Speak openly with your partner about your wants, wishes and needs.

Many people enjoy different sensations or roles during sex, for example  pain or submission. Sexual activity that includes these elements is known as sadomasochism (SM or S/M in short).

Some may enjoy having control over the situation during sex, and others may derive sexual pleasure from being at the mercy of someone else. In addition to pain, the role play may involve bondage or commanding and obeying.

BBDSM means the the spectrum of sadomasochistic sex.

Pain can be enjoyed when inflicting it on another person or when allowing another person to inflict pain on oneself. It could be done by spanking, pinching, biting or slapping, for example. This does not mean that the person is otherwise violent or that the person enjoys stubbing their toe on a chair.

SM sex is always voluntary: dominance and submission are roles that are played out in mutual agreement during sex. Nobody should be forced to have sex in a way that they don’t want or that feels bad.


Feel free to use your imagination during sex!

Discussion and Experimentation

In order for SM sex to be enjoyable to all, it is important that it can be openly discussed between partners. Before sex, it is a good idea to allow everyone to speak about their personal wishes and limits.

You should monitor your personal sensations during sex. If the pain begins to feel too intense, you can ask the other person to stop or take a break using a safeword or sign. The dominating person should occasionally ask whether everything is ok. The dominating party can also interrupt what they are doing, if it no longer feels good.

After sex, it is a good idea to talk about what it felt like. What felt good? Is something bothering you? Sometimes you can find your own limits only through experimentation.

  • Do you have sexual fantasies with SM elements?
  • Think about the kinds of sensations that you enjoy during sex. What kinds of things would you like to try out in sex. What are you interested in or nervous about? What don’t you want to try?

Safe sex

Before having SM sex, you should agree on a safeword or sign together. You can say the safeword if the situation begins to feel uncomfortable. The word or sign shoulf be easily distinguished from the rest of the conversation or actions during sex.

The safewords are often the colours of the traffic lights. It is easy to tell your partner what you want by saying a colour like this:

  • Green: go on, more of this!
  • Yellow: slow down a bit, not quite so hard
  • Red: we need to stop or take a break

Practice saying the safeword or showing the safesign in advance so that doing so does not feel silly in the real situation. The dominant or active party should ask from time to time ”What is the colour now?” The safesign may be for instance lifting two fingers or a light tap.

If toys are used during sex make sure that they are safe. For example, if rope is used for bondage, make sure it can be quickly untied, if necessary. It is a good idea to keep a pair of scissors close by.