What is BDSM

John Rushton |

What is BDSM?

BDSM, what does it mean, and where to start. If you don’t know what BDSM stands for, the simple way of understanding is any kinky sexual behaviour or acts. Physical restraint, pain and subjugation are frowned upon in a non-sexual situation or scenario, however these acts are practised with consent of both parties for sexual thrills within the BDSM community. Trying new things such as spanking, binding, tying, whipping or anything similar to this, can ignite a sexual spark and bring out your kinky side.

BDSM is split into 6 different acts or 3 major areas.
Bondage and discipline
Domination and submission
Sadism and Masochism

Bondage – Image

Physically restraining someone or being physically restrained yourself using the correct equipment.

Most of us unknowingly indulge in a little bondage when we use those fluffy handcuffs that we got as a jokey gift. Bondage is probably the most popular of all BDSM activities because it gives the feeling of being helpless for the sub and powerful for the dom. Knowing you can do whatever you want (with prior consent) for your pleasure or your playmates. Controlling all orgasmic sensations is a real thrill. Many people crave the feeling of being tied up or having movement restricted within a sexual scenario. Bondage can be a great way of learning to relax and let go in sex, you can lie back and lie back and enjoy the pleasure your partner is giving you.

Discipline – Image

Gaining control through rules / forms of discipline to force obedience.
Whether you quite like a hard spanking on the bottom or you like the thought of fulfilling a headmaster school fantasy, then chances are you will enjoy discipline. Discipline is when the submissive party (the bottom) requires a disciplinary action to rectify behaviour of breaking pre-set rules. These rules need to be set out before any activities take place and agreed by both parties. Depending on your experience, rules can be as simple as cleaning up before any naughtiness, or as strict as not allowing your partner to orgasm. Punishments can be whatever you want them to be, exploring physical such as spanking or psychological such as humiliation or verbal.

Domination – Image

Exercising power or influence over someone or something.
In most relationships there is usually a more dominant person / character and then a submissive in everyday life. Many couples like to explore this further and take these roles into the bedroom, exercising their submission or dominance using bondage and discipline to control their partner. Some couples reverse the roles within sexual encounters, the quiet, happy go lucky submissive in every day life can turn into the dominant kinky sex god. In some peoples lives they take Domination to the next level by exercising these roles in everyday life, this can be getting your sub to do specific jobs around the house or making them wear a collar and name tag. A common act of dominance is controlling your subs orgasms by edging them until they’re about to climax and stop until they’re allowed.


Submission – Image

Submitting / giving yourself fully to an authoritative figure (Dominant), complying to their demands.

Submission and Domination go together, as a submissive you would be required to do as the dominant asks, following their orders. If the Submissive is disobedient, then the Dom will discipline in a way they see fit. During sex, a Sub may like having all control being taken away. Using restraints to stop them touching themselves or the Dom, or the use of a gag to stop them speaking. Some people extend their submissiveness as part of their daily life, allowing their partner to put them in a chasity or becoming a slave to them.

Sadism – Image

Gaining sexual gratification from inflicting pain or humiliation on another person.
Sadism is a word that is sometimes linked to criminals and morally corrupt characters especially in films and television shows. The BDSM community are reclaiming Sadism and Masochism to show it can be a good thing when in enjoyed safely. Sadists enjoy giving pain through humiliation or physical punishment. Before practising Sadism you should always discuss this with your partner to ensure everything is consensual, discussing the pleasure both parties will get is extremely important before playing. Sadists often like to use whips, paddles or floggers on their playmate, others take things a bit further by using hot wax or clamps. The sexual thrill of performing these acts comes from the power involved when inflicting the pain, also the rosy red glow from a spanking.

Masochism – Image
Gaining sexual gratification from being subjected to physical pain or humiliation.
Masochism is the opposite of Sadism, it’s where a person enjoys having pain inflicted or humiliation, which can often lead to orgasm. A high level of endorphins are released when experiencing pain during a sexual scenario producing a natural high. Some Masochists find it a huge emotional relief after a session leaving them relaxed and purged of all stresses. A common sexual pleasure act of Masochism is having the genitals tortured as the pain creates intense and unique sensations.

Before any BDSM session the most important thing is to ensure all play is safe and consensual. Having a safe word or action is key so your partner knows to immediately stop when used. BDSM only should be practised if both people are comfortable and willing. Discussing boundaries and rules before hand is key, especially if this is group play so everyone is completely clear. Do not use any alcohol or painkillers during BDSM play as these can numb pain and increase the risk of injury.