The Gender Gap

BelasariusIn my safe word survey I asked people about their attitudes to various things BDSM people like to do. This article isn’t about safe words, it’s about the different dynamics men, women, tops/dominants, switches and bottoms/submissives have. or, at least, it is about the results reported by the people who responded to the survey.

The first chart, “the gender gap“, shows broad differences in approach to BDSM by men and women. What I did was take the score for “essential to me” (see Background, below) and subtract from it the score for “I don’t do this”.

The 524 men and women who responded to this were, clearly, different. For example, women (surprisingly – at least to me) were much more likely to characterise sex as “essential” than were men.

The_Gender_GapMen are slightly more into the physical elements of BDSM (Pain, Bondage), whilst women revel in control, service and ritual to a far greater extent than men. In fact the men who responded actively dislike ritual – something a few women find essential to their dynamic.

Women had negative scores for both humiliation and exhibitionism – some men find humiliation essential.

I found it interesting that more men than women said they found fetish essential. I associate fetish with dressing up and thought that more a female thing. I may enquire more.

How orientations shape dynamics.

The next two charts are specific to gender and show differences in approach to BDSM according to whether the respondents were tops/dominants, switches or bottoms/submissives.

Component_Fem

It can be seen that, in many respects, males and females in the same orientation group have a similar outlook on BDSM. There are differences of course. Male tops/dominants have more interest in physical BDSM than do women – and female submissives and switches are much more interested in sex than dommes. Male tops/dominants are more interested in sex than their female  counterparts.

Component_Male

Control is interesting too: Switches of both sexes and male bottoms/submissives have a moderate interest in control, whilst For female bottoms/submissives, and tops/dominants of both genders it is the characteristic seen as most essential out of them all.

Background

In this case the charts are based on data from 524 people.

The question asked them to look at each of these things:

  • Pain
  • Bondage
  • Humiliation
  • Exhibitionism
  • Fetish
  • Sex
  • Ritual
  • Service
  • Control

And then asked them to rank each of these as follows:

  • Essential to me
  • Important to me
  • Neither important or unimportant
  • I dislike this
  • I don’t do this

To make the data in this article as stark as possible I only used the “Essential to me” and “I don’t do this” scores.

What do sadists really like (and submissives, and slaves, etc).

BelasariusBack in June 2012 I ran a survey on BDSM styles and relationships (or “BDSM – How Do You Like Yours”) which looked at some of the basic components of BDSM interactions.

This article looks at the question “How do various BDSM components fit into your life”. It shows, probably unsurprisingly, that respondents that characterised themselves as sadists/masochists (S/m)ranked things quite differently from dominants/submissives (D/s) and masters (mistresses)/slaves (M/s)

S/m people said pain was better than sex. For M/s respondents control, service and ritual came before a roll in the hay. D/s people put sex first, but only a tiny, tiny bit ahead of control.

More details are found in the charts below – where the top three interactions  for each group appear in darker colours and the bottom two in lighter shades.

Background

Respondents were asked to score each area 1- 5 in a range of responses that were:

  1. I don’t do this
  2. I dislike this
  3. This is neither important nor unimportant
  4. This is important to me
  5. This is essential to me

The ten areas of interaction were:

  • Pain
  • Bondage
  • Fetish dressing
  • Humiliation
  • Exhibitionism
  • Sex
  • Safewords
  • Service
  • Ritual
  • Control

429 people answered the question: 94 said they were sadists/masochists, 277 said they were dominants/submissives and 58 said they were masters/slaves. 31 people skipped the question.

Sadists & Masochists

S&M interactions

Those who responded saying they were sadists and masochists put pain  a long way ahead of everything else as the thing that was most important to them. Bondage just edged sex into third place. Control, in fourth, was fairly important too. Service and ritual came ninth and tenth.

Masters (mistresses) and slaves.

M & s interactions

Control is the biggest thing for respondents in this group, with service coming second and ritual and sex a short way behind, in joint third. The least important factors are fetish dressing and safewords, which trails a long way behind the other factors. Bondage was a little more important than pain to M/s people.

Dominants and submissives

D&S interactions

Dominants and submissives were the only group who put sex at the top of their list. And then, it is only a teensy way in front of control, with bondage a little way behind. Pain comes fourth. The two areas that least interest the D/s people who took part are humiliation and, last of all, exhibitionism.