Pain & Pleasure

Get Your Kink On

The term BDSM was coined as a condensed acronym in the 1990s
to describe sexual relationships that contained bondage and
discipline (B&D or B/D), dominance and submission (D&S or D/s),
and sadomasochism or sadism and masochism (S&M or S/M).

BDSM is frequently used as a catch-all phrase to includes
a wide range of activities, forms of interpersonal
relationships, and distinct subcultures which may or may
not fit well into the original three intended categories.

Although it’s increasingly common for younger couples to have
“power neutral” relationships and/or play styles, activities
and relationships within a BDSM context are often characterized
by the participants’ taking on complementary, but unequal roles.

The idea of informed consent of both the partners becomes essential.
Typically participants who are active – applying the activity – are
known as tops, those who exercise control over others are commonly
known as dominants, and those who inflict pain are known as sadists.

If It Feels Good, Do It

These are often the same person, and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Similarly, those participants who are recipients of the activities are typically known as bottoms, those who are controlled by their partners as submissives, and those who receive pain as masochists

Again, these are frequently the same person and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Individuals who alternate between top/dominant and bottom/submissive roles are known as switches.

Precise definition of roles and self-identification is a common subject of debate, reflection, and discussion within the community.

The usual sexual game of hints, nudges and assumptions doesn’t work for the kinky, those whose desires lie outside the norms of sexuality or relationships. You can’t assume what you want is in line with what they want, or even, that what you want won’t be extremely violating to them.

Before you decide to open your relationship up to multiple partners, don a diaper for an hour of cuddling, or put an ice cube in your mouth before oral sex, everyone involved has to communicate what they want and consent to what they’ll be doing.

Otherwise, it’s alarmingly likely that someone will be physically or emotionally hurt, perhaps to the point of violation. Pushing boundaries is one of the most psychotic habits one could have and, paired with alcohol’s deleterious impact on decision-making, remarkably dangerous.

Consent and, more broadly, open communication are, by necessity, the foundation of kink since mainstream assumptions about sex and relationships no longer apply.

But did they ever apply? What’s the difference between kink and vanilla?

The aesthetics and shock value of kink are vastly overplayed, so instead of describing kink through common fantasies, I’ll list a few common reasons people identify as kinky.

One: The sex or intimacy I want is shamed or uncommon in mainstream society, but it can be accepted and even desired in the kink community.

Two: I dislike how integral alcohol and pushing boundaries are to having sex, and prefer a community that emphasizes consent.

Three: I want to feel desired — male, trans, overweight, cross-dresser, handicapped, etc.

Four: I love applying my brain to sex.

Five: It’s fun! Six: I’m interested in feeling pleasure besides in areas other than the genitals.

Everyone’s sexuality is different. It can consist of a different anatomy, libido, orientation, interests, orgasm, ways to orgasm, etc.

In this spectrum of sexuality, the line between kink and vanilla is simply the line where society starts judging.

The difference between being kinky and being vanilla is the same as the difference between being straight and being gay.

Besides the fact that some people are considered outside the cultural norm and some are not, there is no fundamental difference, and the reality is that most people lie somewhere in between the two extremes.

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