Is Getting Tied Up And Spanked On The Ass Good For Your Mental Health? Science Says…

by 3 years ago

Yes, yes, yes! Science says yes! So now you have no excuse not to break out that ping pong paddle, some ropes and demand your girlfriend strap you to a pipe jutting out of your concrete basement floor and have her beat the shit out of you.

She’ll be making you a better person. From the NY Mag’s fantastic Science of Us series.

Whatever one thinks of BDSM, given the pain and intensity associated with it, it certainly doesn’t come across as a stress-reducing activity — to most outsiders, there wouldn’t appear to be anything relaxing about whips and handcuffs. And yet practitioners say that BDSM is more than just kinky sex. Some practices, they argue, can enhance the psychological well-being of their participants.

BDSM stands for–who am I kidding, you know this–Bondage, Domination and Sado-Masochism, the kind of fucking that was popularized in 50 Shades of Grey. Most people who may have loved the book could be reluctant to try it. That’s normal. It’s weird, yo. Too kinky.

But when you think about it, everything we do is weird. Yoga is weird. Eating chicken eggs is weird. And when everything is weird, nothing is. So fuck it, why not try it? Especially since it may be good for you.

The transformative effects of bondage are well known within the BDSM community. “We call it ‘rope space,’” says Roxie, who leads the New York chapter of Hitchin Bitches, a rope bondage group for women. Also called “subspace” or being “rope drunk,” submissives describe entering an altered state of consciousness in which one feels totally released from stress and present in the moment.

“There’s this ripple through your body. It’s like a drug,” said Christy, 23, who was tied up at a recent fetish party at a bar near the base of the Williamsburg Bridge in Manhattan.

Of course, any kind of sex obviously brings about feelings of euphoria (most of the time). But this may be something different. First off, there’s a huge the loss of control, which is not an activity human people frequently engage in.

[Said “Ratie”] “When you’re tied up it’s like you’re not responsible for anything else that happens and there’s a sense of freedom in that. It’s one of the few moments where I don’t have to worry about all of my responsibilities.”

There’s also potential long-term benefits from being into BDSM.

Although preliminary, there is growing scientific support for some of the BDSM community’s observations. In a study from 2013, researchers surveyed 902 BDSM practitioners and 434 “vanilla” people, asking them questions about their personality, relationships, attachment styles, and general well-being. Practitioners of bondage reported less neuroticism, a trait similar to anxiety, and more security in their relationships than people strictly into vanilla sex.

Researchers hypothesize there is a chemical cause behind the effects.

In both the 2014 experiment and another pair from 2009, [Brad Sagarin, a professor of social and evolutionary psychology at Northern Illinois] and his team took saliva samples from participants at various points as they engaged in BDSM activities. Both bottoms and tops consistently had lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, after engaging in their BDSM act than before. During the act, however, bottoms’ cortisol levels increased before coming down considerably at the end. But even when their physical stress was high, subs reported low psychological stress. The disconnect between mental and physical stress may explain some of the out-of-body experiences and sensations of floating and time distortion that people report during subspace, Sagarin hypothesizes.

There’s more evidence that being the submissive partner gives you greater mental health benefits than the dominant one, but that’s why you switch shit up.

So if you were reluctant or hesitant, just go for it. It’s as good for you as eating a handful of almonds with some Greek yogurt in the morning. But it has sex, too.


TAGS50 Shades Of GreybdsmbondageMental health

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