What is a BDSM Checklist?
Basically, a BDSM Checklist is an extremely long multiple choice questionnaire of kinks, from mild to wild, and you indicate on the list two things for each item. 1) Have you ever done the activity? 2) How much you like or dislike (or THINK you will) the activity?
The last checklist I filled out had 255 items on the list, and I’m sure that there have been additions over time. That’s the great thing about us kinky folks. We’re pretty damned creative.
Who should fill out a BDSM Checklist?
As with all other aspects of our chosen activities, completing the BDSM checklist is completely up to the person(s) involved. It is a GREAT tool for both Topfolk and bottomfolk alike. During the negotiation process for play and BDSM relationships, this can simplify the conversation, and give both (all) of the players a black and white reference for where the current boundaries lie.
I encourage Topfolk to complete the checklist as much as bottomfolk. After all, limits aren’t the only thing the checklist can be used for!
What do you DO with a Checklist?
What if things change?
You always knew you would hate having someone bite you. You’ve seen a million and one vampire movies and you know that the moment someone bites you on the neck, you’re going to smack them senseless. You put this on your list as something you haven’t tried and you don’t have any real desire to try.
Then, one day, you’re in the middle of a scene and your partner nips you on the neck. Still TECHNICALLY biting, but nothing like you thought it would be. It blows your mind and suddenly, you want to be bitten. You want it soft, hard, in between, and it’s your new fun thing.
The beauty of our kinks (and sometimes the bane) is that things fluctuate. For women and for men. Depending on the time of the month, the mood you’re in, the phase of the moon, whatever… you suddenly love things you’ve always been ambivalent about and you are ambivalent or downright dislike things you used to love.
My recommendation, for what it’s worth, is that you update the list once a year. If you tried things that you thought you’d like and hated them, update. If you tried things you hated with a different partner or a different situation and find that you love it now, update.
Remember, people grow and evolve and change. So do relationships. It’s natural to assume that your likes and dislikes will do the same.
I’m in! Where do I get this BDSM Checklist?
Well, what do you think? Do you have or use a checklist? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
This is a guest post from Xanny, a submissive male who has been active in the lifestyle for about a year and a half total. He brings a unique perspective to the BDSM Starter Kit blog and I’m thrilled to be able to share that perspective with you.
When I first started down the path of BDSM, I knew very little and what little I knew I had gathered second-hand from a friend of mine. I began doing some reading and exploring on my own, and eventually I found myself in a position where I had an opportunity to play for the first time. I don’t remember details as this was a long time ago, but one thing I do remember is coming down and then driving home. I was visiting a friend in Michigan and living in PA at the time. I played, then the next morning I was in the car on the way back home. I was fine for a while, but then eventually I began getting upset and depressed for no apparent reason. I had to pull over and stop for a few minutes as emotions overwhelmed me. I came home and immediately set out to figure out what happened to me, and I found out what it was: sub drop.
So, what is sub drop? Rather than bore you with a textbook definition, I’ll give you my definition and thoughts on it. Sub drop is the emotional (and sometimes physical) ‘drop’ or let-down that a sub / bottom goes through anywhere from a few hours to a few days after a scene. It can be very light, maybe just a slight feeling of depression, or it can be heavy to a point where you become physically ill. I personally have never become ill, but I have become quite depressed, and it’s not a lot of fun. I’m slowly learning how to deal with bouts of drop that hit me. I’m finding that the severity of the drop decreases and in a lot of cases never happens if I get a lot of aftercare in the form of cuddles and positive reinforcement. I’m not saying that it’ll help you, but there are some things that you can (and should) do.
First, check in with the person you played with. Find out how they are doing, and let them know what you’re going through, if anything. Talk to them, and most times they will be able to help you through it. Next, after the scene and you return home, make yourself comfortable. If you have a favorite comfort food or drink (preferably non-alcoholic), have some of it. Try not to reflect on any of the negative things that may have happened in the scene, think back about what went on as a whole. Write about it, if it helps you. I tend to write about my scenes a few days afterwards as a way of chronicling my journey. You can be as descriptive as you like, however you decide.
Can sub drop be prevented? Some people may not experience sub drop, others may no matter what they do. It will all depend on what you personally need and how you handle the end of a scene. If you aren’t currently in a relationship, or you don’t have regular play partners, you might find yourself affected a bit more by sub drop. Remember that there are resources out there, such as your friends, the community and of course the various sources of information on the internet to help you through. I just hope that if you’re new to everything that I’ve enlightened you a bit on the subject of sub drop.
It occurs to me that some of you stumble across this blog because you’re hoping to find a definitive list of “Must Haves” for starting to build out your BDSM Toy Bag. I don’t have the perfect list for what YOU should have. But I can certainly share with you the items I started with in my toy bag.
