We are a community of anarchists and libertines so the point here is not to come up with 10 universal truths that apply to everyone. By definition we are a community that will and must rebel against any sense of structure or order. That being said if you are just starting out consider these as they have helped me.
1. Love Yourself
If your momma dropped you as a child and you are hoping that an adventure into BDSM will fix everything. Um it won’t. Find peace within and then seek adventures. If your soul is empty this community will not be a good place for you.
2. Pay it Forward
Through your journey hopefully you will meet some incredible people and enjoy wonderful experiences. Let the world catch you “Paying It Forward.” Even in your first year find ways to give back. Hint: The best way to attract good people is to be good people.
3. Pay Yourself First
You will be required to submit or lead others in a very intimate journey. Never let that submission or leadership take you away from your family, your hobbies, or your passions. If you loved skydiving before the journey then jump often. Any Top that is worth anything will want their bottom to pursue passions and hobbies that make them a stronger person and a better bottom.
4. Always Wear a Condom
Men man up. Women carry one and insist. There is nothing more loving than a woman that hands you a condom.
5. Context is King When Meeting New People
The internet is cool. Before the internet we responded to blind ads in the back of magazines or visited certain bars. Now it is easy to find a cute blond that is willing to move across the country and sit at your feet. But is that really wise. Someone that has a FetLife account and a cell phone means absolutely nothing. They could be a 14 year old, a police officer, or an ax murder. So what is context? A recommendation from a friend you trust, someone you meet at a munch that is known by others, or someone that you meet at a club that knows others. Do you want to meet safely then network at munches, conferences, and clubs. Make many non play partner friends (See number 2).
Context can also be vanilla. Do you know their mom? or where they work? Context attaches the other person to the real world. Predators do not like context. And really cool people thrive on it.
When you meet for the first time meet in a public place. Bring a friend. They can sit at the table with you or across the room. Have a safe call. Call them when you get there. Call them when you are leaving and call them when you are home safe and sound. Bottoms tell the potential Top that you need to make your safe call. Cool Tops will love the idea and be supportive.
6. The Bottom has all the Power
Submission is a gift. It is this gift that separates us from the act of rape, torture, and kidnapping. The Bottom has all the power and they gift that to you for a moment, a scene, a month or a lifetime. But it is a gift and it can be taken back at any time. Top Hint: Cherish the gift.
7. Safe Words are Our Friends
You are playing in a world where some give up control and others take control. Safe words are your super magic way to stop any scene. It may sound weird but screaming or saying no or crying may not be considered signs we should stop. (don’t panic eventually this will make sense.) Safe words are how a bottom takes back their gift. Use simple words like Red and Yellow.
Red should mean full immediate stop. Dress. Move to a safe neutral place and talk.
Yellow means warning. It means you need help.
Make sure anyone you play with knows the safe words and agrees to honor them.
There is a Chinese proverb: “Within any boundary there are an infinite number of possibilities.” There are many lists online. Know what you are interested in trying and what offends you. Be candid and discuss those boundaries before you play with anyone. Boundaries never bother me. Be very afraid of anyone that says they do not have any boundaries. They are either a liar or one step away from being the star of the next crime of the century.
9. Don’t Gossip
Praise in public. Rebuke in private. If you have something bad to say do it directly between you and the other person involved. Never get caught talking bad about others in public. Praise others often and publicly. Power Exchange is advanced human relationships. You are going to be in intimate relationships that are sexual or power exchange. You will be in uncharted territory. Along the way you will meet some people that just are not right for you. Have the courage to take the bad news and avoid the temptation smear the other persons reputation because you feel rejected. I detest gossips.
Drama is the lack of integrity and courage. Candidly if you don’t get the first 8 items in this list your experience in power exchange will be full of drama and gossip. Being the good person in the midst of adversity requires you to love and lead. Are you acting to be the center of attention? Are you acting out because you are afraid to be rejected or alone? Are you making noise because you can’t stand the silence? You are drama. Will Smith said it best: “Ain’t gonna start none. Ain’t gonna be none.”
Come on drama kings and queens. Now is your time to rise above yourself and love. Be creative. Create magic. Be a scribe. Do something constructive or at least go back to the the top of the list and work through the first 8.
I hope each of you have a wonderful journey.
Shared with permission of Kadansky