As a self identified kitten and submissive who does have an anxious avoidance attachment style, I found this quite educational. As with any research, please take this with a grain of salt and apply it to yourself as is relevant, but still, I wanted to share this with you!
Reposted with permission from guest blogger: Research_CAPRI, See original post here!
A new scientific paper was published by our group on the relationship between BDSM interest on one hand and experienced trauma and attachment style on the other.
It has been speculated that a substantial percentage of BDSM practitioners have experienced (sexual) trauma in the past. Attachment style is an additional factor resulting from early life dynamics that has been suggested to potentially influence BDSM interests. This study will investigate to what extent BDSM interests are related to trauma and attachment style, while differentiating between BDSM community practitioners and private practitioners.
Methods: A group of 771 BDSM-practitioners and 518 non-practitioners from the general population completed a survey in 2017 assessing BDSM interests as well as the Brief Trauma Questionnaire to gauge traumatic events and the Relationships Questionnaire to assess attachment style.
Results: Community BDSM-practitioners and private practitioners reported higher levels of physical abuse in adulthood but no significant differences emerged for other traumatic experiences including childhood physical abuse or unwanted sexual trauma. Surprisingly, BDSM-practitioners had more secure and at the same time more anxious-preoccupied attachment styles compared to non-practitioners. Besides, secure attachment style was associated with dominance, whereas the anxious-avoidant attachment style was associated with submissiveness. Intensity of BDSM interest was predicted by secure attachment style, gender, sexual orientation and living area.
Conclusion: Thus, our findings do not support the hypothesis of BDSM being a maladaptive coping mechanism in response to early life dynamics.