Inside Your Head: Exploring Mental Kinks in BDSM
When people start to learn about the world of kink, a lot of the focus goes on the physical aspects of it: spanking, floggings, bondage, chastity cages, and more.
Because of this, the "mental" aspect tends to be something most people discover further on in their kink journey. After all, there's a whole lot of fun that can be had while purely focusing on the physical acts you can do. Part of the appeal of kink is simply how wide open your possibilities are! So why stop to think about even more ways to play?!
But especially if your budget is tight and neat gear is off the table, exploring some of the mental aspects of BDSM can be a great way to explore the world of kink without feeling left out. Let's check out some of the mental kinks in BDSM - including some gentler options and some riskier options:
Let's start with one of the simplest ones first.
You've already heard about bondage - but how much do you know about mental bondage? Think of mental bondage like the exact same bondage you know and love - but without the need for any gear. (Talk about a time and money saver!)
Instead, mental bondage focuses on obeying a verbal command to stay in the place the bottom is told to stay. This can actually present an entirely new type of scene. Have you ever tried to leave your pinky finger in the exact same spot while you're simultaneously being distracted? It's hard!
In mental bondage, the top may choose to "punish" each infraction of movement which makes for an easy, built-in way to play with some funishment too.
And that's some of the magic of mental kinks; it's entirely in your brain and that can make it a very all- encompassing experience.
"You are getting very sleepy...."
If you watch TV or movies, you've definitely seen hypnosis showcased in different ways before. In most portrayals, a hypnosis professional talks a person into a hypnotic state where they may be more suggestible to ideas - or may be better able to recall previous events.
This type of activity can be done with an erotic or kink slant as well: think orgasms, a deeper headspace, or deeper immersion into roleplaying roles. Research even shows that hypnosis can be used for pain relief - and it has been used in medical settings before!
A BIG Caution: Hypnosis, whether erotic, kinky, or regular, can be an extremely dangerous force to play with. In many places, it's illegal to practice hypnosis on another person without a license or certification. Even if it is legal where you live, you can do lasting, unintended damage to another person.
Take one of the most "wishlisted" erotic hypnosis activities: getting a bottom to orgasm via a simple verbal command from the top. While this sounds benign at the surface, there have been quite a few reports of bottoms being unable to orgasm after the relationship ended because they no longer were receiving the mental "permission" to orgasm. It took some of these people years to be able to take back their own sexual pleasure. This is unacceptable for anyone. If you want to explore hypnosis, ensure you learn from a trained professional and consider unintended consequences of any triggers you set.
When you think of "sadism", you probably think of an intense spanking scene that leaves the bottom in tears.
"Emotional sadism" is a similar concept, but instead of causing physical pain, emotional sadism scenes focus on causing mental pain and anguish.
The end goal is the same: causing some sort of pain to add to the energy exchange between the two participants.
Emotional sadism just might use biting words, insults, insecurities, or revisiting past traumas to bring up the emotional distress - instead of a wooden paddle spanking the butt.
However, because of this mental focus, emotional sadism scenes are extremely, extremely potent - and have a high likelihood of lasting damage. It makes sense, right? When we play with the very things that make us feel our most vulnerable - and most upset - there's a minefield of things that can go wrong.
Do not play with emotional sadism lightly, and it should only be done with a long-term partner you know very well. Negotiation should include the bottom specifically laying out the topics that are on the table - and the top staying very, very firmly within what is negotiated to help reduce the mental dangers of emotional sadism scenes.
Haven't heard of "mindfucks"? Let me introduce them. Mindfucks are the act of fucking with the mind. Simple, right?
In reality, that generally means something secret is known to the top - while the bottom is unaware of the entirety of a scene.
Let's talk about a common kink used with mindfucks: knives. We all know knives can be dangerous - and that idea can be hot to play with. But no one actually wants to get dangerously hurt here. So, a top may brandish a large, dangerous-looking knife in front of their bound partner and talk up how much it's going to hurt.
But when the top stands behind the bottom to use it, the top discreetly swaps out the scary, dangerous knife for a simple chilled butter knife. Ran along the skin, the chilled butterknife can feel icy hot - but it doesn't present the same danger as the full-blown knife. For extra terror, the top may utilize costume blood capsules broken open as the butter knife runs along the skin to make the bottom think the knife is cutting skin – and dripping blood.
There are lots of ways to play with mindfucks; it's just a matter of getting creative.
Sure, props and gear make it easier to get immersed into roleplay, but the roleplay itself is entirely mental. No gear or clothing required!
"Playing pretend" can be an extremely erotic way to explore your scenes - especially if you've always had kinks for different scenarios.
Just make sure you both are on the same page during negotiation. It's never any fun to find out mid- scene that the "pet kitty" you just adopted is actually feral when you were hoping for an adorable cuddle session!
Turns Out, all of BDSM is Mentally-Focused!
Hot to trot for more mental BDSM ideas? How about....all of it?
Turns out, virtually all of BDSM is a mental kink. Your power exchange dynamic doesn't exist unless you both believe in it. And certainly, most of the benefits of a power exchange dynamic are mental benefits: like the feeling of being controlled or doing the controlling. Lots of other kinks are partially mental as well. Stubbing your toe on the bedframe is bad pain - but when your brain decides that a flogger is hot, sexy pain, it can transform all of those pain signals into something hot.
And a bad day at work can derail even the hottest of scenes if thoughts of work continually pop into your brain.
This is why it really "pays" to pay attention to the mental aspects of your kink scenes - even if the kink you're exploring isn't entirely brain-based. Being in the right place, mentally, can make an erotic scene feel even more potent. It can amp up the intensity of the play you're already doing, and it can make a scene more fulfilling, connecting, and erotic.
So go on: next time you're thinking about a scene, don't forget to plan how you'll make sure the brain is just as important as the impact toys you pick out.
Mistress Kay lives in the world of sexuality and kink. With a house that's quickly running out of space for things that aren't sex books and sex toys, she spends what free time she has writing femdom help articles (https://kinky-world.net/category/bdsm-advice/femdom-advice/), trying the latest and greatest in sex toys, and exploring the sexual universe with her partners. She can be reached at Kinky World (https://kinky-world.net/).