Top 5 Myths About BDSM

Written by Michael Wynands When it comes to kinky… clarity is key. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Myths. In today’s instalment we’re counting down the Top 5 Myths About BDSM. Short for Bondage & Discipline, Domination and Submission, Sadism and Masochism, BDSM defines a wide range of sexual and erotic activities. Given our societal tendency to exaggerate, generalise about, or outright demonise sexual alternatives and subcultures, this particular collection of kinks has gotten a bit of a bad rap in popular media. Special thanks to our user Ashjbow for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 5 Myths About BDSM



When it comes to kinky… clarity is key. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Myths. In today’s instalment we’re counting down the Top 5 Myths About BDSM.

Short for Bondage & Discipline, Domination and Submission, Sadism and Masochism, BDSM defines a wide range of sexual and erotic activities. Given our societal tendency to exaggerate, generalise about, or outright demonise sexual alternatives and subcultures, this particular collection of kinks has gotten a bit of a bad rap in popular media.

#5: BDSM is a “Fetish”



As anybody involved in BDSM will tell you, you have to have a safe word. Why? Because when it comes to this sort of erotic activity - communication is key. So let’s clarify some terminology. BDSM is not a “fetish”, despite the fact that people often mistakenly refer to it as such. According to sex therapist Christine Milrod, “It’s erotic behavior, or kink”. A fetish is imbuing something that isn’t explicitly sexual with erotic, stimulating qualities. For example, feet. They aren’t sexy to most people, but for someone with a foot fetish? They become an object of desire. Kink refers to any activity that deviates from sexual conventions or norms which gives people pleasure.

#4: It’s Uncommon



BDSM might be taboo, but it’s far from rare. The 2005 Durex Global Sex Survey revealed that 1 in 5 respondents have engaged in some light form of bondage during sex. In the UK and U.S., those numbers climbed to 37 and 36 percent respectively. A 1999 Canadian survey of University students revealed that up to 65% of respondents had fantasies involving bondage. While the percentage of people involved in extreme BDSM is significantly lower, these figures help us understand that BDSM is quite common. It simply exists on sliding scale of intensity. It’s also nothing new. The Kama Sutra makes reference to consensual violence during sex. In the States, BDSM has been around since the late 50s or early 60s.

#3: People Are Always Subs or Doms



In BDSM, the fantasy fulfillment traditionally involves two roles, that of the dominant and the submissive. The dominant, or “Dom” for short, exercises control over the submissive partner by punishing, humiliating, controlling or rewarding them. Both parties derive pleasure from the power dynamic. While most outsiders are familiar with these two roles, many make the mistake of thinking that they are rigid or set. Some people even erroneously believe that these roles reflect someone’s overall personality, when the exact opposite can be equally true. While those involved in BDSM may only be interested in one of the two roles, others identify as a “switch” and will take on either.

#2: It’s All About Abuse and Pain



While Sadism and Masochism may be included in the acronym “BDSM”, as previously mentioned, there are MANY different types of BDSM activities which people can choose to partake in. Many such erotic practices don’t involve whips and chains, or S&M. While either experiencing or inflicting psychological and/or physical pain can be pleasurable for some people, others aren’t interested. For them, stimulation can be derived from being tied up or otherwise restrained, or the simple act of being dominated. Even amongst S&M practitioners, BDSM is not supposed to be inherently dangerous. The riskier or more violent the roleplay, the more safety precautions, communication and trust it requires between partners.

#1: It’s All About Sex



Shocked? You’re not alone. Given that BDSM is about pleasure, people tend to assume that the erotic practices involved are simply extreme variations of conventional sex acts. For some in the BDSM scene however, orgasm has absolutely nothing to do with it. Traditional sex can be totally absent. Instead, being humiliated, restrained, made to feel pain, insulted or otherwise demeaned can give them everything they need. In some cases, there is no physical contact whatsoever. While the uninitiated may only see BDSM as a combination of sex and violence, for others, non-sexual play is the real source of pleasure. It serves as an exercise in trust, relinquishing control and fantasy fulfilment.
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