Probably one of the most over-hyped movies I have ever watched in recent memory, 50 Shades of Grey (now with a sequel titled 50 Shades Darker) was definitely not what I expected. I should have known that it was more publicity than anything, for the BDSM in that film was tame, lame, and to be truthful, quite boring. None of turned me on and I honestly used to find kinky play rather exciting. It was a long film and I was glad when it finally ended so I could pick up a book to read, but I wanted to see it to find out what all the fuss was about. Now I know – absolutely nothing. I guess we will be tortured by another lame film in this series, for the book is actually part of a trilogy and the third one is titled 50 Shades Freed. On Good Reads, the books have received a mix of bad and good reviews.

Bondage, Discipline, Sadism & Masochism – usually shortened to BDSM – is a form of kinky sexual expression that is erotic for some people, whilst for others it falls under ‘forbidden fruit’. BDSM may involve pain, the use of restraints, blindfolds or masks, reward and punishment (usually in the form of canings, floggings, or whippings), and behavior modification. Many of those who are into BDSM say that it is all about the Power Exchange and not about sex at all, though there must be some type of sexual aspect in it to hold the interest of these people. There is also D/S, which stands for Dominance & Submission so you may sometimes see BD/SM/DS but it’s quite rare. I first learned about all of the meanings when I found myself a volunteer spot in the teenage psych ward of a local hospital. These sexual ‘deviations’ as they were called, were discovered in the ward’s copy of the DSM – Diagnostic Statistical Manual (of Mental Disorders).

BDSM along with D/s (the ‘submission’ side is normally lowercase due to the slave’s lowly status) is intriguing to those that have never dabbled in it, whether they are drawn in by books such as 50 Shades or for some other reason. Of course, there are many that profess to be thoroughly turned off by such a lifestyle – though some of these same people may fully embrace the notion of transgender children or homosexuality, for instance. Sometimes I look at couples and wonder if they practice any of the rituals of BDSM or D/s. It makes for entertaining thoughts whilst waiting in line at the grocery store or, even funnier, Wal-Mart. Imagine that whale of a cashier at the mercy of a buff male decked out in leather!

BDSM scenes – the encounters between the participants – should always involve ‘safe words’. If the person you are with does not believe in using safe words, don’t loser yourself in a scene with her/him or you may find yourself the victim in one of those true crime books with ’16 Pages of Shocking Photos!’ in a blurb on the back cover. If you are truly uncomfortable with any part of the scene, say your safe word and get out of the situation if you simply cannot relax. I have experience in BDSM as a Mistress and when I participated in scenes with sub males, we always established upfront where the scene was going, what would be done with the sub, and how far the sub was willing to go. Some of them wanted to go further than I wished, and I always let them know right away that certain aspects were totally off limits – and they were cool with that.

I no longer dabble in BDSM though I still own most of my paraphernalia. For a while it became a dominant part of my life, almost a 24/7 Total Power Exchange, and I belonged to several sites where a Mistress (or Master) could find her or his slave. My current beau is not into that lifestyle, and I wholly respect his wishes so I put away the kinky equipment and now live a very vanilla life even though I will admit that from time to time, I think about the fun I used to have as a FemDomme.

For a list of the terms used in BDSM, click here.

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