A new study from the Netherlands suggests that being into BDSM can be beneficial to mental health:
“Our findings suggests that BDSM participants as a group are, compared with non-BDSM participants, less neurotic, more extraverted, more open to new experiences, more conscientious, yet less agreeable,” the researchers write. They add that females in the BDSM group had “more confidence in their relationships” and “a lower need for approval” than those in the mainstream sample.
Why might this be? [psychologist Andreas] Wismeijer notes that “BDSM play requires the explicit consent of the players regarding the type of actions to be performed, their duration and intensity, and therefore involves careful scrutiny and communication of one’s own sexual desires and needs.” In other words, it requires thought, awareness, and communication—all of which lead to happier relationships, both in and outside of the bedroom.