I’m always a little bit mixed when it comes to BDSM educational stuff on the web – Mostly because every educational resource claims that “this is the best way to do it”. I usually find myself to be critical towards BDSM 101 information that is brushing through safety issues and try fit it all in a very short format.

This is an effect of the web format itself and how people digest information on the web, we want to be able to access the information quickly and we want to digest it equally quick – People usually don’t want to read long novels or watch lengthy educational videos filled with a lot of facts.

We, who write stuff on blogs or make videos for YouTube, adopt very quickly to this very specific media consumer behaviour and create material that is supposed to digested quickly.

Now comes the critical question: Can BDSM safety information be presented in this type of short and easily digested format?

I wouldn’t be able to present the pitfalls of BDSM and safety issues in 8 minutes with a certain level of responsibility and here is the next thing: As a provider of BDSM educational information you have to take on a great deal of responsibility in relation to the information that you put on the web. If you spread the wrong information or if you are trying to minimize the potential danger when explaining certain activities – Then you become a danger yourself.

People who create interesting and wonderful BDSM related material for the web have to keep in mind who is actually reading our stuff. I always make the assumption that I have a mixed crowd reading what I’m writing, which means both people that are new to the wonderful world of BDSM as well as scared BDSM veterans. But even if I have a mixed crowd I always have the newcomer in mind when I write about the more practically related issues within BDSM. I make the assumption that a newcomer could make devastating mistakes when it comes to certain BDSM activities because of the lack of experience.

I also make the assumption that some things shouldn’t be promoted and taught through a blog or a website. That’s why I intentionally stay away from subjects like asphyxiation play (breath play, choking etc) and alike. I believe that is something that should be taught under supervision through your local BDSM community. There are a lot of fuzzy variables involved in breath play that can be misinterpreted and I wouldn’t trust anyone trying to teach a subject like that through the web. I wouldn’t feel safe either if I met a person with very little experience claiming that he or she learned a lot about breath play from a website – And I sure wouldn’t want anyone to trust me if I started to make posts about the best way to do asphyxiation play.

That takes me to the next part of my thoughts – It’s really heard to judge the validity and credibility of the information you are digesting on the web, especially if you are new to the subject. There is a lot of flawed information regarding BDSM safety issues that are floating around out there. Saying that all of it is true would be like saying that all the women in porn movies are really horny.

A lot of information about BDSM is created with good intent, but do creators of BDSM information really talk to fellow kinksters or people that might be more experienced when they write about safety? I do that when I write about certain matters that could lead to fatal mistakes if I leave something out or express it the wrong way. I ask my fellow kinksters “Do you feel that I have left something out?” and that is pure quality control to me. But even if I do this I always tell people that are reading the things that we write about here on the blog “Don’t take my word for it, go and check the validity of the information that we are providing – Get a second opinion”.

I found this video made by Kara Sutra and I believe the intent is all good, Kudos to Kara – But it takes the newcomer into an area where I believe that the local BDSM community should have a responsibility instead.

The video mentions safewords which is all good, safewords are important. But I am not so convinced that “Banana” is the best word when you are gagged. The most common consensus, when it comes to safewords and gags, is that the safeword should be replaced with a gesture or, if you are tied up and gagged, something you can hold in your hand and drop when you want out – A key chain is often used as an example. Nothing is mentioned about subspace and how that can make it really hard to even utter a safeword and that’s when it becomes the responsibility of the Dominant to check the condition of the sub by continuously talking with the submissive and check for the response. I would also clarify a little bit on the choice on safeword – Pick something that is out of context, something that easily break the flow of what you are doing.

The thing in this video that makes me react is the talk about choking. My advice is clear and simple: Don’t do it! There is a big difference to me between holding your hands around the throat of someone and choking them. Asphyxiation play is dodgy play because you can cause fatal injuries in less than 15-20 seconds. There are no general guidelines regarding asphyxiation play as the individual condition of the human body affects the risks. There is no way to judge if you have “gone too far in your choking” as damages can occur before someone even pass out.

And as with every edge play – If you don’t know what you are doing, then don’t do it! This advice is especially targeted at people that are new to BDSM. You cannot learn about safe breath play when it comes to choking from the Internet, contact your local BDSM community instead as they in most cases have the medical expertise that is necessary to understand the risks and the potential pitfalls.

Spanking is by many considered to be risk free and I would agree in most cases – But it isn’t totally risk free. The information that is relayed in this video is perfectly fine, if you hit the spine, kidneys, liver or other critical areas then you might cause permanent damage.

But it isn’t without any risk even if you hit the behind of someone. Spanking might cause permanent blood filled spaces inside the butt cheeks that may hurt. Attending a spanking class at your local BDSM community might be a good idea here as well.

To me it isn’t enough as a safety measure “To know how to untie the knots if you do rope bondage” – “Be prepared and don’t overestimate your knowledge” is a better advice to me. “Be prepared” means that you should have the necessary tools to get out of trouble if it should occur and the knowledge to predict potential dangers. Have a pair of medical scissors at hand to cut the ropes quickly. Be prepared to treat burn marks from ropes, it happens. But most importantly; Don’t do rope bondage that you aren’t prepared for, not without supervision at least.

As you can see, there are always things that can be added when it comes to “How to do BDSM” material on the web and I am not trying to discredit Kara Sutra in anyway – We all give advice based on what we know, but what we really should ask ourselves is “What are the things that I do not know so much about?”. You should ask yourself that question even if you are a scared BDSM veteran, over and over again.

The field of knowledge within BDSM is a constantly moving field, we need to take knowledge and experience into consideration and think about what we are sending out to people that are newcomers to BDSM – Because this is a kink where everyone is welcome.


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