Understanding BDSM Relationships: A Peek Behind The Curtain Of Taboo

Understanding BDSM Relationships: A Peek Behind The Curtain Of Taboo

Sex has for centuries been a taboo topic, but following the traditional and binary concept of gender or trying to fit into boxes to align with the concept of ‘normal’ created by society, we all have tried to jump through hoops to fit in, while growing up. Similarly, BDSM as a concept has been pushed deep into the ground as it chooses to break all its barriers of rules, shatter all the boxes that society chooses to push us in and unapologetically explore what it means to be us, as individuals. Let’s take a peek behind the curtain of Taboo, yeah? 

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What Exactly Does ‘BDSM’ Mean?

Webster dictionary defines BDSM as “a range of sexual preferences that generally relate to the enjoyment of physical control, psychological control, and/or pain.” However, it is just so much more than that. BDSM has been considered ‘deviant’ and ‘abnormal’ by our society for a very long time. But we seem to be forgetting the actual essence behind it. 

Source: PopSugar

BDSM can be broken down into various roles. However, the true essence of BDSM lies in its groundwork i.e., consent, connection, appreciation, gratitude and a craving to learn more about oneself and our needs. Alas, the taboos surrounding individuals embracing their sexuality and sexual needs have been prevalent in most cultures since time immemorial. 

Understanding The Taboo

With puberty setting in as early as 12-13 years, understanding your sexuality can be a very strenuous uphill climb due to the amount of ‘sexual repression’ prevalent in our country. After all, our needs, freedom, equality and happiness get sort of hard to digest for the uncles, aunties and the over-conditioned people around us, right?

As children, we are taught to never utter the word ‘sex’ because it’s the wrong word and the extreme lack of appropriate sexual health seminars. We are conditioned in a way that we tend to believe that we must follow the rules and laws set by society. While the acceptance to want to explore these desires itself doesn’t come easy, it’s like a treasure box with a lot of exciting tricks inside- once you decide to explore and open it, the beautiful feeling of ‘sexual liberation’ will be worth the effort.

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How To Shatter These Repressive Boxes?

The path of baby steps to walk out of repression begins with the acknowledgement that as an individual, you seek more than what is arbitrarily defined as ‘normal’ by society. After all, we must face the facts. Sex isn’t just normal, it’s personal. It is essential for you, for your relationships, for your emotional, mental and physical well-being and for your life as a social being. Still, sometimes we kind of lose its importance, we forget that it’s not a want but, a need.

understanding-bdsm-relationships-a-peek-behind-the-curtain-of-taboo
Source: Daily Dot

For far too long, sexual liberation in the context of our country has been treated as taboo because the idea of pleasure is viewed with guilt and shame. Drawing the limelight to this, talking about sexual liberation, especially from the youth’s perspective is essential to set things right. We, after all, live in the country of origin of the Kama Sutra, the guide to freaky ways of sex. It is undeniable that sexual health and knowledge were integral and not taboo, the way it has been wrapped up in a veil of shame and thrown in the attic to collect dust and be forgotten about hopefully. Suppressing sexual identities and sexuality in the name of values needs to come to an end. 

Source: TheDailyBeat

What we do is just add a hush-hush factor to it as we categorise it behind perverse, which adds a level of social stigma to it and adds up to our mental stress and guilt. We must realise that everyone has their sexual preferences or fetishes—for some, that involves extremely erotic practices like being tied up, handcuffed, reading erotica or otherwise introduced to sexual torture and for others, it can just be porn and masturbation.

BDSM can mean different things to different people. Handcuffs, sexual torture and blindfolds do not have to be everyone’s cup of tea- it all depends on the individual preferences of the people involved. BDSM relationships or dynamics can be a blend of traditional sex and romanticism along with kinks and fetishes to feed your inner romantic along with the inner ‘kinkster’. These fetishes and kinks which are a part of BDSM as a whole can play a very big role, when it comes to bridging the gap between an individual and sexual liberation. They feed the innermost needs and desires that we hold to empower who we are and like to be.

How Can BDSM Help Remove Stigma And Move Towards Sexual Liberation?

Contrary to what one might think, BDSM is an age-old concept. Ancient scriptures of the Kama Sutra teach the art of slapping/spanking a person along with the technique of biting and gnawing to achieve a state of total pleasure and peace. The scriptures also mention; ‘Sometimes carried away by passion, a woman puts aside her natural temperament and acts the part of the man by slapping and beating him or play fighting with him. She at the height of excitement becomes hard and fearless and dominates’ This shows how old the concept of being a dominant (domme) really goes.

Source: News7h

However, this concept was hidden away for centuries till books like 50 Shades of Grey and movies like 365 DNI decided to crawl down that hole and pull it out for the world to see and acknowledge. Although, they probably couldn’t represent it in the best way. A lot of recent studies that were completely based on understanding BDSM have reported that BDSM may offer several health benefits including relief from stress, better relationships, improved mental health, decreased anxiety, ease in social interactions and a more adventurous zeal towards life.

At its very crux, sexual liberation is essentially the freedom from the social stigma that had been holding you in its deep, dark and awful clutches. If you’ve gotten to this point, congratulations! You have been able to do what millions only dream of doing someday. Once you are liberated, you learn to work towards self-acceptance, and self-love, promote self-actualisation and live life with a new approach towards your identity, needs, desires and relationships.

Source: Kinklovers

Every person that has gone through this journey, from being in a box to being a sexually liberated individual through the bridge that we call BDSM, has been lucky enough to find their own definitions of what liberation means to them. Even though the BDSM lifestyle has been misrepresented in pop culture in recent years, the lifestyle itself has been developed on the foundations of consent, trust and mutual respect for the partners involved. This, along with a healthy dose of appreciation of the roles, values, and sexual and personal identities that people evolve from, paves the way to a healthy and giving relationship which makes it a very fulfilling experience.

Source: Kink Network

Exploring one’s sexuality along with emotional, and physical fulfilment and the promise of a strong mental connection that makes you feel empowered is what the BDSM lifestyle is all about. And what better way to embrace your own sexual liberation than a dash of desire?

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Mehak Walia

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