Do It Better

How to Explore BDSM By Yourself

| 02/08/2021

solo bdsm Illustration by Laura Deleuze

You’d be forgiven for thinking BDSM is only for couples. Movies focus on the power dynamic between two people, party websites promise unexpected connections, even sex toys picture two people breathlessly living in the moment. However, there’s no reason why you can’t try BDSM by yourself, especially now, when real-life parties and kink dating feel like a distant memory. And the great thing about solo BDSM is it’s truly, totally centered on what you want. 

First, a few caveats about safety: Never restrict your airway or blood flow, and don’t put anything around your neck other than your own hands. Be aware of endorphin shock, also known as “sub drop,” a result of being in a particularly intense subspace that can lead to a sense of disassociation or injury. Do your research, take it slow, be careful, and listen to your body. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Impact play (spanking and flogging)

A little light flogging and spanking can release endorphins (a bit like the rush you get from exercise). You can try gently spanking your thighs to see how it feels, and increase the intensity gradually with your hand or a paddle. You can also buy a flogger and watch some YouTube instruction videos to perfect your technique before flogging yourself. Master Peter, professional Dominant, kink educator and Best Master 2020, UK Fetish Awards, suggests self-flogging the back:

Imagine you’re a penitent monk engaging in some pious flagellation. Strip to the waist, kneel whilst throwing a flogger alternatively over your right and left shoulders, making sure that the impact is no lower than the middle of your back, and ideally on your shoulder blades. Start softly and increase intensity at a gradual pace until each flog starts to merge with the last. Stop if you start to feel light headed or unsteady, and swap arms if needed. You may also choose to verbalise an apology or self-admonishment to accompany each flog!

You may find you prefer being the flogger than the floggee – in that case you can perfect your swing for future domination opportunities. Either way, Goddex Sombra, Dominatrix and Rigger, recommends creating a kinky atmosphere: “Set the mood by dressing up, playing some music,” they say. “Impact play can be very percussive and I know when I flog someone, I feel that. Set yourself up to be lost in the moment.”

Bondage and Rope Play

It probably goes without saying here, but don’t tie yourself into any position you can’t easily get out of! Goddex Sombra recommends setting up a “safe call” for solo bondage play – asking a trusted friend to call you at a specified time so they can notify emergency services if you don’t answer. 

To start with, you can try out cuffs and straps, e.g. strapping your ankles to the bed as you masturbate. You can also try shibari (Japanese rope bondage). Buy some bondage ropes and follow instruction videos to learn basic knots and harnesses, e.g. on your legs. You can create stunning rope patterns, perfect for a little photo shoot. If you like the knots but not the feeling, you can practice on a pillow or bed post, ready for your next willing rope bunny. 

Sensation Play (cold, stingy, squeezy)

If you want something slightly more unusual, you can try e-stim (electric stimulation, not suitable for those with heart conditions). E-stim toys provide a very low-level electric shock to the skin, which can be incredibly thrilling.

You can also try clamps and pegs to create a longer-lasting feeling of pleasurable pain. For example, adjustable nipple clamps allow you to tighten the pinchers slowly as you get used to them. 

You can become your own orgasm controller.

If you’re happy to get a little messy, you can also try wax play. You’d need special wax play candles (they burn at a lower temperature). Get different-colored candles and you can turn yourself into a work of art! Alternate with ice cubes for a hot/cold sensation.

Orgasm Control and Denial

If you want to experiment with a more mental kind of domination, you can become your own orgasm controller. Try stopping yourself when you’re on the brink of orgasm (edging), building yourself up again and again, or give yourself a countdown or time limit to orgasm. You can also use audio or videos – there are plenty of JOI (jerk off instructions) guides available on audio apps like Dipsea, or you can find video versions direct from porn performers on OnlyFans on ManyVids, or even commission your own. 

Temptation and Imagination

It doesn’t all have to be physical. “BDSM manifests across three dimensions: physical, psychological and sexual,” says Master Peter. “On the psychological side, you can enforce constraints or restrictions such as fasting whilst watching cookery shows, or writing lines before bed time.” Goddex Sombra also suggests writing BDSM erotica – let your imagination run wild. 

Exhibitionism and Digital Dating

Real-life kink parties may be on hold, but virtual replacements exist, so you can still unleash your exhibitionist side and try on that leather outfit you have waiting in the closet. Some online parties encourage people to “perform” for the camera, and you can be as reserved or as filthy as you like. Just remember, online parties aren’t always secure, if you’re worried about anonymity you can hide your details and wear a mask

Kink dating sites like Fetlife and Fetish.com are also still going strong, so you can try some one-on-one exhibitionism, and get a little kinky with your sexting – it’s a fantasy, after all.

The Professional Experience

You could try all these things by yourself, or you could commission someone to guide you through it. Pro-dominants are used to crafting people’s ideal experience and have become extra creative during lockdown.

For Master Peter, a lot of recent sessions have focused on verbal domination, like humiliation, correctional, even pep talks. He has also dominated people who have set fitness goals: “I’ll use their fitbit data to keep them on track, or sometimes will even make them exercise on screen like a drill instructor or remote PT… as well as a lot more online BDSM coaching, helping people translate their play online, or discover new ways to spend their extra time locked away indoors.” 

If you have an idea of what you’d like, chances are there’s a pro-dominant who’s perfect for you. Do your homework, read their website and FAQs, have a look at their social media, think about what your desires and what you want to get out of the experience. You can work together to explore new things, but they’re not mind readers! “I find that not having a plan and not knowing someone’s expectations and limits is the downfall to any session,” says Goddex Sombra. “It is so important to have clear communication when you see someone for professional Domination.” The more prepared you are, the better the session will be. 

Remember: This Is About Fun, But Also Safety

Don’t push yourself, and do your research so you’re comfortable with what you’re doing. Our imaginations are amazing things, and you know best what you desire – so enjoy the journey!

 

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