BDSM practices

BDSM practices

Although it is not spokn often about this subject, alternative practices known under the name of BDSM, represent a special lifestyle, which starts to take shape both in people's imagination, as well as in the privacy  of many persons fascinated by new.

 People are used "not to get out of decor", not to violate the proprieties or patterns already established "by thousand years", because ... it is not good (it is not mentioned also why it is not good, but, in any case, it's not very unimportant whether the majority decided it). In forced contrast with inner trends, there is grown a failed modesty, which makes, for example, some of them, to be very scandalized in front of indecent videos broadcasted on TV (or on the internet), but watching them constantly with bulging eyes, others to avoid open discussions about sex, but to go periodically in places where to pay for the fulfillment of some fancies totally out of the ordinary, to cling desperately to idea of absolute "normality", but to fear to recognize, as a matter of fact, his own incapacity for work together with  differences and the unknown. 

No matter how much society would like that everything summarises at a restricted series of love affairs behavior  (generally valid), which do not interfere with anything the appearances raised high on the pedestal of morality (sometimes so false, that causes nausea), the reality shows that things are a bit more complex ... men who love other men, women unfulfilled in a  monogama cohabitation, couples who open the door of their own home for others eager or anxious for strong thrills, handcuffs, whips, masks or even costumes used in stimulative purposes. Thus, the universe of "love" reveals itself to be a very vast one, slippery and unpredictable. And its exploring may slam doors which some probably did not even know that they existed. What does not make them less existing, nevertheless, or useful for the bold curious ones to discover the mystery behind them.

One of these inputs, provided for many with the sign "Prohibited!", reveals the access to the unusual  world of practices official known under the name of BDSM: Bondage/Disciplines, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism. For amateurs, they shall be considered to be equivalent to any form of erotic interference  involving pain (sadomasochism). For those who are familiar with, however, it is not limited only to this, but are far more profound.  

Usually, the phenomenon is played in the form of caricatures that distorts the features, excessively emphasizing them and sometimes even in a nasty way. To blame for this state of affairs are the preconceptions and cliches that guide the general vision and, judging by which, the followers of unconventional eroticism seem to be some bizarre, aggressive specimens or just good to be sent, in urgent manner, to the nearest medical specialty office. A major impact on the way in which the problematic in question is perceived, is also exercised by the mighty mass-media, which not for few times, exagerate its form and background, in order to shock and obtain the effect of sensational, absolutely necessary for the growth or maintaining  of audience. 

The beginning of this type of intimate activities are not to be found, however, in the modern society, as often promoted by the speeches that correlate BDSM with the sexual freedom of the last decades. Its roots are much deeper, and, as far as it regards its origin, the sources indicate that "love" and " pain" have been always put together by individuals or even by the entire communities. The frame was often a religious one, ritualic, but not necessarily  required. The initial documents which talk about this fact, prove that there is a unique connection between the religious affinities of asiro-babilonians and those specific to the aggressive eroticism, included in the ceremonies dedicated to the goddess of love, war and fertility Ishtar. The flagellation with ritualic role was also carried out also in Sparta, under the auspices  of the so-called Cult of Orthia. 

Among graphic evidences having an appreciable age there is included also an etrusc shrine from Tarquinia, on whose the walls there are pictured two men caught in an obvious sexual activity, together with a woman, that they hit with a cane. 

Antiquity’s perspective regarding sexual needs and their fulfillment, was an instinctual one, but  ennobled  with the support of a justified philosophy, giving it an aura something less than  "brutish". As a basic principle, however, people did not run from experiencing a wide range of erotic capacities (among those who today would have as denouement the public opprobrium or maybe even a small " trip" carried out behind bars), without facing then with feelings of guilt, inadequacy or depreciation. Their life style was one embraced in unison, and, despite hasty suspicions that it could be discerned at present, it did not enter at all in contradiction with the intellectual ideals, scientific or cultural ones with whom Greeks and Romanians identified themselves through education. 

Without specifically proposing (for, from their point of view, the two did not exclude each other), ancients somehow managed to harmonize the tendency toward "orgy" (such as it might be labelled today), with the appetite for knowledge and personal development. The image of those old times, may serve as a good example to those who associate sexual disinhibitions with the lack of training, maturity/emotional stability or with a low coefficient of intelligence, as when only one individual with little brains and without too many ambitions for the future could afford to feel like we having sex otherwise as it is specified in the "register": in two (in two of opposite gender, of course), in isolation, in peace and preferably, with the light off. 

