BDSM is often misunderstood and holds many stereotypes that we often see in movies, books, TV or porn. These stereotypes tend to be very black and white – either glamourising the world of kink or demonising it. 

It’s important to do proper research before you start to explore BDSM. While what we do see in porn or in the movies can be great inspiration that can pique our curiosity and turn us on, these representations of BDSM are often not the best for education on the topic. 

So, when exploring your kinky desires and interests, be sure to keep an open mind and a balanced intake of content and information to support you in your exploration. Below are 5 common misconceptions about BDSM to be aware of when exploring the world of kink:

 

BDSM is all about pain

We’ll forgive you if your first assumption of BDSM was that it is all about pain, because the name certainly suggests as such. While the acronym BDSM stands for Bondage, Dominance, Sadism and Masochism, it’s actually an umbrella term for a whole variety of kinky activities – many of which don’t involve pain at all. We might see lots of hard and fast representations in porn, for example, but in actual fact, slow and sensual BDSM totally exists if that is your preference. 

 

The Dominant has all the power

In power play dynamics where one person is Dominant and the other submissive, again it can be easy to see how you’d think the dominant has all the power. However, we must remember that BDSM play is about exploring fantasy, and that in itself is a co-creation. The submissive partner also gets input into what they want to explore and how they like things, and both partners have the ability to stop play at any point.

It can also often be assumed that the submissive is the one who holds all of the power, since they can say no to any of the activities that the Dom decides. This is true to an extent, but this leaves out the fact that the Dominant may also wish to say no to certain activities the submissive wants to do. So in reality, neither Dom, nor sub has more power. 

 

Men are Dominant and women are submissive

Not only is this a very outdated, old-fashioned perspective, it simply isn’t true in any context. However, it is a very common BDSM misconception. Exploring Dominance or submission doesn’t have anything to do with gender, but it’s instead about embodying an energy that you desire to feel.

People have different reasons for wanting to explore both roles, and that usually has something to do with subverting the norms of their everyday life. For example, those in positions of authority in their work may enjoy submitting in the bedroom and vice versa. Ultimately power play roles transcend gender norms entirely, so enjoy exploring a variety of roles that feel aligned with your desires. 

 

You need to invest in lots of bondage equipment or a dungeon

Most people expect to dive right into experimenting with lots of kinky equipment or toys when they first enter the world of BDSM, but the truth is, this can get very expensive and be hit and miss if you don’t yet know what you like. But BDSM doesn’t have to be expensive. Focusing on the feelings you want to evoke during play is a great place to start and allow yourself to get creative in how you do that.

Toys and equipment should be there purely to enhance play, but you certainly don’t need to rely on it to have a good time. Get creative with household items such as wooden spoons and hairbrushes for spanking tools, scarves and ties for blindfolds and bondage – you get the idea. Then once you know what sensations and feelings you enjoy, you can choose to invest in your kit wisely. 

 

Those in the BDSM community are highly sexual

One of the biggest misconceptions of BDSM and those who practise it is that everything always involves sex. Many people often feel the pressure to get involved in non-monogamous sexual relationships, swinging and sex parties, but you definitely don’t need to be into this to enjoy kink and be a part of the community.

BDSM/fetish parties can be a very different experience, in that, while there are spaces in which you can play and have sex, the focus of the evening is that you get to embrace your kink, whatever that is for you. Enjoying a spanking doesn’t have to be sexual at all, or even involve any nudity.

So many BDSM activities don’t need to result in sexual activity if you don’t want them to. It could simply be the aesthetic of kink, or the headspace it takes you to. Many people also practise kink in monogamous relationships. The important thing is that you are exploring kink in a way that makes you feel good, not in a way you feel you should be doing it.

There are plenty more misconceptions out there when it comes to BDSM and Kink, so the most important thing to remember is that everyone’s exploration and experience looks different. What’s beautiful about the BDSM community is that everyone is so open and welcoming, which can be reassuring and validating as you begin your journey into this world. Those that do hold these expectations of you, are likely not going to be aligned to you and creating the best experiences for your desires, so be sure to take the time to choose wisely who you connect with and where you consume your content on BDSM.

 

Learn more about me in my Sensuali interview: BDSM coaching: meet Sub in the City.

Educational
bondage
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masochism
sadism
Submissive
Sarah (Sub in the City)

Sarah (Sub in the City)

Author

Sarah is a BDSM Coach, Kink Educator, Therapist and proudly collared submissive. Her goal is to bring BDSM into the 21st Century, and empower you to consciously explore what BDSM means to you.


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