Dusk Magazine

BDSM 101: A Primer for the Aspiring Kinkster

Uh-oh, you don't have an account yet? Please subscribe to watch this video.

  • Subscriptions starting from €5,25/month.
  • You can cancel your subsciption anytime.
  • Sign up now and enjoy Dusk Online anytime, anywhere. Porna, it's my pleasure!

Subscribe

valentine_splash_text
Please click to confirm you're over 18

By entering you accept our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy and cookies policy

BDSM 101: A Primer for the Aspiring Kinkster

BDSM. Four simple letters which, when uttered in the right order, provoke a knowing reaction from most individuals.

By Emmeline Peaches

Let’s face it—we’ve all, at some point, heard about what goes on behind dungeon doors and many of us get an image of whips, chains, and pain when BDSM gets mentioned. But just because we know what BDSM means (at least when it comes to the cultural instruction) doesn’t mean we know what BDSM involves.

If you’re interested in getting to know what BDSM is really all about then read on! This article won’t be extensive, but it will certainly provide a small sample of exactly what BDSM can offer you and your sex life.

 

What Is BDSM?

So, you’ve heard the phrase BDSM, you’ve got a mental image of the equipment that might be used for it, and you’re pretty confident in your understanding of BDSM. But just how confident? Do you know exactly what the acronym stands for, for example? Perhaps it doesn’t come to mind as easily as you expected.

This is because BDSM is actually an incredibly diverse practice and can mean so many things to so many different people. When people make a reference to their sex being like vanilla ice cream then, usually, they’re grouping pretty much every other flavour as somehow kinky. And, well, I think you know just how many different types of ice cream there are on the market.

Similarly, BDSM can include everything from sensation play, to verbal humiliation, to financial domination, to actual physical contact and pain. This is because what matters in BDSM isn’t necessarily the action itself but the terms under which it’s re-enacted.

Thankfully, things become a lot clearer when you actually break the term BDSM and look at each individual component, starting with the B.

 

B: Bondage

“But, wait?” I hear you cry, “Didn’t you just say that BDSM wasn’t about actions? Bondage seems like a pretty clear action to me!” Okay, fair point, I hear you. When it comes to B there is a certain element of explicit play—namely the use of chains, collars, and other physical restraints to get people in to a certain headspace. But not all bondage is literal and this letter isn’t just about physical bondage but also mental too.

BDSM can include being tied up but it can also include binding someone to a certain behaviour or restricting them in some other way. Bondage is also something you can do to yourself (though always be safe if you’re practicing physical self-bondage and look after your mental health if you’re indulging in mental bondage).

In an ironic twist Bondage can also be the most freeing part of BDSM for many people. It seems there truly is a certain release that can come with restriction.

Ideas for Physical Bondage: Handcuffs, spreader bars, shibari rope, a chastity device.
Ideas for Mental Bondage: Ropeless bondage by command, the restriction of behaviour, standing in the naughty corner.

 

D: Discipline

Very much typing in to the idea of Bondage, Discipline requires those involved to have a high degree of control and restraint.

This control isn’t just over each other but also over the situation at hand. BDSM can involve some incredibly arousing acts of self-fulfilment, but it can also involve risky behaviour which, if not handled properly, can lead to long-term damage. Because of this it is very important that those involved in BDSM are diligent, well-informed, and aware of their limits at all times.

It’s why safe words exist and it’s why the phrase “Safe, Sane, and Consensual” is so important in the BDSM community. At its heart BDSM is a practice of research, respect, and reasonable indulgence.

Ideas for Physical Discipline: Verbal orders, denigration, impact play.
Ideas for Mental Discipline: Following orders, respecting safe words and hard limits, not rushing in to advanced scenarios without thorough research.

 

D: Domination

Oh yes, the D is versatile and you knew this one was coming. D stands for Domination—the act of taking up a position of power over someone else and exacting your whims upon them.

Dominants often control the dynamics of a particular BDSM scene and essentially take charge of where the session will go. Despite this certain actions are usually given the go-ahead by both partners and a Dominant bears the responsibility of knowing and respecting their partner’s limits.

Dominating someone else can feel incredibly powerful and give a huge boost to one’s sense of self. After all, just how often do we get someone who is completely enchanted by our every word and action?

Ideas for Physical Domination: Bondage, impact play, physically controlling someone, dressing the part.
Ideas for Mental Domination: Verbal orders, assertive body language, sexual roleplay.

 

S: Submission

Where there’s a D there’s an S because S stands for Submission.

To submit is to give yourself to your Dominant and the scenarios that they have in mind for you. Although it may seem like Submissives are at the bottom of the D/S relationship it is actually the Submissive who has the power to call off the scene at any point. This is often done through a safe word or action which is understood by everyone involved to mean “stop”.

Submissives dominated will often mention how incredibly freeing it is to have someone else control their actions. This is usually because they can let their mind relax from any of the tasks or chores it was holding on to and simply give themselves to the situation at hand. Because of this many liken being deeply immersed in a BDSM session with deep meditation. Except, y’know, with more kit.

Ideas for Physical Submission: Bowing, physical compliance, dressing the part.
Ideas for Mental Submission: Following orders, showing respect and reverence, surrendering. 

 

S: Sadism

The second aspect of the S and perhaps the one most well-known. S can also stand for Sadism—physical gratification from hurting, punishing, or humiliating someone.
 

Sadism might sound a bit extreme at first, but who hasn’t once felt a bit self-satisfied when they’re indoors on a rainy day watching people outside getting absolutely drenched?


Schadenfreude runs deep in humans, some have just found a way to derive sexual pleasure from inflicting it upon others.

It’s also important to remember that those who practice Sadism are usually doing so in the above mentioned safe, sane, and consensual manner. Under such conditions there really isn’t anything wrong with indulging in some sadistic acts, whether that be cracking a whip or tickling your partner why they laugh out for you to stop.

As with all acts of BDSM, Sadism involves indulging in a fantasy and, although this can cause literal physical pain, there really is no better community to explore sadistic urges through than that of BDSM.

Ideas for Physical Sadism: Physical punishment, wax play, tickling.
Ideas for Mental Sadism: Humiliation, deprivation, verbal insults.

 

M: Masochism

The other side of the coin to Sadism, Masochism is all about deriving pleasure from being hurt, humiliated, or in some way forced to do something that might otherwise be considered unthinkable or impermissible.

Again, the pleasure derived from Masochism has much to do with the notion of release and surrender explored in Submission, and it is through the act of Submission that Masochism can truly take form. Masochists are also required to have a lot of Discipline, as they try their best to endure what their Dominant has in store for them.

Such actions are usually requested by the Submissive and fulfil as much of a desire for them as it does for the Sadist. A more fitting dynamic could never be known.

Ideas for Physical Masochism: Allowing yourself to be spanked, submitting to a sadistic dominant, self-inflicted pain.
Ideas for Mental Masochism: Allowing yourself to be insulted, doing something deliberately wrong to be punished, the restriction of certain actions.

 

And That’s All Folks!

Hopefully by exploring the key components of BDSM you’ve now got a better understanding of what can be involved and what might appeal to you. It’s also so important to recognise the overlap between each letter and the degree of mutual respect and communication that is involved.

BDSM can be as diverse as you make it and, as long as no-one’s safety is compromised, can be a game changer sexually and mentally. If any part of this article has intrigued you then please do stay tuned! We’ll be talking more about BDSM very soon. 

 

By Emmeline Peaches
emmelinepeachesreviews.com
@EmmelinePeaches

For more practical sex tips have a look at our How To... videos.

Share to

Previous article Next article