7 Most Common Misconceptions About BDSM

Thanks to porn, Fifty Shades Of Grey, and a lack of open discussion, BDSM has been thrown into the mainstream spotlight with a ton of negative stigmas and stereotypes attached to it. I’m here to tell you that there’s SO much more to it than “rough sex” or a manipulative rich dude and his Red Room of Pain. Practicing BDSM is and should be empowering, healthy, consensual, and safe for all parties involved. NOW, let’s smash the most common misconceptions about BDSM culture to destigmatize and promote a better perception of these totally awesome practices, shall we?

1. It’s Mainly Just Whips And Chains

As Rihanna sang in her hit song “S&M” that you probably sang along to in the car with your parents back in 2010, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me.” But just because Rihanna gets excited by sadomasochism, she might not be into voyeurism, infantilism, or other kinks. That’s because “whips and chains” are just one part of BDSM. BDSM is a broad term which is short for Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, and Sadism/Masochism.

You’ve probably fantasized about something ~kinky~ at some point in your life. Follow your dreams. Turn that sh*t into reality. Research and play around with different types of toys, restraints, and tools, how to use them, and which ones are most appropriate for you and the type of scene you want to experience before you use them. Maybe start with lube and a blindfold or vibrator, then, if/when you’re ready, incorporate rope or a flogger or an automatic machine. Whatever you’re into.

2. You’re Under Someone Else’s Control

Andddd this is literally why communication around kink and consent is so important. Establish, agree upon, and sign set contracts before entering any scene or relationship. Pick safe words (like “pineapple” or “red” or “stop”) to ensure everyone can quickly and easily communicate when something becomes too much to handle. This should be a mutually enjoyable experience for everyone, and once it borders along anything otherwise, it’s 100% okay and ENCOURAGED to stop. You’re BOTH (or ALL) in charge.

3. It’s Abusive In Nature

Sure, some practitioners are masochistic and enjoy receiving pain or being humiliated, and others are sadistic and enjoy inflicting pain or humiliation onto their partners, but that’s because they… wait for it… ENJOY it. It’s for their PLEASURE.

BDSM is not slavery. It is not abuse. It is a consensual act between willing participants. All parties should disclose medical conditions, fears, wants, and needs in order to make sure all necessary precautions are met for the best and safest interaction possible. Some people enjoy kinkier relationships because they actually present a way to heal from past experiences or traumas outside of a traditional therapist’s office.

4. Scenes Are Always Sexual

Nope. Many people with high-stress, high-profile careers just want to let go of control for a change and have someone else take the reigns for a bit. Some people crave having their non-sexual fantasies finally fulfilled and have found someone who’s down to lend a helping hand (or foot pic). Other people want an emotional or a mental connection instead of a physical one. Different strokes for different folks.

5. People Who Enjoy Kink And BDSM Are Sick Or Have “Daddy Issues.”

If we could time travel and ask Sigmund Freud if BDSM practitioners are sick in the head, he’d probably said yes and they need treatment. WELL, a study conducted in 2006 found the following: “Compared to the normative samples, BDSM practitioners had lower levels of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychological sadism, psychological masochism, borderline pathology, and paranoia.”

So yeah, thanks for the compliment, Freud. People into BDSM are pretty f*cking sickkkkk… as in cool. They’re normal. They have good jobs. Oh, and they also have healthy relationships with friends and family, including their dads.

6. Girls Who Wear Chokers Are Obviously Into Getting Choked Sexually

Chokers might not be “in” anymore but if you still see a girl wearing one at the bar, don’t assume she likes getting choked in bed. If you’re about to hook up with a new chick who’s wearing a string around her neck, I HIGHLY recommend demand you ask her if she likes getting choked before you decide to put your hands around her throat, you psychopath. That’s a great way to get punched or scare the sh*t out of someone.

Once again, communicate, communicate, communicate with your partners. Never assume somebody is into something because of what they wear or what they post on Instagram (like the random ignorant stranger who slid into my DMs the other day and asked if I wanted to touch his D in reply to my story of the cool dildo wall at the Museum of Sex). Basically just be a decent human, for f*cks sake.

7. BDSM Scenes Are Cold And Emotionless

W R O N G. BDSM scenes are very physically, emotionally, and mentally fulfilling when appropriately conducted. Some of my most intimate connections have been with people who have done things to me that I’m 100% not going to mention here for a lot of reasons, including the fact that my mom may or may not be reading this right now (hi and please don’t ever let me know you read this, mom). Andddd once upon a time, I mentioned the word “aftercare” to a potential partner who literally replied with “aftercare??? Lol we’re not in daycare.”

I believe BDSM culture is the total opposite of cold and emotional. Caring for and about the person you’re with before, during, and after any scene is a huge, important component of a pleasurable experience. Most of that boils down to understanding your limits, wants, and needs then communicating them openly with your partner(s) who you trust will take great care of you and honor your vulnerability, and vice versa.

At the end of the day, we’re all here for a good time, not a long time. Whether you enjoy vanilla sex or mint chocolate chip sex with rainbow sprinkles, chocolate syrup, and a cherry on top, who the f*ck is anyone to judge? /endscene

Images: Pixabay, Giphy (7)

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