7 Common Misconceptions About BDSM

7 Common Misconceptions About BDSM

With Fifty Shades Darker playing in cinemas all over the world, we are finding ourselves in conversations with customers and journalists about what it means for love lives – is the level of kink about to hike right up? Or are we over it?

In reality, a lot of people who enjoy what is commonly known as kinky activities (like spanking and wrist restraining) without considering themselves to be particularly kinky. It’s just a bit of fun – different from the usual.

BDSM clubs and parties were mostly underground, secret societies, until FSOG exploded onto the scene in 2012 and brought proudly perverted practices out into bright daylight. Many disapproved; the kinksters disliked the newbies for muscling in on their scene and non-kinksters believed that all D/s relationships are based on abuse.

fifty-shades-darker-mask

Darker will no doubt highlight the very same issues and we thought it was about time the most common myths about BDSM are debunked.

1. BDSM is Abuse

This is probably the biggest and most damaging misconception of all, often spouted by those who do not understand the meticulous negotiations that goes into BDSM relationships.

BDSM, when practised between consenting adults, is not abuse.

BDSM stands for Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism & Masochism and functions as a framework for numerous activities that are practised and enjoyed by said consenting adults.

As long as consent and safewords are strictly adhered to, BDSM is, in it’s truest sense, not abusive. However, if one or more parties steps out of the pre-agreed boundaries, activities takes a sinister turn and becomes abuse.

Confusing? A little bit. But in short – it’s all about consent.

2. Consent is Just a Word

Well, no. It is the be all, end all of all sex play, kinky or not. If consent is not given, or is withdrawn, sex play becomes abuse.

Before a scene, kinksters will usually negotiate activities they’re happy to part-take in during the upcoming play session. (If they refuse to negotiate with you, you refuse to play with them. It really is that simple.) They may enjoy a firm spank with a hand, but not with a paddle – that sort of thing. Each activity and the degree of its severeness should be discussed in detail. This ensures only consensual play takes place.

Christian Grey, in the FSOG trilogy and the subsequent films, gets this all wrong: he may be a successful business man, but his negotiating skills out of the boardroom falls painfully short. He assumes that his way is the only way when, when in reality, Ana should be allowed time to consider her options and work out what it is she feels comfortable with. She should be allowed her say about what, how and when.

3. BDSM is About Pain

Pain can be a delicious element of BDSM play, but kinky play is just as much about pleasure. Many kinksters don’t enjoy pain at all – giving or receiving.

Pain, when carefully dished out, can create immense pleasure. It’s what we call “a natural high”. The brain pumps out endorphins, and the person experience the pain/pleasure can find themselves in a never-ending circle of wanting additional pain in in order to experience heightened pleasure…

spanking

 

4. Safewords are for the Weak

Safewords are used to ensure everybody involved in a scene (be that two or more participants) are feeling safe and happy. Using a safeword does not mean a person is “weak” – it means they are in tune with their minds and bodies, and require attention. Maybe they are tied up and are beginning to experience pins & needles – time for re-positioning. Maybe they are unexpectedly triggered by an action or a word, and need a cuddle and reassurance, or maybe they just need to go for a pee…

Using safewords is a quick way of checking in with each other – knowing where the other person is within a scene is just as important as knowing what is going on with oneself.

Whilst we don’t like the term ‘vanilla’, we feel that non-kinky couples could do well to incorporate negotiation and safewords into their sex lives too. Example: Hands up if you’ve ever had a partner trying to sneak into your back entrance without explicit permission, or tried to coerce you into doing something you don’t feel entirely onboard with? It happens all the time.

By taking the time to sit down and talk about likes & dislikes, fears & desires, lines of communication open up and greater intimacy is acheived.

5. Kinky Folks Are Damaged

Kinky folks can be damaged. As can folks who are not into kink. More often than not, kinky folks are just as happy and healthy as anybody else who do not share their particular peccadilloes.

It would be inherently wrong to squeeze all kinksters into a box labeled ‘DAMAGED’ just because their sexual desires and appetites do not match your own. Each to their own, people!

Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is Ok.

Important.

