Fired CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi’s admission that he engages in rough sex has Canadians hearing a term that many may be unfamiliar with – BDSM, or bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism.

So just what does BDSM involve and what draws adherents to this kind of sex?

BDSM model
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Members of the so-called BDSM community say there are a lot of misconceptions about what kinky sex entails and about the people who embrace the lifestyle, reports Metro News.

“Kinky sex is defined not so much by what it is, but what it’s not,” says Bernie, a southwestern Ontario entrepreneur in his mid-50s who asked that his full name not be used.

What it’s not, he says, is garden-variety sexual foreplay and intercourse, which is known in the community as “vanilla” sex.

“If that’s all someone does, then they’re not kinky. But anything outside those very narrow boundaries, then they are kinky, whether it’s role-playing, whether it’s spanking, whether it’s tying their partner up, using ice cubes on them, talking dirty to them – all kinds of things are considered kinky.”

“It’s like a landscape almost. You have all these different areas. If you travel around the kinky countryside, you’re going to encounter all kinds of different activities.”

BDSM, or bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism.

The goal of kinky sex is to seriously spice up life in the bedroom – to choose chocolate, strawberry or an exotic-flavoured ice cream over the standard vanilla, says Bernie. That can involve physical play – tying up a partner to the bedposts with silk stockings, for instance – or activities that are more psychological in nature: enjoying the sense of being dominated or being the one who dominates.

<b>BDSM</b> is a variety of erotic practices involving dominance and submission, role-playing, restraint, and other interpersonal dynamics

“Some people like to struggle during sex, for example,” says Bernie. “So from that to bondage is a really small step … from holding down to tying down and using touch to stimulate.”

The image of whips and chains that BDSM conjures up for many people is really a “synonym for any kind of kinky play,” though he concedes those sorts of sex toys are certainly on the map for some.

“But a whip is a fairly intense toy. That said, you can use it to gently caress somebody, it doesn’t have to be intense. It’s how you do things and the intention behind them.”

Intention and trust are key elements of BDSM, he says. Partners – whether straight, gay or bisexual; monogamous or not – negotiate their sexual likes and dislikes and mutually agree upon limits, including having a safe word or other signal that says – and means – “stop.”

“BDSM can be a safe outlet for people who want to be dominated or dominating, or sadistic or masochistic.”

Read the full article online here.


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