BDSM Myths – Exploring the misconceptions

Blowing the lid off Kink, Fetishes and Shadow Sexuality) by Sir Dominic (BDSM in Sydney)

Firstly, the word ‘BDSM’ is an acronym, but unlike most acronyms, the letters in it are a set of smaller abbreviations, interlocking to define – broadly – a group of concepts that can mean something as short as a good night out at a party with like-minded people or something as deep and varied as a lifestyle practised for a lifetime. BDSM denotes a set of infinite mental, physical and emotional possibilities that can, on first impression, seem as mysterious as a secret cult – but you might be surprised to find out that the chances are good that you’ve had some experience in the field, even if you didn’t know about it at the time and its not just about whips, chains and gimps locked up in a subterranean dungeon. Technically speaking, slapping your partner on the ass during sex is considered a Kinky/BDSM based activity (and is one of the most commonly practised sexual activity outside of standard vanilla sex).

bdsm_mythsGenerally, BDSM denotes a set of erotic and sexual preferences; it’s a form of sexual expression (although a lot of people who are kinky will say it’s not about sex at all) that involve a ‘power exchange’, or the taking of complementary roles that set two or more participants at different levels of power. Within the common dynamics of this very natural desire you might choose from top and bottom, dominant and submissive, or mistress, switch (someone who switches roles), and many more. It comes down to what you and your partner(s) want to express and experience – from submitting to someone else’s will and desires, being in charge and dominating your partner or mixing it up and changing these dynamics as you like in a safe, sane, and consensual manner that involves a good deal of healthy communication that has been found to strengthen the bonds between partners over time. It is not based in misogyny, abuse or brutalisation but refreshingly, the opposite… the BDSM myths that are circulating are doing this quite healthy experience a major disservice and making people who practice it feel a lot of unnecessary shame.

In the last couple of years, BDSM has had some light shone on it for example via books such as ’50 Shades Of Grey’ but there seems to be still a popular misconception about this activity,

There is a popular conception that anyone with these kinds of desires only stems from damaged and abused people – which is far from the truth. A recent study, which was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in May, surveyed 902 people who practice BDSM and 434 people who prefer so-called “vanilla” (non-kinky) sex (both groups of participants were not aware of the purpose of the study). Each person filled out questionnaires regarding their personalities, general well-being, sensitivity to rejection, and style of attachment in relationships. Despite past assumptions that BDSM proclivities might be correlated with previous abuse, rape, or mental disorders (research has shown that they’re not), this survey found that kinky people actually scored better on many indicators of mental health than those who didn’t practice BDSM.

Essentially it is about passion – erotic, sensual (and sometimes the opposite), sexual passion. I don’t think we fully understand exactly where passion comes from, or why, but it flows from us and to repress your passion is to repress your humanity.

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