News

Keeping it safe and sane

Slap! is a group which facilitates peer learning and provides BDSM education, with a strong emphasis on safety, for the BDSM community in Singapore.

It was started in mid-2014 by three facilitators, Amber, Adrianna and Robin, who felt that there was a distinct lack of education about the lifestyle and its safety in Singapore.

All three feel there's a richer culture overseas.

The team says: "Communities in the US, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, for example, run regular workshops to educate their members on certain kinks and how to do it safely.

"You could say that we were mirroring that when we started."

So what is discussed in these sessions?

"Our discussions and workshops often focus on safety," they tell us.

Beyond safety, their discussions also explore sanitation, the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the use of safewords.

Robin says: "It's a fine balance between reaching out and educating, and keeping out those who make people feel uncomfortable.

"Everyone has the right to feel safe and comfortable."

But relationship psychologist Richard Lim cautions couples against taking the book or movie too seriously.

"Movies don't depict real life. It is easy to be lured by the beauty of what you see on the screen and be tempted to experiment," he says. "But things can go wrong."

DANGEROUS

For example, Mr Lim points out that the use of handcuffs or similar implements can be dangerous.

"Some of these implements are even illegal and you won't have any way of verifying it," he says.

"There are many ways of injecting fun and new experiences in the bedroom without BDSM."

Mr Lim has this advice to couples who still want to try it out: "At any point when you are in a position of real fear or real pain, get out.

"It can be handcuffs now, the next time it will be gags.

"Then one day, you may find yourself in a position where real damage is done but by then, it is too late."