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BDSM 101

Photo+credit%3A+Diego+Ramirez
Photo credit: Diego Ramirez

Photo credit: Diego Ramirez

Photo credit: Diego Ramirez

Kendall George

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First, let’s learn what the term of BDSM actually means. BDSM stands for bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism. Although a perhaps scary term, most people who are sexually active have participated in at least a tiny amount of BDSM, whether it be blindfolding, handcuffs or full-force “knife play.”

Now, how can those who are interested start incorporating it into their sex life?

1. Bondage and discipline:

Bondage and discipline are referring to the act of two or more, consensual partners using restraints and “training” to dominate another person sexually. Emphasis on the “consent.” Things like ropes or handcuffs, to cages and ceiling hooks are all used.

2. Domination and submission

Domination and submission are terms that use to describe the act of someone giving away their power to someone else or taking someone else’s power away sexually. This could be like having to ask permission to do something or having no say in what happens to them. Please understand that people who are participating in domination and submission have already consented to these things before anything sexual happens. Often, people will also have “safe words” that tell the other partner that things are not OK and to stop immediately.

3. Sadism and masochism

These terms refer to people who are sadistic, people who receive sexual gratification from inflicting pain others or people who are masochistic, people that like receiving pain for sexual gratification. Things like spanking, slapping or even tickling can be associated with sadism and masochism. Again, consent, please.

4. Safety in the BDSM world

There is a lot of stigma regarding members of the BDSM community. Movies like, “50 Shades of Grey” paint a picture of things that happen within the sexual relationship of kinky people. However, a lot of these depictions in mass media are wrong. In the majority of BDSM relationships, and all of the healthy ones, do not mimic the relationship that is seen in, “50 Shades of Grey.” Healthy relationships that practice BDSM are filled with respect, communication, safe words and no pressure to do something that anyone doesn’t want to do. There is no pushing, no coercing and a mutual understanding of what the relationship consists of.

5. How do you begin?

Getting started in the BDSM world can be confusing and perhaps a little awkward. However, a BDSM relationship will not be successful unless there is open communication on both sides. If someone is too uncomfortable to talk to another person about BDSM, perhaps they aren’t mature enough to be practicing it. However, if it has been talked about opening with everyone involved, the first step is bdsmtest.org. This website will ask questions related to kinks and give whoever takes it a detailed understanding of who they are, sexually, and where to begin.

BDSM can be hard to talk about, taboo and raise some uncomfortable feelings. However, it can also be a very liberating lifestyle, bringing couples closer together and building healthy, happy relationships.

Kendall George can be reached at the [email protected] or @kendallmgeorge on Twitter.

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BDSM 101