The word ‘consent’ comes up constantly in conversations about kink. People often tout it as the core element that separates BDSM from abuse. While this is true, the word by itself doesn’t go far enough to help practitioners, especially those just starting out, protect themselves and one another from potential problems.
The term ‘informed consent’ was first used in the medical field and is considered fundamental to ethics and laws regarding patient rights. It describes the process that requires doctors to provide information about possible side effects and other risks before they elicit permission to provide a particular treatment.