7 Common Misconceptions About BDSM

7 Common Misconceptions About BDSM

With Fifty Shades Darker playing in cinemas all over the world, we are finding ourselves in conversations with customers and journalists about what it means for love lives – is the level of kink about to hike right up? Or are we over it?

In reality, a lot of people who enjoy what is commonly known as kinky activities (like spanking and wrist restraining) without considering themselves to be particularly kinky. It’s just a bit of fun – different from the usual.

BDSM clubs and parties were mostly underground, secret societies, until FSOG exploded onto the scene in 2012 and brought proudly perverted practices out into bright daylight. Many disapproved; the kinksters disliked the newbies for muscling in on their scene and non-kinksters believed that all D/s relationships are based on abuse.


Darker will no doubt highlight the very same issues and we thought it was about time the most common myths about BDSM are debunked.

1. BDSM is Abuse

This is probably the biggest and most damaging misconception of all, often spouted by those who do not understand the meticulous negotiations that goes into BDSM relationships.

BDSM, when practised between consenting adults, is not abuse.

BDSM stands for Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism & Masochism and functions as a framework for numerous activities that are practised and enjoyed by said consenting adults.

As long as consent and safewords are strictly adhered to, BDSM is, in it’s truest sense, not abusive. However, if one or more parties steps out of the pre-agreed boundaries, activities takes a sinister turn and becomes abuse.

Confusing? A little bit. But in short – it’s all about consent.

2. Consent is Just a Word

Well, no. It is the be all, end all of all sex play, kinky or not. If consent is not given, or is withdrawn, sex play becomes abuse.

Before a scene, kinksters will usually negotiate activities they’re happy to part-take in during the upcoming play session. (If they refuse to negotiate with you, you refuse to play with them. It really is that simple.) They may enjoy a firm spank with a hand, but not with a paddle – that sort of thing. Each activity and the degree of its severeness should be discussed in detail. This ensures only consensual play takes place.

Christian Grey, in the FSOG trilogy and the subsequent films, gets this all wrong: he may be a successful business man, but his negotiating skills out of the boardroom falls painfully short. He assumes that his way is the only way when, when in reality, Ana should be allowed time to consider her options and work out what it is she feels comfortable with. She should be allowed her say about what, how and when.

3. BDSM is About Pain

Pain can be a delicious element of BDSM play, but kinky play is just as much about pleasure. Many kinksters don’t enjoy pain at all – giving or receiving.

Pain, when carefully dished out, can create immense pleasure. It’s what we call “a natural high”. The brain pumps out endorphins, and the person experience the pain/pleasure can find themselves in a never-ending circle of wanting additional pain in in order to experience heightened pleasure…



4. Safewords are for the Weak

Safewords are used to ensure everybody involved in a scene (be that two or more participants) are feeling safe and happy. Using a safeword does not mean a person is “weak” – it means they are in tune with their minds and bodies, and require attention. Maybe they are tied up and are beginning to experience pins & needles – time for re-positioning. Maybe they are unexpectedly triggered by an action or a word, and need a cuddle and reassurance, or maybe they just need to go for a pee…

Using safewords is a quick way of checking in with each other – knowing where the other person is within a scene is just as important as knowing what is going on with oneself.

Whilst we don’t like the term ‘vanilla’, we feel that non-kinky couples could do well to incorporate negotiation and safewords into their sex lives too. Example: Hands up if you’ve ever had a partner trying to sneak into your back entrance without explicit permission, or tried to coerce you into doing something you don’t feel entirely onboard with? It happens all the time.

By taking the time to sit down and talk about likes & dislikes, fears & desires, lines of communication open up and greater intimacy is acheived.

5. Kinky Folks Are Damaged

Kinky folks can be damaged. As can folks who are not into kink. More often than not, kinky folks are just as happy and healthy as anybody else who do not share their particular peccadilloes.

It would be inherently wrong to squeeze all kinksters into a box labeled ‘DAMAGED’ just because their sexual desires and appetites do not match your own. Each to their own, people!

Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is Ok.


The character of Christian Grey may be damaged by traumatic childhood events, but this doesn’t mean everybody who enjoys BDSM games are.

6. A Slave or Submissive Belongs To Anyone & Everyone

It is commonly believed that anyone wearing a collar is there for the taking – much like a help-yourself buffet on a cruise ship.

