Why do people enjoy BDSM?

So, what is all the fuss about?

If you’ve ever wondered why people enjoy BDSM, you’re not alone. There are lots of reasons why people love it, including the unique feeling of willingly surrendering control of your body to another person. 

Another reason is because it’s a great way to express your sexuality in a healthy way. Other people say that they enjoy it because of how addictive it is (and there are some interesting studies on this topic, as we discuss later in this article). 

It might be the case that you’re curious about the world of BDSM and you’re not sure what it involves. It could be that you know what it is, but you find it strange that anyone would be interested In the practice. 

BDSM is one of those concepts that everyone has heard of, but very few people can accurately define what it is.

First off, it’s nothing to do with non-consensual sexual activity. Although there may be elements where participants ‘surrender’ control, there is always an understanding that consent has been freely given and can be withdrawn at any time. 

To break it down into its separate parts, there are actually three pairs of concepts within the four letters. They refer to:

  • Bondage and Discipline (BD)
  • Dominance and Submission (DS)
  • Sadism and Masochism (SM)

For a very brief overview of each term, here’s what each point broadly refers to:

  • Bondage: The practice of restraining, binding, or restricting a partner for sexual pleasure
  • Discipline: A dynamic where one partner creates rules that the other partner must abide by
  • Dominance: A very broad term that refers to one partner being in control of the other
  • Submission: A broad term that involves one partner giving up control to the dominant partner
  • Sadism: The act of enjoying inflicting pain on (consenting) partners 
  • Masochism: The act of enjoying pain being inflicted on you by your partner

 

Common Reasons that people enjoy BDSM

Control

One of the primary reasons why BDSM-lovers enjoy the practice so much is because of the wide range of control fantasies that they can enact. 

Again, it’s important to note that a truly consensual BDSM relationship with your partner or partners is not based on fear or coercion: everyone must be 100% willing to engage, or it does not meet the definition of BDSM.

Relinquishing control to a caring partner can be thrilling for people who enjoy being more submissive. For people who enjoy exerting control, it can be a healthy sexual expression that adds spice to their sex life. 

It can also be a highly intimate experience when you trust someone enough to take control of your body, and can lead to increased bonding and closeness between partners. 

 

Sexual expression

Kink and BDSM are loosely related: a kink can be defined approximately as a non-conventional sexual practice. 

Enjoying BDSM is an entirely healthy expression of human sexuality. In fact, in terms of sexual expression or emotional wellbeing, studies have found that BDSM afficionados are equally as sexually and emotionally healthy as non-participants.

Some people love the enjoyment of role-playing with a trusted partner, while others jump at the chance to play with a wide range of exciting sex toys (or to have them used on you!).

Whatever you’re into, BDSM practices provide opportunities for sexual freedom, creativity, and exploring new forms of pleasure. 

 

Experimenting to find likes and dislikes

There’s really no other way to say it – life is short, and it’s far too short to have a boring or unfulfilled sex life. 

If you feel that there is something missing from your sex life and you want to explore the world of BDSM to see if there’s something you can get into, we fully encourage you to go for it!

You might hate one practice or activity, but really find yourself enjoying another. Life is all about trying new experiences and living your most fulfilling life. 

If there’s something you really, desperately want to try (whether it’s whipping, obeying, rope play, or being bratty), but you feel a bit shy about doing it – just think about when you’re old and grey. Do you really want to have any regrets at the end of your life?

If it’s something that excites you, then find your community of like-minded kinksters and get going!

 

Trust

In a happy long-term relationship, you develop trust and intimacy with your partner. Research shows that this can be one of the most important aspects of daily wellbeing and it can serve to give meaning to your life.

But even in long-term relationships, it can be fun and exciting to explore new dynamics. Perhaps as a couple you’ve never engaged in any sort of BDSM play. Trying this new form of sexual activity can enhance trust in the relationship and even bring new levels of intimacy.

Of course, you don’t need to be in an established relationship to be into BDSM. You could enjoy the power exchange or sexual relationship with a casual partner, a complete stranger, or in some cases, entirely by yourself!

 

There’s a lot to enjoy about BDSM

There is some fascinating research on what goes on in the brains of people who enjoy BDSM activities. 

One researcher, Dr Brad Sagarin, is a professor of psychology at Northern Illinois University. His research lab, Science of BDSM, has shown how participants can enter altered states of consciousness when engaging in some activities.

There is evidence of increases in relationship closeness and decreases in stress. Depending on whether the participant is in a ‘top’ or ‘bottom’ role, brain scans show that there are actually temporary changes to the brain’s executive functions. 

There are reports of individuals describing sensations of floating, peacefulness, or even outlining a feeling of time distortion. One of the most common effects is a sense of experiencing life in the current moment and being aware of one’s own body and thoughts. 

All in all, there is so much to love and enjoy about the wild and wonderful world of BDSM. If it’s something you’re interested in exploring, remember to take it at your own pace and explore only as much as you want to. 

It’s very likely that you once you start, you’ll never look back!

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