BDSM Isn't Only About Bondage — Sometimes It's Not Even About Sex!

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BDSM Isn't Only About Bondage — Especially If You're Asexual
Sex

Sexy doesn't always have to get sexual, after all ...

When we hear words like fetish, kink, BDSM or S&M we immediately think sex.

BDSM is an acronym many in the mainstream consider synonymous with S&M. Technically it stands for bondage & discipline (BD), dominance & submission (DS) and sadism & masochism (SM).  

In other words — whatever it is you like that’s kinky, whether on the giving or receiving end, is included in the all encompassing label of BDSM.

This umbrella acronym covers more than being restrained in bondage, humiliated, spanked, acting as a slave or servant, etc. Kink preferences are as individual as those people practicing them. 

For instance, some may like sensation play (anything from feathers, silk, massage oils to pain inflicted with various implements), while others might enjoy sensory deprivation (being blindfolded or having another one of the senses taken away). 

Just because someone is into something considered kinky, they don’t necessarily like everything BDSM signifies — i.e., I love to give and receive spankings, but that does not mean I’m also into humiliation role-play.

BDSM’s appeal often isn’t about sexual sensation and gratification. It’s primary draw is the mental give and take (sometimes referred to as "power exchange"). This concept trips a lot of vanilla-leaning people up. 

In the media S&M clubs are referred to as “sex clubs,” and professional dominatrices as “sex workers” — so how can BDSM not include sex?

In vanilla scenarios we often say, “The biggest sexual organ is the brain.”

Most of us have been in a romantic situation with someone who on the surface isn’t stereotypically attractive, but we’re still drawn to them. Perhaps they’re funny, deep and thoughtful, or creative and intense.  Whatever the point of attraction, it’s directly related to the mental connection you have with each other. Your romantic interest takes you on a cerebral rollercoaster ride so enjoyable you don’t want to get off.

Often our most profound, satisfying relationships aren’t based on looks or sexual ability, but on how the mental connection with that person makes us feel.

Mental and emotional attraction in BDSM plays on the same principles, but on a grander and more deliberate scale.

Going into a vanilla relationship, we are generally not equipped with the tools or knowledge necessary to successfully cultivate exciting mental rollercoaster rides. If we do connect on that level, it’s usually an accidental byproduct of the pairing. We have no control over it — it just “happens” (and when it does happen we’re immensely happy!).

For most kinksters, our goal from the get-go is psychological gratification. 

Before embarking on a relationship or pairing, we arm ourselves with tools that allow us to more predictably arrive at that goal.Participants in BDSM relationships spend a good deal of time on pre-negotiation to ensure each partners needs will be met. We also expect situational, physical and psychological variables to be manipulated during scenes to help everyone involved achieve intense emotional satisfaction.

Sometimes genital contact is a part of that and sometimes it isn’t.

In the vanilla world we can have an intense emotional experience with someone without sex or romance. Many of us can relate to having emotional connections and experiences with individuals we never laid a hand on. Our pleasure is a derivative from how that person made us feel. Perhaps they made us feel giddy and giggly, proud of ourselves, appreciated, etc.

It is no different in BDSM scenes. We don’t have to have sex or be sexually aroused to satisfy our psychological needs.

Asexuals have a visible presence in the kinky community. An asexual (ace for short) is defined as someone who does not experience sexual arousal.

The excerpt below was written by a “kinky ace” named Lamia S. In it Lamia explains how she receives non-sexual gratification from BDSM. Her writing is universal and covers a myriad of reasons why people — asexual or not — explore kinky play.

Give it a read. It may help you understand why BDSM is about a lot more than just sex:

I’ve gotten a fair amount of questions, some curious and respectful and others judgmental and rude, about why I’m into kink if I don’t desire or gain sexual gratification. It is a fair question given that theorists, researchers, and some others have long ago decided that BDSM is sexual. In fact, one book went as far as to say that Aces don’t practice BDSM but only engage in “BDSM-like activities” because somehow, this theorist decided that without sex, it doesn’t count.

I’m pretty sure that people that know me and other Kinky Aces would agree that we count just as much as anyone else.

But back to the questions: Why Kink? Why play? Why Switch? Why be a member of a community where the majority of people are very sexual?

As I’ve told people, pleasure doesn’t have to be sexual, nor do meaningful relationships. But my usual answers are fairly vague, or if the person is rude, sarcastic.

So what is more clear passionate answer? Here it is. 

1. Why top if not for sex?

There are a lot of things I love about topping. It’s the freedom to release my inner sadist and monster. It is the trust you build when a friend and partner gives you control. It is the power of having another person at your whim. It is the predatory mindset of dom-space. It is the sharp tunnel vision of a hunting predator. It’s the thrill of the “hunt." It’s the maniacal laughter of the sadist in my head when someone agrees to a scene. It’s the learning and mastering of skills. It’s the absolute giddy joy of hitting some one that wants it. It’s the glory of sinking my teeth into squirming flesh. It’s the moment of impact when my hand collides with the skin of another. It’s the feeling of a knife, cane, flogger, or whip as an extension of myself. It’s the beauty of the marks I leave. It is the smiles, the laugher, the screams, the tears, and the connections that only kink can create.

2. Why bottom if not for sex?

For me it is about the anticipation before a scene. It’s the thrill of terror. It is the freedom from facing fears. It’s the surrender of power. It’s the pride in making another happy. It’s the glee of attention. It’s the relief of helplessness. It’s the hug of rope and chain. It’s the sting of a cane. It’s the thud of floggers. It’s the pound of a fist and the smart of a slap. It’s the dread of the voice in my ear. It’s the constraint of a hand on my neck. It’s the weightlessness of suspension. It’s the leap of my stomach right before I hit the ground. It’s the comfort of protocol. It’s the joy of survival. It’s the gorgeousness of the marks a top leaves. It’s the high from endorphins. It’s the floaty, fuzzy calm of subspace. It’s the trust I’ve learned to give. It’s the protection I’ve learned to accept. It is the smiles, the laugher, the screams, the tears, and the bonds that only kink can create.

3. Why play and and be part of the community?

The play is about the connection. It’s the friend-relation-ships I thought I’d never have. It’s about sensation. It’s about overcoming. It’s about creation. It’s about being creative. The community is about the bonds. It’s about acceptance. It’s about not being pressured to be what I’m not. It’s about be liked for who I am. It’s about the encouragement to find who I can be. It’s about having a place where I fit without modifications. It’s about energy. It’s about the caring, the support, the give, the take, the respect, the balance that only an island of misfit toys like the Kink Community can muster.

So no, my kink is not about sex, it is about other things. I don’t have want to have sex with you to learn from you or to teach you. I don’t need sexual attraction to care or support my fellow perv. Everyone is different, and that’s great and the Kink community is great at being ok with that.

That is why BDSM. That’s why I’m a Kinky Ace and proud.

 

This article was originally published at SunnyMegatron.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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