6 Things You Need to Know About Safewords

Ever since Fifty Shades of Grey, the meaning of “safewords” has become more popular.  But many people, even in the BDSM community, still don’t know how to use them the right way.  The definition of a safeword is a code to communicate when a submissive is at their limit, or close to it.  I’ll show you some practical examples and a list of ones  you can use in your next play session.

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Fifty shades of grey
Pineapple

1.  Why “pineapple” is a good safeword to use

By definition, the words “No” and “Stop” are not safewords. A safeword needs to be something you would not normally say in a play session or scene. That’s why “pineapple” is such a good example. If you pick a word that is too common, the meaning can become unclear.

Why Fifty Shades of Grey used “Red” and “Yellow”

There’s a good reason why Fifty Shades of Grey chose those two examples. The most popular safeword is “Red”, meaning the sub cannot tolerate any further demands. When this word is said the Dominant’s actions cease completely with immediate effect.  The safeword “Yellow” is used to bring to the attention of the Dom that the sub is close to their limit of endurance.

Red and Yellow are my favorite and the ones I use with my Dom, but we also have an alternative.  Back when we were vanilla but also doing kinky things, I would use his middle name as a code.  I had used it for so long that it was still a habit so we decided to keep it.

When you are in the middle of a very intense situation, it is somewhat of a knee jerk reaction to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.  So pick a safeword(s) you feel comfortable with.

List of popular examples:

  • Apple
  • Red
  • Pineapple
  • Dom’s middle name
  • Banana
  • Yellow
  • Safeword
  • Mercy
  • Oklahoma

2. Safewords can help establish BDSM limits

If a couple is exploring something new like anal play, safewords can help guide the Dom as to what is acceptable and what is too far.  One of the roles of a good Dom is to push the boundaries of their sub a little, to see what they are and aren’t OK with.

To use safewords in this way a Dom can check in with the sub during a scene and ask, “What color?”  The sub can then replay “Red”, “Yellow”, or even “Green” to indicate that they want to go further.  You could even practice this technique to get a sub comfortable using safewords.

3. Subs can abuse their safewords without meaning to

Let me start off by saying that there is nothing wrong with using safewords.  They are a sacred part of BDSM, and are there to make sure everything stays safe, sane, and consensual.  A sub should never feel guilty when they use them legitimately.

The problem arises when it becomes a way to get out of something they just don’t want to do.  It can become the vanilla equivalent of saying they have a headache.  Besides sexual requests they may use a safeword when a situation becomes too emotionally difficult and they just want a break.

In short, the sub becomes the one in control when they safeword because they just don’t feel like doing something. Find out what the Dom and the sub can do to fix this here.

4. You can try getting rid of them… maybe

In some Master/slave relationships there is the concept of Total Power Exchange (TPE).  This means that the slave has relinquished all rights, even the right to a safeword.

If the sub consents to this (and they have to consent) there needs to be complete trust in the Dom’s control, and his knowledge of the sub. This is best for long term, 24/7 relationships.

If you’re not ready for this step, an alternative could be agreeing to forgo safewords during discipline.  This has the advantage that a sub is more liking to learn from their punishment or not misbehave, if they know they cannot safeword out of it.  The Dom would then have total control over the discipline and not the sub.

Another possibility would be to not let the sub use “Red” while being punished, only “Yellow”.

5.  You need a nonverbal signal too in BDSM

If choking or gagging is acceptable you won’t be able to talk, so agree beforehand on a safe gesture instead of a word.  This can be a hand signal or placing an item in the sub’s hand that they can drop when they have reached their limit.

The downside to these is that their arms and hands would have to be free at all times.  And there is the risk that the Dom may not be able to see the signal during a BDSM scene.

To get around this my Dom and I have the agreement that my hands and arms are always free during choking, and our “safeword” is that I will tap his body anywhere I can.  Once he feels it he releases me immediately.  Try a practice session before committing to your signal.

6. Subs can forget to use their safewords

Sometimes the Dom may make demands of the sub that cannot be met without incurring physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or other harm.  That is when the sub should use their safewords.

However, in that circumstance the sub may already be distraught because of the severity of the situation, and they may forget their safeword.  Or it may not instinctively come to their mind.  If the Dom is sensing that the sub’s condition is becoming deeply upset and agitated, he should remind them of their safewords.

Also if something new, or if something extremely intense is going to happen, then the Dom should remind the sub of their safewords again beforehand.

My Dom is very good about this, but one thing I like to do during something very demanding is to repeat my safewords to myself in my head.  This way they will more readily come to mind if I need to use them.

No one should ever say, “a real sub doesn’t have safewords.”  If a sub is new to BDSM or coming in to a new relationship, it is a huge red flag if they say they don’t have safewords.  Safewords build trust and bring meaning into the relationship.  Be comfortable using them and you will experience greater pleasure.  🖤

What’s your favorite examples of BDSM safewords to use? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Keep reading: Myths you need to stop believing now

DDLG: Daddy Dom/little girl & Ageplay Ultimate Guide

One of the most misunderstood types of BDSM relationships is the Daddy Dom/little girl dynamic (or DDlg).  For some, it’s just fun role-playing with clothing and outfits.  For other ageplayers like myself however, it is their identity.  Even though there are many benefits to ageplaying, it can be hard to know what things to say to someone who feels this lifestyle is wrong.  Keep reading to learn all about the rules, definition of “little space”, Daddy dominant traits, and get new ideas, so you can enjoy ageplay responsibly. 

Ageplay DDlg Clothing Definition Outfits Ageplayers Ageplaying Ideas Rules Little space Daddy Dom Things to Say Daddy dominant traits Little girl

The Real Definition of Ageplay

Ageplaying involves treating the sub like they are a certain age, usually younger, anywhere from toddler to teenager.  As a result, the sub treats their Dom like their Daddy.  He takes on the paternal role of protector and caregiver, and administers discipline and training when needed.  The sub becomes his “little” and relies on him emotionally, physically, and even sexually and sometimes financially.

