BDSM is not all about sex

There’s more than 50 shades

In the age of 50 shades and BBHMM, it’s no surprise that your average punter thinks of BDSM as the seedy under belly of love making. The standard view is that its all spanking and fisting and angry sex.

Obviously a lot of people that indulge in the dark arts outside vanilla lovemaking do so for their own sexual gratification, because a lot of the time it’s great.

But as it grows into the mainstream, BDSM’s appeal goes way beyond sex and becomes far more than just about sex. It’s important to remember that those who are well-seasoned with these practices do it for a variety of different reasons. One of the most popular is cosplay.

Cosplay refers to participants dressing up in costumes  to portray characters, or to reverse gender roles. In itself, Cosplay is a subculture under the umbrella of BDSM but tends to be regarded as a rather soft branch of a typically extreme set of practices. For many, Cosplay is the thin end of the wedge, a way to indulge in kinky practises without the fullblown Christian Grey vibes.

Former professional dominatrix and personal submissive Nichi Hodgson agrees and said that BDSM is about far more than just bumping uglies.

A willing participant

A willing participant

“It was about the thrill of power exchange and of deviating from the conventional, limited and limiting sexual script.

“It was a chance to connect with people’s shadow sides and to offer each other acceptance and a safe, tolerant space in which to explore those”.

Nichi also commented on the portrayal of BDSM in the media: “50 Shades is reasonably accurate in its depiction of the physical and emotional thrill of BDSM play but falls down when it comes to depicting the day to day life of a dominant/submissive couple.

“Even those in a so-called full time lifestyle relationship would struggle to always remain in those roles. Most people into BDSM have vanilla sex too and that isn’t depicted.”

Beyond all else, BDSM is about trust. Trust in a relationship when you’re trying something new is the most important thing. After all, trying weird kinky shit you read about on the internet is about trust just as much as it is sex. You need to trust them not to choke you just as much as you trust them to make you come.

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

It’s also about feminism. One of my female friends that dabbles with BDSM told me “I’ve been hit and I’ve also hit.

“Was the guy crying about feeling emasculated? No. So why should I just because I have a vagina? If anything I feel more empowered”

BDSM is about swapping roles, mixing up positions of power in a way that you don’t get in normal life or in normal sex. What could be more liberating than switching and swapping power relationships?

So in short, BDSM is whatever you make of it. Of course it can be 100% sexual, but it’s more likely than not that if you so choose to dabble in the domination play, or any other variation of BDSM, you’ll find that it can a  release, a physical validation of the weirdest bits of you, an expression of complete and utter love, trust, and respect, or something completely new altogether. The point is, there is nothing you have to get out of it, it’s more than sex

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