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BDSM and Kink Resources 

This page is designed to provide resources for adults in Ontario who are in or are exploring the Kink community, and want to have safe sex information. 

This page has been created by Brooke Enright, check them out! 


Why do we need to know about safety in the BDSM/Kink Community? 

Knowing about safety in BDSM is crucial to ensure the well-being of all parties involved. BDSM activities often involve elements of power exchange, bondage, and impact play, which can pose physical and emotional risks. Understanding safety measures helps prevent accidents, injuries, or unintended harm. It involves communication about boundaries, the proper use of equipment, and awareness of potential risks associated with specific activities. Prioritizing safety fosters a consensual and responsible approach to BDSM, creating a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Consent is the voluntary, informed, and mutual agreement to engage in a specific activity or behavior.


Guiding Principles for Kink/BDSM

Traditionally, the kink community has had principles such as: 

"Safe, Sane, and Consensual" (SSC) or "Risk-Aware Consensual Kink" (RACK). There has been a lot of discourse about the best terminology for guiding principles that empower, embody consent, and keeping each other safe. Please note that some of the principles do not account for inclusive language for "madness" and disabilitlies 


The stoplight system, also known as the traffic light system, is a communication tool commonly used to convey the comfort levels or boundaries in various situations, particularly within interpersonal or intimate relationships. It involves using the colors of a traffic light—red, yellow, and green—to signify different states or preferences.

  1. Green:

    • Meaning: Green signifies consent and comfort. In the context of the stoplight system, it indicates that the individual is comfortable with the current situation, activity, or level of intimacy.

    • Communication: When someone signals green, it means they are actively giving consent and are content with the ongoing interactions.

  2. Yellow:

    • Meaning: Yellow suggests caution or a need for slowing down. In the context of the stoplight system, it indicates a level of discomfort or a desire to proceed with caution.

    • Communication: When someone signals yellow, it may mean that they are feeling uncertain, want to slow down the pace, or need a check-in to ensure everyone involved is on the same page.

  3. Red:

    • Meaning: Red represents a clear stop or a boundary that should not be crossed. In the context of the stoplight system, it indicates a strong discomfort or a withdrawal of consent.

    • Communication: When someone signals red, it is crucial to immediately stop the activity or interaction. It signifies that the individual is not comfortable and wishes to discontinue the current situation.

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The stoplight system is often utilized in BDSM communities, intimate relationships, or any context where clear communication of comfort levels and boundaries is essential. It provides a simple and visually intuitive way for individuals to express their feelings and preferences without necessarily verbalizing them, allowing for a more nuanced and non-verbal form of communication. It also emphasizes the importance of ongoing consent and the need to check in with partners to ensure everyone involved feels safe and respected.


TSS- Traditional Sexual Scripts, refers to the commonly used, sexual script for heterosexual relationships in Western society is the traditional sexual script (O'Sullivan & Byers, 1992). "Sexual scripts theory (SST; Simon & Gagnon, 1987a; 2003) is an approach to considering the normative scripts that are interpersonally managed during sexual interactions and guide intimate partner communication. Scripts are guidelines for interactional behavior that reflect normative cultural values (Simon & Gagnon, 1987b, 2003)." (Gunning et al., 2023)



"Disability and BDSM communities have several intersections (Kattari, 2015; Tellier, 2017; Sheppard, 2019). For instance, Kattari (2015) identified intersections in BDSM and disability populations’ sexual communication, finding that individuals who identify as having a marginalized relational, sexual, or gender identity who went through a ‘coming out’ process were more adept at communicating their sexual needs and boundaries with a partner. Participants cited their coming out processes as preparing them to clearly articulate their needs and boundaries during disclosure of disability (Kattari, 2015). Additionally, boundary setting conversations used in BDSM communication could be directly applied to conversations with their partner(s) about managing daily pain and disability-related issues (Kattari, 2015)." (Gunning et al., 2023)


"Recently, Rubinsky & Hudak (2022) described how LGBTQ identities may deviate by necessity from normative sexual scripts like the TSS, which assume heterosexuality. TSS are heavily gendered and assume opposite sex, and opposite gender role interactions in which cisgender, heterosexual, and masculine men play the role of initiator, and cisgender, heterosexual, feminine women play the role of gatekeeper, drawing the line of how far a sexual interaction should go to preserve the morally sanctioned version of sexual enactment, such as marriage or within a committed relationship (Wiederman, 2015). Many LGBTQ individuals’ sexual and relational experiences deviate from these scripts simply due to their existence, and others have noted that they find the ability to experiment and deviate with alternative roles freeing (Rubinsky & Hudak, 2022)." (Gunning et al., 2023)


The intersectionality of kink and neurodivergence refers to the complex interplay between individuals who engage in non-traditional sexual practices (kink) and those who have neurodivergent identities, recognizing that factors such as diverse cognitive, sensory, and social processing styles can influence how individuals navigate and experience their sexual preferences and relationships within the context of kink communities.

