Q: What's Consent & how does it work?
A: Consent literally means "to give permission for something to happen".
The only way one is able to give consent, is if they know what's going to be happening, are aware of what risks may be involved, AND are completely sober.
If someone is intoxicated, high, sleep deprived, pressured, or coerced in anyway,
they are unable to consent.
Only a SOBER, informed, enthusiastic, verbal "YES!" is consent.
Consent is subject to change at any time for any reason. And that's okay!
If someone revokes their consent, all activities must IMMEDIATELY cease.
If there isn't consent 100% of the time, it's not BDSM, it's abuse.
Q: So why is this consent thing connected to BDSM/Kink & why is it so important?
A: Consent is the cornerstone of the BDSM/Kink world, because the heart of BDSM/Kink is empowerment. We are empowered by safely exploring our desires & interests. We are empowered by taking charge of our bodies & minds.
We are empowered because we control what's going to happen to our bodies.
We are empowered because we have the power to stop it.
The empowerment one has in BDSM/Kink, is incredibly unique & freeing.
We take consent extremely seriously, and will not engage in a BDSM/Kink activity unless there is consent. It doesn't matter if one is the Top, or if one is the bottom, EVERYONE is empowered with the power to consent & the power to revoke consent.
Q: Does BDSM ‘play’ always involve sex?
A: No, definitely not. While play can be sexual and bring extra spice to ones sex life, BDSM in and of itself is not intrinsically sexual in nature. There are lots of people within the BDSM/Kink lifestyle, who are demi-sexual, or asexual.
Q: Is a Top/Dominant just an abuser who likes to beat people?
A: No. People within the BDSM lifestyle believe in safety and equality for all people of all genders. The key difference between abusers and Tops/Dominants is consent.
The submissive/bottom always has the ability to stop a scene.
Q: Are submissive people weak?
A: No. Not at all. Submission is not about weakness, it's just a role choice in the lifestyle. Both submission and Dominance require different kinds of strength - as does any other kind of functional relationship.
Q: Are people in the BDSM lifestyle damaged in some way?
A: No. Studies have found that people involved in BDSM/Kink, are often very well adjusted and self-aware, due to the BDSM/Kink lifestyle being so focused on openness, communication, & consent.
Q: Is BDSM all about violence, hitting people, and tying them up?
A: No. While sadism and bondage are often what come to mind when thinking of BDSM, many activities/scenes are very tender, gentle, soft, and affectionate.
Q: Are bottoms/submissives kept hidden & naked in chains?
A: No. Bottoms/submissives are normal every day people. In fact, you probably know someone who engages in BDSM, and don't realize they're a bottom/submissive!
While some bottoms/submissives might at times be naked, or even bound up in ropes or chains, they definitely aren't that way 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
After all, they wouldn't be of useful service to a Dominant/Top if they are always tied up!
Q: Do people in the BDSM lifestyle have long-term relationships?
A: Sometimes. Just like non-BDSM relationships, some people have lifelong connections and others have fleetingly brief encounters with others in the lifestyle.
BDSM relationships can have the same fundamentals that people in non-BDSM partnerships have, such as romance, life long commitment, and deep love.
While some BDSM relationships can be very brief "wham, bam, thank ya ma'am!", where there is no romantic connection, only the transient physical play between two people.