If you’re on online cruising and dating sites, like Collarspace, Tinder and Recon, you’d be forgiven for thinking that BDSM is just the kinky spice that’s sprinkled on top of sex. Whether you’re Top or bottom, if you stray from the prescribed script about being a nympho/stud with a “do anything” attitude, you can find the exchange of messages abruptly ending.
Some of us love sex and love BDSM. Some of us love it together, and some of us love it separately. Although it appears from online sites that BDSM is always accompanied by sex, that’s really just the nature of that “online marketplace”. People get horny and they cruise online.
It can be a very real problem for people who are looking for a BDSM encounter without the sexual element though. i wrote a bit about my own encounters a couple of years ago here, in a period when i was looking for BDSM for reasons unrelated to sex but continuously came up against Tops who related it to sexual pleasure.
BDSM WITHOUT THE SEX. IS IT POSSIBLE?
BDSM can, and does, happen without the sex all the time. Don’t be bullied into thinking otherwise by some horned-up kinkster messaging you.
There are several subcultures, or types of play, where it’s common:
• Those into the spiritual or sacred aspects of power exchange
• Master/slave “service” relationships
• Sadomasochism, where the focus is on sensation play. Many Sadists don’t derive sexual arousal from inflicting pain, and the same goes for many masochists who don’t respond to pain sexually. The encounter often has other goals, such as intense emotional bonding
• Internal Enslavement type relationships, where the focus is on “real” slavery
• Those whose sexuality is focused so much on BDSM that it surpasses sexual orientation. For some people, it doesn’t matter if they are serving a Master or a Mistress (or the other way around), as long as it happens in the right power dynamic. Their sexuality is entirely based on the spirit of Dominance/submissiveness
• A big community into imprisonment and bondage, including the shibari/kinbaku community, where sex isn’t part of the play
HOW IT FITS WITH ASEXUALITY
We posted an article about asexuality and demisexuality recently. You don’t need to be asexual or demisexual to not want sex. Often with BDSM there are other goals in the encounter. But, there are certainly asexuals and demisexuals in the BDSM community, and the high sexualisation of BDSM in online communities can make it challenging for them to find partners.
Asexuality and BDSM are both more of “a way of living” than a “sexual orientation”. i don’t mean that they’re a lifestyle choice. In most cases they probably aren’t. But they transcend sexuality and gender identity. They’re not about being straight, gay, bisexual or transexual, they’re more of a spiritual identity.
If you’re after sex mixed with your BDSM, then go with that. They mix perfectly, and you’re in good company. If your BDSM is about something other than sex, then make it clear in your profiles and when you’re talking to prospective partners. Don’t let anyone tell you that sex is an essential ingredient. It might just be an essential ingredient for THEM. If you’re clear about what you want, then there are sure to be plenty of others that want the same thing you do. There’s no need to agree to something you don’t want to do or settle for less than you know you want.