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Sex and BDSM; are they entwined or discrete?

The prompt for week 417 of Wicked Wednesday is sex and BDSM. Here is what inspired the prompt:

To some people, the two concepts sex and BDSM are indistinguishable and deeply connected. To others, this may not be the case at all. What do you think? How sexual is BDSM to you? Can things like bondage and pain play be done without any sexual component?

If you’re not into BDSM, what is your take on this? When you see people engage in pain play, do you imagine there to be a degree of lust involved? Could you conceive this to be the case? Have you ever done a light form of bondage? How did that feel?

~ Liz Blackx

I will start my response to this by saying, it’s a complicated question. Sex involves an element of trust, as does BDSM. Even casual sex involves an element of trust, albeit formed in a shorter time scale.

Say you’re on a night out; you talk to someone in a bar, forming an opinion of them, based on your first impressions. You may not particularly like them if they have views drastically opposed to your own. But you will feel a sexual attraction to them. This is lust. But to go from feeling an attraction to acting upon it, it seems to me that there needs to be mutual trust on some level.

Otherwise, the protective side of you would tell you to “get the fuck away from them, and fast!” For that trust to form, both of you would need to be vulnerable in some way. This is all my opinion. In my mind, it makes sense to me.

As an extension of that, BDSM involves trust. The Dominant partner trusts the submissive partner to know their boundaries and limits. They will expect the submissive partner to be up-front about what they want to gain from the interaction. Is it just about sexual submission, or is it psychological too?

The submissive partner will expect the Dominant to play according to the boundaries they’ve set. Maybe they will allow the limits to be pushed slightly. However, they ought not to tolerate anything that could cause them lasting physical, emotional or psychological harm.

For me personally, ‘kinky play’ has always had a sexual element. But perhaps that is because I use items like collars, nipple clamps, and floggers. These all provide pleasurable sensations. What about if I were to use canes or needles though? I think it would seem very clinical and not very sexual. I doubt I’d like either of these practises.

If I didn’t enjoy it, I suspect a play partner wouldn’t either unless they were a sadist. If that were the case, then I definitely would run and not look back!

As for bondage, I think Shibari could potentially be done in a non-sexual way. Its origins are based on Hojo-Jutsu, which is a martial art designed for restraining people. Even this is complicated though, because to restrain someone, you need to have dominance over them. Dominance can be a form of arousal, certainly in the animal kingdom. It’s why dogs hump each other to show power.

After my long-winded appraisal of sex and BDSM, I think the answer to whether they are connected is ‘Yes.’ That being said, you can have sex without any form of BDSM taking place.

See what other bloggers think about this subject here!

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7 comments

  1. interesting thoughts, Bunny! thank you for sharing!

  2. I’m really enjoying the different thoughts on sex and BDSM this week, and loved reading yours 🙂
    ~ Marie

  3. Very interesting considerations, I like the question of whether Shibari is sexual.

  4. Wonderful post Bunny, and some very interesting thoughts raised.
    You’re right when you say Shibari could be done in a non sexual way. From my experiences as a Demisexual I find I can enjoy many aspects of Shibari such as Sensation-Play, power dynamics, touch as well as the aesthetic aspect of looking at a naked body or a well tied piece of rope work, and explore relationships with people I don’t have sexual feelings towards, just as much as I can with someone who I do. Then there’s
    also the aftercare, the holding, the skin to skin contact, the hugging that provides physical intimacy that is explicitly not sexual.
    There are aspects of Shibari that can enhance sex, but it doesn’t have to be innately sexual.

    • Thank you for your insights Stu, and it’s great to see other perspectives, particularly those of a Demisexual. Physical intimacy does not have to be sexual at all, I agree.

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