Ageplayers are NOT pedophiles.  The definition of pedophilia is having sexual feelings towards children.  A sub is not a child, but is a consenting adult.  A Daddy Dom wants to be with HIS little girl, not little girls in general.

Why is the DDlg Relationship so Fulfilling for Ageplayers?

It can be hard to explain this lifestyle or know what things to say to someone who doesn’t understand this kink. Basically, age playing and DDlg satisfy both individuals involved on many levels:

The Daddy Dom

Usually men are naturally attracted to youth and innocence, and having a little meets that need continuously. They will also have the satisfaction of having someone rely and dote on them, and counting on them to “fix it” when things get hard.  Littles are constantly seeking the praise and attention of their Daddy and will do their best to please him.  When his baby girl disobeys rules, a Daddy Dom also gets the fulfillment of disciplining her in any way he desires, (and she has consented to).  She will also come to him with her sexual needs, as he knows how best to please her.

The little girl

In a symbiotic way, what makes the Daddy happy fulfills the little’s needs and vice versa.  She will be made to feel eternally youthful and beautiful, and he will spoil her and cherish her.  Subs that choose this relationship are usually emotionally fragile at times, and having a supportive, paternal figure is very soothing.  Likewise, being told they’re a “good girl” makes sub ageplayers feel extremely content.  And obeying rules and knowing they’re making their Daddy happy gives them immense reassurance.

How to Incorporate Ageplaying

Now that you know the real definition for ageplay and what both the Daddy Dom and little girl get out of it, here are some ideas for making it work:

Outfits, Clothing, and Other Ways to Look the Part

The Daddy Dom ultimately chooses the clothing his little girl wears, but short skirts, dresses, and having their hair in braids or pigtails is usual protocol.  School girl outfits are very popular, and Brazilian waxes are a great way to get that look and feel for ageplaying.

(For DDlg clothing, toys, and accessories, check out Kinky Cloth. They’re my favorite.)

Daddy Dominant Traits and Things to Say

Littles should refer to their Dom as Daddy, and always ask them for permission, just like a dependent child would.  Daddys need to call their littles by appropriate names like Baby Girl, and conversations and lectures are more enjoyable when she’s told to sit on his lap.  Littles also usually require a softer approach when being dominated.  Good Daddy Dominant traits are being nurturing, caring but strict, being a good listener, and supportive.  Here are some ideas for things to say:

  • “Be a good girl.”
  • “Behave.”
  • “Do you need a spanking?”
  • “I’m proud of you.”
  • “You’re too little to do that, let me help you.”
  • “Be careful.”
  • “Let me touch/see your princess parts.”
  • “Use your words.”
  • “Let’s have cuddle time.”
  • “Don’t worry, I’ll make it all better.”

DDlg Rules, Little Space, and Other Ideas

DDlg revolves around wanting to please and fearing disapproval, so rewards and punishments are vital.  Pats on the head and forehead kisses mean a lot, and spankings are usually a must.  Keeping the attitude of “Daddy knows best” will also deepen intimacy.  Good rules for littles include a set bedtime, no swearing, and keeping their room clean.

The definition of “Little Space” is a state of mind submissive ageplayers enter when they’re deeply feeling little.  Here are some ideas for age appropriate activities to help a sub enter little space more easily:

  • Coloring
  • Reading stories together
  • Having a stuffie
  • Keeping a journal
  • Cuddling
  • Watching cartoons
  • Going on outings together
  • Using stickers

Ageplaying is a great way to mix childlike innocence with naughty sexual curiosity. Don’t listen to people who try to say that ageplay is wrong.  The DDlg lifestyle can become the basis for a healthy BDSM relationship, and bring even more happiness to both the Dom and his sub. 🖤

For DDlg clothing, toys, and accessories, check out Kinky Cloth. Get FREE shipping on all orders of $50+ >>

Are you a Daddy Dom or little girl? How do you feel about DDlg and ageplay? Chat with me in the comments.

Keep reading:  How to enhance the dynamic >>

Fake Dom vs Real Dom: 9 Warning Signs

This is the article I never wanted to write. In creating Dom Sub Living I’ve met so many great Dominants, but I’ve also come across a lot of fakes.  I have also heard from far too many submissives about their scary experiences with bad doms.  I try to keep this blog positive, but I eventually realized that a “Fake dom vs Real Dom” article was necessary.  A fake dom can range from a sleazy person or oblivious newbie, to a severely abusive individual.  If you’re a sub and want to know the warning signs, red flags, and how to spot a fake Dom, then keep reading.  This article will also help Doms who want to avoid bad dominant traits, and gain the trust of their submissive.

Fake Dom vs Real Dom Fake Dom signs Dom red flags Dom sub warning signs Dominant red flags How to spot a fake Dom Bad dominant traits

DISCLAIMER: This article is just a guideline. It can help confirm your suspicions if your instincts are telling you something’s a red flag. However, just because a Dom has one of these characteristics doesn’t mean they are “bad” or a “fake”.  I am also fully aware that there are a lot of bad subs out there too, and many of these points can correspond to them as well.  As always, all of my articles apply to both female Dommes and male submissives.

9 Warning Signs of a Fake Dom

1. They’re not dominant in their own life

To me, this is the biggest indicator if a Dom is ready to have a sub.  After all, if they can’t control their own life, they’re not going to be able to control someone else’s.  They don’t need to be a CEO of their own company or be a Christian Grey, but they should be a successful Alpha in their own realm.   A Dominant needs to have their life together and be responsible. Then they can be responsible for someone else.

2. They’re new

I’m not saying that a good Dom can’t be new, but definitely exercise caution if someone has little or no experience in the lifestyle.  It’s been my experience that a lot of fake Doms are newbies.  They just assume they’re Dom, because they like to control people and want a girl to have sex with whenever they want. A lot of times they’re also just basing their knowledge on what they’ve seen in porn, vs actual reality.  A real Dom though, even a new Dom, will see this lifestyle as a whole lot of work on their part.