The culture specific to ancient Rome, is extremely eloquent as regarding the habits, preferences and freedoms accepted back then, when it comes to this chapter. There is no novelty that Romanians loved nudity (a passion highlighted in fact with obstinence including in their artistic achievements), they practiced homosexuality, they were familiar with sexual enslavement and immoral orgies, thay accept, even encouraged prostitution, and declared to be more than opened to habits such as anal, oral sex or to masturbation. 

In such an explosion of uncensored fancies, it becomes obvious that also the “tougher” component of sexuality strongly hall-marked in their "profane" life (not necessarily religious). The segments from the works of ancient writers Juvenal and Petronius, mention the whipping "used" in order to obtain sexual incitation, by denouncing in this way the ancient vision regarding the borders of bearability during the sexual act.

Greeks, were in their turn, rather inventive and tolerant in relation to sexual trends and expression diversity. In contrast to the current society, which narrows a lot the side of practices considered to be ' normal', the ones contemporaneous with Aristotle explored about everything that could be explored in the field. Such as Romanians, nor the Greeks interacted with exclusivist categories or had views of the type " black/white". They “loved" both men and women, they had concubines, prostitutes, love affairs with young and unitiated boys, they celebrated sex in all possible ways and felt fully entitled to do so. The spate of gods itself which governed their existence, was imagined in a divine unrivaled promiscuity. 

Physical punishments applied sometimes to slaves, had in their turn, a pure sexually undercoat, but one exploited to the detriment of pleasure. Among these it is also included the method of introduction into the anus or in the vagina, of a ginger root, which, once cleaned, "sculpted" and placed in the "interior", it was kept in this way for a greater or less period of time, just enough to cause an acute feeling of sting and discomfort. The disciplinary procedure subsequently undertaken also by Romanians, was kept under a similar form even in the Victorian era, in order to be integrated afterwards with the variations de rigueur, within the BDSM games, being separated by the coercive element initially assumed.  

References much more generous to the subject are to be found in the pages of the vast text collections with instructive character of Kama Sutra, which approaches the issue of pleasure, but also of safety, giving details of how certain parts of the body may be hit during the sexual activity and which are those, what should be taken into account in order to avoid potential risks of danger and why it is necessary for each of the participants to express their prior consent. The attention granted to the safety and to the freedom of choice in this respect, of those concerned, strikingly compares the content of the sexology hindus treaty with the current philosophy of BDSM. 

The information something closer to our days, comes from the English literature of centuries XVI-XVIII, which makes allusion to the occupation of "Mistress" (the epigrams of John Davies from 1590), as well as to acts of flagellation caused to obtain pleasure (the novel of John Cleland, Fanny Hill, in 1749). 

Historical explanations, do not stop here, though, and specialists draw attention to the fact that sexuality closely came along with the development of the entire  human culture, regardless of its size, appearance and motivations envisaged. In opposition to these, many say in unison that the instinctual appetite for something else  is an obscure product of modernity, plague of a society which has lost the wheel and marks. The sexual liberalization initiated in the past century, but it isn't responsible to have given birth monstrosities with a face of new expressions of romance, but only for allowing the output to light of some realities already in existence, distinguishing it from her inadequate cataloging as a love pathology worthy of medicinal treatments and advanced therapeutic sessions. 

Furthermore, the great change that the phenomenon has ever known with the passage of time, is the involvement of common agreement in the "different" eroticism and excitement pursued not only unidirectionally, but for all participants in the action.  

Recognizing the sexual instincts as such and creating a environment favorable to their expression, unfortunately, no longer constitutes a feature of current society, as it was done in the past, when the erotic conduct was less  governed by restrictive and uniform rules, and manifestations accepted were subjected to natural inclinations, Unlike then, hiding all "undesirable" instincts under the carpet constitutes the ultimate goal, pursued in our own days. 

The optimal strategy would be, however, somewhere in the middle. The performance of our ancestors to raise the lack of censorship to the rank of virtue, does not ensure achievement  of any ideal favorably for all, much too often giving birth to circumstances in which coercion left its trace, together with  the unilateral interest or the sexual privilege derived from occupying some social status. Which means that the freedoms allowed to some people attracted others’ misfortunes. But, beyond the collateral effect of generating inequalities (effect which belongs, as a matter of fact, to other whole aspects, maybe ideological), the fact that the need to sexually express complexly has defined the human society from the beginning to the present, shows that what is happening today in the world is not the outcome of recent reality or of some artificial whims invented overnight by a bunch of bored antisocial ones.

The negative light in which it is dressed everything within the area of "work" of BDSM, has its origin not in the novelty or the extremism of this kind of morality (for example, because they have always existed), but also in the company's trend of excessively intellectualize sexuality and  harden the criteria of differentiation between good and evil,  normal and abnormal , acceptable and  intolerable.  

