The bible of psychiatry says that kinky sex could be problematic, but a new study claims that whips, chains and nipple clamps might actually be good for one's health.
Practitioners of bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM) feel more secure in their relationships, have a higher sense of well-being and are less neurotic than people who prefer tamer sex, according to a new study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Beyond that, members of the BDSM community tended to be more extroverted, were more open to new ideas and were less sensitive to rejection, according to study researcher Andreas Wismeijer, a psychologist at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands who conducted the research while at Tilburg University.
"[BDSM practitioners] either did not differ from the general population and if they differed, they always differed in the more favorable direction," said Wismeijer according to LiveScience.
Wismeijer conducted his research by subjecting 902 BDSM practitioners and 434 non-BDSM participants to questionnaires that examined personality, sensitivity to rejection, style of attachment in relationships and overall well-being.
"We did not have any findings suggesting that people who practice BDSM have a damaged psychological profile or have some sort of psychopathology or personality disorder," Wismeijer said.
While the researcher was reluctant to offer explanations for his findings, he did offer a few hypotheses.
For starters, BDSM practitioners tend to have a heightened awareness of their sexual needs and desires, so they might be able to build less frustrating relationships both inside and outside the bedroom when compared with their more "vanilla" peers.
Along the same lines, Wismeijer also suggested that accepting one's unusual sexual preferences and choosing to live in a societal niche like the BDSM community might involve huge amounts of psychological work, which could translate into positive mental health. ...