Grrr… BDSM is not a kink catch all! ~ Outside the Margins with Brenda Cothern

Join Prism Book Alliance® as Brenda Cothern goes Outside the Margins today.

Brenda-Cothern

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you already know that I have been in the kink/BDSM lifestyle for almost 20 years. For those of you who didn’t know, now you do grin Recently, I was invited to speak to the Sexuality Studies class at the University of South Florida and it was that experience that has led me to write this month’s Outside the Margins.

I have known since before the explosion of ‘BDSM’ fiction that most people used the phrase without even knowing what the acronym stood for. However, since the explosion and popularity of writing kink has come about, it wasn’t until I was a guest at USF that I realized that many people know what the letters stand for, but they don’t know that Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism, (and the newer added Domination and submission for the D & S) isn’t the only part of the kink in the lifestyle. Some don’t even know what activities would fall within the acronym. Even worse, there are perceptions about the acronym that are so inaccurate that they make the educator in me stand up and scream! That being said, I am letting my educator come out and play. Hopefully, this post will help at least one person better understand the real world of kink.

When people say they are into BDSM, sometimes they are only into some of the letters of the acronym. Usually, they are into the kink lifestyle. Meaning, they are into being tied up/restrained or tying/restraining someone (Bondage), or they are into being spanked/flogged (Masochism) or doing the spanking/flogging (Sadism). Discipline can be a factor in these activities, but more often than not during play, it is not. In fact, every letter in the acronym can stand on its own. Someone could only be into the Bondage aspect and want nothing to do with Discipline, Sadism, and Masochism. This can be said about any of the letters that make up BDSM label. Just because someone likes to be tied up does not mean they want to be Disciplined or are a Sadist or a Masochist.

This applies to the Domination and submission for the D & S, as well. Just because a person likes to be tied up/flogged/etc. doesn’t mean they are submitting to the person who is tying them up or flogging them, etc. Additionally, just because someone is a masochist, doesn’t automatically make them a submissive. I believe this is where a lot of the confusion comes into play where the term BDSM is used. I know:
Dom’s who love to be restrained (Bondage), but are not Masochists. I know submissives who are Sadists. I also know people who are into almost every combination of the BDSM acronym that want no part of the Domination and submission aspect of the lifestyle and vice versa. This tends to be difficult for many people outside of the kink lifestyle to wrap their head around because they can’t fathom how the above examples would work. So, let me use myself as an example.

I am a Dom. I love being restrained by rope. I am not a Masochist, but I enjoy being flogged occasionally as a form of stress relief. How does this work? I am a Dom so I can order my sub to tie me up or flog me. I am not submitting to my sub; my sub is serving me by doing as I have ordered. Make sense now?

Let’s talk about how else the term BDSM has become a catch all for the kink lifestyle. There are several kinks that do not fit into any of the BDSM or D/s category.

Fetishes are one and the term fetish is used incorrectly so often that it has become commonplace. According to the American Psychological Association, a fetish is when “you are sexually aroused by non-human objects. If it is a true fetish, you need to have the fetish item present in order to become sexually excited.” Note, non-human objects. Essentially, this means that a person cannot have a foot, hand, leg, etc. fetish. However, we read and say fetish all the time in this manner. However, they can have a shoe, panty, uniform, or any other object fetish. What is the correct terminology in regards to the human body? Obsession.

Other kink related actitives include: Puppy/ponies/critter/little/age play, water sports, uniform, tactile (sensation), Scatophilia (obscene phone calls), Acousticophilia (aroused by sound), Pediophilia (dolls), and the list goes on and on. None of these fall into the BDSM or D/s category.

I could expand further on this subject, but I think I’ve given you enough to understand that the BDSM acronym is not a catch all for those involved in the kink lifestyle. So in closing, if you would like to learn more or have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I would be more than happy to talk to you more on this subject at any time.

~Brenda Cothern

About Brenda Cothern

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
This post may contain affiliate links.
Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews.  The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.

5 thoughts on “Grrr… BDSM is not a kink catch all! ~ Outside the Margins with Brenda Cothern

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. Even while knowing about and indulging in BDSM, I learned something after reading this post.

    I especially want to thank you for pointing out that one does not have to be interested in all aspects of BDSM to be into the lifestyle. Although I love reading stories with D/s elements, and I will Dom on occasion, my interests really lie in Bondage, Sadism and Masochism without adding D/s elements to the scene. Most stories I have come across include D/s with these things, to the point where I have wondered if most people assume that it is a requirement. It is refreshing and reassuring when someone points out that this is not the case.

  2. Thanks Bren. Extremely informative. Must have been an interesting class. Wish I had been there. Learning something new keeps life interesting and the brain functioning. 😎

  3. Actually, puppy/animal roleplay (and other kinks) can fall under the “umbrella” of BDSM if it’s tied into the D/s or M/s dynamic the people have. It is with my Sir and myself. Just as BDSM isn’t a catch-all phrase for all fetishes and kinks, it’s also not exclusionary, either. It’s a very fluid thing depending on the people involved and their particular dynamic.

Leave a Reply