Category Archives: Safety

Gags and Urban Legends

An entire book could be written about gags and mouth stuff.  BDSM and the mouth is not just about gags and even if it was, there is so much to write about – and do with gags. Much photographed, hardly ever used properly and to their full potential and surrounded by thousands of urban legends.

Ruling out some persistent urban legends and misunderstanding is probably the best thing to do first, so, here goes:

Sizes

The average gag you can buy in a shop is too big for effective use. This is especially true for almost all penis-shaped gags.

They have been designed by people with no experience in power exchange, usually only made to appeal to certain fantasies and create sales. So, whatever you do when you go out to buy a gag: buy a small one.

A gag that is too big will be too uncomfortable to keep in for any length of time (and usually that is exactly what you WANT a gag to be used for), because it will create cramps in the jaw muscles and a gagging effect if it is too long. There is no need for the gag to go in any deeper than halfway down the tongue.

Gags and Breathing

Inflatable gags and some very large penis shaped dildo gags excluded, gags – as in “things put in your mouth” – will not interfere with your (sub’s) ability to breath. There’ll almost always be room enough to let a sufficient amount of air flow around the gag. And – unless she has a cold – she can breath through the nose as well. The fear of not being able to breath is largely psychological and – although not very rational – something that most slaves will have to learn to overcome.

What does limit the ability to breath are attempts to try and swallow the saliva. And these attempts are largely futile, which is the main objective of a stick-in-gag. As soon as the slave lets the saliva just drip out of her mouth – yes humiliating, but again, that is one the main objectives – there is enough room and freedom for the air to move in. Kind of cruel, isn’t it. But then, cruel choices is what BDSM is all about.

Choking is another gag related problem and it’s origin usually is – again – the saliva problem, in combination with fear (of being unable to breath). If gags are something new to you, ask your dom to train you. It is really not as bad as it seems, but you may have to get used to it and that may indeed take a while.

Gags and Silence

It is impossible to fully silence a submissive – or anyone else for that matter – with a gag, regardless the type. Once you stuff the mouth to the point where making noises is entirely impossible, the victim has probably died or very likely will very soon.

In the BDSM-situation the objective of the gag is to humiliate, both through creating the saliva problem as well as through the fact that any more or less coherent speech is impossible and reduced to funny sounds.

The third main objective is to remind the submissive in a physical way that she is not supposed to talk.

Some types of gags may serve other purposes as well, such as to bite in (to help fight or cope with the pain), steer (in pony play) or train (for oral sex).

Finally, a gag very frequently serves as a pacifier in the same way it does for babies. Being able (or being allowed) to suck on something can be comforting.

A gag is a gag, who cares?

Most certainly not! There are many different types of gags – we’ll talk about most of them in this section – and most of them serve different purposes. The fact that most people think a gag is just a silencer is what leads to many misunderstandings – as well as a lot of opposition, especially by submissives.

Gags are a very powerful instrument, when used in the correct way and for the right purpose, both from a psychological point of view (usually their main purpose) as well as from a purely physical and practical point of view.

For example, many people think that using a gag will help prevent complaints from neighbors. Guess what, very likely exactly the opposite will happen. Want to know why? Well, spend an evening doing nothing but watching abduction movies and television series. If there is one distinctive sounds (no matter how faint) the average TV-watcher has gotten used you (psychologically grinded in) it is the faint sounds of a gagged woman, especially hearing it through walls, from behind bushes or from the trunk of a car. You won’t believe how many even wake up when they hear a sound that “sounds like” a gagged woman and call 911 or the police. A gag can be useful to suppress outcries of pain provided the sub has been taught to BITE in it to fight the pain instead of shouting, which is another energy burst, a way to fight the pain. The gag doesn’t muffle the cries – the gag is supposed to be an alternative for shrieking and crying.

Dangerous Gags 

One of the problems with television series and movies is that it makes some things seem harmless and hardly dangerous. Gags are close to the number one position in that area and every year especially children die, because their playmate – when playing cops and robbers – thought a gag wouldn’t do any harm. And it is not just children. In the – unlikely and rare by the way – event a person dies during a BDSM scene it will almost always be either the result of breath play (strangulation) or the result of a dangerous gag.

