I’ll admit, along with millions of others, that I have read almost all of the “50 Shades of Grey” books and actually liked them enough to an extent. They’re hot, what can I say. However, that being said, they’re hot in a totally different way than what I will assume that the author intended. The books and movies seem to have supported a variety of misconceptions about BDSM (which is my assumption that a BDSM type of relationship is what she was attempting to portray).
The blame can’t all be put on “50 Shades” though. These are things that I have heard circulating for quite a while. Often times, the misconceptions, quite honestly, scare the s*!+ out of people and cause them to shy away from the idea that BDSM might ever be for them.
So, let’s debunk some of these, shall we… and who knows, you might be running off to the nearest dungeon before you know it.
15. It always involves intimacy
Probably amongst the most common misbeliefs about BDSM is that it always involves the physical act of being intimate. Obviously, this is an extremely common thought among those who have never before participated in the community or BDSM acts or probably ever even met and conversed with anyone who actually does.
Of course, for some people intimacy is a huge part of their experience, but for others, they draw a hard line between the two. For many people who are a part of the community or lifestyle in some respect, it would genuinely take away from their “play time” experience. That’s just not what it’s about. That’s their time to have fun, be intimate, and explore as a partnership in a space that isn’t necessarily based on physical intimacy.
14. Submissives like to be treated poorly in their day to day lives.
Umm, no, not necessarily… Or not at all actually. Personally, I am more submissive, but if you ever try to tell me what to do outside of the bedroom, I might just swing on you. This goes for dozens and dozens of other submissives that I’ve spoken to. There’s a time and a place. However, there are people that are “lifestyle submissives” who focus their every day on “serving” their masters. This actually is a thing and is genuinely a type of lifestyle that takes an extreme amount of passion, dedication, and trust among partners. Often times you would not be able to guess who is a part of the lifestyle but it is actually much more common than you might expect. That being said, even “lifestyle submissives” do not necessarily want to be treated like sh*t in daily life, especially by someone other than their master. That is a no-no, no-go, sir.
13. There’s a huge difference between pain and pleasure
Actually, there is an incredibly fine line between pain and pleasure believe it or not. The majority of people willing to speak openly about their preferences in the bedroom will typically admit that they enjoy either inflicting or receiving some small pain during the deed (i.e. pulling hair, biting, scratching, etc).
Think about that time a couple weekends ago when your f*ck buddy nibbled on your neck a little… it kind of hurt, I’m sure, but you liked it, right?
As the mind moves away from pain, it moves towards pleasure, so for many people, pain causes an excitement that morphs easily into intense pleasure. There are similar endorphins released for each physical sensation, but if you’re getting hot and heavy with your partner and they pull your hair a little too hard, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy it a hell of a lot more than if you’re walking down the street and they yank on your hair.
12. It’s always violent and painful
The wonderful thing about BDSM is that it can literally be anything you want it to be. It can hurt like hell or be as gentle, loving and passionate as you could imagine. It is your playtime for you and your partner and no one else.
Taking and inflicting pain is just one fetish that can be a part of the experience. You can have certain parts of you tickled with a feather, be strapped to a wheel and whipped, or absolutely anything in between. It is as painful as you want it to be.
Many people seem to have this idea in your head that BDSM play time is the equivalent to torture to some extent. It should never be violent to the point of anyone’s life being threatened even remotely and if anyone is ever going into a situation looking to physically hurt someone, be violent with them, and gain pleasure out of their torture then Honey, that’s definitely not BDSM.
11. There’s something wrong with people who like it
Personally, this is one of the misconceptions that bothers me the most. Honey, there’s something wrong with absolutely every single one of us whether you want to believe it or not. I don’t care who you are, where you come from, or why you are more special and perfect than everyone else in the world. Just because someone is into the BDSM culture and lifestyle absolutely does not mean that there is something or anything innately wrong with them at all.
This goes for literally any other fetish, kink, or lifestyle out there (whether based on what you like in the bedroom or not) there are people that will judge and find it “weird”. That’s just the kind of society that we live in; if people don’t necessarily understand something about another then it must be wrong, weird, and something worthy of judgment. At the end of the day, BDSMers like what they like and who honestly gives a sh*t why. Sue us.
10. This is a new trend and a rare phenomenon
Believe it or not, BDSM became popularized in mainstream culture as early as the 1940’s with the introduction of pin-up girls and fetish magazines… and the discovery in the gay community of how bada$$ the leather subculture actually is. Just because 50 Shades only recently came to be a thing doesn’t mean that it introduced BDSM culture to the world. It really only means that it has been recently introduced to those who have absolutely zero concept of the lifestyle in any way shape or form.
The one thing that is new is this skewed, obscure version of BDSM that the “50 Shades of Grey” series perpetuates as a normal view on the general culture. Never before has the BDSM culture been so idealized for such incorrect and screwed up reasons. People have been experimenting with BDSM play long before many of us were even born (the right way) and people will be long after we’re gone.
9. BDSM is defined purely by sadism and masochism
Sadism and masochism involve actual physical or psychological pain to one’s partner or self, whereas BDSM is more about the roleplay of these acts. Obviously, there is a crossover between the two, but there is a distinction that all BDSMers should be aware of. Someone can identify as a sadist or a masochist without necessarily identifying and pursuing the BDSM lifestyle regularly. There are levels to how into it someone could be; from pulling hair to flogging and whips.
People may also identify themselves as both a sadist and a masochist depending on the vary situations, partners, etc. etc. However, BDSM doesn’t always involve the exchange of pain, physical or psychological. Bondage and domination are just as much a part of the lifestyle as the mental and physical painful pleasures. It’s anything you want and nothing that you don’t want. It’s as pleasurable as you can imagine or as painful as you desire. It can be loving, gentle, and tame or rough, aggressive, and passionate.
