This column is not about “Fifty Shades of Grey” because, frankly, reading that book pissed me off. Reading about how undeserving a woman thinks she is of a prototypical alpha-male is not sexually arousing. “Fifty Shades” did not provide any of the provocative mind-fucks I was anticipating. This column is about BDSM and the wonders of bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism, which “Fifty Shades” failed to mention.
Bondage is a fun place to start, as it physically restrains a person and forces him or her to take pleasure, humiliation, teasing and taunting. Dominance and submission are about the submissive giving-in to any demand for the pleasure of the dominant. Masochism describes the sexual pleasure one gets from receiving humiliation and pain by means such as whipping and flogging, while sadism describes the pleasure one gets from giving pain. Pain in these contexts is discussed and predetermined, as the person in power never intends to inflict any sensation that the subjugated individual cannot handle.
The attractions of BDSM are not so much physical as they are psychological. It’s not about leather and chains in a dungeon setting. It’s about taking on the mentality in which the sole objective is to give or receive pleasure through power plays. It’s about feeling so irresistibly desirable that one is forced to take sexual pleasure or entrancing someone to the point that one is given total control over another.
But BDSM has to be completely consensual. A nonconsensual act of pain or abuse is not BDSM. In all BDSM spaces, partners have to communicate what they will do, the limits of their pain tolerance and safe words before they start any play session. All parties have the power to stop everything at once if they become uncomfortable. At bondage clubs, the experts will constantly monitor and check in with you to see if you’re okay. ...
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