Turned On

Turned On: The BDSM Bible

Thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey, BDSM is kind of a hot topic. Whether you’ve watched the films, read the books or avoided them at all costs, it’s likely even your great aunt has had an introduction to bondage and submission due to Christian Grey’s charms.

 

From blindfolds to spanking paddles, if you were a diehard Twihard like I was back in the day, a raunchy Twilight fanfiction probably had you questioning your existence. Surely Edward couldn’t be privy to such advances?!

 

But guess what? Your faves Christian and Ana don’t really give a good representation of BDSM. I know, shock horror, movies aren’t real?! While Fifty Shades helped bring bondage, submission, and all the ins and outs into mainstream media, there are still a few grey areas to cover. Pun intended.

 

BDS-who?

 

You’ve heard it a million times before, but what does BDSM actually mean?! Well, it’s an umbrella term that covers a huge variety of sexual acts. Yup, that’s right, it’s not just about pain and submission; there’s a whole lot of different levels to it.

 

BD refers to bondage and discipline; DS means dominance and submission; and SM is sadism and masochism, or sadomasochism (read: sexual acts involving pain or humiliation). From here, BDSM branches off into dozens of different sub-categories and fetishes - seriously, it’s different for everyone, and it’s not just a case of left or right, black and white.

 

And just because someone enjoys a bit of bondage play, doesn’t mean they are interested in sadomasochism as well. It’s like a pick ‘n mix; take what you want, leave the rest for others, maybe try out something new every now and then.

 

Where do I begin?

 

Starting your BDSM journey can be a little daunting. But the good thing is, you don’t need to go out and buy a plethora of expensive bondage items, and you definitely don’t need a designated dominatrix lair.

 

BDSM can be as straightforward as grabbing an old scarf and using it as a blindfold to heighten your senses, or tying your partner’s hands together with some rope! Plus, you don’t necessarily have to go out of your way to purchase anything to get started.

 

A little insider’s tip - Bunnings has some great bondage options if your local sex shop is a little too daunting. Just, uh, make sure any rope you get is on the softer side or you’ll have some slightly odd marks to explain…

 

On the contrary, BDSM can also be a much lengthier and involved experience with sex toys, bull whips, restraints, sex swings, the list goes on. Once you’ve eased your way in, the options are limitless, and it’s really up to you to decide how far you want to go!

 

Why?

 

Bondage and dominance might be an obvious kink for a lot of people, but personally, I never really saw an interest in being restrained or acting submissive in the bedroom. So you might be asking yourself why BDSM has become such a huge phenomenon.

 

Like any fetish or sexual fantasy, there’s really no way to explain why people lean towards BDSM as something they are interested in. Restraining your partner’s hands, or restricting a particular sense, can help to increase sexual pleasure dramatically, so that’s definitely one reason it has piqued people’s interest.

 

BDSM is a great and safe way to experiment with control. For submissives, it can be incredibly exciting to have your ‘control’ over your body taken away from you. There is a level of suspense that they experience that can be addictive - kind of like when you’re hanging off the edge of your seat watching a horror movie. Alternatively, dominant people thrive off of being in control of another person.

 

Beyond that, there are so many different reasons people might enjoy a bit of BDSM in their sex life.

 

Consent!

 

Consensual sex is good sex. And that’s particularly important when practicing BDSM. You’ve probably heard all about “safe words” and the importance of trusting your partner, and I’m not about to get all sex ed on you; but when you’re trying new things, or participating in acts that could inflict pain. Just make sure that you and your partner are totally okay with what’s happening and have communicated on every level before getting started.

 

Many BDSM practitioners also have an “after-care” process to ensure both partners feel comfortable and safe afterwards, and are mentally and physically okay. At the end of the day, it all comes down to communication and what works best for you and your partner!

 

Like your mum always used to tell you, don’t judge a book by its cover. That counts for BDSM, too! As Rihanna once said - sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me.

 

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