A quick word about real life BDSM and the lifestyle, particularly, CONTRACTS
Why am I picking contracts? Because if you’re considering them, then it can’t hurt to get as much information as you can since contracts are taken very seriously by many who negotiate and sign them in the “Lifestyle.”
And please keep in mind as you read, that everything I say here will not apply to you and your situation. It is only my intent to cover as many angles as I can in case there is that one person reading who may be vulnerably new to the lifestyle, or even trapped in a possibly unsafe situation, needing and seeking guidance or answers.
First of all…. let me start with saying this: The “Lifestyle” can apply to any couple, whether they are hardcore 24/7 practitioners of BDSM in varying types and degrees, or just a random couple who dabble only on occasion. And regardless of which category you fall under, the contract protocol—whether written or merely spoken—should ALWAYS be applied.
Let’s talk about the “Lifestyle” and its three main governing rules.
Whether you’re hardcore or just curious after reading a BDSM related book by one of your favorite authors, the main three governing rules are easy to find in a Google search.
And they are:
Now honestly, you shouldn’t even be considering negotiating a contract with anybody without first sitting down with them and establishing what those 3 words above, mean to both of you. You can’t SAFELY or SANELY negotiate anything when words like “safe” “sane” and “consensual” are subjective terms and could mean different things to different people. For instance, they may find it completely sane to leave you tied up or do other things you don’t want or like because after all, you consented. And maybe to them, you can’t change your mind because that would mean you’re breaking your contract or your word.
(I’ll talk more about when and how to re-negotiate contracts below)
Or maybe “safe” to them means only physical safety, and therefore exempt your emotional and mental well-being from that NECESSARY “Lifestyle Protocol”. After all, to them it may just be a “game” or “play”.
I’m very sure if your daughter, friend, or any loved one were contemplating signing a contract of this nature, you could think of many other ways that the words “safe” “sane” and “consensual” could be misconstrued, whether intentional or just ignorantly, thereby NECESSITATING establishing and agreeing on what those words should mean to the parties involved. In fact, when reading over a proposed contract, I would STRONGLY advise you to pretend that the contract is for your daughter or best friend. This will enable you to “see beyond” your own emotions and feelings for the person you’re entering a contract with. Every line of the contract, say to yourself, “What would I say to this if it were my daughter/best friend?”
So, once you’re both on the same page as best as you can be about the meaning of those three GOVERNING Lifestyle laws, consider what negotiating a contract actually mean?
Some who enter the Lifestyle don’t even KNOW that they should be involved in the negotiation of a contract and instead allow only one party to propose negotiation to which they feel they must agree and sign.
THAT IS AN OUTRIGHT BREECH OF LIFESTYLE PROTOCOL! IF YOU ARE ASKED TO DO THAT, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY.
Common sense should NEVER escape you in any aspect of your life, not even if all of this BDSM stuff is for “oh funsies” to you. Because more times than not, the “oh funsies” approach can turn into an “oh fucksies,” all because you neglected to use your God-given common sense. And signing a contract without negotiating it would certainly fall under mega-stupid and could very likely lead you straight into that “oh fuck, what have I done” moment you NEVER want to find yourself in.
LET KNOWLEDGE BE YOUR WEAPON
LET PREVENTION BE YOUR SHIELD
SEXUAL ABUSE HAPPENS EVERYWHERE BUT THE LIFESTYLE IS RAMPANT WITH PREDATORS WHO WILL EXPLOIT YOUR GOODNESS UNTIL YOU CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT IT IS TO BE A HUMAN BEING!
ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING!
So, to conclude this section of contracts, it is NECESSARY that BOTH PARTIES contribute to the devising of a contract.
So let’s continue with what SAFE~SANE~ and CONSENSUAL mean.
Beginning with SAFE…
Being SAFE mostly means remembering to use your common sense.
I would have to write an entire book on how many things to not allow in a contract and for time’s sake, I’m going to point you once again to a rule of thumb that will reduce a lot of bullshit and that is—read it as though it is being proposed to your daughter or best friend. You will be surprised to see how objectionable and smart you can be in that mindset. After that, you give the contract to several people to read and have them tear it apart to see if you are missing anything that could be detrimental.
