BDSM

BDSM is a common practice amongst sexually healthy adults, yet it is not well-understood. Sure, Fifty Shades brought it into the mainstream, but with its semi-normalization it also brought a lot of misinformation. It’s awesome that people are getting more into tying each other up, spanking, etc., but understanding the mentality of and safety involved in BDSM is super important if you’re trying to get kinky. 

In that vein, we at Womanizer have decided it would be fun to take a look at some of the more intense BDSM practices and trends out there. But first, here are the basics.

What is BDSM?

BDSM definitely did not start with E.L. James’ racy novel. People have been into kinky sex since basically forever. Humans enjoy mixing bondage, pain, control, and power dynamics with sexuality.

All of these things mix really well and have similar roots in our desires. It’s a primal urge. BDSM is about power exchange, not necessarily pain.

You can have BDSM without any pain at all and you can have it where you end a session covered in bruises and other markings.

Each experience is carefully crafted by those participating in the play. Because that is what BDSM is: PLAY.

Is BDSM actually dangerous?

Fear and discomfort around bondage and kink typically comes out of a misunderstanding of what BDSM actually is—and what it is not.

There is a “people who do kink” group and then a “vanilla people” group. In reality, it’s not a rigid divide at all.

Kink is super accessible to everyone—and a lot of us have either tried it or wanted to do it. In fact, according to research by Justin Lehmiller, most people DO want to, or have tried BDSM.

What are the most common BDSM practices?

Before we get into explaining some of the more intense or unheard of BDSM trends, let’s first consider some of the more common practices associated with BDSM.

First, you need to be sure that all BDSM play is “SSC.” This means: Safe, Sane, and Consensual.

Sane in this instance means that you are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and your state of mind is clear and calm. Consensual means everyone involved is enthusiastically agreeing to everything you’re going to do. You should also be checking in throughout the play to be sure everyone is having a good time.

  • Bondage

Where one partner ties up another partner. This is usually done using ropes, harnesses, handcuffs, or restraints of some kind. You can use simple things from around your house such as a t-shirt for a blindfold, or a necktie for makeshift handcuffs.

  • Spanking

Spanking is when one partner slaps another partner on the butt. You can do this bent over a partner’s knee, on all fours on the bed, or however is most sexy and comfortable for you. It’s best to aim for the meaty part of the butt, right above where the cheek meets the top of the thigh.

  • Ball gags and harnesses

This is a form of bondage wherein the submissive partner wears a harness around their face with a ball attached to it. The ball goes in your mouth to prevent speaking. You can also use body harnesses. These are usually made of leather or crafted out of rope. Rope harnesses take time and are best left to people who know what they’re doing. You can always take a Shibari rope tying class or watch some tutorials online. Keep a pair of scissors nearby in case you need to cut the ropes.

  • Caning

Caning is used for intense pain play. A cane is used to “beat” the submissive. This should only be done by seasoned BDSM practitioners. If you’re interested in caning, speak with a BDSM professional, take classes, and watch online tutorials to learn the basics.

  • Breath play

Breath play, or choking, it when one partner squeezes the throat of the other for more intense orgasms. This can be highly erotic, but should be done with extreme care. You want to place pressure on either side of the neck, not on the windpipe. Go to a class or speak with a professional before engaging in this type of play.

  • Temperature play

Temperature play consists of using hot and cold objects or substances on the body of the submissive to induce pleasurable (or painful) sensations. You can try temperature play by using ice cubes, a massage candle designed for the skin, dripping warm or cold water on the skin, or even sticking a glass sex toy in the freezer. Get creative with it!

What are the more intense BDSM trends?

Now for the the less well-known (and in many cases, more intense) types of BDSM practices out there. Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. As with all sexuality-related things, there is a lot of nuance involved.

To help explain these lesser-known forms of play, we talked to two BDSM experts and asked them everything they know.

  • Figging

Figging is a form of “torture” that is having a bit of a media moment. This practice involves sticking a piece of peeled ginger into the anus or vagina to induce a painful burning sensation.

