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A light slap?

The alternative lifestyle of BDSM and sado-masochism is often shown in a humoristic way. The woman dressed as Cat woman with a whip in her hand. Is it really only an innocent expression of a fantasy? Not at all... Anke Brand answers Intimacy4Us’s answers.

What is BDSM exactly? Is it the school teacher outfit with a ruler in hand or is it more serious than role play?
The answers are as many as the people who exercise this! Simply told, BDSM is a form of human sexual behaviour and it represents Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism. In the case for sado-masochism (SM) the sadist gets sexual satisfaction out of causing his partner pain. On the other hand the masochist gets sexual pleasure from the pain or humiliation.

Domination and subjugation differ from the above mentioned in that there is no pain involved. They are based on a relationship between two people based on power, with the aim of erotic fulfilment. One person is the controller (dominant) and the other is the controlled (submissive). The controlled gives the controller permission to control parts relating to their lives. It can be something as simple as the controller telling the controlled what to wear every day, or as complicated as the controlled having to ask permission before leaving the room.

The most important aspect to keep in mind is that dominance and controlling must be consensual – both prefer it so and the boundaries are decided before hand. What happens with the controlled (no matter the demands set), it happens with consent and the person must be able to function within the relationship.

What leads people to this? Is this a psychological or sexual tendency?
It’s the search for an aim in life. For some it‘s about power and control and to force their will onto others. They want to be the controlling force in the other’s lives and that influences their choices directly. They get satisfaction in over-powering others. Others get pleasure from being controlled, to give up their rights and freedom like a slave and in so doing getting fulfilment.

Further BDSM can be done in the spirit of experimentation and being inquisitive, also a sexual need that needs releasing.
Sexual preferences can be identified in broad terms as any form of sexual behaviour that doesn’t have normal intercourse as the end goal. In the past domination was a psychological or spiritual disturbance. Today most of BDSM activities are not classified as disturbances. It is important to note that Sadism and Masochism are medical terms and that they are classified as paraphillia/sexual dysfunction.

What grades are there in these practises (so what is typically mild and what is extreme)?
The extreme form of dominance and controlling are attached to bondage and disciplining where it’s not about pain, but also about control, humiliation and pleasure in a sexual or erotic context. The limits and boundaries are agreed upon beforehand.

In this case the dominant (sometimes also known as the master) will punish the controlled or slave to control the behaviour. The punishment or disciplining can vary from physical pain (sometimes beating the other person with a whip or rod), psychological humiliation (like public humiliation) or loss of freedom (to chain the person’s foot to the bed). It then leads to other perverse activities like pet play, where people act like human pets. They assume the characteristics of an animal often wear collars and get led around by a lead. Also extreme humiliation where the controlled/slave is expected to do perverse acts and is then treated cruelly. This includes physical punishment, abuse and psychological humiliation. And lastly breathe play, where the dominant with the help of an oxygen mask controls the amount of oxygen the controlled receives. This is an extreme form of control and can be life threatening.

You can see that BDSM has a variety of categories and it depends on the individual preference and fantasy. BDSM can get progressively worse and more extreme where the end product may be perverse sex, rape, abuse and physical injury. On a physical level it can lead to a person losing consciousness, heart attacks, lack of blood flow to extremities during bondage, nerves can be damaged and in extreme cases death.

The deceased serial killer, Ted Bundy, spoke to Dr James Dobson in an interview that his road to murder started with pornography and progressively got worse. He was involved with BDSM.

Certain practitioners or sex therapists confirm: If it stays between two people and both consent, why is it bad?
It’s against God’s design for a healthy life and healthy sexuality. Unhealthy values are ignored. God gave us the wonderful gift of sex to enjoy within the boundaries of marriage. God’s creation for sex was meant to be a loving, intimate experience. It’s completely against the selfishness, lust and dominative experiences of BDSM.

Sado- masochism, including domination and humiliation, can take place between different people in any sexual context. In other words, it’s not limited to heterosexual (man and woman) one- to –one relationships. It includes homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, people with affairs outside the marriage, swapping of partners (swinging), orgies and single people.

So, how do you draw the line between these activities and role play between man and woman (we tell our readers that they can freely express themselves through role play)?
The BDSM relationship, like swinging, is regarded as sub culture and not part of mainstream relationships. For the people who participate in BDSM it’s a lifestyle. This alternative lifestyle is exercised regularly and is a main focus. If you look at the definitions of words that are associated with BDSM, it’s obviously not based on love. It’s in fact based on control, dominance, humiliation, lust and pleasure.

Therefore it’s not the same as the occasional role play between man and woman. Healthy role play in the bedroom is based on a warm and safe space with consensual trust and permission. It’s not aggressive and there’s no anxiety, fear, pain or abuse involved.

Well after the information just given to you, this sin is obvious. Is this practise also wrong according to the Bible?

God created man to enjoy life and to find pleasure in things like music, art, sport, food and definitely sex. But our sinful nature’s sometimes inclined to combine sinful deeds with various forms of pleasure.

In the case of BDSM sex becomes self pleasure, selfish and lustful and definitely not the will of God. The Bible speaks of Idolatry, self worship. Romans 12:1-2 and 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 teaches us that our bodies are created in God’s image. Therefore everything we do with our bodies (even if it’s for pleasure), must not go against the Word of God. Therefore:

  1. In everything you do, glorify God.
  2. It may not be forbidden in the Bible.
  3. It must not prevent us from completing our responsibilities.
  4. It must not lead us into sin.
  5. It must not endanger our health.
  6. We must not attach more value onto it than our love for God.
  7. Proficiency must be the measuring stick. When the desire becomes a habit that can’t be broken, it holds our soul and spirit in the balance.