What Is BDSM? Let’s Satisfy Your Curiosity


What Is BDSM? by Kayla Lords


Did 50 Shades of Grey and BDSM make you a bit tingly and a little uncomfortable at the same time? Did you have the thought flash in your head that you were both intrigued and appalled? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

The application of BDSM can never be completely explained in one piece of fiction, no matter how titilating. If reading the trilogy made you even the slightest bit curious, maybe it will help to know that not everyone who enjoys BDSM wants what some might consider more extreme live the life of Christian Grey.

What is BDSM?

BDSM stands for bondage and discipline (B&D), dominance and submission (D&S), and sadism and masochism (S&M). The term itself appeared in 1969, but the different practices date back centuries. It is thought that the ancient Sumerian Goddess Inanna, the goddess of War, Fertlity, and Lust may have been the first Dominitrix. Marquis de Sade, a French aristocrat, philosopher, and writer is probably the most famous practitioner. It is from his name that we derive the term “sadism” or “sadist.”

What Is BDSM

What Is BDSM? ~ Guest Post ~ Kayla Lords

Bondage and Discipline

At first glance, these two don’t seem to make sense together. Bondage implies being tied up while discipline probably makes you think of rules and yelling. Bondage simply refers to physical restraint – yes, this might mean rope or chain, but it can also be silk scarves and fuzzy, hot pink handcuffs. Discipline can be described as mental restraint. One or both partners may live under specific rules and if those rules aren’t followed, punishment follows.

Often, in terms of discipline, the phrase used most often is protocol. There are entire practitioners of BDSM who follow a very specific set of rules and as with any rule, there is a punishment to be meted out if broken. All imposed rules and set punishments are negotiated ahead of time, but if you’d like to try it out at home it may be as simple as saying, “Yes, Sir” and not being allowed your favorite treat if you forget. The punishment doesn’t have to be sexual in nature in order to count.

Dominance and Submission

Commonly referred to as D/s, dominance and submission are often the most well-known in the BDSM continuum and the most misunderstood. In a D/s relationship, one partner is given control over the other. This is sometimes known as a power exchange. A common saying in D/s is that there is no domination without a willing submissive. A person who chooses to submit to their partner can withdraw their permission at any time.

Curious, but scared? Submissives often find pleasure in making their partner happy in simple ways – making a favorite meal, deferring to their partner’s judgement, asking for permission to engage in intimate activities. The hallmark of a Dominant, male or female, is the desire to take care of a submissive. Simply holding the door open for your partner, asking how their day is going, and offering advice (without pushing too hard) when a problem comes up are all non-sexual, non-threatening ways to be more dominant within a relationship.

Sadism & Masochism

Sometimes known as sadomasochism, like D/s, the sadism and masochism are complementary. A sadist finds sexual pleasure in the implentation of pain, while a masochist finds sexual pleasure in receiving pain. Yes, this part of BDSM can be taken to an extreme that many find unnerving. There are simple, less threatening ways to determine if this is your thing in the bedroom.

Consider a spanking – whether you like giving or receiving. In the middle of a bit of bedtime fun, a quick swat on the bottom might be just the thing to get you going and making the night even better. Still not sure? Try this – how much secret pleasure do you get from hearing Rihanna tell you how much of a dirty girl she is? Okay then, it may be something to at least think about.

While the extreme sides of BDSM get a lot of attention – whips, chains, and latex, lots of latex – you have the freedom to pick and choose what you like and what you don’t. Think blindfolds and silk scarves are hot? Technically, it could fall into any of the BDSM categories, but that doesn’t matter. Pick what you like, no matter how tame – or wild, and leave the rest behind. It’s not all red rooms, questionable consent, and even more questionable judgement.

The hallmark of BDSM is safe, sane, and consensual. Both partners have to find enjoyment in what you’re doing without putting anyone in harm’s way. That’s it. After that, the sky’s the limit.

And sometimes, it’s this, too


By Kayla Lords | Twitter |