Practicing BDSM requires an acute sense of self. From understanding our own sexuality to reaching for the psychological tools to fully explore and share it with others, the road to self-development through BDSM is full of flexibility, awareness of self and the environment, keen perception, communication, and risk management abilities. Even if you’re well set in your ways and the edges of your comfort zone feel like they’re miles away because you’re into one type of sexual experience, such asBBW dating for instance, you can still grow tremendously as a BDSM practitioner without compromising your character or sexual preferences, and below we outline this very process.

#1: Tolerance

There is a variety of lifestyles, activities, practices, and relationships that can be classified as BDSM, and each individual has their own needs and desires. In BDSM anything goes as long as there is consent, and there is no ‘right’ way to practice it. An important aspect is certainly how we view our own sexuality and sexual preferences, and those of our partner. There is plenty of choice, options, and acceptance to be found in BDSM, which in turn require a healthy degree of tolerance, as well as self-acceptance.

#2: Mindfulness

Mindfulness or self-awareness is important because to truly engage in the BDSM lifestyle we need to look within and understand our own desires before we can fully express them to another person. The choices we make in BDSM shouldn’t contradict our values or the way in which we view ourselves in this world. Also, understanding fears, inhibitions and our own comfort zone ensures we’re not only happy with our choices but we and our partner are safe as we practice them.

#3: Perception of the World

Those who have a highly developed sense of awareness are good listeners not only when it comes to verbal communication, but also in terms of non-verbal cues and body language. In BDSM, awareness of the space around us and the presence of other people in it play a key role because movement in that space is what BDSM is all about. Well-experienced practitioners note that awareness helps us really enjoy our BDSM experience and take in and appreciate the experience of others.

#4: Communication

It is pretty clear by now how much each individual needs to focus on their own self-development in order to fully appreciate everything that BDSM has to offer. Notwithstanding the fact that non-verbal communication goes a long way, properly and respectfully articulating our experience ensures everyone enjoys BDSM, and is given an opportunity to explore the depths of their sexuality. Communication is critical when it comes to negotiation or more precisely – consent. Also, follow-up or after-care are embedded in the BDSM culture for everyone to feel safe and accepted no matter their wishes and desires. Exceptional communication skills are necessary for all aspects of BDSM to shine in their full glory.

#5: Appropriate Response to Unwanted Outcome

Like in any other activity, things can go wrong in BDSM as we’re constantly exposed to a certain degree of risk. Being able to constructively manage negative outcomes guarantees that we’re that much more capable to assess risk in the future, and choose how far we want to step outside our comfort zone knowing very well we might not like what awaits on the other side. But above all, when things don’t go as planned, the ability to understand and accept we can’t always control the situation, and the necessary degree of self-confidence to manage this well no matter what, ensures we don’t view things as tragic but as a mere bump in the road