98: BDSM and Kink – Tamara Pincus

My guest today is Tamara Pincus, who is an AASECT certified sex therapist, an advocate for BDSM and polyamory, and an overall celebrator of the diverse BDSM community. In this episode, she breaks down the fundamentals of BDSM, gives advice on how to start and practice safely, as well as talks about trauma and dissociation and other important topics. As she reminds us, BDSM is really common, so if you’re just getting started, curious, indifferent, or have been practicing for many years, this episode is for you. Enjoy! 

 

What is BDSM? 

Tamara says that the four letters stand for bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism. This essentially means tying your partner up, having power over another, sometimes utilizing pain, and things of that nature. 

She says that a lot of typical intercourse can be seen as versions of BDSM, given that there is usually a power dynamic at play. This can be considered an offshoot of BDSM  meaning that intercourse can be seen as a continuum of sorts on the BDSM spectrum. 

She says that role-play can also fall within the same category. For more on her BDSM ideas, listen in! 

 

BDSM for Healing from Trauma 

Tamara says that BDSM can actually lead to breakthroughs in sexual trauma. Someone who has experienced a specific kind of sexual trauma can claim and have mastery over their trauma through a BDSM act. Tamara says that healing can occur if the trauma victim feels better emotionally or experiences positive feelings afterward. 

When asked how sexual partners can engage in BDSM in a safe, non-intimidating way, she says that it’s important to have a safe word or safe signal, as well as make sure there is agreed-upon consent between all participants. She also makes the good point that couples should get kink training and be cognizant about health conditions before doing rope play or breath play, and various other activities of the same category. 

To find a local dungeon or similar setting where you can learn these techniques, Tamara says to make sure you check out https://fetlife.com/.  

 

The “Top” and “Bottom” Dynamic 

Tamara says there’s generally two distinct dynamics at play during any BDSM proceeding: the bottom and the top. The top is the dominant player, while the bottom is the receiver. There can be a flexible interplay of differing power dynamics as the top can also function as the bottom at the same time. 

Tamara makes it a point to remind listeners that the top needs to be completely aware of the wellbeing of the bottom given that dissociation can happen. After all, a lot of the draw of BDSM comes from the fantastical aspects of the act, so altered mental states are common. 

 

Legitimate BDSM Versus The “Fifty Shades” Version 

Tamara says that one of the biggest mistakes of Fifty Shades of Gray is that it doesn’t understand the concept of non-concordance. This basically means that just because something turns you on physically doesn’t mean you’re emotionally turned on as well. Basically, your body is not lining up with your mind in this instance.  

 

How to Start & What to do if a Partner Isn’t Into BDSM 

She suggests a few books that you can find below in the “key links” section, as well as the aforementioned FetLife community. She suggests being careful, using the right equipment, make sure you have ways of getting out of any equipment, and having open conversations about boundaries and consent with your partner.  

For those who have partners who are not into BDSM, she says that you need to have frank conversations about likes and desires. She says that you can try and fight your sexuality, but it might be a losing battle. It’s best to explore options with your partner and see if there are compromises that can be made. Communicating about expectations is important! 

Key Links for Tamara:  

Her website: https://www.tamarapincus.com/  

The social network for BDSM and Kink communities: https://fetlife.com/  

Affiliate links for her book: It’s Called Polyamory 

The New Bottoming & The New Topping 

Yes-N0-Maybe Kinky List: http://www.thatotherpaper.com/files/Yes_No_Maybe.pdf  

Worksheet For Talking to Partners About Sex: https://www.autostraddle.com/you-need-help-here-is-a-worksheet-to-help-you-talk-to-partners-about-sex-237385/  

RoughBSAndKinky: http://sunnymegatron.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/ROUGH-BS-1.pdf 

More info:
Link to the free guide – Talking About Sex: http://bettersexpodcast.com/talk
Join my email list here: http://bettersexpodcast.com/list
Book and New Course – https://sexwithoutstress.com
Web – https://www.bettersexpodcast.com/
Sex Health Quiz – http://sexhealthquiz.com/

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Jessa Zimmerman

Jessa Zimmerman is a couples’ counselor and nationally certified sex therapist. On Better Sex, she and her expert guests share their insights, strategies, and ways of thinking about sex that will help you improve your intimate relationship.

James Hamilton Healy

James Hamilton Healy is a Best Selling Author, host of Business Innovators Radio and contributor to Small Business Trendsetters and Business Innovators Magazine covering Influencers, Innovators and Trendsetters in Business, Health, Finance and Personal Development.

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