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A little bit of BDSM

by Beth Divine 25 Feb 2019

For almost as long as people have been having sex, a certain percentage of them have been delighting in playing with the power dynamic of the relationship. Some people get off on sensations that would be painful to others, while others prefer to abdicate all control to their partner. These desires, strong enough to be called fetishes, are often the beginning signs of a slow but steady journey into the kinky world of BDSM.

BDSM stands for Bondage, Discipline, Sadomasochism and it refers to an alternate lifestyle in which power and roleplay is almost more important than the sex that goes with the terminology.

Those who are into bondage like to be tied up, or to tie up their partners. These sessions can involve sexual petting and stroking, they can involve no touching at all, apart from the tying up, or they could involve full and exciting sexual contact – it all depends on what the couple agree to before they begin.

With discipline, one partner craves punishment – whether it is physical, emotional or any combination of the two. The other partner administers that punishment, using everything from whips and chains to words and humiliation. Again the relationship can be heavily sex-based or not at all – discipline in particular is about power: who has it and how do they enforce that power over their submissive partner?

Sadomasochism refers to the twin fetishes of desiring to be hurt, and liking to cause pain. Now, it is important to realise that the pain that a masochist seeks is not any old pain. A broken leg or bad headache does not make them lie back and writhe in ecstasy any more than it would make anyone else react that way! Nor should sadism be confused with the criminal tendency that is called ‘sexual sadism’ in law-enforcement circles. Criminal sadists are usually psychopathic personalities, and they cause severe pain and damage to their victims who never consent to these acts being inflicted on them.

In all of the above relationships, the community – which is more-or-less self-policing – is insistent on safety, sanity and consent being key to any session. Anyone who is seen to overstep the bounds of the community may well find themselves being shunned – a huge loss to anyone who thrives best in the sub-culture’s usually welcoming arms. Safe words are a must, and the active or dominant partner must take full responsibility for the safety of the submissive partner. So it is easy to see, just from this simple overview, that BDSM relationships are not the one-sided sex-crazed affairs that modern literature and television shows would have us all believe. Instead they are complex and nuanced partnerships, with a power dynamic very different from what might be assumed from a superficial viewpoint.