10 Most Common Misconceptions about BDSM

BDSM (bondage-discipline, dominance-submission, sadism-masochism).

Working as a professional dominatrix has taught me a lot about BDSM.  Over the years, though, I’ve noticed numerous misconceptions about kink and BDSM in pop culture. Here are the most common once. 

 1/ People that like BDSM are weird/ sick.  

Unfortunately, there is still lot of social stigma around BDSM. People assume that there must be something psychologically wrong with BDSM practitioners, that they must be suffering from anxiety, PTSD, depression,or have a history of sexual abuse. None of this is true. Practitioners of BDSM can be happy, healthy, open-minded and ready to explore—just like people who do not practice BDSM. As my business partner Kate writes, “recent studies have found few, if any, differences between BDSM players and control groups in terms of a history of sexual abuse or a place along common psychometric measures.  An Australian study found that although BDSM players were not more likely to be anxious or depressed than the general population—in fact, men involved in BDSM scored significantly lower on a scale of psychological distress—BDSM players had engaged in more sexual practices…  both psychologically “normal” and psychologically “abnormal” people find those practices appealing.”

 (https://www.academia.edu/3431401/Plays_Well_in_Groups_A_Journey_Through_The_World_of_Group_Sex)   

Here is a good summary of some recent studies:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-wide-wide-world-psychology/201502/the-surprising-psychology-bdsm

2/ Dominants are dangerous/ sadistic.

Dominants might enjoy having power over their submissive, and lead their sessions, but everything is agreed upfront. BDSM relationships are highly consensual and most dominants are only going to practice something the submissive likes and enjoys. They can also agree on a safe word- I used to use ‘strawberries' or the traditional ‘merci’ word, just in the case the session becomes too much, they can stop it in the second. The word ‘No’ won’t do the trick. It is used very often as a part of the role-play. 

 3/ Submissives are submissive in every aspect of their lives.

Many men or women who are dominant on daily basis enjoy being submissive in BDSM. They could be CEO’s of big corporations, with employees they are responsible for. Sometimes they have children or spouses that  and have responsibility to take care of the family. To become a submissive at least for the length of the BDSM experience—which could be just an hour or so--is considered  a mental/ or sex vacation. It’s a moment when they can get rid of the pressure of constantly commanding, organizing and managing the people around them. It’s a form of relaxation, providing a sense of relief of the burden of being constantly responsible for others.

4/ BDSM techniques are always painful.  

No, no and no. BDSM doesn’t only mean hurting, beating up or kicking someone. BDSM can be light and erotic, involving  role-playing, fetishes (such as kinky outfits made of latex, leather, or lace), or another type  of fantasy. You can play hours without causing or receiving pain.

5/ Men are always dominant. 

Research shows that many women have submissive fantasies.  But when it comes to actual BDSM play, many men also want to take that role.  Trust me, after more than a decade working as a dominatrix, primarily for male clients, I know what I’m talking about. 

6/ Men who like anal play (prostate massage, strap-on) are gay.

Not true. Prostate massage or stimulation by hand or a strap-on brings men very intense feelings equivalent to female G-spot stimulation. There are many nerve endings in the anal canal, and done properly, this technique can be extremely pleasurable and stimulating for a man. Man can also reach prostate orgasm through this stimulation without even touching the penis. I believe that men who don’t try are missing out on a lot of fun. Such practice definitely has nothing to do with a sexual orientation and should not be judged—but you might want to read some tips for how to make the experience the most enjoyable. 

7/ Domination means having aggressive/painful sex.

BDSM does not always include penetration. Some BDSM practices forbid sex, involving orgasm control, chastity, or ruined orgasm (not letting your submissive reaching the orgasm just when they are very close). Tease and denial are also popular, where the submissive is teased with …..  and then denied sexual pleasure. .  Sometimes, a dominant might allow a submissive to finally orgasm by masturbating, or command the submissive to orgasm at a later time. Working as a professional dominatrix, in order to keep my good reputation and my submissive obedient, the sex with client would never be the option.

8/ Being submissive is humiliating. 

Submission only involves humiliation if that is what the practitioner desires.   Some submissives want to be called names or made to do humiliating things, such as….    Others do not.  Still, who is actually in control on the end of the day? Being submissive can be fun, because the submissive person is receiving pleasure he/she asks for.  Even if a submissive licks my boots or drinks out of a dog bowl in a session, enjoying the fantasy of being unworthy to enjoy my company as an equal, that inequality disappears after the session is over. 

 9/ A Dominatrix hates men.

Sure there are exceptions to the rule, but that is not the case for me.  I love wearing sexy, custom-made shiny latex wear, high heels boots, and red lipstick.  I enjoy men’s company and feel no hatred for them.  But dominating someone, male or female, is also a pretty damn good feeling for me.

10/ People who practice BDSM are bored or don’t want regular sex. 

Not true. Even BDSM practitioners sometimes like classic vanilla sex. BDSM is a great refreshment to in-the-bedroom, missionary position sex, yet it requires lot of work and preparation. To mix those two is a great way to keep your relationship fresh, exploring and it might bring mystery and desire back to your bedroom.