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Psychologists will often link someone’s sexual proclivities back to what is happening in their world, outside of the bedroom (or the sex cave, glory hole – wherever one likes to get their rocks off). Nothing is ever entirely random. To say, “That’s just what I’m into in bed” simply isn’t true. Extensive research on those into BDSM has found that participants of this erotic practice are often extraverted, yet not very agreeable, exhibit a higher subjective wellbeing, and are not neurotic. Ironically, you may have thought those into BDSM were into controlling things, and possibly shy outside of their leather masks, but studies have found quite the opposite.

Science has a way of dissecting even the factions of life we think cannot be figured out – like sexual kinks. It’s almost always connected to what’s happening outside of sex, so now that we know that, aren’t you a bit curious to see how the pandemic played a role in, well, roleplay? And fetishes? And the sales of vibrators and tingly lubricants? Surprisingly, it did have an impact. Think of the factors: social isolation, being stuck with one person, constant underlying anxiety. Many of these dynamics could push someone into some new sexual territories, and research shows they very well might have. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular sexual kinks that came about during the pandemic.

 

Sadism and masochism

Coming in at number 10 is a combination of sexual sadism and masochism. Sexual sadism is defined by receiving pleasure from inflicting pain or humiliation on another person. Sexual masochism is defined by receiving pleasure from having pain or humiliation inflicted upon oneself. Those who’ve studied the kinks have found that participants consider themselves “switchable,” meaning they enjoy being hurt/humiliated as well as doing the hurting/humiliating. Sigmund Freud defined two types of sadism, primary and secondary, with the first involving total rejection by the other party, and the latter being a bit more casual. In layman’s terms, secondary sadism may still result in some affection later, but primary sadism likely will not. Other great psychological minds think this kink is related to one’s desire to either be in total control or give up total control—inclinations you can see one having during a chaotic pandemic.

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