Hello pups (and others)!
For this week’s blog I’m going to look at three direct ways to lower the physical risks to you and your partners when you play. No matter where you sit on the spectrum of kinky delights, playing responsibly means playing as safely as possible. If you don’t play safely, you risk hurting yourself and other people in ways that nobody will enjoy.
As for my previous posts, this advice will mainly benefit new players, but if you’ve been playing a while, maybe take a look as well. Safety is super-important, so it’s always worth a refresher.
Safety tip one: don’t play under the influence
It’s not a good idea to mix BDSM / roleplay with psychoactive substances such as alcohol or drugs. When you play you need to have your wits about you or things will go wrong very quickly. If you’re a dominant player, pyschoactives will impair your control over the situation, and your ability to understand and respond to your partners’ needs. Likewise, submissive players might be less aware of when they need to stop, and less able to do something about it if they do.
Psychoactives can lower inhibitions, impair judgement, slow response times, and reduce your ability to communicate effectively. In a play situation, this can make you a danger to yourself and the person you’re playing with - it’s just not worth it. This is going back to the issue of trust: you need to be able to trust the person you’re playing with to have a good time.
Safety tip two: plan for disasters
If you are able to, get trained in first aid. At the absolute minimum learn how to do CPR. Knowing what to do in an emergency can save lives. The more you know, the better, but as little as a one-day course can give you enough preparation to help someone in those vital minutes before the paramedics arrive. First aid training is always useful to have: you never know when you might find someone who needs help.
Likewise, having a first aid kit to hand is a great idea (wherever you are - not just when doing riskier activities such as BDSM / roleplay). You can buy inexpensive first aid kits at most pharmacy chains. A decent kit will have a leaflet detailing basic first aid, as well as plasters, fabric shears, bandages, and eye wash. Burn gel and ice packs are optional but useful extras. Even if you think you’ll never need these supplies, be cautious and keep them to hand.
Planning for disaster is particularly important if you’re doing any type of bondage. You should always have a plan for how to release someone quickly (e.g. have fabric shears nearby for rope). Poorly-done bondage can risk loss of circulation, nerve damage, dislocation, or other injury: if you don’t know what you’re doing, find someone experienced to guide you.
It’s also worth thinking about what will happen if the dominant partner has an emergency during play. Can the submissive get free on their own? Are they able to call for help? Is there a mobile phone nearby that they can reach? If the answer to these questions is no, consider changing your play.
Safety tip three: bodily fluids and allergies
Safe sex rules still apply even if you aren’t penetrating your partner. Bodily fluids are still risky outside of the body, and are a good way to pass STDs and other unpleasant presents around. As ever, if fluids emerge during play that haven’t been agreed on, stop, check in with your partner, and only continue if it’s safe to do so.
If you use toys in play, learn how to clean them properly between play sessions. Sharing may be caring, but this doesn’t extend to sharing toys that have bodily fluids on them.
Some materials such as metal and glass are not porous, so removing bodily fluids from them is easier. Porous materials such as rubber and leather can retain bodily fluids, making them harder to sterilise. If a porous toy you use with multiple people (e.g. a flogger) gets a person’s bodily fluid on it, it’s safest to reserve that toy for that person only in future. The risk of contamination from toys is why it’s a good idea to have toys for use on you alone, or on specific partners.
Also be mindful of allergies. You’ve probably heard of latex allergy, but people can be allergic to all sorts of things - leather, rubber, silicone, even certain types of metal. This is something to discuss during negotiation before play. To put it bluntly, allergies kill people, so if you or your partner have a known allergy, do not under any circumstances bring it into play.
That’s it for this week!
As ever, keep well and play safe,