3.  Uses pet names

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been called “Princess” by guys I don’t know.  Using pet names like Princess, Sweetie, or Kitten before they know the person isn’t just a red flag, it’s hugely disrespectful.  So is a Dominant referring to themselves as Daddy or Master and expecting the other person to use those terms too. Pet names should only be used when you’re in a relationship or both parties are comfortable with using them.  When in doubt, ask permission first.

4.  They’re polyamorous

Polyamorous relationships are a lot of work and should not be taking lightly. Unfortunately, many “Doms” put out there from the very beginning that they want more than one sub. They may use the lifestyle as an excuse to sleep around.  They say things like, “I’m not like other Doms, my needs are very high and I need more than one sub to fulfill them.”  A sub should never feel pressured to go along with a polyamorous relationship. A Dom needs to prove they can take care of one sub before they expect to take another.

5.  They need money or gifts

These are usually scammers or “cat fish” types.  For example, they may really want to come visit, but need money for the plane ticket first.  Or they outright ask for money or expensive gifts for the sub to continue their “training” or prove their submission. I’m not talking about ethical financial domination, which usually comes after a long history of trust. But just remember that it is the Dom’s job to support the sub, not the other way around.

6.  Lies, cheats, or has other bad dominant traits

Lying or cheating are childish traits and not signs of someone with maturity and self-control.  If the dom is in a relationship already, and their partner doesn’t know they’re seeing someone else, this is a huge red flag. It’s selfish, and many will justify it because they’re not getting their needs met. A real Dom is more concerned about giving than receiving though. They may say they have tried telling their partner they are unhappy, but have they told their partner they are so unhappy that they have started cheating? A fake Dom avoids facing responsibility for their actions, and it will be very hard for a sub to trust a dom who lies or cheats.

7.  Doesn’t know or address BDSM basics

Many fake doms will say they’re experienced but don’t take the time with a sub to go over limits, safewords, contracts, or training.  They may not even know what any of these terms involve.  They might even make the excuse that since they are “experienced” they know what they’re doing and don’t need to go over limits, etc.  This is disregarding the foundation of BDSM, that everything be safe, sane, and consensual.  Every new relationship should at least have a discussion of the basics, and every sub has the right to speak up.

8. Focuses only on sex

This is probably the most common red flag.  A fake dom may seem only interested in sex, or focus mostly on sexual training. They may ask for nudes or sexual tasks right from the beginning for the sub to prove their worthiness.  This isn’t to say that it’s wrong if a BDSM relationship is only sexual, or if a couple is only Dom/sub in the bedroom.  But if a submissive is constantly wanting more than just a sexual relationship, it’s time to reevaluate things.  Other warning signs that the dom is only interested in getting their sexual needs fulfilled are if they give little or no aftercare.

9.  Uses intimidation with the sub

This can happen even in vanilla relationships and is a sign of abuse.  If a dominant keeps the sub from their family and friends, or tells them they aren’t a “real” sub if they don’t do something, this is dangerous manipulation.  A sub should also never be made to be fearful to use their safewords, and discipline and punishments should never be given out of uncontrolled anger.

Other Dominant Red Flags

There are other warning signs that someone is a fake or bad dom, such as:

  • Stops communication or pulls away without giving an explanation
  • Uses the sub as a maid so they don’t have to pick up after themselves (a sub is not their mother)
  • Always mentions they are an “experienced” Dom (they are probably trying to make themselves seem better than they actually are)
  • Extremely sadistic and takes scenes too far
  • Sends d*ck pics

How to Spot a Fake Dom

The easiest way to spot a fake dom is to get them to talk and see what they’re thinking.  A good idea is to ask them, “What does being a Dom mean to you?” Or “What does your training involve?”  Another thing a sub can do is ask for references from other subs or members in the BDSM community.  If a Dom refuses to give references or just says their past sub is “psycho”, that’s a red flag that they may be hiding something.

Fake Dom vs Real Dom Graphic

To make it easier for you to know how to spot a fake Dom, I created this graphic.  Feel free to share it to encourage others to know the signs of a fake dom vs real Dom.

Fake Dom vs Real Dom Fake Dom signs Dom red flags Dom sub warning signs Dominant red flags How to spot a fake Dom Bad dominant traits

Unfortunately there are a lot of fake or bad doms out there, but the good news is that there a lot of real Doms too.  I hope the biggest take away you get from this article is to use your instincts and trust your intuition.   Submissives, please remember the warning signs to look for and don’t be afraid to speak up.  You don’t have to settle, and you don’t deserve to.  And Dominants, know that being in this role is a big responsibility, and commit to being a good example for others in the community.

Please click the social icons below to share this article, and together we can start a healthy discussion and promote awareness.🖤

What are some red flags you’ve seen with fake doms? Chat with me in the comments.

Keep reading: Rules, rituals and protocols »

BDSM Rituals and Why You Need Them

Rituals are an important part of any healthy BDSM relationship. They help the Dominant and submissive remember their roles, and can be a way to stay centered and focused. But creating powerful and easy Dom/sub rituals (that don’t fizzle out) can be challenging.  Read on to discover proven examples of D/s rules and protocols, and maybe pick up some new ideas to transform your connection.

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What are BDSM rituals?

Sometimes people will use the words rituals, rules, and protocols interchangeably but they are slightly different. A BDSM protocol is a hard and fast rule usually listed in a D/s contract. A ritual is more of a way of carrying out something. It almost always involves an action where the Dom prescribes a series of behaviors for their pleasure and benefit.

Why have Dom/sub rituals?

Rituals are a way to discipline a sub.  They teach them obedience and submission and keep them in the right frame of mind.  This is true for the Dom as well.  Sometimes if a sub has been allowed to act too bratty or is topping from the bottom, a ritual can snap both parties back into their role.

