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Misrepresentation of BDSM in pop culture!



Lights, camera, and action (read as deception).


Have you ever thought of BDSM as a scary activity? Do you shy away from BDSM because people who indulge in it are mentally unstable? When you think of BDSM what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If your answer is along the lines of violence, abuse and freakish behavior, then you have come to the right place!


We live in a world where we know more about F.R.I.E.N.D.S than about our actual friends. From what we think to how we dress; the obsession with mass media has taken over our lives and influenced us in more ways than we can imagine. This might seem harmless but what happens when we start learning and adapting to the ideas portrayed by pop culture?


BDSM has made some unforgettable appearances in pop culture over the years. Popular media has been successful in creating a biased mindset when it comes to BDSM. Because who would want to be insulted or demeaned to be turned on? Who would like to be punished or spanked for sexual arousal? Well turns out a lot of people.


Ever since I stumbled upon pop culture like Fifty Shades of Grey, S&M and 9½, my first instinct was “thappad se darr nhi lagta sahab, BDSM se lagta hai”. Through song lyrics like “Put a chain around my neck and lead me anywhere” to the forceful contract shown in Fifty Shades of Grey, misrepresentation in pop culture has crossed boundaries and continues to not only offend the BDSM community but also adds to the stigma around BDSM.


Pop culture exposed us to a world filled with nipple clamps, punishments, contracts and paddles. Everyone was made to believe that a dom-sub dynamic is about forcing the submissive to listen to the dominant without any open discussion about limits and personal preferences. *cue eye roll*


For as far as I can remember, movies have shown that females are deprived of sexual freedom and can only be submissive. Sexism, derogatory behavior and insults for women are one of the main themes in BDSM movies. (Meanwhile patriarchy’s response: toh kya karun main job chod dun?) It is important that we understand that BDSM is about power and trust both of which are blatantly ignored in films.


In addition to all this, mass media has also been successful in showing that a rich, mysterious (and handsome) person can get away with anything. (If I wanted to be misguided about sex education, I would have just attended my biology class in school). For people who still believe that BDSM is all about abuse and disrespect- you have been a victim of being deceived by the mass media. Movies have surely helped break the taboo around BDSM but it is our responsibility as audience to only form opinions on a subject after thorough research and not based on works of fiction.


If you are someone who is new to the idea of BDSM or who wants a “dash of sprinkles on vanilla sex”, then do not be afraid to try out BDSM. You might enjoy it or you might not want to do it again, but one thing you can be assured of is- your kinks and sexual preferences do not make you abnormal and do not define your mental state.

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