The most dangerous toy, in the hands of someone inexperienced, is a role of duct tape. Depending on the type this may indeed make breathing through the mouth entirely impossible and all you need is a simple nose blockage of some kind for the sub to die!! If you use duct tape, at least punch a few holes in it.

Another dangerous way of gagging is to put cloths into someone’s mouth. This will obstruct all air channels, including the back of the nasal inlets. Cloths kills! Especially when used in combination with duct tape.

Finally, another type that does not belong in the hands of inexperienced people (in all honesty, experienced people are of the opinion they should not be sold at all) are inflatable gags – rubber balls or balloons that can be pumped to size. They will almost always be pumped to a size that is dangerous. The balloon fills the entire mouth and blocks all airways. To make things worse, they will usually form part of some sort of mask or leather harness or belt, making it impossible for the submissive to even try and push them out far enough to be able to breath in the event of an emergency.

Furthermore, such inflatables may very well make it impossible for the saliva to go anywhere else BUT the lungs. Meaning the slave will choke on her own saliva and die!

As always, we have no intention to scare you away from gags, but you should be aware of the health risks and dangers to be able to make the right choices. And THEN gags – and other forms of mouth related torture and teasing – can be a lot of fun.

Precautions 

Regardless what type of gag you use, you should be aware of a few important things:

1. Never leave the sub out of sight and preferably be in a position where either the dom or someone else – if that is an option – can monitor the facial expression of the sub on a more or less constant basis (which is one reason why having mirrors in your dungeon can be very handy). The first signs of lack of air are the eyes widening (“popping out”), lips turning bueish and the facial skin turning either red or pale. Unexpected heavy sweating – on the forehead – is another warning signal. Inability to breath is mostly a matter of panic. It should be dealt with. Always remove the gag instantly, because you should respond to panic seriously, regardless if there is a logical reason for it or not.

2. Make sure there is some sort of non-verbal warning signal or safe word. Humming SOS in Morse code (three short – three long – three short) is one way, but not
always handy. A bell to ring is the most efficient safety tool. An old and not always practical advice is to give the sub a ball in her hand, she can drop if she feels she is in trouble. That signal may be too subtle and may be overlooked easily. If she has to drop something, let her drop something that makes noise when it falls, so you
have a double warning signal!!

3. Make sure – whatever the restraint, bondage or position is – a gagged sub can always tilt her head sideways (when laying down) or bow it (when the head is in a more or less upright position) so she can expel excess saliva. This is humiliating, but always a better choice than choking. 4. Never gag anyone suffering from heart or lung related diseases, regular hyperventilation or claustrophobia, someone who is on heavy medication or psycho drugs or suffers from diabetes or seizures.

Adapted from Amsterdam News Desk/Powerotics

BDSM Basic Principles

TEN BASIC BDSM PRINCIPLES

1) BDSM play should be safe, sane and consensual.

2) Know your SM player(s). Do not have BDSM play with strangers.

3) Always inform a friend that you are having BDSM play: where, when and with whom.  Use safecalls.

4) Always use safewords, i.e., 911 or red (STOP), yellow (slow down) and/or safe gestures (tap foot three times).

5) Negotiate the scene before you start. Communicate your limits, medical conditions, medications, experience and desires.

6) “No limits” is fantasy. Every sane player has limits. Do not be embarrassed to express them to the dominant player(s).

7) Do not engage in BDSM play while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

8) Expect the unexpected (fire, power failure, medical emergency, etc.) and be prepared. Another man’s life is in your hands.

9) Always have a first aid kit nearby.

10) Don’t play with a person unless you feel absolutely safe!

TEN BASIC BONDAGE PRINCIPLES

1) NEVER let yourself be tied up if you don’t feel absolutely safe.

2) NEVER let a stranger restrain you the first time you play.

3) NEVER tie up a body part so tight that it begins to tingle, feels cold, or “goes to sleep”.

4) No bondage involving the front of the neck.

5) NEVER restrain or gag a person and leave them unattended.

6) Always have safety paramedic scissors nearby.

7) Watch out for rope burns, particularly with coarse rope.

8) Do not gag a person suffering with respiratory ailments .

