Saftey is never an acronym – no matter how convincing they may seem.

Risk aware, personal responsibility or safe and sane? Spend any time in any kink space; online or in real time, and the inevitable safety debate will emerge. Safe, sane and consensual might be tried and true but the SS and the C are too literal and/or limiting – depending who is on the soapbox. Risk aware makes us know (although who tells us what it is we need to know is still not settled) what needs to be known. And personal responsibility is victim blaming – ooops I mean making sure you own your own shit, even when you didn’t create this shit in the first place.

Look, I don’t give a shit – personal responsibility or otherwise, which bunch of letters you claim, it’s actually quite irrelevant to the bigger picture of what it is that kink is. And dare I say it a smoke screen used to stifle any deeper conversations about the practicalities of safety.

The desire to feel safe is not imagined nor is it exaggerated. Those of us who do this thing called kink, just as every other human being, need to feel safe. To feel safe is to be able to walk into something with the understanding that, as far as I can tell any potential undesired outcomes will be minimised and any unknown outcomes will be address in the most effective way possible.

To be safe, not just to be aware of risk of harm, but to have a genuine feeling of safety is only achievable through action. It’s through the choices that we make that we are best able to remove and respond effectively to the outcomes of what we do. In all reality we cannot remove every possibility of encountering harm. We all have seat belts in our cars, we don’t drive while intoxicated, we drive to the speed limits and we stop at red lights. Yet you could be as sober as the day you were born, wear your seat belt and drive to the conditions within the letter of the law and you can still be killed in a car accident, Accidents do really happen.

Safe is not awareness. It’s not researching on line, it’s not buying a book written by a self or community proclaimed expert, it’s not a workshop or a munch. Awareness is more than knowledge. Yes, knowledge is a must. But knowledge is not understanding. Understanding comes into the equation when you take what you know and apply it to the what it. You take all that you know and you put it into practice.

How is this going to actually affect me?

What do I need to do to ensure that, if the consequences of my/our choices are undesired what is the next step?

What do I know about myself – through past experiences or expectations that could create something that we need to address?

I love being flogged – give me a long, slow flogging on my back and I will sleep like a baby, and just between you and me the last time he flogged me I fell asleep. What I didn’t know was that I can’t play first thing in the morning. I need to, at the very least, drink water before he does anything to me. How did I come to know this? I fainted. He woke up in the mood and something went wrong with my blood pressure, I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything for 10 maybe 11 hours. Nothing could have changed what had happened. I fainted. He made sure I was safe, wrapped me in a blanket, got some water and toast. And then when I felt up to it got me to my GP’s office to make sure it wasn’t anything else. At each point of this experience I felt nothing but safe. Even though I was not aware of the risk of harm his choice had, even though I was on the receiving end of something that was unwanted and unpleasant I was safe

We have been together four years, know each other intimately. Have great communication, and there was nothing to show me that the outcome of what has been done to my body dozens and dozens of times would be any different this time. Unfamiliar or undesired outcomes – including harm, can happen no matter how aware we are of ourselves and what it is we are doing.

By acknowledging that sometimes things really do just happen. By accepting that safe comes from more than awareness. When we remove the acronyms and focus on creating genuine safety I think we can begin to offer some more practical strategies into our understanding of safe kink.

I’m starting to learn that changing behaviours and attitudes don’t come from how to, step by step guides and checklists. They are too simplistic and can’t address the intricate difference and needs that come with the nuance of human sexuality.

So the next time you’re thinking about trying something new I want you to do one thing.

Put the entirety of yourself into the interaction and ask yourself this

Is this going to cause me death?

Is this going to cause me disability?

Is this going to cause me disease?

Is this going to cause me distress?

The 5 D’s are something that we use in health care provision to measure the outcomes of the choices that need to be made for our clients.

Death and disability are pretty obvious – and please no arm lobbing strawman arguments!

Disease – not just STI’s. While the common safe sex message is still relevant to kink, we need to take this a little deeper within our physical and mental health. Is something that I want to do going to interfere with any illnesses or medication? What about skin irritation or infection? A UTI? Food poisoning or an allergic reaction? Sunburn? Is this going to affect your mental wellbeing?

Distress – Is the thing that I want going to, in anyway, interfere with the way I need to live my everyday? Stop you from going to work or affect your ability to do your job? Pay your bills? Having healthy relationships with the other people in your life?

These questions allow us to understand our realities within the expectations that we have and to step back and address or change anything that may be relevant to the situation. I believe that if we stopped focusing on acronyms and arguing the measure of safe and sane (which by the way has nothing to do with our mental health and everything to do with our legal competency) and started merging what it is we want with who we are as individuals then we can truly have healthy, safe and satisfying sex lives and relationships.

The tools we use and the intensity with which we use them are irrelevant here. Whether you are using a knife or handcuffs, a latex hood or a blindfold brought from Kmart, if you are able to walk into something with the understanding that, as far as you can tell any potential undesired outcomes will be minimised and any unknown outcomes will be address in the most effective way possible than you are actively; through your actions rather than an acronym, trying to keep your sex life as safe as possible. And as accidents can and will happen this is the best that we can achieve.



Dating d/s.

So many times I’ve read women asking how to do this d/s thing so I thought I’d write down a few of the things that I feel are important to know. I’m not going to include the mechanics of or how to personalise a d/s relationship and I’m not going to write a piece as a how to if you want to be considered submissive and seen as doing it right. Rather I’m going to write this with you (you the reader) in mind; the you that is a woman, a woman looking for a relationship.

