BDSM consent and negotiation guidelines

by La quarta corda

4 – Trust


When I get talking about consent and negotiation in BDSM the first word that comes to mind is “trust”.

Trust is a very important aspect, because when playing both as tops or bottoms, we do expose ourselves to the risk of an accident on a physical, emotional or consent level.

Throughout our lives, most of us have been reckless with people in whom we had placed our trust without thinking about the risks of what we were doing, perhaps with the luck that we didn’t run into any problems.

So I asked myself what trust is, and how we could answer the question “How can I say I trust somebody?”.

Trust is a feeling of security that we can feel for ourselves and for others.

In BDSM, trust enters several aspects of our play, among them

  • the technical one (awareness of one’s technical preparation, ability to handle any critical issues, use of safe tools, etc.),
  • the communication one (ability to express and respect one’s own and the others’ desires and limits, the ability to provide useful feedbacks, etc.),
  • the emotional/relational one (feeling serene, respected, etc.).

Trust is therefore based both on critical sense and intuitive skills, on our “gut feeling”.

For these reasons, trust develops over time, as we become more experienced and better get to know our partner.

Moreover, trust changes according to risk. Putting a laundry clothespin on a nipple is different than piercing it with a cannula needle; to be photographed for a portraiture course is different from knowing that a person has pictures of us walking on a leash wearing a pigtail plug.

When we want to play with someone, let’s sincerely ask ourselves how much we trust ourselves and how much we can trust our partner, then let’s decide how to proceed by weighing up our desire to have fun, the attraction, even the thrill of risk, but trying as much as possible to protect ourselves to avoid problems.

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3 – The negotiation vocabulary

5 – Experience

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