50 shades of rough sex

Sex on Tuesday


This column is not about “Fifty Shades of Grey” because, frankly, reading that book pissed me off. Reading about how undeserving a woman thinks she is of a prototypical alpha-male is not sexually arousing. “Fifty Shades” did not provide any of the provocative mind-fucks I was anticipating. This column is about BDSM and the wonders of bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism, which “Fifty Shades” failed to mention.

Bondage is a fun place to start, as it physically restrains a person and forces him or her to take pleasure, humiliation, teasing and taunting. Dominance and submission are about the submissive giving-in to any demand for the pleasure of the dominant. Masochism describes the sexual pleasure one gets from receiving humiliation and pain by means such as whipping and flogging, while sadism describes the pleasure one gets from giving pain. Pain in these contexts is discussed and predetermined, as the person in power never intends to inflict any sensation that the subjugated individual cannot handle.

The attractions of BDSM are not so much physical as they are psychological. It’s not about leather and chains in a dungeon setting. It’s about taking on the mentality in which the sole objective is to give or receive pleasure through power plays. It’s about feeling so irresistibly desirable that one is forced to take sexual pleasure or entrancing someone to the point that one is given total control over another.

But BDSM has to be completely consensual. A nonconsensual act of pain or abuse is not BDSM. In all BDSM spaces, partners have to communicate what they will do, the limits of their pain tolerance and safe words before they start any play session. All parties have the power to stop everything at once if they become uncomfortable. At bondage clubs, the experts will constantly monitor and check in with you to see if you’re okay.

Contrary to popular belief, BDSM demonstrates how sex can be used positively and constructively. Sex is one of the best media we have to escape reality. When I’m in a kinky head space where all I think about is carnal pleasure, everything else melts away. Experiencing intense physical sensation can be stress-relieving. Kink-sters are people who take role-playing seriously. You can find yourself legitimately acting out a fantasy and become whomever you want to be through sex. Pushing boundaries in this way truly reveals how sexual exploration is unlimited.

BDSM reveals the primal nature of human beings in a way through which people become aroused by power and dominance. Our identities as civilized citizens are overwhelming in everyday life, so it feels good to let go of repressive moral codes and social norms in the bedroom. Consensual sex is one of the acceptable ways through which one can express such overt aggression.

Individuals with kinky sex practices and an affinity for sadism and masochism are often labeled pathological or psychologically lacking in self-worth. But a study in the Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality found that there were “no significant differences between BDSM practitioners and the general population” in terms of psychopathology, anxiety and depression. The Kinsey Institute states “5 to 10 percent of the U.S. engages in SM for sexual pleasure on at least an occasional basis.”

Sexually empowered individuals get the most enjoyment out of BDSM. It takes a person with high self-esteem to become sexually aroused when being called a dirty whore rather than burst into tears. Giving up control is just as liberating as wielding it. As explained in a blog post from goodtherapy.org, some people may enjoy masochism or subjugation because, “Many of them crave submission as a way to temporarily escape the huge responsibilities they take on in their ‘vanilla’ lives.” Vanilla refers to “normal” sex practices that don’t include BDSM.

It takes confident and self-assured individuals to be “dominants,” who effectively exert sexual prowess. Being a caring yet commanding dominant takes training, knowledge of anatomy and good acting skills. Dominants aren’t always sadists who have intimacy issues or past issues of abuse — like Christian Grey in “Fifty Shades.” Dominants are people who put in a lot of effort to satisfy the specific desires of others.

The fact that the general public finds BDSM practices scary and wrong is largely what makes it so alluring. Humans are greatly attracted to and aroused by novelty. Exploring novel situations is closely linked to dopamine reinforcement in the brain’s reward system, according to a study in the online publication Neuron. Experiment with spanking, and see how hard you can go before you want a whip or a paddle. Getting slapped in the face is a nice masochistic addition to your sex routine — it can be a lot more erotic than it sounds.