Vunerabililtes to be Aware of 

Combining kink and neurodivergence, and other intersections, can introduce unique vulnerabilities that individuals and communities should be aware of, including:

  1. Communication Challenges: Neurodivergent individuals may experience difficulties in expressing their boundaries, desires, or discomfort, necessitating clear and explicit communication strategies.

  2. Sensory Sensitivities: Some neurodivergent individuals may have heightened sensory sensitivities, which can impact their tolerance for certain stimuli or activities within kink practices.

  3. Social Understanding: Neurodivergent individuals may have different social processing styles, affecting their ability to navigate complex social dynamics or interpret non-verbal cues commonly present in kink scenes.

  4. Emotional Regulation: Neurodivergent individuals might face challenges in emotional regulation, potentially leading to intensified emotional responses during kink activities, requiring additional care and support.

  5. Routine and Predictability: Neurodivergent individuals may benefit from routines and predictability, and unexpected changes in a kink context could be challenging for them.

  6. Power Dynamics: Kink often involves power dynamics, and understanding the neurodivergent individual's comfort level with such dynamics is crucial to ensure consensual and enjoyable experiences.

  7. Stigma and Discrimination: Neurodivergent individuals may face societal stigma and discrimination, which can be heightened when engaging in non-normative sexual practices, making it important to create inclusive and non-judgmental spaces.

  8. Advocacy and Support: Neurodivergent individuals might need additional advocacy and support to ensure their needs and rights are respected within kink communities.

  9. Consent and Boundaries: Neurodivergent individuals may have unique communication styles or challenges in asserting boundaries, necessitating increased awareness and sensitivity to ensure enthusiastic and informed consent.

  10. Education and Awareness: Both kink and neurodivergence require a nuanced understanding, and fostering education and awareness within communities can contribute to creating more inclusive and supportive environments.


Addressing these vulnerabilities involves promoting open communication, consent education, and a commitment to creating inclusive spaces that respect the diverse needs and experiences of individuals at the intersection of kink and neurodivergence.

Stardust supports the BDSM community, inclusive sex education through...

Online Resources such as this webpage 
Inclusive Sex Education
out the
Beyond Birds and Bees
Informed Counsellors and Team Members
Non-Judgmental Atmosphere
Client Advocacy

A Beginner's Guide To BDSM, With Tips From Sex Therapists

The article discusses BDSM, aiming to dispel common misconceptions about it being harmful or abnormal. It emphasizes that BDSM, standing for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism, is a consensual practice centered on open communication and respect for boundaries. Experts argue that due to its focus on a judgment-free zone and communication, BDSM can be considered the safest and most enjoyable form of sex. The piece provides an overview of BDSM categories, common activities, and addresses misconceptions about roles in and outside the bedroom. It emphasizes the importance of negotiation, consent, and aftercare in ensuring a safe and enjoyable BDSM experience. Additionally, the article offers practical tips for beginners, such as starting with fantasies, open communication, and incorporating aftercare.

Yes No and Maybe Lists 

A "yes-no-maybe" list is a tool used in the context of sexual communication and negotiation, particularly within BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, and Masochism) and kink communities. The list is designed to help individuals communicate their sexual preferences, boundaries, and interests with their partners. It typically includes a variety of activities or behaviors categorized into three sections:

  1. Yes: Activities or behaviors that the individual is enthusiastic about and fully consents to.

  2. No: Activities or behaviors that are definite limits or hard boundaries for the individual, indicating that they do not want to engage in these.

  3. Maybe: Activities or behaviors that the individual is unsure about or open to exploring under certain conditions. This category often allows for further discussion and negotiation.

The "yes-no-maybe" list serves as a guide for communication and consent within intimate relationships, emphasizing the importance of clear and open communication about desires, limits, and boundaries. It helps create a framework for partners to discuss their preferences and ensures that all parties are on the same page regarding what activities are acceptable and desired. Using such a tool promotes a consensual and respectful approach to sexual exploration and play.

Websites & Links to Check Out 

What is Aftercare? 

In BDSM, aftercare refers to the care and support given to participants after engaging in a scene. It involves physical comfort, emotional support, cuddling, verbal reassurance, debriefing, and respecting the need for personal space. Aftercare is highly individualized and essential for the well-being of participants, fostering trust and connection within the BDSM community.

Here are some common elements of aftercare in BDSM:

  1. Physical Comfort: This may involve providing a comfortable and safe space, offering blankets or warmth, and addressing any physical needs such as hydration or tending to wounds or bruises.

  2. Emotional Support: Aftercare can include emotional reassurance and communication. Participants may need to discuss their feelings, experiences, or any concerns that arose during the scene. It's a time to check in with each other and provide comfort.

  3. Cuddling and Affection: Physical touch, such as cuddling or gentle affection, can be an important part of aftercare. This can help foster a sense of intimacy and connection after more intense or physically demanding BDSM activities.

  4. Verbal Reassurance: Offering verbal affirmations and reassurances can be crucial. Participants may need to hear words of comfort, affirmation, or praise to help them process the experience.

