Consent is the cornerstone of safe BDSM and for those who are active in the scene in real life it should be of paramount importance.
The most common way of describing this is Safe, Sane and Consensual. Play should be safe, it should be sane and it absolutely should be consensual.
Consent does not mean that when you are half way through a scene your partner suddenly asks if it is ok to add in a new toy or if someone else can join in. Consent is when partners have discussions about what they both want and enjoy and what their limits are.
You will hear about informed consent, that is when there is full disclosure about what is to happen and what is not. This is what should be used at all times to ensure both parties are happy and relaxed about what is going to happen.
Let us use an example
When a submissive male comes to me to play and I ask what sort of things he would like to do, I very often get the answer “whatever pleases you Mistress”
“Excellent, I am in the mood for some impact play, let’s go to the dark room.”
For many, impact play is an over the knee spanking with hand or paddle, sometimes a cane depending on their experience. So, when I tie this submissive up to the cross and bring out floggers and a bullwhip, it’s not really what he was looking for is it?
I have his consent to do whatever pleases me, and whips please me. What I do not have is informed consent. He has not been informed of what pleases me, he has not been informed of what I intend to do and he has not been informed of what to do to stop me.
What should have happened is that I should have explained that I like impact play with floggers and whips and asked if he was ok with that. I should also have told him that I intended him to be cuffed to the cross so he could not get away and if he was ok with that. I should most definitely and absolutely have given him a safe word for him to say if he wanted me to stop.
Initial safe words and those normally used in clubs are the traffic light system – Green for go, amber/orange for hang on a second, let me catch my breath and decide if we are continuing and RED means stop immediately and if bound then get them unbound fast.
If you are joining the world of fetish and kink, please make sure to have or give informed consent in all play.