What is BDSM? Bondage, Domination and other sexual practices

Friday, 26 November 2021

Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism. If we take the initials of these four words, what acronyms do we get? Those of BDSM . With them we refer to a series of erotic practices that, freely agreed by those who participate in them, are taken on some occasions or by some people as the term used to name a lifestyle.

This that we have said in the previous paragraph would be what, in a quick way, we would answer any person who asked us about what BDSM is or about the meaning of that term. We would thus indicate that these acronyms would encompass six different erotic modalities: those already mentioned above plus Discipline and Submission. Related to each other, all these erotic modalities would be part of what is known as alternative sexualities.

Many people believe that to get a slight idea of how these disciplines are practiced, it would be enough to look into that bottomless pit that is the internet. By typing the expression BDSM Tube in our search engine, for example, we would access an infinite list of BDSM videos that, according to the uninformed, could help us to know what we are talking about when we talk about this concept.

Nothing is further from reality. On many occasions, what the videos that circulate on the net under the label BDSM show us is not exactly that, but rather a hard or extreme way of practicing sex .

In this article we are going to talk about their birth and history, we are going to try to outline what they refer to, and we are going to detail what are the rules that must be met so that a certain erotic practice can be classified as BDSM practice .

BDSM practice

BDSM: history of the term

It was in April 1991 when the term to which we dedicate this article saw the light for the first time. It was featured in an online news photo. With this, it was intended to give a name to something that already existed in the late sixties and early seventies.

That something that the term BDSM was going to encompass had been born, according to some theorists, within certain British and North American homosexual communities. According to these theorists, sadomasochistic homosexual activists on both sides of the Atlantic had gradually created a subculture that encompassed the aforementioned practices (Bondage, Domination, etc.), as well as fetishism .

In those early days, then, the bedesemero was directly linked to the gay world. The bedesemero, in addition, was especially reluctant to open up to the lesbian and straight universes. Who belonged to this world, moreover, rejected the fact that what was performed within their rituals were understood only as a game.

This attitude was progressively changing and, thus, these practices and the world that revolved around them were gradually getting closer to the lesbian culture and the hetero world. In fact, in the early 1990s, straight men and women were no longer frowned upon by engaging in such practices. It was even accepted that some people understood the different practices as a kind of game. One could go in and out of BDSM and its rituals without internalizing it as a kind of life style .


BDSM practices

As we have seen, there are several practices that encompass this acronym. The initial of each one of them participates in the formation of the acronyms of which we speak. Let's see what each of these practices or disciplines consists of:

  • Bondage This term is usually used to speak of a practice consisting of totally or partially immobilizing a person using ropes, ropes or other elements. Close to the Japanese Shibari , the art of erotic bondage is closely related to the bonds that were maintained between masters and slaves in the past and, therefore, plays a very important role in Domination and submission games.
  • Discipline This term refers to the norms, habits and protocols of behavior that, in the practices of Domination and submission, people who are in a subordinate position must follow. When we talk about Discipline we talk about training, rules, punctual rewards and, above all, punishments. Said rules and said punishments serve for the Dominant person to exercise his power over the submissive person.
  • Domination This term refers to the role assumed by one of the members of the couple to exercise control over the other. That member of the couple who assumes control over the other can adopt many names: Master, Lord, Dom or Master, in the case that the Dominant party is a man, and Dominatrix or Dominatrix, Domme, Lady, Mistress, Domina, Madame, Mistress or Maîtresse, in case the dominant party is a woman.
  • Submission With this word we refer to the complementary role of Domination. In this situation, the person is subjugated and placed under the orders and will of the Dominant person, obeys and obeys his orders and receives his punishments.
  • Sadism When we speak of sadism we speak of those in which the person derives pleasure by inflicting pain or humiliation on another. Sadism is a term derived from the famous Marquis de Sade . When talking about sadism, it must be made clear that what is practiced within the scope of BDSM has nothing to do with criminal and legally persecuted sadism. Like all bedemese practices, this one must also be sustained on one pillar: that of consensus between the parties.
  • Masochism . In the same way that submission is the complementary form of Domination, masochism is the complement of sadism. When we speak of a masochistic practice, we are speaking of a blissful practice in which the individual experiences physical or psychic pain. The limits of this pain, to be able to talk about BDSM, must be set by the person experiencing it and those limits must be respected at all times.


Consensus and security

When talking about sadism we have pointed out that one of the pillars on which BDSM is based is consensus . What do we mean by it? That no bedesemera practice should be carried out without both parties, the Dominant and the submissive, agreeing to participate in it and to do it in a certain way and not in another.

For those who were part of the beginnings of the bedemesera culture in the USA and the UK, BDSM should be "Safe, Sane and Consensual" , that is to say: safe, sensible and consensual.

The concept of safety is related to the fact that people who participate in a practice of this type must know how to carry it out and how to use the necessary material to carry it out. There are many types of devices and knowing how they should be used and what the risks are when using them is an essential condition to be able to face the execution of any type of practice with the guarantee of enjoying it without worrying about injuries, accidents, etc. .

For safety to exist effectively, it is necessary that the participants in a practice of Bondage, Discipline or Sadomaso comply with the requirement of good sense. Lovers of this type of practice are not unbalanced people. A mentally unbalanced person cannot participate in such rituals and games. Doing so puts herself at risk and her partner at risk.

Finally, the participants in a bedesemera practice must agree on the form and intensity of it. Consensus is essential. Without it there is no BDSM. And consensus implies setting limits. To do this, it is essential to know yourself well and know your own tastes and abilities. In that sense, answering honestly to a BDSM test is a good way to know where each of the parties is.

They must also negotiate what is known as a safe word . Those who participate in a BDSM relationship must establish a word or signal that serves the dominated, submissive or slave person to, in the course of a practice, indicate that they want to stop either by the degree, by the circumstances, or by the activity that is being developed. At that point, it doesn't matter where the boundaries are previously set. No one is obliged to endure what they do not want to endure.