Guides

Guide: How to Create a BDSM Session

A BDSM session can be an intense way to experience your body.

BDSM stands for Bondage, Dominance, Sadism, and Masochism, but is about so much more than pain play—it’s about people.

To have the best experience, it’s important that you know how to set up a BDSM session correctly, and that’s where this guide can help..

You will learn what to focus on before, during and after the session, so you are ready to create your own.

It all starts with understanding what a BDSM session really is, and what better way to explain it than using a metaphor about bumper cars.

Disclaimer: This blog is based on the titles ‘dominant’ and ‘submissive’, but the titles you use are entirely up to you.

The dominant one: the one who has an overview and guides the other through an experience.

The submissive one: the one who indulges and allows themselves to be guided through an experience.

Woman with collar and black chain

What is a BDSM Session?

A BDSM session is an intimate experience that often contains kinky, sexual elements.

As with any other play time, only the imagination sets the limits. This also applies to a BDSM session, which is best explained in this way:

The thought of traffic collisions is extremely unpleasant. Still, you’ve probably tried being in a bumper car and can remember the feeling in your stomach when you drove around and bumped into the others on the track.

One of the differences is that when you sit in a bumper car, you understand the context surrounding it. You know pretty much how it goes, and there is someone who has thought about your safety. The same goes for BDSM sessions.

Here, things that are usually thought of as extremely unpleasant can be a really good experience. This is possible because you have set your expectations and know what is going to happen. You even know how safe it is.

Even though you know there is a possibility of being ‘run into’, the experience is still full of shock and pleasant surprises.

Woman with collar and black string

Before the BDSM Session

Kink negotiation or just setting expectations is the very first step towards a positive BDSM experience.

This is where you and your partner need to figure out how your BDSM session should play out.

You don’t necessarily have to agree on everything down to the very last detail or on what order things should happen. Setting a framework for what is involved and what is not gives you the opportunity to break free once you’ve found common ground.

What are we okay with happening? What’s not okay? Be as specific as possible.

The more you dare to open up about what you want to have happen, the better.

It’s important that you dare speak your mind to your partner so that it can be the best possible meeting between the two of you. Your partner cannot read your mind (no matter how long you’ve known each other), so you need to say things out loud.

Remember that you haven’t yet started the BDSM session and are still ‘equal’. Here you create a space where you can put into words your feelings and insecurities without destroying the sexual mood.

The most important thing is that all parties want what is going to take place.

By stating your desires, boundaries, and what direction or mood you think the session should take this time, you synchronise with yourself and each other, which is the basis for a good experience.

A man and a woman sitting on the floor

It’s Okay to Just Agree

  1. What things do each of you want to do today?
  2. What things do each of you not want to do today?
  3. What direction/mood would you like your BDSM session to go?

For example …

What things do each of you want to do today?

  • Submissive: ‘Oh, I really want you to spank me today.’
  • Dominant: ‘Nice! I’d love to give you a spank with our paddle while I grab your hair firmly. Will that be okay?’

What things do each of you not want to do today?

  • Submissive: ‘I don’t want it to hurt too much today, so if I say ‘ouch’ or start tensing my body, then you have to hold back a bit. And that reminds me, I’m going to the swimming pool on Wednesday, so please be careful with the bruises.’
  • Dominant: ‘No problem. I’ll hold back a bit today—and I’ll keep an eye on your signals. Just let me know if it gets too much for you.’

What direction/mood would you like your BDSM session to go?

  • Submissive: ‘I’d like to focus a little on intimacy today. You need to look at me, so you can see how much I enjoy it. And I’d like you to guide me through the pain with a few words of praise along the way—that would be nice.’
  • Dominant: ‘Oh, that sounds naughty. I would enjoy the sight of you while you lie there and twist your body. And I will definitely remember to praise you.’

Just because the other person expresses a desire, it does not necessarily mean that it should be part of your BDSM session. It’s about setting up a framework in which you can play more freely.

It’s okay if you change your mind during the session, but more on that later.

Both the submissive and the dominant party should pay attention and express what they are okay with doing during the BDSM session.

A typical misconception is that it’s only about the boundaries of the submissive party, but the dominant party certainly also has boundaries.

For some, biting their partner is uncomfortable, whereas hitting them isn’t. In this way, everyone’s boundaries are different, and both the submissive and the dominant party’s boundaries and desires are important to consider.

Even though it’s actually a shared responsibility, it’s especially the dominant party’s responsibility to be sure that they have received answers to everything there is doubt about before the session actually starts.

