There are so many articles bashing 50 Shades for a poor depiction of what a true BDSM relationship is like. Personally, I only managed to get one-and-a-half books into the series before my brain scrambled itself and oozed out of my ear. When I read them, I was not in a BDSM relationship myself, but now I feel experienced enough to write on the topic. For the sake of this article, I will be referring to the parties as the "Dominant" and the "Submissive" although there are a lot of other titles for the parties engaging in these activities.

Aftercare:

This is a huge point that was just skimmed over. Much like consent, aftercare is a key component to a successful BDSM scene. You can have the best scene imaginable, but if aftercare falls short, the scene can be ruined. Aftercare can be defined as "a soothing period, in which you reassure your partner that they are loved, respected, and cherished; activities to reconnect and communicate the appreciation the dominate has with his/her submissive". This can be anything from a warm bath, a fluffy robe and lots of cuddles, or sharing a meal together. Aftercare is also very verbal. More often than not, the submissive will go what I like to refer to as "down the rabbit hole". Engaging in these types of activities are as mental as they are physical. Chances are, both parties are going to need not only physical love and affection, but also verbal love and affection to remind them that they are in fact loved and cherished.

The snuggle game is real y'all.


Consent:

Let us just touch on this huge topic that this awful book completely shredded! Enthusiastic consent is sexy, not coercive consent, REAL consent. The submissive is always in full control of a scene. The goal of this type of relationship is to find someone compatible with what you enjoy, and then the ideal of compromise gets thrown out. If your Dom is really into dishing out a sadistic pain play and you as a submissive are not into that kind of thing, then maybe that’s not the Dom for you, especially if they aren’t willing to dial it down during their time for you. When you submit, you are giving a gift to your dominant, and you should never feel like you have to give a larger gift than you can afford. If your safe words are ever ignored, ABORT MISSION. Get rid of that “Dom”. A real dominant would never pressure or ignore safe words. The only instance where that might occur is during consensual, nonconsensual play, but that’s a whole other article.


Dom Drop:

No one talks about Dom Drop. It's real. It has happened in my dynamic, and it has happened to friends I know. Often times, the majority of the concern is on the mental well-being of the submissive, but there are times when your dom will bottom out. Once upon a time, I tied my partner to a chair, beat the hell out of him, and then untied him...I'm sure you can guess what was dished out to me. I was quite pleased with myself... but I digress. After we finished, he had an emotional letdown. There are a lot of brain drugs that pop off during these types of interactions. It's like getting high in a way, and some of the time, the come down is not so pleasant. He felt overwhelmed and physically exhausted. He felt an insecurity that maybe he had pushed me too far. This is why aftercare is so important. The dominant needs the affection and love as much as the submissive. The submissive has more time to ease out of the mind set, to come out of the hole. The dominant has to go from "You like that you dirty slut?!" to "You're the most beautiful creature I've ever seen" in the time it takes you to utter the safe word.


If you take anything away from these little tid bits about BDSM, it should be that these dynamics are a partnership; they are a team. They love and adore each other in those moments, and sometimes all the time. Think of it like couples bonding on steroids. It takes a lot of trust, honest communication, compatibility. Hopefully this has given you some insight into a real BDSM dynamic and not a poor, god-awful, bastardization of what these relationships are all about.