Beginners: What is BDSM?

Hello and welcome to the first lesson in my BDSM workshop! Today we are discussion what BDSM is, and what BDSM most certainly isn’t!

When I started my journey into the world of BDSM, I had an idea that the subculture looked like, or so I thought! Dark, gothic and brooding with plenty of whips, chains and pain. I was right, right?

I was wrong!

BDSM can:-

  • Happen in broad daylight
  • Involve pastel and neon colours
  • Involve pop music as backing tracks
  • Involve silly things, like strawberry laces
  • Be sweet, sensual and/or Involve no pain at all!

Now that I’ve taken a sledgehammer and smashed up what you know to be true of BDSM, let’s take some time to talk about what it really is.

The 3-for-4 deal

In BDSM, we kinksters like to talk about what is commonly referred to as the “3-for-4” acronym. What that means is that there is 3 acronyms hidden within 4 letters. What are they? Let’s explore!

B&D, or Bondage & Discipline – When we think of bondage and discipline, we normally think that means tying someone up and spanking them, but actually you’d be wrong. In this sense, to discipline someone means simply to train them to behave in a way that pleases the dominant partner. It could include things like kneeling positions, such as the popular Gorean “Nadu” position – knees spread apart, hands on thighs palm up, spine straight, chest out and eyes looking down.

Ds, D/s, or Dominance & Submission – Dominance & submission is normally written as D/s, with the ‘s’ not capitalised, indicating that only the Dominant is worthy of capitalisation. Some people only capitalise once a Dominant earns their respect, and others believe that submissives should be respected and capitalised, too. Whichever you decide is right for you is a very personal decision.

Dominance & submission is really where the rules come into play. Rules like addressing the dominant partner as Master or Sir or the contract arrangement like you see in Fifty Shades of Grey. Dominance crucially means having the ability to tell someone what to do, and submission means to do as you are told. It’s important to understand that just because someone is a Dominant and you identify as a submissive, you do not need to obey them unless you choose to.

Sm, S/M, S&M or Sadism & Masochism – Sadism & Masochism is what most people know to be BDSM – the whipping and the spanking part. While it is true that this is where all of that falls under the BDSM umbrella, it’s absolutely not true that that’s all there is! S&M play also includes tickling with feathers, hot wax and ice play. biting, sensation play and much, much more!

Another little tidbit on Sadism & Masochism, Sadism got it’s name from the popular French politician, nobleman and writer Marquis De Sade, who wrote about acts of sexual violence. Conversely, “Masochism” is attributed to Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, who wrote about the pleasure he derived from his own pain.

Do you need to be into all components of BDSM to practice BDSM?

Absolutely not! You can be into one mostly but not the others (a rope fetishist, for example) you could be into masochism and submission but not discipline or you could like tying someone up and dominating them but hate the idea of hurting them, That’s all up to you, there really is no one way!

I hate the idea of giving or receiving pain, does BDSM have to involve pain?

No! There is so much you could do without any pain at all. For more thoughts and ideas on this, have a look at this blog post.

Stay safe and have fun!

Hugs & kinky cuddles,

Elena xx

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