BDSM Contracts: A Beginner’s Guide

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A BDSM contract is a document detailing the expectations two people in a dominant and submissive relationship have of each other.

It is mostly the dominant partner providing clear instructions to the submissive, but can include things the sub should expect from the Dom.

It isn’t legally binding but does demonstrate some degree of seriousness in the relationship. Either person can refer back to the contract when they need to remind themselves what was agreed.

BDSM contracts are more typical in formal ‘out the bedroom’ d/s relationships (such as Master and slave) than those who only practise dominant sex in the bedroom.

Why have a BDSM contract?

BDSM contracts are important because they:

  • Clearly sets out the role and responsibility of the submissive to avoid confusion.
  • Are a way for the submissive to check she is happy with what the dominant wants from her, and avoid being forced to do something she isn’t comfortable with.
  • Ups the ante in a dom sub relationship, making it seem more real.

What should a BDSM contract contain?

A BDSM contract might contain:

  • Details of rules, duties and submissive rituals the sub should carry out for the dominant
  • Agreed upon names to call each other
  • Hard limits and other boundaries (both sexual and non-sexual)
  • Need to knows, such as important medical issues which may impact play
  • A punishment clause detailing what happens if the submissive does not perform as expected.

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A BDSM contract might go into details within each of those categories, containing pages of information. Or it might only be a short paragraph for each one.

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As an example, a short version of a contract under the punishment section would say:

“You will be punished if you do not perform as expected. Sir will decide on the punishment, keeping them within your hard limits.”

A more formal contract may list out all of the punishments which can be handed out, the severity changing depending upon the infraction.

Who writes the contract?

Normally the dominant partner writes the contract because they are the one who has expectations of their submissive. It is up to the submissive to read the contract, suggest edits, and sign when happy with everything it contains.

This doesn’t have to be the case though. A submissive may have more experience in writing contracts than her dominant, or the dominant might set her the task of writing up their contract.

What format should a BDSM contract be written in?

A contract doesn’t have to be a formal document, although ideally, it should be so everyone is clear on their roles and responsibilities.

If you are in more of a casual D/s relationship, it can be a verbal agreement, an email, or a message sent over WhatsApp.

BDSM purists would argue it should be an official document, signed by both parties.

Personally, I don’t think this is necessary in all relationships, but do consider it. Yes, it’s more work to write the contract out, but it’ll be clearer and easier to find later on.

What to include in BDSM contracts

I recommend you create your own in Google Docs so you can easily share it with your submissive or dominant.

Creating your own BDSM contract will also give you more flexibility than buying one. That way you can make it personal to your dom sub relationship and include the things you feel are important.

Here are examples of sections you might want to include:

  • Duties and responsibilities. What do you expect your submissive to be responsible for? What are their duties in the relationship, around the house, when you’re in public, etc.
  • Expectations: What is it that you expect to gain from having a dom sub relationship? Useful to ensure all parties are on the same page.
  • Referring to each other. How should the submissive refer to the dominant? And vice versa? Are there any words that are off-limits? Some submissives take offence to particular naughty words but are totally fine with others. As an example, a sub I had loved me called her ‘my little slut’ and got offended when I said ‘please’ at the end of an instruction!
  • Commands. If you are a service submissive, what commands are you expecting your dom to give you, and how should you act when given them.
  • Other people. If you are in a non-monogamous relationship, how are you going to deal with other people? What part should they play in your relationship? If your in a monogam-ish relationship, where are the limits. For example, if you are at a kinky play party and you want to touch another couple, is that ok with your partner?
  • Punishment. How will the submissive be punished or corrected if they do not follow the rules? And what measures do you have in place to ensure sub safety (such as having a safe word)?
  • Training schedule. Getting really fancy, you could create a complete training programme for your submissive slave, laying out exactly what her BDSM slave training will be over the next weeks and months.
  • Progress chart. Everyone likes seeing a gold star next to their name. Why not create a progress chart or reward system where your slave can see how well they are doing.

Examples of BDSM contracts

For examples of BDSM contracts please see my guide on training a submissive slave. It covers more details about contracts and provides several example contracts to look at.

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