8 “Facts” You Think You Know About BDSM — Debunked!


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Think everything you need to know about BDSM can be seen on TV and movies? Think again! We’ve got the real deal on what’s up with BDSM.

Say “BDSM” and the name “Christian Grey” comes to mind. However, as many members of the BDSM community would say, Fifty Shades of Grey is really many, MANY shades off from what BDSM is all about. But thanks to the highly popular book-turned-movie series, many people are starting to talk about it, accept it, and even venture out into the kinky pleasures it brings.

But what is BDSM exactly? To start, BDSM stands for Bondage and Discipline (BD)/ Dominance and Submission (DS)/ Sadism and Masochism (SM). For some, it is strictly a lifestyle, something they do. For others, it is an orientation, an integral part of who they are.

The truth about BDSM: The common myths

Clearly, as the name suggests, it is more than just one thing. Those four letters cover many different acts, kinks, fetishes, beliefs, and mentalities. So before you go around dressing up as a dominatrix and putting into action what you saw in the movies, let us peel off the Hollywood cotton candy and debunk the following BDSM myths:

#1 BDSM = torture. Practicing BDSM involves a little pain. However, to think that BDSM is all about pain and torture is really just a common misconception.

In BDSM, the one who receives the action becomes much more sensitive to many kinds of sensations that come together to heighten pleasure. Devices such as the cat-o’-nine tails or the flogger, despite its historical use to torture people, are used in so many different ways, with varying degrees of both pain and pleasure. They can be used to stroke parts of the body, or just lightly whip the partner, often the submissive one.

Instead of thinking about BDSM as something painful, think of it as a complex interplay of power between the dominant and the submissive. [Read: 50 shades of dangerous sex – the right way to get risqué]

#2 BDSM always requires sex. The idea that BDSM only occurs in the bedroom and during intercourse is a widely believed myth.

The truth is, yes, BDSM is highly sexual, but it goes beyond the bedroom and is more than just having sex. BDSM practices are often done during foreplay and during intercourse itself. However, there are still BDSM practices that do not involve sex at all. In fact, there are people who will torture you, bind you, or blindfold you, but not have sex with you.

Sex is not the end-all and be-all of BDSM, and beyond the physical, BDSM is actually a mental experience as well. It explores the exchanges of power, vulnerability, control, and trust. What makes BDSM even more attractive and titillating for many is that it also involves the experiences outside the sexual context, as well as the participants’ desires, needs, and feelings.

#3 BDSM is abusive. BDSM is often portrayed in the media as a group of marginalized, sexually deviant people who are socially privileged and can get away with their abusive behavior. More specifically, a widespread myth involves the idea that dominants have childhood trauma or were abused as children, and are therefore naturally abusive.

There may be some dominants who were abused as children or are naturally abusive, but so are those who prefer an ordinary sexual act. In other words, history of trauma and child abuse exist in all communities. Another argument to this myth is that dominants are simply meeting the needs of their partners in the sense that they use safe words and safe exchanges of power.

In this case, it is important to draw the line between BDSM, which is consensual, and partner violence. To categorize BDSM as abusive undermines the fact there is a whole, diverse community of people who live in healthy, kinky relationships and have self-determination. [Read: 16 devious signs of an abusive relationship]

#4 BDSM participants are forced to do things they don’t want to do. This is another common misconception that taints everyone in the BDSM community. Many people assume that people who are involved in BDSM acts, especially the submissives, are often subject to things that they do not want to do.

First of all, BDSM involves consent and negotiation on both parties. It is about role playing fantasy scenarios, but not before they both agree on specific limits. This entails setting likes or dislikes, boundaries, and safewords that will immediately stop an act each time a boundary has been crossed. Again, if the participant doesn’t want what is being done to him or her but is forced nonetheless, then that is abuse. [Read: 14 tips to get your partner to open up about sex and discuss it]

#5 Submissives are meek and have self-esteem issues. The image of a meek person who always has his head bowed and just taking all the abuse from people because they are not assertive enough is often a portrayal of the submissive. However, this is plainly a myth.

Many submissives are in fact strong, confident people. It takes a lot of strength, self-esteem, and a sense of self to willingly entrust their body and their safety to another person, in this case, the dominant. Still, there are a few who actually have low self-esteem and use BDSM to be humiliated because they believe they deserve it.

But generally, the interplay between the dominant and the submissive is actually a liberating thing, despite the bondage and leather straps. BDSM allows participants to be out of control or relinquish control to someone else, therefore heightening the pleasure and the whole experience even more. [Read: 10 tips to open up and explore your kinky side]

#6 The dominants control the submissives. Another common misconception is the idea that, of course, the dominants dominate. It’s easy to think in those terms, and it is understandable. However, a dive deeper into the world of BDSM would show you that the submissives can also be in control.

For one, the submissives are actually the ones on the receiving end of the pleasure, while the dominants do the work. The dominants act to serve and meet the needs of the submissives, and this is where the former gets pleasure. The dynamics are dictated by who receives the most pleasure, and this is where one of the many beauties of BDSM comes into play.

#7 BDSM is something you can do with “professionals.” While the prostitution industry also involves professional, paid dominatrixes *and some of them don’t even offer intercourse*, most of BDSM takes place between ordinary people. They may be friends, acquaintances, or in relationships. They may even be people who have the same desires and fantasies, and do it without any talk of money.

Additionally, you can’t also assume that prostitutes have BDSM 101 under their repertoire or are skilled with this. Like some doctors specialize in general surgery, neurosurgery, or obstetrics, the same can be said for prostitutes. [Read: BDSM tips and tricks for curious first timers]

#8 Those who are into BDSM look like Goths. Or wear outrageous clothes such as latex and leather! If you see someone on the street wearing leather and stud chokers, black latex, and black leather boots, and look like they jumped straight out of a modern vampire movie, chances are, there are people who would automatically see them as into BDSM acts.

Although it’s true that BDSM allows people to explore many facets of their persona and personal tastes, you don’t have to wear leather, latex, velvet, and PVC to belong in the community. There may be BDSM clubs that prefer guests to come in kinky clothing to ensure that everyone knows the kind of club it is.

However, you can always wear jeans and sweatshirts and live a BDSM lifestyle. That’s fine. Truth be told, people are even encouraged to wear whatever they are comfortable in and whatever it is that expresses their unique individuality. [Read: Top 50 kinky ideas that are worth trying at least once]

Although certain books and movies on BDSM help us see an unexplored side of human fantasy and sexuality, they are actually double-edged swords. Without the right background information as well as an open mind, people can often fall into stereotypical thinking and dangerous misconceptions. These myths must be debunked to help open our minds to the far more diverse BDSM community.

[Read: From the red room to the real world – BDSM in your boudoir]

Just because other people like something that you don’t like, it doesn’t mean that it deserves judgment, shaming, ridicule, or disgust. BDSM, beyond the acts of pleasure and pain, teaches us not only about social justice but also about personal empowerment.

Original article by LovePanky.com: 8 “Facts” You Think You Know About BDSM — Debunked!.

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One thought on “8 “Facts” You Think You Know About BDSM — Debunked!

  1. Marty

    One thing I just can’t seem to explain enough to people is that BDSM isn’t torture. Yes, there’s similar things and when we really get into it we even use similar devices, but there’s always a way for either participant to bail out and both sides have to respect their wishes. When you’re in a club, you’re in particularly safe surroundings since abusive, torturous types are either banned from the club altogether and ejected unceremoniously or develop a reputation that makes others not want to play. There’s no need to fear it. It’s definitely worth the experience at least once or twice!

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