THE SCIENCE OF BDSM Synner’s Haven ClubSadhaka “Mel” Resident, BDSM Specialist
OUTLINEThis lecture examines the biological side of BDSM. It assumes you have abasic understanding of BDSM in some manner. There will be about 20minutes of “lecture” followed by directed discussion on personal experiences(not a scientific/technical discussion).• The Science in the Climates of BDSM• Neurochemicals & BDSM• Endorphin Levels Theory• A Note on Aftercare• Questions to Discuss
THE SCIENCE IN THE CLIMATES OF BDSMThere are several climates present in BDSM.• Fear – varied practices, punishment, new experiences, failure, broken trust• Pain – primarily sadomasochistic practices, emotional release• Humiliation – primarily psychological/mental practices, emotional release
NEUROCHEMICALS & BDSMNeurochemicals are body chemicals that focus on nervous system functions. Thiscan include regulating thoughts and emotions as well as pain reflexes.• Dopamine - influences thought, movement, motivation, learning and reward- seeking behavior; also a factor in sexual arousal• Prolactin – hormone; responsible for both sexual gratification (orgasm) & sexual refractory (let down) Cortisol – hormone; kick-starts your response to fear and pain• Oxytocin – peptide hormone; responsible for human bonding; increases feelings of love and caring• Endorphins – transmits stress, danger, excitement, orgasm, and pain signalsEach of these neurochemicals have an influence of BDSM climates.
ENDORPHIN LEVELS THEORYThere is a theory within the BDSM Community that there is direct correlation betweenendorphin levels and Dom(me)/sub reactions during a scene. The chart below will explain: Level Dom(me) Reaction Sub Reaction One Mild – focused on anticipation None – waiting to see what happens, pain reaction, endorphin reserves on standby Two Mild – waiting for noticeable Mild – body beginning to react, pain submissive reaction threshold increasing Three Mild/Moderate –reacting to Moderate – beginning of subspace submissive Four Moderate/Extreme - further Moderate/Extreme – true subspace reactions to submissive Five Varies – reacting to submissive, Extreme – ecstasy and subdrop on thinking ahead to aftercare rapid succession
A NOTE ON AFTERCAREAftercare is extremely important for both the Dominant & submissive. Itusually involves more intimate behavior such as cuddling, hugging, and generalnurturing. Dopamine & oxytocin are hard at work. Because there is such aneurochemical reaction, there may be a physical reaction such as shivering,which should also be acknowledged (grab a blanket!). Overall aftercare helpsresolve the neurochemical experience at emotional & physical levels.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS• Do you prefer a particular BDSM climate? Which climate do understand best? Which climate gives you the most issues? Do you think the climates can be looked at separately?• Can you identify the neurochemical responses you have? Which neurochemicals are more prevalent in your own BDSM?• What are you feelings on Endorphin Levels Theory? Can you follow the levels in a recent scene (RL or SL)?• How do you deal with aftercare? What’s your best experience? Worst experience?