If you are new to the BDSM scene, you may have been introduced to it via pop culture or pornography. While books and movies like Fifty Shades of Grey or adult entertainment websites like Kink.com can be super hot, they aren’t necessarily an accurate representation of safe and communicative BDSM play and have perpetuated some myths about BDSM. It would be wonderful if a dom could just waltz in and know everything we like, exactly how to torture and please us, all culminating seamlessly in throws of passionate orgasms. Or on the flip side, having a wanton sex slave catering to our every demand, no questions asked. Unfortunately, as we all know, this is fiction, a fantasy, something to get us stimulated. We are certainly capable of having just as sexy of a time as our favorite characters, even better, it just takes some education, communication, and practice.
Here is a list of a few common myths about BDSM and our efforts to explain the real deal.
Myth #1 - People who enjoy BDSM are mentally unstable, abusive, or have low self esteem.
Unfortunately, there is not an abundance of scientific studies out there that can give us accurate and specific findings on the mental faculties of BDSM participants. Hopefully, with the rising interest in BDSM, there will be more scientific research devoted to it. However, we did find a recent study conducted by Dutch psychologist Dr Andreas Wismeijer which was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. This study found that participants in BDSM are no more mentally troubled than the general population. In fact, they had better scores on various personality and psychological tests as compared to those who did not engage in BDSM. They were also found to be less neurotic, more extroverted, and have higher levels of happiness.
In my personal experience in the BDSM community, most people I encounter are well-rounded, intelligent, successful, and kind people. I found that the common myth that doms are abusive and subs have low self esteem is very false and that the truth is quite the opposite. Most doms are very sensitive and caring individuals. They have to be as this is what makes them a good dom. Their pleasure comes from the fact they are giving their partners’ pleasure by being in the dominant role. As far as submissives go, I’ve found that most are extremely confident, assertive, and outgoing individuals. A lot of submissives use that role to escape a life of having to be in charge all the time in situations like being a high-power boss, a parent, or the dominant personality in other relationships. But of course, there are always exceptions and bad eggs to avoid, as with all facets of life.
So, if you are or your partner have an attraction to BDSM, it doesn’t mean there is something “wrong” with you. It can be a perfectly healthy form of sexual expression.
Myth #2- You have to have a red room of pain.
To effectively perform BDSM, you don’t need a dungeon, a gimp suit, an arsenal of leather implements of pain, or a St. Andrew’s cross. While all of these can be awesome, they aren’t necessary for an intense, fulfilling experience. As long as you have a space you feel comfortable in, you’ve got it made. With some Happy Kitten Rope and just simply tying your kitten up to the posts of your bed, you’re ready for some helpless kitten fun. Also, plenty of household items can be implemented in your play. Use saran wrap as another form of bondage, clothespins as nipple clamps, wooden spoons as paddles, or a men’s tie as a blindfold. Just be resourceful and use your imagination and you don’t have to break the bank to have some BDSM fun.
Myth #3 - BDSM is 24/7.
There are some BDSM participants who do keep up a dom/sub dynamic all the time. However, this is a specific, experienced type of kink and it is not as common as people who like to participate in BDSM activities but not assume the roll 24/7. We assume that most of our audience is the latter. So, what we want to dissuade is people carrying on the role outside of the bedroom when it is not consensual or previously agreed upon. For example, you and your kitten may have had a night of consensual, awesome, dom/sub play. But the next day during breakfast, you think it’s okay to bark orders at your partner or dole out some physical pain. It was hot last night, right? Well, unless previously agreed upon, just bringing out the dom behavior anytime you want is a violation of trust and consent. Even with the best intentions, it can still be bad news and borders on abusive. So in the beginning, just be sure you’ve worked out when and where it’s acceptable to assume these roles.
Myth #4 - Men are Dominant. Women are Submissive.
Wrong! So wrong! I think this common myth is so strongly enforced in pop culture, porn, and societal norms. Don’t think you have to adhere to this. What’s wrong with a woman wanting to be in control? Or a man wanting to relinquish it? When exploring BDSM, you might want to try both roles on, see what fits. And who says you have to stick with one or the other? Switch it up sometimes. You may be surprised at how much you enjoy the other side.
Myth #5 - BDSM is all about sex.
Often BDSM acts as foreplay or the framework for an entire sexual encounter. However, for some people, sex is not involved at all during a BDSM scene. While it may be erotically stimulating, the physical act of sex is not the ultimate goal. For some, the enjoyment of BDSM comes from the mental or psychological aspect. For others, just the non-sexual physical acts of pain, like giving/ receiving spankings or beatings, is all that they desire. If you attend a BDSM group function, you will find a lot of participants exploring BDSM with each other, yet sex is not a part of it.
Myth #6 - “I am the Master and you are my slave.”
BDSM is an acronym for bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism and masochism. While most of these activities go hand in hand, keep in mind that not every BDSM activity has to involve a dominant/submissive dynamic. You and your partner might just like the bondage part of BDSM, the use of a blindfold or gag, or dressing up in fetish wear. These type of activities do not necessarily need someone assuming a dom mentality that may involve disciplining, punishment, etc. Bondage can be a sensual activity and while there is still an exchange of power (as one person is physically restrained, the other is not), you and your partner can still be your normal sexy selves, engaging in some kinky rope play. It can be viewed as just another fun activity, like vibrators or cock rings, to spice up your normal sex life. The point is to make it your own, what you enjoy, even if it is just the B out of BDSM. Or go balls to the wall and play full on marauding Master and obedient slave. Just don’t force a scene that doesn’t feel natural or enjoyable to you and don’t worry about what BDSM is “supposed to be.”
Myth #7 - If you are into kink, that means all your sex is kinky.
Some people do incorporate kink into sex every time they engage in it. However, this does not mean this is what is “normal” or expected or that you can’t have good sex without it being kinky. Also, kink is a very loose and relative term. Some people think that kink means whips, chains, and the like while others consider the line of kink to be a unique sexual position or anal play. It all just depends. Personally, since I’ve incorporated BDSM into my life, I find I enjoy “vanilla” sex more than I did before I started. After exploring the intimacies, deep communication, and multi-faceted levels of pleasure involved in BDSM, I was able to enjoy other forms of sex so much more. I knew more about myself and was more confident in fulfilling all my sexual desires.
If you feel there is something we can add to this list, have any questions, or simply would like to discuss further, please don’t hesitate to send us a message. Play safe and have fun, cats and kittens!