The Health Benefits of BDSM & Kink

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF BDSM & KINK

AND THE COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PRACTICE

 

 

What is Kink and BDSM?

 

Kink and BDSM are defined in a variety of different ways. Definitions are wide ranging due to the changes in general acceptance by many modern societies of the BDSM and Kink lifestyle. In the 1984 article, The Social Constituents of Sadomasochism- Social Problems, Martin Weinberg, Colin William, and Charles Moser created five general factors for BDSM, not all of which must be met to establish kink or BDSM tendencies. The five factors are: 

1.    Dominance and submission, or the appearance of rule by one partner over the other

2.    Role playing- consensually, or voluntary agreement to enter into the interaction

3.    Mutual definition, a shared understanding of activities that constitute SM or another 

4.    Related term; and

5.    Sexual context 

(The Social Constituents of Sadomasochism. Social Problems, Martin Weinberg, Colin William, and Charles Moser, 1984)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, Sam E. Greenberg’s 2019 study, Divine Kink: A Consideration of the Evidence for BDSM as Spiritual Ritual, adapts a definition from a multitude of authors on BDSM studies. Greenberg defines BDSM as “any activity that involves an intentional and consensual exchange of power and/or pain, humiliation, physical or psychological restraint, or other intense sensations with the intention of experiencing pleasure or desirable sensations.”

 

Is BDSM Normal Behavior?

 

Historical View

Many studies of BDSM and Kink focused on the negative aspects of the lifestyle such as non-consensual acts. The founder of Psychoanalysis and one of the most famous neurologists ever, Sigmund Freud viewed BDSM and Kink as developing from a build up of violent energy, and referred to it as the “most significant of all perversions” (Freud, 1920). 

 

In addition, other researchers in the area also linked BDSM to negative psychological characteristics such as murder. M.R. Yost wrote the Development and validation of the attitudes about sadomasochism scale, and addressed 4 categories of stigmatizing attitudes: (i) BDSM is socially and morally wrong, (ii) BDSM is associated with non-consensual violence, (iii) a general lack of tolerance toward SM practitioners, and, finally, (iv) the notion that submissive or dominant traits translate to other domains in everyday life (eg, behavior toward children). 

 

However, these notions have been all but eliminated in modern society.

 

Modern View

The modern view on BDSM and Kink has shifted dramatically. Current studies are attempting to compare individuals who engage in the Kink and BDSM lifestyle to those who do not engage in Kink and BDSM. When comparing the two groups, studies have identified health benefits and positive reasons people may want to engage in the BDSM and Kink lifestyle. For example, in 2006, Pamela H. Connolly, PhD, focused a study on the levels of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic distress disorder (PTSD) of those practitioners who engage in BDSM and Kink, versus those who do not engage in the lifestyle of BDSM and Kink. 

 

Moreover, Wismeijer and van Assen compared BDSM practitioners’ personality characteristics to those of non-BDSM-practitioners and found many positives, which are discussed further below.

 

While the above is quite technical, the main thing you have to know is that the Kink and BDSM lifestyle has some great benefits to it, and modern researchers, finally have an open enough mind to just be hitting the ground floor with studies on the Kink and BDSM lifestyle. 

Benefits OF BDSM

 

Meditation and Spirituality

Many practitioners of the BDSM and Kink lifestyle enjoy the benefits of altered states of consciousness while engaging in BDSM and Kink acts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Such acts may include restraining a person in a sex swing or bed restraint.  This can be compared to meditative states, and induces relaxation to promote anxiety and depression relief. This can be extremely helpful when trying to have an orgasm, as discussed in one of our recent articles, Struggling to Orgasm.

 

Moreover, Greenberg studied the evidence for BDSM to be considered a Spiritual Ritual. Greenberg notes the various definitions of “ritual”; however, Greenberg concludes: 

 

“BDSM alone falls within a definition of ritual that emphasizes ritual as intentional action with expected ends that seem disproportionate to the means. Activities undertaken as part of BDSM experiences often do not appear to have a prima facie reason for being. There are few reasons for one to voluntarily agree to be bound and beaten, unless there are expected ends beyond the means. In the case of BDSM these expected ends are myriad: pleasure, sexual and otherwise, bonding with partners, the achieving of subjective stress relief, and the experiencing of altered states of consciousness.” [Greenberg, S. E. (2019). Divine kink: A consideration of the evidence for BDSM as spiritual ritual. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 38 (1).]

 

Anxiety and Depression Relief

Are you surprised? Yes, it’s true. A BDSM and Kink lifestyle can reduce your anxiety and depression. According to Connolly’s 2006 study, practitioners of the Kink and BDSM lifestyle tested in the normal range for depression; showed lower anxiety levels than those who do not engage in the BDSM and Kink lifestyle; and, practitioners of the BDSM and Kink lifestyle were within the normal range for PTSD.

 

Closer Romantic Relationship with Partner(s)

Anytime people engage in consensual acts together they generally grow closer in some way. Considering this notion, those engaging in a BDSM and Kink lifestyle will be sharing very intimate details and moments in their lives. Thus, inherently making them romantically connected. According to an article in The Cut, both dominant and submissive partner’s report feeling closer and more emotionally connected to their partners while engaging in the BDSM and Kink lifestyle. 

 

So after reading all about the BDSM and Kink lifestyle, we hope it has normalized your view of the lifestyle. We also hope your sexual inhibitions have ceased, and the only thing in front of you is the excitement to give it a try.

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