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Bondage With Benefits: What I Learned From BDSM

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Bondage With Benefits: What I Learned From BDSM
How BDSM made me a way better partner - both in and out of the bedroom.

This article was written by The Redhead Bedhead for Kinkly.com.

These days, thanks largely to the popularity of "Fifty Shades of Grey," a lot more folks are talking BDSM. What was once regarded as a sick perversion (and is still listed in the DSM-5 as an "unusual sexual fixation") is becoming more commonplace. What’s more, a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in May concluded that BDSM practitioners may be "more psychologically healthy" than their vanilla counterparts. The study found that, among other things, those who practiced BDSM reported more "secure feeling of attachment in their relationships." Surprised? I'm not. In fact, I believe it wholeheartedly. Why? Because BDSM made my own relationships way better. Here's what BDSM taught me to do.

Advocate for Myself
When I got into BDSM, I very quickly became of aware of how reluctant I was to use my safeword. Why? I didn’t want to interrupt. I don't like conflict. My tendency in life is to keep quiet, to avoid speaking up, to be accommodating. I usually just wait for other people to notice my needs. (Note: This almost never works) The result is that I'm often left resenting others for being oblivious to what I need. When I carried this tendency into the bedroom it was extremely unsatisfying (who wants to resent their partner?) and ultimately, dangerous. That’s an unpleasant place for me to be and an unfair place to put my partners.

More from YourTango: 5 Foods for Better Taste... Below the Waist

BDSM taught me to be more honest, open and upfront about my needs. Trust me, it makes for a much more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. (Get more communication tips in Talk Dirty to Me: The Whys and Hows of Hot Aural Sex.)

More from YourTango: The Long and Short of Buying Your First Dildo

Take Responsibility
I love the sound of being a "sub". As someone who has always worked in jobs where I told people what to do, the idea of letting someone else handle all of the decisions appealed to me greatly. What I quickly realized was that that’s not how it works. There needs to be communication and boundaries need to be established. In other words, even a sub has to put in some work. In the past, I did a lot of waiting for my partners to figure out what worked for me. I figured they never told me what worked for them and they seemed to have a good time. So I just expected them to deliver the same for me. Guess how well that worked.

BDSM taught me that it’s not my partner’s job to do all the heavy lifting. I have a responsibility too. (Learn more about what being a sub really means in A Beginner's Guide to Submission.)

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