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Small BDSM Traditions With Big Impact

Traditions in the kink community are a strong driving force within the BDSM culture. The traditions we see come from the history and origin of kink however they are evolving to include more mainstream players that come to us from social media. The traditions I speak of could be anything from collaring to how a submissive behaves. Exploring these traditions allows us to develop our own unique D/s style.




One of the big distinctions that must be understood when talking about traditions is to take what we see in movies and the pornography industry and separate fantasy and reality. Often these images skew our vision of the lifestyle. The images on the screen are a short-term representation of what we can do but, that does not fit well in long-term, real-life relationships.


Commonly in kink circles, we hear the traditions of S.S.C. or R.A.C.K. Safe, sane, consensual was an acronym born in the 70s to give a guiding principle to those entering the kink community due to mainstream media. The better acronym that popped up in the 90s is R.A.C.K. Which stands for risk-aware consensual kink. This acronym defines BDSM and its principles in a very concise way that continues to hold true to the present day.


A big tradition within the BDSM community is earning a collar. It is an important symbol that someone was chosen and has earned their place within the lifestyle and their relationship however, social media and the Internet have muddied this tradition a little as well. Many within the old school realm of kink see the collar as the pride of ownership. Within the newfound rules that have sprung up thanks to Google and social media sites, many people identify a collar to mean the equivalency of marriage and that is not the case. An alternative sexual lifestyle should enhance the regular day-to-day relationship not become the entire relationship.


If you look at collaring as a three-step process, you'll begin to see it is something attainable and beautiful as well as it is carrying deep symbolism. The three steps go hand in hand with the saying mind, body, and soul.


1. Mind. This means that you have a connection, you can communicate effectively, and you can express your wants, your needs, and your desires. Earning each other's mind as a ladder step towards the collar can define your whole relationship. Types of collars that fit within this stage could be called a training collar, a play collar, or a collar of consideration and all would be correct.


2. Body. Earning this ladder step means you earn a connection with their body. A connection with the body could mean a physical sexual response to your touch, shivers, or goosebumps from hearing your voice, sexual response to your voice. Being able to anticipate your partner's responses is also part of earning body. Only one real type of collar that fits this step, and it is simply called a collar.


3. Soul. This is the equivalent of loving your partner. At this stage, they give themselves and their heart to you as much as you give them. This last step is the important ladder step as it is the one that will solidify a relationship long-term. A type of collar that would fit this stage would be called a permanent collar.


Remember in the tradition of earning these three stages it is important to know that both the dominant and submissive must earn each of these three core values with their partner.

Another strong tradition within the BDSM culture is protocols within the D/s relationship. Protocols can be made to fit the structure of the relationship, but they can also be traditionally handed down much as we see in the old leather families. A protocol can be defined as a rule or a set action that one partner does to benefit the relationship and show their service.


Some good advice for constructing strong healthy protocols within the relationship should include:


1. Remember to set rules around very specific things. A rule turned into a protocol should not change the person you're with but maintain a dynamic. An example might be not changing the person's behavior when it comes to gaming or passion for reading books but rather an activity that includes both people like your sexual arousal. You're not out to change who your person is but to enhance who they are.


2. The rules and protocols you set should be easy to maintain otherwise they won't be used.


3. A rule or protocol should be functional in everyday life. Crawling around, naked is not a protocol that fits everyday life. That is a protocol that is best set in a scene or in the dungeon.


4. Make sure your rules or protocols don't go against you're agreed terms of your relationship. The protocol is meant to enhance and dominate not control.


5. A protocol should be able to be noticed by the dominant especially if it has not been followed. This creates the simplicity of blending D/s with everyday life.


6. Always remember we are human beings and as such, we all falter. It is important when using protocols that the punishment fits the wrongdoing and it's not grossly exaggerated or behavior correction.


Kink and BDSM are so much more than these three suggestions however we all need a starting point. Communication and compassion along with being truthful to yourself and your partner will take you a long way in exploring this unique sexual lifestyle.


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