(And honestly, I don’t endorse entering a contract with a Dom that doesn’t intend to be committed to you. In that respect, I may be considered a freak by many in the lifestyle, but in my experience, the truest and most powerful kind of Dom, is the man that is not afraid to love ONE woman with all his heart, mind, and strength. A Dom that is willing to give HIMSELF in the same measure he expects of his own sub. If you are entering a contract with a person who does not hold to these kinds of convictions, you run the risk of getting hurt, and you need to know that up front. Does this make men who marry their subs better than other men? No. They can still be manipulative just the same, maybe even more so. But to enter a contract with a man who openly says “I’m not going to give you my heart” seems a tad fucking foolish to me. If he’s not going to give you his heart, then what the fuck are you getting? A human dildo? You’re worth much, MUCH, more than that, and if you don’t agree with me then you DEFINITELY don’t need to be looking into getting into a BDSM contract. Because Subs with low, or no self-esteem are the most common victims of ABUSE.
You can prevent that by:
KNOWING YOUR WORTH
GETTING THE SAME COMMITMENT AND DEVOTION FROM YOUR DOM/PARTNER THAT THEY EXPECT TO GET FROM YOU.
WHAT DOES SANE MEAN?
Sane means that whatever you put in that contract will not cause an individual to endure anything contrary to basic, current, psychological and physiological health.
Keep in mind that BDSM is a tool that can bring a couple closer together and build intimate bonds. BUT it also can and is, a very easy means to abuse. MANY people use BDSM to gradually condition their partners to move deeper and deeper into sadism and masochism. Sometimes this happens without meaning to, sometimes it’s intentional. The danger with indulging in sadism and masochistic activities is the pleasure addiction threshold dynamic. You start out safe and sane and then the pleasure threshold will move a little farther away, requiring more to stimulate pleasure. This is where it can get dangerous. But if you both have a knowledgeable handle on how those sexual mechanisms work and can evolve and grow, you can put boundaries to prevent problems (assuming both parties are sane people)
So, when devising the boundaries in a contract, remember that. Talk about it openly. Even if either parties are not prone to sadistic or masochistic pleasures, those can and often do grow with engagement. Some forms of play can awaken drives that were not there or dormant. The SANE key here is knowing this is a risk and to always keep your eyes open for signs of things moving in a bad direction.
WHAT DOES CONSENSUAL MEAN?
This is really one to be exploited. Many will say “well he/she wanted it” And suddenly the “CONSENSUAL” takes precedence over SAFE and SANE. If that happens, they have violated SAFE and SANE protocol and need to get out or stop the program/game/whatever you call it, immediately.
CONTRACTS ALWAYS SHOULD BE…EVEN AFTER SIGNING THEM—NEGOTIABLE!
There are NO hard fast rules about ANY contract. A contract in this sense, is a UNIQUE agreement between UNIQUE people and not ONE of them should look the same. They should reflect the needs/desires/wants of those two unique individuals under the SAFE/SANE/CONSENSUAL umbrella.
What does this mean? This means that if at any time you realize that you want something different in the contract, you should be able to say “hey, I’m not liking such and such and would like to talk about changing that to something less this or more that” and at that point, the other party should say “Of course.” And that’s IT.
The other thing I want you to understand about contracts is their practicality. It’s more like a GUIDE or a RULE book that would explain and agree how the parties involved want to “live” the lifestyle in all sincerity, or just “play” it on occasion. And the binding aspect of the contract demonstrates the level of COMMITMENT one plans to give to those things agreed on in the contract.
So basically, you’ve got things in the contract like: what you’re willing to do, what you’re willing to try or not try, how you’re going to do or try, how much, how long, whatever you feel is important to include must be put in the contract. You establish boundaries and “safe cues” (a word you say or something you do so the other party knows you want to quit or stop and discuss how to change things).
If you’re thinking at this point… What if I don’t know what to include or not include? What if I can’t foresee the bad things? Then you’re being smart, because that is a very valid point to be thinking.
