The BDSM Surveys

aveburysarsenTNThis page is a general resource to help people who are interested in the surveys I do.

It includes general  information, anonymised datasets which I’ll publish when I’ve done all the analysis I want to do and links to survey articles.

Completed Surveys

The main pages and links to articles for the completed surveys are here:


The following datasets are available:


All I ask is that:

  • If you publish anything about this data then please credit me as the source and link aveburysarsento the homepage of this blog  – If you want to publish it with this image – that’s fine too.
  • That you under no circumstances claim any scientific, academic or statistical credibility for the data. Please make it clear that the responses are a self-selecting sample of respondents recruited through the websites Informed Consent, fetbookfetlife, strangely normal and through this blog, The data is simply what people active on BDSM websites said.

Understanding the surveys

I’ll add information to this page as I come to general stuff in the blogs that I don’t want to keep repeating, or if people say they’d like more explanation of something that’s not pertinent to a specific post.

BDSM Orientation

I’m now using three options here:

Previously I had separated tops and bottoms and dominants and submissives into different categories. However, observation of the results of earlier surveys showed me that few people chose the “top” or “bottom” option, thus making separate analysis of data about these groups problematic.

I also noticed that most people who described themselves as tops or bottoms tended also to say their BDSM component was sadist/masochist.

I’ve chosen to group orientations as above, believing that cross-tabbing components and orientations will be sufficiently granular to show differences in attitudes and behaviours.

BDSM Components

The surveys ask respondents for their orientation (to come) and which “component” most represents their approach to BDSM. These are:

  • Sadist/masochist (S/m): People whose principal enjoyment is exploring and playing with pain and sensation
  • Dominant/submissive (D/s): People who enjoy BDSM activities and relationships that include elements of control and submission beyond the giving or receiving of pain, bondage, etc: A very wide group that incorporates all those who art S/m practitioners or who do not consider they are in, or aspire to M/s. Some D/s people may also consider they have an O&P relationship that is not an M/s relationship.
  • Master(Mistress)/slave (M/s): People in a relationship where one party agrees, consensually, to be the property of the other.


21 thoughts on “The BDSM Surveys”

  1. Hi,
    You mention a multiple partner survey and you share the results but not the data, I think. Do you have plans to share those data? I know I can pull information from the symbology survey but I thought I would ask because I am interested in those data, as well.

    I work at a data archive and I like play around with data in my spare time. Also, if you need any data management help contact me via email. I would be happy and honored to help.

    Thank you for sharing your data.

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