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What is BDSM?

By Mistress Catharine


BDSM is generally thought to be a word that describes three separate but often overlapping aspects of sexuality, bondage/discipline (bd), dominant/submissive (ds) and finally sadism/masochism (sm).

BDSM is a sexual orientation, which has historically been perceived as a psychological disorder in much the same way that homosexuality and masturbation were. Today, the disorder label has been removed and studies have shown that a significant segment (up to 17%, according to some sources) of today's population practice some form of BDSM and estimate that up to 58% have BDSM related interests.

Contrary to popular belief, BDSM is neither sexist nor degrading. Sexism, by definition, imposes dominant-submissive roles and feelings according to gender. In the BDSM lifestyle, these roles and feelings are chosen and given in a consensual, willing manner. There is honesty to BDSM, an openness about inner needs that supersedes gender.

BDSM is not fetishism. Fetishism substitutes an object for a relationship. Due to the necessity of trust, communication and exchange of power, BDSM often does incorporate relationships. The shared, dual reality of many BDSM relationships provides the participants the chance to explore every avenue of their deepest erotic fantasies

Popular belief promotes the misconception that the Dominant partner or sadist always does as he/she desires, without any thought to the needs, desires or safety of the submissive or masochistic partner. While in actual practice it is the submissive or masochist which tends to set the boundaries of the relationship through the use of safewords and predetermined limits.

BDSM can be dangerous; some BDSM activities/scenes are more so than others which is why it is always imperative that safe practices are adhered to. When in doubt, research...ask questions...never, ever take chances with safety. Remember, there are times when you are actually taking someone's life in your hands.

Most importantly, BDSM is a uniquely individual choice. There are no dictates about what is right and what is wrong beyond safety concerns. By stripping away the standard definitions of taboo, practitioners of BDSM are awarded the chance of experimenting and enjoying a wide variety of experiences...and living out their most erotic fantasies.

Mistress Catharine and Maître Pierre