BDSM community members address stereotypes

KEATOR POLEMAN
Reporter

Performing the same sex acts can be boring in certain relationships. If you are looking to explore, BDSM can help revitalize your sex life.

Bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism are the main pillars of BDSM. There are many misconceptions surrounding the BDSM lifestyle, as well as controversy.

Words such as dominant, submissive, switch, pain slut, bondage and ball gag are just a few common terms associated with BDSM. Although people in more traditional, or “vanilla,” relationships may look down at the lifestyle, it is not as despicable as it can appear to outsiders.

Two individuals currently active in the BDSM community answered a few questions about their relationships. One is a “dom” named Grady, and the other is a “switch” who goes by the name Syn.

Q. How has BDSM affected your relationships with significant others?

G. Grady says BDSM “enhanced” his relationship.

S. Syn says the experience has strengthened the relationship she has with her partner and that she has found her soulmate.

Q. Has the taboo surrounding BDSM affected your ability to have meaningful relationships?

G. While he first viewed the lifestyle as taboo, he says he had to educate himself on it. Grady made it clear that the submissive partner(s) have all the power and that “If they say no, the answer is no.” He also stressed that one should always analyze a scene before starting.

S. Syn feels the taboo “makes it hard to maintain ‘vanilla’ relationships.”

Q. What would you say is the biggest misconception about BDSM?

G. One of the biggest misconceptions he has heard is that “Everybody thinks BDSM is sex-driven” or always about sadomasochism. Grady made it clear that those in the community have their limits.

S. While some feel the community allows people to abuse others, Syn says she has not felt abused by her encounters and that BDSM is “not abuse.”

Q. For those who have never tried the lifestyle before, what advice can you give to help quell any fears or worries they may have?

G. Grady encouraged those interested to not join the lifestyle just because of sex. He says there are good groups online to contact. Also, he says you should educate yourself before joining and that it is important to not judge others for their lifestyle.

S. Syn “did a ton of research” while she was looking into the lifestyle. The best thing to do is to “research [and] read.” Syn suggests people who wish to learn more should find a group and always ask questions.

Q. Do you believe the lifestyle is becoming more accepted?

G. Although “Fifty Shades of Grey” has gotten more people interested in the lifestyle, Grady says the story is not what BDSM is about.

S. Syn believes it has become somewhat acceptable but doesn’t think “Fifty Shades of Grey” is a good example of what the lifestyle is really like. She says there is “so much planning for a scene” before it takes place.

Q. How strict would you say are the rules to properly have a scene?

G. He says that the rules are very strict in a proper scene; one said rule is the use of a contract between the parties involved. Private dungeons have even stricter rules, including STD testing.

S. While there are strict guidelines, Syn says there are “always gonna be rule breakers.” However, she says that a scene can have people to watch over the participants to make sure everything is going well.

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