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what is bdsm?

What flashes in the mind when people say BDSM? A dungeon, a naked woman tied to a bed or a hooked to a wall, being beaten with a flogger held in the hand of a man in leather. Or, perhaps a man groveling at the feet of a fierce dominatrix, putting her spiky-heeled latex boot on his neck? These images fit the essence of BDSM, of course, but they are a small slice of the wide spectrum of practices that fall under the BDSM umbrella.

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In essence, BDSM is a uniquely intense way of building excitement and creating intimacy.

Most BDSM categories — Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, and Sadism & Masochism — are played out in the context of mutually consensual power exchange, in which a “bottom” surrenders control of body or mind to the activities of the “Top.” These activities often, but not always, include pain and torture of varying degrees, using a wide array of devices. (It’s not all about handcuffs and whips, sometimes its about being tickled with a feather, or being zapped by electricity.) Sexual excitement is typically the main impetus for such “scenes,” but sex isn’t necessarily always involved. (For example, being restrained in an uncomfortable position or made to sit at a Top’s feet for a quiet hour or even being denied sex completely as a psychological game of control). In essence, BDSM is a uniquely intense way of building excitement and creating intimacy.

Most practitioners will engage in BDSM in a roleplay way in a pre-negotiated “scene” of a short duration, with partners sometimes “switching,” or taking turns playing Top or bottom. These people are practicing “kink” and having a ton of fun. But many prefer to go deeper, and do their utmost to genuinely inhabit the roles of Dominant and submissive not only in their sexual relationship, but outside the bedroom as well. This is true power exchange, or D/s, and is not only fun, it can be profoundly life-changing.

The Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon of the past decade has certainly made BDSM seem trendy, but sadomasochism and kink has popped up again and again throughout history. (See a great slide show at kinkytimeline). The prevalence of BDSM practice today in the population is not as easy to pin down as is the number of people who report that the idea excites them. Nearly 47 percent of women and 60 percent of men have fantasized about dominating someone sexually, while slightly more women and less men are aroused by the idea of being dominated, according to a study published in The Journal of Sex Research in 2016.

What flashes in the mind when people say BDSM? A dungeon, a naked woman tied to a bed or a hooked to a wall, being beaten with a flogger held in the hand of a man in leather. Or, perhaps a man groveling at the feet of a fierce dominatrix, putting her spiky-heeled latex boot on his neck? These images fit the essence of BDSM, of course, but they are a small slice of the wide spectrum of practices that fall under the BDSM umbrella.

Other perspectives:

https://www.instyle.com/lifestyle
https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy
http://badgirlsbible.com/what-is-
https://www.greatist.com/connect
https://www.mindbodygreen.com
https://www.buzzfeed.com/caseygueren

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