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BDSM: Bondage & Discipline|Domination & Submission|Sadism & Masochism
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BDSM

Bondage–Discipline | Domination–Submission | Sadism–Masochism

The term BDSM is commonly used to describe consensual activities involving bondage or discipline between adults that contain sadistic and masochistic elements. Masochists tend to be very specific about the types of pain they enjoy, preferring some and disliking others. Many behaviors such as spanking, tickling and love-bites contain elements of sadomasochism.

BDSM is an easy to use acronym for: Bondage & Discipline / Domination & Submission / Sadism & Masochism. A couple into BDSM may be practitioners of only one of these three fetish categories, however most often a great deal of overlap occurs between the fetishes, making clear distinctions quite difficult.

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Bondage & Discipline

Domination & Submission

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Surprisingly, most couples incorporate bondage into their sex lives. Often it is practiced sporadically, but with some couples it's practiced regularly or even as a permanent lifestyle. Such couples find sexual bondage to be relationship affirming. This affirmation can sometimes take the form of sex games or sexual fantasy enactments. Commonly, bedroom bondage games are used as a form of foreplay. They require and imply a level of trust and a surrender of control by the restrained to the active partner. The restrained partner (called a bottom) surrenders control to the other partner (called a top). Surrender of control is given voluntarily and under mutual understanding and consent with limits agreed on beforehand.

The main feature of sexual bondage is that it renders the restrained person vulnerable to any variety of sex acts that the dominant partner chooses to pursue. The restrained partner is completely dependent for their sexual satisfaction on the actions of the dominant partner, who may choose to treat the restrained partner as their personal sex object, or even take sexual pleasure in the restrained partner's humiliation.

Many different reasons exist as to why some people allow themselves, or gain sexual satisfaction over being bound. Some people gain a sense of freedom during corporal passivity.  These submissive's find being bound helps them concentrate on their inner spirituality and feel at peace. Some people feel the need to be tied up in order to feel free to respond sexually with abandon. Others experience helplessness and will struggle against their bonds. They may even feel a degree of masochistic pleasure from the restraint and pain, as well as being open to use for erotic simulation by their partner.

Dominance and submission, also called D/s, is a set of rituals, customs, and behaviors which involve the giving by submissive person to another dominant person control over the submissive in a BDSM erotic episode or lifestyle. This activity may be ritualized or freeform. Consent is the vital element in all psychological play. Consent by the submissive can be granted in many ways. Some Dom/sub relationships employ a written form known as a "Dungeon negotiation form", while other Dom and sub participants may consider a simple verbal commitment as sufficient. For these subs, consent is for a limited duration and can be highly limited in content. However, for long term relationships involving a a negotiated lifestyle, both Dom and sub will discuss their limits, wishes, and needs in order to find similar arousal points, and will often enter into some variation of a "slave contract". A Dom/sub relationship may be sexual or non-sexual, intimate or anonymous, and long or short term. Most Dom's and sub's search for the essential intensity, trust and intimacy required to make a deep relationship possible.

Sadomasochism is typically defined as, and used in the context of, the giving and/or receiving of pleasure—often sexual—from activities involving the infliction or reception of pain or humiliation. S&M is the SM subset of BDSM. Practitioners of sadomasochism seek out sexual gratification from these acts of pain or humiliation, but will often seek out other forms of pleasure in addition. While the terms sadist and masochist specifically refer either to a sadist who enjoys giving pain, or to a masochist who enjoys receiving pain, practitioners of sadomasochism often describe themselves as somewhat of a switch—someone who can receive pleasure from either inflicting or receiving pain and humiliation.

‘Sadism' and ‘masochism', in the BDSM context of adult consensual sexual activities are not fully accurate terms. Strictly speaking, a sadist is person who enjoys causing pain regardless of whether the "victim" consents to it or not. Likewise, by definition, a masochist is person who fantasizes about or enjoys being sexually humiliated, beaten, bound and tortured, as well as being made to otherwise suffer in all manner of situations, non-sexual as well as sexual. However within the true BDSM activity, a sadist will never inflict pain on people who have not previously consented. Further, most masochists never enjoy pain outside the BDSM sexual activity.

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