No, no, no.

Weather the person is wearing a collar or not is not relevant in this instance. You have no more right to touch a slave or submissive without consent than you are to touch a stranger walking past you on the street.

The collar may signify their sub status, or maybe it shows that they belong to a proud Daddy, Dom or Master – or maybe it is purely a fashion statement.

A submissive may be naked, tied to a cross and whipped until she screams with pleasure  – still does not give you right to touch unless consent has been given.


7. Contracts Are Forever

Contracts are sometimes drawn up to ensure that each member of the kinky pairing/group/household is fully aware of responsibilities and agreements within that particular kinky relationship.

Not everyone uses contracts. Not every contract is the same. And whilst the contracts are honoured and taken as legal documents between the parties, BDSM contracts will not stand up in a court of law.

A contract can be drawn up to cover a set period of time, or it could be ongoing. The contracts may be reviewed regularly,  or only when one or more parties feel they’d like an amendment.

We hope this has cleared up some of the more common misconceptions. And if you feel intrigued, why not check out our erotic classes where you can learn more about spanking and bondage?


Bi Visibility & Celebration

Myths about Bisexuality, Dispelled By Sh!

Bisexuality is far from uncommon –  in the UK, a recent YouGov poll showed that 1 in 2 young people say they are not ‘100% heterosexual’.

In the US, 1 in 3 feel the same way and a recent study by the social dating site Her found that the number of users identifying as bisexual has risen from 16% to 27% in the last year alone

Sexual fluidity is on the increase and that can only ever be a good thing.  As people reject rigid labels and lifestyles and increasingly see sexuality as less set in stone, the more we’ll all discover about our own true sexual selves and that’s a cause for celebration everyday!

But today especially, as it’s Bi Visibility Day.

Ever since 1999, 23rd September is the special day,  also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day,  to pop corks and bang  drums for Bi visibility, as well as to highlight biphobia and help people find the bisexual community.

Despite more people feeling comfortable enough to identify as bisexual or sexually fluid, there are still lots of misconceptions about bi-lifestyle.

There are still a multitude of harmful myths about bisexuality that many people still buy into, in both the straight and LGBTQ worlds.

These myths can still make it really hard to come out as proudly and confidently as Bi so we thought we’d put them to rest, once and for all. Stand by for some home truths…


Bisexual=Confused - Myth!

Myth: Bisexual people are confused or indecisive

Plenty of people still buy into the idea that bisexual people simply can’t make up their minds whether they like men or women. They’re confused, can’t make up their minds or going through a phrase!  But ironically, theses concepts are put forward by other people, rather than those who identify as bisexual. In most cases, those who class themselves as bisexual are 100% sure of their sexuality – it’s only others who are confused by it!


Bisexuality=High Libido - Myth!

Myth: Bisexual people have incredibly high libidos

Incorrect! Bisexual people have just the same kind of sex drive as anyone else – which is to say, it’s individual and it fluctuates. The media has traditionally presented bisexual people as sex-crazed, but in reality, bisexual people are no more or less likely to have a high sex drive, than anyone else on the planet. Just because they can enjoy sex with all genders doesn’t mean they will sleep with anyone and this can be damaging myth.

Bisexual Threesomes - Myth!Myth: Bisexual people love threesomes

A threesome might be more enjoyable for a bisexual person than it would for someone who identifies as 100% straight. Being attracted to both men and women is definitely a bonus! But that doesn’t mean a bisexual person is going to enjoy threesomes in general. Many people, regardless of their sexuality, simply don’t see the appeal of sex with more than one person – so to assume that someone loves having threesomes purely because they’re bisexual is to put the ‘ass’ into assume!


Bisexual Cheats - Myth!Myth: Bisexual people are more likely to cheat

This is another totally unfounded idea. Bisexual people enjoy loving, monogamous relationships just like anyone else. Being sexually attracted to both men and women doesn’t mean someone is going to be a serial cheat – would being sexually attracted to just men or just women make someone more likely to be faithful? Of course not.

It’s these damaging misconceptions that show the world still has a lot to learn about bisexuality, and sexuality in general. Lets blow them out of the water and celebrate Bi visibility, because whoever you’re attracted to, in whatever combination, is fabulously freeing for all of us, as individuals and the world together!