If you’re interested in scoping out the kinky social scene and experiencing some soft-core flogging and exhibitionism, check out Bondage A Go Go in San Francisco on Wednesdays at the Cat Club. Tomorrow just happens to be Wednesday. I guess I know what I’m doing for Halloween.

Contact Nadia Cho at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter: @nadiiacho.

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  • Nunya Beeswax

    News flash : BDSM predates the publication of 50 Shades of Grey.

    And in other news, your generation didn’t invent sex…

  • angrybird232

    I wanna take you out to dinner and fuck you Nadia. Call me?

  • droofus2002

    Look at all these trolls. Just buy the girl some dinner and take her back to your place.

  • Madhukari dasa

    This is actually pornography.

    • Index Prohibitorum

      Why, did it make you come in your pants? You probably think the underwear section of the Sears catalog is porn too, you backwards goatfucker.

      Now that I think of it, the word “goatfucker” probably made you come in your pants, too.

      • madhukari dasa

        nice language very mature

      • madhukari dasa

        can really feel the hate in this speech

    • How so? Not attacking, I just want to know how you perceive this article as pornography.

  • Mike Cooper

    Somewhere along the way, Daddy and/or Mommy did a pretty horrible job of parenting this woman. You can pretty it up all you like, but a “dirty whore” is as a dirty whore does and there’s something pretty awful about enjoying either being that label or labeling others with it. “High self-esteem”? If you call that self-esteem, you need to have a serious chat with a professional who can educate you on the matter.

    It is not high self-esteem which drives these people, it is low self-esteem; the feeling that degradation is needed in oneself or others. It is what makes Republicans and compels homosexuals, the old, minorities and the 99% to vote for them.

  • Global Dominant

    “Dominants are people who put in a lot of effort to satisfy the specific desires of others.” Thanks for saying that – people who haven’t experienced it rarely grasp that simple truth.

    • Very true. As a Dominant I get more emotional satisfaction from my submissive or bottom’s fulfillment of their desires than anything else. Sure there’s something in it for me, also. But my sub’s fulfillment is paramount to myself having a good experience. If what they need at that given time isn’t fulfilled, I’ve failed in my roll as a Dominant.

  • Guest

    anyone who gets turned on by bdsm probably has psychological problems

  • Current Student

    no offense, Nadia, but you need to see a psychiatrist

    • DTR

      Get a life. Maybe you should see a psychiatrist considering you’re sitting around and ripping on people from your powerful keyboard.

      • Guest

        On the other hand, *some* people are just begging to get ripped. Apparently.

  • alum

    Now’s the time to try out that ball gag Nadia…

  • Meow

    I think compared to your other articles, save the last sentence, this one is good. It talks about sex in a non-biased way and isn’t just you recounting stories of having sex. That’s not sex journalism, this is.

  • sexybeast

    Gettin down to the nitty gritty! Let’s geeeet eeet onnn!!!

  • DTR

    And here come the haters….

    • AnOski

      Depends on the article. This one simply describes a type of sexual preference. Not much to hate, though I, too, miss the older…slightly more gritty format of this column.

  • Show not tell

    Tomorrow just happens to be Wednesday. I guess I know what I’m doing for Halloween.

    In the last sentence of your article, you just admitted that you should not have written a BDSM column until next Tuesday.

    Readers want graphic stories about your BDSM adventures, not quotes from the Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality and hints about what you’ll do later.

    More colorful sex adventures and fewer vague descriptions. Please.

    • Floating

      I’m okay with an update column next Tuesday if the Halloween adventures go down.

    • Europe

      As a kinkster, I very much like the use of decent scientific research to show kinky peeps aren’t different for the general population. Thanks Nadia Cho.

    • Don’t speak for all readers

      This reader really appreciated the article and thinks it has more value than graphic stories. There is plenty of BDSM erotica out there if that is what you as a reader would prefer.

    • doxadoo

      don’t be shallow, unlike you I, a reader, enjoy the analysis of her topics. Maybe you could learn something if you stopped thinking like a jerk.

    • If your sex life was richer you wouldn’t want graphic stories of her adventures, you’d be making your own.

      Great job, Nadia.