March 29, 2019 3 min read

Safety in Words

Communication is extremely important if you and your partner are prepared to indulge in any sort of BDSM activity, especially one that involves using restraints on your partner and impairing their mobility and natural reflexes.

Safe words

With that in mind, you should let your partner know before you start your bondage session what you feel comfortable with, what you want to try, and what you're unsure about. You won't know how much you'll enjoy it until you try, but don't be afraid to speak up if something is painful or uncomfortable.

Similarly, if you suspect your partner is feeling uneasy with something you're doing to them, stop immediately until they tell you otherwise. After all, what could be your fantasy isn't necessarily their fantasy.

 

Just because your partner enjoys being blindfolded during kissing or oral sex doesn't mean that they will enjoy being tied up, too. The feeling of being blindfolded and bound can be quite scary, to begin with, so take your time and don't rush.

Blindfold

One of the best methods of allowing you and your partner to stop a bondage activity is the use of a 'safety word'. A safety word is, quite simply, a verbal device employed by bondage lovers to immediately communicate a feeling that something isn't going well.

Because some BDSM activities involve a certain amount of pain as well as pleasure, simply saying, 'no' or 'stop' isn't enough to stop the practice if it's not enjoyable for you, because these phrases can often be interpreted as role play. Choose a word that is unrelated to sex so that you're both certain of its meaning when it is spoken during an S&M session.

Some couples prefer to use the 'traffic light' system, which involves the use of three words: red for stop, amber for 'getting a bit painful' and green for go. Choose a word or phrase such as 'mashed potato' or 'steam engine' so that there can be no mistake between you and your partner about when it should be used and what it means.

Physical safety

Physical Safety

Along with using words to ensure safe bondage play, there are physical ways to ensure the safety of your partner (or 'bottom'), or your safety if you're playing the submissive or bottom role:

  • Talk to your partner about what you plan to do beforehand.
  • Agree on a safety word and use it if you feel uncomfortable or experience any pain.
  • If your partner has been gagged and cannot verbally communicate your safety word, give them an object to drop on the floor when they want the session to stop for any reason. A ball, bell or book works well in such situations.
  • Never put a rope or sling around someone's throat unless it is a specifically designed collar such as the DOMINIX Deluxe Leather Collar.
  • Never use a collar or lead designed for a pet on yourself or your partner. Learn more about how to choose a bondage collar and lead.
  • Avoid using restraints in a way that could impair your partner's breathing.
  • Keep checking to make sure your partner's hands and feet aren't getting cold or turning blue, as this is a sign of poor blood circulation and you will need to stop.
  • Never leave your partner alone if they are tied up.
  • Make duplicate copies of any keys used in your bondage toys in case you lose the original keys. Many bondage items come with a spare key or quick-release function.
  • Test all quick-release mechanisms beforehand so that your partner can be released quickly and easily in an emergency.
  • Avoid using complicated equipment if you have never tried bondage before. See our Beginner's Guide to Bondage guide for products suitable for beginners.
  • Use sex toy cleaner on all your bondage toys after every single use to avoid bacteria build-up and lower the risk of infection, especially if you have been using your toys in S&M activities.
  • Lastly, it is worth building up a BDSM first aid kit, containing all duplicate keys and safety instructions for your bondage and S&M toys, as well as bandage scissors (with one flat blade), standard first aid kit items, sex toy cleaner, and lube.

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