“It’s mostly safe, depending on your pain tolerance, but as with all organic items you’re inserting, it’s important to clean your ginger,”

says Daniel Saynt, founder of NSFW, a BDSM-focused sex club that hosts workshops and play parties. While this practice is mostly considered safe, it’s probably not the best idea. If any leftover particles remain in the vagina, for instance, it could result in a nasty infection. Saynt also warns that other forms of figging, such as ghost pepper or hot sauce figging, can cause permanent nerve damage and should be a definite no-no.

  • Age Play

Age play is when the Dom takes the position as an older figure and the sub as a younger person. This can range from Daddy/daughter, Mom/baby, Teacher/student, and so on and so forth. The pairings are endless. People are into this for many reasons. There might be “some leftover Daddy issues, you feel safe around those who resemble [a] mature figure or it’s simply the taboo,” explains Lola Jean, a sex educator and professional dominatrix.

And don’t worry. There is nothing wrong with this kind of play, as “out there” as it may seem. “Roleplaying a significant age gap or even incest doesn’t necessarily mean you’d want to act on or recreate these dynamics in real life,” Jean says. “As far as safety is concerned, as long as all individuals participating are of a legal consenting age and have each negotiated consent to the scene at hand” you’re good to go.

  • Blood Play

Blood play is when you either cover each other in fake blood or use sterilized equipment to actually cut someone’s skin, usually superficially so as not to cause scarring (though some people want scars). Jeans that people are especially into the latter because there is a sense of a pride for a “pain slut” to endure such “torture.”

Is it safe? Jean says it depends on your practice. “Blood play can be very safe if you have a top who knows what they are doing and is educated on medical play. The most important factor in any kind of medical play is sterilization,” Jean explains.

Saynt echoes this sentiment, noting that this is a fringe practice that is only done by very specific practitioners in the kink community. “if this practice is something you’re considering, do so with caution, with lots of conversation, and make sure to take proper care of your wounds after play to prevent infections,” he says.

  • Watersports

Watersports refer to peeing on someone.  Also known as “golden showers,” this can happen in bed, in the shower, or wherever you’d like to pee on someone or have someone pee on you. Watersports can also include “squirt play,” which involves female ejaculation spraying on the other person.

Why are people into this? “The main motive for this type of play is humiliation,” Saynt tells us. “The positioning, having someone stand over you, and the action of being pissed on or squirted on, all fall within acceptable methods to experience submissiveness.”

  • Cuckolding

This another BDSM practice that has made its merry way into the mainstream. There are plenty of articles circulating the internet about this practice. People are utterly fascinated by it … and about why anyone would want to engage.

Cuckolding is when a third person comes into a primary relationship (known as a Bull or Alpha) and has sex with one of the partners (known as a Hot Wife) while the other watches (the Cuckold). This usually happens with two men and a woman, but it can vary. The idea is that the Alpha can please the partner better than her other, “lesser,” partner. The cuckold is often placed in a cage or devices like cock and ball cages can be used to “punish” the cuckold.

Jean says that porn has altered the way we view cuckolding in a way that limits our understanding. It isn’t always about humiliation.

“Cuckolding can be really quite sweet. When you think about it, the entire experience revolves around the cuck. The bull is technically the stunt cock,” she says.

Saynt stresses the importance of aftercare in this kind of play. “If it’s consensual and sane it’s safe, so make sure to check in with your partner and focus your aftercare on reconnecting to the person you love,” he says.

  • Catheterization

“Controlling your partner’s ability to urinate is the main draw of catheterization,” Saynt says. It’s all about controlling your partner’s basic functions, the appeal being that they are completely helpless in the most fundamental way. Saynt tells us that the pleasure derived from catheterization comes from the arousal of having the instrument pass certain hot spots. “Before reaching the bladder, the catheter will pass the prostate gland adding to the sensation of play.”

Saynt warns caution with this kind of play. “Catheterization is a potentially dangerous practice that can cause permanent damage to the inner walls of your penis if you don’t know how to properly insert [the catheter],” he says. Health professionals strongly advise against this kind of play so be sure you’re working with someone with medical training if you do indulge.

Gigi Engle is a Womanizer sexpert, certified sexologist, and author of All The F*cking Mistakes: a guide to sex, love, and life. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @GigiEngle.

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