This article is an excerpt from Morgan Thorne’s recently released book, Exploring BDSM – a Workbook for Couples (or More) Discovering Kink.
When you’re brand new to something, you’re bound to make mistakes. It’s one of those things you should be okay with before you start experimenting. You’re going to make mistakes and that’s okay! Learn from them, handle them appropriately and grow. That’s how we become well-rounded people.
That said, it seems silly for countless people to endlessly repeat the same mistakes, over and over again. One of the great things about humans is that we are capable of learning from other people’s mistakes as well as our own. Understanding why and how someone else has stumbled can help you avoid the same pitfalls.
1 – Too Many Things at Once
This is the first of a few similar mistakes that new people often make. In this case, we are talking about trying to fit too many things at once into a play scene. I know, there are all these fun sounding and interesting things that you’ve been introduced to, you want to do all of them right away!
If you try to jam too many different activities into a single play scene you’re going to end up overwhelmed. You will be fumbling, trying to remember all the things you wanted to do and waste valuable time worrying about whether you did them all. This will interrupt the flow of the scene, damage your confidence, and not be much fun for anyone involved.
Avoid this mistake by selecting between 2 and 5 activities that you want to do. 5 is probably too many for many scenes, but it really depends on the scene. If you’re doing an impact scene, selecting 5 different styles of implement seems reasonable. On the other hand, if you decide you want to do electrical play, sounding, an elaborate shibari tie, forced orgasms, and fire cupping…well, you will quickly find yourself in trouble.
The problem with the above scenario is that each of those activities takes a while. There is a lot of set up for an activity like sounding, for instance. Elaborate shibari ties can take half an hour or more to complete. The set up that you need to safely do fire cupping is different than the set up to do the bondage or sounding. You can see how you would end up with a scene that lasts hours but is mostly spent setting up for the next activity.
The other problem is that the scene can become disjointed. Ideally, you want to have activities that work together or flow from one to the next. Shibari and wax play are a traditional combination. Bondage with cuffs, rope, or leather restraints can work with just about any activity or it can be the star of the show. You will learn which activities work best together based on your own personal style (as you develop it) and what you observe others doing.
2 – Overconfidence
Many people walk into the world of BDSM thinking that it all looks easy. I mean, how hard can it be to hit people with a stick or wrap them up in ropes?
The answer is that there is a lot to learn. Yes, some activities are pretty straightforward. Spanking is pretty simple when you think about it, but even then, you would be amazed at how many people mess it up. Warm-ups are important to enjoyable impact play. Without one, enjoyable pain can turn into annoying pain very quickly.
Avoid this mistake by being humble. Many things aren’t as easy as they look. Before you engage in an activity, read up about it. Take a class if you’re able to. Kinksters love attending workshops. Even those of us who have been around a long time still attend various workshops. Even if it’s an activity that I know a lot about, I still learn new tips and tricks by seeing how others do it.
Don’t think that this advice applies just to dominants or tops! Bottoms, submissives and switches should have at least a general knowledge of activities so that they know and understand the risks involved and know how to tell a safe partner from an unsafe one.
3 – No Confidence
You’re new and nervous. It’s not unusual, we were all new once. I don’t think anyone is ever totally confident doing something for the first time, but a bit of nervousness is different than not having any confidence.
If you aren’t confident in what you’re about to do, you will make mistakes. You will be so worried about not being perfect that you will sabotage yourself. You may forget what comes next, you might totally freeze when giving or getting an order.
Avoid this mistake by doing your research. Attend some classes, munches, and play parties. Watch others and see what aspects you like. Learn everything you can about an activity before trying it on a human.
If you’re a top, practice. Pillows are fantastic for practicing your aim for impact play. Most of us learned how to use a flogger by hitting pillows. Same for canes, crops, and just about anything you can think of.
Bottoms can prepare too. If you know you’re going to be doing bondage, you can do things like yoga that will condition your muscles and keep you flexible. You need strength and flexibility to endure some of the beautiful shibari ties that are so popular today. Learn about various types of play so that you can keep yourself safe and so that you know what you need to speak up about in scene (sticking with the bondage example, weakness in a limb).
4 – Not Enough Communication
Talking about our kinks can be hard, especially when you’re new. As time goes on, it gets easier and easier, so do your best to get through those first awkward conversations. In the beginning, people will often skip over important points of pre-scene communications, either because they are nervous talking about it or they don’t realize it should be discussed.
It is bound to happen, you’re in the middle of a scene and something comes up that you haven’t talked about yet. Sometimes it’s okay to just ask mid-scene and other times it can ruin the mood or even cause the end of the scene. Lack of communication is common, so don’t feel bad if (when) it happens to you.
Avoid this mistake by having a conversation about your scene a few days ahead of time. This will give you time to think about things and ask any questions that pop into your mind at 3 am. Some people may even find it’s best to plan multiple conversations before the scene, adding a bit to the negotiation each time. Don’t forget to go over things the day of the scene – I like to have the final check in right before we start – to make sure nothing has changed and you’re still both in the mood for what you discussed.
5 – Sky High Expectations
If you’ve been fantasizing about BDSM for as long as you can remember and you finally get the chance to try it out, you may have some unrealistic expectations. If you go into your first scene expecting that everything will be perfect, you’re going to be disappointed. If you expect that your partner can read your mind, you’re going to be disappointed.
Avoid this mistake by managing your expectations and learning about the reality of BDSM. There are going to be times when things don’t go exactly as planned. Your partner will make mistakes. You will make mistakes. Learn to roll with it, have a laugh if warranted, and keep going.
For instance, I don’t think I’ve ever done a pegging scene where things weren’t totally awkward at one point or another. Getting toys and bodies aligned properly can be a challenge (especially when you’re short and your partner is more than a foot taller!), finding the right size toy for that day and moment can take some time, and having hands covered in lube will almost always end in clumsiness. You learn to laugh it off and keep going. If you take yourself too seriously, you won’t have any fun at all.
Don’t let your fantasy of BDSM cloud the reality of it. I really suggest that people get out to the community and watch others doing scenes – that way you can see first hand that even experienced people can have bloopers from time to time.
To learn more about the most common mistakes BDSM newbies make, be sure to check out my latest book, Exploring BDSM.
Buy online https://www.amazon.com/dp/
Visit my site http://msmorganthorne.com/
Check me out on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/
Or Instagram http://www.instagram.com/
Morgan Thorne has been practising BDSM all her adult life. She got an introduction to kink through the Queer community in the early 1990’s and knew she had found ‘her people’.
Morgan has also spent nearly a decade working as a Professional Dominant, which has allowed her to expand her skills as both a Top and a Dominant. Morgan has been offering workshops, lectures and BDSM training for a number of years as well. She has a successful Youtube channel where she educates about D/s relationships, BDSM basics and various kinky skills.
In January 2017, Morgan Thorne released her debut book, “A Guide to Classic Discipline”. This will be followed up in Nov/Dec 2017 with “Medical Aseptic Technique for BDSM Play”. Expect more great books from Morgan Thorne in 2018!
Morgan identifies as both a Sadist and a Dominant. She enjoys playing with a variety of people of all orientations/genders/
Prior to her work as a Professional Dominant, Morgan worked in health care. This has allowed her to gain a more thorough understanding of health and safety concerns in kink. She retired due to an injury that lead to chronic pain and disability. It also drove her interest in medical play, as a way to continue to use the skills she learned in health care and to find comfort in the loss of a much-loved career.
Morgan has been active in various forms of activism, including LGBTQIA rights and sex worker rights. She is a strong advocate for equality and the human rights of all people.