BDSM; four simple letters with a truly eminent stigma attached to them. The connotation does not come from its innocuous uses – such as the Burrenton District Sailing Manifold - but the acronym for 'bondage & domination,' and 'sadism and masochism.' Yes, this refers to more than just chaining a stranger to a wall and flogging them with a cat-o'-nine-tails – it is an all-encompassing spectrum of often-erotic activities. Tying up your partner during intercourse, erotically roleplaying, even, to a degree, teasing each other are all elements of BDSM – but the one omnipresent and critical element is the concept of partners taking on complementary but unequal roles. BDSM is more than seeing a woman carry around a 'man-slave' on Law & Order – it is a widespread sub-culture and lifestyle. BDSM is much less 'deviant' than one would assume; in fact, many participate in BDSM activities without ever knowing it.
One person (the "submissive") agr