The character of Christian Grey may be damaged by traumatic childhood events, but this doesn’t mean everybody who enjoys BDSM games are.

6. A Slave or Submissive Belongs To Anyone & Everyone

It is commonly believed that anyone wearing a collar is there for the taking – much like a help-yourself buffet on a cruise ship.

No, no, no.

Weather the person is wearing a collar or not is not relevant in this instance. You have no more right to touch a slave or submissive without consent than you are to touch a stranger walking past you on the street.

The collar may signify their sub status, or maybe it shows that they belong to a proud Daddy, Dom or Master – or maybe it is purely a fashion statement.

A submissive may be naked, tied to a cross and whipped until she screams with pleasure  – still does not give you right to touch unless consent has been given.

advice-kink

7. Contracts Are Forever

Contracts are sometimes drawn up to ensure that each member of the kinky pairing/group/household is fully aware of responsibilities and agreements within that particular kinky relationship.

Not everyone uses contracts. Not every contract is the same. And whilst the contracts are honoured and taken as legal documents between the parties, BDSM contracts will not stand up in a court of law.

A contract can be drawn up to cover a set period of time, or it could be ongoing. The contracts may be reviewed regularly,  or only when one or more parties feel they’d like an amendment.

We hope this has cleared up some of the more common misconceptions. And if you feel intrigued, why not check out our erotic classes where you can learn more about spanking and bondage?

 

Are You Ready for a Hot Valentine’s Weekend?

Are You Ready for a Hot Valentine’s Weekend?

With Fifty Shades Darker there is no better time to start gathering inspiration and start planning the hottest weekend to date. But before you start the prep, why not take a few minutes to read this excellent blog piece on smashing sexual boundaries, stepping out of comfort zones and upping the O-game for 2017. It’ll put you in good stead for what’s to come…

Dressing For the Occasion

This year, kink is all the rage and we have a fantastic selection of outfits and accessories that are guaranteed to get pupils dilating and pulses racing.

Our favourite, the beaded teddy with long sleeves and face mask, is outrageously kinky and demure all at once. Wear it under a suit, rolling the face mask down as a regular turtle neck, whilst the beads glide and rub deliciously between labia lips for stimulation that is likely to have you panting before you’ve arrived at your destination. When you are ready, slip off your outfit, pull up the mask and you’ll be ready for whatever the night might bring…

leg-avenue-kink-masked-teddy-with-bead-g-string-front

For an even more jaw-dropping look, the fishnet bodystocking with O-ring cups and mask is a sure choice. It’s not discreet, it’s not demure – but it is hella sexy!

You Are Mine

Traditional Valentine’s Day cards usually come with a  romantic message of “will you be mine?”

Bah, is what we say to that.

For this V-Day, up the ante and let your inner Domme or Sub out to play!

Adding a BDSM collar can turn an already hot encounter into a blazing inferno. Placing a beautiful collar on a willing partner is incredibly sexy as it signifies ownership (even for a short, consensual while). What is more sexy than boldly stating “you are mine” whilst looking deeply into the eyes of a lover?

Whilst wearing the collar and handing themselves over to the capable hands of their Dom/me, the submissive partner sends out an equally powerful message: “I belong to you.”

MAZE Tassel Choker is a stunning collar disguised as a fashionable choker. The tassels hand seductively between the breasts, and can be used as a lead too… Made from faux leather, it’s ethical kink and 100% suitable for Vegans.

If you want to go a step further, we recommend this sexy MAZE Vegan H-shaped Bodyharness. It highlights the breasts, which can be encased in a favourite bra or decorated with sparkly nipple jewellery.

Wearing masks is a great way of stepping into a different persona for a little while. This stunning mask from Bijoux Indiscrets attaches to the face with tiny skin-friendly dots and adds the finishing touch to any outfit. Or lack of.  Because let’s face it – you may prefer to play completely naked…

Play With Me

We have a stunning selection of toys and accoutrements suitable for kinky play on any level. Here are our Top Three kinky must-haves:

Satin Ties with D-Rings are long, sensual ties that feel great against the skin. The ties are durable and can easily withstand playful struggles. Handing over control to a partner is relaxing and arousing – all you need to do is lie back and enjoy. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Wax Play Candles with a low burn temperature for safety. Light the candle, let the wax start melting before dripping the meltlets on to your partners naked skin. Allow each pop of heat to subside before dripping again to give them a change to absorb the warm sensations. The candles are perfectly safe to use on nipples and genitalia, but go slow. Building up intensity is all part of the fun.

