Once you realize you’re kinky, it’s natural to start wondering why. Were you born this way, or did something happen to spur your interest in BDSM? The nature vs. nurture debate is far from settled, but we’ve taken a look at our own paths to BDSM as well as available research to see what it can tell us.(more…)
Playing It Safe: The Ins and Outs of Safewords
Originally posted on March 4, 2019; updated on May 16, 2023
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From vanilla women’s magazines to online forums about kink, the first piece of advice that newbies to BDSM often get is to use a safeword. But the discussion about safewords often stops there. Let’s take a closer look at this often cited but poorly explained mainstay of BDSM.
The Legality of Erotic Choking
A recent article published by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom provides an overview of the legality of erotic choking and breath play across the U.S. The main takeaway is that breath play in some form is illegal in almost all states. Here are some data points:
- In only 4 states, consent is a defense to choking someone.
- In 11 states, erotic choking is legal as long as no one gets hurt.
- In all 50 states, the following activities are legal:
- Breath play that involves telling someone else to hold their own breath or cover their own nose and mouth
- Neck grasping that doesn’t involve pressure and squeezing
- Gags, hoods, and collars that don’t prevent normal breathing
Check out our detailed guide on breath play and choking in BDSM for techniques and safety tips.
Netflix’s Obsession: A Damaged Story about BDSM
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While much has already been written about Netflix’s four-part erotic thriller Obsession, the focus has been on the thin plot, overwrought music, and cringeworthy moments. But what about the BDSM and kink in Obsession that numerous click-baity headlines have mentioned? Just how kinky is this series? And is its portrayal of BDSM and kinky people authentic?(more…)
Do “Fake” Doms Really Exist?
There are dozens of warnings in the BDSM community about fake doms* and how to spot them. They’re inexperienced, they’re physically or emotionally abusive, they ignore limits and safewords, they gain submission through fear tactics, and so on. But is it correct to call these people “fake” doms? Or are they bad, real doms? Is there a difference?(more…)
Essential Rope Bondage Tips for Beginners
When people ask for beginner rope bondage advice, the response is often that they should pay to join an advanced shibari tutorial website. While information on the intricacies of shibari and rope suspension may be useful for people who are farther along in their rope journey, this isn’t an accessible entry point for those who are just starting out. Here, we’ve collected some essential, user-friendly tips and tutorials for rope bondage beginners.(more…)
Bondage Rope Roundup
Originally published Dec. 5, 2018; updated Feb. 20, 2023
We fell in love with rope bondage at the beginning of our relationship, and it’s still a pivotal part of our play today. When you’re new to bondage, it can be overwhelming. What kind of rope should you buy? How do you decide? This guide is a breakdown of the pros and cons of the myriad types of rope on the market for bondage.
18 Kinky Valentine’s Day Gifts
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February is fast approaching, so without further ado, here’s our curated list of kinky Valentine’s Day gifts for the BDSM lovers in your life!(more…)
There’s No One True Way to Do BDSM
When I first realized I might be kinky and started researching BDSM, I wondered whether the abbreviation described me. I knew I was sexually submissive, but I wasn’t a masochist, nor was I interested in a 24/7 dynamic. Yet everything I read online led me to believe those were natural, if not essential, traits and goals for a submissive. It took some time for me to realize that many BDSM “requirements” aren’t requirements at all and that beyond a few basic principles, there’s no one true way to do any of it.(more…)
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About CNC But Were Afraid to Ask
Originally posted on September 25, 2018; updated on December 5, 2022
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When I first started getting in touch with my kinky side and learning about BDSM, I became obsessed with consensual nonconsent (CNC). I thought CNC—also known as rape or ravishment fantasies—would be the ultimate way to lose control. By obsessed I mean I thought about it daily, researched it constantly, and knew it was something I needed to do. I started reading Casual Encounters on Craigslist regularly (back when that section still existed) to see what my options might be. Ultimately I was too scared to go that route, though, and it wasn’t until I met Vagabond that I was able to make my dream come true.(more…)