68% of women have had a non-consensual experience trying BDSM

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68% of women had a non-consensual BDSM experienceAlpgiray Kelem - Getty Images

A new piece of research has revealed that a staggeringly high number of women have had a non-consensual sexual experience while experimenting with a partner.

The research, carried out by KinkD – a dating app for BDSM and kink enthusiasts, showed that 68% of female respondents claimed to have had a non-consensual kinky experience with people they’d met online who claimed to be into BDSM.

Of more than 3,000 women who use online dating apps, more than half said they had experienced a violent or degrading act that hadn’t been agreed upon with prior consent.

As BDSM grows in popularity thanks to kinky dating apps, sex clubs and movies like Fifty Shades hitting the mainstream, knowing how to practice kink safely is more important than ever. According to Bedbible, ownership of BDSM equipment, such as ropes and whips, has increased, with 23% having used some form in 2023 compared to only 14% in 2017. So, if you’re planning to allow someone to tie you up because it turns you on, it’s vital that you feel safe.

Kink, arguably, is not something that should be practiced with a stranger as it requires a level of trust and a clear understanding of your partner’s interests, intentions and boundaries. However, the internet is a great place to connect with likeminded people who might be into the same stuff as you or have the same sexual fantasies, and that’s why kinky dating apps work so well.

"In the diverse landscape of alternative relationship dating, these statistics underscore the importance of constant evolution and vigilant safety measures.” says John Martinuk, the founder of KinkD. “Our commitment isn't just to connect individuals with shared interests but to ensure that their interactions remain consensual and secure."

The kink community is serious about safety, but if you’re new to it, how are you supposed to know who is a safe person to hook up with and who isn’t, and whether someone is being honest about their level of experience?

close up portrait of beautiful and sensual young woman lying on bed beautiful shadows and sunlight cover her face

If you’re looking to broaden your horizons and you’re curious about BDSM or trying new kinks or rough sex, there are several things you need to bear in mind before you dive in. This checklist isn’t just about personal responsibility, it’s about ensuring your partner knows the importance of personal respect, safety and boundaries, and the consequences of ignoring these things too.

Always have a conversation with your partner before a “scene”, especially if you’re meeting them for the first time. Discuss what you would like to happen, step by step and that any deviations from the plan that haven’t been discussed will require consent before they happen.

Agree a safeword and agree that you’ll use the traffic light system during the session. If something traumatic is happening to you, a common response is to freeze, which makes using your words a challenge. So make sure your partner knows your hand signals too.

It’s also important to state before anything happens that you expect the other person to respect you and your boundaries, and if they don’t or if they intend to hurt you, that person will be responsible. Ask them if they’re aware of the laws around consent and if they’re happy to proceed.

68% is a shocking number and with BDSM and kink on the rise in the bedroom – and why not, it can be very fun when practiced properly – it’s up to everyone taking part to have a conversation about consent before, during and after sex.

If you've been impacted by the information in this article or think you've been the victim of sexual assault or rape, you can contact the 24/7 Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Line 24 hours a day on 0808 500 2222 or visit the website to start a free online chat.

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