Friday, June 16, 2006

What is BDSM?

When many hear the term BDSM they begin to imagine sinister underground dungeons where by leather wearing pierced masochists impose excruciating pain on their victims. This of course could be seen as true in some instances but this is not what BDSM is all about. BDSM cannot be defined by one activity alone, two activities, or even three, in fact it would accurate to say that BDSM cannot be defined by any number of activities, it's a lifestyle choice which is entirely unique.

The term 'BDSM' encompasses an immeasurable range of sexual, sensual and intimate activities. The most common can include power or role play, a range of sensory games from the extreme infliction of intense pain to the gentle tease of a feather and much more. Many have even participated in an act that could sit under the caveat of BDSM without even knowing it and this style of sexuality is ever on the increase whether you are aware of it or not.

So what is it? The term BDSM itself is actually made up from abbreviations of other terms. B & D represents 'bondage and dominance' or 'bondage and discipline'. D & S represents 'dominance and submission' and S & M represents 'sadism and masochism'. With all these terms sitting under the BDSM belt it is easier to see exactly why BDSM can be extremely hard to define and is simply more straightforward to view as a way of life.

Contrary to popular belief BDSM is not that irregular. In fact as much as 50% of the population have a varying degree of interest in the subject and that's with them being knowledgeable enough to know what it encompasses. If you include in those figures couples that may have restrained each other to a bed or the simple use of a blindfold you could expect that percentage to soar. Historically this behaviour was listed as a psychological problem in a similar vain to masturbation and homosexuality. Today, however, as are homosexuality and masturbation becoming increasingly accepted in society, so is BDSM.

As well as being hard to define there are also no set practices within BDSM. For many, possibly the majority, it is seen as a way to add an element of spice and enjoyment to their sex lives. Others can view BDSM as a way to gain fulfilment or a temporary release from everyday life, a kind of escapism if you will. Still others will view it as a way to deepen the bond between partners. This list of varying views could continue but it is far simpler to point out that there are possibly as many views as there are people involved in the subject. Although the list of views varies dramatically the people behind them all share something in common and that something is known as SSC.

Like BDSM, SSC is also an acronym. It stands for Safe, Sane and Consensual. Safe means that precautions are taken to prevent harm or injury to those involved. Sane means that mental and emotional safety is also cared for and consensual almost speaks for itself; all parties involved agreeing to participate without coercion.

The majority involved in BDSM share a heightened sense of responsibility and respect for their partners. BDSM has absolutely nothing to do with violence against a helpless victim. It is this kind of common misconception that responsible BDSM participants wish to dispel. Restraining a partner and beating them is not BDSM but simply brutality. The heightened sense of responsibility and respect often results in a positive side effect of superior levels of communication which, in the BDSM world, is essential and something that the majority of mainstream couples would be advised to adapt.

As confusing as BDSM is it is far easier to see why some misconceptions are formed. Most physical or 'scene' practices generally are not what they seem. The stereotypical image of the dominant doing as he/she wants with complete disregard to the submissive is one that plagues the BDSM community.

In reality nothing could be further from the truth, the submissive always has the final say. Responsible participants practice the use of good communication up front, the use of a 'safe word' which will stop the action immediately and a period of communication after any event to discuss what could be better for the next time.

Another common misconception is that BDSM is dangerous. Certainly some specific activities are more athletic than others but running an ice cube along a partners' body probably isn't life threatening. For the more strenuous activities it is advisable that the players are in good physical shape and have a good understanding of what they are doing and this is where the community aspect can play a helpful part. The shared education and experience of others can prove invaluable. Furthermore BDSM is not intended to be sexist. Sexism imposes dominant/submissive roles according to gender whereas BDSM roles are designated according to feelings and shared eroticism.

The more elaborate BDSM activities take a lot of preparation, attention, time and energy. When it comes to sex many practitioners often find themselves having more non-BDSM sex than they do BDSM sex but as we've already discussed it's not all about sex. BDSM is as much an attitude as it is an act and often spills into non-sexual related activities. A simple everyday task of travelling could see the dominant driving to express power or the submissive driving as an expression of caring for the dominant. Who's actually in charge can be far from obvious.

