Sex and Passion

BDSM 101: Importance of Start, Stop and Wait codes in BDSM

How codes are important in a BDSM relationship and how the participants in a BDSM relationship set them up by mutual consent
Codes in BDSM

(As told to Aparajita Dutta)
First in a series of Understanding BDSM: Codes and their Significances

“Let’s have lunch together,” Srikanth looked at Apurva, his eyes trying to gauge her feelings on the matter.

“Sure.’

A date was finalised. In the splendour of a 5-star restaurant, Srikanth and Apurva sat across each other. Both of them were nervous. Having discovered their kinkiness quite recently, they went for the workshop organised by the BDSM community, to initiate newcomers.

It was there, that the French-bearded Srikanth noticed the utterly feminine saree-clad Apurva, sitting in a corner. Her long hair, left loose around her shoulders, caught his attention as she tried to tuck it behind her ears.

He introduced himself during the break and she reciprocated coquettishly.

Both of them were there to join the community, but were extremely nervous.

Related reading: Kinky sex not with wife?

Taking it slow

Every individual in the BDSM community has his or her own way of finding a partner. It’s the same as any sexual or romantic relationship. There isn’t one way to do it.

Apurva’s uneasiness was clearly visible and Srikanth decided to take it slow.

Which is why, he first asked her out on a date. The lunch went pretty well and both of them learnt quite a few things about each other.

Srikanth observed Apurva’s love for chocolate while Apurva noticed how much he disliked the taste of lime. They met for a movie for their next date. Srikanth made the first move.

As taught to them in the workshop, they had to decide on the codes before beginning the act.

“You love chocolates,” Srikanth said. “So, chocolate means Start.”

Apurva contributed, “You hate lime, so lime is our code for Stop.”

“And what about the wait sign?” Srikanth asked. “Let’s use the word Choose for Wait.”

“Done then.”

“Yes.”

And thus they took their first step, with the setting up of a code.

Codes come first

Codes are of primary importance among the kink community. When two or more people practice BDSM, they use codes. The three main codes are Start, Stop and Wait. The parties involved in the act of BDSM have to use the code to Start. If it’s a green signal from both sides, then the act can be started. If one of the parties use the code for Wait, then the other(s) should wait and if one of the parties uses the code for Stop, then the act has to be stopped. While some might just use Start, Stop and Wait, others use codes for a more personal bonding.

The use of codes shows that BDSM is based on consent. BDSM by its nature is sexual activity, which involves inflicting physical pain on one another. However, this infliction of pain is consensual, and voluntary. People practice BDSM because they gain pleasure by inflicting pain upon the other or by receiving pain from the other during sexual activity.

Related reading: An (s)exceptional case

But how would the other party know the level of tolerance of pain? In order to make the practice of BDSM a safe act and in order to retain the pain under the level of tolerance, codes are used. Therefore, if the person at the receiving end of the pain can’t tolerate it any longer, he or she uses Stop. The same thing is applied for the code of Wait. If a person wants to take a break or if a person needs a moment before beginning, they use the code for Wait.

Many BDSM couples use various words for Start, Stop and Wait to personalise the experience. They not only ensure a safe act of BDSM but also build bonds that are beyond mere sexual pleasure.

Published in Sex and Passion

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