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What is BDSM? A Guide to BDSM

It isn’t often that one moment can so forcefully change the current state of the sexual world. These days, BDSM is on the lips of everyone and many people are exploring the many different aspects of this type of sexual play. But what is BDSM?

BDSM is a different sort of acronym incorporating linked but not exclusive physical and psychological aspects of pain in sexual play. The interlocking concepts are: Bondage and Discipline/Dominance and Submission/Sadism and Masochism.

As with all activities in sex, BDSM can go from mild to wild depending on your relationship. As always, discussion and negotiation are key to a mutually pleasurable BDSM session. One important thing to establish at the outset is a safeword for both participants.

As you explore BDSM, one key distinction to determine is who will be the top and who will be the bottom. Usually people get together because they align naturally, a top and a bottom. The top will be the one who gives out discipline, enacts bondage, is dominant and is, more likely, a sadist. And the bottom takes the punishment, gets bound, is submissive and is the masochist. We’ll explore more on these further on.

Bondage and Discipline

BDSMThe first tantalizing letters stand for bondage and discipline. These concepts incorporate both physical and psychological activities. On the physical side, bondage can incorporate many different activities and implements. You can tie people up, blindfold and gag them and even bind them to different types of furniture with cuffs, ropes, chains and more! Much of BDSM incorporates these types of restraints with the psychological discipline. Have you ever called your partner dirty or naughty? Have you ever wanted to scold them for doing something wrong, but take sexual gratification from it at the same time? These are some of the ways you can dole out discipline. Of course, those are only some of the verbal cues you can use. Discipline, as many of us learned when we were young, can definitely take on many physical forms including spanking, slapping, hitting, whipping, caning and more. Discipline can involve you bending your partner over your knee and doling out spanks with a bare hand or many different tools including paddles, whips, canes and more, or it can be much more involved and incorporate more extreme activities.

woman tied up

Dominance and Submission

The next step in the BDSM acronym is dominance and submission. These are distinctly psychological aspects of his type of sexual play and relationship and can, sometimes, directly reflect your actual personality. Dominance and submission can go hand in hand in sex. One partner enjoys and needs to control and lead the play, while the other is more demure and willing and wanting to be lead and “taken”. On just the psychological level, the dominant, or top, will most likely be the person who decides what happens in the scene and how the submissive will be “used”. The submissive, or bottom, is the partner who acquiesces - consensually - to the desires of the dominant. It is important to remember that people who identify as dominant or submissive are not damaged or harmful, they just have a definite predilection toward specific roles in sexual enjoyment.

Sadism and Masochism

bondage coupleAnd finally, where the defined enjoyment and roles of dominance and submission play out are in sadism and masochism. More commonly combined as sadomasochism, sadists are those who enjoy dishing out both physical and psychological pain and punishment and masochists are those who enjoy being on the receiving end of that physical and psychological pain and punishment. These are identities that can be specific and exclusive to the bedroom - or they can be a part of someone’s actual life. Take a businessperson as an example. She may be a tough as nails stock broker or lawyer during the day, and a complete sadist dominatrix at night with a desire to spank the bottoms over and over until they are deep purple. On the other hand, he may also be a courtroom bully but a complete sissy masochist at home who likes to be humiliated and whipped.

BDSM is a complex and ever-evolving part of sex and sexuality that explores both physical and psychological aspects for you and your partner to enjoy. Much of it can be related and some aspects aren’t at all. The great thing about BDSM is that it does offer the opportunity for much creativity and delicious fun.

How can I buy BDSM toys?

Would you like to buy your own BDSM toys and explore this fascinating world? If so, just head on over to our bondage and fetish category: Buy BDSM Toys.

Need more help?

Still a little unsure if BDSM is right for you and need a little more help? Just Contact Customer Care and a staff member from the Cherry Banana team will be in touch right away to assist you. Alternatively, you can explore our other bondage and fetish guides here.

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