I really enjoy my rituals and view them as almost solemn and spiritual.  When I perform a ritual it feels somewhat ceremonial even.  I take pleasure in knowing I’m doing something my Daddy wants and that makes him happy.

Examples of D/s rituals, rules, and protocols

Rituals are automatic and a good sub shouldn’t have to be asked to do it every time. If a sub does forget (they’re not perfect) they should be disciplined to the proper degree.  A good Dom doesn’t make up rituals just for the sake of having one.  There should be a reason for them and should be for their pleasure. To give you some ideas, here are a few examples of the rules and protocols my Daddy has for me:

1. Kneeling

My Daddy usually goes to bed before me since he wakes up early, so once I’m all ready for the night, I sit in the bed next to him and kneel.  If he doesn’t wake up by then I will lightly rub him and say, “I’m ready for bed now, Daddy.”  If he hasn’t gone to bed yet I’ll kneel on the floor instead and wait for permission to get in bed.  He also has me kneel before a scene as well.

2. Arrival greeting

This is another popular ritual and one I can safely perform in front of others.  When he comes home, wherever I am in the house and no matter what I’m doing, I go and greet him with a kiss and tell him, “Hi Daddy”.

3. A morning text

My Daddy decided on the joint ritual of every morning texting each other.  He usually texts me first to tell me good morning and that he loves me.  I reply with how I’m feeling, a detailed plan for my day, and that I love him.  I love waking up and seeing a text from him, and this also allows him to make sure I’m getting up when I’m supposed to.

4. Collars

There are so many ways to incorporate collars with rituals.  Currently we have two.  The first one is I have to wear my Day Collar whenever I leave the house or around company.  If he’s home he will put it on for me.  Second, when I kneel before a scene he puts my Play Collar on me. See ideas for different collars here.

5. Shaving

Sometimes in vanilla relationships, shaving becomes a chore that’s done begrudgingly even though the other partner prefers it.  Making it a D/s ritual can make it more enjoyable.  I always make sure I’m freshly shaven for my Daddy, and I also get a Brazilian wax about every 3 weeks.  (As a masochist, I actually love getting it done.)

6. Punishments

You probably don’t think of punishments when you’re discussing rituals, but they can actually go together quite nicely.  When the sub misbehaves, the Dom can tell them to get whatever implement they choose (belt, flogger, crop, etc.). The sub has to go get it, kneel, and present it in their hands, with their palms facing up.  This can make the discipline more degrading, and as a result, more effective.

Can Doms have BDSM rituals too?

Yes and no.  Doms will do certain actions as a routine but they are never expected to do it, as they are allowed to do whatever they want.  An example is how my Daddy opens doors for me.  Before I get in the car or enter a building he will almost always open the door for me, and it makes me love and respect him as my Dom even more each time.  Other ideas are combing or braiding the sub’s hair at night, ordering for them at restaurants, and staying on the outside of their sub when they’re walking on the street.

When a D/s ritual isn’t working

It may be that after performing certain rituals they will have to be modified or eliminated.  Here’s an example that happened to us one time:

Every morning when Daddy was at work I had to let him decide my panties for the day.  I’d pick out three, lay them in a row, take a picture, and text it to him. This was fun at first and I did it for almost a month.  It ended up causing me a lot of stress though.  There were many mornings I would have to rush because it was taking up too much time.  I told my Dom, knowing full well he could say, “You’re doing it anyway.” But instead, he said he would think about it and let me know the next day. Thankfully he told me I could stop. He still makes choices on my panties from time to time, and will often tell me to wear none when I’m in a dress or skirt.

So if a ritual isn’t working in a D/s dynamic, a sub can always talk to their Dom about it respectively, or through a journal.

Click here to download your free journal with prompts

One of the best ways to make sure a ritual is remembered and carried out is to write it down.  Hopefully these examples have given you some ideas for creating your own BDSM rules and protocols.  Keep finding peace in your rituals. They benefit both the Dom and the sub and are essential for transformation, training, and discipline.  🖤

Now, let’s talk in the comments: What ideas do you have for BDSM rituals? What works and what doesn’t?

Keep reading: How to prevent bratty behavior>>

Total Power Exchange Relationships: Ultimate Guide

When I was a beginner submissive, I was eager to make my new BDSM lifestyle a 24/7 agreement.  My Dominant and I had a contract, but I wanted to be a full-time slave, unable to ever be released.  We read online about Total Power Exchange relationships and we knew this was our ultimate goal.  I can proudly say we are now TPE. It has brought so much more meaning to our roles as Dom and sub. But making the switch wasn’t easy.  This guide will help you to not make the same mistakes we did. You’ll also see some examples of how to make it work.

Total Power Exchange, Contract, examples, relationships, guide, online, agreement, TPE, meaning

What is the real meaning of Total Power Exchange?

On the outside, a Total Power Exchange relationship can look like abuse. Sadly, a lot of subs can confuse the two.  TPE is not abuse.  Simply put, it’s an exchange where all authority is passed from the submissive to the Dominant.  It’s a consensual relationship where the Dom has absolute control, and can exercise that control however they see fit.  If you are unsure whether or not your relationship is TPE or abuse, let your instincts be your guide.  The goal should be for both partners to feel more fulfilled and taken care of.  And no matter what anyone says, the sub always has the right to get out of an abusive relationship.

Who is a TPE agreement good for?

Even though Total Power Exchange might look abusive to vanillas, it can bring incredible meaning and happiness to a Dom/sub couple.  I don’t recommend entering a TPE relationship unless you’ve known the person for a very long time, and you 100%, completely trust them.  This goes for both the Dom and the sub.  The Dominant should already be showing they respect their sub, and uphold the “safe, sane, consensual” principles of BDSM.  And the submissive should be mentally stable, and not using TPE as an excuse to be made weak.  After all, the sub can still make some of their own decisions and choices, if the Dom allows them to.

