50 Shades of Misconceptions

I’ve toyed around with this specific post for the last three or so days. Although this is a lifestyle that I’ve been practicing for two years, and have had an interest in for significantly longer, I’m having issues making one specific point. BDSM is such a broad topic with an obscene amount of misconceptions. Not only that but, I feel like this has been an incredibly private part of my life for so long.

While I make it fairly publicly known about my sexual orientation and my relationship preferences, one thing I’m always hesitant to open up about are my bedroom interests. Media portrayal of the BDSM kink has caused a massive lack of understanding of what it entails. I myself have been guilty of the same ignorance in the past.

“Oh yeah, I like rough sex too.” is generally the response I get on the off chance that I do bring it up in conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I was never one to turn down being choked or slapped while things were getting hot and heavy but, even I was unaware that BDSM was so much more than that.

It wasn’t until 2 years ago, I was discussing my interest in (what I thought was) BDSM with a good friend, and he suggested that I read Sunstone; A graphic novel by Stjepan Šejić documenting the lives of two women exploring their lifestyle interests for the first time (mostly), together. I won’t get too far into it because it’s a must read for anyone that… actually just anyone. The story is beautiful and super informing about the trials and tribulations people in the kink scene can face. If you’re a sucker for romance like I am, and can appreciate the absolutely breathtaking art, you won’t be able to put it down.

The more I read into the story, the more I learned about the importance of safe words, aftercare (I honestly didn’t even know what aftercare was until I read Sunstone), and how BDSM is more about pushing boundaries than it is taking control. I plan to write more in detail about all of these topics in the future.

After two years of practicing this lifestyle, specifically the last year or so with my current partner, and one magnificently failed attempt at being dominant, I’ve discovered that I’m a sub (submissive) through and through.

I read an interesting theory that women or men who spend a lot of time making decisions in a day, or who generally have a lot to control in their life, end up being submissive in the bedroom. The lack of control and decision making is freeing, I can attest to that. As someone who who is consistently making sure my daughter is cared for, my work is efficiently handled, finances are taken care of, it’s refreshing to let someone else take the reins (or ropes) at the end of the day.

Trust is also a huge factor. While the dom has the illusion of power, they don’t just take control. I have to have enough confidence in my dominant that when I say my safeword, everything stops. We are constantly communicating with each other. We don’t schedule in our sex life but we will spend time here and there discussing what we have enjoyed in the past or things we would like to try. We’ve discovered a lot about each other’s interests that have made a significant difference to the quality of our sex life. During the aftercare portion, we always debrief and discuss what worked and what didn’t work. Being clear about what boundaries you have and what hard lines are not to be crossed will help prevent undesirable situations from arising. Open communication, trust and boundary setting are the fundamentals of a dom/sub relationship (in my opinion).

There are a plethora of misconceptions and misunderstandings that relate to the bdsm lifestyle that I could go on about. I feel like if people were more informed on what it actually is and what it entails, they would be able to see that it’s not all whips, chains and claiming power over an individual.

I urge anyone reading this to put down 50 Shades of Glorified Abuse and go pick up Sunstone. You’d be shocked at what you can learn from a comic book. At least I was.


If you enjoyed what you read, head over to the Links page. Let’s connect.

You can also Ask Me a Question. This helps me with topics to write about. Polyamory, relationships, attachment parenting, feminism, communication and mental health are just some of the topics I read a lot about and have formed quite a few opinions on.

Thanks for reading!

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