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7 Common Misconceptions About BDSM

7 Common Misconceptions About BDSM - Sh! Women's Store

Many folks enjoy what is commonly known as 'kink' (like spanking) without considering themselves to be particularly kinky. Others are lifelong members of the BDSM community without ever getting into anything painful.

BDSM clubs and parties were mostly underground, secret societies until Fifty Shades Of Grey exploded onto the scene in 2012 and brought proudly perverted practices out into bright daylight. Many of our customers disapproved. The kinksters disliked the newbies for muscling in on their scene and non-kinksters believed that all D/s relationships are based on abuse.

It's time to debunk the most common myths about BDSM.

1. BDSM is abuse

This is probably the biggest and most damaging misconception of all, often spouted by those who do not understand the meticulous negotiations that go into BDSM relationships. BDSM, when practised between consenting adults, is not abuse.

BDSM stands for Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism & Masochism and functions as a framework for numerous activities that are practised and enjoyed by said consenting adults. As long as consent and safewords are strictly adhered to, BDSM is, in its truest sense, not abusive. However, if one or more parties steps out of the pre-agreed boundaries, activities take a sinister turn and become abuse.

Confusing? A little bit. But in short - it's all about consent.

2. Consent is just a word

Well, no. It is the be-all, end-all of all sex, kinky or not. If consent is not given or is withdrawn, sex play becomes abuse.

Before a scene, kinksters will usually negotiate activities they're happy to part-take in during the upcoming play session. (If they refuse to negotiate with you, you refuse to play with them. It really is that simple.) They may enjoy a firm spank with a hand, but not with a paddle - that sort of thing. Each activity and the degree of its severeness should be discussed in detail. This ensures only consensual play takes place.

3. BDSM is about pain

Pain can be a delicious element of BDSM play, but kinky play is just as much about pleasure. Many kinksters don't enjoy pain at all - giving or receiving.

Pain, when carefully dished out, can create immense pleasure. It's a natural high. The brain pumps out endorphins, and the person who is experiencing the pain/pleasure can find themselves in a never-ending circle of wanting additional pain in order to experience heightened pleasure.

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4. Safewords are for the weak

Safewords are used to ensure everybody involved in a scene (two or more participants) are feeling safe and happy. Using a safeword does not mean a person is "weak" - it means they are in tune with their minds and bodies and require attention. Maybe they are tied up and are beginning to experience pins & needles - time for re-positioning. Maybe they are unexpectedly triggered by an action or a word and need a cuddle and reassurance, or maybe they just need to go for a pee.

Using safewords is a quick way of checking in with each other - knowing where the other person is within a scene is just as important as knowing what is going on with oneself.

Non-kinky couples could do well to incorporate negotiation and safewords into their sex lives too. Example: Hands up if you've ever had a partner trying to sneak into your back entrance without explicit permission, or tried to coerce you into doing something you don't feel entirely on board with? It happens all the time! By taking the time to sit down and talk about likes & dislikes, fears & desires, lines of communication open up and greater intimacy is achieved.

5. Kinky folks are damaged

Kinky folks can be damaged, as can folks who are not into kink. More often than not, kinky folks are just as happy and healthy as anybody else who does not share their particular peccadilloes. It would be inherently wrong to squeeze all kinksters into a box labelled 'DAMAGED' just because their sexual desires and appetites do not match your own. Each to their own!

Good words to remember: Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is Ok.

6. A slave or submissive belongs to anyone & everyone

It is commonly believed that anyone wearing a collar is there for the taking - much like a help-yourself buffet on a cruise ship. No, no, no!

Whether the person is wearing a collar or not isn't relevant. A submissive may be naked, tied to a cross and whipped until they scream with pleasure - still doesn't give you the right to touch unless consent has been given. You have no more right to touch a slave or submissive without consent than you have to touch a stranger walking past you on the street.

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7. BDSM contracts are forever

BDSM contracts are sometimes drawn up to ensure that each member of the kinky pairing/group/household is fully aware of responsibilities and agreements within that particular relationship. Not everyone uses contracts. Not every contract is the same. A contract can be drawn up to cover a set period of time, or it could be ongoing. The contracts may be reviewed regularly, or only when one or more parties feel they'd like an amendment. And whilst the contracts are honoured and taken as legal documents between the parties, BDSM contracts will not stand up in a court of law.

We hope this has cleared up some of the more common misconceptions. And if you feel intrigued, why not check out our BDSM advice where you can learn more about kink?

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