Can online relationships be TPE?

Online relationships most definitely can be Total Power Exchange, but to a degree.  Even though the sub gives up all their power, it will be hard for the Dom to exercise complete control over their sub’s life from a distance.  In these kinds of relationships, TPE will be more of a mindset, and the Dom will have to be extra diligent in finding ways to incorporate it into their lives.

You can check out my guide for online and long-distance relationships here to give you some ideas.

Examples of Total Power Exchange

Although a Total Power Exchange relationship can be any form of Dom/sub, like DD/lg, Owner/pet, or Boss/secretary, it is most likely a Master/slave agreement.  Just like in real life a Master has complete and total control over a slave, so it also is in TPE.  Here are some examples of what it can look like in BDSM:

  • Controlling the slave’s finances and career
  • Choosing the slave’s clothing, diet, and other aspects of day to day life
  • Establishing and enforcing non-negotiable rules and protocols
  • Using the slave whenever and however sexually

(Feel free to share your favorite examples of TPE in the comments below.)

Do you still need a contract?

Since the meaning of Total Power Exchange is that nothing prohibits the Dom from having all control, a contract might seem contradictory.  I don’t think that’s completely the case though.  A contract can lay out the fact that the relationship is a TPE agreement, and list the expectations and requirements of the sub still.  However since there usually aren’t safewords or hard and soft limits in TPE, these probably won’t be covered in the contract.

You can read my guide on contracts here for more examples of what you can include.

Even though a Total Power Exchange can be the ultimate goal for those who practice BDSM, it should never be rushed into.  If you wish to enter this type of arrangement, make sure you fully understand first the true meaning of it, and what is involved.  I don’t regret for one second entering a TPE relationship with my Dom, and I hope it can be successful for you too.

What challenges have you faced with Total Power Exchange? Let me know in the comments.

Keep reading:  How to make it work as a ‘Switch’ >>

BDSM Limits: Learn What’s Hard and Soft

Limits are a topic that is sure to come up in any Dom/sub relationship or contract negotiation. Even if you don’t have a BDSM partner yet, it’s good to have your boundaries clear in mind so you’ll be prepared when you’re ready to start playing. But what exactly is the difference between hard and soft limits? Here, we’ll define what limits can mean for you, and I’ll even give you some examples.

Bdsm hard and soft limits  List Examples  Meaning Define  Checklist  Contract Vs Difference between  Dom/sub

Why have limits in BDSM?

Having limits while engaging in BDSM allows the submissive to explore their sensuality safely.  They never have to be afraid that their Dom is going to do something they don’t want, or will hurt them physically or mentally.  They can give up all control, and be free from making the decisions. Dominants benefit from set rules also because it takes the guess-work out of what their sub will and won’t do. Both individuals will be able to completely let go, and fully enjoy living the lifestyle.

There are two kinds of limits- soft vs hard:

Soft

These are things that the sub maybe interested in but is hesitant about exploring.  You cannot assume that just because someone has agreed to be a submissive that they are OK with everything. The boundaries of soft limits are flexible as the Dom sees fit and the submissive agrees to push and expand slowly.  However, once something has been decided upon (hopefully in a contract) it can be freely asked or demanded.  Get your free Dom/sub contract here.

Some examples are: oral sex, swallowing semen, nipple clamps, spanking, flogging, being blindfolded, butt plugs, gagging, wax play, and bondage with tape.

Another soft limit is the sub’s tolerance of receiving pain, which can be worked up slowly and with consent.  Light bruises might be acceptable and tolerable, but permanent scars or marks may not be. Always discuss what types of pain, punishments, and discipline are allowed, and the intensity and severity of each.

Hard

Both parties need to specify what they won’t do, and respect it.  Examples could be things like: choking, anal sex, electro play, fisting, needles, suspension bondage, whipping, caning, fire play, and blood/urine/feces. Doms can have boundaries too.  The point is, no one should be pressured to do something that they are uncomfortable with.

Limits can change over time, and some can be more fluid than others.  For example, a sub may only be comfortable with something like rimming on some occasions, but their Dom has to ask first.  And sometimes boundaries can soften in the presence of alcohol, but even so, the Dom should always make sure the sub really wants to and is giving their full consent.

Dom/sub requirement limits

Requirements are not always talked about online when discussing the subject of limits but they deserve to be mentioned. These would be things that a partner has to have. It could be, “I need you to pull my hair when we have sex in doggie style.”  Or, “If a punishment makes me cry, good aftercare is a must.”  Get your free aftercare checklist here.

Remember: Safewords can help establish limits too. If a couple is exploring something new like anal play, safewords can help guide the Dom as to what is acceptable and what is too far.  One of the roles of a good Dom is to push the boundaries of their sub a little, to see what they are and aren’t OK with.

What to do if limits aren’t respected

If boundaries aren’t respected it really depends on the situation and the individuals involved. Sometimes for a seemingly minor offense the Dom could be warned never to do that again. But for more major breaches of trust, submissive always has the power to terminate the relationship.  And it’s always a good idea to discuss beforehand the consequences of breaking a contract.

So as you can see, limits are for the benefit of everyone involved, and are in no way restrictive.  To make it easier for you, try creating a list, either by yourself or with your partner.  Ultimately this will bring more pleasure and trust to the relationship. 🖤

What are your feelings on limits? Share your hard and soft list below.

Read more about etiquette in the lifestyle »

BDSM Collars: The Only 2 Types You Need [Photos]

Seeing someone in a collar immediately gives you the impression that they are probably into a kinky lifestyle.  It may even mean they’re a submissive in a longterm, D/s relationship.  But collar etiquette can be confusing.  There are so many different types for different situations: consideration, sub training, posture, play, everyday wear, pet, protection, ownership, ceremony, and eternity, just to name a few.  And what about other discreet BDSM jewelry and necklaces? Let me help you end the intimidation, and make your collar choice a little easier.

