Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Try it at home with RACK?

RACK-Risk Aware Consensual Kink

I'm sure few people would argue that adding a little spice to your sex life can be done without a great big manual on safety. The risks of doing serious damage while giving a hand spanking are minimal. After all, some people spank their little kids! And light bondage is fairly harmless. A soft silk scarf around your wrists isn't likely to cause any nerve damage. Unless it's tied too snug for too long. And handcuffs are fun to play with. As long as you don't lock them to tight, because, with the wrong type of handcuffs, you'll have to tighten them even more to get them off.

Common sense, right?

The thing is, while some things in BDSM DO fall under the SSC (safe, sane, and consensual) credo, others may slip over the lines of what is considered Safe or Sane. Technically, you can do any BDSM style activity at home. Some things, like fireplay, are better suited to a controlled environment with the supervision of at least one experienced person, but people have gone online and decided they were ready for a nice fiery scene in their backyard after skimming over some instructions.

To me, this is neither safe or sane, and it's definitely not risk aware. But not everyone wants to go to a workshop before trying out all that fun stuff they've read about in all those now trendy BDSM romance books! Shibari sounds fun and easy! If you were a Girl or Boy Scout, you can probably tie some nifty knots! Your handy dandy husband can put up some solid hooks in the ceiling and 'Wheeee!'

Passing out could ruin the moment. Broken bones and dislocated joints make it a little difficult to reach the BIG O. Unless you're a masochist, but I've yet to get off hard enough that it's worth being laid up for weeks. Could happen though!

If you're not the type of person who needs to read the instructions about hairdryers in showers, you've no doubt figured out most of this stuff for yourself already. And what you'd really like to know is whether or not you can explore the edgier stuff in the comfort of your own house.

IMO--and I am no expert, but I HAVE done my share of research and spoken to several experienced people in the lifestyle--you can absolutely do MOST of the edgy stuff at home. But here's the catch. You should be fully aware of the risks and able to deal with the possibility of something going wrong. Many BDSM clubs have someone on hand who knows CPR. You should at least know the basics. The legal ramifications of injury or death during a scene are also good to know. Consent only goes so far if you can be charged with negligence. If someone is putting their life in your hands, you better make damn sure you're worthy of that kind of trust.

For things like electroplay, needleplay, suspension and anything else that involves more than a bit of slap and tickle, it's a very good idea to get as much education as you can, in every form possible. Once you learn everything you need to know, the risks are reduced. If you absolutely refuse to go to a workshop, at least pick up a few good books on your kink of choice, find some instructional videos, and if possible, get in touch with someone on fetlife that has some experience (someone in the business of making violet wands for example who has a good reputation) and ask questions. I've found that people in the lifestyle are often willing to offer advice to those who are willing to learn.

If you're doing something risky with your partner at home without the kind of supervision you'd have at a workshop, I strongly suggest starting slow. Partial suspension for a couple of minutes (Yes, just a couple--work your way up to longer. Wheee! Comes later), the lowest setting on the wand or the TENS, 25 gauge needles until you're comfortable with using them and ready to work up to a bigger size.

I mentioned fireplay before. Honestly, I don't know much about it, but from what I do know, I really wouldn't suggest it as your first 'do it at home' project. There's also whips which few people have the space for and can be very dangerous in the wrong hands.

One of my personal favorite types of edge play, besides impact play, is breath play. It is VERY unlikely that you'll find a workshop on how to do this safely because of the legal ramifications. I could be wrong, but I do know this is a highly debated form of play and many will tell you not to do it. EVER. I'm going to tell you the same, because I don't want to get sued :P

When I do it, it's with someone I trust and the pressure on my throat is minimal. Always up under the chin or at the base of the throat. Hand over mouth and nose is interesting too. It's a rush. It's also very dangerous and I've informed myself as to how long it's reasonably safe to have someone else controlling your air. But I'm not going to tell you, because, like I said, you shouldn't do it at all. 

The point is, whatever it is you're going to try, be aware of the risks. If you're aware of them, you can make an informed decision and do your best to keep yourself and your play partner from the kind of harm you're being warned against. Remember, the warnings are there because these things have happened. Sometimes even to people who did everything right.

Did I scare you away? No? Good! <g> Have fun and play nice!

If I did scare you, how about I give you a guaranteed way to enjoy all kinds of kink without risking anything more than a papercut? Or maybe a shock from your ereader. ;)



  1. Uh huh. Having recently seen a little footage of a fireplay scene – AT A CLUB – gone badly wrong, I think I’ll leave that to my imagination! Actually, I’ve freaked myself out quite a bit recently. A shibari accident in Italy a little while ago ended up with one sub fainting, pulling on the rope, and killing the other.
    Phew. I need to stop reading. I’m in no danger of going too far these days – I think I’ve terrified myself into doing nothing!
    I’m halfway through Defensive Zone, by the way, and loving it. But I think I’m going to have to put it down for now because it’s well after midnight here!

    1. Weird. This site just emailed me my own comment. I know NOTHING about technology, but that seems strange! It’s probably something I did!
      (Okay, apparently keeps rejecting my comments or something…)

    2. Basia,

      I'm not aware of the fireplay incident, but I do know about the death in Italy. It occured because 3 people who were all intoxicated decided to play around with suspension, something that is risky even when all the participants are fully alert, aware, and educated. The three people involved weren't adhering to SSC or RACK.

  2. Great post and subject! Participants need to be fully aware and sober at the time of play. I just don't understand why anyone would want to play and not be able to enjoy themselves fully because they were intoxicated.

  3. Great post Bianca :)

    We practice RACK ourselves and well... you can find classes on breath play, but they are not called that! LOL...i love edge play and am really lucky to practice it with someone who has medical training! woohoo!

    SSC just doesn't cover enough and people disagree strongly on what is considered 'safe'!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Great post, Bianca.
    "The Loving Dominant" has some good safety tips on things like suspension at home, but it seems to not be on Amazon any more. His point about the suspension point/ bolt / whatever pulling out of the ceiling made me wince.

    Never think you know it all without researching a lot.

  5. I think I will just stick to reading and imagining, lol. But I do agree that everyone should learn whatever they can before trying something that could injure or kill a person. And I definitely would not allow someone drunk or under the influence of anything to do anything to me. Great post :)

  6. Yes, that Italian situation was quite astounding. Absolute stupidity.

  7. Great post Bianca. I don't think you would have scared anyone away from trying some of the edgier stuff, you just made us all aware that we need to be informed about what we're doing. Oh, and NEVER participate in breath play activities *wink*