8. The dominant one has complete control
Doms might physically have control of their partner, but mentally, most of the control is in the hands of the submissive. They want to pleasure their submissive sweetheart and dominants perform in such a way to please them however they wish. The more dominant partner in the relationship often enjoys the act of having their partner vulnerable to them, like pudding in their hands, raw and open. The submissive partner often wants to feel that vulnerability to someone that they respect and trust and they go into this partnership knowing who stands on which side.
Dominants wish to please their partners in every way they desire. Submissives have been called “bossy bottoms” because, sure the dominant partner is doing most of the work, but at the end of the night, they are getting exactly what they want and how they want it. It’s as much of a physical act as it is mental.
7. There is always one dominant and one submissive partner
In some cases, I’m sure there is just one of each in a partnership that is consistently and always one or the other. Some people prefer to always be dominant and some prefer to always be submissive, it’s totally a thing.
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, a lot of people do the whole switcheroo thing and choose a role based on how their feeling that day and what type of playtime they are going to partake in. Dominant and submissive roles can be as fluid as the act itself is in general. It goes back to the whole dominant partner being in charge thing. There’s versatility, fluidity, and the control doesn’t fall exclusively on just one partner. The submissive partner is just as “dominant” as the dominant partner is “submissive”. Psychological domination falls strongly on more submissive partners to try to get their dom to do exactly what they want and take advantage of them exactly how they want it.
6. The BDSM culture revolves completely around the bedroom
Have you ever heard of a “munch”? I hadn’t either until fairly recently but it turns out that they’re actually totally awesome. These are super casual, low-key events, generally held at a bar or restaurant, meant for nothing more than a way to socialize amongst the community. It’s basically like any other normal social gathering where people go out, eat, drink, and be merry while they discuss the ins and outs of their shared lifestyles.
Everyone is welcome, from experts to beginners, and everyone in between. BDSM is a community like all others, and social events give the culture a space to circulate tactics, tricks, and ideas freely. Even while participating in “playtime” with all of the kinky toys that you could possibly imagine, it may not necessarily actually involve any kind of physical act at all. No deed and both partners will still feel just as absolutely, undeniably satisfied by the end of it.
5. There’s a lot of rules and it’s complicated to learn.
Okay, so there’s not like a lot of rules, but there are definitely some. However, the rules themselves will obviously vary from partnership to partnership. It’s not some huge complicated or technical process though nor is it meant to be. It can involve one toy or thirty; a swing, handcuffs, collars or spreading bars.
It’s meant to be a fun, exciting, and intense thing to do with your partner. Something that can allow you to be more vulnerable with each other than you’ll ever be able to be with anyone else in any other scenario. If it ever seems like they’re are too many rules or it’s too complicated and overwhelming, then there’s something that probably should be done different. You don’t want to take away from the experience by worrying about the technicalities of things too much. Just take a breath, clear your mind, and allow yourself to be fully enveloped in your partner.
4. It’s easy to learn and do correctly
So, welcome to the land of contradictions. While BDSM is never meant to be overloaded with rules, complications, and technicalities, there are some “rules” involved and some technicalities to be aware of before jumping onto the swing set and taking your partner for a ride.
Obviously, mutual consent is the first biggy but one thing that 50 Shades seriously lacks in informing about is how important it really is to find the common ground, likes and dislikes between each partnership. Everyone is going to have their specific boundaries and preferences and that’s something that each partner needs to be aware of before the first playtime. As for the difficulty of learning more about the technical part of it… that comes into play with the toys. When you start bringing gags, chains, rope, swings, and whips into the picture it’s extremely important to know how to use them safely and correctly to optimize pleasure.
3. BDSM is something that I (you) could never get into
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. BDSM is something that literally anyone and everyone can get into. You may not even know or think that it would ever possibly be something you would like. What you’ve heard (or haven’t heard) intimidates the hell out of you or just sounds freaky and straight up weird. It sounds complicated and you literally wouldn’t even know how to begin to get into that sh*t.
Honey! Stop underestimating yourself. You’re hot. You’re young. And this is the time of your life to explore and experience anything you think you might even possibly be into. Most people don’t even actually plan to get into the lifestyle, it happens by chance, right place at the right time. You never know what you’re going to like until you try it. Putting a mask and gag on your partner might sound crazy now, but it only takes once until you’re down the rabbit hole.
2. There’s a right way to do it
Staaaahhp! There’s not a right or wrong way to do anything in this damn world so there is absolutely not a right or wrong way to go about BDSM. BDSM doesn’t even stand for anything that specific. Bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism. It’s a general acronym for a general lifestyle meaning there are literally countless ways to go about it.
There’s no real “right” way to use a toy (as long as no one is in any kind of physical pain to the point of being in danger). There’s no real right way to be a submissive partner and no “perfect” level of submissiveness one should have. There’s no best way to be a dominant partner or what kind of dominance should be the focus of the relationship. There’s not even a best kind of relationship to be in for the lifestyle. It’s your play, your way.
1. BDSM isn’t fun, it’s a chore
It doesn’t always involve being intimate, fancy, expensive equipment, or an extreme amount of pain… but it can. It’s your thing and no one else’s. It’s that special time that you have with your partner that you can make, do, and be everything and anything that you could possibly desire. Don’t allow anyone to ever even begin to judge who or how you love because believe me, there are probably a million and one things you could judge the hell out of them for.
Of course, BDSM is supposed to be fun! Intimate activities are supposed to be nothing but fun and enjoyable. That’s why we do them and why we love them.
BDSM doesn’t have to be an intimidating thing and please never be afraid to try something because of misconceptions you may have heard. It’s your play time, your experience, your scene, your intimacy… and it can anything you want it to be.