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First Time Play is different for everyone. How it comes about is different. Who it is done with. What you class as play. Different levels. Different situations. Different considerations. But there are some standards, that for safety’s sake, should be taken into account.

Many people had their first BDSM experience before the arrival of the internet. There wasn’t the same promotion of the SSC lifestyle, the lifestyle itself didn’t seem to be as cohesive as it is today (except for the Old Leather scene), and contact with other BDSMers was usually accidentally discovered or explored within relationships. There were no resources promoting safe ways to do what it is we do. Common sense had to be assumed.

For many, those first experiences occurred within loving relationships, where one partner bravely admitted a kinky desire to the other, and aspects of BDSM were explored that way. That was great…as long as the one doing the tying didn’t cut off circulation or do nerve damage. It was mainly trial and error. Something felt good…it worked. Something felt bad…figure out a way to do it next time that will make it feel good.

In a more current sense, with the advent of the internet, vast numbers of people now have access to information about the BDSM lifestyle. Whole new communities have sprung up internationally. Networks of BDSMers are commonplace now. It’s now easy to meet like minded people, if you have the courage to act on your desires. And, there are benefits and disadvantages to this as well. On one hand, the potential for meaningful, interactive relationships, no matter what their definition, is vastly enhanced. On the other hand, it also means that there are greater numbers of people seeking some kind of BDSM interaction with, sometimes, little knowledge of what it is they are actually doing or getting involved in. This means it can be risky. The idea is to minimize the risks.


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There were submissives who put themselves in potentially dangerous situations when they first started exploring the lifestyle. For some it was like an amazing discovery that had to be acted on at all costs. Common Sense seemed to disappear and all that remained was a driving desire to experience this intriguing new world.

Some talked with Dominants over the internet and telephone and eventually met with them. Some felt obliged. Some were given false impressions…led to believe one thing…and the reality was different. One woman were given instructions on how to dress and where to go…without having actually met this person face to face before. She took a long journey on public transport, dressed in a provocative manner, arrived at a train station in another state at night…alone. She had arranged safe calls, but with people she hadn’t actually met face to face either. They were online friends, who she assumed would do the right thing. In hindsight, she knew she had placed a lot of trust in people she really knew little about. Others travelled alone to other countries to meet their online Doms. Again, who is going to protect you and how, so far away from home?

Precautions need to be considered from all perspectives also. The sheer physical strength of a man over a Domme for example, is something to be taken into account. Just because the male is in the submissive role, doesn’t mean he won’t act in an unexpected way. Also, perhaps from a male Dominant’s point of view…what may have been verbally agreed rough sex…may quite possibly become a rape charge with the wrong person. There is no discrimination here. That first play is one many of us go into with our eyes closed. Even if we think we have considered everything, the reality is quite often very different.


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Because this article is a web resource, the primary focus of these issues is with the assumption that those reading have access to the net, and have possibly even met people over the net. But it also takes in account that at some point, contact should be made with others in the community. Not necessarily for social purposes, but more for safety reasons.

Think about what it is you want with regard to scenes. Is there something in particular that excites you? Is the attraction to pain? Is it bondage? Is it flagellation? Does the idea of a spanking get the juices flowing? Then think about what you won’t do. Three are anything to do with children including age play, anything to do with animals including puppy play and scat. Some people have a fear of fire. Others of canes. Others, knives. Perhaps mind fucks aren’t a good place to go with you. There are lists online that act as checklist. This is a good place to start.

Read as much information as you can about what you are interested in. Just to get the different perspectives more than anything. What is pleasure to one, may be unbearable to another. You can read about technique. It’s better than having no information at all. If you have found this article, you’re heading in the right direction.

Talk to others in your community. Make contact either through a mailing list, chat channel, or if you’re lucky, through friends or word of mouth.

Meet before you make the final decision to scene with this person. Meet for a coffee or a drink. Talk to them face to face. Anything can be hidden behind a computer screen. People become hero’s in their own lunch hour in the world of cyber. Some Dominants create the illusion of being a dark, larger than life, mysterious, almost mythical creature…capable of delivering a fair maiden into the depths of subMission. What a load of crap! He’s probably a 5’3, insecure, horny net guy (HNG), and the only real commitment that will be made is the turning on of his/her computer. Wait till you actually meet this wonderful creature, before you form an opinion and most certainly before you agree to any type of play with them.

When you arrange to meet with this person, arrange a safe call. That means, let someone know what day, time and where you are meeting this person and arrange to call them at a particular time. You should also aim to get personal details from the person you are meeting as well. Full name, phone number, address, where they work and anything else you may feel is relevant. Call them at work to ensure they really do work there. It may seem extreme, but it’s better to be as cautious as possible. Hopefully your fears are unwarranted. In the worst case scenario, hopefully your precautions will have paid off.

Perhaps the first meeting went well. Perhaps you both decide that you will play. Perhaps it’s privately. Perhaps it’s publicly, like at a play party. If you decide to play privately with this person, it’s not such an absurd idea to have a friend present. At the very least, let more than one person know where you are going, what time, how long you plan to be there, and who you will be with, and arrange your safe calls. You should be specific about times that your friend will call. It should be previously agreed on what will happen if you don’t answer the safe call. Does your friend immediately turn up? Does your friend call the police? But just think…in the time it takes them to get to where you are…anything could have happened.

If you are going to play at a public venue, let the Dungeon Master know it is your first time, and probably even limits that you have discussed with your play partner. They should then keep an eye on your scene and if it looks like it’s going too far, they can call a halt to it.

Play is defined differently by each person depending on their own particular kink and style of playing. When you are a novice, it’s impossible to tell what you will and won’t like…and what your limits are. Take your time. Neither of you has to rush. Explore reactions. Savour sensations. Give your body a chance to get used to different things.

One thing that many people will advise, is do not allow yourself to be restrained during your early play sessions. Once restrained, that’s it. You can’t get away. You become totally defenseless. Bondage comes with trust.

Don’t be a hero and feel you have to accept the hardest flogging you can take. Don’t be a hero and not use your safe word. There is no shame whatsoever in having to call an end to something that may, in reality, be far more intense than you ever imagined.

Communicate clearly before, during and after your session. Ensure that your partner knows where you are both emotionally and physically. It takes a while to really get to know someone intimately…the way their mind and body works. So until you have that level of intimacy, communicate as much as possible. What feels good…what doesn’t….any discomfort you may be experiencing…if you think you can go a little harder. It all comes back to open and honest communication.

There is no one true way in this lifestyle. The beauty of it is…there are no rules. But we should observe our code of ethics and that is Safe, Sane and Consensual. And we should set out to minimize the risks. Common sense comes into play all the time. And gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right…get out. It all becomes part of the learning process.



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