Yes, BDSM Is Part of the Feminism Movement, and Here Is Why


Sportsheets Collar and Leash Lifestyle 4

We’re continuing to explore themes around sexuality and sexual pleasure in relationship this Women’s History Month. Today, we’re diving into the topic of how BDSM does, in fact, support the feminist movement. While some folks may argue that its purpose, so to speak, does not align with feminism, we believe that it does. In fact, it’s worth noting that all true BDSM practices are carried out with the complete and explicit consent of all individuals involved.

Curious to learn more about how BDSM supports feminism? Read on to find out.

woman wearing handcuffs

No, power dynamics aren’t all about male dominance

First things first: true BDSM takes place between completely consenting adults. In this space, consent reigns supreme, and practically all of its actions are conducted with informed consent, often including a distinct safeword; this may even involve the signing of paperwork outlining the specifics of these practices.

For women — and even for men — the power dynamic isn’t always about male dominance. For some, it may not have anything to do with it; women can play the role of Dominant over one or more male submissives. From vanilla bondage to Masochism, how someone decides to fulfill their sexual needs and enhance sexual desire is unique to them. Folks should never be made to feel ashamed about what it is that turns them on.

Gender roles aren’t about silencing feminism

Even in the analysis of feminist ideas on BDSM, lesbian SM (Sadism, Submission, Masochism) has proven to be difficult, particularly in respect to whether lesbians are replicating patriarchal systems while exploring this area of sexual pleasure. Clearly, it's not just about the male/female dynamic, as some have concerns in BDSM even in relation to same-sex couples.

Some people assume that lesbians who practice BDSM are simply attempting to replicate the patriarchal power system experienced by society. Because one's sexuality is theoretically caught within the patriarchal structure, these folks argue that genuine consent cannot occur. However, as with any type of true BDSM, we at Sportsheets do not believe that this exchange of power through domination and submission, or butch/femme power dynamics, is perpetuating the patriarchy.

When it comes to enjoying the pleasures of BDSM with one or more sexual partners — from playing with bondage for beginners all the way to experienced play with complex sex furniture and toys, from gentle nipple play to spanking, and everything in between — we hope it is clear that gender roles are not about silencing feminism. In fact, it's often not even about the gender roles and more so about the power dynamic.

woman in black leather jacket

Embracing women’s rights and the feminist movement through BDSM

It is fundamentally feminist to have an open mind about sex and sexual exploration, meaning that practitioners of BDSM consciously go out of their way to seek out erotic encounters that are not ‘mainstream.’ BDSM encompasses a wide range of sexual acts; thus, buying sex toys, talking about your desires with your partner, and actively exploring sexuality (regardless of how non-normative it may seem) are all examples of how sex-positivity and BDSM intersect.

When it comes to practicing BDSM (which is one of the most common kinks and fantasies), the power structures are no longer strict, and Dominant and submissive roles have become much more fluid. Couples will often continuously interchange between these roles, whether heterosexual or LGBTQ2S+ couples or groups.

When you choose to subject yourself to another human being, you have a certain amount of agency. As a woman, having the right to choose what you want to do with your body is totally in line with feminist ideals.

Sportsheets Collar and Leash Lifestyle

Our favorite sex toys to fulfill your sexual fantasy 

Embrace feminism and BDSM with these top picks from our women-owned sex toy company. We’re proof that you can find sexy toys for every fantasy.

The Original Sportsheet®: The sensual freedom to enjoy bondage in the bedroom is offered by the creative design of our famous Sportsheet®. Placed anywhere on top of the high-quality and ultra-soft bedsheet, our four Hook & Loop Velcro® Anchor Pads cling flawlessly.

Under the Bed Restraint System®: Invented by us, you can set this system up in mere minutes. For the enjoyable and safe restraint of a partner, there are four adjustable cuffs (fits 4- to 12-inch wrists) and four constraint straps secured to one connector strap that fits securely beneath your mattress.

Door Jam Cuffs®: This restraint system allows you to effortlessly slip the straps over the door to lock it into place with no installation required. All you have to do is slide the cuffs on top of the door for your wrists or under the door for your ankles.

Expandable Spreader Bar & Cuff Set: By forcing your partner to keep their legs (or arms) stretched wide open, you can add a new layer of dominance to your BDSM toolbox. The swivel clasps on the restraints allow you to use them as a set of wrist or ankle shackles, on their own!

Leather Leash & Collar: With 42 inches of leeway to direct, grip, and scold your petulant pup as you see fit, this enticing leather collar readies your pet in this studded piece.

Drip Pillar Candles: With these seductive drip candles, you can safely enjoy the wonderful sensual tension of temperature play. Our Black Pillar Candles are made of body-safe paraffin wax and are ideal for wax play.

Yes, women’s rights are human rights. No, the power dynamics of BDSM, including Masochism, do not counter feminism or the overall feminist movement. With explicit consent involved from all parties, exploring power dynamics in a safe and enjoyable way for all parties make sexual pleasure the top priority, not necessarily in relation to gendered roles.

Ultimately, like any other kink or fetish, an affinity for or desire to explore BDSM should not be shamed; it’s shaming folks, particularly women and the desires experienced by the female body (in this situation), for their desires that truly counters feminism.

What is your opinion on exploring sexual pleasure through BDSM in relation to the feminist movement? Are there certain ways that you believe couples can be sure to avoid anti-feminist behaviors and perspectives in the bedroom while exploring the world of BDSM? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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