Facts & Info

Why Do Women Love BDSM?

Dominatrix in Cat Suit

Women are kinky, and we’re into BDSM. (Bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadomasochism.)

But why do women like BDSM, and how many? It’s impossible to accurately assess what percentage of the population is into what kink, by gender, or as a whole.

There are studies that attempt to look at these issues, but they are notoriously faulty. A voluntary disclosure survey at a women’s magazine or a medical institution, for example, can tell us quite a bit, but will never accurately represent the population. A woman may not answer openly because her doctor’s office will be looking at the results, or maybe those most open to fetishes are the only ones who bother filling it out.

Furthermore, what goes on in someone’s mind is tough to pin down, and what goes on in private behind closed doors is just that—a private life.

While it may be difficult to get specific statistics and all the nitty gritty, behavioral scientists can still look at the big picture. We can use information from online dating profiles, consumer data, the success of various cultural products and their themes, porn preferences, and sex studies together to come up with some kind of overview.

And the data is overwhelming—women are consistently interested in fantasizing about and participating in BDSM!

If you’re wondering where they’re hanging out see, our article:

How to Find BDSM Hookups Online

6 Reasons Women Love BDSM

1. Kink Is In Women’s Nature

Take away the props of the modern world, the corporate success ladders, the designer outfits, the cars. And there we are, separated from the savannah by a thin veil. Think of the domestic cat, living the fat life, not a wild streak in him as he sleeps in a sunbeam. But the one born in the field? Looks just like him, but not so tame when it comes to sex and hunting.

Our biology is a very strong pull, no matter how much censorship or order are imposed on us by religions or cultural orders. Dating and marriage customs exist in every culture in order to tame our wild sexuality. At a visceral, ancient level, we revel in sexual power—in conquest and being taken, in competition, in submission, in rough play.

2. It’s Natural and Social

It’s not all cut and dried between men=powerful and women=weak.

That’s a woeful misunderstanding of sexual biology that society has tried to engineer. Men may be larger, on average, but the power games of wild animals are more complex. There is a complicated interdependence of sexual need and exchange. Both male and female animals have dominant and submissive attributes and their often rough play is a dance that shows both sides.

3. Women Love the Power

Whether she loves to dominate, or be ravished, or switch sides—there is power there, and power is an aphrodisiac. Submission and surrender hold power, as any sub will tell you. It is no small feat to have the focus and attention and desire of a lover so completely. There is power in facing pain and turning it to pleasure.

Read: Why BDSM Submission is So Satisfying

4. Women Love to Dress Up

Hardcore kinky types sometimes dismiss kink newbies or kink-lite types as fashionistas. But a huge part of the appeal of kink IS fashion. From the world of burlesque to vintage French porn postcards to the courtesan era to dystopian techno kink, the dress-up and masquerade of BDSM, role play, and uniform fetishes are essential and central to the thrill.

5. BDSM is Cerebral and Physical at the Same Time

Women’s sexuality is not only focused in our genitalia but also in our brains. BDSM is all about building a scene, developing a story, playing a part. It’s about timing, and in-betweens. It’s about stepping into someone else’s shoes, or accessing a part of ourselves that isn’t always apparent. It’s about using our imagination to create a world and engage in it, not just physical friction.

6. BDSM Is Intimate

Dominating someone is an incredibly emotional act where trust and surrender are key. That kind of intimacy is much deeper than just hooking up for a quick handjob or fuck after a movie. Tapping into the erotic interior of a stranger, sharing the deepest experiences over time with a long-term lover, giving in to intense pain and the bonding of aftercare—these are profoundly intimate exchanges.

Read: 4 Ways BDSM and Kink Can Build Intimacy

BDSM is not quick, fleeting, or superficial, even if the relationship is casual. Sharing BDSM sexual exchanges with another are intense interpersonal experiences, and satisfying to many women because of the profound intimate connection.

Women and BDSM: A Mainstream Love Affair

The Fifty Shades of Grey enterprise has blown the lid off the subject and exposed what many of us knew on the ground—women hunger for kink, specifically bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadomasochism play. In ten years, the originally self-published book by E. L. James—no literary masterpiece by any stretch—has sold 150 million copies and been translated into more than fifty languages.

Fifty Shades is an explicit kink story, but it is a romance novel at heart. Romance novels are a guilty pleasure for many women, still enormously popular on the down low. The stereotype of the romance reader is a poorly educated, desperate, fat, unemployed, or unsatisfied housewife sort—an old-fashioned, anti-feminist gal—nope! Women who have doctorates from Ivy League schools, a happy family life, corporate success, and a slew of lovers enjoy romance fiction as much as any other women.

But romance novels are not, historically speaking, squeaky clean stories about love trumping all. They are racy and fantasy-fueled, with the insistence and persistence of the hero often bordering on domination. The themes of submission—being ravished, making men helpless, or good girl turned bad—are evergreen.

Fifty Shades simply added in the details about what was always there, reading between the lines!

Not all women have rape fantasies or secret desires to dominate and make you a sissygirl for the afternoon. Not all women are kinky or into any one thing. But lots of us are, and BDSM kinks speak louder to women than most kinks and fetishes.

Wondering where to meet all these kinky women I speak of? See our favorite BDSM Dating Sites to find partners who share your kinks.

Hey ladies! Why do you love BDSM?  Please share in the comments.

Tell us what you think!

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Kink Lovers is the online magazine for kinky people into BDSM, fetish, and kink. If you want to explore your kinky side, spice up your love life, or meet new kinky partners - enter the world of Kink Lovers. Enjoy D/s relationship advice, kink education and resources, BDSM and kink dating tips, fetish facts, and reader confessions.

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