So who likes BDSM? I think the more appropriate question is who doesn't like BDSM? People interested in BDSM come from all walks of life. From those with abusive backgrounds where BDSM activities are part of the healing process, those with healthy backgrounds who are looking for fulfilment to those who are identified as 'lifers' who have had fantasies from as far back as they can remember and are now making them a reality.

One thing you can be sure of is that BDSM will always attract a certain curiosity. People will come from all genders and orientations establishing common ground between heterosexuals, homosexuals and any other orientation that you can think of. Before you dismiss BDSM and vouch that you would never participate in such an act or lifestyle, can you be so sure that you haven't, to a certain degree, done so already?
Author Info:

Jenna Stevenson is a tester of adult sex toys at Batteries Not Included. Her reviews and opinions on sex toys can be found at http://www.batteries-not-included.co.uk

Pleasuring Her Sexuality – A Woman's Desires and Needs

The uniqueness of every female in the world is an enigma that is difficult to solve.

When it comes to pleasuring her sexuality, there is no one-way to please every woman with one style or approach.

Each woman is different, needing individual attention to her desires and needs, where giving her pleasure becomes an exploration in what makes this one unique person sexually satisfied.

When initiating sexual intercourse with a female, one can engage in pleasing her sexuality several ways.

During a sexual act, couples may change from position to position, at any moment.

Many can sense the act of pleasure when a female expresses herself in ways including moaning or a tight grip.

Missionary Position

One of the most common positions used in pleasuring her sexuality is called the missionary position, where the man is on top of the female, directly penetrating her vagina. The women’s legs are usually open while she is positioned on the bottom.

There is also a side entry missionary position where the woman is on the side, while the man penetrates from behind.

Other missionary positions include:

· The woman on the bottom with her legs tightly closed

· The woman on the bottom with her thighs pressed against her chest

· The woman on the bottom while the man holds her legs in the air.

Woman on Top

Sometimes a woman can suceed in increasing her pleasure when she takes over the top position. When a woman sits on top of a man while facing him, this is called the Cowgirl Sex position. The Reverse Cowgirl is when the woman is facing away from the man when she is sitting on top. Usually, a woman can better control the intensity of the sexual act, as well as her organism, when she is commanding the top position.

Sexual Positions

When pleasuring her sexuality, you should know that there are various sexual positions that feature a playful take on the animal kingdom:

· The Butterfly Position involves a woman lying on her back while the man stands and lifts the female’s pelvis for a more satisfying penetration.

· The Octopus Position deals with a woman resting her legs on the man’s shoulders while she is on the bottom.

· When the woman is on all fours, facing downward, she is prepared for the “Doggy-style” position, where the man enters the woman from behind.

· When the woman lowers her torso in the Doggy Position, she is engaging in what is referred to as the “Froggy” position.

· Pleasuring her sexuality can seem easier when a man enters the woman from above as her legs are spread open, allowing more intense penetration. This position is referred to as either the “Spread-eagle” or “Spider” position.

When you are at home with your sweetie and the mood has set in, there are plenty of household objects available when a man is interested in pleasuring her.

Various pieces of furniture can increase stimulation:

· A man can kneel in front of his woman while she is sitting in a chair.

· A woman could sit on the edge of almost any chair or couch, depending on the height and spread her legs, as the man enters.

· She can also spread over a piece of furniture, such as a table or countertop while a man enters from behind.

There is a certain feeling of naughtiness when two lovers make love in rooms other than the bedroom.

There are endless ways to please one another during an intimate moment.

Sometimes a sensual act could be as simple as watching a woman pleasuring her sexuality in the form of masturbation. It can be a successful turn-on for both parties when either one or both participate.
Author Info:

More sexuality information and FREE exclusive diet and health magazines, are available on our web site: http://www.net-planet.org

Embracing Your Sexuality: Asking For What You Want

Many men and woman complain that they don’t have a great sex life and they are resentful toward their spouse or their partner for this. What we need to learn is; are we the real reason behind this and is our resentfulness is misplaced?

While our sexual experiences are often influenced by the people we have sex with, we are the ones that need to define what we want from our sex lives, and then seek that out. When we can embrace our sexuality and tell the people that we are physical with what we want, only then can we experience what we fantasize about. For instance, if you have many fantasies that play over and over again in your mind but you do not tell your spouse about them, why are you resentful towards them?

