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BDSM: A Breakdown By The Numbers

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The BDSM lifestyle, and the culture that follows it, continues to garner immense attention. The taboo behind the different aspects, “bondage and discipline, sadomasochism, or dominance and submission” has been tough to break, but one defining factor is the statistics of adults who actually consider BDSM a part of the lives, and what BDSM means to them.

Slate researched into the small sample of surveys that have been done on the culture and the numbers definitely tell a story.

3%Of 448 respondents that accessed and completed a BDSM survey in a Dutch study “indicated having had previous BDSM experience.

40%Of those surveyed had changed their “preference” or “behavior” from sadism to masochism or vice versa.

32%Of the sample indicated that BDSM play occurred less than half the time they spent in sexual activity with partners in another study, conducted in southern California, while 11.2% indicated that BDSM play was their only form of sexual activity.

61 % – Of men in the California sample, were exclusively or mainly dominant (26 percent were exclusively or mainly submissive).

80 % The number of respondents who had done bondage or flagellation in the preceding 12 months.

The riskier stuff was far less common:

piercing 21% 
skin branding 17% 
hypoxyphilia, suffocation games, also known as breath play 17% 
electric shocks 15 %
knives or razor blades 13%

48 %Of men in the Dutch sample were primarily tops (classified themselves as dominant, 33 % as submissive)

76 %Of women in the Ditch sample were primarily bottoms ( submissive, 8 percent dominant).

61 %Of men in the California sample, were exclusively or mainly dominant (26 percent were exclusively or mainly submissive).

69 %Of women in the California sample were exclusively or mainly submissive (30 percent were exclusively or mainly dominant).

27%Answered in a study of Finnish BDSM enthusiasts, “endorsed a statement suggesting that only sadomasochistic sex could satisfy them.”

5%Answered in the same study that they “no longer practiced ordinary sex.”

[Slate]

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