  5. Debriefing: Taking time to discuss what worked well and what might need adjustment for future scenes is part of aftercare. Open communication is important to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page and feels satisfied with the experience.

  6. Providing Space: Some individuals may need quiet time or space for personal reflection after a BDSM scene. Aftercare involves respecting these needs and allowing participants to decompress at their own pace.

Risks of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

Engaging in consensual kink, BDSM, or any alternative sexual practices does not inherently cause or lead to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). IPV is fundamentally rooted in issues related to power, control, and abusive behavior within a relationship, and it can occur in a variety of contexts, regardless of the sexual preferences or activities of those involved.

Consent, communication, and respect are fundamental principles within the kink and BDSM communities. In healthy and consensual BDSM dynamics, participants prioritize open communication, negotiate boundaries, and establish clear consent protocols. It's when these principles are disregarded or violated that issues, including IPV, may arise.

It's important to avoid stigmatizing or pathologizing individuals based on their sexual preferences. People in the kink community can engage in consensual activities that are mutually satisfying and respect the well-being and autonomy of all involved parties.

When discussing the intersectionality of kink, and IPV, the focus should be on fostering understanding, providing support, and creating environments that promote consensual, safe, and respectful interactions. It's crucial to combat misinformation or misconceptions that may unfairly link consensual kink practices to abusive behavior.


Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) adds an additional layer of complexity when combined with the intersectionality of kink and neurodivergence. Key vulnerabilities may include:

  1. Communication Barriers: Neurodivergent individuals may face challenges in articulating experiences of IPV, and kink communities should be attuned to diverse communication styles to identify signs of abuse.

  2. Power Imbalances: The power dynamics inherent in kink activities may intersect with those present in IPV, amplifying the potential for coercive control or manipulation.

  3. Isolation: Neurodivergent individuals may already be susceptible to social isolation, and IPV can exacerbate this vulnerability, making it crucial to provide support networks and resources.

  4. Consent Violations: Individuals with neurodivergent traits may be more susceptible to consent violations, as perpetrators may exploit communication challenges or difficulties in asserting boundaries.

  5. Gaslighting and Manipulation: Neurodivergent individuals might be more susceptible to gaslighting or manipulative tactics, making it essential to recognize and address coercive behaviors within relationships.

  6. Access to Resources: Neurodivergent individuals facing IPV may encounter barriers in accessing support services due to communication differences or institutional shortcomings, necessitating tailored resources.

  7. Trauma-Informed Approaches: Combining kink, neurodivergence, and IPV requires trauma-informed approaches within community spaces to address the potential for past trauma and create supportive environments.

  8. Community Awareness: Kink communities need to be aware of the signs of IPV, educate members on recognizing and responding to abusive behaviors, and offer resources for intervention and support.

  9. Crisis Deescalation: Understanding the unique needs of neurodivergent individuals during crises, such as moments of escalated conflict, is crucial for preventing harm and ensuring the well-being of all parties involved.

  10. Legal Protections: Recognizing that neurodivergent individuals may face additional legal challenges in reporting and addressing IPV, communities should advocate for inclusive legal protections and support systems.

Addressing the intersectionality of kink, neurodivergence, and IPV requires a comprehensive and empathetic approach that prioritizes safety, communication, and the well-being of all individuals involved. Creating an environment that fosters open dialogue, consent education, and access to supportive resources is essential in mitigating these vulnerabilities.




Brewer, N. Q., Thomas, K. A., & Guadalupe-Diaz, X. (2023). "It's Their Consent You Have to 

Wait For": Intimate Partner Violence and BDSM Among Gender and Sexual Minority Youth. Journal of interpersonal violence, 8862605231193445. Advance online publication.



Dulcinea Pitagora (2016) Intimate partner violence in sadomasochistic relationships, Sexual and 

Relationship Therapy, 31:1, 95-108, DOI: 10.1080/14681994.2015.1102219



Quinn. (2021, January 14). Aftercare tips. Unearthed Pleasures.



Gunning, J. N., Rubinsky, V., Aragón, A., Roldán, M., McMahon, T., & Cooke-Jackson, A. (2023, January 7). A preliminary investigation into intersections of sexual communication in bondage, domination, sadomasochism and disability. Sexuality & culture.,are%20not%20relevant%20to%20them.



Gunning, J. N., Rubinsky, V., Aragón, A., Roldán, M., McMahon, T., & Cooke-Jackson, A. (2023). A Preliminary Investigation into Intersections of Sexual Communication in Bondage, Domination, Sadomasochism and Disability. Sexuality & culture, 1–17. Advance online publication.



Thomas, S. S. (2018, April 17). 8 BDSM sex tips to try if you’re a total beginner. Allure.



Burton, S. (2023, September 19). Why are so many kinky, queer, or Poly Folks Neurodivergent?. Sex Coach Shannon.



Terrell, M. (2019). How to tell if your BDSM relationship is abusive. VICE. 



Dulcinea Pitagora (2016) Intimate partner violence in sadomasochistic relationships, Sexual and 

Relationship Therapy, 31:1, 95-108, DOI: 10.1080/14681994.2015.1102219

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