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9 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About BDSM

Christian Grey should not be your only source for this.

By Zahra Barnes

How Many Americans Actually Engage In BDSM Play

Hello and welcome to almost 2017, a time when millions of people have pledged their hearts (and vaginas) to a fictional character named Christian Grey who likes to engage in BDSM. Although the 50 Shades of Grey fervor is alive and well, especially as the second movie’s premiere approaches, tons of myths about BDSM persist.

“‘BDSM’ is a catch-all term involving three different groupings,” Michael Aaron, Ph.D., a sex therapist in New York City and author of Modern Sexuality, tells SELF. First up, BD, aka bondage and discipline. Bondage and discipline include activities like tying people up and restraining them, along with setting rules and meting out punishments, Aaron explains. Then there’s DS, or dominance and submission. “Dominance and submission are more about power dynamics,” Aaron explains. Basically, one person will give the other power over them, whether it’s physical, emotional, or both. Bringing up the rear, SM is a nod to sadism, or liking to inflict pain, and masochism, liking to receive it. It’s often shortened to “sadomasochism” to make things easier.

Got it? Good. Now, a deep dive into 9 things everyone gets wrong about BDSM.

1. Myth: BDSM is a freaky fringe thing most people aren’t into.

“There’s a lot of misunderstanding about how common this is,” Aaron says. “A lot of people may think just a small minority has these desires.” But sex experts see an interest in BDSM all the time, and a 2014 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine also suggests it isn’t unusual. Over 65 percent of women polled fantasized about being dominated, 47 percent fantasized about dominating someone else, and 52 percent fantasized about being tied up.

“It’s 100 percent natural and normal [to fantasize about BDSM], but some people come and see me with shame,” certified sex coach Stephanie Hunter Jones, Ph.D., tells SELF. There’s no need for that. “It’s a healthy fantasy to have and one that should be explored,” Jones says.

2. Myth: BDSM is always about sex.

Sex isn’t a necessary part of the action. “BDSM doesn’t have to be sexual in nature—some people like it for the power only,” Jones says. It’s possible to play around with BDSM without involving sex, but for some people, incorporating it into sex ratchets things way up.

3. Myth: You can spot a BDSM fan from a distance.

All sorts of people like BDSM, including those who seem straitlaced. For them, it can actually be especially appealing because it offers a chance to exercise different parts of their personalities. “Some of the most conservative-seeming individuals are into BDSM,” Jones says.

4. Myth: If you’re into BDSM, your past must be one big emotional dumpster fire.

“One of the biggest misconceptions is that people do BDSM because of some sort of trauma in their background,” Aaron says. People who engage in BDSM aren’t automatically disturbed—a 2013 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine actually found that BDSM proponents were as mentally sound, if not more so, than people who weren’t into it. “We conclude that BDSM may be thought of as a recreational leisure, rather than the expression of psychopathological processes,” the study authors wrote.

5. Myth: BDSM is emotionally damaging.

When done properly, BDSM can be the exact opposite. “I often use BDSM as a healing tool for my ‘vanilla’ couples,” or couples that don’t typically engage in kink, Jones says. She finds it especially helpful for people who struggle with control and power dynamics.

To help couples dig themselves out of that hole, Jones will assign sexual exercises for them to complete at home. Whoever feels like they have less power in the relationship gets the power during the role play. “This has saved relationships,” Jones says, by helping people explore what it feels like to assume and relinquish control first in the bedroom, then in other parts of the relationship.

6. Myth: The dominant person is always in charge.

When it comes to dominance and submission, there are plenty of terms people may use to describe themselves and their partners. Top/bottom, dom (or domme, for women)/sub, and master (or mistress)/slave are a few popular ones. These identities are fluid; some people are “switches,” so they alternate between being submissive and dominant depending on the situation, Jones explains.

Contrary to popular opinion, the dominant person doesn’t really run the show. “In a healthy scene [period of BDSM sexual play], the submissive person is always the one in control because they have the safeword,” Jones says. A safeword is an agreed upon term either person can say if they need to put on the brakes. Because a submissive is under someone else’s control, they’re more likely to need or want to use it. “Whenever the safeword is given, the scene stops—no questions asked,” Jones says.

7. Myth: You need a Christian Grey-esque Red Room to participate in BDSM.

Christian should have saved his money. Sure, you can buy BDSM supplies, like furry blindfolds, handcuffs, whips, paddles, floggers, and rope. But there’s a lot you can do with just your own body, Jones explains: “You can use fingers to tickle, you can use hands to spank.” You can also use things around the house, like scarves, neckties, and stockings for tying each other up, wooden spoons for spanking, and so on. Plus, since your mind is the ultimate playground, you may not need any other toys at all.