These may seem like an odd place to start, but first and foremost your health and safety (and the health and safety of your submissive/slave/bottom/play partner) are the first priority. Before you insert anything into your partner, or allow them to insert anything into you… make sure it’s clean and covered. Before you tie the first knot in the rope around his/her wrist, make sure you’ve got scissors on hand in case the worst happens. Safety First applies everywhere, not much for “vanilla folks”.
The Impact Play:
It’s been said time and again that the best instrument is your own mind and your own body. Your hands are very versatile for bdsm play, but it’s always fun to have a few implements of pain on hand in case you need them. I don’t recommend that anyone start out with a flogger or a whip. It’s my suggestion that you start smaller. Lightweight paddles, a belt you have hanging in your closet, and even wooden spoons from the kitchen will all work nicely.
Non Impact Play:
Clothes pins come in a wide range of tensions. Make sure you test them out and see which ones aren’t too tight or too loose (use your finger… don’t clip em to your nipples in WalMart) before you buy them. Nylon rope is pretty slippery and can tighten dangerously if you’re not careful. It’s best to get rope made of natural fibers. As for the rest… just use your imagination…
This isn’t a huge list, but it wasn’t meant to be. These are “MY” essentials for getting started. My imagination, safety items, and a few choice toys can turn any scene into something to remember forever.
What’s on your Must Have list for your toy bag? Please share in the comments!
When I joined the BDSM 101 Yahoo Group, I received a fabulously informative email from the administrators. They titled it “Good BDSM Summary”. While there is a lengthy explanation on the email about the copyright claims on this particular information, I’ll leave it at this: Like millions of other articles and chain letters, and written documents that have been forwarded, modified, edited, and claimed since the beginning of the written word, this has been around for a LONG LONG time, in more than one format. I have no idea who the original author is, but I agree with the owners of the Yahoo Group, it’s good information that I think you’ll benefit from.
•BDSM is not an aberration. BDSM is a sexual orientation that is found in a substantial percentage of the population. Various surveys have shown BDSM behavior practiced by 5 to 20% of the population, with interests at up to 50% of the population. Just look at the interest in movies, books, and other artistic expressions with BDSM as a common theme. Historically, BDSM behavior was listed as a psychological problem, as was masturbation and homosexuality. Today, however, these various orientations are not considered a problem unless the person is deeply unhappy about their interests.
•BDSM is not new. BDSM activities have been performed in many religions and cultures. Early Christian mystics used it and Native Americans continue to use it for vision quests. Fakirs from India use it. That same energy can be used for spiritual journeys, sexual ecstasy, or personal bliss.
•BDSM is not just fetishism. Fetishism often substitutes an object for relationship. BDSM can involve relationships like D/s (Dominant/submissive) or M/s (Master or Mistress and consensual slave). And BDSM is often about enduring power exchanges, even with a ‘contract’, ‘collar’, and often very ‘marriage-like’. In fact, good BDSM requires trust and open communication as well as the development of good relationship skills.
•BDSM is erotic psychodrama. The exchange of power in BDSM is a framework for risk taking and trust. The shared reality created by BDSM gives the participants the permission to explore their erotic fantasies by fooling the intellect to free the libido. BDSM has often been referred to as high-tech sex. The experience is incomparable.
•BDSM does not feel like what it looks like. Often in the popular press, the dominant or sadist does as he/she wishes, without regard to the needs and desires of the submissive or masochist. In practice, it is the submissive or masochist that has the final say by negotiating limits. BDSM teaches the needs for good communications up front; the use of “safe” words that will stop the action if the submissive ever feels the ‘scene’ is not working; and a time for communication afterwards so that both parties can learn and make it even better.
•BDSM is not especially dangerous. Some BDSM activities are more athletic than others. For more strenuous activities the individuals should be in good physical shape, just as for any other ‘sport’. For most BDSM activities the players must know what they are doing. The shared education and experience of other players can be invaluable.
•BDSM is not sexist. Sexism tries to impose dominant-submissive roles according to gender. In BDSM roles are chosen according to our inner feelings. BDSM is honest, shared eroticism which includes men and women who prefer either or both roles.
• Sometimes BDSM is done in a brief scene with a stranger. Sometimes it is a full time relationship. Usually BDSM is done in negotiated episodes (or ‘scenes’) between people who know and like one another.
•BDSM is not repressed anger or covert hatred. Actually it is impossible to do good BDSM with someone you do not like.
•BDSM takes a lot of energy, preparation, time, and attention. Many practitioners do a lot more of “vanilla” (i.e. non BDSM) sex than they do BDSM.
•BDSM is as much an attitude as it is action. When traveling, the dominant may wish to drive the car in order to be in control and express their power; or the submissive may wish to drive the car as an expression of taking care of their dominant. Who IS in charge is far from obvious. It is a ‘dance’ involving both parties.