Contracts of this nature SHOULD ALWAYS CONTAIN SOME KIND OF CLAUSE FOR RE-NEGOTIATION.
Those in committed relationships usually have what I would call a floating contract, meaning its details should be allowed to change as the couple’s explore and learn one another. Both parties are PRONE to this type of change because they are in a relationship, and relationships are living, breathing and evolving things. It would be difficult to the point of ridiculous to have certain details set in stone when the playing fields involved are the hearts, minds, and bodies of two unique people that are designed to CHANGE as they GROW and become ONE.
If you’re thinking this sounds a lot like a marriage, then you’d be right. That’s exactly how marriages work or should work.
I’d like to point out an interesting fact many may not be aware of here. And that is how the biblical definition of marriage matches the D/s lifestyle nearly to a T. Basically, the “lifestyle” as many know it today, has existed long before they ever thought to call it a “lifestyle”. So, don’t let ANYBODY try to tell you what you have to do and what you can’t do in order to be in the “lifestyle” They don’t OWN the rules or the lifestyle. The lifestyle is a template FOR the people to adapt to their needs. People are not to change to fit other people’s notions and ideas about the lifestyle, rather the lifestyle is designed to change and fit “people”, under the safe, sane, and consensual protocols.
So, the contract should involve the basics, and leave the things that are prone to change (individual wants, needs, desires) open to growth without having to constantly renegotiate.
DO NOT EVER SIGN OVER ALL CONTROL IN THE NEGOTIATION ASPECT!
Some Dom/Dommes want absolute control over their subs and ask for them to turn over ALL CONTROL. It is one thing to sign over control in some aspects but NEVER over the aspect of re-negotiation. That would NOT be considered a contract, that would be a DEATH NOTE.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Sometimes manipulation is employed on partners in a passive and maybe even subconscious way, and other times it’s outright bullying. Any form of manipulation upon another person’s will in order to get that which the person does not wish to give, is WRONG.
DON’T PUT UP WITH IT
If you are already in a contract, whether written or just agreed verbally to, and you feel like you HAVE to do things that you’re not comfortable with, then you are being manipulated and abused. You should seek outside help from a trusted advisor.
(There are exceptions to this “comfort zone” as with a person recovering from past abuse, both sexual and non. In some cases, the couple may gently help one another to overcome bondage that past abuse put upon them. And those cases, pushing the comfort zone is done to help free their mind, heart, and body from the prison the abuse holds them in. For this reason, it’s imperative they gently push the comfort zones so that they can re-learn and reclaim what is considered “healthy sexual activity”. And for your information, sadism, masochism, sado-masochism, and other similar sexual fetishes in certain degrees, are deemed not healthy by the medical profession, and nobody should be “pushed” into engaging in those things beyond what is safe and sane.
That’s a word you don’t see thrown around much in the current “lifestyle” sad to say.
Why is that a problem?
Loving your partner, whether with a basic, human love, or wife/husband love, is an ESSENTIAL ingredient that is REQUIRED to maintain the all-important, SAFE and SANE rules. If love does not exist between the couple—then your risk of being subjected to insane and unsafe scenarios is nearly guaranteed.
When there is an absence of base, human components like compassion, understanding, patience, and empathy—harm is sure to follow. Humans are designed to thrive under those conditions and are guaranteed to slowly (maybe even quickly, depending on the degree) die under anything else.
I’d like to wrap this up with the following:
To the person or persons reading this who are considering entering a relationship involving a contract…
Remember who you are.
You are a woman.
And you are so beautiful, do you hear me?
You must hear me.
You are worth more than riches could ever buy in a million years.
Without you, this world would not exist or continue to exist.
We need you.
You are so needed.
And if you don’t feel this profound truth within yourself, then something is wrong.
Because you should.
If you don’t look in the mirror and like who you see, what you see, then something is wrong.
And you are the only one that holds the power to make it right.
YOU. ARE THE HERO. TO. THE. WORLD.
So be the hero in YOUR world.
And YOU. CAN. DO IT.