BDSM sex: Bondage, punishment, sadism, masochism explained

 

BDSM – Bondage, punishment, sadism, masochism … are among the most violent sexual practices. They are also the most enigmatic with, in the background, a question: how on earth can they like that? This is what was sought by a team of American researchers from the University of Northern Illinois whose work has been identified by the site LiveScience.

For sadomasochistic practices, better known today, no longer fall into the domain of pathologies. According to DSM5, the authoritative and authoritative diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorders in the American Psychiatric Association, BDSM practices are simply considered out-of-the-ordinary sexual practices.

Even more surprising: a US study published in May 2013 showed that followers of sadomasochistic practices had stronger social relationships than others. Worse, they would be even more relaxed than the rest of the population. As if the SM did them good.

Paradox

“In appearance, it may seem paradoxical,” admits James Ambler, a graduate in psychology at Northern Illinois University, so to understand this paradox, the psychologist has engaged in a real dive in the brain of practitioners SM.

To do this, he recruited a community of switchers, a term that refers to individuals who give as much as they receive pain. Before and after each sexual experience, the volunteers had to perform a cognitive test called Stroop Test – in which they are confronted with paradoxical associations like the word “blue” written in red.

Because it is complicated for the brain to read the color if it is written in another, it is considered a good way to measure the cognitive abilities of the participants.

The volunteers also had to fill out questionnaires about their feelings about the “flow” during their sadomasochistic practices. The flow is a state of concentration and enjoyment that individuals experience when immersed in these practices.

With these measurements, the researcher was able to notice that people who receive pain in a SM practice scored the lowest Stroop Test scores, a result usually associated with decreased blood flow in the prefrontal cortex. . But this area of ​​the brain essentially related to executive functions and RAM.

In other words, SM practices would influence the brain’s irrigation, and therefore alter the state of consciousness of those who engage in these practices … and therefore understand why they like it. “One of the reasons these activities can be so extreme is that they are very effective in redistributing blood and fluidity in the brain of a human being,” says the researcher.

Spiritual, not sexual

But who says sadomasochism does not necessarily say sexual practices. So in this type of situation, what exactly happens? To understand it, a second study, conducted by Ellen Lee and Bred Sagarin, still at Northern Illinois University, looked at a non-sexual but extremely painful practice of the SM register called “soul dance”.

This ritual involves the body piercings of individuals through which cords are attached. These cords are connected to those of all other participants or to a heavy object and fixed to the ground. During the ritual, they are stretched to the rhythm of the listened music or the beats of a battery.

The researchers conducted a survey of 22 reunioned rituals gathered at a SM event in California. Five people who were wearing piercings agreed to participate, as well as nine supporters – those who check that the ritual goes well for each of the followers, but also eight observers.

Ces individus ont répondu aux questions des psychologues concernant leur stress, leurs émotions, leurs sentiments lorsqu’ils pratiquent le sadomasochisme. Les chercheurs ont alors également prélevé un échantillon de la salive des questionnés pour évaluer leur taux de cortisol, l’hormone qui s’élève en cas de stress.

Résultat, lorsqu’une personne avait souffert pendant ce rituel, son taux de cortisol était sans surprise en hausse. Mais, étrangement, les participants ont tous avoué se sentir moins stressés. “Cela fait sûrement partie des effets de conscience que les personnes recherchent lors de ce genre d’actes sexuels”, avoue Sagarin.

En clair, les pratiques SM qu’elles soient sexuelles ou non influenceraient l’irrigation du cerveau. Et c’est cette modification qui, en retour, modifie l’état de conscience des participants.

Les chercheurs vont d’ailleurs même jusqu’à affirmer que les effets du sadomasochisme se rapprocheraient de ceux procurés par le yoga, ou certaines pratiques de méditation. Bref, pour modifier son état de conscience, on a l’embarras du choix.

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