The fetish meaning for BDSM describes any sexual behaviour that might be considered ‘kinky’. Pain, physical restraint, and servitude would be frowned upon in a non-sexual scenario. In BDSM circles, however, these practices are engaged with the consent of both people involved for mutual satisfaction and excitement.

Spanking, whipping, tying, binding, scratching - whatever it is you fancy trying, you can quickly become a sexual tigress and bring out your kinky side with our guide to BDSM and bondage...

What does BDSM stand for?

If you’re curious about what being kinky means sexually, a wide range of BDSM activities encompasses the kinkiest of desires. BDSM can be split into three major areas or six different 'acts':

  • Bondage and Discipline
  • Domination and Submission
  • Sadism and Masochism, which, while separate preferences, is also often called sadomasochism

Whatever power play you choose, it doesn’t have to involve all three of these areas or even both acts in each area. As you experiment with BDSM, you’ll work out who is naturally more dominant or submissive so you can tie down your pleasure.

What is BDSM? | B-D-S-M Definition | Bondage Gone Wilde

If you’re still a bit confused about what BDSM is, watch this video guide with sexpert Jess Wilde to make knowing your Bs from your Ds as simple as A-B-C!

Safety First

Although the S and M meaning might sound intense or uncomfortable, the most important thing to remember during any BDSM activity is that it should all be safe and consensual. Here are our handy tips for making sure you get the most out of your kinky experience:

Safeword system: Make sure you both have a safe word and a safe action that you can do at any time to halt the fun and games if they get too much for you.

Informed consent: If your partner isn't interested, then don't force the issue. BDSM should only be practiced when both partners are willing and comfortable.

Communicate your feelings: If there’s more than one person involved in the naughty activities, make sure that everyone’s aware of what is going to happen. Group situations can be scary when everyone else seems to know what they're doing!

Speak openly about your desires: Discuss your rules and boundaries before anything starts. These guidelines should be agreed upon by everyone involved and can even be put down in writing to make things clearer.

Make sure you’re sober: Don’t use painkillers or alcohol during the proceedings as these can numb the pain, making you more susceptible to injury.

Most of all, have fun and stay safe!

Bondage

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Bondage refers to being physically restrained, or physically restraining someone else, using the right equipment.

Many people unknowingly indulge in a little bondage when they playfully use those furry handcuffs that their friends have bought them as a joke - and a lot of people enjoy the experience too!

One of the reasons why bondage is among the more popular of all BDSM activities is because it provides your partner with that feeling of helplessness and you with a feeling of being masterful and vice versa. The knowledge that you can do what you like to your partner (within reason!) for your pleasure or for theirs, controlling each and every orgasmic shudder, is extremely satisfying.

Other people simply crave the feeling of being tied up, the feeling of constriction and writhing against constraints in a sexual scenario. Bondage is excellent for teaching you to lie back and enjoy what your partner is doing without having to worry about anything. After all, if you're the one tied up you have no choice but to lie back and enjoy the experience.

Discipline

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The ‘D’ in BDSM stands for discipline, meaning to enforce obedience and gain control through rules and/or other forms of punishment.

If you've ever enjoyed the sensation of a firm slap on the bottom or you’re keen to fulfill your schoolmaster fantasies, chances are that you might like a little bit of discipline.

Essentially, the act of discipline occurs when the submissive or 'bottom' in the relationship requires attention to rectify behaviour that could be considered to be breaking preset rules. These rules are set out before any activities occur and are agreed upon by both partners. Rules can be as light-hearted as 'washing up must be done before any naughtiness can occur' or as strict as 'thou shalt not orgasm'.

For more tips on taking control of your rules and commands, read our guide that answers all your dominatrix ideas.

Domination

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Domination refers to a series of behaviors, customs and rituals that allow the exercising of control and power over others.

You may not even realize it, but in most relationships, there will be a 'dominant' partner and a 'submissive' partner - it's up to you how much you choose to explore these roles.

Many people like to exercise their dominant side in the bedroom, using discipline and bondage to control their partner. Many others like to exercise their dominance in everyday life and form a relationship that is largely based on these roles.

If you enjoy the feeling of sexual control, you might also enjoy expressing your dominance in other ways such as getting your sub to perform certain chores and activities around the house or requiring them to wear a collar or name tag.

You might also like to try dominating your partner by controlling their orgasms, using the stop-start technique, until you decide they can climax.

Submission

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This is a state of compliance that comes from submitting to another.

Domination and submission go hand in hand. The submissive partner will be required to perform as the dominant asks, or risk being disciplined in any way that they see fit.

Submissives may enjoy having control taken away during sex through the use of a ball gag, which will prevent them from speaking, or by using wrist and ankle restraints, to stop them from touching themselves or the dominant partner. This type of power exchange can be very sexually fulfilling and emotionally rewarding.

Many people extend this submissiveness to become part of their lifestyle, allowing their dominant partner to be the keyholder to their chastity belt or taking on the role of the obedient partner around the house.

Sadism

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Sadism involves getting sexual gratification from inflicting pain on others.

Sadism is often considered a 'dirty' word due to its connotations with criminals and morally corrupt characters in television and film (think Kakihara in Ichi the Killer). However, sadism and masochism are being reclaimed by the BDSM community and shown to be a good thing, as opposed to bad.

If you are a sadist, you enjoy giving pain through physical punishment or humiliation. This should always be consensual with the understanding that it will provide some sort of sexual pleasure to one or both parties.

Many sadists like to use whips, floggers or paddles on their partner whilst others like to take things a little further by using clamps or hot wax.

The sexual element often comes from the feeling of performing these acts and the power involved, as well as from the look of the body when rosy red from a good spanking!

Masochism

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The opposite of sadism, in that masochism involves getting sexual enjoyment from being in pain.

Masochists enjoy having pain inflicted on them by themselves or a dominant/sadistic partner, often leading to sexual gratification or even orgasm.

Many masochists enjoy experiencing pain as it releases a high amount of endorphins, creating a sense of wellbeing or a 'natural high'. It’s also reported that masochists will feel quite cathartic after a session of whipping or humiliation, leaving them relaxed and purged of stress.

Sexual pleasure is often gained from having the genitals tortured or put through pain as the sensations are so unique and intense.

A good way to explore your masochistic side is to invest in some clamps and weights that you can use alone or with a partner. The pinching effect can be incredibly erotic and the pull of the weights will provide a sensual burn that you cannot achieve with anything else.

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