it is your first and most important of lessons. Now that this groundwork has been laid, we can explore more deeply and fully all that BDSM has to offer.
 
Keep in mind that BDSM is not just about sex — that would be one-dimensional and boring. BDSM is a lifestyle, a mindset, and a philosophy. Some of what I teach you in the coming months will be of no use to you, so let those things go and employ only what serves you. While I may prefer living my life in leather and latex, the subject of endless worship and adulation, that simply isn’t practical for every day. However, knowing that my boundaries and rules are deserving of respect, having the confidence to be clear about my desires and fantasies, well, those things never get tired.
 
Until next time…

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