Bound Together
One couple’s insights into BDSM

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About CNC But Were Afraid to Ask

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Originally posted on September 25, 2018; updated on December 5, 2022

Man pinning woman's wrists to wall

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When I first started getting in touch with my kinky side and learning about BDSM, I became obsessed with consensual nonconsent (CNC). I thought CNC—also known as rape or ravishment fantasies—would be the ultimate way to lose control. By obsessed I mean I thought about it daily, researched it constantly, and knew it was something I needed to do. I started reading Casual Encounters on Craigslist regularly (back when that section still existed) to see what my options might be. Ultimately I was too scared to go that route, though, and it wasn’t until I met Vagabond that I was able to make my dream come true. 

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The Biggest BDSM Beginner Mistakes 

Blocks that spell out "Dos" and "Don'ts"

Once you realize you’re kinky, it can be tempting to dive headfirst into BDSM without taking the time to learn some basic do’s and don’ts. We certainly made our fair share of missteps in the beginning! We’ve grouped some of the most common BDSM beginner mistakes into four categories: basic misunderstandings, too much too soon, unsafe practices, and fear of failure. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

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The Best Examples of BDSM on TV

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Yasmin and Robert from Industry looking at each other as she stands still on a treadmill and he runs on the one next to her.
Yasmin and Robert in Industry. Photograph by Amanda Searle/HBO.

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Some of the best depictions of BDSM—specifically D/s—on TV appear in shows that aren’t about BDSM at all. And sometimes the D/s is so subtle to those who aren’t in the know that it escapes reviewers’ attention. But that’s part of what makes it so fun to spot if you are kinky! It’s like you and the writers are in on a little secret. In this post, we’ll explore some of the best examples of BDSM and D/s on TV that are hiding in plain sight.  

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The Only Kinky Movies You’ll Ever Need to See

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Scene from the movie Belle de Jour in which Catherine Deneuve's wrists are bound with rope while a man kisses her neck.
Belle de Jour

Originally posted on August 5, 2018; updated on October 10, 2022. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases made via some of the links below (at no additional cost to you).

In recent years, there have been a slew of lists in mainstream media (usually timed with the release of yet another 50 Shades movie) identifying “the best BDSM movies” or movies that “do BDSM better than 50 Shades” (a pretty low bar, if you ask us). But do these roundups really represent the best kinky movies?

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Do BDSM Subs Have Low Self-Esteem?

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Woman sitting on the floor with her head bent over as if she is sad.

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There’s a common perception among non-BDSM practitioners that submissives suffer from low self-esteem. Otherwise, how could they possibly allow themselves to be debased (so the thinking goes)? This belief is bolstered by people in the BDSM community who admit to feeling worthless and believe themselves to be inferior to just about everyone. But exactly how true is the assumption that BDSM subs have low self-esteem?

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Why Is Monogamy Rare in the BDSM Scene?

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Close-up of two hands wrapped together in chains

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When Vagabond and I met, neither of us realized just how lucky we were to stumble across each other—two monogamous BDSM practitioners in a sea of nonmonogamous kinksters. At the time, I was still fairly new to BDSM, and though Vagabond was not, he didn’t realize how overwhelmingly nonmonogamous the BDSM scene is. It wasn’t until we started attending BDSM events together that we noticed what a rarity we are as a monogamous couple. But why? 

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Research Recap: Do Kinky College Students Value Consent?

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Woman holding sign that says "Let's talk about sex consent baby..." with "sex" crossed out indicating an emphasis on consent-seeking behavior

It’s an understatement to say that consent is a big deal among people in the BDSM community. Whether online, at a big event, or in a class at the local BDSM dungeon, teachers and event leaders never go near the sexy stuff until they’ve covered consent and risk awareness. There have been lots of studies demonstrating that BDSM community members have good consent practices relative to the general population, but what about all the kinksters who haven’t yet entered the scene? How common is kink in the general public, and do they behave like BDSM community members with respect to consent-seeking behavior and safety? Caroline C. Boyd-Rogers and her fellow researchers conducted a study called “BDSM Proclivity Among College Students” to find out. The results were published in Springer Nature in 2022.

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Why BDSM Education Is Essential 

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Man at a teacher's desk holding a book and microscope while woman in plaid skirt stands above him on desk holding a pointer.

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What’s one of the main things that separates good BDSM players from bad ones? Education! Learning as much as you possibly can about how to do various kinky activities is crucial not only for safety but for maximizing pleasure. We might all have different kinks, but we doubt you’ll find a partner who wants to see you fumble around in the bedroom or make a careless yet dangerous mistake. And even if you already have great chemistry with the only play partner you’ll ever want to fuck, we’ll explain why education is not only necessary and fun, but can take your BDSM life to the next level.

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The Ultimate Guide to Breath Play and Choking

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Woman in lingerie on a bed wearing a collar and leash while another woman straddles her and pulls on the leash while holding her neck with her hand

As many as 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men have been choked during sex. Why, then, if choking is so common, is it so difficult to find information about how to do it? Because it’s dangerous. So dangerous, in fact, that many seasoned BDSM players avoid it at all costs. Despite this (or maybe because of it?), a lot of kinksters—like us—enjoy breath play and approach it in a risk-aware way, which is what this guide is about. We’ll cover the inherent risks of choking and breath play and the best techniques to mitigate them. Note that we didn’t say eliminate them, because breath play is never going to be truly safe. That said, some types of breath play are more dangerous than others.  

On that note, what this guide is not: A how-to on choking someone until they lose consciousness or autoerotic asphyxiation. We don’t engage in breath play to that degree because the risks are too high.

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Bound Together
One couple’s insights into BDSM