Way More People Are Into Bondage Than You Might Think

Photo: Peter Dazeley/Getty Images.
If Fifty Shades of Grey's popularity weren't proof enough that a whole lot of people are curious about BDSM, some newly released data from OKCupid should be. Among 600,000 users surveyed, 64% of men and 51% of women would like to tie someone up, be tied up, or do both, despite 85% of voters in a Twitter poll guessing that less than half would be into bondage. When the dating site asked about rough sex, the numbers were even higher: 75% of men and 62% of women were fans.
While whips, chains, and gags have been around for a while, they've enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years. Today, 23% more OKCupid users enjoy BDSM than in 2013, and interest spiked on Valentine's Day, which the company points out was also around the time Fifty Shades Darker came out.
Advertisement
Things got really interesting, though, when OKCupid looked at who was turned on by power play. On the surface, it seemed like men were kinkier than women. But once the team dug deeper, they found that the difference depended largely on two less obvious factors: politics and religion.
Among liberals, 65% of men and 57% of women liked bondage. Among conservatives, there was a bigger gap: 60% of men vs. 43% of women. Similarly, for those who said religion was important to them, 57% of men and 44% of women were into bondage, compared to 68% of men and 60% of women who didn't consider religion a big deal.
Another interesting tidbit: Men and women differed as to which BDSM acts they liked, with women more interested in being tied up and men more into "hearing derogatory terms." And we're not just talking about your typical dirty talk. One user's preference? "Hit me and tell me how little I’ve accomplished compared to my brother," they said.
While there are a ton of problematic things about Fifty Shades, maybe one good thing it's done is let people with different sexual preferences know they're normal — and that they're definitely not alone.
Advertisement