The short answer to this is, a bunch of crazy people running around in leather, latex or corsets whipping, spanking and screwing each other to death. There are secret rituals and dark gothic style events that you will have to attend to pass any of the required initiation ceremonies. Once you become a member you may never leave the circle.

This is obviously not true and then again maybe a little bit. Most people’s perceptions are based on what they see, and this has been conveyed to them via the big screen of Hollywood. BDSM for the greater part is being true to your self, as a person or as a couple. It is about intimacy, growth and freedom. Undoubtedly I could write a six page article about this and I would still not cover everything, or I would get some details incorrect. This is because BDSM for the greater part is what you design, role-play or live as your lifestyle choice. Yes there are themes, yes there are common fetishes etc… etc… But! You make the rules; you choose who you are and what desires you are seeking to serve.

 

Some facts about BDSM

  • Many BDSM practitioners only practice their lifestyle choice with their partner, they are not a member or a group or a community.
  • Many practitioners do not go to wild BDSM sex parties, events or community gatherings; they practice their lifestyle choice only with their partner.
  • Many practitioners (50/50 as a guess) only practice a softer side of the BDSM lifestyle.
  • Many practitioners do go to BDSM events and or practice the more adventuress side of the lifestyle.  

 

Before we answer the question “What is BDSM?” , we need to understand some history behind this subject. BDSM is not a new subject, sexual orientation or desire.

One of the oldest graphical proofs of sadomasochistic activities can be found in the Etruscan Tomb. This image dates back to the fifth century BC.  Here you will find an image of two men who whip a woman with a cane and spank her during an erotic sexual situation. Furthermore, practices of BDSM can be found in some of the oldest textual records that have survived, these are associated with rituals to the Goddess Inanna or Ishtar in Akkadian. She is the goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. (ca. 4000–3100 BC). The records detail Domination and submissive rituals, cross-dressing, erotic activities with pain and ecstasy to formalize initiations.




Later in the 1st and 2nd century A.D in ancient Rome, the poet Juvenal writes about whipping for sexual arousal. Again in the fourth century Roman authors described bondage and discipline as a form foreplay and bondage activities as a substitute for sex. As times moved on the professional occupation of a Dominatrix evolved to meet market demands. This has been academically traced back to the periods, 1590, 1676, 1680, 1749 and 1761.

                           

There where Dominatrix houses to cater for the submissive and also prostitution establishments to catered for the Dominants. Drawings and sketches show the upper class preferred a more sociable and proper setting. Many of these upper class sketches portray a private home, couple or group. A man by the name Alfred Binet is said to be the first to coin the term “erotic fetishism” in his 1887 book, “Du fétichisme dans l’amour”. I am only guessing here, but I am fairly sure the B.C Egyptians also had a term. .

Imagery of BDSM can be found in most cultures throughout the19th and 20th century. There has always been a sub culture or fringe society to produce items to meet a demand. Records show that in the 1950s and 1960s demand for BDSM was so great, it saw the production of some of the first commercial BDSM films and photography. Due to popularity and demand even BDSM comic books became under the counter profitable sellers. In current times BDSM is basically an assortment of erotic practices and or fetishes. Many people who engage in some of the lighter BDSM practices do not realize or consider themselves as practicing BDSM.

 

The answer to: What is BDSM?"

I watch many people trying to answer this question and when I have read what they have written, it sounds so clinical or scary. When in reality it is not. But those words “bondage, dominance, submission and sadomasochism”, it just sounds so aggressive. When in reality it is not. It’s about trust, openness and desire. It is that fetish or desire you crave so much but hide because of social taboos or fear of discovery. BDSM is those desires put into motion with a significant other. Both people serve and feed the others desires with a freedom. That is BDSM.