Most 30 something women in the UK have heard the phrase BDSM at one point or another. Chances are, you were probably introduced to it by a certain Christian Grey and Ana Steele. BDSM seems to have become less taboo and more widely discussed since the 50 Shades books were released, anyway. So with that in mind, today I thought I’d share a BDSM for beginners breakdown. This should help you to understand what it involves and how some aspects work. In the interest of full disclosure – I am no expert!

This is a partnered post

BDSM For Beginners

The first thing you need to know when it comes to BDSM is what the letters stand for. Sex educator Lola Jean describes it as…

“BDSM is broken into three subcategories… Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, and Sadism/Masochism. This is the overall umbrella where most kinks fall. It can contain all elements or only one – BDSM holds no judgment.”

Before you join a fetish dating site, it’s worth finding out more about what BDSM involves. So let’s discuss each of these three subcategories in more detail:

BDSM For Beginners - woman restraining man on a bed.

Bondage / Discipline

Bondage and discipline is basically the consensual physical restraint of a sexual partner. In most cases, this is done with the purpose of inflicting pain, punishment, or humiliation. Bondage is a common fantasy for both men and women. Additionally, many couples have experimented with bondage at one point or another. Many times, without realising it was a BDSM act. Holding your partner down, spanking them, or pulling their hair back all count as Bondage or Discipline. A much smaller portion of the population regularly practice BDSM while actually realising what they are doing.

Dominance / Submission

If you’re familiar with 50 shades of Grey, you probably know that the dominant partner is the one who takes the lead. The submissive is the one who follows orders. Some couples swap and change their roles – these are known as Switch. For some people, the thought of handing over entire control is frightening. For others, it’s exhilarating. You can of course make sure it’s safe by implementing safe words. This means the submissive can stop the experience any time they want to.

Still not convinced you want to be dominated? Think of it like this… Imagine being ordered you to lie down so your partner could pleasure you for hours… The only catch is you’re not allowed to orgasm… yet. The dominant partner controls when the submissive partner can climax. It could be minutes, or hours, or even days in some cases! Imagine how intense the grand finale would be after that!

BDSM For Beginners - man cuffed to a bed headboard.

Sadism/Masochism

Sadism means to obtain pleasure from inflicting pain and suffering on another. This may be of a sexual nature, but it may not. Masochism means to obtain pleasure by pain and suffering being inflicted on oneself. Again, Masochism may or may not be of a sexual nature. Sadism and Masochism are frequently abbreviated to S&M. This tends to be the most extreme and less practiced area of BDSM. You can find lots more advice at subs-and-doms.com.

Getting Started

If you decide to delve into BDSM, it’s important to remember you don’t have to do all aspects of it. You could start with some light bondage and spanking, and completely leave pain out of it. Each couple’s BDSM journey will be personal to them, and it’s important to discuss limits and hard no’s with your partner before play. Additionally, agree on a safe word (or action if you’re being gagged) which will halt play.

Finally, I hope this post on BDSM for beginners has been useful. Why not check out more of my sex and relationships posts here.