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“Collar” meaning in a D/s relationship 

In BDSM, a collar is a symbol of being a submissive, or being owned.  There are no hard and fast rules in this though.  Many people in the kink community wear them just for fun, even if they’re not in a relationship.  But when a Dominant commits himself to a sub he will show this by collaring them. This is usually done in a Collaring Ceremony, and we’ll discuss that later in this article.

The 2 types every submissive needs:

One of the benefits of keeping the collar choices down to two or three is that the submissive becomes attached to it.  This is true both emotionally and physically.  It’s a lot like how pet dogs are more anxious when their collar is removed, and calmer when it is put back on.  Likewise, submissives feel secure and safe in their personal collar.

1.  Collars for play and sub training 

When you think of BDSM, you usually think of these types of collars.  They are sturdy, usually made of some kind of leather type product, and can be locked.  They will also have a d-ring/o-ring for the Dom to grab or attach a leash too.  The purpose for these collars is to train the submissive, and get them in the proper mindset for a scene.  Before a play session, my Dom will have me kneel and he’ll put it around my neck.  Other times, if I am being bratty or disobedient, he will put it on me extra tight so I remember my place as his submissive.  

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My play collar

2.  Discreet “Day Collars” for everyday wear

If you’re not comfortable wearing a Play Collar outside of the house, but still want to show you’re in a D/s relationship, then a discreet, submissive “Day Collar” is perfect.  This is a type of short or tight necklace, usually with an o-ring too.  It’s not as obvious to those that are vanilla, but you may get some curious or knowing looks.  I wear this type of collar everyday, and if I ever forget and leave the house without it then my Dom will punish me.  I’m very proud when I wear my collar, and it gives my life great meaning.

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My discreet day collar

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My dressier day one

The Collar Ceremony and beyond 

When a Dominant decides to make a lifelong commitment of owning their submissive they will symbolize this during a Collaring Ceremony.  Much like a wedding, the Dom and sub will usually say vows and witnesses might be present.  The Dom will then collar the sub, and they will be Master/slave for the rest of their lives.  While there may be traditional collars for this (just like diamond rings are typical for marriage), it’s really a personal choice and should be something you are comfortable with. There can be other rituals besides the ceremony, that are more simpler, such as

  • Having the sub kneel before a scene to receive their play collar
  • Having the sub bring the collar to the Dom as part of punishment
  • Putting a “day” one on before leaving the house

At this point, you may be wondering:

“Can’t I just wear a regular necklace or other type of jewelry?”

While I always want everyone to do what makes them happy and comfortable, collars are best for those in the BDSM lifestyle.  Many vanilla people wear necklaces or other types of jewelry all the time, so if you wore something similar there would be no distinction. There are other benefits to a collar too.  Collars sit close against the sub’s neck, so the Dom sees it every time he looks at his sub, reminding him of their D/s relationship.  A bracelet or ring will not have the same effect.  Also, a collar has a different meaning than other types of jewelry.  Dogs and other animals wear collars, because they are owned.  It is the same for the submissive.

I hope I made BDSM collars a little less complicated for you.  They are extremely beneficial to those in a D/s relationship, and also very sexy to wear.  Have fun finding the right type for you, and be proud of the privilege to collar someone or to be collared by someone.  🖤

All of my collars were bought by my Dom at Etsy, Luxurious Bliss, or from CaptiveLove Jewelry (use code DSLiving10 for 10% off your first order on any item at CaptiveLove).

What are you thoughts about collars? Let me know in the comments.

Keep reading:  Creating rituals and protocols >>

Ask Me Anything

A couple weeks ago I decided to do a Q and A, and I got a TON of questions.  There were a lot of really good ones and some original ones I’ve never been asked before. Thank you to everyone who submitted a question!  I hope you enjoy my answers.  🖤

Q.  What got you into BDSM?  Why did you want to live this lifestyle?

A.  In the beginning of our relationship, my husband and I had a lot of problems. We were struggling with communication, compatibility issues, and we both just wanted more.  I started looking into BDSM online out of curiosity and everything just clicked. I shared with my husband what I had been learning, and told him that I wanted this 24/7. He realized that he needed this too.  We figured out along the way what worked and what didn’t.  Our relationship became so amazing and we discovered together what it truly means to be Dominate and submissive.

Q.  I’m new to the whole D/s scene and my partner and I are really curious.  How do we get started?

A.  Congratulations on wanting to explore BDSM! A lot of couples start out in the bedroom and have fun experimenting with kink.  Focus on the basics in the beginning (safewords, limits, contracts, rituals, etc.), and try to learn as much as you can about the lifestyle.  As you start to take it out of the bedroom make sure you communicate a lot, and be sure that you really want this.  No one should feel pressured to engage in BDSM.

Q. Why did you start “Dom Sub Living”?

A.  There’s a few reasons actually.  My main goal was to educate people about BDSM.  I wanted to show what it’s really like to be 24/7, not just what’s portrayed in porn or movies.  Plus I really love writing!  Believe it or not, I had a beauty blog before I started “Dom Sub Living”, But constantly taking pictures of myself wearing different makeup and posting them online was becoming really boring.  I wanted to do something I was more passionate about.  Having my own platform now to talk about a lifestyle I love is so much more fun and extremely rewarding.

Q.  I want to live a BDSM lifestyle, but my partner’s not into it.  How can I get them on board?

A.  I have to say, this is the question I was asked the most.  I covered this topic a little bit it in Exactly What to Do When You Don’t Have a Partner, but I wanted to take the time to discuss some other things here.  First of all, communicate.  Talk respectfully and agree to not judge each other.  Make sure your partner knows why you want this, and what they will get out of it too.  Also be sure to start very slow.  And this may seem kind of funny, but try not to use the word “BDSM”.  Your partner probably has some negative, preconceived notions about it, and you don’t want to scare them away.

