BDSM For Beginners: What Fifty Shades Didn’t Teach You

While the Fifty Shades phenomena is behind us (right? RIGHT?), many of us still find our curiosity piqued when it comes to the dark and “dangerous” world of BDSM. But BDSM doesn’t have to seem daunting, says Michael Makai, the author of several non-fiction BDSM books including Amazon bestseller Domination & Submission: The BDSM Relationship Handbook and an expert for Top10AdultDatingSites.com. Real BDSM culture, according to Makai, is rooted not in whips, chains and handcuffs but in feeling safe and secure with your partner. This, says Makai, is where the Fifty Shades series—both the book and the film—got it wrong.

“The BDSM lifestyle is very, very concerned with consent as an essential cornerstone of our way of life,” says Makai. “You can say ‘yes’ a thousand times, but it only takes one ‘no’ to revoke consent. In Fifty Shades, Anastasia says ‘no’ on multiple occasions, and is ignored by Christian Grey. This would be absolutely unacceptable in BDSM circles.” Makai suggests watching the 2002 Steven Shainberg film Secretary for a truer-to-life silver screen portrayal.

So, how can you ease your way into BDSM? Below are a few top tips.

Remove the stigma. “BDSM isn’t the taboo that many people think it is,” says Makai. “A great majority of our population has experimented with light bondage, spankings, and many other aspects of BDSM.” Strip away the stigma you (or your partner) may have around the kink and approach it with a playful perspective.

Do some research. Why are you interested in BDSM? Makai suggests you ask yourself this question before you get started. “Some people want their BDSM just in the bedroom, and nowhere else. Others want a 24/7 relationship dynamic that is all about power exchange. You should strive to understand what you want out of this lifestyle before you dive into it, otherwise it’s almost assured you’ll end up somewhere you never expected to be.”

Have a movie night. Looking to bring up your interest in BDSM with your partner but not sure how to broach it? Makai suggests watching a BDSM-related movie together and discussing it afterward. “A non-confrontational way to discuss BDSM is to use a lot of ‘I feel’ and ‘I think’ statements. While your partner may not share your interest in kink, he or she definitely can’t argue with how you feel or what you thought about a movie.”

Find your community. If you’re not looking to delve into BDSM with an existing partner, then you may be on the hunt for a playmate. Makai suggests you search for local BDSM “munch-groups” in your community and make some friends. A good place to find groups and events close to you is through Fetlife.com. “Just remember, BDSM is not swinging,” stresses Makai. “Just because someone is kinky doesn’t mean they want to have sex with just anyone who comes along.”

Safety is key. As noted with Makai’s criticism of Fifty Shades, it’s important to stay safe when you’re exploring BDSM. This can include a safe word (pick something fun!) or just plain old “no” or “stop.” “It’s also important to understand that many of the things that we do in a BDSM session require training,” says Makai. “While it may look easy to tie someone up and suspend them from the ceiling, it’s often far more complicated—and dangerous—than it looks. There really are classes and workshops on how to do just about everything BDSM-related, so I suggest looking into a few to get started.” Luckily, the internet is ripe with tips and how-tos for BDSM beginners, from beginner shibari (japanese rope technique) demonstrations to quick and easy tip sheets.

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152 comments

Chrissie R
Chrissie R2 months ago

No thanks! Sex with a safe word is just scary!

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Mrs S
Mrs S7 months ago

"Real BDSM culture, according to Makai, is rooted not in whips, chains and handcuffs but in feeling safe and secure with your partner."

The fact they tend to run to articles like that without talking anything negative, should say enough.
There's always a downside.
Don't be fooled, that's how they sell it to you but the safest BDSM I had, was in a BDSM-club where a dog, the owner of the club and other co-workers watched over me.
The moment I stepped out of the club and had experiences, it all fell to the ground. It wasn't fun. It wasn't a game. It was a dark and nasty place to be or it was more 'pretending to do BDSM'. More about submission, clothing than activity. As masochist, living 24/7 submission wasn't my thing nor having them deciding how to run my life and that of my child. I'm not a baby and they didn't take care of me in any way that mattered. There was no aftercare, no love, nothing that makes a life worthwhile, I was still alone yet they demanded all from me and I suppose I should be sóóó happy with the sex. But sex is easy to get, it doesn't create a connection for me and certainly not if it's used to blackmail me emotionally.
I had about 70 doms, of which 50 in the club.
A lot of frustrations there but all I'm saying, they're usually immature in every way and I can't afford that. I was a masochist unwilling to be a paperback girl. I quit years ago.

BDSM is a game and that means

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Marianna Vincent
Marianna Vincent2 years ago

Thank you, from someone who knows whereof you speak. Removing the stigma would be a great step. And thank you as well for noting one of the many problems with "50 Shade of Grey." The only blessing of this book was that it brought BDSM out of the shadows somewhat. Friends who once condemned my choices are now more respectful.

There are aspects of the BDSM lifestyle that the rest of the world could take a great lesson from: The consent, the negotiation, the absolute requirement of aftercare. The amount of communication necessary is positively stunning.

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Chad Anderson
Chad A2 years ago

Maybe not for me, but to each their own

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Franck R.
Past Member 2 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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Liana R.
Past Member 2 years ago

I, for one, really enjoyed the movie 50 Shades of Grey and watched it three times. I don't know if it's because Christian was so charming that I'd do anything he wanted, or that I have a fetish or desire when it comes to BDSM. I don't care if 50 Shades got it wrong, I just found it very exciting!

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CLAUDE Hennie
CLAUDE Hennie2 years ago

lol ! Thanks !

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Rose Becke
Rose Becke2 years ago

50 shades of grey was about control

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