Facts & Info

A Short History of BDSM

Woman in Latex Cat Suit

The ideas of bondage, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism have all been around throughout the annals of history. However, bondage in the past often took the form of medieval tortures, or sadistic military restraint, and the dominance and submission of ancient days represented real people being kept and used as slaves.

“Today, BDSM is centered on a culture of consent and active participation,” says Anthony, a content specialist for BDSMdate.com. “That’s what makes it fun and sexy. Our membership grows every day!”

The first hints of any BDSM-oriented sexual activity came from ancient Sumer, one of the world’s first settled civilizations. There, certain rituals were described to include “pain and ecstasy, bringing about initiation and journeys of altered states of consciousness; punishment, moaning, ecstasy…” The oldest visual representation is dated to the fifth century, BC. It’s a fresco in a tomb in what is now Italy, but was once called Etruria in ancient times. The art depicts a male whipping two female submissives in what is clearly an erotic scenario.

From Pompeii to Greece to India, there is evidence of hitting with implements like paddles or straps and even spanking. The Kama Sutra, an Indian text of lovemaking positions, even goes so far as to specify four different types of hitting that are acceptable during sex!

Towards the end of the renaissance, the first hints of the pro-dominatrix are seen. This profession didn’t become widespread until the 1700s with the first popular culture representation of BDSM. Fanny Hill, a novel published in 1749, featured a whipping scene and inspired the creation of other flagellation fiction. Soon after, a book was published naming women who offered such services, and where to find them.

In the 1800s, the Marquis de Sade was ahead of his time with radical discourse about sexuality. His salacious writings and philosophies, which included submissives getting punished painfully, marked him as insane in that day and age, and he actually spent 32 years of his life in an asylum because of it. However, he left behind a huge legacy, as the word sadism comes directly from his name. Luckily for us, today, you won’t go to jail if you like BDSM. Well, you might get jailed for fun by your lover, if you’ve been naughty!

Tell us what you think!

Tell us what you think!

Find Kinky Hookups in Ashburn Now
To Top