5 Reasons BDSM is Good for Your Health: Break Out the Handcuffs, Girl

Break Out the Handcuffs, Girl: Here are 6 Reasons Why BDSM is Good for Your Health
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Looking for a reason to try BDSM? Or wondering why you can’t seem to get enough? We’ve got six different reasons explaining the benefits of kinky sex.

Sometimes we develop a fantasy that simply can’t be verbalized. A longing that we feel is so taboo we’re afraid to express our inner desires to our partner—and BDSM is one such arena where these reservations may fall.

Whether it’s the fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, or fear that we might actually love it, sharing these ideas can seem impossible. For some, this leads to a life of vanilla sex forever. For others, it becomes a liberating turning point to explore the type of sex life they’ve always wanted, even if that involves whips, rope, or submission. All of which, according to research, are actually quite good for your health and the health of your relationship.

The practice of BDSM represents conventionally taboo subsets involving bondage and discipline (B&D), dominance and submission (D&S), and sadism and masochism (S&M) that often (although not always) relate to sexual acts in and out of the bedroom. While it may be a fantasy more readily discussed behind closed doors, surveys show that aspects of it are actually desired by many.

A 2014 paper published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine asked more than 1,500 men and women to rate their interest in 55 sexual fantasies. Several BDSM-themed categories turned up, including fantasies about being dominated sexually (present in 65 percent of women and 53 percent of men), dominating someone sexually (47 percent of women and 60 percent of men), and being tied up for sexual pleasure (52 percent of women and 46 percent of men). Not only does this begin to verify the popularity of BDSM practices, but it also lets you know that you’re not alone in your kink.

When done correctly, and we’re not talking about “Fifty Shades of Grey, partaking in BDSM is surprisingly good for you. Thanks to Medical Daily and their correspondence with various experts, we’ve got the lowdown on six of the benefits you can expect.

5 Reasons BDSM is Good for Your Health

1. Improves Communication and Increases Intimacy

Crediting the transparency that often accompanies a BDSM relationship, open, active, and clear communication are cornerstones for success. Between the use of “safe words” and the clear delineation between “play” (sometimes also known as a “scene”) and the day-to-day relationship, couples are required to identify when it’s time to get kinky, therefore discussing their sexuality far more often than some. Having sex increases intimacy, but throwing in a risk factor, like being tied up or blindfolded, increases it even more. What it comes down to is trust, which BDSM requires a lot of, and when the experiences go well, closeness is thought to be increased.

2. Encourages Fidelity

Because a healthy BDSM relationship requires trust that’s compounded over time, Dr. Jeffrey Sumber, a Chicago psychotherapist, believes that the individuals are less likely to stray, stating, “many who take it seriously are not interested in sabotaging the safety and trust that is imperative to its success.”

3. Better Mental Health

Citing a 2013 study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine, Medical Daily claims “people who practiced BDSM scored better on certain mental health indicators than those who had vanilla sex. The BDSM-friendly participants were less neurotic, more open, more aware of and sensitive to rejection, more secure in their relationships, and had a better overall well-being.” Furthermore, BDSM relationships have a lot of skin-to-skin contact, which one expert says promotes “physiological and physical healing.”

4. Reduces Psychological Stress

Believe it or not, being vulnerable during a BDSM session is actually said to leave participants feeling less stressed. Not only are the anxieties and insecurities we often feel during sex overcome by the ability to let go of judgement and control, but according to the aforementioned study, bottoms and tops (submissives and dominants) both had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol after participating in bondage.

5. Reduces Anxiety

In addition to all of the other benefits, Medical Daily also pointed out that the “sexual enjoyment of giving or receiving pain can actually reduce anxiety even for the most anxious of souls in the bedroom.” And according to a separate study presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Austin, Texas, it was revealed that S&M changes the brain’s blood flow, sometimes contributing to an “altered state of consciousness” akin to a runner’s high or yoga. The tranquility felt by the participant (most likely a sub) is believed to be caused by the lack of blood flow to the the brain, therefore reducing anxiety.

The conclusion? When you explore your sexuality safely, legally, and openly, there are loads of benefits to feeling liberated and in touch with your inner desires—even if that means you like a good flogging every now and then.

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