advertisement
Home » Blogs » NLP Discoveries » Could Kinky Sex Improve Your Relationship?

Could Kinky Sex Improve Your Relationship?

What does the term BDSM conjure up for you? Whips and chains? Weird people in masks in dark basements?

Although the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has enjoyed blockbuster success and helped to bring BDSM into the mainstream, many people hold plenty of misconceptions about it, and may still equate kinky sex with perversion, weirdness, even abuse. 

Adherents of the sexy acronym would like you to know otherwise, and they’ve got some compelling science to back them up.

BDSM, or Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism & Masochism, has been around in some form since the ancient Greeks, but seems to be enjoying a surge in popularity in recent years. According to a survey by Durex, a whopping thirty-six percent of US adults use blindfolds, bondage tools or other such toys during sex, and many others are engaging in role-playing and fantasy to spice things up in the bedroom. 

The essence of the majority of this type of activity involves an element of power-play and control, where one partner is more submissive to or dominant over the other. As a result, the interactions generally require a high degree of trust, negotiation, and communication as compared to more ‘vanilla’ or non-kinky sex. 

Dr. Sandra LaMorgese, a professional dominatrix and holistic practitioner living in New York City, believes BDSM can actually help couples relax and bond. “During BDSM sessions, clients often experience a release of dopamine and serotonin, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. These two chemicals are associated with feelings of happiness, tranquility, joy, self-confidence, emotional well-being, and motivation. In addition, the release of the chemical vasopressin compels people toward feeling bonded to one another” she says.

Here are four possible benefits of incorporating kink into your relationships:

1. Improved Communication

As mentioned above, couples who practice some form of BDSM tend to be better at communicating than their non-kinky counterparts. Most couples don’t discuss their sexual interactions much until a problem has arisen. According to author and clinical psychologist Dr. Ferrer:

“In the vanilla world, you wait for your partner to mess up before you set the rules. In the dominant/submissive relationship, you’re constantly talking, constantly communicating,” she added. “In the D-S community, there is such a high level of communication that the couples last so much longer.”

Prior to engaging in a BDSM ‘scene’, each partner must be precise when discussing their likes and dislikes, boundaries and desires, particularly when their play time involves such a high degree of trust. Using tools such as ‘safe words’ to define boundaries, and the necessity of being clear on the distinction between play time and everyday interactions strengthens and sharpens communication.

2. Increased Intimacy & Bonding

Many BDSM activities involve physical risk (bondage, restraint) and therefore necessitates and builds a high level of trust between partners. This sort of consensual adventuring actually serves to increase intimacy and closeness among couples. A 2009 study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior found that couples reporting successful BDSM activities show an increase in relationship closeness.

In addition, building this level of trust and intimacy, and creating a healthy, safe BDSM play environment takes time and energy. This investment in the relationship may discourage either partner from engaging in anything that might threaten the integrity of the relationship, such as cheating. 

3. Improved Mental Health

According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, people who practiced BDSM scored better on several mental health indicators than their more vanilla counterparts. Specifically, they were less neurotic, more open, more secure in their relationships, and had higher overall well-being. 

4. Stress & Anxiety Reduction

According to the 2009 study mentioned above, researchers found that BDSM participants consistently showed lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol following a session of bondage play. This might be attributed to the intrinsic nature of BDSM, wherein partners experience physical intensity and exhilaration while releasing expectation, judgement and anxiety around their sexuality.

A 2014 study found the practice of BDSM, particularly involving the giving or receiving of intense sensation, can actually reduce anxiety. It seems the activity alters blood flow in the brain, often leading to an altered state of consciousness, something like a runner’s high. Having a high degree of attention and focus on the physical sensations and activities of the present moment within the BDSM session may also serve to shut down the DMT (Default Mode Network) in the brain, an area linked to increased feelings of anxiety.

The skills required to successfully engage in BDSM and other forms of kinky sex – clear and open communication, self-awareness, sensitivity to the needs and desires of your partner, self-acceptance, non-judgment, and trust – serve partners well both in and out of the bedroom. 

Though BDSM may not be offered as couples counselling anytime soon, there could well be some benefit to bringing a little ‘kink’ into your sex life.

 

Sources:

https://www.medicaldaily.com/kinky-sex-6-science-backed-benefits-bdsm-321500

https://globalnews.ca/bdsm

https://www.nytimes.com/bondage-domination-and-kink-sex

Could Kinky Sex Improve Your Relationship?

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.


No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment

 

 

APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2018). Could Kinky Sex Improve Your Relationship?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 11, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2018/10/could-kinky-sex-improve-your-relationship/

 

Last updated: 10 Oct 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Oct 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.