Break out the riding crop and hog tie your unsuspecting partner to something, because according to the Huffington Post, a new study has found that kinkier people have better psychological health. The study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that people who were into BDSM scored better on certain indicators of mental health than people who engaged in "vanilla sex". Cough, missionary.
Leather-clad, whip bearing dominants and bound submissives were less neurotic, more open, more aware of and sensitive to rejection, more secure in their relationships, and have better overall well-being. Andreas Wismeijer, a psychologist at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands and the lead author on the study, told LiveScience why he thinks this may be.
“People involved in the BDSM community may have scored better on these surveys because they tend to be more aware of and communicative about their sexual desires, or because they have done some "hard psychological work" to accept and live with sexual needs that are beyond the scope of what is often considered socially acceptable to discuss in the mainstream.”
Another hypothesis (ours)? Stress-relief. It's beyond well-known that sex relieves stress, but if you're not getting the kind of sex you crave, then it's possible your stress may bite you in the ass, and not in an S&M way.
This new research certainly has us tying each other to the bed posts, but it's also helping to (we can't believe we're even saying this) de-medicalize BDSM. Currently, the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), lists BDSM fetishes as a "paraphilia," or abnormal sexual preference. Maybe now, instead of handing you some Prozac, you'll doctor will just give you 20 very firm spanks on the bottom every time your mental health goes south, because you've been such a bad little girl/boy.
On that note, watch this delightfully awkward conversation about how BDSM is good for your mind.