Addressing Common Stereotypes in the BDSM Community

December 7, 2020 8:41 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

BDSM stereotypes and misconceptions abound, whether it’s people who have only seen 50 Shades of Grey and think it’s representative of the community as a whole, or those who find it shameful or threatening. As with all areas of life, BDSM is best viewed on a spectrum: it can be as mild as wearing handcuffs and a blindfold on occasion, or as all-encompassing as an entire lifestyle choice.

If you’re thinking about exploring BDSM, it’s good to be aware of these stereotypes and misconceptions so you can educate yourself appropriately. Here’s the truth behind some of the most popular misconceptions:

  • 50 Shades is the real deal: Although 50 Shades of Grey is a popular multimedia franchise, the truth is that it represents the community in a less than accurate light. Anastasia’s character is frequently subjected to situations to which she did not fully consent—for example, Christian Grey threatens her with a breakup if she doesn’t comply. Real BDSM thrives on enthusiastic and full consent.
  • BDSM is a fetish: BDSM doesn’t have to be a fetish—which involves an act or object without which you cannot be aroused—but it can be, depending on the person.
  • BDSM is harmful: Ideally, BDSM involves full and enthusiastic consent from all parties involved. Everyone should know what they’re consenting to do, and have a safe word to stop all activity if things become too intense or painful. Like any form of sex and relationships, it does have the potential to hurt others, but ethical practitioners take precautions.
  • It’s always about sex and pain: BDSM doesn’t have to involve sex or pain at all. Much of the practice includes domination and submission, but that doesn’t necessarily mean physical punishments or having sex. In other words, it’s not abusive when all parties are ethical—you only experience these things if you want to.
  • It’s demeaning: Many people assume BDSM is demeaning because there’s a level of submission involved. However, the key is that no one is forced to do anything they truly do not want to do. Ethical practitioners discuss the “scene” beforehand to make sure everyone is happy with what’s going to happen. Boundaries can be pushed, but only with consent.
  • Submissives have no control: In reality, submissives have the ultimate control: when they utter the safe word, all activity must stop immediately. That’s the foundation upon which the necessary trust is built.
  • Women are submissive, men are dominant: Traditional gender roles are not definitive in BDSM. Anyone can be submissive or dominant, and some people choose to be a “switch”—that is, someone who switches between dominant and submissive roles.
  • You’re either vanilla or kinky: Finally, some folks think that you’re either kinky or vanilla, and there’s no in-between. The truth is, BDSM is a spectrum that can start with handcuffs and end in something a lot kinkier—as long as it’s consensual.

To explore your BDSM fantasies and break through the stereotypes and misconceptions, book a visit to the Monterey Stay and Play.

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