Wax Play Candles

Wartenburg Pin Wheel – the wheel may look sharp, but when applied to naked skin, all it does it wake up sleepy nerve-endings and ensure they are on full alert. Roll gently over arms, legs, backs or breasts – add more pressure only if your partner asks for it.

More!

Watching sexy clips and porn can be a great way of getting hot & wet together. Downloading some sexy feminist porn is probably the best way to start – faking actresses and men wearing socks doesn’t make anyone happy, so make sure to go ethical and you might find yourselves wrapped up in each other before long…

Watching porn together can offer up new things to try, new positions and ideas for pleasure that hadn’t previously been considered. And – the search for suitable clips is a whole lotta fun on its own!

Following our simple tips above, you’ll have a Valentine’s Weekend that’ll be remembered forever…

Advice-bondage

Q&A: My girlfriend is into BDSM but I’m not

I recently found out that my girlfriend has been looking at BDSM porn. I was a bit taken aback and I don’t really know how she feels about it? Do you think she wants to try it in real life or it’s just a fantasy?  I don’t mind that she has been looking at it, I am just surprised. Does the fact that all of the porn she has been watching is of the same type, women dominating men, mean that this is the sort of role she would like to take? Sorry, for the probing questions. It is just that I didn’t realise just how kinky she was.

If she wants to try any of this stuff out in real life does this mean that she wants to hurt me? I’m not sure how to process this or how to move forward?

Any advice appreciated.

B.

Hi there,

Many thanks for your email.

First of all, you need to consider if this is something you want to bring up – you’re going to have to admit to checking her search history, which she might find upsetting or controlling. If the roles were reversed, how would you feel if she decided to look through your browsing history? We’re pretty sure that you have, at some point, looked at something she might not feel entirely comfortable with…

kinky-banquetSecondly, it may be that watching BDSM porn is her own little secret, something she doesn’t necessarily want to share.

Maybe she knows you’re  not into it and keeps it for home-alone moments? Fantasies can be powerful tools when it comes to building arousal and bringing on strong orgasms, and perhaps she is more than happy for this to stay as a private fantasy. Watching strong women and/or submissive men could be her way of relaxing after a stressful day.

Or – maybe it is something she’d like to try in real life.

Before bringing it up, if this is indeed what you decide to do, why not take some time to consider what it is that turns her on?

BDSM doesn’t have to involve pain – this is a common misconception. A scene (two or more people coming together to do kinky stuff) should be carefully negotiated in advance; this creates a safe framework for your play. This is the time for both of you to discuss and agree on what will and what won’t happen. If you don’t like the idea of being spanked or having nipple clamps used on you, all you have to do is say so. Just like she has the right to refuse any activities that don’t float her boat.

Think about what you might consent to: maybe you’d be up for light restraining with handcuffs? Or using blindfolds? She could then do all sorts of sexy stuff to you that doesn’t involve pain… All you would have to to do is lie back, relax and enjoy. Surely that’s a win-win situation! Take time to really think about it and you might find it becomes a turn on for you too.

There are a couple of really good books on the subject and you might consider reading them to give you a more rounded idea of what BDSM can do for you: New Book of Bottoming and New Book of Topping.

You can send us any questions at advice@sh-womenstore.com

Good luck!

Team Sh xx

All names have been changed for the purposes of anonymity. 

Q&A: I’m interested in spanking?

Q&A: I’m interested in spanking?

Hey Sh!

I’m interested in trying spanking with my girlfriend. It’s not something we’ve done before and I can’t make it to one of your classes so I wanted to know how to make it fun and safe. I’d be grateful for any information you can give me. What’s the best type of implement for a beginner?

Thanks,

E.

Hi E,

It’s great to hear from your and also great that you’re thinking about safety in your spanking adventures.

