People Who Engage in Kinky Sex are Psychologically Healthier, Study Suggests

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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If you tend to be more reserved in the bedroom, you may want to reconsider pulling out the whips and handcuffs.

A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine finds people who engage in kinkier sex are psychologically healthier than those who practice a more traditional love life.

Led by psychologist Dr. Andreas Wismeijer at Tilburg University, the study involved 1,336 participants taking a variety of psychological tests on happiness levels, personality type, attachment style and how they handle conflict and rejection.

From the group, roughly two-thirds self-identified as engaging in some form of bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM).

The study found those who practice some BDSM were more open to new experiences and were more conscientious and outgoing. Those engaging in BDSM were also found to be less neurotic and less sensitive to rejection.

“Those engaging in BDSM were found to be

less neurotic and less sensitive to rejection.”

Conversely, those engaging in strictly “vanilla” sex reported lower levels of happiness and felt less secure in their relationship.

A person’s choice over whether to dominate or be dominated themselves also proved to be an indicator of their personality types. The more submissive types were found to be less balanced compared to dominant respondents.

While dominant respondents were found to have greater mental health compared to submissive types, both marked higher overall scores than those who didn’t participate in BDSM.

“Within the BDSM community, [submissives] were always perceived as the most vulnerable, but still there was not one finding in which the submissives scored less favorably than the controls,” Wismeijer said.

Wismeijer concluded those engaging in BDSM “either did not differ from the general population and if they differed, they always differed in the more favorable direction.”

From: Tilburg University.

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