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BDSM Why is everyone now talking about bondage and dominance in sex?

Apparently, you people have been tying yourselves up and whipping each other during sex.

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play Why is everyone now talking about bondage and dominance in sex? (Pixabay)
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Regardless of how adventurous your crowd may be though, you’re likely to get a knowing glance whenever you are optimistic enough to talk about handcuffs, ropes, chains or all the other things associated with BDSM.

Like most personal activities, sex is usually done according to individual preferences and inclination. For the most part, though, most people alternate between regular, perfunctory sex and some form of acrobatics.

Somehow though, for the past few hours, Nigerian users on the social media platform, Twitter have been discussing bondage and sadomasochism and its place in sex.

 

While some of the tweets have expressed the kind of shock that makes you want to call home and tell them the world is on fire, other tweets have been a lot more… accommodating.

ALSO READ: These are questions guys shouldn't ask women during sex

Some Nigerians have even come out to admit that they engage in BDSM. Others have shared guidelines on how to turn pain into a pleasurable experience.

In the spirit of entrepreneurship and the provision of goods and services, a lot of twitter vendors have shown up advertising everything from chokers to whips and spandex pants… for men.

When did you people join bondage gang?

All of this is very confusing because if you’d asked us a week ago to put our finger to the pulse of BDSM in Nigeria, most people would say they couldn’t feel anything.

Talking about sex is still taboo to a degree in the majority of Nigerian society. It is a reflection of a society that is mostly conservative.

While no one can say exactly what happens in other people’s bedrooms, (kitchens, bathrooms and other similar arenas), BDSM has, for the most part, been seen as an extremity that is reserved for countries where people have had enough to eat.

 

So why has this often-maligned sexual practice, built on the idea of subservience and domination, become a trending topic in a country where we have not even gotten around the issue of consent in sexual intercourse?

The simple truth is that BDSM, like many other sexual practices, has been going on for a while. The reason we haven’t ever come to understand how common it is is that we never talk about it.

It’s quite similar to how we did not really understand the problems with consent, satisfaction, manipulation and hyper-masculinity that we have normalised as part of sex until a few rape cases were publicised and many Nigerians found out they’d been having sex the wrong way.

That explains why it’s present; but how did it become so mainstream?

The answer is pop culture.

One of the often overlooked effects of mass and social media is that alternative voices, practices and lifestyles that were suppressed in the past have taken advantage of its resources to finally express themselves.

In the past, marijuana use was treated as a taboo straight of the devil’s war chest in Nigeria.

However, the herb is now a tool and subject matter that is noticeable everywhere, from music to movies. It’s no coincidence that drug use in Nigeria has proliferated considerably as a result.

play A scene from the music video for Rihanna's "S&M". (Straight From The A)

 

In recent times, BDSM has permeated our collective consciousness from music to talk shows, Instagram videos and to a much smaller extent, social media conversations.

ALSO READ: Five movies with better bondage scenes than "Fifty Shades of Grey"

Western music has contributed the bulk of this influence.

For the brief period in the 2000s where rock music gathered a considerable, if fleeting following among young people, fans were introduced to the spandex-wearing, handcuffed love stories in music videos.

One major turning point was the release of Rihanna’s “S&M”, a song that, as the title suggests, was about BDSM. I remember how, as university students, many of my colleagues struggle to understand why Rihanna had joined bad gang and gone kinky. But they listened and watched still.

Then, much later, came Fifty Shades of Grey.

Say what you want about the quality of the movie and the lead actor’s inability to convey more emotion than a wet sheet of paper, Fifty Shades of Grey sold BDSM to Nigerians the way Bella Naija made us want to get married by spending money we don’t have.

Over 100 million copies of the original trilogy have been sold worldwide in 52 languages. The movie has attained even more success than the books.

Time.com reported that the first official trailer for the film adaptation of Fifty Shades, released this past summer, was the most-watched trailer of 2014— it received over 100 million views.

References to BDSM have become more subtle since then and made their way to the holy grail of Nigerian media; the television.

Christian Grey’s wealth hands him the control he desires over his wife’s life. play Fifty Shades of Grey sold BDSM to Nigerians the way Bella Naija made us want to get married by spending money we don’t have. (justjared.com)

 

Music videos have subtly imbued references to BDSM. The video for Burna Boy’s “Rock Your Body” is one of the more recent examples.

The extent to which BDSM has permeated pop culture was made clear when it made its own guest appearance on one of the most popular shows around, Jenifa’s Diary.

In a 2016 episode, Jenifa can be seen making light work of an attempt to describe BDSM to her friend.

It’s obvious we have come a long way since then, and there’s no reason to be ashamed about it.

What matters is that whoever swings that way ensures that they swing safely. Implied consent is also a foundation of BDSM so parties must build a relationship of understanding.

In the end, you may not enjoy being tied up but out there, there's someone who is saving money to buy handcuffs.

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