Etymological speaking, the term "sadism" started from the famous Marquis of Sade, a man with great erotic tendencies, assumed despite law and punished with good years in prison and psychiatric institutionalization. "Masochism", on the other hand, was due to the Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, who liked very much to be the obedient and penitent slave of a tyrannical wife, ready to punish for any irregularity. But the one who used for the first time the terms together (sadomasochism), is psychiatrist Richard von Krafft Ebing, the author of an importan work Psychopathia Sexualis (1886). 

Sigmund Freud, also made his call to the terminology in question, and his collaborator in the analysis undertaken on the issues related to the fetishes and homosexuality (Isaak Sadger), permanently fused the terms, resulting in the name that today is to be found in the vocabulary. If the name has been kept intact, it cannot tell the same thing about the meaning assigned to it. The strictly medical Interpretation initially preferred, has been gradually re-evaluated, the activists at the beginning of the twentieth century XX fighting against understanding sadomasochismi, based on the fragile support of a small number of psychiatric cases. They have insisted, at the same time, on the fact that the preferences reunited around the concept of alternative sexuality, does not represent some abnormalities, but are simple options, the same relevant as the traditional ones, proposing later, the label of BDSM (in 1969), in an attempt to redefine both the denomination, as well as the essence of the cause for which they fought for. 

Behind the medical "issues"  directed on those who "accused" special love preferences, there has been drawn a line and agreed unanimously that such conducts is nothing else than pure psycho-emotional disorders, which only treatments and specialized therapy can eradicate, bringing back the man "on the waterline". The stigma of "mentally ill" has continued to exist like a darkly and persistent cloud over whomsoever would resound from normality. The diagnosis was subsequently tied to certain negative consequences envisaged on socio-professional plan (of inadaptation), or by not taking into account the will of the partner (the lack of consent). It is only in 1995 that Denmark has made the first step, revolutionising the system of interpretation, by eliminating sadomasochism from the grim list  of diseases grouped in the National Manual of Diagnostic and Statistics of Mental disorder. The example was followed by Sweden (2009), Norway (2010) and Finland (2011). 

In the eyes of the public, extravagant practices have started to become visible and to get a homogeneous form, once with its promotion via porn industry in the years  1950-1960, scenes and images with a "dramatic" layers (relevant in this direction being the ideas of Irving Klaw, who placed in his creations miscellaneous symbols specific to BDSM, among which bondage). 

Setting up the community Gay Leather, after the second world war (a subculture of homosexual persons desirous of solidarity and consensus), has also played an important role in consolidating  this phenomenon, bringing together all those with "unusual" passions, in the grand  manifesto for a nonoconformist lifestyle. Gradually, they have detached from "the organization-mother" and they have managed to become independent subjects economically, separate from the qualification gay with which they sympathized initially. So that supporters of BDSM have come to find themselves in the rows of all categories, regardless of the sexual orientation or identity they assumed.

Strengthening links between them, as well as deepening their crossed interests, have become much more easy once with the explosive  development of Internet services, who made available new, multiple information, social platforms and facilities for the purchase of accessories or erotic toys  adapted to the practices of profile.  

How is BDSM seen  by the prism of unknowing ones and how does it appear in the eyes of those who have found out, from their own experience, its secrets?

From the outside, the tendency for "aggressive" love is resumed to the "creeping" pleasure to feel pain and to the imprudence of introducing into the world of the passion all sorts of shady utensils or habits at least the same suspect. From the inside, things are a bit more nuanced. They have psychological explanations, rigorous definitions and a meticulously organized philosophy. 

The central idea of this phenomenon, is the fact that people feel attracted not so much to the "obsession" to cause each other pain, but to the desire to metamorphose the relationship into an exchange of power, by means of a hierarchy in which roles are well delimited: one of them becomes Master, the other one Submitted. Desire that might seem absurd to the persons who do not feel it or who, although they feel it, they strongly refuse to have to do with obvious deviations from "the right path". 

Not the terror, the fear, the fright and pain are the supreme objectives of such scenarios, using the whip at any cost, the chains or ropes, but assuming some roles diametrically opposed. The ostentatious investment of one of the partners with power of decision and of the other one with the task to execute reflects, in the end, the mirage of this type of interaction, the major element which sets it apart from the classical relations, based on positions of neutrality. 

