Unheard Of Ways BDSM Play Trumps Vanilla Sex

Between the love life of Bella and Edward in Twilight – to the craze that became Fifty Shades, there’s little doubt that bondage, fetish and kink are the new ‘in’ thing. BDSM mania has taken over the bedroom lives of countless couples across the globe with the breaking down of the walls that was once seen as taboo, dirty or naughty is slowly becoming normalised and with it comes the research on our sex lives.

What Studies On BDSM Have Suggested

The first Fifty Shades erotic novel burst onto the scene in 2011. Scientists, sociologists and sexologists across the world watched in fascination as the normally hidden doors of our sex lives burst open. Following this, a report in 2013 sought to further normalise BDSM by suggesting that practitioners of BDSM led healthier lives than their vanilla counterparts. How can this be? This is despite the fact that in 2013 the sexual preferences of BDSM practitioners were still listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. That’s right – the four ‘fetishes’ Bondage, Dominance/Discipline, Sadism and Masochism are considered on the spectrum of mental disorders. With that in mind – how can BDSM be concurrently defined as being healthier for relationships and categorised on the mental disorder spectrum – when it causes harm to the practitioner or to others? Fear not – the categorisation of BDSM on the spectrum has long been debated and continues to be debated to this day and hopefully, eventually, it will be removed from the list.

BDSM Whip
Image: BDSM Whipping

In the meantime however, if you’re paying attention to a study from 2015 written by Christian Joyal from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières – of the people interviewed a whopping 65% of women, and 55% of men had fantasies about being dominated. Further, 47% of women, and 60% of men had fantasies about sexual domination. This indicates that more than half the percentage of the population has interests in BDSM – specifically in the exchange of power. Arguably, an omnipresent theme within the Fifty Shades franchise.

An article in 2006 by the Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality made comparisons between vanilla individuals, and people that engage in BDSM practices. On average, practitioners and engagers of BDSM activities scored lower levels of depression, decreased anxiety and less post-traumatic stress disorders. Further, a Norwegian study concluded that practitioners of BDSM that had engaged in a play session/scene in the previous few weeks generally experienced a higher level of well-being and satisfaction most notably within their feelings of security, psychological health, and self-esteem. The question then becomes – what makes this situation healthier than vanilla sex? This is where data gets murky and that’s for several reasons. Firstly, everyone engages in BDSM practices for different reasons, and as it is such a diverse activity it’s difficult to ascertain what individual people get out of the experience. There are some common elements amongst it all which we can explore today.

Common Elements In BDSM Practices

Communication

Communication is one of the most important elements of bondage play. When beginning any kind of kink and fetish scene, you first need to check in with your sexual partner as to what they might enjoy. This conversation about sex, about likes and dislikes, and about fetishes is an intimate discussion and can help bring couples closer together. It’s a space of vulnerability, about openness and trust, and these are three things that are important to the foundations of any long lasting and healthy relationship. When it comes to the terms bondage, dominance, submission and kink – negotiation and boundaries are key to each other’s understanding and safety. This negotiation sees the bottom in control with the top/dominant respecting and being respectful of the boundaries provided.

Relaxation

We all, in some varying degrees, enjoy the element of control. Which is why, especially during scenes of dominance, when control is ‘taken’ away from us willingly, we can find great balance in that. It’s no small wonder that a lot of high profile individuals, enjoy submitting to a sexual partner because it’s during that letting go moment that they find a chance to relax, breathe, and engage in a different mindset that they don’t normally engage with.  This is while ignoring the idea that being a submissive indicates all power is removed from them (when it is in fact the submissive who holds the most power within a scene).

Self-Esteem

Bondage scenes can boost self-esteem exponentially. When you’re engaging in rope play, or restraint play – there are moments when your body is on full display. There’s no hiding it, there’s no hiding under the sheets or the cover of darkness. Yet, despite being so vulnerable and exposed – your sexual partner is still engaged with the scene. Providing stimulation, adjusting the bondage ropes, handcuffs or restraints, or changing the position of a toy and so forth – this experience can be incredibly uplifting as you learn to succumb to the scene, the emotions and the sensations and letting go means that your self-esteem is going to sky rocket. The truth is, the feeling of being in control can also be about the ability to let go. It can be cathartic, therapeutic in the sense that they exert control in every other aspect of their lives, except this moment. By letting go, enjoying the moment they can find great benefit to their mental health.

These might seem like three small things, but when you’re sitting back and enjoying everything that BDSM and kink sex has to offer, with someone that you trust and respect, you’ll quickly not only find yourself simply letting go, but also enjoying sex to the fullest. Here’s to your health!

Author: Stephen Smith – BA Of Social Sciences, M.Ed

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 3,000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and receive a FREE ebook on the top 11 sex toys for 2018.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Stephen is a cis-gendered gay male who spends far too much time with his two cats and eating tim tams. A self-identified sex-positive advocate he cares deeply about gender equality, disabilities, sexual education and social issues. Opinionated and bold he isn’t afraid to speak his mind and say what others won’t. With a yearning for knowledge and experience in all things relating to sex, he is a prolific writer that has developed the content for a myriad of informative Sexual Health and Wellness websites.

Stephen’s articles and writings tends to focus on social issues, sexual education, queer issues and all things fetish and absurd. He comes qualified with the completion of a double Bachelor degree in Social Sciences and literature, and a Masters in Education.

4 Replies to “Unheard Of Ways BDSM Play Trumps Vanilla Sex”

  1. This is really a nice article in which you describe about BDSM, couple will love to read it. Thanks for posting and keep going on

Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.