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"7 Tips For Safe And Happy BDSM Sex"

on Tuesday, 03 April 2012. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

he bondage community knows to be extra-careful about sexual activity to make sure nobody gets hurt. Their advice can be useful to anyone having sex, whether or not that's your thing.

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BDSM has gained mainstream attention lately, thanks in part to "Fifty Shades of Grey," a book with an S&M relationship at its center. Maureen Dowd even devoted her latest column to the book and the criticism it's garnered from actual practitioners of BDSM (which stands for bondage and domination, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism). And this weekend, safe and consensual BDSM sex was a major topic at MomentumCon, a yearly convention on sexuality, feminism, and relationships. Shift talked to some of the presenters from that conference and other experts about what everyone can learn from bondage and the people who do it.

1. Learn to be okay with "no."

Kitty Stryker, a sex worker and performer who's an expert on bondage and kink, among other things, tells Shift that if someone says "no" to you in a sexual context, "it doesn't mean you're a bad person," or that "you're hideous." It just means they don't want to do what you want to do right now. For kinky and non-kinky people alike, says Stryker, learning to be okay with this and not take it personally is key.

2. Make it okay to say no.

This one goes hand in hand with the first tip. Stryker explains that if someone says no to something you want to do (whether it's kissing or dressing up like superheroes), you shouldn't say "aww, that's okay" in a way that sounds "really bummed." That sends the message that it is not, in fact, okay. Instead, she suggests something like "thank you for taking care of yourself." The point is not to make your partner feel bad for setting boundaries. Says Stryker, "I think we forget that if someone can't say no, their yes isn't really meaningful." ...

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