BDSM is ‘a range of sexual preferences that generally relate to the enjoyment of physical control, psychological control, and/or pain.’
However, it is just so much more than that. BDSM has often been misunderstood, subsided, suppressed, darkened, neglected and even historically criminalized. This sexual need is still considered ‘deviant’ and an ‘abnormal’ sexual practice by our society for no apparent reason.
BDSM can be broken down into six rather interesting components: bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadism and masochism, and based on these, people further divide themselves into roles like ‘dominant’, ‘submissive’, ‘switch’ etc. These roles categorize their behaviour during the session i.e., whether they would take charge, let go or just switch between the two.
However, with COVID-19 crashing the party, the community has had to go through quite a shake up, which meant changes and big ones at that!
BDSM During The Pandemic
The restrictions posed during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the BDSM lifestyle significantly.
The dynamic community, however, was quick to adapt and improvise in order to accommodate the situation. The curious and interested folks who found it hard to come out of the closet due to privacy concern, found the courage to explore and engage in the community, virtually and safely.
The community has also witnessed a growth spurt, as the general public has started experiencing an increase in sexual desire during the lockdown, and the urge to explore their sexualities.
Some stepping stones to BDSM like mutual masturbation, roleplaying as a form of foreplay, and reading erotic literature has now, paved the way to beat the monotony and boredom of vanilla sex. These have spiced up relationships and imbibed creativity into the sex life of at least 45% of the population. While some have gone AWOL from the community to deal with the pandemic, most others are doing their best to stay and hold the community together. There is no doubt that the pandemic has undone years of work towards mental health and solidarity. Also, the last two years have also seen a great rise in the number of new people signing up, wanting to explore their sexualities beyond what the conventional vanilla world offers.
To address this and ensure a healthy, safe and aware community, some experienced members have taken to social media to talk about their kinks or about BDSM in general, with the help of podcasts, presentations and informative sessions open to people from various walks of life, who may be interested in dipping their toes into this pool.
Without holding back, these sessions cover multiple aspects of BDSM, including playing with safety, ensuring the newbies are included and made to feel a part of the community, to keep the predators away, and many more. Exploring one’s sexuality can be a very personal and yet, enlightening experience and hence, to know what it may involve, is just as important.
What Is BDSM Really About?
BDSM can mean different things to different people. Based on the needs of the partners, it can be literally- anything you want it to be. You can choose to live the lifestyle with a set of heavy rules and restrictions of dos and don’ts or practice it once in a while to spice up things in the bedroom.
On the heavier side of BDSM lies an arsenal of ways you can learn, to heighten the act of pleasure between you and your partner. Most people imagine someone being whipped into a pool of blood when they hear the word BDSM being dropped in a conversation but, it is so much more than the act of sadism.
Different things or fetishes turn on different people, you could be into something as simple as blindfolds, to something as elaborate as paddles and pain play. In fact, the act of kneeling to your dominant partner and receiving affection can in itself be a very intense experience.
“One of the main reasons why people who indulge in BDSM as a lifestyle, don’t go back is because of the various elements of powerplay. You have the luxury to break gender norms and every other unnecessary rule, laid out by the society that puts you in their version of a convenient box. It is very natural and not at all surprising for a man to embrace submission. In the same way, a woman can make the conscious choice of donning an attire of her choice and being the Dominant counterpart in a relationship.” said Josh, a long-term practitioner of kink who identifies himself as a Dominant.
BDSM is all about letting go and enjoying the feeling of losing or gaining control. It is also about making your partner feel safe in embracing their primal sexual needs, and finding satisfaction and solace in the same, with your support. This helps couples connect better and feel closer to each other.
You probably know by now, dominance and submission don’t have to be expressed physically. You can make your partner do things for you just by playing the role of the ‘Top’. BDSM is about control and obedience, and you can enjoy this type of sexual engagement without causing or enduring any pain whatsoever.
All you have to do is set the scene right and set some ground rules. Make them respect your authority, and you won’t have to use force. Of course, a little bit of spanking is always fun.
Why has it been buried deep into the ground?
The true essence of BDSM lies in its groundwork i.e., consent, connection, appreciation, gratitude and a craving to learn more about oneself and our needs.
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