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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.

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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HOW COMMON IS BDSM?

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Fairly common, as it turns out, which isn’t super surprising. A survey of more than 9,000 people in Finland revealed that about 35 percent of men and 38 percent of women were interested in BDSM sex. Interest was much higher among non-heterosexual respondents vs. heterosexual ones and among younger respondents (18–28 years old) vs. older ones.

When it came to having participated in BDSM, more non-heterosexual people had tried BDSM than straight people. Thirty-seven percent of women had been submissive once or more as compared to 23 percent of men, and 32 percent of men had been dominant once or more as compared to 25 percent of women. These findings were in line with previous studies showing that men skew more toward dominant, and women skew more toward submissive. It’s worth noting, however, that these numbers dropped to single digits (except for bisexual people) when the frequency increased to monthly or more. This suggests that while BDSM may be common for people to try, it’s far less common for BDSM to be a regular part of sex.

The study also assessed associations between personality traits and interest in BDSM. For both men and women there was a negative association between BDSM interest and honesty-humility and conscientiousness, but there was a positive association between interest in BDSM and openness to experience. The study authors noted that for personality associations, “the effect sizes were negligible at best, thus offering no real practical implications.”

One of the biggest limitations of the study was that all the respondents were twins or siblings, so they may have been raised differently than only children. The study authors didn’t mention it, but it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that there might be some sort of genetic predispositions to certain sexual activities as well.

Interested in other studies about BDSM? Check out all of our posts about BDSM research.

Movie Reviews: They/Them/Us & Love and Leashes

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Image of a seated, smiling Korean man in business clothes wrapped in bondage tape with a Korean woman in business clothes stands beside him holding part of the tape.
Promotional image for Love and Leashes

Note: This post contains spoilers.

It’s rare for even one mainstream movie about BDSM to be released in a given year, let alone two. But just within the past month, two such movies have come out: the American They/Them/Us and the Korean Love and Leashes. Both movies portray mentally stable people who happen to be into BDSM, male s-types, and one lead character who introduces the other to the lifestyle. That’s where the similarities end, however. And one film tackles the topic much more successfully than the other.

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The Complete Guide to BDSM Spanking

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Illustration of a man bent over a woman's lap while she spanks him.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases made via some of the links below (at no additional cost to you). 

Spanking is one of our favorite BDSM activities because it’s such an effective way to combine intimacy, eroticism, and D/s in one maneuver that’s pretty easy to learn and doesn’t require any special equipment. Our guide covers everything you need to know. 

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Intro to BDSM Knife Play

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Knife with damascus steel blade resting on sheepskin.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases made via some of the links below (at no additional cost to you). We may also earn a small commission if you make a purchase via some of the other links below.

Knife play is the use of knives for sensation, fear, or both in BDSM scenes. Sound exciting? It is! But there’s a lot to learn before you attempt this form of edge play. Our guide covers all the basics. 

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