A man with his hand on his chest

‘I Have No Boundaries’

If you are completely new to BDSM sessions and excited about the experience, it may seem obvious to say ‘I feel like trying everything’ or ‘I have no boundaries’.

However, it can be dangerous to venture into something where one of the parties ‘is up for doing anything’, as you often won’t notice if you overstep your own or the other party’s bounds before it’s too late.

Here are two suggestions:

  1. Talk about what you each particularly want and stick to that.
  2. Alternatively, you can mention something more abstract that you can feel you wouldn’t want to do.

This way, you can feel in your body what it’s like to not want to do something. Later, when you recognise the feeling, you can more easily tell people to stop.

Two women sitting on the floor

Visual Management of Expectations

If it’s difficult to put into words all the things you would like to use in the BDSM session, it’s a good idea to have a visual management of expectations.

If you already have sex toys, you can use those, but otherwise it’s a good idea to look at websites together or do it before you meet.

Show each other your selected sex toys, and remove each of the things you don’t want to try. That way, you end up with an overview of what you each want before you order the products.

Psst! Read our ultimate guide to bondage ropes for beginners .

It makes it easy to remember what you have agreed on, and you don’t have to use all the toys during each BDSM session. You can settle for what seems naturally suitable along the way.

If you want to elaborate on something for the different toys, you should do so. Use your gaze to say ‘Yes please!’, or say out loud ‘I want to try this one, but not for long at a time’.

There are thousands of ways to use a sex toy, so it’s still a good idea to have some kind of conversation about what kind of BDSM session you would like have, so no misunderstandings arise.

BDSM sex toys lying on the floor

Agree on Safety

In order for all parties to know when the BDSM session is good and can continue, and when to stop or slow down, it’s necessary to agree on a safe word.

You can easily agree that ‘No’ actually means ‘No’, but it’s important that you don’t take this part for granted, and settle expectations before you start.

Otherwise, it’s a good idea to use red as a signal for when the game has to stop. Yellow when you need a break, and green when everything is fine and you want to continue.

If you want to play something where you cannot speak along the way, for example with a gag in your mouth, it’s important to agree on a stop sign.

For instance, this could be raising your hand, making peace signs, opening and closing your hand quickly, or hitting the floor or wall twice.

Woman with a BDSM collar making a stop sign

During the BDSM Session

NOW it’s time for the BDSM session itself.

Before you really gets started, there is just one small thing that’s important to remember:

You can always change your mind along the way or say if something doesn’t feel good.

No matter if it’s because your hand is asleep, or because you have remembered important information—break the mood if something is occupying your mind.

Even if it’s supposed to hurt or be unpleasant on purpose, it must still be in a way that feels in accordance with your personal desires and boundaries. I will return to that later.

Pinwheel on a shoulder

How to Start a BDSM Session?

There are many ways to start a BDSM session, and for some, the time comes quite naturally.

For others, it’s challenging to go from an equal conversation to an unequal power dynamic.

So I’ve put together a few suggestions to get you started on your session.

Portal

To make a transition to the actual BDSM session, it would help you to create a portal.

Arrange for the session to start when you walk through the bedroom door, when the submissive party has been brought to their knees, or when they have put on a collar.

Places and objects are especially good to use to start a session, as it’s something to relate to physically.

It’s about having a transition to adjust to the fact that the BDSM session has begun.

Door opening

It’s also a good idea to agree on how you will end the session again.

The BDSM session ends when I:

  • take you to the couch again
  • take off your collar
  • put this blanket around you.

Stepping out of the portal again can also make it easier to accept that the session is about to end. In this way, portals are a clarification that you are once again going from being ‘unequal’ to ‘equal’.

Continuous Consent

Even if you have settled expectations before the BDSM session started, it’s still important to check in with each other along the way.

Notice if glances, body signals, and sounds match what you agreed upon. If in doubt, then double check!

You can either ask directly or say things like ‘Do you like that?’, ‘Describe how it feels’, ‘Look me in the eyes if you like it’.

Woman whispering another person in the ear

Never be Afraid to Ruin the Mood

Sexual moods can feel fragile no matter the context, and it’s harder than you think to break the mood.

It can feel overwhelming to have to say ‘I actually don’t want that anyway’ in the middle of a BDSM session. But it’s incredibly important that you do— you and your partner will find your way back to the session again later.

If it’s too difficult in the moment, it’s important to have a conversation about it afterwards.

While it may be uncomfortable to bring it up, open and clear communication is the cornerstone of intimacy. Be honest and make room for each other’s reactions.