It is good to know the fact that it is not only the personal dwellings may be used as a shelter for the implementation in the scene of some episodes of this type (in BDSM, the idea of "scene" determines as meaning both the place where the action performs, as well as "the subject" of the scenario itself). Although those for which the term for "privacy" complies strictly  to the classic meaning, would probably want no other place for expressing themselves, there are also supporters who adore "public" spaces, especially prepared, in which the guessed can only looked, try or even totally act, openely or not, which bears the name of "play". Such spaces are either organised in clubs specially dedicated to affiliated members, either accomodated by private individuals, pleased to turn on occasional basis their home into a small paradise of diversity (having the great advantage of being able to make available to visitors an entire recuzite of equipments more or less out of the ordinary). 

Among the love "exercises" which amateurs may perform during a session (the specified time period, in which the acts themselves are taking place), include:
- flagellation (flogging);
- slapping and whipping (Spanking/Whipping);
- binding (bondage); 
- erotic electro stimulation (Erotic Electostimulation); 
- control  (Control);
- torture "Cock&Ball" (Cock & ball Torture); 
- torture with water ( Water torture); 
- golden showers/urophilia (Golden showers); 
- limit  games (Edgeplay);
- sexual role games (sexual role play); 
- games with wax (wax play);    
- medical play (Medical play). 

It should be noted that in the BDSM practices, it was consecrated, in particular, the use of terms coming from English, both due to the influence of internet, as well as to the sensation that the pronunciation into another language attenuates somewhat the "unusual" of the action it describes. 

The list is much more "thick" of that, and the practice itself will varies depending on the weaknesses of each person, of the boldness assumed, of the degree of accumulated experience, but also of the "gadget" possibilities  (the tools) available. All strategies used shall be subject, however, to the same desideratum of the transfer of power, affected by all three faces of the eroticism in question: Bondage&Disciplines, Dominance & Submission and Sadism&Masochism.

 

Bondage&discipline. The term "bondage" refers, as the name suggests, to the restriction of the freedom of movement of the partner. According to specialized studies, this strategy is used, to a certain extent also by "usual" couples  who, out of the need of additional spicing, they may recourse to small "tricks" of this kind. In the case of experienced pairs, it is already about the use of special accessories, as well as ropes, handcuffs, shafts, break-away bars or the so-called "St Andrew's cross", often integrated in such exciting games. Active can be both the dominant partner, as well as the submissive one, because doing the honors of a treatment of immobilization, it does not depend on the hierarchical distribution of roles. The intensity or complexity of the wide scoop of activities that may be dealt with, depend exclusively on  the preferences, experience, and  of course, the limits of endurability imposed by each one, by common agreement. 

The term " disciplines", the second side of B/D’s facet, condenses the psychological implications of the strategy, reffering exactly to the way in which one of the partners has control over the other one, leaning on the strictness of the rules drawn, punishments, humiliation, induced pain physically and not only. As in all other "parts" pushed to the extreme them also must respect the will and borders of "interpreters" who give their own opinions about sexual pleasure and gratificare. 

 

Dominance & Submission. The concept defines the set of attitudes and behaviors transposing in practice the report of the subordination established between the participants, between the one who controls the action (the Dominant one) and the one who complies with  (the Submissive). This fact, generally supposes, the existence of power games, seducing for those involved, bizarre for those who know them only from the edge side: role play (Roleplay), age play (Ageplay),  education play (they recreate, according to context, the classic system of punishment and rewards), the play in which one of the " actors" complies in the posture of a pet (Petplay), the play of sexual rejection or the one within the framework of which the partner is treated as a slave, scenario materialised or moved including in the public space (inferiority being in this case, recorded by wearing collars, tattoos or symbolic piercings that "betray" that they belong to a "Master"). 

No matter how shocking such conducts would appear, for those who incorporate them in their own lifestyle, they become a normality, a loophole through which they may release their feelings in the manner that is closest to their personal needs, other than of the majority, at least judging by their not being repressed. 

The inner reality may find a correspondent in the real plan, only when communication is  an open one, based on transparency and trust. This is because the partners support a huge responsibility, because it is not easy to impose your will on someone else's (the situation requires a considerable amount of empathy), nor to submit her (paradoxically, the persons who choose to do so they don't have to give evidence of weakness, but a highly pronounced strength). Trust is, therefore, the key element, without which nothing can be done or, in the absence of which, all good intentions of participants shall be retrogradated at an irrelevant level, useless and inefficient. 

Another essential aspect in this equation, is the consent. It is to be understood that a walk with the partner in the leash through the city, punishing him/her as a rebel teenager or to entrust him/her all sorts of tasks, like a good subordinate, without getting his/her prior consent or for these "special" treatments, is unquestionably a matter as guilty. To eliminate unassumed charges, doubts, but also of the risks implied, usually, those involved making use of the so-called "contracts". In fact, the documents free of legal validity, but invested with a personal meaning, symbolic, by which they are established, from the very beginning, the rules of operation of the relational mechanism: what is allowed and what is not, that is beyond the area of tolerated  activities and what may be subject to negotiations, what expectations each one can afford and what not ... in relation to each other. Only after the claims are so expressed, the conditions clarified and signatures made, the dice may also be ... thrown.  