If you know what you want sexually you need to embrace that and learn how to tell the person you are having sex with what you want! While most couples are close, unfortunately, for the most part, partners cannot become mind readers. No amount of subtle hints are a substitute for a verbal instruction. Only when you realize that communication is paramount within a relationship, including the bedroom, will you embrace the full potential of it and thus stop misplacing that resentment.

If you feel uncomfortable talking about what you want from your sex life, try to show your partner. Experts often say that acting out what you want done to you in a sexual sense is the best way to let your partner know what you want. If you don’t think that will work or you aren’t quite that brave, don’t be afraid to write it down! Why not send a racy email or even pin a letter on the pillow of your partner to let them know what you want but are too shy to ask for! Not only will this add an element of fun and excitement to your sex life because you are asking for new and different things, your fantasies might very well be fulfilled.

By sharing what you want you may be able to try the things that you have always wanted to try, in addition to other things that may come along as you experiment. Fulfilling your fantasies will undoubtedly lead to more new and interesting things for you to try, as well as a new closeness between you and your partner.

Author Info:
Jenna Stevenson is a tester of adult sex toys at http://www.batteries-not-included.co.uk and offers adult toy advice at http://www.thelatestvibe.co.uk

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Natural Roots of Sexuality

Recent studies in animal sexuality serve to dispel two common myths: that sex is exclusively about reproduction and that homosexuality is an unnatural sexual preference. It now appears that sex is also about recreation as it frequently occurs out of the mating season. And same-sex copulation and bonding are common in hundreds of species, from bonobo apes to gulls.

Moreover, homosexual couples in the Animal Kingdom are prone to behaviors commonly - and erroneously - attributed only to heterosexuals. The New York Times reported in its February 7, 2004 issue about a couple of gay penguins who are desperately and recurrently seeking to incubate eggs together.

In the same article ("Love that Dare not Squeak its Name"), Bruce Bagemihl, author of the groundbreaking "Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity", defines homosexuality as "any of these behaviors between members of the same sex: long-term bonding, sexual contact, courtship displays or the rearing of young."

Still, that a certain behavior occurs in nature (is "natural") does not render it moral. Infanticide, patricide, suicide, gender bias, and substance abuse - are all to be found in various animal species. It is futile to argue for homosexuality or against it based on zoological observations. Ethics is about surpassing nature - not about emulating it.

The more perplexing question remains: what are the evolutionary and biological advantages of recreational sex and homosexuality? Surely, both entail the waste of scarce resources.

Convoluted explanations, such as the one proffered by Marlene Zuk (homosexuals contribute to the gene pool by nurturing and raising young relatives) defy common sense, experience, and the calculus of evolution. There are no field studies that show conclusively or even indicate that homosexuals tend to raise and nurture their younger relatives more that straights do.

Moreover, the arithmetic of genetics would rule out such a stratagem. If the aim of life is to pass on one's genes from one generation to the next, the homosexual would have been far better off raising his own children (who carry forward half his DNA) - rather than his nephew or niece (with whom he shares merely one quarter of his genetic material.)
What is more, though genetically-predisposed, homosexuality may be partly acquired, the outcome of environment and nurture, rather than nature.

An oft-overlooked fact is that recreational sex and homosexuality have one thing in common: they do not lead to reproduction. Homosexuality may, therefore, be a form of pleasurable sexual play. It may also enhance same-sex bonding and train the young to form cohesive, purposeful groups (the army and the boarding school come to mind).

Furthermore, homosexuality amounts to the culling of 10-15% of the gene pool in each generation. The genetic material of the homosexual is not propagated and is effectively excluded from the big roulette of life. Growers - of anything from cereals to cattle - similarly use random culling to improve their stock. As mathematical models show, such repeated mass removal of DNA from the common brew seems to optimize the species and increase its resilience and efficiency.

It is ironic to realize that homosexuality and other forms of non-reproductive, pleasure-seeking sex may be key evolutionary mechanisms and integral drivers of population dynamics. Reproduction is but one goal among many, equally important, end results. Heterosexuality is but one strategy among a few optimal solutions. Studying biology may yet lead to greater tolerance for the vast repertory of human sexual foibles, preferences, and predilections. Back to nature, in this case, may be forward to civilization.


