If you're dating, or browse dating sites, you've probably noticed people saying that they're kinky. Does that mean they're not dateable? Well, if you're revolted by any kind of kink, you're probably not a match. If you're curious or open, kink isn't a reason to rule them out.

Although you may not like their particular thing now, you might get to like it. Or it might not be so important to them.

There's an important "but" here. If you date someone who enjoys inflicting pain, you are increasing your chance of getting involved with a questionable person. That might seem like common sense, but it's worth repeating. At the same time, many people would love to spank you who are law-abiding and could be a good partner. In fact, recent evidence suggests that everyday doms and dommes are just as empathic as other people.

Kink fantasies are common. According to a 2019 survey of the research, 40 to 70 percent of the population report having them. This same research overview concluded that people who engage in kink behavior (possibly as many as 20 percent of us) are no more likely to be troubled. They're also not usually focused on just one activity—don't assume he'll only want to suck your toes or be spanked. He probably likes his kink in addition to the full range.

Generally, kink seems to be a leisure activity (it's not always even sexual in the sense of producing orgasm) and, perhaps especially for dominants, linked to being more satisfied and less anxious about sex. People who can talk about their kinks tend to be communicative about sex, which may help your sexual satisfaction.

Informally, it's anything sexual that still seems daring or odd. For research purposes, it's recreational activities in which one person gives up power to the other. You're blindfolded, tied up, or lying on his lap while he spanks you. You choose to trust him. Sometimes, you're choosing to receive pain, sometimes humiliation, or both at once. Why would you do that? People who love to submit talk about "subspace," a kind of trance that involves pleasure chemicals. It can feel amazing.

Many terms float around. Submissives, bottoms, and masochists give up power. Bottoms receive the action, tops dish it out. Dominants, tops, and sadists are in charge. Each also needs to trust their partners—they can't let it rip unless they know the recipient will understand and communicate limits clearly. Pick and use those "safe words." Don't consent unless it's what you want.

You might worry that these activities are sexist. Don't women want to submit and men to punish? Most often, yes, but the opposite is true in plenty of cases. In an internet survey with more than 1,500 responses, 64.6 percent of the women said they fantasized about being dominated, compared to 53.5 percent of men. Note: more than half the men said they fantasized about being the submissive one. Submissive men aren't rare. And 46.7 percent of the women said they fantasized about dominating someone (pull out your black leather and fishnet?). Research suggests that tops, bottoms, and switches all hold pro-feminist attitudes and are no more accepting of rape or prone to victim blaming.

Masochism, one theory goes, is an escape from self-control. It's true that many (not all!) submissives have high-powered careers and need help to let go. That theory includes the idea that sadism is a way of asserting control when you feel weak, perhaps because of a lack of professional success.

Or you might be carrying guilt (as a sub) or lack empathy (as a dom).

To test these ideas, one study compared sadists, masochists, and switches (who play both roles) to a non-kinky control group. It found little or no empirical support for any of the theories.

For example, masochists were not more psychologically ill than any of the others, including the controls. There was no evidence that they were more likely to engage in escapism or risky behaviors. It also turned out that sadists were not less professionally successful. There was also no evidence of more sexual guilt in any of the kink groups.

What about childhood sexual abuse? People who experienced sexual abuse as children are more likely to be kinky as adults. However, the abuse doesn't seem to predict which role they choose or activities they partake in, and the majority—as much as 90 percent—of people interested in kink do not report any abuse history.

The simple explanation—people want to be spanked as adults because daddy spanked them as children—is too simple.

The stigma attached to kink can enhance intimacy, many say. You share your secret world. If kink appeals to you, it might help you find the one.

Psychology researchers try to make accurate statements about large populations. Then there are the subsets, groups within the big group. Within the psychologically average kink population, you'll find people drawn to masochism and sadism because of childhood abuse. You might question whether this is the right way to deal with their history. Ask them. You might be drawn to it for that reason. Talk it over with someone you trust, perhaps a psychotherapist.

There's very little science measuring how sadism—enjoying giving pain to others—relates to other traits like hostility, manipulativeness, impulsivity, deceitfulness, grandiosity, and callousness. We do have reason to think that psychopaths are more sadistic. and prone to unusual sexual interests.

When you're dating, anyone could be badly wounded and a small number are dangerous.

Pick someone who is kind, honest, respectful and ensures that you consent to any sexual activity you share. Just because he's a dom doesn't mean it's a good idea to lower those standards. Raise them instead. As Michael Jackson sang, "One bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch, girl." But you don't want to bite the bad apple.

QOSHE - Is BDSM Okay? - Temma Ehrenfeld
menu_open
Columnists Actual . Favourites . Archive
We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

Is BDSM Okay?

36 0
19.05.2024

If you're dating, or browse dating sites, you've probably noticed people saying that they're kinky. Does that mean they're not dateable? Well, if you're revolted by any kind of kink, you're probably not a match. If you're curious or open, kink isn't a reason to rule them out.

Although you may not like their particular thing now, you might get to like it. Or it might not be so important to them.

There's an important "but" here. If you date someone who enjoys inflicting pain, you are increasing your chance of getting involved with a questionable person. That might seem like common sense, but it's worth repeating. At the same time, many people would love to spank you who are law-abiding and could be a good partner. In fact, recent evidence suggests that everyday doms and dommes are just as empathic as other people.

Kink fantasies are common. According to a 2019 survey of the research, 40 to 70 percent of the population report having them. This same research overview concluded that people who engage in kink behavior (possibly as many as 20 percent of us) are no more likely to be troubled. They're also not usually focused on just one activity—don't assume he'll only want to suck your toes or be spanked. He probably likes his kink in addition to the full range.

Generally, kink seems to be a leisure activity (it's not always even sexual in the sense of producing orgasm) and, perhaps especially for dominants,........

© Psychology Today


Get it on Google Play