 

Sadism&Masochism. Sadomasochism is, as everybody knows, the preference for combining pleasure with pain, with aggressive acts, slapping, hitting, whipping, pinching and "other ones"  already become famous. All around this chapter of BDSM, there have been created a great deal of stories at the borders of histories of horror. Most of them, describe the sadistic ones (those misleading pain) and the masochist ones (the beneficiaries of the "merciless" treatments), in gloomy shades of extremism or pathology. 

Nevertheless, beyond the exagerations through the prism of which they are to be regarded, the practices in question, the fact that they exist, being voluntarily adopted by certain couples, it means that they respond to some needs which may not be endlessly contested or inhibited. For example, some people's appetite for a trivial language or really "violent" during  "hot" moments, should not be controversial or frighten, since how the expression used in such a way, is agreed with the hand on the heart by all main heroes of the action and at the end of the day,  no one gets hurt at the hospital. 

The sexual diversity is not, therefore, a caprice (neither its acceptance as such), but the expression of the natural human nature impossible to be restricted in only one way to be, convenient only up to a certain point (imposed by rules related in time and space).

Taking into account the characteristics of the exchange of power, as well as the items of risk which make up the picture most of the times, all of the people with experience in the perimeter of BDSM (or those who are eager to pass as soon as possible from theory to practice), must go through the same steps absolutely necessary for the experience not to be registered at the end in the category: " What was in my head to do such a thing? I'm not going to do that ever again!". 

Before starting on the road, any uninformed person has the possibility to be informed accordingly. And it is strongly recommended to do so. Which involves the practices of domination and obedience? What is their frame of progress? What are their methods, weaknesses  or aspirations? What can and what cannot be made in the BDSM games? Why do I want to experience such things?  are only a few of the questions that may not remain unanswered. And the sites of specialty, organizations or profile seminars, may be able to offer some clarification on the edge of all these enigmas good to resolve.   

The careful selection of the partner is also a condition that can't be overlooked, in the sense that not any individual (be it unknown, or very well-known, a stranger to the atypical erotic world, or perfectly integrated into it), it presents the guarantee that it is the suitable pair for an eccentrical adventure with leather jackets, handcuffs and whip. The genuine confidence is the one that must define the closeness between partners. The activities in which they are to be involved, intensely require all the layers of his/her being (both physically and mentally), in such a way that they cannot afford to accept on their inherent territory, the presence of one incompatible at the level of appearance, feelings, interests or discernment. 

Negotiation is an essential component in the process preceding the transition to the facts. Once given the consent for experimentation on their own skin for "dangerous" love it does not mean that everything becomes possible, allowed and appetising. It is very likely that  some of them to adore to be tied to their bed, but not to agree with slapping. Or the other way around! Possibilities are multiple, and  the selection must be functioning in its ultimate parametres. This is why, it is indicated for the action itself to be preceded by lengthy and clear discussions, with respect to the tolerance which each one wishes to delimit, in accordance with their own preferences and needs.

The so-called "words of safety", as well as red (equivalent to "stop! ") or yellow  (equivalent to "slow down!"), is more than just beneficial, because it may happen that  under the impetus of the moment, the  active character to show an unanticipated excess of zeal or the passive one to be taken by surprise by his own reactions in relation to the unforeseen treatment received. The purpose of these expressions (which can be chosen by mutual agreement between the partners, without stopping necessarily to the "classic", including through non-verbal manifestations), is to avoid excesses and awkward side-slips. 

Another great principle that should be understood by those who think practicing  sexual experiments out from the ordinary, refers to the fact that the transfer of power followed, does not cancel the individuality or the autonomy of the one adopted the role of submissive; but only reflects his willingness to entrust himself/herself in someonelse's hands, and to be dominated, to become the center of interest, honestly and exclusively. 

No form of human interaction, no matter of its nature, it is not exempt of surprises, ups, downs, pluses or minuses (of intensity and different frequencies). And the BDSM relations are that much more exposed to such fluctuations or possible falls into derisory. This is also the motivation for which it is always required total precaution. Whether it's about commitments carried out on a long or short term basis, whether it is about stable or multiples partners, whether it is about the loyalty of assuming the role of dominant/submissive versus the habit of juggling between the two of them, with or without material interests ... the provision and caution must be the simultaneous keys, without which there could not accessed any sort of "inputs".

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