You could know very little about BDSM, but you have probably heard about the contracts between Dom/subs and Masters/slaves.
A BDSM contract is a document entered into between consenting adults who wish to negotiate and define their BDSM arrangement / power exchange dynamic. As with any relationship, communication is vital. Writing up an agreement is an excellent way to open up communication between each other. The negotiation process can help your relationship grow as you explore your goals and boundaries together!! And it is different for each relationship.
Master/slave – the slave gives up all rights and decision making power to the Master. If it’s a total power exchange (TPE) then it’s without any right to say no and without any limits on the Master’s control. (Even though most slaves do not have a safe word, for a beginning relationship, I would always have some way to communicate to stop things with someone you don’t know very well in this situation.)
Dominant/submissive – subs get a choice as to which aspects of their lives they will allow the Dominant to run. Subs also set limits on sexual play and punishment and can stop role play at any time. In effect, Dominants have less power over submissives than Masters have over slaves.
Pets – an agreement whereby the pet slave is dehumanized and takes on the characteristics of an animal pet like a puppy or pony under the control of an Owner.
Scene only – negotiated prior to a sexual play scene and typically focus on a one off play event. It can be for a series of events but usually these documents don’t encompass a whole relationship or lifestyle.
Not all partners will reduce their negotiations to writing. There is no requirement for you to have one and some people in the community actually refuse to ever enter into one. In saying so, there are many that do have an agreement drawn up and rely on it regularly. Some even sign their contract as part of the collaring ceremony.( which I will talk about in another post) I believe it’s beneficial to have a document drawn up so you can clearly define what’s expected of one another and to check on the health of the relationship, how you are progressing and if anything needs changing to meet your goals.
Agreements which have an expiry date also usually have a renewal clause. When initially starting with a new partner, the agreed period is typically relatively short (about 3 to 6 months). This is normally the training or consideration period where the Dominant/Master will test how the sub/slave performs and decides whether to take him/her on as their permanent slave/sub. Once the initial phase is up, you can terminate the arrangement and go back to how you were prior to the association. Alternatively, you may extend the duration on the exact same terms or you can enter into a fresh agreement and negotiate new terms. What happens next is to be decided between you both.
Here are aspects which should be included in all such treaties including:
The term – how long the arrangement is to last for
Responsibilities of each party
Rights of each party
sub’s Veto – the power to refuse a Dom’s command in certain circumstances
Ability to end the association by either party
Privacy and confidentiality
Areas of control
Understanding as to exclusivity
The use of a collar (if any)
Ability to alter the terms
Necessary legal declarations
Here is an example of a contract http://www.xoobs.com/MasterContract.pdf
I hope this was at least interesting! Or helpful! Keep the research alive!!