Bound Together
One couple’s insights into BDSM


How Common Is BDSM?


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.

The Scandalous Origins of “Story of O” 

Story of O cover

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Most people who are into BDSM are familiar with Story of O, a novel about a woman who undergoes intensive training at a French chateau to become a sex slave. But the details of how this infamous book came about—and the woman who wrote it—are perhaps less widely known but just as intriguing.


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

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.


The Complete Guide to BDSM Spanking

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

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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. 


Intro to BDSM Knife Play

Knife with damascus steel blade resting on sheepskin.

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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. 


Pro Dommes Requiring COVID-19 Vaccinations


Many pro dommes in the U.S. and elsewhere are now requiring their subs to get vaccinated before they will agree to session with them. Although some dommes have seen a dip in business because of this requirement, the majority of their subs have complied. Even subs who were initially reluctant usually agreed to get jabbed rather than give up seeing their mistress.

For dommes, requiring vaccinations is the smart and right thing to do given the fact that social distancing isn’t really feasible during most sessions. Vaccine mandates are also in keeping with the BDSM community’s heavy emphasis on safety.

Hopefully this trend will continue!

Bound Together
One couple’s insights into BDSM