5 Ways BDSM Will Improve Your Life

Most people think BDSM is just about the sex. It is often reduced to sexual and sexualized acts, especially in mainstream media representations. People focus on gimp suits, anal sex and whips. In reality, BDSM is only partly about the sex and fetishes. For many of us, it is a whole way of interacting with the world.

While the devotion to consent, communication, and understanding power is derived (mostly) from the types of sex folks have, these concepts transcend actions in the bedroom or dungeon. For many of us, power exchange is at the center of our relationships and we develop a deeper understanding of how power works.

All of this translates into behaviors and understandings which will help all of us in our daily lives.

Know What You Want

A good BDSM scene does not happen without some communication about desires. A strong power exchange relationship will not succeed without all parties asking for what they need and want. This is not a skill people often teach.

To be able to ask for what you want or need, you have to have an understanding of what your wants and needs are. Beyond the lower tiers of Maslow’s hierarchy of food, safety, and shelter, many of us have a hard time expressing the specifics of what we want. Take a few minutes and ask yourself, “What do I really want right now? What do I need? Are these different?”

(seriously, go do that)

Now that you are back, what did you learn about yourself? Were you able to be specific? Many people say they “want to be comfortable,” they “want to have enough money” they “would like to be successful.” These are very vague concepts. If you drill down on what it means to be comfortable or have enough money you begin to get many more specific needs and wants.

People who practice BDSM often start out with the idea that they want to “try everything.” The more they learn and explore BDSM, the more specific their lists become. This practice of identifying the specifics of what you want in any area of life can be eye opening.

Ask for What You Need

To get what you need, it is useful to be able to ask for what you need. It is rare for your needs to be magically met without you speaking up. In kink, this means being able to express a desire to try a new activity or explore a new fetish. In our daily lives, it means figuring out how to ask someone for what you need.

Asking a boss for a raise or promotion is often difficult and daunting. Asking a spouse to explore a fetish can be terrifying. Asking your neighbor to stop his dog from pooping on your lawn may inspire anxiety. However, the more you practice asking for what you want, the easier it gets.

You learn to time your requests; when to be assertive; when to back off; how to phrase things. Exploring kink can help you practice asking for what you want.

Understanding Power

Not all kink involves power exchange. Much of BDSM does involve some level of power exchange, even if it only lasts for the duration of the scene. Power exchange may also be much more extensive, covering many aspects of daily life and ranging from just at home to 24/7 in the relationship.

To be able to assume power or surrender power, you need some understanding of how interpersonal power works. Learning about where your personal power comes from and how you control or yield that power will give you a much deeper insight into how you move through the world. Understanding how others try to take, yield, and control power gives you insight into how humans work.

Most people who consider themselves vanilla or not kinky do not think that they engage in power exchange within a relationship. The reality is most of us engage in unacknowledged power exchange because it is part of our culture.

Many heterosexuals assume that the man will do specific things in a relationship (e.g., mow the lawn, balance the checkbook) and the woman will do other things (e.g., clean the house, cook). People get into relationships with their various assumptions about what power they will have and what they will yield. When expectations of the partners do not align, this is where friction points arise.

Power exchange relationships make these exchanges explicit. Discussing things like who will handle the major money decisions, who will do specific chores, who will have final says about where the children go to school or church help make these power dynamics visible to all couples.

Normalize Talking About Sex

Very few cultures normalize talking about sex and sexuality. In the United States we teach children that any talk about sexuality is taboo and needs to be kept out of the public eye. Kink and BDSM communities normalize talking about sexuality and desires. There are thousands of classes, websites, discussion groups and more which explore sexuality.

This has some great benefits for everyone!

Talking about sex when it is not taboo allows many of us to learn about ourselves in a nonthreatening way. Finding out the thing you wanted to try is actually pretty common and there are thousands or tens of thousands of people who are into the same thing as you can be a huge relief! Being able to talk to people about sexual health is also a huge way to reduce anxiety and spread information. All of the sudden, you go from “What is going on DOWN THERE!!!” to “Oh, this is where I get STI testing and most of them can be cured.” whew!

Talking about sex as a normal behavior also reduces the psychological link between talking about sex and wanting to have sex with the person you are talking too. For many adults, we talk about sex only with people we might want to have sex with. The more we are able to chat with friends, support groups, and people in forums on line or in real life, the more we learn and the less charged sex talk becomes.

Clothing

This one actually surprised me when I realized that BDSM and kink style carry power outside the scene. Culturally, we in the United States and Europe have integrated elements of BDSM couture into our high fashion. High neck silk blouses, stiletto heels, pencil skirts. leather, knee-high boots and more are common parts of work wear. The image of a pro Domme wearing a long tight skirt, a silk blouse, and stillettos is a thing of many fantasies (and dozens of comic book villains). These images carry the idea of power, knowledge, control and intellect.

I learned that integrating these items of clothing into my work wardrobe helped me subconsciously send messages to the people I was working with. A long grey pencil skirt, high neck silk blouse and four inch stilettos became my go-to look when doing congressional testimony. When I would walk up to the diaz in these outfits, I got immediate attention. The people at the hearing assumed I knew what I was talking about and had authority in the subject. They were more responsive and open to hearing my testimony.

I thought I might be misreading this until I found out that several of my other colleagues in the political world were also into kink. Each confessed to integrating aspects of kink wear into their work looks for important meetings. Because people are primed to see these images as powerful and in control, they respond to the person dressed in kink ware as powerful and in control.

Do I Have to Go Full Dom(me)?

Nope. Simply reading about kink practices, exploring a few of these things in a realm where you feel comfortable, and learning from talking to others can help impart these benefits. There is no need to ever step into a dungeon (but they are fun, so I would suggest going). There is no need to do the “weird sex stuff” you don’t want too. However, the more you explore, the more you will find things you learn in the kink world drifting into your daily life and making it better!

#kink #bdsm #power #dailylife #work #fashion #needs #desires #assertiveness #askforwhatyouwant #gettingaraise

One comment

Leave a Reply to kinkyfangirl Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.