It’s not just dungeons and pain: 5 things you should know about BDSM

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    In October, Johannesburg hosted Sexpo – an annual health, sexuality and lifestyle expo. One community that usually attends the event was KINX, whose members practise BDSM. The Daily Vox team caught up with two practitioners – Taylor Greg and Bradly Poller – to find out what BDSM is really about.

    1. What is BDSM?

    BDSM is a wide term that refers to sexual acts and role playing which can involve bondage, dominance and submission play, sadomasochism, etc. It’s more than your 50 Shades of Grey. Basically it’s an escape from reality where you adopt a whole new persona while exploring your partner’s limits.

    2. It’s not all dungeons and pain

    When most people think of BDSM they think of it as dungeons with sharp objects and women dressed head to toe in spandex – but it’s not always like that. It can be practised with fluffy pillows and soft ropes as much as it can be with chains and whips.

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    3. Consent is a BIG thing

    It may be about pushing your limits, but BDSM is all about consent. It’s not just, “I’m interested in BDSM so let’s do this!” One needs to sit down and have an open and honest discussion about it – talking about what you’re cool with and what you’re not cool with.


    4. Safety is a priority

    If a couple is practising sado-masochism (sexual acts involving the infliction of pain), for example, that’s where levels of pain and safety words come in. Safety words, for example, would be green for go, orange and yellow for caution or slow down and red for stop. So if your partner is using a whip on you, the safety words give an indication of how far they can go before it gets too much.

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    5. It’s a chance to be someone (or something) else for a bit

    BDSM can also involve role playing, where you get into a particular state of mind and adopt a character. For instance there is ageplay (where you act or treat someone as if they were a different age) and pet play (where someone will act as an animal or pet). So when you get into that headspace, you act as a completely different person for that time.

    via GIPHY

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