It’s important to recognise how wildly difficult it can be to enforce your boundaries under pressure.

As the dominant party, you can pay extra attention to welcome the conversation and maybe even praise it when the submissive party sets boundaries in your BDSM sessions.

Every time the submissive party has a positive experience with saying no, it will get easier and easier in the future.

Woman with cuffs and hands on her back

Notes for the Submissive Party

Many people are nervous that they are ‘a bad sub’ if they don’t say yes to everything.

As the submissive party, you’re still an independent individual who, no matter what you and your partner pretend, is equal as a human being.

The boundaries, desires and consents of the submissive party are at least as important as those of the dominant party.

While it can be a fun BDSM session to endure something for your partner’s pleasure or to be fully available, it’s important that you also think it’s a good session throughout.

Man with gag ball in his mouth

Notes for the Dominant Party

While it’s great to have both control and responsibility, there are some things you need to be aware of for BDSM sessions:

If your partner expresses a desire for a particular thing that you know nothing about, it is important that you admit that.

It can be dangerous and unsafe for both you and the submissive party to experiment. Know your technique, and find out where the risks lie.

While it’s important to know your own weaknesses, it’s just as important to radiate a certain amount of self-confidence.

A skilled hairdresser doesn’t suddenly say ‘Oops!’ either. It gives the submissive party an inappropriate feeling of insecurity.

Did you have a bit of bad aim with the whip during a BDSM session? Then see it as ‘a particularly sadistic moment’ and move on (unless something goes terribly wrong, in which case you should stop and get a handle on the situation).

You don’t have to be super serious or super confident, but it should be enough for your partner to be comfortable with both you and the situation.

Man with flogger in his hands

After the Session

When the actual BDSM session ends, it is by no means time to move apart.

To ensure a good and safe experience for both parties, it’s important that you round off slowly. That part of a BDSM session is called ‘aftercare’ and should always be a part of the session.

You can do this by embracing each other, cuddling, or otherwise caring for the person who has been pressured.

The type of aftercare needed after a BDSM game varies a lot, so be sure to put into words—preferably before the session or otherwise along the way—if there is a certain kind of care you would like.

Aftercare and Attention

Some would like to be embraced for a long time. Some would like to talk about all the experiences, thoughts, and feelings you just shared. Others want to be wrapped in a blanket and have some distance and silence.

Take care of each other, and remember to pick each other up properly—mentally as well as physically. Confirm each other’s feelings and experience in a way that makes sense to you.

A typical misconception is that only the submissive party needs aftercare.

But the person who has dominated the other in a BDSM session often has a great need to provide care and make sure the submissive party is okay as well as be reassured that it was a good experience.

No matter if you are the submissive or dominant one, most of us have a need for some kind of verification that we handled it well and can come back slowly from the session.

A man holding a woman

Drops in Mood

The higher you are, the harder the fall.

Once you’ve had a proper experience with a BDSM session, the coming days might entail a ‘drop’. That is, a plunge in energy, self-esteem, mood or the like.

Among other things, BDSM sessions release excessive amounts of dopamine in the brain, which it can store for a certain amount of time. However, at some point it will run out, after which you may experience a drop.

How it feels and when it happens varies. Some don’t experience it, but most will experience some form of drop approximately 1–3 days after a long, deep, and heavy session.

It can happen in different ways. You might suddenly doubt whether your partner had a good experience at all. You might start to feel really ashamed of wanting that kind of thing. Or other emotions that you would not otherwise experience.

It’s called a ‘drop’. Also known as ‘sub-drop’, even though the dominant party can also easily experience it.

If you experience a drop, it might help you to reach out to your partner and ask them to confirm that it was a good experience, that you are a good partner, and that what you are experiencing now is completely natural.

In addition, you can exercise some self-love and self-care: eat your favourite food, take a hot bath, or wrap yourself in a blanket.

The most important thing is that you take care of yourself and remember that what you experience is a short-lived drop that soon disappears again.

Woman sitting and covering her face with her hands

What Should I Remember About BDSM Sessions?

All of this is something you need to take into account when choosing which type of BDSM session you want to explore from time to time.

If you do the crime, you do the time— if you play with heavier things, you must also make room for heavier reactions. If you plan accordingly, you’re already doing pretty well.

BDSM is an endless playground, but remember that you need to be sensible adults that assess when it becomes too risky or when enough is enough.

The better you know each other, the deeper you can go. Take one step at a time, tread carefully, and educate yourself—that way you get the best experiences with BDSM sessions.

Enjoy!