Whether you are an avid reader of romance novels or you simply have overheard a conversation here or there about a number of erotic novels that have gained popularity in the last couple of years, you are probably mildly familiar with BDSM. However, in case this is an entirely foreign concept to you, we would like to give you the general rundown.s&m

For starters, let’s talk about what “BDSM” stands for. This acronym truly denotes three different aspects of this erotic preference: “Bondage & Discipline”, “Dominance & Submission”, and “Sadism & Masochism”. In order to fully understand these phrases, let’s discuss them individually.
Bondage & Discipline
If you are unfamiliar with BDSM, you may still be familiar with Bondage, or the act of using restraints to enhance sexual pleasure. This could be something as simply as using a necktie to secure your partner to the headboard. Discipline in BDSM is the use of rules in the sexual realm in which punishments are given should a rule be broken and rewards be given when rules are abided.  These practices require a large amount of trust between partners, but when executed properly can lead to much deeper intimacy between two people.
Dominance & Submission
This aspect of BDSM does not just lend itself to those couples who enjoy spending the majority of their relationship in the bedroom. In fact, it is quite common that people who participate in relationships where one partner is in control, while the other not at all, do so for long periods of time over the phone or the internet while their physical locations are many miles apart. The construct of a relationship like this is one where one person(the dominant) has the power in the relationship, whereas the other person(the submissive) is rendering all power to their dominant counterpart.
Sadism & Masochism
These practices are the most physical of all three caveats of BDSM. S&M is about inflicting or receiving physical pain in order to increase the overall satisfaction of a sexual experience. This can be something as simple as pulling someone’s hair during intercourse to using whips and chains and giving your partners spankings and bruises.
To be clear, there are very specific cycles to BDSM relationships that differentiate them from abusive relationships, which we will address in a future post. For now, look deep within and think about your own sexual fantasies and if any of the aforementioned practices entice you.