Head Games

Last Updated: March 16, 2020

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Definition - What does Head Games mean?

Head games are BDSM scenes where dominant individuals manipulate the psychological or emotional states of their submissive partners. These scenes are opposed to some other BDSM scenes where the dominants attempt to physically manipulate their submissives, such as through whipping or bondage.

Head games are also sometimes called mind games or emotional BDSM.

Kinkly explains Head Games

During head games, dominants usually play on their submissive’s fears, insecurities, and weaknesses, causing them to examine them and their entire worldview. Head games can arouse strong emotions in submissives including humiliation and fear, as well as arousal. Submissives are encouraged to be vulnerable, so a strong bond with their dominants built on trust is essential.

Some people believe head games involve non-consensual psychological manipulation. However, it’s important to note that in safe BDSM play, consent is always given by the submissive. Even if a couple agrees to act as if consent has been waived, called consensual non-consent, blanket consent to acts including head games should be given. Consent can always be withdrawn through the use of safe words in these agreements.

Due to the intense natural of head games, dominants must exercise extreme care when working with submissives with low self-esteem or histories of emotional abuse. Similarly, dominants with a natural lack of trust or respect for groups their partners belong to should also be wary of using head games.

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