‘Mirror Secret Mirror’ is dark BDSM erotica. Our sexy stories are primarily intended to turn our readers on. They are not designed to be educational or to teach people how to properly practice BDSM. All MSM’s characters make bad role models, all the BDSM scenes are unethical, and all the storylines are immoral. We think this is okay because we generally trust that our readers are intelligent, independent-minded adults who can tell the difference between right and wrong.
However, we realise that some readers will be new to BDSM and may not know how to practice it safely. We wouldn’t want them to think that MSM provides a suitable example to follow – it definitely does not! So, we’ve made this ‘Ethics’ page to provide our less-experienced readers with some basic info about safe, sane and consensual BDSM… and to signpost them towards useful sources of further information.
To make this page, we conducted some web research and asked our social media followers for advice. We also drew from the knowledge of the MSM team, who came up with suggestions based on their own experiences, learnings, successes and mistakes.
BDSM Tips for Beginners
- Learn a bit about BDSM before doing it for real. Read relevant articles, blogs, books and online information resources. You should draw from a variety of sources and educate yourself to develop your own informed opinions.
- Find people to discuss BDSM with and learn from their opinions and experiences. Discuss BDSM with platonic friends and mentors and try not to be over-reliant on a more-experienced partner teaching you everything.
- Communication is very important in sexual relationships, especially when you’re dealing with the complexities of BDSM. Talk about desires and dislikes, curiosities and boundaries, issues and concerns with your sexual partners and BDSM playmates. Be open, honest and empathetic and look for partners who act in the same way.
- Ensure that everybody involved in sex and BDSM play has given informed consent. Respect the fact that any individual can withdraw their consent, at any time. Applying unreasonable pressure to persuade someone to ‘consent’ is unethical (and potentially illegal).
- Before embarking on BDSM play, you need to agree a safeword. The standard approach is the traffic light system (with ‘red’ meaning stop, yellow/amber meaning ‘proceed with caution’ and green meaning ‘more, please’). Of course, you can use any word you like, as long as it’s pre-agreed. Saying ‘red’ (or the agreed alternative) means the BDSM play stops immediately and everyone reverts to ‘normal’ mode. You should talk about why the safeword was used and discuss whether there are any lessons to learn (e.g. don’t hit so hard in future). A safeword can be used by anyone (Dom or sub) and its use should be respected by everyone.
- As a general BDSM rule – start slow and build up gradually. For example, when it comes to impact play, submissives will tend to get more enjoyment (over a longer period) when the blows begin softly and then steadily increase in power. This allows everyone to get warmed up, both physically and psychologically.
- Avoid playing BDSM games when you’re drunk or heavily intoxicated. A few units of alcohol might be okay, but you need to be sober enough to focus properly, communicate clearly and assess risks sensibly. This is especially true when play involves less-experienced participants or those who have never played together before. Playing whilst drunk increases physical/health risks and can impair participant’s abilities to give informed consent. If in doubt, take a rain check and come back to the BDSM when you’ve sobered up.
- Make sure you know what’s safe and what isn’t. For example, during impact play, striking thighs and buttocks is generally okay, but some parts of the back should not be hit hard because this runs the risk of organ damage. When it comes to bondage, it’s important to avoid putting too much pressure on joints (such as wrists). And always be especially careful with any BDSM play that involves the neck area.
- After the physical and psychological brutalities of BDSM play, most people need a bit of a cuddle. Aftercare is important, so you should have a hug and a chat and share a few intimate moments of comfortable relaxation. This helps to build trusting relationships and reminds everyone that the preceding BDSM scene was only a game.
- Always be mindful regarding the potential risks of BDSM. Think about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. Nothing is risk-free, but you should actively try to pre-empt potential problems and minimise risks where possible. As a basic example, make sure you know where the keys are before anyone gets locked in handcuffs (and always keep a spare set handy, just in case).
Information Resource Links
We think the following resources give some helpful advice for practicing safe BDSM. They link to external sites so we’re not responsible for their content, but when we checked (in December 2022) they seemed to contain useful information and thoughtful advice.
- Starter Guide to BDSM: Rules, Core Values, and Words You Should Know
- Safe IS Sexy: A guide to Safe BDSM Play
- 8 Vital BDSM Rules to Keep It Safe, Sane and Crazy-Kinky
- BDSM Impact Play Safe Zones
- The Ultimate Guide to a Safe BDSM Lifestyle
- Safety in BDSM: Understanding SSC, RACK and PRICK
- Safe Sex and the Sexual Challenges in Non-Monogamy
If you have any suggestions for how this page could be improved then please let us know.