Bridging the Gap from Vanilla to BDSM

BDSM blog

Bondage; Discipline; Dominance; Submission; Sado-Masochism. For some these words describe sexual desires; for others a lifestyle. When brought to the root of BDSM there is a definitive power play. It is this concept of power people crave. Our society feeds off of it; whether in the bedroom or at the office. Even the most “vanilla” of couples exhibit a dimension of this play. Example number one: a heterosexual couple; man works, woman stays home. Society deems this couple “normal,” maybe even successful; a couple others should aspire to be. By default, a power play has emerged. The man is the sole provider and the woman is subservient. In this example, we can easily see the role of Dom and Sub. Regardless of whether they are engaging in sexual relations, a dynamic is formed. This style of kink simply defines these roles and adds play to the mix. It is this idea that intrigued the masses. Curiosity did not kill the cat this time; instead it saved Barnes & Noble. By the sheer volumes sold of the novel, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Barnes & Noble remains in business today. Looks like some people want to replace their skeletons with whips and chains!

You should be aware that, although “Fifty Shades of Grey” appealed to America’s sexual roots, it was not supported by the BDSM community. The number one rule when engaging in this specific type of play is “Safe, Sane, Consensual.” If those rules are not adhered to it is abuse. This number one rule was broken in the very popular novel. Logistics aside, the mass sale of the novel proved a point: That BDSM and what it has to offer is desired by many. But what happens when you want to talk about it? Who do you talk to? How do you even begin? Does a feeling of shame begin in the bottom of your stomach?

It may feel like no one will understand you or that you will be judged but, remember how many people bought the nationwide best seller? You are not the only one curious and there is a safe place to talk about it. Curiosity is perfectly normal and the Counseling Center for Sexual Health has registered therapists to answer any questions you may have.

-Darilyn Shano, M.S., MFTI

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