BDSM Research

What is Bondage / BDSM?

Though BDSM is only a four-lettered acronym, it actually stands for three pairings of letters:

    • BD – Bondage and Discipline
    • DS – Dominance and Submission
  • SM – Sadism and Masochism

BDSM is actually an umbrella term for all of the above. To be able to understand BDSM completely, we must decode what each component means.

Bondage and Discipline:

The bondage refers to the act of restraint, restraint can be anything from simply restricting somebody’s movement. For example, tying somebody to a bed or handcuffing their wrists together. But it also includes other sorts of restrictions. For example, wearing a ball gag or an eye mask during the play. There are also some advanced forms of restraint, such as bondage cages or ceiling hooks. Usually, there is a sexual aspect of bondage, but there need not be. Some people find the act enjoyable in and of itself while others find the aesthetics alone of bondage pleasurable. However, bondage generally is associated with sex for the most part.

Discipline is the act of enforcing obedience through some form of punishment. For example, a dominant partner would set some sort of rules that the submissive partner would have to abide by. If that rule is broken there would be some form of punishment. Punishments can include anything but a great example is something like spanking or flagellation.

Dominant and Submissive:

If someone automatically puts one partner in control, they will become the dominant partner and the other ends up being submissive. However, these roles aren’t necessarily sexed, because you can get switches and freely move between being a dominant partner and a submissive partner. Someone is a dominant partner doesn’t mean that they’re always dominant and someone is a submissive partner doesn’t mean they’ll always stay that way. Lots of people actually enjoy both roles equally. The dominant partner is in control, they’re able to restrain the submissive partners and create rules and punishments to go with that discipline. On the opposite side of the coin, the submissive partners completely submit to the hands of their dominant partners, they’re going to be restrained and receive spanking or other punishments.

Sadism and Masochism:

Sadism is getting sexual gratification from inflicting pain while masochism is enjoying the taking of pain. In some BDSM sessions, the dominant partner may go beyond just insulting and humiliating the submissive partner. They would create some sort of rules and want the submissive partner to break, this will allow them to inflict pain. The punishments could vary from light caning up to more extreme acts such as violently pulling hair, burning with candle wax or pushing a pinwheel on the sub’s body. And a masochist in this situation is going to be the submissive partner, they will be restrained and have been instructed to do something. They know there’s going to be a painful punishment and dutifully accept this abuse as if it is deserved.