Category: Limits

A Switchy Girl’s Guide To … Trigger Plans.

Try as we might to ensure all our BDSM scenes and play session go smoothly, there is always a chance of something not going according to plan. When an action, phrase or scenario stimulates a reaction in an individual we refer to it as a trigger.

Trigger – an experience that provokes or generates a memory or reaction for someone

For the purposes of this article I am referring to the kind of triggers that are unwelcome and will likely end your scene and require all participants involved to know what the next steps are after the trigger has occurred. It is worth noting though that triggers can also be used to stimulate welcome reactions, but this should absolutely be explored after negotiation and with consent.

Triggers may be known to us, or they may be something we stumble upon during play. I have been trigger twice during my time as a kinkster and both times they were things that I did not know to avoid. Now I know and I would actively mention the activities that triggered to future partners as hard limits.

It can be mortifying to everyone involved when a trigger is found, especially if you weren’t expecting it. Nobody likes to be the one to end a scene early, but there is no good to come from blaming ourselves or others when this happens. It is one of the risks we accept when engaging in kink and how we deal with it has the potential to be a defining moment in whether or not a dynamic is successful or indeed if someone chooses to continue exploring their kinks. Not to mention that some triggers may relate to past abuse, including but not limited to things like rape, sexual assault, physical assault, verbal abuse and domestic violence. All triggers are valid and important but it is worth remembering some may transcend what we are used to handling in our own lives.

Reassuring. Kindness. Compassion. Empathy. These should be the kinds of things we aim to provide with a trigger plan. Ensuring our partner/s a safe space to recover and work through the feelings they have encountered.

To give a comprehensive list of what things might trigger someone would be impossible. Physical actions, name calling, teasing,  specific words, smells, songs, body positions, tone of voice, emotions, noises, individual people, are just a few things that might trigger someone. While that may make it seem like a terrifying prospect to play with anybody, just in case you trigger them, the solution to navigating triggers is simple. Communication.

Anyone and everyone who offers advice or education on BDSM will mention communication so often that you will wonder if we get some sort of commission from a secret communication organisation. The truth is, we go on about it so often because it is so incredibly important. Discussing past experiences, current desire and hopes for your kinky future can go a long way to highlighting what might be a potential trigger.

Even with due diligence and everyone’s best effort, things can still go wrong. It might be with a new partner, it could be after years with being someone. Sometimes it might make sense, sometimes it might not. Whatever the situation or the specific trigger what can we do to help someone after the event.

As with everything in life individual cases will differ, but some of the more popular things that get included in trigger plans are:

  • Physical affection and closeness
  • Being in company
  • Being left alone
  • Food and drink
  • Staying warm and cosy
  • Peace and quiet
  • Talking things through
  • Taking their mind of it
  • Anything that offers comfort – cuddly toy, favourite music, favourite movie etc

Trigger plans are not just for bottoms and submissives. Tops and Dominants may also require support after triggers too. If as a bottom or submissive you are wondering how you help a Top or Dominant through a trigger, the answer is simple, treat them like a person and offer them the same kindness you would want for yourself.

IMG_7094It can be extremely tough to watch someone you care for suffer the effects of being triggered, especially if it is your actions or a thought you induced that caused it. While in the immediate moments and days after a trigger are quite rightly likely to be focused on the person who experienced the trigger, I would recommend that once you feel able to that you check in on your partner and enquire after their feelings on what happened.

When done correctly everything we do in kink we do together. Whether you are engaging in a long term D/s dynamic or a one time Top/bottom exchange. No one is exempt from feelings, and everyone has the potential to be triggered. The balance of giving and taking is far easier when things are going right, but keeping that same balance when things go wrong is often a lot harder, but it’s just as, if not more imperative to get right in those situations.


This is the fourth instalment in my ‘A Switchy Girls Guide to Kink, Fetish and BDSM’ series of posts. The next instalment will be published on May 7th and is titled ‘BDSM Labels and Roles’.  If you would like to hear more of my thoughts you can tune in to the #ProudToBeKinky Podcast, or you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram or you can send a friend request on Fetlife through _Floss_.

