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This article is written by me – Kim Debron – it is owned by me. If you copy it, please give the credit to me, otherwise you are committing an act of plagiarism – you are stealing my work.

What is BDSM

The term BDSM is made from 3 pairs of words:

 

  • Bondage and Discipline

  • Dominance and Submission

  • Sadism and Masochism

 

 

BDSM is about fetishes and fantasies and activities can vary greatly from the severest of whippings or floggings to the lightest of spankings, from sensory deprivation to mental bondage, rope suspensions, knife play to candle wax and fire play, even just to dressing up in leather, latex, corsets, the clothes can play a big part in what we do…. there really is no limit – only the imagination of the people involved,

 

 

So lets dissect the words a little more and see what they actually mean…

 

Bondage and Discipline:

 

Bondage refers to being restrained in some way, it could be being tied up with rope, being chained, being handcuffed, being gagged, being wrapped up or mummified with plastic wrap, cloth, tape, or any combinations of these things.

It can even mean mental bondage, such as being put in one place and told to stay there.

 

Discipline refers to punishment of some kind – normally spanking, caning, paddling, whipping, or other forms of chastisement. Discipline can also mean such things as standing in the corner or being sent to another room, or other forms of punishment which are not necessarily physical. Sometimes in a role play situation  such as Teacher/ naughty boy/girl,the punishment could be to write lines,

 

 

Dominance and Submission

 

Dominance and Submission describes a relationship in which there is a dominant person and a submissive person - one has control over the other in some way or aspect of life, it could be only within the bedroom or it could be in all areas of life, or it could be a casual encounter. There are many different styles of D/s relationships and there is no right way or wrong way, it is like any other relationship – what works for one set of people may not work for another.

 

The Dominant person is one who enjoys being in control, having that measure of power over another human being. It maybe a lifestyle choice, or just a part time thing, such as a role play.

The Dominant person often has an element of Sadist in His or Her nature, but not necessarily getting the pleasure from inflicting the pain – more from the fact that the submissive on the receiving end is gaining pleasure from receiving the pain….

Many Dominants take their roles seriously and spend many hours learning from others more experienced, about correct techniques and which toys are best, and all manner of other things. Even most casual players spend time learning the right way.

Of course there is always the odd person who buys a pair of leather pants/ corset, and a flogger and becomes an “Instant Master/Mistress” – this is someone to be careful of.

 

The Submissive person is one who willingly and consensually gives up control and submits to the will of another person.

Again it could be a lifestyle choice, or simply a part time encounter, but for whatever time frame it involves, that person is the submissive, is the one who relinquishes the power to another.

For many submissives, the giving over of power results in a feeling of freedom. It is hard to equate being controlled with being free, but from my own personal experience that is how it feels – otherwise why would we do it..

 

 

There are other names given to the types of people who play too, a Dominant person is sometimes called a Top, a submissive is sometimes called a bottom.

These labels usually apply to casual players in other words it is not something that they do all the time, but an occasional – regular or casual - occurrence.

These people assume the respective roles for the time frame of the session or meeting.

A Dominant is always a Top, but a Top is not necessarily always a Dominant, similarly, a submissive is always a bottom but a bottom is not necessarily always a submissive.

There are also people known as masochists, though most submissives have a touch of masochism, there are some folk who are not submissive, but are masochists.

The other type of person is someone known as a switch – this is someone who likes to be both dominant and submissive at various times.

Sadism and Masochism

 

Sadism and Masochism  are terms which refer to the eroticism or pleasure which comes from activities in which some level of pain is inflicted or received.

 

The Sadist is the person who is giving the pain, the masochist the one who is receiving the pain.

 

So what does BDSM do for those of us who partake in these activities?

 

BDSM gives ordinary people the chance to explore and fulfil their wildest or most unusual fantasies and to explore different facets of their sexuality.

 

There are many people who indulge in what we would call BDSM activities – maybe without realising what its called….

