OPINION: The BDSM Test can be a helpful tool for college students, and not just those in relationships

Via UnSplash.

Sex is a huge part of the human experience, so much so that we devoted a full 16 pages to the topic while still not covering everything. Given this, it seems reasonable that we should make the most of it, right? 

Enter the BDSM Test from bdsmtest.org. This whole website is devoted to “test[ing] the kink out of you!” The questions are daunting, and nothing is off limits. While initially taking the test can be a bit uncomfortable for some, it can actually provide valuable insight into one’s turn ons, boundaries and more. And no, it’s not just for those looking to explore everything. 

According to the website, BDSM is a multi-versatile acronym that puts together some common kinks: Bondage and discipline, dominance and submission and sadism and masochism. If these are new terms for you, don’t worry — the site does an awesome job breaking them down in an understandable manner. If they sound daunting, that’s OK, you might not be into those things. Or you might take the test and be a little surprised by your results. 

First and foremost, like discussed earlier in this special edition, kinks are — and should be — limited to consensual activity with other adults and require before-and-after care. Experimentation is welcome and encouraged, but only if done safely. Understanding this, the BDSM tool can be a valuable tool for everybody, whether they are currently sexually active with one or more partners or enjoying their own company. 

The test is set up to provide individual results, with specific scores (in percentages) that represent how much the test-taker is into — or is totally not interested in — each kink. It does not ask about one’s experiences with current partners or past partners, but focuses on what they would like or would not like, making it not exclusive to only people who are actively in sexual relationships. Since the test is quite literally all about you and your desires, it is the perfect way to explore oneself for the sole purpose of pleasing oneself. Once one familiarizes themselves with the meaning assigned to different kinks, they can reflect back on the questions asked on the test to see how they factored into their results. For example, one kink that may pop up in one’s results is “daddy/mommy.” One may think, “Oh my gosh, this means I’m into young children.” Actually, when considering how one answered the questions, it is most likely attributable to wanting to take on a nurturing role in sexual relationships. Knowing this, one can think of new ways to make their partner feel safe and loved during sexual activity, therefore increasing their own pleasure. 

As myself and many of my friends have noticed, our test results often change depending on our partners’ wishes. Taking the test while not engaging sexually with others can really provide a window into your desires without worrying you are marking things because you got accustomed to compromising with somebody else. When choosing sexual partners in the future, you will know if you want to hook up with the self-proclaimed sadist. If not being in control is a huge turn off, maybe you’ll stay away from the prospective partner whose prized possession is their furry pink handcuffs bought at the local sex shop. 

Yet taking the BDSM test while in a committed relationship or while repeatedly visiting the same hook up brings its own long list of benefits. The key to any good sexual experience is mutual understanding. We have all been in situations where our partner(s) does or says something and it just ruins the whole mood, sometimes past the point of recovery. Knowing what you like and what your partner(s) like greatly decreases the chances of these awkward encounters happening. The BDSM test is a good starting point to learn how to describe what you want or don’t want. 

Of course, all sexual activity — kinky or not — requires consent, and we must remember consent can be taken away at any time, so just handing over your test scores to your partner(s) does not constitute consent to sexual activity. You still need to communicate, and for some people, being upfront about their desires is hard. Not only does the test help you identify what you like and don’t like, it is also a great way to let others in on that internal conversation. It opens the door to discussing how to safely try out new things (if all parties agree and understand they can withdraw consent at any time). And if your partner(s) judges you for what you’re into? Well, I guess the test helped you dodge a bullet there. 

Many of us were socialized to not talk about sexual activity from a young age, so of course it’s no wonder many struggle with bringing up the topic. The BDSM test provides a way to talk about sex in a more lighthearted way, breaking away from the all-too-familiar stigmatizing rhetoric we were taught in sex ed. My first exposure to the BDSM test was through friends, and honestly, I do think it helped create a more of an open atmosphere in that group. I would even go so far as to say the BDSM Test is part of the college experience. 

The first step to enhancing your pleasure, and that of others, is to know what you’re into, and isn’t that the hallmark of good sex of any kind? It’s time for you to take the test.

Disclaimer: Certain questions on the BDSM test referenced in this opinion ask about donating money / becoming part of a BDSM community. I have no knowledge — or affiliation — with this organization and am not by any means making claims of its refutability. There is also an option to make an “account.” I have not made an account, and so I am making no claims about how the website operates within membership. There is an option to take a free, detailed test without an account. 

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