What is BDSM?

There has always been an air of mystery and hushing around the subject of BDSM. Those who know about it but don’t indulge in it often find it quite repulsive and unacceptable. They find endorsing it no less a crime than supporting rape. Thankfully these days with movies and novels based on the so-called BDSM lifestyle and internet connecting the world better than anything else before, people are learning and starting to accept it. But one begs the question, what is it actually? What does it involve? Why is it there? What is its history? etc.

BDSM stands as an acronym for Bondage & Discipline,  Domination & Submission, Sadism & Masochism. But hey, I am cheating here, right? That becomes BDDSSM. No, I am not, just think how painful it is to type and say that BEE DEE DEE ESS ESS EMM duh. In short, it is just called BDSM. Notice how there is no ‘sex’ over there? We’ll talk about in a while. In order to make it easier to follow, so you can see where I talk about what, I will distribute it in sections.

BDSM Logo
The logo of BDSM

What is it at its core?

Across the world, you’ll find(if you explore), a lot of people who actively participate in BDSM, from really mild to a really deep extent. Quite a lot of these folks seem to think THEY are the ones who understand and have the know-how. You might argue I think the same. Of course I do, however, I shall guide a logical discussion here rather say THIS IS IT. Here are some opinions on it as I’ve come across them over the years:

  • Something to spice up the bedroom life.
  • Unconventional fetishes.
  • An umbrella which accepts crossdressers and transgenders.
  • A really special relationship, which should not be taken lightly and has a lot of rules.
  • It is just bondage.
  • It is sadistic.
  • It is those people who like getting raped.

Some people say stuff like ‘such a pity bdsm has become a tool for enjoyment, they don’t understand what weight a collar carries’ or ‘bondage and stuff is okay, that sounds fun, but why the heck would a girl like to be spanked or electrocuted?’. The real problem here is that everyone views bdsm from their own limited domain. They understand why what they like is likable, but not why others would do stuff they do. This problem isn’t much far from ‘ordinary’ people not being able to understand a kinkster’s heart. Considering a popular opinion, there is one absolute thing that comes out regardless of the differences:

BDSM is SSC i.e Safe, Sane and Consensual

The meaning of that should be absolutely plain, but I’ll elaborate. No matter what kind of stuff you do as BDSM, it has to be Safe, you don’t injure or put your partner(s) at a risk of health. This involves being knowledgeable about doing what you are doing, how to do it correctly and being really careful when doing it. It has to be Sane, means you have to be sane when doing it. You must not be high, and your mental alertness should not be compromised in any way, and this includes being too sleepy. It has to be consensual. Whoever you are doing this with, has to agree to do it with you.

That being said, as for what all BDSM can involve, I’m more inclined to put it this way. Imagine some ‘vanilla’ (popularly accepted as normal/ non-bdsm stuff) fetishes, like watching someone nude, fondling them, kissing, cuddling, embracing etc. and imagine fetishes or activities that might be considered unnatural like bondage, flogging, wearing opposite genders clothes(cross-dressing), electrocuting, waxing, practically anything that gives erotic pleasure, or maybe even just pleasure. Any sub-combination of these that you indulge in, could possibly be considered as BDSM, because BDSM community, is essentially a fetish friendly community.

When you meet someone from BDSM community, let’s say they like wearing latex clothes, people like to avoid them because they don’t want to ‘get the weirdness’. But they are just doing something that they enjoy, they will never force you to do what they are doing, because they don’t have your consent, at max, they might say that if you don’t follow what they do, they don’t want to have anything to do with you. If someone doesn’t respect that, you can be sure, they lie more in the category of ‘assaulters and rapists’ than they do in ‘kinksters’.

What all usually happens in a BDSM scene?

A BDSM scene/play generally involves a kind of power exchange between 2 or more people. The one who gives away the power in any terms is called the ‘submissive’ aka sub or ‘slave’. Once the role is identified, termed ‘bottom’. The one who receives it assumes the role of ‘dominant’ aka dom or a master, after role identification, referred to as the top. Usually, top and bottom play within the confines of mutually common fetishes and do activities that lie in one or more categories of BDSM. Most common of them being some form of bondage. Let us go category by category of subdomains of BDSM? If you have any questions, please use the contact page to reach out.

Bondage: Physically restraining or confining the bottom. This may be done via any restraining tool like rope, tape, scarves, clothes, metallic instruments like handcuffs, boxes, confining to room etc. For people deeply into this, they may go into advanced forms like trying extreme bondage, sensory deprivation, positioning bondage, aesthetic bondage, bondage performances, long-term bondage, rigid body bondage, compressive bondage etc.

Discipline: This domain involves stuff relating to the top setting up rules for the bottom to follow. The rules may serve n number of purposes. For a couple heavily into a kinky relationship, it may serve as a lifestyle that makes the daily life for them easier, or more entertaining. It may be used for the betterment of the bottom in matters within or even outside the relationship, like 1 hours exercise at 7:00 am daily, or posture correction etc. Breaking of rules merits punishments usually and the punishment itself may fall under other categories of bdsm, like bondage. The punishments are not supposed to be entertaining here for the bottom. Most often, the overall goal of discipline is to make the bottom, a better bottom, i.e sub/slave or play partner. Positive reinforcements like rewards can also be used as an incentive for a bottom to be disciplined.

