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Learn About BDSM and Powerplay

Like so many aspects of sexuality, powerplay and BDSM (Bondage/ Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/ Masochism) are often misunderstood. One of the things that we love about powerplay at Come As You Are is that it embodies one of our core values: Sex the Way You Want It! In a society where much of the mainstream messaging around sexuality encourages people to achieve an imagined and arbitrary normative sex life, BDSM requires people know and communicate what they want openly and honestly.

So what is it really? BDSM can be any number of things, from playing with rope bondage, restraints, and nipple clamps, to spanking, blindfolding, and flogging, to role playing and beyond. In short, it is the consensual decision to explore different sensations and/or power dynamics. This means it is all about building trust, communicating desires and exploring fantasy and eroticism. BDSM is a learned art – whether it is a matter of learning to communicate clearly with a partner or learning how to ensure your flogger hits just where you want it to (in just the way that you want it to) – it takes practice.


Communication & Consent

Consent is probably the single most important aspect of BDSM, and good communication is essential. Before em- barking on any BDSM scene, you need to communicate in detail about what you are and are not looking for. For many of us, talking openly about sex can be difficult. Here are some tips: R-E-S-P-E-C-T (sing it!): Build trust with your partner through empathetic and respectful communication. Try not to laugh or grimace when your lover discloses their sexual fantasies.

Finding a common vocabulary: Our sexual vocabularies are filled with different words and different associations and sometimes this makes communicating about sex challenging. Check in with your partner about words you each like and don't like and what they mean to you.

Be Specific and Ask Questions: It is everyone's responsibility to communicate needs, desires, limits & boundaries clearly. If you say "I love being slapped", what do you mean? Do you love being slapped everywhere? How often? When? Communicating clearly is partly about really knowing what you like, what you don't, and what you might like to try. Actively listening also means clarifying when you aren't totally sure you understand something that has been said.

Create a Safe Word: Before you start, choose a word that either partner can say to end a scene. For example, if some- one says "red", it means 'stop' and check in. If you are using a gag or bit, and your partner cannot speak, you need to create a non-verbal cue in place of a verbal safe word.


Types of BDSM Toys

Restraints

Whether you're using cuffs, rope, or a silk scarf to restrain someone, here are a few important considerations: How quickly can you get them off in case of emergency? Most cuffs should have a quick and easy way to undo them. If you're using rope or scarves be sure to have safety scissors on hand.

How tight are your restraints? You must ensure that restraints are not so tight as to restrict blood ow. As a general rule you should always be able to slip two fingers between the restraint and the person's body part. How comfortable are they? You may not be looking for a cushy soft feel, but you want to ensure the restraint is not going to do any physical damage. Most inexpensive rope will cause rope burn, and metal cuffs will dig into the skin.

Implements

When choosing a BDSM implement, (like a ogger, pad- dle, slapper or cane) start small and be realistic. Although the large $300 ogger may be the one that catches your eye, you need to first learn how to wield it before it can be a sexy choice.

Know where you're aiming for! Not all parts of the body are safe for hitting; generally you want to hit more on flesh and less on bone. This means usually bums, thighs and shoulders are good spots, where as knees, elbows, and temples are not. You also want to be sure to avoid potentially damaging internal organs which means avoiding the lower back and stomach. Use common sense and know your partner's body!

Make sure to hit your target! It's not enough to know where to aim if you don't have the control to make sure that is where you end up hitting. This means practice is key! You can practice on a pillow, or a spot on the wall. You want to be able to control not only where you hit but how hard. When you are ready to move from the pillow to a partner remember to go slow – start light and work your way up, making sure to stay within your comfort zone.

How to Choose a BDSM Toy or Implement

Maybe more than with other kinds of sex toys we sell, choosing a BDSM, powerplay, or sensation sex toy has a lot to do with your level of experience and interest. Because there are images of fetish and BDSM in a lot of mainstream media, many of our customers come into the store, having never experimented with this kind of play, and wanting to buy the most expensive, largest flogger we have.

We promise that more expensive does mean better quality (not just that we're trying to convince you its better by charging you more) but when it comes to most BDSM toys the best toy to start with might not be the most expensive or most intense toy we have.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a BDSM toy:

Price

What's your budget? If you're just starting out, and you don't have money to burn, start inexpensive. It might not last as long, it might not look as nice, but an inexpensive paddle will still let you know what it feels like to be on either end of a good whacking. We have good beginner toys ranging from $20­ - $40, consider these before going for a $300 flogger you may never use.

Flexibility Vs. Control

If you are a beginner what is most important is that you can easily control whatever BDSM toy you choose. The restraints should be easy to get on and off, the nipple clamps should be quick to adjust, and a flogger, paddle or whip should be easy to control. You don't get as much flexibility or versatility in these beginners toys, but if you buy a toy that you can't control, chances are neither you nor your partner will have much fun. What you want is a toy that you can use from day one.

How Much Sensation?

Different toys can deliver different amounts of sensation. A good example here is rubber vs. leather toys. A rubber toy will, in most cases, produce more intense, pointed stimulation. It can be difficult to use a rubber toy for subtle or soft play. For this reason, when it comes to floggers, we often recommend people start with leather or suede. If you're not sure what you're looking for, be sure to ask for help, we're always happy to make suggestions.

The Look

In the world of vibrators and dildos manufacturers are just starting to take into account what the toy looks like. People who make BDSM toys have long known that the look of a toy is part of the erotic appeal. Maybe you want something shiny, sleek, and smooth. Or maybe something that looks clunky, weighty, and overbearing. It can be hard to match the best look with the best price sometimes, but if you don't see what you're looking for, don't hesitate to ask.