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BDSM: “It’s an incredible relational experience in which there are extremely varied practices. »

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  • Reading time:11 mins read

Psycho and sex

BDSM saw a resurgence of interest after the release of the movie “50 shades of Grey”. However, the film is far from representing the values ​​that surround the practice of BDSM. We met Angèle who tells us about her practice of BDSM.

What is BDSM?

BDSM stands for bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism.

The term sadism comes from Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, known as the Marquis de Sade, who was known to mistreat women to procure pleasure. As for the term masochismit comes from Léopold von Sacher-Masoch who liked to be abused by the women he met.

It is a set of disciplines where pain, if present, mixes with pleasure. The communication and the consent are the key words of this art! Indeed, BDSM is very codified : a set of rules govern the relationship between the dominant and the dominated.
the safe word, for example, is used so that the submissive can get out of the game. go word is used to resume play while the slow wordon the other hand, is used to slow down the game.

After the game, there is no question of leaving your partner like this, there is what is called theafter carethis is a time when the partners take care of each other.

Interview with Angèle, director of the BAP and practitioner of Shibari

We met Angèle Plaut, director of Brussels Art and Pole, a dance studio and sexpo space safe where everyone can to discover oneself humanly and artistically through the practice of pole dancing, burlesque or many other disciplines.

What is your vision of BDSM?

I knew BDSM from a date who told me about shibari. I entered this world by the door where there is not the well-known aesthetic of black latex. The shibari takes place in a more Japanese atmosphere. I immediately liked it! It has completed something in me which I didn’t know and needed to be completed, but it clearly was.

Can you tell us about your background in BDSM?

I practiced shibari for several years, as a model. Then I had relationships where there was more BDSM play. It was more during this last year that it was able to blossom more in me, because I excluded men from my BDSM practice. Many have problematic behaviors, say they are dominating and think they have every right. Among cis men and women, many problematic behaviors remain.

It’s only recently that I realized that I had the reputation of being a very solid person in BDSM. An indestructible body, but precisely because I didn’t want to let go in front of these people. I was told that it was a game and that what I liked was to fight or no, I prefer to abandon myself in sexuality.

It is really during this last year with women around me and particularly with my lover that the situation has improved. It’s intense but not violent or traumatic.

Does this dominant-dominated aspect still remain?

It’s more a balance which is between me and my partner. One will prefer to do such a practice and have it received by the other, while for other practices, it will be the opposite.
On role plays, I have a taste for seduction, for staging my body. But in the past with men after doing that, I had to put a lot of distance. Otherwise they felt like I belonged to them. Moreover, as my partner does the same job as me, she knows that it is the person who does the erotic dance who has the power and not the other way around. Things are simpler, it’s not a permanent struggle anymore.

Do you think things would change if cis men had a different upbringing?

Yes, because a man must be strong and must handle situations. He must, in a way, play the role of the servant knight who saves the submissive little woman. Some are aware that in these dominant-dominated relationships, it is the dominated person who has the power because she is the one who says stop. If this stop is not respected, it is torture.
Many boast about being good dominators. There are also a lot of sadistic people. Now, sadism can be an interesting thing, but the problem is that it removes filters of empathy. Loving to hurt yes, but not loving to hurt to have power over others.

But if we had a real egalitarian education, we wouldn’t be on this type of relationship. But the dominant-dominated relationship would continue to exist, because it’s something that regulates the human brain: sometimes you want to be managed and sometimes you want to manage things. The BDSM report would be much more switch.

Has this had an impact on your practice of shibari?

Yes, the first 3 years, for example, I never imagined that I could learn to attachr. Given that there was only one woman who tied when I went to a dojo and that in all the other pairs, a man, generally older, tied his young model. I just didn’t think of it.

When I realized that I could learn, the fear of being useless came back, like many women do. If you don’t fully understand something, you’d rather not do it. This is why it took time for me to organize workshops.

Shibari classes take place at Brussels Art and Pole, as many women have requested an alternative space to practice it.
She is a 22-year-old queer woman who teaches and she has 6 years of experience in shibari. The aim of these courses is to create endorphin shots rather than putting the body to the test.

