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lunedì 26 giugno 2017

BDSM And Sadism Aren't The Same Thing, But 'Fifty Shades Darker' Raises Some Questions

The Fifty Shades franchise often comes under fire for its poor representation of BDSM, but it also pushed a once marginalized kink identity into mainstream sex and relationships discourse, helping scores of readers shed light on their desires and feel more comfortable talking about them.
Fifty Shades Darker tackles the sadism part of BDSM, which is why it's important to point out that sadism and BDSM are not the same thing. The trilogy as a whole is by no means a model of BDSM to be emulated, but it does deserve some credit for sparking curiosity in an accessible way and leading folks to research more about the subject(s) on their own.

In Fifty Shades Darker, Christian Grey reveals that he self-identifies as a sadist who enjoys inflicting pain on women who look like his mother. That last bit is a deeply problematic idea to unpack on another day, so for now, let's just focus on the truthful bits — a sadist is someone who enjoys inflicting pain upon others for sexual or psychological gratification. Correct! And also: sadist is a totally cool way to self-identify and sadism is a sexy act to practice with intention on consenting and enthusiastic partners!


But! BDSM and sadism are not necessarily the same thing. The acronym BDSM is actually an umbrella term that breaks down into three different categories of kink identity: bondage and discipline (B/D), dominance and submission (D/s), and sadism and masochism (S/M or, more colloquially, S&M). Here's what they all mean:
The first one is pretty self-explanatory. It describes enthusiasts of bondage, meaning those who enjoy restraining others or being restrained via rope, cuffs, harnesses, etc., and those who enjoy protocol play, eg., giving or obeying orders, doling out or receiving punishments, and other ways of performing "discipline."
D/s refers specifically to power play: a power exchange between a Dominant, who holds the reins, so to speak, and a submissive, who willingly hands the reins over to be dominated. Dominants and submissives can obviously play with bondage and discipline, too. And they can also incorporate pain play, which brings us to part three.
S&M stands for sadism and masochism, which is the complementary relationship between those who enjoy inflicting physical or psychological pain (sadists) and those who enjoy receiving it (masochists). Physical pain can describe things like impact play (eg., flogging or spanking), piercing play, body clamps, or even something as simple as biting. Psychological pain can describe things like the intentional use of humiliation or degradation (eg., name-calling or slut-"shaming").
As always, research, communication, and consent are your best bedfellows for navigating these kinks safely.

So while sadism (and its masochism counterpart) is or can be a piece of exploring BDSM, it doesn't have to be. A person could be into other aspects of BDSM, while feeling neutrally or even negatively about the prospect of giving or receiving pain. They don't have to go hand in hand. Think of BDSM as a menu of options, and not as a list of requirements a person absolutely must meet in order to be kink-identified, or welcomed into the BDSM community.
 

Also, keep in mind that the purpose of these labels and identities is to provide folks with some common language with which to understand and communicate their sexual and romantic desires. If you can communicate your desires without the use of these labels or identities, then there's no pressure to use them if you don't like them! If, however, you're searching for likeminded partners or community — and finding people with whom you can process the stuff that comes up during any BDSM play who aren't also your partner(s) can be super, super important — then these words, ideas, and identifiers are here for you to use. They aren't mandatory, but they can help us articulate what we're looking for in a way that makes the process a little clearer and easier.


https://www.bustle.com/p/bdsm-sadism-arent-the-same-thing-but-fifty-shades-darker-raises-some-questions-36918

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