A new study on the biology of bdsm.

Between pleasure and pain: a pilot study on the biological mechanisms associated with BDSM interactions in dominants and submissives.

(I found this study very interesting. It backs up what my subs and I have experienced while engaging in SM and Power Exchange. I do wonder if a dominant sadist would have different results than a dom who is not a sadist? Either way, BDSM feels good when it’s done right.)

This study resulted from a collaboration between the University of Antwerp and Club 78, a Belgium based BDSM club. Their research team has just finished the first biological BDSM research project worldwide, in which we investigated how BDSM interactions affect blood-based biomarkers for stress (cortisol), pleasure (beta-endorphin, endocannabinoids AEA and 2-AG), sexuality (estrogen, testosterone) and attachment (oxytocin) in Dominants and submissives.

The aim of the study was to shed light upon the rewarding biological mechanisms associated with BDSM interactions. To do so, Dominant and submissive counterparts of 35 BDSM couples were recruited through Fetlife, and by word-of-mouth within the Belgian BDSM community. In order to control for social evening interaction effects, non-BDSM interested controls (n=27) were recruited at the bar of a local sports club and by word-of-mouth. We compared the evolution of the stress and reward hormone levels of cortisol, beta-endorphins and endocannabinoids (2AG and AEA) in a group of BDSM practitioners before and after an active BDSM interaction with the levels in control individuals. Results We showed that submissives showed increases in cortisol levels due to BDSM interactions. Endocannabinoid levels in submissives increased during the play compared to the control group, but no such increase was observed in dominants. However, when taking play type into account, dominants showed a significant increase in endocannabinoids associated with power play but not with pain play. 
Even though this is one of the first studies of its kind, we can conclude that there is a clear indication for increased pleasure in submissives when looking at biological effects of a BDSM interaction, which was related to the increases in experienced stress.

Link to full paper. (Click on the blue button ‘View Full-Text’ below the page for the full paper) :

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338384960_Between_pleasure_and_pain_a_pilot_study_on_the_biological_mechanisms_associated_with_BDSM_interactions_in_dominants_and_submissives