Our first tip is that you get in some practice on a pillow before trying out your technique on your partner. Then have a go on yourself, this way you should get an idea of what you’re going for without any risk of injury.

Once you’re ready to start spanking with a partner always be aware of them, their tolerance might be different from yours and it is important to communicate and stop if they need you to.

Go for well padded areas like the buttocks and thighs, try and aim for the middle or lower part of the bottom. It  might be a good idea to lightly rub or gently spank the area to bring the blood up to the skin.  Pain thresholds rise directly in line with arousal (the more turned-on they are, the more spanking they can take) so our advice is to NEVER rush a good spanking.

To begin with you might want to use a broad flat spanking implement. Blows from something that is hard and narrow are more likleather-shaped-paddle-pinkely to leave lasting marks whereas something hard and flat will leave a lasting redness and soft and flat means no more than a slight blush.

You should also bear in mind that the shorter a spanking implement is the easier it will be to control. You could try one of our spanking paddles with a soft fur side, for stroking over smarting buttocks, or maybe this small whip with it’s soft tendrils.

The final word is a reminder to ask your partner what they want and enjoy and err on the safe side, especially to begin with!

If you have any questions please send them to advice@sh-womenstore.com, if you’d like rubber-whip-small-blackadvice from our sex and relationship expert Sarah Berry please include the subject line ‘Ask Sarah’.

Best Wishes,

Team Sh! xx

All names have been changed for the purposes of anonymity.

 

advice bondage

6 Positions For Bondage

Table Bondage: Restrain captive over a table, face up. Tie the cuffs to the table legs.

Bed Bondage: Restrain captive laying on a bed, face up. Tie the cuffs to the bed posts/legs.

Standing/Bending Bondage: Captive’s hands are restrained in cuffs behind their back, either standing or bent over at waist.

Endurance Bondage: Captive’s hands in cuffs above head. Make sure whatever you fix the cuffs to is strong enough to take their weight (a fixing in a door frame is best).

Chair Bondage: Position captive kneeling on a chair facing over the back rest. Tie cuffs to the chair’s back or legs.

Seated Bondage: Restrain captive seated on chair. Wrist & ankle cuffs can be tied as close, or as far apart, as you want…

Bondage Position Safety

Whilst your subject is restrained, you can torment and tease using hands, mouth or toys, but don’t use cuffs on you lover for more than 1 hour at the most as the body gets cold and stiff, and blood flow can be somewhat restricted.

Never leave the room whist your captive tied up.

Never restrain your captive in a position that could make breathing difficult – face down on pillows, for instance.

Remember to establish a ‘safe-word’ before you start. If your captive uses the agreed safe-word, you must untie immediately.

 

 

blindfolds for sex advice

Blindfolds For Sex

When you’re wearing a blindfold, you can’t see your lover’s next move coming.

You can’t you move towards or away from it. You are totally helpless to your lover’s touch. You have no idea where, when or what the next sensation you experience will be.

Will it be a delicate kiss? A lick, a flick, a caress or a spank*?

[*BTW, we wouldn’t recommend a surprise spank unless you’re 100% confident your lover will love it]

It’s this anticipation and loss of control that can be incredibly sexy.

And there is another, more sensory side to blindfolded sex.

With sight denied, other senses come alive. The blindfolded person will feel, taste, smell and hear things more acutely than normal.

Exploring all senses during a blindfold session will really heighten the experience.

For taste and smell, try feeding your lover wine, chocolate, strawberries or ice – any sensual foods you know they’ll like.

As for sound, try whispering in their ear –  when your lover is  blindfolded, it’s a great opportunity to practice ‘talking dirty’, especially if you get shy, or the giggles, when there’s eye contact.

Blindfolded sex can be liberating to both partners. Whether you’re the one wearing the blindfold, or the sighted ‘in-control’ partner, you can be wilder, bolder and try new things…

Blindfolding is often a part of bondage-play. Being tied-up and in the dark really exaggerates the feeling of helplessness.

Even if you’re not into ‘kinky stuff’ a little light bondage and blindfold-play is a great way for couples to explore different ways to be intimate together.  It can also relight fires if you are stuck in a sexual rut.