 I’m going to use this to address some to the basics that I think are important to understand when first stepping out to explore kink; six really simple (to me) rules, a how to guide if you like. Things that I think should be considered when in those early phases of exploration and connection.

I had always thought there was something missing when I discovered all things kink, like there was some step that I missed when I applied for my visa into the world of strange things sexy. Then I started to realise that no matter what label I gave myself or how many letters I added to the sex I wanted it I had to bring everything that I knew about myself as a woman and dating to the kink equation.

First and foremost d/s is a relationship; the coming together of two (or more) people to create a healthy, manageable and functioning space. If you see d/s as anything other than this than these tips aren’t going to (probably) make any sense to you.
Rule 1


Then it is probably wrong for you!

There are a million different ways to do a billion different things but that doesn’t mean you have to do any of them. You don’t have to send naked pictures. You don’t have to call anyone anything if you don’t want to. You do not have to change the way you think of something, restrict your actions, make excuses for who you are, believe the first thing you read (including what you are reading right now) if it doesn’t feel right to you!

Maybe 99 girls out of 100 would do it no questions asked but that one who doesn’t isn’t doing anything wrong. All she is doing is what is right for her and you have to do what is right for you.

Setting boundaries is an adult thing to do. It is not a dominant thing nor does it make you less submissive. Saying upfront that something is not okay with you is okay. (See rule 5)



Don’t do it now!

Would you let someone ignore you for three days and then come back pretending that everything was okay?
Would you let someone you were dating just stand you up with no communication at all and not ask him why?
Are you okay with not being able to ask questions when you believe the answers are important?
Is there a boundary that you believe should not be crossed when you are getting to know someone?
Is talking about sex in the first message okay with you?

All of the things that you needed and/or expected when you have dated in the past are still there. The context of your needs may have changed but you are the same person you have always been.



This is a HUGE one for me. Being honest with yourself about what you are looking for is one of the most important things that we need to do.

Be honest about what you are expecting. Do you want a NSA casual sexual relationship or are you looking for a long term commitment. Do you want absolute monogamy or are you open to the idea of non-monogamy.

Be honest about your experiences and desires, your boundaries and your concerns.

Be honest about safe sex! If you cannot talk about doing it safe you shouldn’t be doing it!

Expect and demand that the person you are speaking with will do the same!

Rule 4


Keep yourself safe!

Your sexual health is your responsibility! STI’s and pregnancy happen to kinky people too! Even slaves have to go for their regular gyno exams. It is your responsibility to take your pill. It’s your responsibility to demand a condom. It’s your responsibility to get tested. No adult would ask you to endanger your physical health, or mental health for that matter!

Rule 5


Consent is just so damn sexy don’t you think?

What we do is consensual. It’s all about two (or more) adults having mutually satisfying intimate and/or sexual relationships. Relationships that are NEGOTIATED. If anal is something that you can’t get your head around then say so. If you don’t want him/her to access your emails, control your money, tell you to do things to your body while you are at work, use punishments in the dynamic then bloody well say no & demand that your answer is accepted. Of course boundaries change but if what you want now is A then A is what you want

Make sure that you can clearly identify a point of consent. If you are unsure ASK.

Again if you can’t talk about it you shouldn’t be doing it!

This also comes down to compatibility! You have to want the same (similar) things in order to create and maintain a functioning and fulfilling relationship. If the person you are getting to know loves anal and it is a limit for you then you may not be compatible with each other. The sub is not a fake because she doesn’t like anal penetration and the dom is not a predator because anal is his thing and wants it. Those two people are just not what each other needs!

There seems to be this idea that because A is a dom and B is a sub they are automatically meant to be. We are all unique individuals who like things differently in the bedroom. Some people are going to want us and others won’t. It’s not the end of the world and PLEASE please DO NOT compromise on things that are really important!

If you want a long term emotionally invested relationship then don’t settle for a NSA. It cannot satisfy you, it will not satisfy you.

If you are monogamous then you are monogamous and that dom who has 7 other subs is really not going to do it for you.

If you only want d/s in the bedroom then don’t feel you have to go 24/7.

There are an infinite number of ways to do d/s & have kinky sex so do it your way.

Rule 6.


Ask yourself and ask the other person everything that you can think of. If you are unsure of something ask. If the person you are talking to mentions something that he/she wants in a relationship and you are not 100% sure what they are meaning; ask them to clarify.

This includes reading! But reading with an open mind and an understanding that not everything you read is safe or right for you. If you are Googling anything to get a better understand of what something is then please don’t just take the first answer you find as gospel! Anyone can write anything and upload it. So please just use caution.

When you read something don’t take it as gospel; even if the author is marketed as some kind of expert or ‘community’ icon. Here’s the thing the author may have a great knowledge base about a particular topic but he/she knows absolutely nothing about you! How your body/mind works is going to be different to anyone else’s and so yes, Mr mcdomlyone may be an expert in whatever it is but his expertise are significantly limited when it comes to applying them to you.

Use common sense; sure there are those who argue that common sense isn’t so common anymore, but don’t step outside of the real world & who you are as a person when you start exploring all of this. It’s unrealistic to think that there is some alternative reality here.

Kink is still sex. It needs to be consensual and mutually satisfying. It needs to be healthy and it needs to be realistic. But most of all it needs to be what you really want, kink needs to give you something that will bring a positive to your life; be it purely physical interactions of S&M that give you physical release and/or satisfaction or a relationship that has D/S as it’s foundation. There is a spectrum of consensual kink that is really limited by your imagination and confidence to go get it but it has to be something that you want.