Q.  Why does your site always refer to the Dom as male and the sub as female?

A.  Let me assure you that I am not assuming that the Dom should be male and the sub female.  I know there are a lot of different dynamics and combinations in BDSM.  I would never want to exclude anyone!  It is just very hard as a writer to have a sentence make sense if I’m always saying “they”.  Sometimes I have to use the typical pronouns like “he” and “she”, or else it sounds very confusing.  But whether you’re a male or female, Dom or sub, the principles in my articles can still definitely work for you.

Q.  How can I get my partner to take the initiative more, and be more involved in their role?

A.  As always I say the biggest thing is to communicate.  It may be that your partner doesn’t realize they’ve been slipping, or that you’re wanting more from them.  But try not to always focus on what your partner is not doing.  Focus on what you need to be doing too.  Sometimes when you become more submissive (or dominant if you’re a Dom), your partner will naturally respond by becoming stronger in their role.

Q.  What are you most proud of that you’ve done in the past year?

A.  There are so many things but I narrowed it down to three:

#1:  My Dom and I have entered more of a TPE lifestyle (Total Power Exchange).  We tend to gravitate towards DD/lg, but we’ve built up enough trust between us to begin to forgo safewords and limits.  It’s brought a whole new intensity to our relationship and increased our connection.

#2:  I’ve been learning how to code!  When you run a website, there’s only so much you can do if you don’t know how to code.  I’ve really taken an interest in it this past year and I’m getting pretty comfortable with it.  It’s really like learning a new language, and I think coding is a skill everyone should have.

#3:  I launched “Dom Sub Training”!  I got a lot of emails from people who wanted an online training course from me, so I eventually created “Dom Sub Training” and it really took off.  The course is helping people get all the information they need to become a satisfied BDSM expert, and have a detailed plan to make it all happen.  I’m really proud of it.

Q.  If you could tell vanillas one thing about being in the BDSM community what would it be?

A.  I would tell people not to prejudge anyone, because there’s a lot of different degrees of BDSM, and a lot of different reasons why people do it.  And that the majority of us in the community live normal lives.  We work, go to school, have families, but we’ve found that BDSM just brings more fulfillment to our lives.  But the biggest thing I want to tell vanillas is:  Just try it a little! You may end up liking it.

I hope you enjoyed this “Ask Me Anything”!  If your question didn’t get answered I apologize. I tried to pick out the ones I haven’t answered on my site before.  There was also a lot of questions that I actually address in “Dom Sub Training”. (Like how to find a partner, how to play when you still have children, and transitioning to 24/7, just to name a few.)

I plan on doing another “Ask Me Anything” in the future so make sure you subscribe to my newsletter here.  (Also I answered some bonus questions that were just for my subscribers!)

Click here to sign up for the “Dom Sub Living” newsletter

Have a question for the next “Ask Me Anything?”  Share it in the comments below.

Everything You Need to Know About Being a Switch

When most people think of a BDSM relationship, they usually only think of the Dominant and submissive roles.  The truth is, there are many shades of gray on the kink spectrum. Lots of people enjoy being what’s called a “switch,” and switching from Dom or sub can be a lot of fun. But what exactly is a switch, and how do you do it right? Keep reading to find out.

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The definition and meaning of switch

The definition of a switch is someone who enjoys engaging in both Dominant and submissive roles, or both topping and bottoming.  But what does that mean exactly? Well, the answer is: it depends. Here are some aspects about switching:

  • Switching doesn’t always involve a sexual relationship.
  • You may be a Dom with one partner, but a sub with another.
  • You may enjoy switching, but prefer a specific role.
  • Some couples switch as a way of taking turns.
  • As your life changes, you may switch to fulfill an emotional need.

Some or all of these points may apply to you.  That doesn’t mean you have to label yourself a switch (unless you want to).  Choose the BDSM identity that makes you feel the most comfortable.

Can only a girl switch or can a guy switch too?

The porn industry has perpetuated the idea of one girl topping another girl, while the guy enjoys the show.  Many Doms have this fantasy, but society doesn’t accept it as easily when the roles are reversed.  A guy who is a switch, even if their partner is a girl, may be seen as weak or unmanly. However, gender doesn’t have to play a factor at all when someone decides to switch. It simply involves domination and submission, and both can be enjoyed whether you’re a girl or a guy.

You can switch even if you’re in a vanilla relationship

Switching isn’t just for those in the kink community.  A lot of vanilla couples switch roles in the bedroom either part-time or full-time.  It’s a great way to keep the relationship new and exciting.  Letting your vanilla partner be the more dominant one can help you see what they like and are into.  Taking turns in a vanilla relationship also lets both of you have all your needs fulfilled.  If you’re nervous about bringing up the idea of switching with your partner, you can say something like, “I think it’d be really hot if you took control tonight (or, if I took control tonight).” Just be sure to start slow, and have fun with it!

 

Switching can help you test out the Dom/sub roles

You may be in a Dom/sub relationship, but that doesn’t mean it has to be that way 100% of the time.  Switching can be a way to see what the other side has to offer, and who knows, you may like it more than you think.  I believe switching, even lightly, can help both partners appreciate each other more.  It’s like when a parent and child switch roles for the day.  I think switching can also be a way to see if there’s any aspects of the other side you like, and want to test out and explore in scenes and play sessions.

Kink ideas for the Dominant or submissive switch

There are lots of different ways to enjoy switching and bring more kink to your relationship. To get started, either the Dominant or submissive can just say, “I’d like to try something a little different tonight, how about…”. If you need some inspiration, here are some ideas:

  • Trying a different position during sex where the sub is on top and in control.
  • If the submissive is a girl, having her use a strap-on.
  • The Dom can let the sub try out flogging, paddling, or another punishment tool.
  • Instead of giving commands, say please and ask for permission, or vice versa.
  • Allow topping from the bottom, with the sub doing it more on purpose.
  • The sub can control the Dom’s orgasm by stopping the stimulation and taking a break.
  • The Dom can have to “earn” to be with the sub.
  • The sub can be more bossy and authoritative when they are receiving oral sex.