9) When gagging a person, always have an audible, bodily signal in lieu of a safe word (i.e., stomp feet three times, tap fingers, etc.)

TEN BASIC MUMMIFICATION PRINCIPLES

1) Always determine if the masochist has experienced mummification before; claustrophobic tendencies; longest period in bondage and/or hood; and if the masochist has ever experienced panic during a scene. If the masochist is a novice, consider covering the face last.

2) Always determine if the masochist has any medical conditions, particularly allergies, asthma, congestion, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. as well as any alcohol, drug or medication usage within 24 hours of the mummification. If the masochist wears contacts, they should be removed.

3) Be sure to have the following items nearby for the scene: safety scissors for emergency removal of the wrappings; electric fan and ice to keep the body cool; and towels to remove sweat.

4) Monitor the masochist’s body temperature and pulse. Take a baseline pulse before you begin. Use ice and a fan to cool the body if necessary.

5) NEVER leave the mummy unattended.

6) Use a towel or foam splints to place between the legs, arms and torso, or wherever two body parts come into contact.

7) Do not wrap any body part so tightly that it begins to tingle, feels cold or “goes to sleep”. Check the fingers for signs of blueness.

8) When wrapping the chest, be sure the mummy expands the chest cavity, so the wrappings do not constrict breathing. When wrapping the neck, apply the pieces vertically (up and down) to avoid strangulation.

9) Provide cool water (with a straw) often to prevent dehydration.

10) Provide appropriate aftercare for the masochist. If overheated, apply ice.

TEN BASIC PADDLING PRINCIPLES

1) BDSM play should be safe, sane and consensual.

2) Know your paddler or spanker and inquire as to hisor her experience. 

3) Always use safewords, i.e., 911 or red (STOP), yellow (slow down) and/or safe gestures (tap foot three times).

4) Be careful with the force of your stroke. Paddles cause a sharper, more intense pain than a spanking hand.

5) Sharp edges or rough areas on the paddle may break the skin.

6) The narrower the paddle, the less noise it will make and the more likely it is to leave marks.

7) Begin the paddling with a spanking session first to warm up and prepare the bottom for the paddle.

8) Direct the paddle to strike the lower half of the buttocks.

9) The best position when using a heavy paddle is for the bottom to be prone or standing upright with hands braced against the wall and legs spread about shoulder width.

10) When spanking, remove your rings first – they leave marks.

First Contact Safety

These rules may vary, according to what you have to work with, or are able to reveal, or decide to use….but whateveryou do, don’t ignore the basic safety you will require, as a submissive meeting a new dom for the first time. There are people out there who are simply predators, and your new dom may be wonderful, online and the phone, but admit you don’t really know him, and protect yourself until you do.

1) Before you even plan a meeting, be sure you discuss your personal safety with your new dom. Tell him how you feel, and listen to what he says. If he’s really a man who cares for you, he’ll add things to protect you, and agree to anything you wish to do. If he does not, then treat it as a first clue to use caution.

2) Once you plan your meeting, find two people who know you personally: Your name, your address, your phone # and most of all, your background. Make sure they know who you are meeting: HIS name, his address, and his background, as well as any other info about him you might know. Leave them as detailed a plan of your visit as you can foresee, and arrange with them for regular telephone check-ins…and what to do if one of them is not made. Obviously you don’t want the police breaking down a hotel door, while your dom has you tied to the bed, but it might just be that you’ll be glad to see them.

3) Meet with your dom in a public place…somewhere that there are lots of people…and don’t LEAVE that public place until you feel comfortable with the person you are meeting. If you don’t get comfortable right away, be sure you have some sort of alternative plan available, in lieu of going with him. Try to have YOUR car available…or better yet, a large, muscular friend to see you off, and meet your dom with you. 🙂

4) For the first meeting, do not travel to a remote place to get acquainted. Find a comfortable, well-staffed hotel or inn, where there, again, are PEOPLE. Other people are your best defense against injury and if necessary, run to them…even naked. The old cabin in the hills, where he says you can really “be alone”, might sound wonderful, but it is not safe, and should not be considered.

5) Never, never travel away from your planned itinerary with a new dom. You planned that schedule so people could find you…if you leave it, they can’t…and your new dom ought to understand that. Stay where you said you would be, when you set up your security, and resist, to the point of running away, any attempt by your dom to take you away.

