6 Things To Do When BDSM Goes Wrong

A couple lay in bed in a darkened room, they sit up and are ignoring one another

If I had a pound for every time this happened, I’d probably have a diamond-encrusted crop by now. Seriously, it happens a lot more than you realise, and you know what? It really, really fucking sucks when it does. It doesn’t matter if you are the Dom or the sub, here are some basic steps to help you manage those awkward moments:

1. Safety first!

Don’t panic! We can do this. Always, always make sure that you are both safe. Remove gags, blindfolds, restraints and whatever other toys you may have going on. The only time I’d make an exception for this is if your sub wants to keep something to help them come down. For example, I find it easier to come down if I’m still wearing the velcro cuffs than if I’m dumped straight back into reality. Regardless, make sure that you, your partner, and anyone else you may be playing with are safe from harm. Deal with any cuts, scrapes or bruises and be sure to blow out any burning candles too, if you can’t be supervising them.

2. If you’re the Dom, ask your submissive what they need

This bit sucks, but your sub may experience a variety of emotions. They may want to cry, they may feel afraid, confused or uncertain, but all of these feelings are normal and relatable. DO NOT quash them or tell your sub to grow up or get over themselves, to do so is abusive. Your submissive trusted you with their mind and body and it didn’t go the way you both hoped it would go, so allow them to feel however they need to feel right now. If they want a cuddle, give them a cuddle. If they’d like a drink, fetch them a drink. Be sure to provide them with whatever they need at this time.

3. If you’re the sub, understand that your Dom may be feeling confused, too

Contrary to popular belief, Dominants aren’t god-like mythical beings but real people with equally real (and sometimes equally shitty) feelings. When a scene goes wrong, a Dom/me can feel like an abuser, they can feel like they are sick or “wrong in the head”, and the last thing they need is to be alone if they’d rather have some company. It’s OK to ask for a moment or two to collect your thoughts, but if your Dominant needs your support, make sure you are there for them, too.

4. Know it’s okay to lie in silence

Let’s say you’re both feeling confused, but you’re also both equally feeling afraid. You may want to be close to one another, but not look at or talk to each other for a while. That’s fine! You may both need to think things through before you can find the strength to talk things through, just make sure it’s agreed that you need some time and you aren’t just stonewalling one another (boo!).

5. When it feels right, talk

Agree on a time to talk and reflect so that neither of you have been left stewing for too long. It is crucial that you can both express your wants and needs at this time without fear or judgement. Remember, this is not a time for power exchanges and roles, this is a time for open and honest communication.

6. Agree a way forward

What this looks like will very much depend on the relationship you are in. If you are a casual pairing, you may just decide not to play together again or, if you are in a long-term relationship, you may simply choose to change a detail, or not do that activity again. Talk, share what worked and what didn’t, adapt and find a way forward that works.

Steps 7-10 (for ongoing relationships)

7. Research and study

Did your knotwork fail you? Read up on the best knots to use for shibari. Did you struggle to get that teacher/student fantasy off the ground? Research some ideas for props and scripts. Whatever it takes to make it (hopefully!) work next time, find it, buy it, or read it.

8. Try again

If you’re in a long-term relationship, one of the scariest things to do in these dynamics is simply trying again. You expect it to go wrong again because, heck, didn’t it go wrong the last time? This is where you need to have faith and patience. If you’ve applied yourself to stage 7 above, then you need to move on to stage 8, and stage 8 requires you to have an open mind 😉

9. Feedback, feedback, feedback!

If you’re like me, then leaving feedback on eBay and Amazon isn’t like watching paint dry, it’s worse. However, if you have a loving partner who is doing all they can to bring your kinky fantasies and innermost desires to life, then some feedback is the least you owe them. Be honest and kind but whatever you do – don’t nitpick!

10. Keep trying, and keep communicating

Each time you try again, you need to communicate again. The great thing about BDSM relationships is that they really emphasise the importance of communication. Keep an open line of communication and regular discuss what is going right and where it is going wrong. Be sure to strike a balance so that you don’t fall into the trap of only focusing on the negative. Above all else, remember that BDSM is supposed to be fun for both of you. Regardless of how dirty and depraved you may like to be, your relationship should always come first!

Good luck, and have fun in all that you get up to!

Until next time,

Stay safe & have fun,

Helen xx

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