10 Misconceptions of BDSM

“Isn't that like 50 shades?” “getting hit by your partner's abuse.” “You like being tied up?” “ that's slavery…” “you're weird you like getting hit?”
All these questions and misconceptions about BDSM have been around since the beginning of this subculture. Most people’s idea of BDSM is that it is all about whips and chains, dungeons and sexual orgies. Sure it can be about that, but for the most part, it's so much more than paddles and collars. 

The secret and mysterious world of BDSM isn't all that secret nor mysterious at all and not as scary as it seems. Whatever you thought or heard about BDSM forget about it for a moment while I explain the ten most common misconceptions or myths about BDSM.

But before we delve in, the acronym, BDSM, stands for Bondage & Discipline (BD)/Dominance & Submission (Ds)/Sadism & Masochism (SM). 

Myth 1: BDSM is dangerous.
This has the be the most significant misconception about BDSM when in fact safety and consent are the most significant parts of BDSM. When it is done correctly, BDSM is very safe. Boundaries, limits, safewords, techniques, and health condition, and communication condition respect and safety.
 
Myth 2: BDSM is violent and forces people to do things they do not want.
As previously mentioned, CONSENT is a big part of BDSM and a safe space for the exploration of fantasies. BDSM scenes (a BDSM activity or encounter involving one or more people; it may or may not involve sexual activity. http://bdsmwiki.info/Scene) can include pain but painful acts are done with safety, and both/all parties have agreed to what can and cannot be done. 

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Myth 3: BDSM is abuse.
BDSM is not abuse, BUT there are abusive people in BDSM just like in any other community. Healthy BDSM relationships are about respect, communication, support, trust, and consent. Many people see the scars from rough play and people getting spanked and assume that these things are consensual or think that a person would never be into getting spanked or whipped by their partners. I will say that there is abuse in the BDSM community that isn't talked about much because of the backlash victims get for being into BDSM. 

Myth 4: It's only about sex.
In fact no. BDSM doesn't have to involve sex at all. Lots of people enjoy the power play dynamics and the intimacy of submitting and or dominating but these things do not require sex. 

Myth 5: Women are just submissive, and men only dominate.
BDSM roles have NOTHING to do with gender. Submission is not relatively feminine nor is dominating relatively masculine. There are women, femmes and nonbinary people who dominate just as there are men, mascs [masculine-of-center people] and nonbinary people who are submissive. It's all up to you on what you want to be.

Myth 6: People who are dominant or submissive in BDSM are the same outside of it.
Being dominant or submissive in your daily life doesn't mean you're the same in BDSM. Some people use BDSM to explore other sides of their personality that they cannot live in their everyday lives. 

Myth 7: You Are either dominate or submissive.
Nope, there are many roles in BDSM! Some people are even switches which means they are both submissive and dominate. BDSM has so many different types of roles that finding which one makes you comfortable isn't hard at all.

Myth 8: Fifty Shades of Gray is BDSM…. Right?
I hear this all the time, and the answer is no. Fifty Shades of Gray is a horrible representation of BDSM. Starting with the main character, she is pressured at the beginning and Christian has abusive behaviors. The book does not represent BDSM and actually gives it a bad reputation. 

Myth 9: Doms are the one in control.
On the surface of BDSM, it may seem as if the Dom or top is in control, but subs give them that control. Doms are there to please and take care of their subs [submissives] needs and desires, and in return, subs provide them with submission.

Myth 10: If you aren't kinky then you're vanilla
BDSM and sex, in general, isn't black and white. Some people are into dressing up in BDSM clothing or just into being tied up, it all varies for what you're into and what you're comfortable with partaking in. And it's all okay there isn't a kinky or not scale. So don't be afraid or ashamed. 

Of course, there are many more misconceptions that can be added to this list but don't be afraid to research more and find more information, maybe even dabbling in the Lifestyle. But always remember the top priorities are consent, safety, and respect when doing BDSM!