Important safety note:  If you do switch, make sure safewords are revisited.  If you’re not used to saying them or responding to them, then it’s good to practice.  Also make sure to go over limits, which may be different in your new role.

Whether you’re a Dom or sub, guy or girl, vanilla or into kink, switching can be a lot of fun.  And remember, it doesn’t have to always be sexual.  It can bring more fulfillment in your life, and more meaning to a relationship. You may find that in BDSM, “switch” is the best fit for you.  🖤

Keep reading:  What to do when you don’t have a partner »

Have you tried switching? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?  Let me know in the comments.

7 Rules for a Long-Distance Relationship- FREE WORKSHEET

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Long-Distance relationships are hard, but especially for those that are Dom/sub.  It can be difficult to keep the dynamic going when you’re apart and problems and issues arise. There’s also a lot of bad advice and tips on the internet.  But even if you’re apart for just a day, or if circumstances make it so you’re separated for months, a long-distance D/s relationship can still succeed.  Both the Dominant and submissive have to work at it though. So here are some ideas for rules to keep in mind, and don’t forget to download your free worksheet here.

1.  Avoid problems when using technology

Technology can be a lifesaver in a long-distance relationship.  Texting especially can be easy and convenient, but after a while you may find it gets boring.  Don’t neglect all the other kinky ways you can enjoy technology.  Get creative and think outside the box, and soon you’ll begin to feel much closer.  Here are some ideas:

  • Use FaceTime or Skype- There’s so many possibilities with this one.  You could have a meal together, have phone sex, or even a virtual play session.  Just prop up your phone or iPad in the room, and have the Dominant give the submissive instructions.
  • Watch a BDSM movie together (“Secretary” is my favorite)- You can each set it up on your own TV or iPad and press play at the same time.
  • Use an online journal- This is a must whether you’re long-distance or not.  A sub should have a journal they can write freely in, and the Dom should have access to it at all times.

2.  Overcome commitment issues as a Dominant or submissive

Some people get stuck in a long-distance relationship because they feel obligated to stay for one reason or another.  Be honest with your partner about what you want out of the relationship, but more importantly, be honest with yourself.  Do you really want to be in a long-distance relationship when you could be meeting other people?  If the answer is yes, then work on building trust together.  Here are some tips:

    • Be patient- Even if you were physically together before things became long-distance, the new situation will take time for both of you to become comfortable.
    • Have real-life interactions- Show your commitment by making and keeping plans to meet face-to-face.
    • Make a contract together- A contract helps both a Dom and a sub to clearly know what their roles are in the relationship, and what’s expected of them.
    • Complete the free worksheet- It’s an easy way to see where you both stand.  Download the worksheet here. 

3.  Create a detailed Dom/sub schedule

Having set tasks to do everyday is the perfect way to make a submissive not feel so lonely.  An assigned list keeps the Dominant in control of their partner, even when they can’t be there physically.  It keeps the sub focused, because they don’t have to get overwhelmed with making choices. Here are some ideas for a schedule:

  • Set wake up and go to bed times
  • Meal times
  • Time blocks for journaling or kneeling
  • “Little Space” activities like coloring or watching cartoons
  • A certain BDSM topic to research each day
  • A set exercise schedule

4.  Use gifts and games to keep things new and exciting

Everyone loves receiving gifts. When a Dom gives their sub a gift it reassures them of their affection and approval.  Littles especially need to receive gifts regularly, but Doms like getting presents too. Here are some ideas:

  • A collar
  • Stuffie or blanket to comfort the sub when the Dom is away
  • Matching rings or other jewelry
  • Kinky toys to use when you’re together

Games are another fun way to keep a Dom and sub connected.  You can do them over the phone or text, and they are a great way to get to know each other better. Two of my favorite games are “Would You Rather” and “2 Truths and a Lie.”  Keep it kinky and you’re sure to have a lot of fun.

5.  Get creative with rules and punishment ideas

Just because you’re apart doesn’t mean that a disobedient sub can’t be punished or be given rules.  Of course, a traditional spanking may be out of the question, but there are so many different ways to discipline from a distance.  Here are some ideas for rules and punishments:

Rules:

  • Not being able to eat junk food and having to text all their meals.
  • Letting the Dom choose the sub’s clothes or undergarments for the day.
  • Texting when you go out with friends, and when you come home.

Punishments:

  • Taking a cold shower for 1 or 2 minutes and having to videotape themselves.
  • Snapping a rubber band on their wrist a certain number of times.
  • Wearing nipple clamps and texting a picture as proof.
  • Having to write the same sentence 50 times and mailing it to the Dom.

6.  Take an online BDSM course together

Online courses are great for long-distance couples because they get you communicating and experimenting together, even while you’re apart. An online training program will help you deal with the issues and problems of a long-distance relationship. You’ll have a detailed, step-by-step plan to have a better, more satisfying connection, and to take your BDSM relationship to the next level.  An eCourse is a great way for both of you to have an online mentor and coach, giving you reliable advice and tips to help you every step of the way.

7.  Set an end date for your long-distance D/s relationship

Even if you’re having fun and enjoying your long-distance relationship, it needs to end at some point.  Hopefully this means that whatever situation is keeping you apart will be resolved and you can physically be together permanently.  Setting a date for this to happen will help both of you to endure the hard times and give you something to look forward to.  So set an end date together, and work hard to make it happen. The free worksheet below can make this easier.

Remember, a long-distance D/s relationship isn’t easy, but so is anything worth fighting for. Follow the rules and tips here and in the worksheet and you’re sure to have success. If you can trust, respect, and support each other when you’re apart, imagine how powerful your bond will be once you’re together.  🖤

Want a free Long-Distance Relationship Worksheet with extra tips? Click here »

What advice would you give someone in a long-distance relationship?  Let me know in the comments.

Keep reading:  How to Master Maintenance »