I will start this post by mentioning that I drank enough alcohol in my life to float a battleship. What I mean by this is that I am not an evangelist here to preach about the perils of drinking. At the same time, I strayed across a statute or two in regards to substances that society deems "illegal" but provide terrific high (or visions if you know what I mean).
Drugs and alcohol are a part of our society. Many are "420" friendly (if you do not know what it means, look it up). We all know that, at most parties, alcohol is readily available. It is a social lubricant whether it is having some wine at dinner or a full blown keg party. Since the 60s, we know the not so legal stuff has found its way into the mainstream with many people indulging in these substances. Therefore, at many private functions, one is apt to find someone with some pills, joints, or other thrills.
I am not here to pass judgment. However, I do bring this point up because the BDSM community is a microcosm of the rest of society. There are people within our way of life who have alcohol or substance problems. We also see people who do not have problems with these items but use them in a recreational sense for enjoyment and pleasure. I venture to say that it is commonplace to find these substances at many BDSM gatherings especially private parties.
AND THIS IS WHERE THE PROBLEM ARISES.
BDSM can put one in many dangerous situations. The nature of how we interact and play can put one in a compromising position where damage can be done. This can occur mentally, physically, and psychologically. For this reason, many of us are continually beating the drum of safety. This is the highest order of business and needs to be at the top of everyone's list at all times. Ultimately, we like to say that it is the dominant's responsibility to ensure that all interaction is done in a safe manner but with the way people are these days, the submissive needs to take it upon herself to monitor this as best she can. There are far too many instances where scenes went wrong and tragedy ensured.
A quick story. I remember reading about a gay scene that went very bad about an hour from where I lived. The dominant was an older man who invited a younger guy over for some mummy play. This individual was a highly successful doctor who enjoyed some of the kinks that we have in this life. To make a long story short, he wrapped the boy upon saran wrap from head-to-toe only cutting out a hole for him to breathe though. Unfortunately, the hole was not for air to pass through but for a straw to be placed which was inserted in his mouth. This was how he was to breathe. Part of the kink was to take the boy and place him in a closet for a number of hours. The problem arose when the straw fell out and somehow the hole was blocked cutting off all air. As you can guess, when the top went back a couple hours later, he only found a corpse.
This obviously shows how things can go very wrong. Now I have no idea if drugs or alcohol were involved in this particular situation. However, it does show the nature of some of the play we engage in. Presuming that both parties were completely sober, we see how quickly one little mistake can have lasting impact. Therefore, I am going to state emphatically that at no time should anyone engage in any type of BDSM scene when indulging in any mind or mood altering substances. This goes for the prescription types also. Our play is dangerous enough without adding more risk because of slight to total inebriation. This applies equally to those who are on the bottom as well as the top.
Having our senses diminished during a scene can be fatal. Impact play, a favorite of many, comes with a degree of risk. When one is under the influence of a substance, to whatever degree, the ability to strike accurately is diminished. This can have tragic consequences if one is aiming for a breast, as an example, and strikes an eye. At the same time, the bottom can have her senses dulled to the point where she does not distinguish between "good" and "bad" pain. Hence the safeword might be omitted in favor or taking more. This is the line where people can get hurt.
As a side note, I am also going to state a policy of mine which I suggest for all dominants/masters/tops. I never engage in impact play if I am angry or upset about something. This is fairly obvious when the source of my upset is the sub who I am going to work on. However, my view is that this applies to all types of anger or discord within myself. A top needs to be in full emotional control when engaging in activity of this nature. Ultimately, the show is his with the sub turning over the power to him. This is especially true within the confines of a relationship or some type of regular interaction where the trust is built. At these moments, the sub has no reason not to question the dominant based upon her experience with him. Nevertheless, if something has him torqued, be it work, an ex, or whatever, without the full emotional control, he needs to pass on this scene. It simply is not safe for him to engage in this activity while he is "seeing red". Again, something bad can happen.
The problem with drugs and alcohol is that they lessen the intelligence of the person by a wide degree. That is okay since that is what they are designed to do. As we drink more, or whatever we are doing, we become relaxed, perhaps laugh, get light headed, lower our inhibitions (this is where the reserved women start to take off their clothes...personally I like that), and impede judgment. Under normal conditions, this usually is not a problem. However, when approaching BDSM activities in this shape, very bad things can happen. The lack of wherewithal that one usually has which is removed by the substance increase the risk of all activities substantially. There are many examples of submissives being hurt because one or both parties was inebriated when engaging in a scene.
In short, we do our best to operate in a safe, effective manner. Our way of life offers a great deal especially to those who seek some extreme activities. BDSM is a path to the outer edges which cannot be found in the traditional world. Nevertheless, we need to be ever mindful of the potential dangers that exist at all times. When a sub enters subspace, that is a time for careful monitoring of the situation. How is her breathing? Is she reacting? How is her body taking the blows? What is changing in her with each blow if anything? How long has she been in it? Is it time to stop because she is nearing damage physically to her body even though she is enjoying it? All these are signs that a dominant needs to look for. However, if he is intoxicated, the chances that he will be observant are greatly reduced. At the same time, if the bottom is under the influence, her reactions might not be the same. I would think that the feedback is minimal if she passed out as opposed to entering subspace (or worse passed out in subspace) yet the top just kept going. As you can see, great harm can come.
The bottom line is enjoy your alcohol/drugs and get the most out of your BDSM interaction; just do not mix the two. Keep them separate so that you can ensure safety in all that you do.
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8 hours ago