 

A Switchy Girl’s Guide To … Frenzy, Drop and FOMO

FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out

Frenzy, drop and FOMO are to my mind a trio of spoil sports who given half the chance will definitely ruin our kinky fun. Knowing that they are always lurking around the corner ready to attack is half the battle, accepting they will happen and learning how to deal with them, gives you much more control over the effects they will have on you.

Frenzy, more often than not referred to as subfrenzy, a term I am going to avoid. While it is my experience that those exploring their submissive tendencies do suffer frenzy more intensely, Tops and Dominants are not immune to it and I think it remiss of anyone to think their kink label will stop them from having the down sides of engaging in BDSM activities.

Continue reading “A Switchy Girl’s Guide To … Frenzy, Drop and FOMO”

Whats Does Consent Mean To Me?

N.B: This blog post was inspired an email from the Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s. If you haven’t listened to their podcast yet please do so, you can also check out the website for great resources and links on how to listen or follow on social media.


Before we join the kink scene we all know the dictionary definition of consent. In the non-kink world it seems to matter and count in a different way than what it does to kinksters. My favourite tale to tell to highlight this is as follows …

I was in a non-kink gay bar with two girlfriends, and a chap kept loitering near us, eventually finding a way to speak to us and offering to buy us drinks. My friends accepted but I declined. I’m not comfortable accepting drinks from strangers with whom I have no intention of further interacting. As evening progressed he made small talk with my friends, but I kept a very cool distance. At this point it was clear he was looking for a hook-up, and I was most definitely not interested. Apparently my icy exterior was not icy enough though because at one point he asked me to dance, holding out his hand as he did so. I politely declined while my hands remained firmly by my side, with my feet welded to the floor. I then received the very convincing argument of ‘but I saw you dancing with him’, pointing to the very attractive Kit Harrington look a like, who was also very obviously a gay man, and danced with me not to hit on me but to have fun. He then wandered off, and my friends said, to my absolute horror ‘why didn’t you just dance with him?’ Consent. Consent is why not.

I do not owe anyone a single thing by virtue of existing. I didn’t owe that man a dance because I had consented to dance with someone else. I didn’t owe him the chance to enter my personal space because he’d bought my friends a drink.

When we join the kink scene, this is something that is understood by the majority of people. That said it is unfortunately something we have to keep repeating, because there is always someone who doesn’t quite get it, or even worse decides they do not need to abide by other people’s consent.

I am a big believer in very enthusiastic, very clear, consent. Yes means Yes. No means No. Lots of other things mean no to me too, such as:

  • Being pushed away
  • Someone turning away
  • ‘I don’t want to’
  • ‘I don’t feel like it’
  • ‘I don’t know’
  • ‘Not sure’
  • ‘Maybe’

There’s probably even more that can be added to that list. If someone declines to give consent they do not need to justify it, not to me, not to anybody.

There are lots of things Bakji and I have done together, sometimes things don’t get done for a while and we start to mix them back into play again, most of them are things that we talk about often enough for me to know that there is consent there for them. However if I was planning on doing something that we’d perhaps only done once before I would seek consent to do so. I do not believe that being in a relationship gives me automatic consent to do things.

There are some other situations that I don’t believe give automatic consent either:

  • We’ve done it before
  • Consent to one-act meaning consent to another
  • Flirting
  • Being drunk
  • The absence of no
  • Silence
  • Coercion
  • Type of clothes or no clothes  

When someone consent to an activity with me, I want them to be fully behind the yes they give me. I want them to go away from our time together feeling positive about our interaction together. I don’t want them spending the days, weeks, months, years following our physical intimacy wondering if they actually did want to me to lick their boobs while they were in my rope.

My consent is really important to me. There’s so much stuff I won’t consent to with people, some of it pretty low-key, for example if someone I barely know, and don’t get good vibes from asks for a hug, I’ll say no. Other people’s consent though, somehow that matter so much more. I never, ever want to be the person who got it wrong.

I know I’m only human though, and getting it wrong can mean many things, and maybe one day I will get it wrong. I will never stop doing my best to get it right though, whether that is with Bakji or with a new play partner.

When it comes to BDSM I know all too well from personal experience how the rush of subspace can mess with your decision-making skills and your perception of what is occurring. It can also make people incoherent and in some cases completely non-verbal. Mid-scene is really not the time to ask someone if they want to engage in something they have not previously given consent to.

