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Untying The Nots Of BDSM


With the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, hundreds of men, women and couples are hitting the movie theatre for a taste of something kinky. The movie also brings the culture of BDSM back into the spotlight leaving many curious about what it’s really all about. It hard to define what BDSM is since the term itself is a massive umbrella that covers many different styles of play, instead let me talk about what BDSM is not.


BDSM is NOT all about pain/abuse/humiliation. The letters of BDSM stand for Bondage and Dominance (BD), Dominance and Submission (DS) and Sadism and Masochism (SM). So pain may play a part in the BDSM play between two people, as may humiliation. But not everyone into BDSM likes pain. Many enjoy being tied up and stroked with a feather. As stated before BDSM covers many ideas of kink and can be only defined by those that are playing. The mantra of the BDSM community is “safe, sane and consensual”. This means nothing is done that both parties are not comfortable with and/or desiring.


Those that enjoy BDSM are NOT just from abusive pasts. There is a common misconception that people that like being tied up or whipped or those that do the whipping come from an abusive back ground and that is why they are the way they are. However, the truth is, just as there are people from all walk of life who do not enjoy BDSM, there are people from all sorts of backgrounds that do enjoy BDSM. This means that, yes, you will find some people in the community that have abusive backgrounds, you will find people that absolutely do not want anything to do with BDSM to come from abusive backgrounds. You will also find plenty of people in the community who did not have an abusive or traumatic upbringing.


Doms are NOT always men and subs are NOT always women. There are many men that enjoy being submissive and there are many women that enjoy being dominant.


In real life doms are NOT always controlling jerks and subs are NOT always weak minded people. Dominants are not the power hungry controlling jerks in real life and submissives are not weak and let others walk all over them. Of course, there may be some that are but in reality to be a submissive requires a lot of strength to be able to relinquish some power and control to their dominant. And the role of the dominant is make sure the submissive is safe.


Doms are technically NOT in control. The truth is doms can control the story line, but subs have the control to stop it at any point in time they no longer feel safe or are enjoying what is happening. Couples often discuss safe word they can use to stop the play or words they can use to check in with their partner. A standard set of words are the stop light words of green meaning keep going, yellow meaning stop what you are doing, but we can continue with something else and red meaning stop everything I need some care.


BDSM is NOT all about sex. Many aspects of BDSM do not involve sex or even touching each other at all. Once again the BDSM umbrella is very large and covers a wide range of play from “tying” up, to spanking, to gently stroking to name a few acts.

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