This article is written to try and help a new submissive with some sensible advice on how to start out exploring the world of bdsm in a sensible, safe way. It is easy to be taken advantage of, not to mention put yourself in a situation where you can be at un-necessary risk. I would like to point out that these are my thoughts; they are by no means the be-all and end-all just what I have gained through time in the scene and experience with my own submissive and others. So first and foremost… You are in control until you choose to give up some of that control. Note I said ‘some’, you give up exactly what you want to give up when you want to give it up, of course you will always maintain a degree of control with the option to end any association or call a stop to play and re-evaluate. You always have a right to do either whenever you should choose, and the response should be instant with no hard feelings. How you choose to play and what that involves should be decided in discussion with any potential Dominant/Domme together. You should not be dictated to unless that is part of a discussed dynamic that you have agreed previously, which at this stage I would argue is too early for anything like that. Bdsm, submission, D/s is all about consent and trust. Trust is gained over time not granted over the internet because someone demanded it. Further down the line you may be asked to fill out a bdsm checklist you can find them online easily enough and they are fun to do. Some of the stuff on there you probably won’t have heard of so it will give you something to research. Don’t worry too much about filling one out, remember you shouldn’t be expected to know everything you like and dislike if you haven’t tried it. Just try to be as honest with yourself as you can when deciding if something is a hard limit (absolute no) or soft limit (Maybe under the right circumstances, not ruling out trying). You can always go back later and change it if you gain confidence and decide you might after all like to try something. It is worth noting that there may be something in your past you’ve tried but was actually done badly which is why it wasn’t a pleasant experience for you so maybe that will be different with someone that does know what they are doing. I’ve come across this in the past. Before you can have any sort of discussion of what you might like to try with a Dominant/Domme then it is a very good idea for you to actually understand what you are talking about. It is not entirely on the Dominant to inform you of all the different opportunities for play out there, have a look yourself. Google, research, read, talk. There is a lot to choose from and a lot is readily available to read about on the internet. Just pick and choose which you think is applicable to you. Consider reading ‘The story of O’ and ‘Screw the roses bring me the thorns’ for starters they are older books but worth reading, there are many more books out there to choose from. Read everything you can that’s factual not fictional if you are genuinely interested in the scene, don’t rely on a Dominant to tell you, be informed yourself. It will also help you understand if the potential Dominant/Domme you are talking to actually understands themselves what they are talking about because believe me there are plenty out there that don’t have a clue! Look into basic stuff: for example rope play. It is basic safety that anyone using rope for restraint should understand about restricting blood flow and pressure points. Safety scissors should be right there in case someone needs to be released quickly. How are you going to initiate a safe word or indicate distress if a gag were to be used? What types of candles are best suited to wax play? What are the safeword protocols and how does that Dominant use them? In my opinion it is important for safe words to be kept simple and easy to remember the traffic light system is both and it is all I ever suggest to a new submissive when asked. You must have something easy to remember when you are in your subs happy place There are those that will tell you that safewords are not needed and that is true for some couples that know each other very well. Personally I think they don’t hurt for experienced couples to have an extra safety net there and for new submissives they are a no brainer. Any given Dominant/Domme doesn’t know you and you don’t know them well enough to play without. I will often ask my submissive to ‘give me a colour’ I am asking her for a safeword whether that be Red – stop, Amber – I’m ok but I am at my limit or Green – I’m doing great apart from the mess I am making between my legs. It keeps the safewords at the front of the mind and it lets the submissive know they are still there and available should they choose to use them. It is important that during your discussions prior to any play that you should notify the Dominant/Domme of any abuse in your past. This can manifest itself during play and completely change someone’s reactions and responses to play. You may not even expect it or understand it that is why it is important you tell a potential Dominant/Domme if there is any adverse history there. It may be advisable to avoid certain types of play for example or give the Dominant/Domme a heads up to potentially bad reactions as they start to unfold. Which will then enable them to deal with these situations better.