Wearing a half face mask as a rule

Domination and Submission: This relates more to the authority of the top and the implications of their power on the bottom. The bottom must obey what the top desires, as long as it falls into the acceptability criteria that has been decided. This acceptability may be dynamic, may be predetermined or could be just set up in a complicated way. This is quite often confused with ‘Discipline’ because even there, what top says, the bottom follows isn’t it? The difference is more along the lines of following ‘rules’ vs ‘orders and desires’. The boundary starts to thin and become more clear when you understand that this is a really specific area of ‘discipline’ where the rule is for a bottom to obey and do as the top commands. This may again involve other aspects of bdsm, the top may want to tie up their bottom, the bottom may not always like it, but if it is not a hard limit for them, they must get tied up. You can think of this branch as more of a dynamic that helps implement others with an absolute authority by the dom.

Obeying the dom, fulfilling his wishes. Mostly is fun for bottom too 😉

Sadism and Masochism: Here comes the most wildly misunderstood wildly mysterious part. It is often considered being a sadist is a bad thing. It may not be. As long as you are humble and follow the rule of consent, why would it be? Sadism is the branch of bdsm where the top enjoys inflicting pain on the bottom, and the bottom enjoys it. This may not always be a 100% true case always. Sometimes, the bottom may like some other stuff that the top does to them, and in order to fulfill the relationship, the bottom may give back the pleasure via satisfying the sadistic desires of their top. Naturally, this is the place where safety and safewords become really important. Boundaries of pain can be overcome quite easily, and the top needs utmost care to not injure the bottom, but also, to respect and be within the limit of pain the bottom can take. As with any other branch, this may involve a lot of different ideas. Pain could be brought about by a lot of different kinds of things. It may be a physical impact, producing impact plays like spanking, slapping, whipping, caning, beating, thrashing etc. It could be discomfort brought on by extreme forms of bondage like hogties. It could be electrical play, it could be a denial of breath for some time. It could be done by a wax, or instruments like a pinwheel, nipple clamps etc.

Getting a whipping from the dom

These are still essentially just categories, any play need not fall strictly into 1-2 domains, it could possibly span all domains. Imagine a scenario where a bottom has the rule to set herself in a predesignated place where restraints are attached and then she’s supposed to sit on top of a vibrator for an hour at 10:30 pm every day. While doing this, she will also wear nipple clamps. Since this is a rule, it is discipline. She is restrained, maybe via handcuffs, so it is bondage as well. She is obeying this, so its d/s. Since she is getting objectified and vibrated, it is s&m as well.

What is the relation between sex and BDSM?

Sex could be a small part of any BDSM relationship because it is just one type amongst a never-ending list of possibilities. A BDSM relationship encompasses a wide variety of Interpersonal Relationships. It could be just an occasion meetup, friends with benefits kind of thing, a second relationship to just explore fetishes, could be a play partner setting, a mentorship/guide based relationship and who knows what else. It indeed is majoritively seen in sexual relationships as an extension, but think about it, that is purely because the majority of the world is involved in sexual and love relationships first. Since trust in these relationships is already developed, they just proceed to have yet another one, as an extended branch of it. But this doesn’t mean pure BDSM relationships don’t exist. I have known many different kinds to have existed. I will not name who, but here is some info about them.

There was a lesbian couple in a love relationship involved in a BDSM relationship with a dom. The dom usually involved both of them in mutual bondage settings and they absolutely enjoyed it. Since both the girls had a submissive nature, only one of them at a time could have been the sub at one time if they were left to themselves. Being a sub under a common master, who often tied them in really hot scenes like mouth to mouth kiss bondage, bondage showers together, they found it more deeply romantic and erotic to spend time with each other like this.

There was a guy who served as a guide to a hetero(guy and girl) couple. Both of them answered to the dom, but the guy only followed him as a guide to dominating the girl. The girl would be dominated by both of them. As a service to the dom, she’d give him handjobs for his help.

There is again a household where a guy lives with 2 girls, one being his loved one, and other, just a slave. The slave is bottom to both people in the couple, and the guy is top of both the women. Quite often, their chemistry would be to make the slave serve and entertain both the other tied up sub as well as the dom. It was quite complicated to understand the dynamics of their relationship, and I didn’t explore much further. From what I got, they were indeed in a complete sexual relationship as well, no restrictions.

Then there is this couple where the guy is totally vanilla, but the girl is awfully kinky. She seeks out a dom in order to satisfy her desires with permission from her boyfriend under the condition that he is to know everything that goes on and the girl will not have any sexual relations with this dom. My own bdsm relationship used to be quite similar, the exceptions being my restriction was even for the lower body clothes not coming off as well as no sexual relation, but intimacy and romance had no probs, and my sub didn’t tell her bf either.

A girl in need of financial help used her submissive nature to serve as a paid household-cum-bondage slave. She lives with her master and tends to his daily needs when she is free and from night 10 to next morning when her master goes to work, she serves as a playtoy.

So in a nutshell, don’t be narrow-minded about the possibilities, have an open mind and figure for yourself what works for you.

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