Three Major Categories of “BDSM”

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When starting to look at all that falls under the “BDSM” umbrella, one starts to notice that there are so many things that can be included. It can be overwhelming when you realize that intricate rope art, ABDL (adult baby/diaper lovers), Dominants and submissives, and people who long for blood play all exist in the same world. It is really beautiful when you are lucky enough to experience how the BDSM community gathers such a broad range of interests and everybody gets along and supports one another. But one of the struggles along the way, particularly for newcomers, is the thought that, “Well wait up. I am not remotely into that, do I even belong here?” as well as the dreaded “One True Way” issue. We’ve all seen it before. You read online that one Dominant teaches their submissive positions to be commanded so that becomes “the way.” Or the notion that all power exchange dynamics need to include punishment. Or all submissives should be naturally masochistic. Or Dominants can’t be bottoms.

This is ridiculous.

There is absolutely no one true way to “BDSM.”

I want to break down the three major categories of what BDSM includes based on what my experience has been.

 

 

Three major categories. SM. Kinky sex. Power Exchange.

 

SM: Sadism is “the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others.” Masochism is “the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from one’s own pain or humiliation.” Sado-masochisitc activity is often referred to as a scene or play. It typically involves a designated Top and bottom, indicating who is doing what. The Top is the one in charge of deciding what is happening in the scene. The bottom is the one on the receiving end of the Top’s decisions. And in the definitions you can start to see how varied SM can be. Deriving either pleasure or sexual gratification or both of those, from any or all of pain or suffering or humiliation. Examples of SM would involve anything falling under the pain (emotional, mental, or physical) category. Impact play is one of the most common. Flogging, spanking, whipping, paddling, caning, etc. Also humiliation scenes, interrogation, some bathroom play if it causes pain. If it pleases somebody to be hurt in a way, or it pleases somebody to hurt someone in a way, it is included in the SM category.

Sex or power exchange is NOT a requirement.

 

Kinky Sex: If it is an “unconventional” sexual fetish  fantasy, or concept. If it turns you on sexually, it falls under kinky sex. Being sexually attracted to xyz, being turned on by xyz, xyz getting your dick hard or panties wet. Of course xyz can be any number of alternative sexual preferences. The goal of this category is sexual gratification.

Pain or Power Exchange is NOT a requirement.

 

Power Exchange: Power Exchange is a relationship dynamic, even if that “relationship” is only for the duration of a scene. It involves two parties, one of them giving up agreed upon control and one taking said control from the other person. Examples of this are the many designations of “Dominance and submission,” including D/s itself, Master/slave, Caregiver/little, etc.

Pain or kinky sex is NOT a requirement.

 

You don’t have to be into more than one of these to be involved with the BDSM community. You do not have to be interested in all of them. Just one. One tiny piece of any one of these categories is all it takes to join in and include yourself. Sometimes the categories overlap for people. Sometimes not.

 

You can be into pain but not want to have sex after a spanking. Not want to give up control to your Top during the scene. That’s okay.

You can be turned on by sexualizing bimboification. You do not have to want to control every aspect of your partners life. You do not have to want to cause him/her pain. That’s okay.

You can be into control and want to live as Master/slave and have a completely vanilla sex life and never pick up a paddle. That’s okay.

You can do rope to cause/feel pain. You can do rope because it gets you wet. You can do rope to take control of another’s body. They’re all okay.

 

Your BDSM is your BDSM. Don’t ever let anybody else define it for you. Don’t ever believe that one way is the only way.

 

That said, there are some cornerstones of BDSM that all practitioners should follow.

Everything under all three categories should be done consensually on behalf of all parties involved.

Take time to have an open dialogue and proper negotiation before you engage in any of these categories.

Be aware of the risks that are associated with your kink and educate yourself on safety.

 

Other than that, the vast world of BDSM is your playground and you have a lifetime to figure out these divisions and their significance in your life. Take your time, trust your instincts, listen to other people’s kink with an open mind and accepting heart, and do what feels good to you.

Not what you read somewhere is supposed to feel good.

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Master Ryder is a Dominant and sadist who lives 24/7 TPE M/s with his wife and slave. Ryder is of the belief that being a Master is more about mastering your own self before you can go on and effectively lead others, and spends his time working to always improve his personal character. An active member of his local community, Ryder enjoys sharing with others about his experience living life as a Dominant. He is a practitioner of edgier play, including fire, knives, CNC, and breath play, but the main focus of his studies and practice is in Power Exchange. "It's about the dynamic, the energy shared when one person gives up all control and another person takes it."

2 responses to “Three Major Categories of “BDSM””

  1. noe

    This was very helpful reading material. Thank you sir Ryder.

  2. MrJoker

    I completely agree but I do feel that there is a sad division line in the fact that there are those of us that A/ do our homework and wish to be a part of the community and B/ those who are really just using kink to try and get laid when there not really kinky at all. The saddest part about this is that many truely kinky people have been run off by those who qualify under B. I agree that theres nothing wrong with just liking kinky sex but there is a such thing as a fake Dom/Sub and these people are destroying our beautiful world.

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