BDSM is the expansion of submissive and dominant dynamics that many vanilla (traditional) relationships have already. For example, women who find the thrill of having a guy being bit rougher or guy who prefers girl on top are often considered a submissive and dominant dynamic naturally. Many people do not understand that the core to BDSM already exists in their relationship. This means a lot of people practice the core element of BDSM without knowing it. Understanding BDSM is the next step by embracing the dynamic and introducing varying “kinks”. Typically, the kinks revolve around building off the existing submissive and dominant dynamic to make a more exciting and deeper experience. BDSM phase itself stands for [B]ondage-discipline/[D]omination-[S]ubmission/sadism-[M]asochism.

What isn’t BDSM?

BDSM is not always about keeping someone bound in a dungeon all day or the use of scary looking machines that will inflict pain as depicted in media. The stuff you may have been exposed to in Porn is often more hardcore than what BDSM is for the majority of people. When people think of BDSM, they gravitate towards the “shock aspect”. While “extreme” stuff does exist in BDSM make no mistake, it is practiced less when you average it out despite it commonly being used to portray BDSM. BDSM in pop culture has been misrepresented by popular series like Fifty Shades of Grey. Fifty Shades of Grey has given a bad representation of BDSM by romanticizing abuse, manipulation and control in a unhealthy relationship. This is a bad depiction of BDSM for many reasons (that may be worth its own post). BDSM is all about consent, care, and mutual benefit when done right.

What do the three roles mean in BDSM?

In BDSM, there are three primary roles: Submissives (Subs), Dominants (Doms), and finally Switches (Switch). Roles describe a person’s interest and position in BDSM. A Dom would enjoy the feeling of power over a Sub, while a Sub would enjoy the sense of the Dom’s control over them. Switches enjoy both sides of BDSM by "switching" between being a Dom or a Sub. The roles are fairly self-explanatory.

You may hear the term “Vanilla”. This is used to describe people who are not involved/slightly involved in BDSM and are “Vanilla” in their sexual / kink interest.

Do I need to know if I am a Dom, Sub or Switch?

Yes, role dynamics are quite pivotal to having a good experience in BDSM. Roles determine what kind of individuals will be more inclined to interact with you. Knowing your role can also help with gaining a better understanding of yourself and what you like. Not only does this make things easier when looking for a partner, but it will give your partner a better understanding of your preferences and boundaries. Remember that you know yourself better than anyone else!

If you're uncertain of your role, you can use the BDSM test at the bottom of this site once you get done reading this guide.

What does a BDSM relationship look like?

The vast majority of BDSM is done in monogamous relationships with a Dom/Sub, Switch/Sub, or Switch/Switch. Some individuals prefer a more commitment-free approach to BDSM (non-monogamous), while others desire a Poly experience with multiple people. Much like with any relationship, it's what you want it to be. There is no right or wrong, and there are plenty of people out there to meet your needs if you want long term, short term, or something in between. A healthy functioning BDSM relationship has clear communication and understanding both ways. It’s essential to ensure that you and your partner are on the same page with the relationship and where it stands. For example, many common kinks may conflict with a monogamous person’s desires, so setting up these boundaries is vital to avoid conflict. It is critical to be clear about your feelings and what you want out of the relationship. There is nothing wrong with wanting commitment or no commitment, but there is something wrong with stringing someone on or guilting someone to stay with you, so being clear at the start is essential.

Most BDSM relationships should not look all that different from a healthy relationship on the outside like anyone would have, popular to contrary belief.  An experienced Dom should always separate the relationship and BDSM. One common mistake is inexperienced Doms involve BDSM into the relationship too much, while flirting and playing around is healthy and fun when the time is right. Taking things too far and commanding your submissive whenever you want is not okay. There should always be a separation between the BDSM factor and an actual relationship.

A relationship / friendships should flourish on its own. BDSM should not define it, but be an way for it to grow stronger.

Safety & Safe Words?

In BDSM consent is hugely important. One of the most essential elements to BDSM is understanding and consenting BEFORE anything is initiated. A person who forces themselves on someone to assert power WITHOUT consent is outright committing rape. Make sure your “do’s” and "don't” are laid out. Almost all BDSM partners use what are called “Safe Words”. This is a special agreed upon word that stops the scene right away, and the person in control needs to address the concerns of the affected partner. Safe words need to be taken seriously, as joking about it can undermine its value and put you in a dangerous situation if the time to use it comes.

BDSM can be dangerous in some scenarios, in rope bondage for example a Dom needs to be educated about nerve areas, circulation, and range of motion test. While there are safety concerns throughout BDSM that range from safe, mild to medium, BDSM should be about safety and not taking a risk that would cause any true and dangerous harm to an individual. It is always recommended to read a handful of guides and safety tips before engaging with what you see online. Online videos & gifs rarely show safety precautions or explain concepts, only the end of the result leading to the possibility to miss important safety points leading to harm.

Read More About Safe Words Here Below:

https://hushedhaven.com/learning-about-safe-words/

Below you can find on going list of guides that include safety concerns for a number of popular kinks.

(Will be added soon)

How should I get started?

Our Discord.gg server is a simple place to start talking with people and find a partner. We recommend getting comfortable and having a good understanding of what works for you and what does not before engaging in any physical BDSM experience. Get involved with BDSM and people, or make an effort with your significant other to explore it together.

Our Community Discord (1800+ People)

https://hushedhaven.com/our-discord/

Helpful Websites & Other Resources


https://bdsmtest.org/ - BDSM Test to see what kind of traits and kinks you may be interested in. It will provide a link you will be able to share with others.

http://rekink.com/guides/kinks/ - List varying kinks and definitions that are common to rare. BDSM is all about what you are interested only.

http://www.bdsm-education.com/ - Another site containing BDSM education.

**(We are not affiliated with any of the websites above)**