Is Power Play or BDSM Healthy for a Relationship?

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Learning to be submissive in, and/or out, of the bedroom can spark a whole new level of excitement and passion in your relationship. Many people find themselves dipping into the kink lifestyle to explore themselves, their partners, and the type of sex that brings them the most fun. However, there’s a lot more to the dominant/submissive lifestyle than is portrayed on 50 Shades of Grey.

In this article, we’re talking about what BDSM is (and isn’t), and how you can learn to be submissive in this lifestyle. Then, we’re giving you two in-depth tips for diving deep into your submission and turning up the heat in the bedroom.

Is Power Play or BDSM Healthy for a Relationship?

Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadochism and Masochism, or BDSM is a sexual activity that often involves physical restraints, power play, and the introduction of pain. Some surveys have found that up to 65% of Americans have at least some interest in BDSM.1 But is this lifestyle healthy for a relationship?

The science produces a resounding yes, as long as it’s practiced in a way that’s healthy. In fact, those in the BDSM lifestyle may even enjoy healthier, happier relationships than their ‘vanilla’ counterparts.2 There are multiple reasons for this.

  • BDSM Helps You Understand Your Partner

Not only does the lifestyle help you understand yourself, your needs, and your desires on a much deeper level, it’s also beneficial for learning more about your partner. Submissives are able to learn new, fun ways to please their partner, while also relinquishing power. This deepens trust and strengthens bonds incredibly.

  • BDSM Increases Excitement and Communication

Playing with power exchanges, focusing on pleasure, and exploring your limits can all add untold levels of excitement to a relationship. However, communication is a priority in the BDSM lifestyle. In this way, you can be sure that all needs are being met while also experimenting in the process.

2 Tips for Being a Good Submissive

In BDSM, a submissive describes someone who relinquishes control to another person in sexual circumstances, and sometimes in everyday life as well. Often shortened simply to “sub”, a submissive is typically on the receiving end of bondage, masochism, and other forms of dominance. A “good” submissive is someone who understands their role in the relationship and finds comfort and joy in their position.

While pleasing your Dominant might be at the top of your priority list, here are some other important tips for being a good sub.

1.    Educate Yourself

The submissive lifestyle isn’t something that most people can just jump right into. It often requires some research, searching within yourself, and determining your comfort level first. Start by finding some helpful resources to allow you to better understand the BDSM lifestyle and dynamics of Dom/sub relationships. Books, blogs, and even forums are great places to find real-life advice as you dip your toes into the lifestyle.

Don’t just focus your education outside, though. As you explore the realities of the BDSM lifestyle, make sure you’re comfortable with playing the role of submissive at all. Try asking yourself some simple questions to explore your comfort level with the lifestyle. Some examples of questions to ask yourself include:

  • Am I turned on by the idea of submitting myself to someone?
  • What kinds of scenes turn me on?
  • What kinds of characteristics do I find attractive in a Dom?
  • What kind of pain am I comfortable with?
  • Will my submission be part- or full-time?

2.    Prioritize Communication

Communication is of the utmost importance in relationships, especially those involving some form of BDSM. A good submissive should communicate openly and honestly with their Dom. Though there is a unique exchange of power in BDSM relationships, you and your partner are still equal when it comes to comfort, security, and safety. While the dominant is typically one to set the rules of the dynamic, it is negotiable, and your voice does matter. Apart from discussing kinks, safe words, and feelings at the beginning of the relationship, it’s important to maintain communication that is open and transparent throughout the duration of it. The easiest way for you both to achieve happiness and pleasure is to speak about it.

Every BDSM Relationship is Unique

While there may be guidelines to follow and an infinite amount of opinions on BDSM and being a good submissive, each relationship has its own dynamic. It is for this reason that continued growth and communication are so important.

References

  1. Eveleth, R. (2014, February 10). Americans Are More Into BDSM Than The Rest of the World. Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved November 22, 2021, from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/americans-are-more-bdsm-rest-world-180949703/
  2. Pappas, S. (2013, May 29). Bondage Benefits: BDSM Practitioners Healthier Than ‘Vanilla’ People. Live Science. Retrieved November 22, 2021, from https://www.livescience.com/34832-bdsm-healthy-psychology.html

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