I’ve been writing romance stories containing BDSM for several years now, and I’m surprised how many misconceptions there are about this lifestyle. BDSM is the acronym for Bondage, Discipline and Sadomasochism. The form of interactions and behaviors between those involved in the BDSM world and the vanilla world are different. To some, the vanilla world may be considered the norm, meaning commonly accepted, not to be confused with “normal”!
Just because BDSM practices are not considered the ‘norm’, they should not be considered abnormal, harmful or perverted.
A recent comment I saw on Facebook made me cringe. The person was commenting to a post about the Fifty Shades movie: “I’d never let my boyfriend hit me. What kind of man would hit his woman?” A man who would hit a woman in anger, absolutely is wrong. And that woman is right about standing up for herself and not allowing that situation to occur. BUT that is not a D/s (Dominant/submissive) relationship. In a BDSM relationship, there is no anger and the submissive is in control allowing the interaction. At any time, the submissive is secure in knowing he/she can stop the interaction with a single word or gesture.
1. BDSM is Domestic Violence.
As explained above, this is not true. When a submissive decides they’ve had enough, they call out their safeword and the interaction is halted immediately. There is no safeword in a domestic violent situation. There’s no respect, the request to stop is ignored and the abuse continues.
2. Those involved in the lifestyle have psychological issues or have been abused as children.
Far from the truth. These are mentally stable and healthy men and women from all social, educational and economic environments. BDSM activities are performed by consenting adults. They come from all backgrounds, various religious, ethnic, sexual orientations. Straight as well as those in the GLBT community (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual).
3. Dominants are Bullies and Like to Exploit the Submissives
Dominants desire to establish a connection with their subs and enjoy the eroticism that is shared with that individual. They have no desire to abuse anyone or to be involved with those who are not emotionally prepared to engage in a BDSM encounter.
4. Submissives are Insecure and have Low Self-esteem
The majority are very secure and strong willed individuals. If a submissive has low self-esteem issues, they need to work that out with their Dom first during negotiations. The Power Exchange within a D/s relationship can be emotionally or physically intense. A submissive who surrenders completely sexually, physically and emotionally to their Dom can bring much joy to the relationship but only if both are secure within themselves and their relationship.
5. It’s all about the sex
It doesn’t have to be about sex or sexual intercourse. Sometimes a Dom and submissive will interact to experience the power exchange or some other element of a BDSM scene. Partners do not need to be a romantic couple, but negotiations on limits should be discussed first as well as establishing a safe word. Trust and safety should always be considered. The safe word can be used to halt the session immediately if one partner feels it is necessary.
The more educated people are about BDSM, the less fearful, I hope, they will become. And I hope the fewer objections, misconceptions and prejudice. What misconceptions have you heard about this lifestyle? If you’re an author, have you had any issues with publishing your books?