 

such simple things as a “bit of slap and tickle in the bedroom” or acting out fantasy role play scenarios – teacher and naughty boy/girl, Boss/secretary, Doctor/nurse etc… maybe  buying a set of play handcuffs and cuffing your partner to the bed.. these things and more are all aspects of BDSM.

 

There are probably more people who play privately than those who play in public, many people do not ever venture to clubs or gatherings, and just “do their own thing” in their own home.

Often people do not realise that what they are doing actually has a name, and a whole culture of enthusiasts, and it is only when they stumble upon others that they understand they are not alone with their weird kinky ideas!

 

 

BDSM is not assault or abuse, though the activities practised may seem to be unusual – and even a little confronting to the inexperienced – it must be remembered that everything is consensual, in other words, all activities have been agreed upon beforehand. This fact is a very important thing to remember about BDSM – if at any time it is non consensual, then it is an abusive and unsafe situation.

 

So now lets talk about the safety aspects…

 

SAFE, SANE AND CONSENSUAL are probably the three most important words to remember about BDSM – Everything should be done in a safe way, a sane way and should always be consensual.

 

Safety is an important aspect so that the chance of injury is minimal – this is  because many activities do have an element of danger and the real chance that injury could occur.

 

Sanity should always prevail – playing when unwell, when drunk or high on drugs is sheer stupidity, and playing beyond the capabilities of yourself or the submissive is definitely not a sensible idea.

 

Consent should always be negotiated between the parties involved – sometimes a check list of what activities are hard limits and what are enjoyable is a good idea, or just a general discussion of where not to go etc.

 

No must always mean NO and a safeword or safe signal should never be ignored –what is a safe word?  A word that is used by the submissive or the bottom, to stop the activity. The most common is RED or mercy, sometimes traffic light signals can be used, so its green for hey i like that give me more, orange for – hang on a sec that’s pretty much okay but no harder, and red is STOP! NOW!

 

What happens if you are gagged, and you cant speak – then you need a safe signal, this could be holding a set of keys and dropping them, sticking a thumb up, or a foot or something along those lines, anything that the Dominant can easily recognise as the signal and something that’s been agreed upon before play starts.

 

 

There is no right or wrong as long as it is SAFE, SANE and CONSENSUAL,

 

So is it all about sex?

 

BDSM activities can be sexual or non-sexual, people who practice these activities can be monogamous or polyamorous, there are many who will play with someone without any sexual activity and equally many who do play sexually. The range of relationships is diverse – Dominants in a monogamous relationship may play with others without sex, Dominants in a polyamorous relationship may bring their partners into the scene and it may be sexual play for all concerned.

 

There are many other aspects of BDSM – the D/s or Domination/submission is more to do with mindset and the psychological element than the physical play.

Some people live in long term relationships where D/s is their whole way of life. This is often known as a 24/7 D/s Relationship. Many go through a formal collaring ceremony which is like a D/s wedding, only instead of a ring there is a collar. This is as binding as any legal wedding and should never be taken lightly.

In relationships like this, the D/s element is often what draws people – there are many submissives or slaves who are service orientated, they love to serve, to take care of, to tend to someone else’s needs. Play is an added bonus for those that enjoy those activities and can be used as a form of punishment for those who do not like them.

The Dominant is happy to be the centre of attention and feeds His or Her need for control by having the submissive/slave around to tend to His or Her every whim.

These relationships take work and communication and should always be built on trust and honesty, not on fear and discipline.

 

BDSM attracts many casual players too, and many go to clubs or events in order to meet like minded people and to engage in some form of play – this can be a once in while thing or a regular occurrence in someone’s life.

There are people who feel the need to involve themselves in this but may have a partner who does not understand – Casual play can fill the need without affecting the relationship.

 

My advice is that if you are curious, seek out like minded people, ask lots of questions, and go to events – mix with the practitioners and the lifestylers, you may very well be amazed that it is not “all about whips and chains and kinky sex”.

kim Debron        ©2007

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