Why isn’t everybody into bdsm (a lot)?

elephant swimI’m going to be writing, off and on, about what we know about why some people like bdsm, and respond sexually to bdsm-like situations, while others don’t.

 I’ve been putting this off for a while because it’s a huge task, and I’m revising the Probation Officer novel into (I hope) publishable form at the same time.

But I promised I’d write something about why corporal punishment of children is a bad idea, and that topic fits into the bigger topic: where does bdsm come from, anyway?  

Since the nineteenth century, most people trying to come up with explanations have come at this issue the wrong way. Bdsm is thought of as pathological, “sick” and evil, and yet there are people who are drawn to it and enjoy it, so psychologists and theorists asked “what is it about those people? What went wrong with them?”  

But bdsm is intensely pleasurable. It seems to work by taking some sexual things that everybody shares (surrender, for example, and the desire to make your partner respond to what you do), and making those things even stronger.

So what mystifies me is: why isn’t everybody into bdsm? 

That oceanic metaphor...

That oceanic metaphor…

Another way of looking at this is to agree that pretty much everybody actually is into bdsm to some extent, which is why so much love poetry is about conquest and submission, why some lovers scratch and bite each other, and so on. It’s just that some people only explore the shallowest edge of bdsm, getting their feet wet paddling at the shore, while others dive into the ocean and have a whale of a time.

Some of us like bdsm a lot, and some only a little bit. So … why isn’t everybody enthusiastically into bdsm? 

Watch this space. 

1 thought on “Why isn’t everybody into bdsm (a lot)?

  1. I’ve had an essay in draft form in my mind on these issues for quite a while..your post inspired me to finally type some of it into at least a first draft, see the Essays section of my website, “Why YOU want (or secretly want) BDSM”

    You seem to have a thoughtful, analytic but humanistic approach somewhat parallel to mine, which is appreciated. Cheers,
    Panaeros for LovingIntensity

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