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How to Practice Ethical BDSM

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It’s true that the majority of porn has been produced simply to entertain the male gaze. And so often, sex, intimacy, and real life is miscommunicated in these videos. Where does that leave us? A misformed image of how sex, love, and intimacy is experienced. 


We’re living in a time where (young) people often turn to porn to teach them about the birds and the bees, and so, many individuals are walking around believing some of the vile things we see in these films. 


The good news is, we’re also living in a time where independent filmmakers are becoming more popular for their ethical porn. Take Erika Lust, for example. Erika is an Swedish indie film director, screenwriter, and producer, and aims to promote feminist porn. 


Her work includes an array of creativity, from VR porn to free adult sex education videos. And recently, she’s released a porno shot by actors in lockdown, which is entirely free. 


This film, called ‘Safe Word’, explores BDSM and fetishes through a mini series of short films. And sure, it’s hot and erotic, but it also tackles misconceptions that people may have about kink, and educates those who are getting into the BDSM scene.


The plot entails a woman named Mona who begins experimenting with BDSM after seeing her new neighbor blindfold a woman in his apartment. She then consults Madama Opal to help her on her new exciting sexual journey. The video explores a number of concepts like voyeurism, solo fun, fetishes, and BDSM parties. 


BDSM still has a stigma attached to it and its explorers in our mainstream culture," says Erika. "People who enjoy kinks are often seen as perverse, mentally sick, or victims of past trauma. However, when referring to BDSM we are mainly talking about a healthy, sexy culture of communication and awareness in sex.

"She continues to say, “Whether you're into it or not, I believe it can be a powerful learning tool for everyone on how to discuss boundaries beforehand as well as to stay in tune with each other during any other type of sexual relationship."

 

What is Ethical BDSM?

Ethical BDSM is idea of being as safe and consensual as possible, and can be incorporated in a few different ways, such as:


  • Having Open Communication: talking about one’s likes and dislikes, hard and soft limits, and any risks that may be involved.

  • Always Adhering to Consent: All participants give consent before engaging in any play. They are too open to withdraw consent at any time. Assumptions are never made.

  • Using Safe Words: This can bring any scene to a halt at any time to ensure comfortability and consent.

Other ways to ensure ethical BDSM play would be to:


  • Proceeding with Caution: Some BDSM equipment could potentially be risky, such as using sensory deprivation masks or hoods, genital clamps, restraints, and suspension devices. Because of this, it’s imperative to do research before using new equipment, not only on the equipment itself, but also about the anatomy. Try to practice some techniques on pillows or other inanimate objects before using them on a partner.

  • Ensure Emotional Safety: BDSM doesn’t merely encompass physical acts. It’s about trusting your partner and being certain that you’re in a safe environment too. This is especially important for those who are living with trauma, as being in a vulnerable situation may open emotional wounds.

Having said that, BDSM can be a rollercoaster of new, exciting, and stimulating experiences. It can be a sexual, physical, and or emotional journey that can transcend one’s life, and bring partners closer together. But, at the end of the day, it’s all about SSC, which stands for Safe, Sane, and Consensual.


SSC is a term coined by David Stein in 1983, and was one of the first sets of principles concerning ethics within the BDSM community. It states:


  • Safe: Steps are taken before, during, and after play to prevent any health risks.
  • Sane: All parties should agree to and practice BDSM whilst in a mentally-sound state of mind.
  • Consensual: All parties must fully consent to all activities beforehand.

So whether you’re brand new to the world of BDSM, or you’ve been living the lifestyle for quite some time, these guidelines and ethical rules never go out of style. Practice safely with someone you trust, and it can be an experience unlike no other.

 

 

Article by:
Helena Lorimer, Sexual Health and Wellness Expert at JOUJOU

 

BDSM BEGINNER bondage Fetish Play HELENA LORIMER

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