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4 Myths about Kink and BDSM

Updated: Oct 8, 2022



Myth 1: "Kinky people are mentally ill."

Engaging in kinky activities is not a pathological issue. Studies have found individuals who engage in kink activities show equivalent or higher levels of mental health and subjective well-being. Additionally, they tend to be more open to new experiences. The concept of consent is paramount, you can learn more about consent in kink here.


Myth 2: "BDSM promotes violence."

Kink/BDSM practices are based on consent and negotiation, each partner has the right to slow down or stop at any time and the responsibility to respect their partner's request to do so. Anything outside of this can be a red alert. Kink-oriented individuals are in search of empowerment, self-actualization, pleasure, stress-relief, satisfaction, and/or intimacy for all parties, not just for themselves. Although it is normal that something is desirable for one person and not for the other, each participant is to respect the request of the other person; the boundaries are discussed prior to engaging in activities.


Myth 3: "BDSM promotes male chauvinistic behavior."

Most recent surveys of kink-identified individuals indicate that 51% of respondents identify as females and only 38% identified as primarily submissive. In its many roles and forms, BDSM is a practice of empowerment. Individuals are encouraged to pursue their desires and become empowered in their sexuality while always respecting the other's boundaries and the consent requirement. Submission actually increases agency since the scene is negotiated and consent can be withdrawn at any point during the scene. You can give away control, submit, and take it back at any time.


Myth 4: "People who engage in kink/BDSM lack a healthy, committed relationship."

A recent survey of the kink community indicates most respondents were married or in an otherwise lifelong committed relationship. BDSM can be a part of a healthy relationship. Couples often report increased contentment, closeness, and trust following a BDSM practice. Relationships in the kink culture rely heavily on vulnerability and open honest communication. Partners are encouraged to discuss in depth their feelings, fetishes, fantasies, desires, longings, and worries. "Safe, sane, and consensual" kink/BDSM practices can build feelings of trust, accountability, motivation, communication, and strong feelings of intimacy and bonding.


Resource:

Kink Clinical Practice Guidelines Project (2019) Clinical Practice Guidelines for Working with People with Kink Interests. Retrieved from https://www.kinkguidelines.com Thaina Cordero is a Certified Sexologist and Care Coordinator at Cypress Wellness Center. She has an MS in Educational Psychology, is a trauma-informed yoga teacher, and doctoral student of Clinical Sexology at Modern Sex Therapy Institute. She has completed Levels 1 and 2 of Clinical Foundations in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. She helps individuals and couples explore their sexual expression, needs, fantasies, preferences, curiosities, and difficulties as they create more pleasurable, satisfying, and fulfilling sex life and relationships. Click here to request an appointment.

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