BDSM introduction video: Basics of bondage, dominance, sadomasochism.

A Very Light Introduction to Bondage and BDSM (Video)

A Very Light Introduction to Bondage and BDSM (Video)

Slate in motion.
Sept. 4 2015 9:01 AM

A Very Light Introduction to Bondage and BDSM

Begin by identifying your role: Are you a dom, a sub, or a switch?


Screenshot via Vimeo

Sadomasochism has never looked more cheerful than it does in “Moving on From Vanilla: A Light Intro to BDSM,” an animation created by Lessa Millet and Kaye Blegvad, and originally featured on Karley Sciortino's sex and relationship blog Slutever.

“Kaye and I have been friends for a couple years, and I love her work, so we started talking about ideas of things we wanted to collaborate on," Millet said in an email. “A mutual friend was telling us about this new guy she had just started dating who was kind of into ‘rough’ sex. She was becoming interested in it, but when she would try and look up info online, it would always be kind of cheesy or just scary. That was the spark, I think—we decided to make an intro to BDSM that was both approachable, funny, but also had some actual information in it."


Millet directed and animated the short, while Blegvad illustrated and designed the charming sketches that drive it.

With the help of a menagerie of kinky animals and voiceover from actress, filmmaker, and writer Karley Sciortino, the video presents the basics of spanking, biting, choking, and other popular BDSM acts, all in a way that’s somehow safe for work. “Kaye and I started off with a list of all the things we wanted to talk about, and then went through and though of funny unexpected ways to show them,” Millet said. “I think we have a similar sense of humor so it came pretty naturally.”

“Mixing in animals was a good way to kind of connect to the ‘fable’ visuals and also not have it be repetitive or gendered, and Karley gave us some good notes on the script on stuff to include that was essential to the BDSM psychology, not just the physical manifestations.”

Enjoy the video above, and use the comment section to hone your verbal domination techniques—but make sure to pick a safe word!

Lisa Larson-Walker is Slate’s art director. She also is the editor of Slate's Instagram account.