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Unusual Sex: Is it Normal to Like…?

Unusual Sex: Is it Normal to Like…?

couple's feet underneath a bed sheet

What does “50 Shades of Grey,” Rihanna, and Eyes Wide Shut have in common?

Let’s Talk About Sex

In the past decade or two, you may have noticed changes happening in the culture of sex and how we view it. Just like our idea of what beauty is has changed in the last century, so has sex: gone are the days where everything was censored and sensual.

The Time Out Magazine poll asked more than 10,000 people to share the truth about what’s going on in between their sheets, and the results prove you aren’t alone in wanting to test out what you’ve been reading. An amazing 71% of the women polled revealed they’re interested in trying “a little more pain” in the bedroom, while 65% of men agree that dirty-talk is desirable.

Without further ado, let’s bring on the era of erotica, and all of the questions that come with it:

What it Means

There’s a technical name for the whips and chains that have started taking place on the big screen: sadomasochism. You may recognize it better by all of the acronyms it goes by: BDSM, S&M, SM. It’s named after the two scientists who first explored the idea of sexual gratification through the use of psychological or physical pain: Marquis de Sade and Leopold Sacher-Masoch.

While it was synonymous with violence for a few years, sadomasochism is all about love and pleasure. It can range from spanking and blindfolds to more extreme variations, like dripping hot wax on bare skin or whipping. The 50 Shades of Grey series which made you blush covered the essentials of SM; but here’s why you shouldn’t blush at all:

Psychologist and professor at Case Western Reserve University Roy E. Baumeister concludes in his study that most people interested in sadomasochism are just taking a break from the burden of “selfhood.” In other words, people who are incredibly successful in their lives that have a positive self-image to uphold just want a break.

“Modern Western culture has placed enormous and unprecedented demands on individual selfhood,” Baumeister said. “The self is an unending project, throughout life, that constantly needs to be built up and defended…As such it is a source of stress, worry, and pressure.”

That’s right: it’s perfectly normal (and safe). Although you may be embarrassed to ask your doctor whether it’s normal, it’s never been more accepted to discuss your bedroom preferences in the open. Thanks to novels like 50 Shades and songs like Rihanna’s “S&M,” the topic of sexual preferences has been coming up a lot lately, and for a good cause. It’s perfectly okay if hot wax is what you’re into, as long as you’re not sustaining serious skin damage.

If you still have questions about whether or not your own bedroom preferences are safe and healthy, chat with your doctor. Chances are that you won’t mention something they haven’t heard before, so don’t be embarrassed: we want you to play it safe!