6) D/s and playing. It’s normal for you to want very much to please this man who means so much to you…to give him everything he asks for…and delight in the pleasure he enjoys. But like everything else you do, for the first time, you have to protect yourself…and as exciting as a caning might sound, while tied and gagged…once you start, remember that stopping him is going to be a problem. Use safe words…there’s nothing to be ashamed of, in doing so, and if you need them, you WILL need them. Resist any sort of neck or throat bondage. Resist any sort of oxygen deprivation play these are dangerous kinds of play, and require enormous care…and you don’t know your dom, yet. Sex itself…well, AIDS is around, but it’s silly to try and convince two people in your situation to refrain, so use a condom. Insist on it, in fact, and don’t give in.

7) This is from me, to all of you. You are submissives, and there is nothing I’ve found in my world which is more wonderful. You are all special…and we can’t afford to lose you, cause there aren’t enough to go around, now…so please, take care of yourself. When you do come back, show us your new collar, or your welts, or whatever you value most from your visit, and we’ll love you more for having done it.

But, whatever you do, come back to us.

Red Flags

 What is a “Red Flag”?

Author Unknown

Cross-posted to the Albany Power eXchange message board 9/06.

A “Red Flag” is any indication that you should steer clear of a particular person, either Dom/me or sub. These can pop up at any time, though most often in the beginning of a potential relationship. They can be obvious or they can be subtle.

Some common examples might be:

1) Inappropriate questions or comments during the initial conversations, such as do you want to play? or what are you wearing? or what do you look like? or asking for your phone number immediately, etc. Such questions have nothing at all to do with D/s, but rather indicate the person is looking for cyber or phone sex.

2) Moving too quickly: if the prospective Dom/me or sub seems to be in a hurry to begin a relationship, or to advance it faster than seems reasonable or comfortable for you. Like if they want to meet you within the first 10 minutes online. Trust is the cornerstone, and cannot be rushed. Clearly, there is no arbitrary time frame, but most long-lasting relationships take several weeks if not months to build before actual contact.

3) Inappropriate attitude: “Bow down and worship me” those who act as if every submissive must obey every so-called Dom, and begin giving or obeying orders from the word go. Or those who have the idea that each and every Tom, Dick, and Harry must be addressed as Sir, whether they know them or not. Many subs in the chat rooms do this, but respect is worth little if it is so lightly given. Both of these attitudes and practices show a poor understanding of the true dynamics of Dominance and submission.

4) Safety violations: reluctance to have a safeword or other safety precautions in place, either during the first meeting or later. Run.

5) Lack of communication: if your potential partner is reluctant to discuss something with you, pay attention. Likewise, and equally serious, if you are told directly or indirectly, that you may not discuss something with others, or may not talk to someone else, or may not go to a particular area, be careful. Trying to “gag” someone is a sign that something is wrong.

6) A persistent bad reputation: or unwillingness to give references. This can be tricky if the person you are talking to is new online, but it is still a red flag. Or perhaps a yellow one.

7) Trashing ex-partners. When someone is constantly talking about their ex publicly in the chat rooms and on bb’s, i.e., trying to ruin their rep, try to keep in mind that you might be their “ex” someday and be subjected to such treatment if things do not go the way they want. This is something that both Dom/mes and subs are frequently guilty of. Warning others of potential danger from an ex-partner is obviously a different case.

8) Frequent inconsistencies. If someone often makes contradictory statements from one day to the next, like Mon. tells you s/he has no children, then on Fri., mentions his/her son’s birthday or something. If a person often seems to have a lot of trouble remembering what they have said to you from one day to the next, it could be that they are telling a lot of people a lot of different things. Just in general, I would encourage anyone to really try to get to know
someone before making a final judgment on their character. However, caution and common sense should always rule. If you have doubts, do not give out personal information. You can still talk to this person, but be careful.

And please, trust that GUT INSTINCT.

BDSM is NOT Abuse

 BDSM is NOT Abuse!

