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BDSM/Why do people do BDSM?

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Question
I have a burning question that I've wanted to know for a while, and it has only been emphasised more following the prominence of BDSM in novels recently.
Why do people actually do BDSM? Like, how do they get involved in it, get started in it? And is there a certain age at which people begin?
I really hope you can help answer my question.
Thankyou!

Answer
Kirsty --

BDSM encompassed a broad range of interests and activities.  The term was established to include three broad groups:  bondage and discipline, Dominance and submission, Sadism and masochism.

As you can imagine, bondage and discipline and Sadism and masochism are focused on activities - the kinky activities between consenting adults.  The middle term - Dominance and submission -- speaks more to how relationships are structured and operated.  People that identify with BDSM can be into some or all of these activities.

Reasons for engagement vary, but here are a few for you to ponder:

*  They value the structure and consistency of the relationship
*  They enjoy the endorphin release and cathartic experience of various kinky activities
*  They would rather bring the power component inherent in any relationship to the forefront - and celebrate it
*  They just find it sexually arousing and pleasing

Just like any interest, there are lots of ways to get involved.  There are local groups that have meetings, workshops and activities.  There are big conferences.  There are internet-based sites.  There are non-fiction books that describe and explore all of the above.  If this interests you, then a good place to start is FetLife.com - it has discussion groups, listing of events, and even opportunities to meet people.  Take time to explore what interests and motivates you - and what things are turn offs.  Find your own path.

As to age, some people have an identified experience from their youth that "showed" their interest; others didn't discover this alternative lifestyle until later in life.  Of course, you need to be a consenting legal adult to be on the website, participate in activities, etc.

All the best,

Ben

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Ben Martin

Expertise

Questions related to power-based relationships in which decision-making authority is intentionally and consensually transferred -- and the resulting imbalance celebrated. I am able to assist those trying to understand where they fit in, and those seeking to structure and thrive in a power based relationships. Specific topics I am able to discuss include: setting and achieving personal and relationship goals, responsible Mastery, the use of protocols and rituals, communication techniques, and conflict resolution. In addition, I am knowledgable and experienced in polyamory, long-distance relationships, bisexuality and a variety of kinky activities ranging from mind games to sadistic play.

Experience

I have chosen to have a power-based structure in my relationships over the past 18 years. This has included a 16-year M/s relationship, several shorter term D/s relationships and various play partners. I am an active participant in various online forums and seek to provide support and advice to those interested in the Lifestyle.

Organizations
Black Rose

Publications
My writings, insights and discussion contributions are available on Alt.com and FetLife.com. On both websites, my user name is BenMartin

Education/Credentials
I do not hold any credentials specific to BDSM, relying instead on knowledge gained from life experiences, reading and conversing with others in the Lifestyle.

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