I try to keep my fingers in different forums to get a feel for the temperature within the BDSM community. One thing that I am always struck with is how reluctant most of us are to give good advice and how reluctant some people are to acknowledge some type of norms within BDSM, norms like SSC, which are fundamental to me.

And of course, BDSM and how it is exercised is also based on individual expression and needs. But even if that is the case, there are still norms that should be followed if we want to continue with our kink that is such an intricate part of our lives. SSC is one fundamental norm that I care for and one that should be taught to everyone entering the lifestyle for the first time.

When I read advice given to other people in forums they vary in quality, which is natural as we all have travelled differently on our individual BDSM journey. What worries me, when advice is given, is that sometimes the urge to defend the perceived freedom within the kink is stronger rather than telling someone that they are a danger to themselves or to other people.

 

This doesn’t happen often, it’s just an extreme case to illuminate what I am trying to say. On the other hand, what happens more often in forums is that people try to establish norms while still trying to advocate total freedom – Which gives a skewed view of BDSM.

Yes, there is high degree of freedom within BDSM. You can kick people in the balls, if you know what you are doing. You can psychologically break someone in the name of BDSM, if you know what you are doing. You can even lock someone up for days, as long as you know what you are doing.

“As long as you know what you are doing” – These are the words I am trying sell here. Within the community we talk a lot about consent, but how about if we develop that into what is called informed consent?

Consent, is in most cases, discussed from a one side perspective. Consent is something that the submissive gives the dominant to allow the play to start or continue, within established boundaries. Informed consent requires both parties to take more responsibilities, to educate themselves before they embark on the preplanned BDSM journey. I, as a dominant, has a responsibility to inform any potential submissive of the consequences that can arise from what I am doing to them. The submissive’s responsibility is to check up on their side to validate the information that I’ve given – Everyone has a responsibility to inform themselves as well as to inform others.

And this is my second part of this writing. I, as a lifestyler, has a responsibility to inform people of my experience of perceived danger if I see a potential risk of people harming themselves or hurting others. This is done practically in real life by having dungeon masters that keep an eye on things. In forums today the critical eye is the public, which makes the advice control sometimes a bit diluted and bland.

One sentence I usually see in forums when someone has given an advice is “but each to their own…”. I am starting to turn against those words. I understand that they are uttered in order to protect the freedom within the kink. But they can also create an unhealthy ambiguity for someone that is new to BDSM. Imagine you are giving advice on how dangerous breath play can be and that it should maybe avoided due to the nature of it – Then you finish by saying “but each to their own…”. That doesn’t look good and is maybe putting to much on the shoulders of someone that is new.

We are sometimes giving people in forums too little information and too much responsibility to enable them to make a good informed decision.


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