Sam Vaknin ( samvak.tripod.com ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Global Politician, Central Europe Review, PopMatters, Bellaonline, and eBookWeb, a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101. Until recently, he served as the Economic Advisor to the Government of Macedonia. Visit Sam's Web site at samvak.tripod.com

Rate Your Sex Drive & How It Effects Your Relationships

This small questionnaire will only take a few moments. Try to answer the questions as honestly as you can, after all only you have access to the answers. Just make a note of your answers, then calculate your scoring; then you'll find out how your sex drive is effecting your relationships!

Q1. How often do you have sex with your partner?
a) everyday. b) 2 or 3 times a week. c) 2 or 3 times a month. d) Less.

Q2. How often do you have sex with someone other than your partner?
a) everyday. b) 1 or 2 times a week. c) occasionally. d) Never.

Q3. How often do you think about having sex?
a) everyday. b) 2 or 3 times a week. c) 2 or 3 times a month. d) Less.

Q4. How often do you masturbate?
a) everyday. b) 2 or 3 times a week. c) 2 or 3 times a month. d) Less.

Q5. When having sex with your partner, do you ever use Sex Toys?
a) yes, a lot. b) yes, occasionally. c) I've tried it. d) Never.

Q6. When masturbating, do you ever use Sex Toys?
a) yes, a lot. b) yes, occasionally. c) I've tried it. d) Never.

Q7. Do you ever role-play when having sex, i.e. dressing up?
a) yes, a lot. b) yes, occasionally. c) I've tried it. d) Never.

In this segment, mark ALL the answers that apply!

Q8. What events are most likely to turn you on?
a) watching an x-rated movie (with your partner or on your own).
b) watching the Saturday Night premier, with the love scenes.
c) waking up/going to bed next to your partner
d) romantic dinner / evening for the two of you.

Q9. Where have you had sex?
a) in the bedroom
b) all over the house
c) in the garden
d) in a public place

Q10. What fantasies have you fulfilled?
a) yours
b) your partners
c) ones that you saw in an x-rated movie or magazine
d) none

SCORING:
Just tally the all the values beside the answers that you have selected; remember that questions 8, 9 and 10 may have multiple answers.
Q1. a)3 b)2 c)1 d)0 Q2. a)3 b)2 c)1 d)0 Q3. a)3 b)2 c)1 d)0 Q4. a)3 b)2 c)1 d)0 Q5. a)3 b)2 c)1 d)0 Q6. a)3 b)2 c)1 d)0 Q7. a)3 b)2 c)1 d)0 Q8. a)1 b)1 c)1 d)1 Q9. a)1 b)1 c)1 d)1 Q10. a)1 b)1 c)1 d)1

INTERPRETING YOUR SCORE:
IF YOU SCORE TOTAL IS BETWEEN 0 and 11.
You have a very low sex drive. This may have a negative effect on your relationships. I know that a healthy relationship is not based on sex, they are based on trust, love, and communication. However intimacy leads to intimacy; what I mean is that there are different forms of intimacy, touch intimacy (non sexual, like hugs, caress, holding hands, massage, etc.), verbal intimacy and sexual intimacy. When you are have sexual intimacy with your partner you are laying the paving stones, for a more intimate relationship. You will have to try and loose some of your inhibitions allowing your partner the key, or at least lending him the key more often. You can obtain tutorial books and DVD's on learning how to become more intimate with your partner.

IF YOU SCORE TOTAL IS BETWEEN 12 and 22.
You have a perfectly healthy and normal sex drive. This will have a positive effect on your relationships. Your sexual intimacy will lead to other forms of intimacy with your partner, ultimately taking you to the next level.

IF YOU SCORE TOTAL IS BETWEEN23 and 33.
You have a high sex drive. This may have a negative effect on any relationships you have. You have to balance all the different aspects of intimacy; what I mean is that there are different forms of intimacy, touch intimacy (non-sexual, like hugs, caress, holding hands, massage, etc.), verbal intimacy and sexual intimacy. If you focus on just one, your relationships will struggle to get to next level. you need to understand that there are more to relationships than just sex. What I recommend is more masturbating to cure your urge so that you can focus on balancing intimacy types to try to take you to deeper relationship that is more meaningful. You can use sex toys for more satisfying masturbation!

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