If you would like to explore being tied-up and blindfolded, remember this is not the kind of sex for casual partners or one night stands.

Only when you know and trust someone well, should you allow yourself to be tied up and blindfolded by them.

advice bondage

Bondage Safety Advice

Bondage can be hot stuff!

If you’re the one tied up,  you get to surrender to one-way attention. In bondage, you are totally free to enjoy your own pleasure without any pressure to ‘bat back’.

Or if you are the one doing the tying-up, you get to be totally in charge of your lover’s pleasure and to feast on the vision of them splayed out in front of you…

It can be hot stuff indeed.

When you think about it many erotic activities; massage; oral sex; hand-jobs – involve some sort of exchange of trust and power, with one partner performing and the other receiving.

Bondage is simply intensifying and ritualising this power dynamic by tying-up your lover and controlling the pace of their pleasure.

It can be sweet surrender all round.

Advice for Playing Safely with Bondage

•  Establish boundaries  before you start. Not just the physical boundaries, but also emotional ones.

• Establish & honour ‘safe words’ that instantly halt the game or ease up on the action should it become too intense.

• Study. There are some great guides about bondage  that will advice and inspire you. The net is also a great resource for bondage information and safety.

Bondage advice for the person doing the tying up…

Always be alert to, and immediately honor, your partner’s use of ‘safe words’ whether in physical or emotional scenes.

Many couples employ two words; one for, ‘lighten-up I’m finding this a bit difficult to take’ and one that means, ‘Stop Now’.

Having trusted safe-words established, means that, as the ‘Top’, you are free to throw yourself into a scene, tease mercilessly and get ‘em moaning, groaning and begging for more…
Always use wide, strong bondage cuffs.

Silk scarves may seem less scary or serious than leather wrist cuffs but actually, they can sneakily tighten to pinching point and even cause permanent nerve damage.
Your lover’s bliss is entirely in your your hands, but remember to keep them safe!

Check their fingers regularly for signs that blood hasn’t stopped flowing to the area (signified by numbness, coolness or blueness). If extremities turn this way untie immediately and rub the area until restored.

Physical Safety in Bondage Play

Never enclose both nose and mouth. 

  • If you gag your partner, they can’t clearly use their safe-words so find an alternative means of communication; a marble to drop that says ‘stop’ for instance.

• Never tie-up your lover face down on soft furnishing.
• Never leave your lover tied-up in bondage alone.

Bondage advice for the person being tied up

• Only allow yourself to be tied up by someone you know well and TRUST COMPLETELY.

•Never allow yourself to be talked into something you don’t want to do.

• Never think that using your safe-words makes you a wuss – they are there to give you FREEDOM, so feel free to throw yourself into an Oscar-worthy performance, secure in the knowledge that you can halt play instantly if you need/want/wish to
• Being helpless, you’re free to relax and relish every sensation. In these decision-overloaded times, you don’t have to think – just feel…so let performance anxieties take a back seat.

advice bondage

How to Play Safely with BDSM

BDSM stands for Bondage, Domination, Sadomasochism and Masochism.

It’s meant to be a little scary but never in a way that’s unsafe.

BDSM can involve as much, or as little bondage, domination, or submission as you like, ranging from a little light bondage to a full-on dungeon scene.

Leather Paddle
Leather Paddle

BDSM can be incredibly intense because it allows the submissive partner the freedom to give up power completely and the dominant partner to take full control.

If you would like to explore power-play, there are a few rules to follow to ensure both players physical and emotional safety.

Listen & Trust Your Instincts

This is our number one piece of advice.

You know how far you want to go. Never push your own or your lover’s limits in a BDSM scene.

Agree on Safe Words to use with the BDSM scene

Safe-words to control or stop a “scene” are an essential part of BDSM safety.

Agreeing on the safe-words, before you start playing and honouring them within the scene, is the only way to ensure the physical and emotional safety of the submissive player. Safe words shouldn’t be any words that you might use during your game.

Using words such as ‘stop’,  ‘no’ or ‘please’ are not recommended as BDSM safe words.

