Bondage

Bondage, Domination & Submission and Sadomasochism (BDSM) is more popular than ever thanks to “50 Shades of Grey”, however it’s not without its risks.

In English, Welsh and Northern Irish law you cannot consent to being harmed during sex and certain sex acts associated with BDSM or rough sex can be criminal offences however Scotland has a different legal system.

Under the Sexual Offences Scotland Act 2009, consent must be given for all sexual activity.  Consent means “free agreement” therefore is someone is under the influence of drink or drugs, asleep, unconscious or coerced into taking part in a sex act this can be a criminal offence.

Consent can be withdrawn at any time, including during a sex act.

Safety

When considering BDSM, it’s a good idea to discuss what you are willing to do and to chat through your limitations (how far you want to go), with your partner before you start.  Some people even write this into a contract which they both sign.

You should always agree a “safe word” which is a code for “Stop now”.  This should be something you won’t forget and that won’t come up in any other way.  Lot’s of people use green, yellow and red – green means “everything’s fine”, yellow means “don’t stop but don’t do anything harder” and red means “stop right now”.

If you don’t have sex during bondage (penetrative or otherwise) there is virtually no risk of STIs. There are, of course, risks in other ways such as getting yourself hurt, or bruised.

If you are using sex toy, make sure you use a new condom on the toy before using it.  Lots of water-based lube is a good idea too! Make sure the condom is changed each time there is a new toy, or the toy is used on someone else.

If your restrainer has penetrative sex with you, make sure he also wears a condom and uses water-based lube. If bareback sex happens, this increases the risk of getting an STI or HIV and you should get tested at one of our clinics. The risk of transmitting HIV, and other viruses, is high if there is any blood-to-blood contact.

Remember that sexual assault is still possible in the bondage situation and if something happens during a bondage session that you feel uncomfortable about then please speak to a professional such as someone from MOT, THT or the police (click the Reporting Crime tab on the left.)

For more information visit Terrence Higgins Trust’s ‘Hardcell’ website

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