Sorry, But There’s No Such Thing As a BDSM Expert

A woman in a black lace mask with red lipstick and finger nails bites onto a riding crop. Post relates to BDSM experts.

I’m often described as a BDSM expert, but I’m not, and neither is anyone else. Here’s why.

When we hear the term “expert”, we immediately imagine someone with degrees or a whole field of knowledge in their chosen subject. We believe that this is someone that we should look up to, acknowledge and respect above any other opinion in whatever matters we’re discussing. They are, after all, the expert.

But what if I told you that after more than a decade of experience, I am still no closer to becoming an “expert” in BDSM?

You see, being a BDSM expert would imply that I have a broad range of knowledge or experience in domination, submission, rope bondage, spanking, flogging, wax play, CBT and a whole host of many other things.

But what do I really have lots of experience and knowledge in, as a Dominant and as a submissive? Safe sex, basic bedroom bondage, sensation play, wax play and everyday kink for disabled and/or married people. That’s really about it!

If you want advice on contracts, I’d tell you to focus on your relationship and develop some rules and agreements that work for you and your partner. If you want my advice on rope bondage and knots, I could advise you on some of my preferred books by people who are more knowledgeable in these fields. But even after these 12+ years, I am still not a BDSM expert. Even though I am passionate about BDSM, and even though I know a bit about many things, I simply don’t know all that there is to know.

It really concerns me when I see young men and women – some of them much younger than me – proclaiming themselves to be “BDSM experts”. What gives them this “expert” knowledge that others simply don’t have? What gives them the right to proclaim intellect over anybody else in this field?

I feel that I need to point out to you two key considerations here:

1. There are no official schools in BDSM.

There are many, many BDSM “schools” all over the world, but none of them have ever learned or can teach BDSM from its roots because no such school existed to begin with. If no school was ever founded, then where and what have these “experts” learned?

2. Which means that nobody has ever truly qualified to “teach” BDSM.

Without an officially recognised school, there can be no officially recognised qualifications. Without officially recognised qualifications, there are no officially recognised teachers. Without officially recognised teachers… well, you get the picture.

3. There is no officially recognised BDSM handbook, either.

Sure, BDSM books exist, some many of them widely popular and recommended even, but do you know what they are not? They’re not BDSM manuals. They are not recognised ‘how to BDSM’ books, which means to say that there is not any recognised study material for you to read. How, then, can anyone be an “expert” if there are no expert-making materials for you to study?

4. Which means that nobody, really, is a “BDSM expert”.

So what, then, does it come down to? Are these “experts” being taught by other, older “experts”? A sort of ouroboros of hand-me-down experiences and sometimes shitty opinions of BDSM?

Are these “experts” also the same people who also have a new partner every few weeks, who can call themselves experts based purely upon how many notches they have in their kinky bed post?

Or are these “experts” people who have somehow done everything once in a few short years and decided that they are now experts because they have tried absolutely everything? (NB. I guarantee they haven’t).

What these “experts” are really teaching is their knowledge and their experience – exactly the same as me.

If you want me to tell you about my experiences with scratching, biting, or tickling, then I will gladly share my knowledge with you and hope that it will inspire you. If you want me to help you make BDSM work in everyday life, I can try and do that for you. What I will not do, however, is tell you exactly what you should do. Having some vast knowledge in BDSM does not make me a BDSM expert – it just makes me seasoned pervert instead!

When I started out in the BDSM community, I was fortunate enough to speak with a man who gave me one piece of resounding (and damning) advice;

“Don’t listen to the experts, there aren’t any. They can’t have done everything.”

Wow, right? Just wow.

What concerns me the most is some of the perceptions that some of these “experts” give to the newcomers. Here are some of my favourite gems:

  • If you aren’t complacent and obedient, you aren’t really a submissive.
  • If you aren’t strict and moody, then you’re not being a good Dominant.
  • No Dominant wants a brat. Brats are bad and undesirable submissives.
  • If you don’t have a contract, it’s not really a BDSM relationship.
  • If you’re an owned submissive, your orgasms belong to your Dominant. If you don’t agree then you aren’t being a good submissive.
  • If you are a submissive, you should treat all Dominants with respect and superiority, even those who don’t own you.
  • An owned submissive should wear a collar. Submissives who don’t wear collars are not really owned submissives.

That’s not to say that all “experts” hold these opinions, but they are definitely some of the most common ones that I have come across.

So What Does A BDSM “Expert” Advise Instead?

In my humble opinion, my best and only advice is to talk to people and READ. If you are interested in something, Google it, read up on it, find people who have done it and talk to them about their experiences. Listen to self-professed “experts” by all means, but don’t take their word as absolute. Gather knowledge and work through it – don’t rely on the knowledge and experience of one “expert”, depend on the shared knowledge and experiences of several people.

Until next time,

Stay safe & have fun!

Helen xxx

4 thoughts on “Sorry, But There’s No Such Thing As a BDSM Expert

  1. Such good advice!! Someone may know a skill well, and be able to teach it, but that’s it. Everything after that is just a person’s opinion.

    1. Exactly! Also workshops and classes are invaluable. I used to attend waxplay workshops as I *love* waxplay, but that was the only thing they taught. There is no way that anyone can teach everything in an afternoon!

      Thankyou for your kind words, Minnie 😊

Leave a Reply