Abuse checklist

 (Does or has) your partner…

_____ Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family?

_____ Slowly isolated you from your family and friends?

_____ Put down your accomplishments or goals?

_____ Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?

_____ Threaten to hurt your children or pet if you don’t comply with their wants or desires?

_____ Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?

_____ Tell you that you are nothing without them?

_____ Treat you roughly – grab, push pinch, shove or hit you?

_____ Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?

_____ Made you totally dependent on them economically?

_____ Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?

_____ Blame you for how they feel or act?

_____ Refuse to give you or your children medical and dental care?

_____ Force you to have an abortion?

_____ Prevent you from going to church and participating in church activities?

_____ Restrict  your access to the children?

_____ Pressure you sexually for things you aren’t ready for?

_____ Make you feel like there “is no way out” of the relationship?

_____ Prevent you from doing things you want – like spending time with your friends or family?

_____ Try to keep you from leaving after a fight or leave you somewhere after a fight to “teach you a lesson”?

_____ Make you take drugs or alcohol?

And for those that are in to the B & D and S & M of BDSM:

_____ Are hard limits ignored?

_____ Is safety ignored?

_____ Is there no effort made to resolve conflict after a problematic session?

_____ Is there no aftercare given?

_____ Are you just used as a ‘object’ on which your partner takes out their anger?

_____ Has your partner tried to force you into sexual situations with others?

_____ Are your needs as a submissive/slave ignored?

_____ Has your partner ever used scenes to express or cover up anger and frustration?

The following are Indications of MAJOR Abuse. Counseling is recommended for anyone that can answer YES to any of the following questions. Immediate intervention is suggested for those who answered yes to even one of the questions that are in RED.

Do you…

_____ Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?

_____ Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner’s behavior?

_____ Believe that you can help your partner change if only you changed something about yourself?

_____ Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?

_____ Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?

_____ Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?

_____ Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?

_____ Doubt your own judgment even in small decisions?

_____ Always doubt your memory of the way things happened because of what he says?

_____ Feel increasingly trapped and powerless?

_____ Have you thought of suicide?

_____ Have you thought of murdering your partner as a way out?

 

 

BDSM is NOT Abuse!

Abuse checklist

 

(Does or has) your partner…

_____ Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family?

_____ Slowly isolated you from your family and friends?

_____ Put down your accomplishments or goals?

_____ Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?

_____ Threaten to hurt your children or pet if you don’t comply with their wants or desires?

_____ Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?

_____ Tell you that you are nothing without them?

_____ Treat you roughly – grab, push pinch, shove or hit you?

_____ Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?

_____ Made you totally dependent on them economically?

_____ Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?

_____ Blame you for how they feel or act?

_____ Refuse to give you or your children medical and dental care?

_____ Force you to have an abortion?

_____ Prevent you from going to church and participating in church activities?

_____ Restrict  your access to the children?

_____ Pressure you sexually for things you aren’t ready for?

_____ Make you feel like there “is no way out” of the relationship?

_____ Prevent you from doing things you want – like spending time with your friends or family?

_____ Try to keep you from leaving after a fight or leave you somewhere after a fight to “teach you a lesson”?

_____ Make you take drugs or alcohol?

And for those that are in to the B & D and S & M of BDSM:

_____ Are hard limits ignored?

_____ Is safety ignored?

_____ Is there no effort made to resolve conflict after a problematic session?

_____ Is there no aftercare given?

_____ Are you just used as a ‘object’ on which your partner takes out their anger?

_____ Has your partner tried to force you into sexual situations with others?

_____ Are your needs as a submissive/slave ignored?

_____ Has your partner ever used scenes to express or cover up anger and frustration?

The following are Indications of MAJOR Abuse. Counseling is recommended for anyone that can answer YES to any of the following questions. Immediate intervention is suggested for those who answered yes to even one of the questions that are in RED.

Do you…

_____ Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?

_____ Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner’s behavior?

_____ Believe that you can help your partner change if only you changed something about yourself?

_____ Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?

_____ Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?

_____ Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?

_____ Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?

_____ Doubt your own judgment even in small decisions?

_____ Always doubt your memory of the way things happened because of what they say?

_____ Feel increasingly trapped and powerless?

_____ Have you thought of suicide?

_____ Have you thought of murdering your partner as a way out?

Note: This list is not comprehensive. Your particular situation may be somewhat different. If you still feel you are being abused, seek professional counseling. Nothing in this checklist should be considered a substitute for counseling.