Sex
Charlotte Hannah
May 31, 2013

BDSM Fans May Have Better Mental Health Than Vanilla Folks


Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Kinksters, rejoice! Despite the fact that much of society still views your sexual proclivities as weird and wrong, it turns out you may actually be mentally healthier than them. (Unless you read 50 Shades of Grey, in which case there’s no hope for you.)

A new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that BDSM aficionados tended to be mentally healthier than the general population.

The study looked at 902 people recruited from a BDSM web forum and 434 vanilla (non-BDSM) people. Participants were asked to fill out questionnaires they were told were part of a study on human behavior. They answered questions about their relationships, personalities and overall mental wellness.

When the results were tallied, it turned out the BDSM fans self-reported being less afraid of rejection, more likely to feel secure in their relationships, more adventurous, less neurotic and having a better overall sense of well-being. Those who considered themselves dominant had the best self-reported mental health, while submissives had the worst – but even they were still better off than the vanilla population.

“There was not one finding in which the submissives scored less favorable than the controls,” said researcher and psychologist Andreas Wismeijer.

As for why kinky folks seem to be better adjusted, Wismeijer has a few theories. From LiveScience:

They tend to be more aware of their sexual needs and desires than vanilla people, he said, which could translate to less frustration in bed and in relationships. Coming to terms with their unusual sexual predilections and choosing to live the BDSM lifestyle may also take hard psychological work that translates to positive mental health, he said.

So let your freak flag fly, people. It might help you feel better both in and out of the bedroom.