•BDSM people come from all walks of life. Some from abusive backgrounds and practicing BDSM can be part of their healing. Most come from healthy families and are looking for self fulfillment. Some identify as “lifers” having BDSM fantasies from their earliest memories. Still others are new to the concept and felt a connection when they tried it. BDSM people come from all genders and orientations. As a result, BDSM groups have been on the forefront of establishing common ground between heterosexuals, gays, and lesbians.
What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear them, so please comment.
Let’s start with the basics.
Lady Julia of LadyJulia.net defines a Munch as:
This is the basic definition of a Munch. Some munches are held in different locations with different guidelines. However, the vast majority of munches will stick to this format.
Almost 5 years ago my Master and I attended the Atlanta Regional Munch at 1763 and someone made an announcement asking for co-hosts to help start a new West Atlanta munch. Since we live on that end of town, and really wanted to see education make a comeback in the community, we contacted the guy who made the announcement. The original guy ended up not being able to spearhead the new munch, but Maddog and I went ahead with the idea and launched a munch. We started a Yahoo! Group and polled the people in our community to set a date.
From the outset, our priority was education. Master wanted to create a group where people could come and learn to do different types of play, protocols, and general etiquette. We had guest speakers, munch topics every single month, and a demo-style play party after the munch. Even now, after Master and I have handed the reins of the West Atlanta munch over to some fabulous people, the focus on education is still there.
There are quite a few munch groups in the Atlanta area. Some are education focused. Others are solely focused on giving lifestyle people a secure, relaxed atmosphere to get to know others, welcome new folks into the community, and share the wealth of knowledge that each individual person brings to the community. The purpose is no less noble than education… and truly… some people aren’t so much interested in the demos as they are getting to know people and enjoying the company of other likeminded people.
Whether your ideal munch is primarily social or educational (or both), you’re probably going to be looking for a group that is 1) close to your home and 2) convenient to your schedule. The dates, times, and locations for the various munches should be included in the gathering announcements, the mailing list home page (if the group has one), or any other way that the munch group gets the word out. Make sure you pay close attention to the details.
If the group isn’t a good fit for you, based on the information you find, you do have other options. :
I’m sure there are far more than I have listed here, so please feel free to add your listing to the comments. There is a full catalog of munch, dungeon, and group listings coming up as a full section on this website. If you would like to have your group listed, please please please leave a comment with the information.
I have been asked many times about my techniques for “reading a bottom” during a scene. What does that mean? Are there techniques one can use to better understand the person that you are playing with so that you can provide a better experience? I will attempt to put a few thoughts on …well, the blog, so that you can see some of the ways I do it.
“Reading” is essentially a way to monitor the physical and mental reactions for your play partner to know when to “heat” things up a bit more, or cool things off. Successful “reading” techniques
Examine the book cover and liner notes
When you purchase a new book (not that your play partner is PURCHASED mind you) what are some of the things that attracts you to the book? The two things that most people look when they see a book is the cover and the liner notes. How does this translate in to a scene? Examine the physical attributes of your play partner. Ask them about any physical issues before play. This is important to know so that you can craft a scene where they are comfortable…well as comfortable as can be when you are bruising their asses!
Scan the page
One of the techniques for speed reading is a quick scan of a page then to go back and drill into things that you need to comprehend more. This is a perfect technique for “reading” your play partner as well. Keep your eyes moving over the bottoms body. Are you noticing damaging marks? Do you notice twitches? Have you seen that body “relax totally” signaling the onset of subspace? After each strike of the cane/paddle/flogger look over the body and look for those tell tale signs.
Turn the page slowly
There are a couple of ways that I like to prolong the tease and torment during a scene. One way is to introduce to your partner the “implement” that you will be using on them. When I start or switch to a new implement of ahem…pleasure, I usually introduce that device gently to the area being played with. The bottom can detect the change…understand that it is now a cane and not a paddle and adjust accordingly. Use sensual teasing as you switch from one implement to another…
Read the BOOK dammit!
D/s play with another is one of the most intimate things anyone can do. PAY ATTENTION to the person you are playing with. Just as reading a book, it takes time to get “back into the story” when your reading is interrupted with something. Scening is the exact same thing. Focus on your bottom/submissive/top…don’t get distracted. It is rude!
Close the book HARD!
Well, perhaps this is just MY way of reading a book…but I ALWAYS like to close that cover hard. The harder I close…the more I enjoyed the story! While this may not be YOUR way of reading…well, it is mine!
Now…with all of the talking of reading and D/s…I need a good hard book to read…sunshine…let’s read!
What is a Safe Word? If you’re just getting started in BDSM, you’ve probably heard or read these words and wondered “what’s that all about?” A safe word is a word or phrase, not typically used in sex or play, which the participants of a BDSM “scene” or “play session” can say to stop the scene.
Is It Always The Same Word?