BDSM, which people usually understand as very kinky sex, is an acronym that stands for Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, and Masochism. While it used to be considered highly taboo, lately it has become more accepted by society and mainstream, especially after the release of movies and books such as 50 Shades of Grey.
However, BDSM isn't just about kinky sex. Recent studies have shown that there are some serious health benefits to it. Therefore, here are six health benefits of practicing BDSM.
Ideal for Your Mental Well-being
There's an odd generalization that people who practice BDSM are somewhat darker and more psychologically damaged. However, a large-scale sexual health study on the mental well-being of those that practiced BDSM compared to those that are maybe sexually more traditional found that BDSM practitioners would have better attachments and relationships than their counterparts. They were also far less anxious, more intimate and far more extroverted, which led to very positive mental health and general happiness.
Less Stressed Out
BDSM practitioners have an altered state of consciousness when they engage in their activities, which was found to be much like a meditative state. That meant they produced less cortisol (which is a chemical strongly connected to stress) and subsequently were far more relaxed. Therefore, they benefited from all the things that meditation usually offers, including a stronger immune system and lower blood pressure.
Positive relationships are usually a cause for better mental health and increased levels of happiness. Researchers found that BDSM practitioners had increased levels of intimacy towards their partners. Novel sexual acts were found to trigger the brain's reward system, meaning that they had increased levels of dopamine. Dopamine is widely considered the brain's pleasure chemical.
The researchers found that the increased levels of intimacy also resulted in increased levels of connectedness. That means BDSM couples enjoy being around each other more often than not, which strengthens their overall relationship.
When couples communicate better, they typically have happier relationships, which has a significant impact on mental health. BDSM couples were far better at communicating than their more traditional counterparts. Why this is the case still requires more understanding, but there is a hypothesis: given the intimate nature of sex, you need to be able to discuss your limits and your feelings clearly and frankly. Moreover, you also must be more aware of your body. BDSM requires an openness that may also spill over into other aspects of a couple's relationship, thereby leading to superior communication.
It turns out that BDSM couples are also very fit. The sexual positions involved in BDSM sex mean that participants also got far more vigorous workouts than more traditional couples did. Increased levels of physical health lead to better stress resistance and better resistance to common ailments such as colds.
There is some evidence to suggest that participants of BDSM are also more open to new experiences. The research found the BDSM couples were more extroverted and willing to try new and exciting things that went beyond the bedroom.
BDSM isn't a taboo anymore, and if the evidence means anything, BDSM is beneficial from both a physiological and mental health perspective.
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