In dominant-dominated relationships, it is the dominated person who has the power because it is she who says stop.

It is rarely said, but the notion of consent is very important in BDSM…

Yes, there is a kind of pact defined between the partners with the limits and what can or cannot be done.
During the practice, the submissive person can put a stop at any time but when you are under the influence of domination, especially if you have a character that wants to submit, I’m not sure that we have all our mental faculties to put a hi. And frequently, out of a desire to please the person who dominates you, you go too far in relation to your body and your mental limits. I even saw very balanced couples in their relationship, they considered themselves equal and in a sexual game, they brought another dynamic.

I’m happy that the metoo movement also touched the middle of BDSM. Several people who are a bit of a guru have also fallen for stories of rape and assault. The discussion of consent has finally arrived in the BDSM workshops. I’m talking about a real discussion on feelings, not just saying “when it’s too much, you say no”. The climate of trust and knowledge of the other is different.

Do you think works like “50 Shades of Grey” have caused harm to BDSM?

Yes, because people who don’t practice BDSM have an image of black latex catsuits and whips. It’s the cinematographic image, but it’s in the minority and it can seem frightening. So if we are not sure that it can correspond to us, it is something that we put at a distance from ourselves.
The problem with the film and the books is that BDSM has become mainstream but by broadcasting an image where, really, if I could burn the film of this film, I would. This is a film that wants to be a love story but which in fact is onlyaggression from A to Z. We are not on a thriller that will play off the excesses of BDSM.
As the main protagonist is beautiful, it makes it “cute”. It makes violent behavior sexy. In a real love story, we would have had to see these two characters feel equal and decide to play a game. Often BDSM is reduced to “I tie your hands and I give you a whip » gold it is a amazing relationship experience in which there are extremely varied practices.

Can BDSM be practiced alone?

Yes, for example, we can like to take a picture of ourselves in situations and share it.
You can also do self-suspensions, whip yourself, it all depends on what you want. It’s like classic masturbation actually. It’s pretty healthy by the way, I think, discover the practices we love or not alone because with the adrenaline and the bonds you want to create with the person opposite, perceptions are a bit blurred.

Could this fit someone rather cozy ?

Yes, in some BDSM practices there are no bodily practices. This is the case, in particular, of exhibitionism, voyeurism or even certain types of submission by responding to orders but without implications on the body.

If you had one message to convey, what would it be?

It’s a message that can apply to a lot of things.
I understand that people have a certain image of BDSM because in addition, it is served to them on a platter. But you have to try to realize that things are much more complex than an image and without loving that world. One should try to observe without passing judgment before totally rejecting this universe. There are lots of decorum which may seem unsightly, harsh, strange and it is. But it’s filled with hypersensitive people. When we look for thrills like that, it’s because we are equipped witha lot of feelings and we try to manage them and it’s a permanent whirlwind.
I would also like to say to cis men, “re-educate yourself! ». I know it’s not easy but do it because it will make your life so much more amazing. I would also say to women to try to have a role other than that of submission. That doesn’t mean that you have to become a great dominatrix, it goes through much more subtle things.

If you want more information on the shibari classes and all the other classes offered at the Brussels Art and Pole, do not hesitate to visit the site: https://www.brusselsartpole.be/

For further

This manual invites you, through a range of practices, accessible without a dungeon, and a hundred original scenarios. Gala Fur, author of Osez tout savoir sur le SM, suggests that you adapt these games to your own universe of soft erotic fantasies and practices. You will therefore run no danger in imitating it, except perhaps being shocked by so much audacity and imagination… but the pleasure is at this price.

For a list of films dealing with the theme of Sado-masochism, read the article Sadism and Masochism in the Cinema of Wikipedia.

Bondage and Discipline, Domination and Submission, Sadism and Masochism. Enter the fascinating dungeon of Question Q.
A program by Christine Gonzalez with Zoé Blanc-Scuderi, Greta Gratos and Raphaële Bouchet.