What BDSM Isn't

Let’s talk a little about what BDSM isn’t, because newbies often have enormous misconceptions.

  1. BDSM isn’t domestic violence or spouse abuse: BDSM is consensual. If the sub does not consent to receive the dom’s actions, it’s not BDSM. It’s abuse. Doms and subs often speak of ‘abuse’ because it’s a way of intensifying the Outer Layer experience, but no true dom wants to truly abuse their sub.
  2. BDSM isn’t about harming the sub: Pain play may inflict hurt–short term pain or discomfort, but should not infect harm–serious, long-term injury. Obviously, accidents can happen and injuries can occur, but a good dom learns the safety basics of any form of play they want to do, especially when it comes to pain play and bondage, where physical injury is a plausible outcome of careless or ignorant play.
  3. BDSM isn’t about violating the sub: The sub must derive some form of physical, emotional, or spiritual pleasure and satisfaction from the activity, or it’s not BDSM; it’s abuse. Some subs (such as Cat Subs) find deep pleasure in things like erotic torture or humiliation play. Being the target of a sadistic or controlling act is directly pleasurable. Other subs (who may be Dog Subs), derive their pleasure indirectly, not from the act itself but from the idea of being useful to the dom; they find satisfaction in enduring erotic torture or humiliation, but not in receiving it. Either way, the sub takes positive meaning from the experience.
  4. BDSM isn’t about expressing anger or hatred toward the sub: A dom’s actions are an expression of affection and even love toward the sub. In casual play, it may be simply about the dom and the sub having fun and pleasure with no real emotional component, but a true dom never strikes the sub out of anger or hatred. In the Outer Layer, the dom may use angry tones or frame the scene as cruelty, but that is to intensify the experience, not to express what the dom is actually feeling.
  5. BDSM isn’t about contempt for the sub or misogyny: A dom should always respect their sub, and appreciate the gift of submission that the sub is offering. Again, the dom may frame the scene as being about contempt or misogyny or homophobia, but that should Outer Layer stuff, not Inner Layer motivation.
  6. BDSM isn’t about breaking the sub’s spirit: It’s about helping the sub learn to be the best, most submissive sub he or she can be. Different subs have different capacities for submission and service, and the dom needs to respect that. A good dom sees the ideal sub inside the sub in front of him and works to guide him or her to become that ideal sub. That’s why it’s called ‘training’. BDSM is constructive, not destructive. (Having said that, some subs may have bad habits or stubborn feelings of independence that they wish to overcome with the dom’s guidance. In that sense, they may speak of breaking the sub’s spirit.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close