A common set of BDSM safe -words are: ‘YELLOW’ which means ‘Ease Up’ – I’m not ready to stop but am feeling a bit unsafe’ and ‘RED’ which means ‘Stop now’.

Good communication is crucial

Honesty is the best policy is good advice, and never truer than in a BDSM scene.

Any BDSM scene based on power can resurrect buried feelings, especially in someone who has been abused or raped.

It’s important to communicate any no-go areas and vital that boundaries are agreed upon before the a BDSM scene commences.

The emotional safety of both players is as important as the physical safety.

Physical Safety with BDSM Scenes

 Never restrict your submissive’s nose AND mouth within a BDSM scene. Never tie your submissive face down on soft furnishing.

Never leave your submissive tied-up alone. This is basic safety advice to ensure your submissive can breathe.

Rubber Wrist Cuffs
Rubber Wrist Cuffs £20

Check regularly throughout the BDSM scene that extremities such as toes and fingers are not numb or cold as these are signs that blood has stopped flowing to the area and its time to untie.

Use wide, strong bonds like these Wrist Cuffs and Ankle Cuffs. Silk scarves may seem less threatening but they can tighten in the throws of a BDSM game, without anyone noticing, and can cause pinched nerves, or even permanent nerve damage.

Get Informed & Inspired

There are plenty of great BDSM advice books that tell you how to keep your BDSM scene safe. The internet is also a great resource for BDSM advice and ideas to keep your BDSM play both hot AND safe.

Competition Time

Toy of the Month Giveaway: Leather Wrist Cuffs worth £30

All the fuss and frolics of Valentine’s Day might be (almost!) over, but we’ve got just the thing to help you keep the love alive! Our fetish Leather Wrist Cuffs are some seriously sturdy, top-quality bondage gear, and for the next two weeks you’ll have the chance to WIN a pair of your own to enjoy however you want.

Red Leather Wrist Cuffs £30
Red Leather Wrist Cuffs £30

Our February Toy of the Month comp is just like the month itself, short but oh-so-sweet. You’ve only got 2 WEEKS to enter this giveaway as many times as you can and bag yourself a pair of our incredible Sh! Wrist Cuffs in gorgeous leather,  so enter NOW to make sure you don’t miss out.

These wide leather cuffs are hand-made by the Team Sh! in our East London warehouse. Lined with luxurious fake fur and strapped with incredible hardware, these lovely leather bondage wrist cuffs will not give in however much you struggle!

This giveaway will be over on Feb. 28th so go and share it on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest right now to secure your chance of securing your sub with these beauties!  Check out the Rafflecopter below for more info, and extra ways to enter your name.

Good luck everybody!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kinky Class

Free Class – 50 Shades of Kinky Sensuality

Free Sh! Exclusive 50 Shades of Kinky Sensuality Erotic Class

Tuesday 18th June
6-8pm

Fancy learning more about the literary sensation that hit the erotica shelves last year? Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium hosts the amazing 50 Shades of Kinky Sensuality classes that will leave you wanting even more of 50 Shades of Grey.

We will be holding an exclusive *free* 50 Shades of Kinky Sensuality class on June 18th at 6pm, being filmed for German-speaking TV (to be shown in Germany, Switzerland and Austria).

Fifty Shades of Kinky Sensuality aims to introduce women and couples to the erotic world of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, and teach basic moves and techniques to channel and empower their inner Mistress or submissive.

Team Sh! will familiarise ‘students’ in ways to give and receive kinky pleasures, as well as how to use props such as Love Balls, Blindfolds, Crops and Clamps in the most effective, exciting and titillating ways.

This is a totally new class designed to open up the world of this sexual phenomenon, and give women and couples the tools to sexually explore their own relationships. It is a light-weight introduction to the world of BDSM in a safe and playful environment where women can learn together, but all activity takes place strictly away from the store!

Our erotic classes will develop your erotic skills and expand your sexual education.

Full of practical advice and sexpert tips, our erotic classes are fun, informal, even playful, whilst still providing valuable insight and information.

Couples and single ladies are welcome, and each participating couple will receive a £10 gift voucher. Spaces are limited and must be booked in advance.