There’s no actual documentation or history to what BDSM means and where it came from. The first known uses of it online were on Usenet, back in the 1990s.

You must have at least heard of 50 Shades of Grey movie, which is a good example of this sexual practice. Those books have been on the bestseller lists for a long time. This is like the bible for the BDSM culture.

So what should BDSM actually stand for?

Wikipedia defines BDSM as erotic practices or role-playing with an overlapping abbreviation of bondage and discipline (BD), dominance and submission (DS), and sadism & masochism (SM).

Bondage and Discipline

The most popular activities of BDSM are bondage or tying up, getting tied up or tying somebody up, spanking or handcuffing them to the bed. You may think it’s about pain, SNM or domination, but bondage actually has a few different meanings. Commonly, you can essentially tie, bind, restraint your partner for erotic and sensory stimulation.

The Oxford Dictionary defines discipline as the practice of training people to obey rules, using punishment to correct disobedience. In other words, instruction and correction. Although making punishment and giving instructions is what ‘discipline’ plays, it aims to help a submissive learn what to expect and how to act accordingly.

Dominance and Submission

The Dom should be comfortable with the responsibility for another person’s well-being and the Sub should be filled with joy and fulfillment at the idea of serving someone who they have an enormous amount of trust. To simply put, these two are consenting individuals who are willing to exchange roles.

Sadism &Masochism

One of the darker sides of human beings is those individuals who enjoy causing other people pain. Sadism is what we might otherwise call it. It’s one aspect for all of us to feel powerful. Masochism, on the other hand, is the sexual act on which the person was subjected to pleasure in pain, being abused or dominated. But there are limits in this act and communication is so important. Just because you like one, doesn’t necessarily mean that you will like the other one.

The BDSM culture is not only big, but it’s also growing for the past few years. In fact, 15-20% of people that have been surveyed practice BDSM, which is higher than the percentage of people that identify as gay or lesbian. Clearly, it’s a pretty popular sexual activity. But most people who do BDSM or kinky sex are not doing it in clubs or at organizations and they’re doing it behind closed doors with their partner.