6 Things to Include in Your BDSM Contract

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Let’s get one thing very clear up front — contracts are not required in D/s relationships or in any BDSM power exchange. Some people want one because it formalizes their agreement or it helps keep both partners on track with the agreements you’ve made. John Brownstone and I started our relationship with a contract written up and saved as a Google Document. These days, we don’t use one.

But some kinksters want to put their power exchange in writing. If that’s you, here are some things you may want to include in a BDSM contract:

What You Will Do

Each partner should include the responsibilities they’ll each take on in your D/s relationship. What will the Dominant do? What will the submissive do? This can also include kinky fuckery activities. Will spankings be for fun or punishment? Is bondage something you’re both interested in exploring? While none of this is set in stone, and it can all be changed, it’s worth using your contract as a starting point for all aspects of your relationship — not just the rules and responsibilities you’ll each take on.

What You Won’t Do

This is the perfect place to include any known hard limits and boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed. You may also want to list behaviors you won’t engage in — yelling when you’re angry, interrupting in a discussion, talking back, being disrespectful. No one is perfect so even with a written contract, one or both of you may do something you said you wouldn’t. But including what you won’t do in your contract indicates you both agree certain behavior is acceptable and certain behavior is unacceptable.

Consequences

Not every power exchange relationship includes consequences for broken rules or bad behavior. If yours does, make sure to clearly spell it out in your contract. Submissives, you can refer back to this section as a reminder of what you’re trying to avoid. Dominants, you can use it to remind you what boundaries you promised to stay within. This also encourages you to discuss consequences before one needs to be issued and gives a submissive the opportunity to avoid the behavior that leads to consequences.

Safewords and Withdrawing Consent

Not every D/s relationship uses safewords (although we encourage you to reconsider if you don’t), but if you do, go ahead and include it in your BDSM contract. It’s entirely plausible that one or both of you might forget your safeword. Having it written down gives you something to reference before a kinky scene.

In this section you may want to include what process you want to use for either of you to withdraw consent in other ways. Don’t over think this. It can be as simple as telling your partner you don’t want to do something. But having the conversation about what that will look like and adding it to your contract forces you to think about the possibility and consider how you want to address it when it happens.

How to Request Changes

No BDSM contract is written in stone, and there should be room for changes and adjustments. Sitting down to imagine your perfect D/s life and put it into writing only gets you so far. Eventually you have to put it into practice. That’s the moment you may learn you don’t want to do something you’ve been fantasizing about. So how will you request changes? Will there be a formal request? Is it part of an on-going check-in process you’ll use for communication? Remember not to overthink this. You can literally write, “Changes will be requested at our weekly coffee date night” or “Changes can be requested at any time.”

Terms of Your Agreement

This includes how long the current contract is meant to last and when it can be updated again. Who is your agreement between? What are your roles? You may want to add the titles you’re currently using (although these may change over time). Will you include a set date or timeframe to update your contract? When will that be? This is where those small (but still important) details can go.

Why a BDSM Contract Works

While a contract isn’t right for everyone, it does one thing that can be helpful in new power exchange relationships — it helps you talk about different aspects of the D/s life you’re trying to create for yourself. It gives both partners space to say, “Yes, I agree” or “No, I don’t.” This only works if you participate fully, openly, and honestly — without only giving responses you think your partner wants to hear.

For those with faulty memories or serious trust issues, it puts your agreement into writing so you can easily reference back to it later. And if you’ve got a partner who wants to gaslight you about what they said they would do (or not do), a BDSM contract can be a way to check yourself…and them.

Want to create a BDSM contract for your D/s relationship? Feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin? BDSMContracts.org offers customizable and downloadable templates and keepsake BDSM contract books (including DD/lg contracts!). Use code LovingBDSM to save 20 percent off!

1 Response

  1. CouplingGuy says:

    Good ideas, it is always best when all parties know what to expect going in.

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