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Gay BDSM

Why Gay BDSM Is On The Rise In America

It’s a scary time for America right now. No one is really sure what’s going to happen next. The twists and turns of American’s political and economic system feels to some people like something out of badly-written cartoon. The country is more divided than ever, despite the majority of citizens being outspoken towards a longing of cultural togetherness.

Nowhere is this divide more evident than the public attitude towards homosexuality. What’s most disheartening about this fact is that, even in a time of extreme uncertainty, many Americans are spending their time worrying about which hole other people like to put their genitals into.

Although, while some people are still set in the age-old ways of believing gays and lesbians are immoral, public attitudes towards homosexuality on a whole is showing greater acceptance. The increase of support across America for same-sex marriage over the last twenty years is quite significant. Studies have shown that it is largely the younger demographic (under 30) who are outspoken of their undying support of acceptance for all, while it’s the older folk who are a little more hesitant.

This change of acceptance towards homosexuality, despite it sky-rocketing in recent times, began around mid-1980s. It was around this same time that BDSM culture was also becoming an underground phenomenon. Thegay leather subculture, by this point, was already established but was gaining more momentum by attracting the attention of the lesbian community. The leather community ended up becoming one of the strongest communities within BDSM culture and influenced the devlopment of the wider kink community heavily. By the early 1990s, the BDSM world was established as a prominent outlet for kink. This would give people, especially those in the BDSM community, the confidence to be outspoken of their sexual orientations to the rest of the world.

Cut to the modern day, and right now seven percent of millenials (those under the age of around 25) identify as gay, lesbian or transgender. Additionally, the predicted number of the population who engage in BDSM activity is around 20%. This figure might not be entirely accurate, as it incorporates those who only occasionally dabbled in light kink (blindfolds, handcuffs), but also includes those with a preference for the extreme.

When coupled with the statistics of those who enjoy engaging in BDSM activities there is a clear overlap. This means that as of the time of writing, 1.4% of Americans are same-sex BDSM enthusiasts. The most significant comparison we have to these figures is a study from 1976 which reported only 12% of the population regularly engaged in variations of BDSM kink.

As with homosexuality, there is a ‘coming out’ associated with BDSM affiliation. People whose desire for kinky sex is such a part of who they are that they feel they cannot hide it from the rest of the world. A study in the Journal of Sex Research which analysed data over a twenty year period (up to 2010) found some interesting results. It states that “the percentage of people reporting a pattern of predominantly same-gender sexual behavior has neither increased nor decreased over time”, despite reports of same-sex sexual activity fluctuating over time. People feel more accepted in the BDSM and Leather community; who would have thought leather clad men armed with whips would be considered the nice guys!?

What this means is that homosexuality has been a constant for twenty years, it’s just that less people were confident enough to talk about it until now. It further suggests that people’s willingness to be open regarding their sexual preferences; whether they be same-sex inclinations or a penchant for being spanked, is not some modern trend brought on by today’s virtual existence. This notion is further supported by findings by Public Religion Research Institute from 2015 who state that “82 percent of millennials say their understanding of their own sexual orientation has not changed since they were young adolescents.”

While a handful of cases could possibly be attributed to the attention-seeking behaviour of people who feel they are going unnoticed, this doesn’t account for the older demographic who have reported homosexual tendencies since childhood.

It can be considered, then, that a perfect storm is brewing for those kinky-minded individuals who prefer same-sex naughtiness. The popularity of BDSM is has rapidly increased due to a recent literature phenomenon. So when you might tell people of your desires, less and less people are responding with “that’s weird” and more people are responding with “oh, cool!”

Additionally, more people are becoming comfortable enough to let their true sexual orientations known to the world without fear of backlash from society. Together, both of these cultural movements are making the world a safer place for gay BDSM kinksters to come out of the woodwork.

This also begs the question as to, if it’s taken this long for social acceptance to reach the level it’s at now, what possibilities could the next few decades bring? There’s really no way of being able to predict the limits because both BDSM and homosexuality awareness has grown both steadily and rapidly at different points throughout the years.

It’s also important to note that only around 20% of the gay community report that social acceptance is at a level where the majority of them feel comfortable enough to come out. So if acceptance continues to rise, it is likely that self-reporting homosexuality will also. In addition, more acceptance regarding sexual orientation could also by a catalyst to further acceptance in other areas of sexual exploration; such as more openness to discussing kinks and outlets

So, while millennials might get a bad rep in some areas of life; without their eagerness of universal acceptance, America could be in an even worse situation regarding its close-mindedness. So this time, I think we owe them a thank you.