8. Myth: If your partner is into BDSM, that’s the only kind of sex you can have.

When you’re new to BDSM but your partner isn’t, you might feel like you need to just dive in. But you don’t have to rush—people who are into BDSM can also like non-kinky sex, and it can take some time to work up to trying BDSM together. And much like your weekly meals, BDSM is better when planned. “BDSM should never be done spontaneously,” Jones says. Unless you’ve been with your partner for a long time and you two are absolutely sure you’re on the same page, it’s always best to discuss exactly what you each want and don’t want to happen, both before the scene happens and as it actually plays out.

9. Myth: BDSM is dangerous.

The BDSM community actually prides itself on physical and emotional safety. “A number of discussions around consent are integral to individuals in the community—people have negotiations around what they’re going to do,” Aaron says. People in the community use a couple of acronyms to emphasize what good BDSM is: SSC, or Safe, Sane, and Consensual, and RACK, or Risk-Aware Consensual Kink.

Of course, sometimes it’s still a gamble. “A number of things people do have some danger—boxing, skydiving, and bungee jumping are all legal—but it’s about trying to be as safe as possible while understanding that there’s some inherent risk,” Aaron says. It’s up to each person to set parameters that allow everyone involved to enjoy what’s going on without overstepping boundaries.

If you’re interested in trying BDSM, don’t feel overwhelmed—you can take baby steps.

“There are a number of entry points for people,” Aaron says. One is FetLife, a social media website for people with various kinks. You can also look into Kink Academy, which offers educational videos for different payment plans starting at $20 a month. Another option is Googling for “munches,” or non-sexual meet-and-greets for kinky people in your area, along with searching for kink-related organizations in your city—most big cities have at least one major resource. They usually go by different names, like TES in New York City and Black Rose in D.C., Aaron explains, but when you find yours, you may be on the road to opening up your sex life in a pretty exciting way.

Complete Article HERE!

More of The Erotic Mind of Michael Derry — Podcast #303 — 10/10/11


Hey sex fans, welcome back!

Are you ready for more of The Erotic Mind that amazing artist, illustrator and cartoonist, Michael Derry? I know you are! Well let’s hustle on down to West Hollywood, CA, again this week and look in on Michael. I believe he is expecting us.

But wait, you didn’t miss Part 1 of our chat, did you? Well not to worry if ya did, because you can find it and all my podcasts in the Podcast Archive right here on my site. All ya gotta do is use the search function in the header; type in Podcast #302 and PRESTO! But don’t forget the #sign when you do your search.

Michael and I discuss:

  • His bio;
  • His partner, his muse;
  • When the erotic element began to show up in his work;
  • Artist or illustrator;
  • The ethnic diversity of his characters
  • Bent-con and our mutual friend, Sean-Z;
  • Those who inspire him;
  • Future plans; advice for the aspiring erotic artist.

For more of Michael and his ‘toon Troy visit him on his site HERE! For all of Michael’s other artistic endeavors see his other site HERE! Find him on Facebook and Twitter HERE and HERE!

(Click on the thumbnails below for another slideshow of some of Michael’s fanciful work.)

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BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for all my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously. Just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: DR DICK’S — HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY.

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The Erotic Mind of Michael Derry — Podcast #302 — 10/03/11


Hey sex fans, welcome back!

Do you realize it’s been nearly two months since we’ve had an episode of The Erotic Mind series? Well it has been that long and frankly I’m over here experiencing some withdrawal symptoms and it ain’t pretty. Luckily I have only a few more moments to wait for my next fix, because I have the pleasure of welcoming an internationally renowned artist, illustrator and cartoonist to the show.

Let’s mozie on down to West Hollywood, CA, shall we, and look in on Michael Derry where he is busy creating the latest installment of his beloved Troy comic series.

Michael and I discuss:

  • Drawing the Troy cartoon since 1998;
  • Love, sex, politics, religion and killer abs;
  • The 5 books of his earlier strips;
  • Trials and tribulations of syndication;
  • His strips being playfully erotic;
  • The autobiographical nature of Troy;
  • The animated Troy Movie;
  • DerryProducts
  • His skill set — Illustration, Design, Animation and Voice Over.

For more of Michael and his ‘toon Troy visit him on his site HERE! For all of Michael’s other artistic endeavors see his other site HERE! Find him on Facebook and Twitter  HERE and HERE!

(Click on the thumbnails below for a slideshow of some of Michael’s amazing work.)

[nggallery id=105]

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for all my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously. Just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: Fleshlight & FleshJack.

Swingtime!

Look for my new

Product Review!

REVIEW #32

Hey sex fans!

I have two more outstanding DVD reviews for you.  My Three Way
and Amazing Sex For Women.

On several occasions I’ve called my audience’s attention to the fantastic video work my friend and colleague, Dr Michael Perry, is been doing over at AIM (Access Instructional Media).  And for good reason too, because Michael is a master of the sexual enrichment genre.  (See  REVIEW #7 below.)

As an aside, Michael was my guest for a couple of podcasts chats — #61 and #62.  During our conversation, Michael discusses his work and the astounding success he is having with his video line.  Be sure to check out these podcasts.

