BDSM first gained mainstream momentum in the 1940s and with the current cultural rise of movies, music videos, books and latex and leather as staple stamps as fashion phenomenon lets explore BDSM. As an acronym that stands for Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, and Sadism and Masochism, here are its most common myths, debunked.
1) It's a rare phenomenon
A recent study recently found that 57% of people have engaged in some form of bondage or blindfolding.
2) And a new fad
BDSM first gained mainstream momentum in the 1940s, with the popularization of pin-up girls and fetish magazines, as well as the birth of the leather subculture in the gay community after World War Two.
3) It is defined by sadistic and masochistic acts
There is a distinction between BDSM and sexual sadism and masochism, which involve actual physical or psychological suffering to one’s partner or oneself, respectively. BDSM, on the other hand, involves only the role-playing of such acts, with a heavy concern for safety and the prevention of harm.
4) The dominant partner is the one in control
BDSM usually consists of a Dominant (“Dom” or “top”) partner and a submissive (“sub” or “bottom”) one. Although the Dominant would appear to be the one running the show, it is actually Doms that perform to please their subs. Hence, subs are often nicknamed “bossy bottoms”.
5) Partners are either dominant or submissive
Many in the community identify as being a “switch,” which means they are open to taking on either the dominant or submissive role, depending on their mood or their partner’s preference.
6) A person who is dominant or submissive in real life will prefer a similar role in BDSM
If you are naturally a leader, you might take the role of the Dominate in the relationship however this is not necessarily true to core. People who are dominant in real life will take on a submissive role in the bedroom, and vice versa.
7) BDSM is about whips and chains
Like vanilla—or non-kinky—sex, individual preferences vary, from the somewhat tame use of silk scarves and blindfolds, to more extreme pursuits, such as needle play (which involves piercing the body with hypodermic needles), erotic electro-stimulation (which is exactly what it sounds like), and sounding (inserting objects vertically into the male urethra).
8) BDSM is spontaneous and violent
Mutual consent, trust, and negotiation are hallmarks of the BDSM lifestyle. Most will meet potential partners before “playing together” to discuss personal boundaries, any health conditions they might have, and safe words, to ensure that a “scene” (or sexual encounter) will be both sexually fulfilling and safe. Any use of control or infliction of pain is within the context of fantasy, including the role-playing of nonconsensual sex.
9) It always involves some form of sexual contact
Orgasm during a scene is not always necessary for sexual gratification. For example, one man I spoke with enjoyed being humiliated by being whipped by his partner and told repeatedly that he had a small penis. “Sex” for him did not involve any physical contact with her. Gratification would arrive in the form of going home after the scene ended to masturbate while replaying these events in his mind.
10) The BDSM community revolves only around sex
Like any community, those practicing BDSM also enjoy embarking on non-sexual activities. “Munches” are informal events, usually held in restaurants, for the purposes of socializing. Some will also hold information workshops (such as, “Rope Tying for Beginners”) to help educate others in the community.
11) BDSM involves the use of fancy tools and expensive equipment
The impressive set-ups seen in professional BDSM porn is not representative of what most BDSM practitioners have in their collection at home. In fact, many acquire their essential items at hardware and kitchen supply stores. In addition to finding ropes and chains, one can use plastic curtain rods for caning, wooden cooking utensils as paddles for spanking, and clothespins as makeshift nipple clamps.
12) People who take part in BDSM are psychologically maladjusted
In fact, they have been shown to score higher than vanilla folk on several positive psychological characteristics, including subjective well-being.
13) You can tell if someone is part of the lifestyle based on what they look like
Contrary to what you might expect, those who partake in BDSM are usually successful professionals who are educated, work full-time jobs, and have families. Some will wear jewelry emblematic of locks, keys, and dog collars to show that they identify with the community; most others look like the average person you’d see on the street.
So there you have it, your first real introduction to the ever so delicious and misunderstood world of KINK from a true BDSM lifestyle Goddess. Fetishism gets a bad rep, but any consenting sexual behavior is a perfectly healthy and beautiful aspect of sexuality. In fact, it's more common than you'd expect! One study of 367 males reported 35.7% engaged in fetishistic fantasy or behavior; further, not one of these participants reported associated distress. Since distress is the key component to clinical pathology, it's apparent that consensual fetishism is part of the spectrum of sexual behaviors and fantasies in healthy, normal individuals.