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Thoughts On BDSM & Sex

By CAGE Staff​(staff)     05/12/2021 147
Thoughts On BDSM and Sex

There’s a long-standing myth that BDSM is all about sex. It’s a myth that’s perpetuated by popular culture (not least the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise), and one that’s so commonly accepted that anyone not involved in the kink scene rarely questions it.

The truth is actually a little more complicated. BDSM and sex are very often linked, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes even kinky play that look incredibly sexual are anything but… and sometimes even the most innocent-looking act is deeply erotic.

Confusing? Maybe – but once you learn a bit more about what makes kinksters of all different stripes tick, it actually makes a lot of sense. Here, then, are just some of the ways that kink and sex interact.

Fetishes

A fetish is an “unusual” attraction or arousal connected to an object, material, activity, or body part. When you have a fetish for leather, for example, your feelings go a lot deeper than just liking the look or feel of a pair of leather pants. You might get turned on just from the smell of leather, or might fantasize exclusively about scenes which involve it.

Other common fetishes include:

• Rubber or vinyl
• Feet
• Ghosts – or the idea of ghosts (“Spectrophilia”)
• Impact play or punishment
• Panties or other underwear
• Silk or lace
• Any inanimate object (“Objectum sexuality”)

The list is endless… in fact pretty much anything can be a fetish – even things that, to the casual observer, are completely ordinary. Shoes are a great example of this. A pair of boots might just be some practical footwear to one person… but to someone with a fetish for boot-licking everything about that pair of Doc Martens can be incredibly arousing.

What this means is that, for some people, ordinary-seeming acts and objects can be extremely sexual. Cleaning a pair of shoes, making a meal with certain ingredients, or even simply shaving are (for the right person) potentially as alluring as any other kind of foreplay.

There’s one important thing to remember about fetishes when hanging out with other kinksters online or off: even the most unusual ones are fine as long as they don’t cause harm. Tolerance and open-mindedness are big parts of the kink community, and it’s important not to shame anyone for a fetish… even if it is eyebrow-raisingly unusual to you.

Sadism and Masochism

Put simply, a sadist is someone who gets pleasure from inflicting certain types of pain, and a masochist is someone who gets pleasure from receiving pain. Put the two together and you have everything you need for a very kinky, very enjoyable time.

For anyone who isn’t either a sadist or a masochist, it might be difficult to understand how pain can be sexually gratifying. After all… pain hurts!

While it varies from person to person, most masochists enjoy pain in one of two ways:

1. they experience pleasurable sensations with they feel certain kinds of pain (being spanked might make them feel warm and tingly, for example), OR;
2. the feeling of pain gets them excited and turned-on to the point that having sex after this is extremely enjoyable.

Likewise, however, sometimes the pleasure people derive from pain is totally nonsexual. They might enjoy the sensory deprivation that comes from wearing a blindfold, or feel excited and shivery when a play partner runs something sharp along their skin… all without any sexual arousal.

This is something to bear in mind the next time you watch a couple play out a scene in a dungeon or at a play party. What looks eye-wateringly painful might actually be enjoyable for the person experiencing it… and what looks super sexy might actually just be giving them the warm and fuzzies.

Subspace/Domspace

You’ve probably heard of subspace before: it’s the state of mind that some people drop into when they engage in extreme or exciting kinky activities. A mixture of adrenaline and other hormones can make kinksters feel floaty and soft and detached from reality after a very intense scene.

Domspace, as the name implies, is more or less the same thing, except experienced by the dominant partner rather than the submissive.

Most people really enjoy the feeling of being in subspace or domspace. It may or may not be sexual for them, but in either event it’s often a very desirable part of their play. That’s why some couples might choose to focus on activities that they know will get them into a spacey place – even if those activities don’t necessarily look like our normal vision of sex.

Getting a severe beating and falling into subspace can be a hugely pleasurable sexual experience – and it can happen without either person involved removing a single item of clothing.

24/7 Dynamics

This intense dynamic is also sometimes called Total Power Exchange – which is exactly what it is. Couples who engage in BDSM in this way usually do so on a full-time basis, with the submissive partner giving up a lot of control to the dominant one. They might, for example, surrender their choice over what clothes to wear or what food to eat.

This type of dynamic can make even the most ordinary decision a part of sexual play.

Even if neither person involved has a fetish for clothing, they might both find the process of choosing the submissive partner’s clothing extremely enjoyable because of the power exchange involved. To give up control in this manner requires a great deal of trust, intimacy, and communication, and can be every bit as satisfying as an orgasm or two.

Sensory Pleasure

BDSM involves doing many interesting things to the human body. Being wrapped up in plastic wrap or having hot wax dripped onto your skin are experiences that most people just don’t have on a day-to-day basis, but which many people enjoy just like they would a massage or long, hot bath. BDSM often involves sensory pleasure. It can help people relax, open up, and explore their bodies – often in a way that is completely nonsexual.

Someone who enjoys BDSM for its sensory qualities might never connect BDSM with sex. They might, for example, enjoy being tied up because it makes them feel warm and relaxed and secure. Or they might enjoy being spanked because it helps them reach a point where they can cry, or be vulnerable, or experience an emotional release.

Equally, some couples might use BDSM as foreplay. While they don’t necessarily get off from kinky acts all on their own, they might enjoy the energy and experimentation of play.

Asexuality/Sapiosexuality/Demisexuality, etc

The kink scene is home to people with a rainbow of different sexual orientations. Knowing even a few of them can be extremely useful when it comes to understanding how different people engage with BDSM and sex.

Asexual people, for example, just aren’t interested in having sex. They may still form romantic relationships, and might even have and enjoy sex for other reasons (for example, because they enjoy seeing their partner enjoy themselves). They might even engage in very heavy kinky play… just without ever wanting it to graduate to sex. Asexual people do have a sex life, but aren’t fundamentally driven by a desire for sex.

Sapiosexual people are primarily aroused by intelligence. For someone who is sapiosexual an in-depth conversation might be every bit as enjoyable as a night of hot, sweaty intercourse… or more so!

Pansexual people aren’t exclusively attracted to people of one gender or orientation. Looks and personality are, of course, still important to pansexual people, but some of the other factors such as gender which people consider very important… just aren’t.

These are just a few of the different orientations you might encounter in the kink scene… and there are hundreds more. With these in mind it’s clear to see that sex and kink are complicated things. One person’s idea of sex can be very different from yours!

Chastity

The dictionary definition of chastity tells us that it’s the practice of refraining from sex – being in chastity means that you’re specifically not doing it. How can avoiding sex altogether be either sexual or kinky?

The answer is simple – chastity is something that many kinksters use when they’re experimenting and playing with control. Refraining from sex (and even masturbation) can be deeply exciting when it’s done on the orders of a dominant partner. For some people the pleasure they derive from refraining from sex is more than enough – being chaste for their dominant is its own reward!

Equally, of course, for some people chastity is torture, and it’s all about waiting for the moment of release.

Whatever you feel is right!

Listed above are just some of the ways that kink and sex might go together. As you can see acts which look sexual can be completely nonsexual, and nonsexual things can be invested with an intense sexual energy. That’s part of what makes BDSM so interesting!

Do be aware, though, that this isn’t a complete list. Sexual arousal is complex and nuanced, and it’s different for every person. If you don’t recognize the way that kink and sex figure into your life in the list above, don’t despair. BDSM is all about exploring, experimenting, and finding out what works for you.