Just for the record, Michael’s DVDs knock me out.  In terms of sex education and sexual enrichment the AIM titles are unparalleled.

Let’s take a look at each of these DVDs each in turn.

We start with My Three Way — Approx 120 minutes $19.95

The promotional copy on the DVD box reads:  “How is it possible for couples to bring a third person into their intimate relationship? Many have thought about it. Lots of people fantasize about it. Some couples are actually practitioners in Open Relationship lifestyles.
• Find out why couples do it.
• See what they dare to do…to supercharge their relationship!
• Be tempted to arrange your own three way…at least in your fantasies!

The DVD begins with a quick overview of the entire Intimacy Guide Series.dvd_507

First off, we meet couple #1 in a cocktail lounge gettin all lovey-dovey.  Another woman, an acquaintance of the male partner winds up getting involved.  (Surprise!)  Before things get all hot and heavy though there is a brief spliced-in interview with the couple about why and how they do what they do.  Curiously enough, this is not a distraction from the action, but it actually adds to the story telling.  What follows is a beautiful 2-gal and 1-guy 3-way.  The sexual interaction in this piece is nicely shared between all the players, including gal-on-gal play.

There’s another interview snippet followed by a sweet gal-on-gal segment.

This is followed by yet another brief interview segment and a very sexy 2-guy and 1-gal 3-way.  All the sexual interaction in this piece is focused on the woman; the men do not interact sexually.  This may appeal to some, but it will be disappointing to others.

There is a bonus featurette on this DVD called My Birthday Surprise, which is another fine example of a 2-gal and 1-guy 3-way.

There is ample and diverse sexual expression in all the scenes.  And there is some nice use of sex toys too, which really adds to the production.

This is a wonderful primer on the ins and outs (no pun intended) of initiating and successfully executing a 3-way.  Like the promotional copy on the box suggests, if you are actually looking to open your relationship to include a 3rd or just think the 3-way idea is hot fantasy material, this is the DVD for you.

Here’s a tip:  for those of you who can’t, for whatever reason, buy this DVD you can rent it HERE for viewing online in Dr Dick’s How To Video Library.

Remember, this is not porn.  While the content is sexually explicit, the material is presented in a tasteful and romantic manner. Kudos to Michael Perry for producing this delightful and informative female oriented video.

Next we have — Amazing Sex For Women — 90 minutes $19.95

The promotional copy on the DVD box reads:  “The Bonk’er Spring is a truly revolutionary sex toy invented with the women’s pleasure in mind. This video shows you sex techniques not possible with any other sex gear. See our fun loving couples bounce weightlessly towards powerful orgasm after orgasm!”

What we have here is basically an infomercial for a rather amazing sex innovation from Bonkum, a

company that develops sex furniture.  It’s part spring, part swing and part sling.  Try to say that three times fast!

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With the help of a few adventuresome couples (and a 2-gal, one guy threesome) this video shows how easy and enjoyable it is to have a very athletic and versatile sex life.  The Bonkum swing is really interesting and amazingly adaptable.  Makes creative sex play not only enjoyable, but also effortless.

This video is full of wonderful eye candy of the heterosexual variety.  Too bad there’s not any man on man action to please the rest of us.  (Perhaps that will happen in another video.)  But there is a very nice light BDSM scene that will get your motor racing.

For those of you who can’t buy this DVD, for whatever reason, you can rent it HERE for viewing online in Dr Dick’s How To Video Library.

Again, I want to emphasize something about all the AIM titles.  Each is very sexy and sensual; most are sexually explicit; but none of them can rightly be called porn.  This is an important distinction, because the tone and focus of the AIM titles is completely different from the tone and focus of porn.  And even people who are put off by the notion of porn will have no objection to these videos.

ENJOY!

…all my reviews here

Look for REVIEW #32

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Michael Breyette, Part 2 — Podcast #89 — 11/24/08


Hey sex fans,

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the good old US of A.  My best wishes to all who celebrate this Thursday.  Despite the difficult times we face as a country, we at least have lots of other stuff to be thankful for this year.  Happy Turkey Day Ya’ll!

Today I bring you Part 2 of my conversation with Michael Breyette.  He joins usbiowebpic.jpg again this week to finish the conversation we began last week.  As you know, this is part of my ongoing series of interviews called The Erotic Mind.

If you somehow missed Part 1 of this charming and informative discussion look for last week’s podcast, #88 in the podcast archive in the sidebar to your right.

Michael and I discuss:

  • His chosen media.
  • His 1000 Words Project.
  • Erotica and Sexuality.
  • His inspirations and sexual heroes.
  • Future projects.
  • His advice for an aspiring erotic artist.

And don’t forget to visit Michael’s site at:  studio1088.com

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(click on the thumbnails to see larger image)

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. 😉 Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for my podcasts on iTunes.  You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously. Just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe.  I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: ROPEX.

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