The fetish scene is full of sexual stereotypes, but there are more than one ways to do BDSM. Writer Kayla Lords debunks five far too common and annoying myths, all while providing you with some inspiration to heat things up.
 


Let’s begin with full disclosure. I most definitely fall into one of the biggest sexual stereotypes; a female submissive with her own male dominant. While I may receive the most representation in every form of erotica, porn, and art, I promise you, my way of doing D/s isn’t the only way - not by a mile.
 

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Diversity exists

Sexual stereotypes in BDSM are all too familiar. The simpering female, naked and kneeling before her strong, manly, and devilishly handsome dominant partner is what you’re probably used to seeing. And it makes for some hot, steamy scenes to read or view. But don’t ever confuse it with BDSM and kink in the real world. The real world is much more diverse than the fantasy we see in different forms of media.
 

Eluding sexual stereotypes

Domination isn’t inherently masculine, just as submission isn’t inherently feminine. I don’t care what media ad campaigns or trashy romance novels try to tell us. Dominant females most definitely exist. You may be familiar with the term “Domme” or “Dominatrix.” In my experience, the second term is more affiliated with professional Dominants (pro-Dom or pro-Domme). So clearly, women dominate their partners.

One of my dear female friends eludes the kinky sexual stereotypes and identifies primarily as dominant, preferring to be called “Master” over “Mistress.” On the opposite side of the D/s stereotype, submission isn’t only for women. There are some relationship dynamics that lean heavily in that direction, especially Christian households or 1950s households. The people who follow those dynamics prefer them. However, that doesn’t mean they’re the standard or that any deviation from male dominant/female submissive is wrong. Men can most definitely be submissive and not always to female Dominants.

 

Sexual stereotypes: man with ball gag and high heels
The BDSM scene is full of sexual stereotypes.

 

D/s in the real world

Let me give you a real-world example from my local area. The friend I mentioned, who prefers the term “Master” - well, she has a female slave. She mentors other submissives, primarily female but not always. In her work as a pro-Domme (yes, she does that, too), the vast majority of her clients are men.

I have two other friends who have formed a leather BDSM family. The head of their household is a transwoman with primarily male submissives. One of her male submissives has taken on his own submissives  (as he taps into his dominant side) who are mostly female. Her other male submissive is dominant to his girlfriend.

 

Sex is not guaranteed

Another aspect in all of these pairings and partnerings that defies the D/s sexual stereotypes is that there is very little sex happening. It can and does when partners are willing, but it’s not a guarantee. Everyone explores their desires (dominant or submissive) with other willing partners, regardless of gender.

Of course, if your idea of D/s in BDSM is male dominant, female submissive (usually naked or in some state of undress), you probably associate the dynamic with two things: kinky sex and heterosexuality. Well, my friends, think again.

 

Not everyone in D/s is straight

Those friends of mine who have different pairings, different relationships, and different dynamics? Well, in that mix are gay, lesbian, straight, queer, you name it. The common bond is that they're all into BDSM. Some pairings are very sexual, while others are purely for the power exchange and the feeling that dominance or submission creates in the person.

If you’re a lesbian submissive and play with a bi-sexual man who happens to submit to a genderqueer, asexual person, guess what? That’s equally as “normal” as anything else we do in BDSM. Forget the images you see, the porn you watch, and the books you read for a moment. Think about what makes you happy and fulfilled. You and your partner(s) don’t have to look like any of what you see for it to be real.

Now, as a person living the BDSM lifestyle with friends who don’t fit the typical kinky stereotypes, I would love to see more people of colour and different sexualities sharing their thoughts, creating beautiful BDSM imagery, and making more porn. Like the rest of the world, BDSM can always use more voices from different backgrounds and experiences to paint a more authentic picture of what it can mean for all people.
 


Kayla Lords is a freelance writer, sex blogger, and a masochistic babygirl living the 24/7 D/s life. 


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