BBW singles posed as the dominant one, coupled with a sharky executive as the submissive partner are the common stereotypes when it comes to BDSM. With the unprecedented popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey, so many people are wondering what BDSM is actually like in real life, which is why we’d like to debunk the top 5 myths surrounding this community.

#1: BDSM Involves Sadistic and Masochistic Acts

Not true. There is a clear distinction between BDSM, and sadism and masochism in the bedroom. The latter involve actual physical and psychological pain and suffering inflicted on the partner, while BDSM does not. BDSM is only focused on the role-playing of such acts, and there is real concern for safety of everyone involved to the point that many partakers require their partners to sign consent and other forms on harm prevention, provided they’re not long-term partners.

#2: BDSM Is Experimentation Between Strangers

Wrong again. Lots of people who identify with the BDSM community are in long-term, committed relationships who’ve known each other for years, and who are life partners just as much as they are sexual. No, they’re not necessarily wealthy millionaires with too much time on their hands, but are often successful, highly educated individuals with good social standing.

#3: BDSM Is All About Whips and Chains

Again, not true. Members of the BDSM community like to mix it up in all sorts of ways, and don’t focus their sexual acts on whips and chains only, although most of them purchase their ‘sex toys’ at hardware stores (another myth is that they have all the fancy ‘machinery’ at home like they do in BDSM porn). Lots of ladies out there prefer silk scarves over chains and blindfolds, while there are those who like to go to the extreme, and introduce a little electro stimulation or piercing in the game.

#4: Partners Are Either Dominant Or Submissive

Totally wrong. Being a ‘switch’ is a rather popular option for all those who don’t feel like they only belong on the one end of the spectrum. This means they can take on any role, depending on their mood and their partner’s desires. At the same time, people who are dominant in life like to try the submissive role in BDSM, and vice versa. In other words, being a Type A personality in life doesn’t necessarily mean being dominant in BDSM. Finally, it may appear to an inexperienced eye that the dominant partner is running the show, but in reality the top partner is usually trying to please the bottom one, often called the “bossy bottom”.

#5: BDSM Is A New And Rare Phenomenon

Wrong on both. BDSM has been around for ages, but it first gained mainstream momentum in the 1940s when the pin-up girls and fetish magazines became popular. The emergence of the leather subculture following World War Two among the gay men also played a role in popularizing BDSM. As far as rarity goes, a survey by OkCupid conducted in 2017 revealed that from a sample of 600,000 respondents, over 50 percent of daters say they’re into bondage. Not only is BDSM not rare, but it’s actually trending in the