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What is BDSM? BDSM Meaning Explained

  • Nov.15.2020
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BDSM: What Is It?

What is BDSM

What is the meaning of BDSM? In truth, each person partaking in BDSM role play may have their own personal definition of BDSM. It is a term that encompasses a sexual interest in role-playing the taboo sexual fantasies that many of us would like to explore in a safe and pleasurable way. This could include so many things in categories like bondage, an unequal power balance, and or pain infliction.

Many popular books and movies have brought this taboo sexual exploration to the forefront of mainstream media. The book and later movie “50 Shades of Grey” really brought a lot of people’s attention and piqued many people’s interest in all things BDSM. But BDSM does not have to entail a wealthy businessman with a sex dungeon. BDSM is accessible and practiced by all kinds of people no matter their socioeconomic status, sexuality, race, interest in monogamy, gender, or ability. Everyone can experiment with BDSM if they wish to and you don’t need expensive sex toys and leather to do so.

What Does BDSM Stand For: What Is the Definition of BDSM?

BDSM Meaning

BDSM is an acronym that can be defined by multiple things. B and D could be bondage and discipline, D and S could be dominant and submissive, S and M could be sadism and masochism, and BDSM encompasses all of these combinations and more.

Defining the Pillars of the BDSM Acronym

Bondage is tying up or physically restraining between sexual partners with consent.

Discipline is consensual training and disciplinary action between a dominant and submissive in a sexual setting.

Dominant: a person who is in control of or has the power in a consensual sexual roleplay

Submissive: a person who gives power to the dominant in a consensual sexual role play.

Switch: someone who can move comfortably between the dominant and submissive roles.

Sadism: the enjoyment or sexual satisfaction from inflicting or watching pain and or humiliation.

Masochism: the enjoyment or sexual satisfaction from receiving pain and or humiliation.

What Does BDSM Mean?

The meaning of BDSM contains a huge variety of different activities that sexual partners can choose to engage in. Some people will only explore a very slight amount of BDSM and others will go quite deep in exploration. Light BDSM could entail but is not limited to things like spanking, handcuffs, dominance and submission, light verbal humiliation, leather, and blindfolding.

More intense or heavy BDSM could include but is not limited to things like needle play, knife play, tit torture, cuckolding, punishment, humiliation, gagging, and electric shock. If you choose to partake and play with BDSM, you choose exactly what you want from the list of possible experiences, and no matter what you will need the three pillars of healthy BDSM exploration. These three important things are consent, a safe word, and aftercare.

When engaging in BDSM, you must have a conversation beforehand about what you are comfortable with. Some people think that the submissive is completely submissive and that the dominant has full reins to do whatever they want. This is surely not the case and would be potentially damaging and harmful to all parties, so it is crucial that everyone involved has a conversation beforehand explaining boundaries and what they would like to take place once the play begins, while it’s happening, and afterward. A safeword is really important to make sure that the submissive (or the dominant) is able to exit the scene should anything become uncomfortable or dangerous for them.

A good safe word is an agreed-upon word that has no contextual use in the scene like “pineapple” or “Neptune”. While all parties should discuss what they’re comfortable with and what they would like to happen before the play begins, anyone is allowed to revoke their consent at any time, which is why a safe word is really important. Another integral part of BDSM that for some are the most essential is aftercare. Aftercare is when the dominant care for the submissive after the role-play is over in affirming and comforting ways. Aftercare could look like hugging, snuggling, cleaning, bringing water and food, or giving verbal affirmations. This is something that can also be discussed in the conversation before the playing begins.

definition of BDSM

So know that you understand the basics of BDSM, how can you go about making it happen for you and a partner (or two or three ;))? There are plenty of guides and tutorials online, but there are also a lot of sexual coaches who specialize in helping couples or single people fulfill their BDSM fantasies.

Sexual coaching could help you whether you want to take on the dominant or submissive role, or both! A sex coach may help a dominant find their voice and their power, and figure out how to fulfill a submissive’s fantasy. They could take you through different scenarios and help you find what kind of play and maybe what kind of props you might like when experimenting later on.

People enjoy BDSM because it allows them to divulge their deepest fantasies and the most primal or disconcerting versions of themselves. It also may give people the thrill of danger in a space that they know is truly safe. People who are into BDSM do not always take on roles like dominant and submissive in their daily lives, and often it is those who have a dominant role in society who may like to be submissive in the bedroom and vise versa.

It is important if you are new to the concept of BDSM but would like to explore, or if you’re a seasoned BDSM connoisseur with a new partner, that you take it very slowly so you can figure out what it is that you want to get out of the experience, what you like and dislike, and what you would like to replicate in the future. The more open the communication is the more likely it is that you will have pleasurable experiences. There is a lot of space to explore beyond your wildest sexual fantasy in BDSM and this exploration is cathartic and healthy for many people who engage in BDSM practice. As long as both parties are consenting and communicating well the sky’s the limit.

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