This is one of the reasons I am such a big fan of things like Fetish Checklists, if nothing else it starts a conversation about what our expectations are with a new partner. I know sometimes we are going to undertake new activities in situations where that wouldn’t be possible, for me this would be at a Fetish event or a rope event. I think it those situations asking clear, direct questions is the way forward, and less with a debrief afterwards that there could have been more, is better than more with a debrief afterwards that more was too much.

I appreciate in long-term established dynamics the nuances of consent become a little different, discussions may be had that do give ongoing consent, safewords will replace words like ‘no, and stop’, in certain situations, which is useful for someone like me who with a trusted partner in the height of intense orgasms will say both those things and not mean them. At the end of the day though no matter what dynamic is in place, any person at any time has the right to establish consent and also to remove it.

Let’s Talk About Limits!

N.B: This blog post was inspired an email from the Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s. If you haven’t listened to their podcast yet please do so, you can also check out the website for great resources and links on how to listen or follow on social media.


Yes! Let’s talk about limits! Not once. Not twice. But all the time.

Let’s talk about them with a new partner and casual play partners. Let’s talk about them with partners we’ve known for years. Let’s never stop talking about our limits because they can so easily change. Not just from partner to partner, but also from day-to-day.

Limits can change for a multitude of reasons. Mental health, physical health, a breach of trust, a bad experience, change in dynamic, change in kink identity, exploration of new kinks and so much more.

My own limits have changed drastically since I joined the scene. Some things have become limits that weren’t previously and some things I never thought would leave the limits list have. When playing with Bakji there’s really only hard limits to take into account, I’ll either do things with him or I won’t. Anything that was a soft limit has either turned into a no or a yes.

If I was to start playing with someone new thought there’d be lots of soft limits, lots of hard limits and until I’d become accustomed to them and build my trust in them that is how it would remain. I won’t be rushed or coerced into changing my limits, I have been previously and it has not worked out well. I think standing firm on your limits, and only exploring them when you are ready and with someone you trust is imperative.

I’m also not a fan of the no limits approach to BDSM, I’m respectful that this might be something other people do but it would not work for me, and I wouldn’t be inclined to pay with someone who had no limits themselves, or was reluctant to discuss them or wanted me to push past all my limits until there were none to speak of as such.

For me personally limits are hugely important. They should in theory give you a safety net, and the knowledge that you won’t be pushed further than you want to be by someone who you has an understanding of what your limits are. Obviously if someone doesn’t respect your limits then they are potentially not a safe person to play with and you would need to evaluate your interactions with them.

My limits also vary as a Top and as a bottom. That’s another one of those shocking facts, Tops and Dominants have limits too and they are just as relevant and important as a bottoms/submissives. I’ve heard so many Tops/Doms say that they have been approached for play by a bottom/sub and when they’ve said no because it’s one of their limits they’ve been met with a look of shock. As if a Top should just be willing to do anything to anyone just because they’re asked. Most of the Tops I know do not play that way at all.

Another unfortunate limit myth I’ve heard is ‘I’ve met a new Dom he/she says if I was really submissive I’d have no limits with him/her’ Wrong! Wrong and more wrong! Chances are a Dominant like that would know an actual Dominant if one spanked them on the bum. People who say things like this are just chancers trying to get away with doing whatever ever they want. No Dominant worth your time would try to force you to give up your limits.

I know lots of people in committed D/s dynamics, including Master/slave dynamics, many of them 24/7 and all of them have some variety of limits attached to their dynamic. Yes once a dynamic is established it might be mutually agreed that the limits will pushed and boundaries will be tested, but the key phrase is ‘mutually agreed’. As I said in another post, a good Dominant cherishes their sub, so the idea of making them do things that will harm them, is not that appealing, which pushing past limits before someone is ready would likely do.

I think the conversation about limits is one we should always be having. Even with our friends in the community. I’m always aware that someone might have a limit that many of us do not, for example hugs, neck touching, hair pulling etc. Lots of people love those things, but I’d hate to force a hug on someone who can’t cope with them, or give a sexy touch to someone’s neck only for it to repulse them, or even worse trigger them.

As you may have guessed by now I am a big fan of limits, have them, talk about them, change them, respect them.