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Hey, the better question is “Why isn’t every couple into BDSM already?”

Seriously, we have to bring the Internet up for this one. The glorious WWW is at its best when it’s bringing you news of arcane and exotic sexual practices you never imagined were possible, along with the inevitable joy of discovery when you find one you DID imagine and languished in silence because you thought you were a depraved weirdo for thinking about it. Thanks to the Internet, more people every year discover that their weird little fetish has a name, other people who like that same turn-on, and a whole community devoted to it. ABDL, furries, spankos, exhibitionists, it’s all right there.

Most bloggers right now, if you ask them why BDSM is seeing popularity, will point to the latest fictional media on that topic. Recently that’s Fifty Shades of Gray, a work which will make any actual BDSM practitioner gag on contact. Before that, it was the greatest movie ever made about BDSM relationships, 2002’s Secretary. But before that, it was The Story of O, or 9½ Weeks, or any number of a long series of kink-themed fiction and fact going back through The Velvet Underground to the original writings of Victorian-era perverts.

Here’s the news: There’s almost no such thing as a Vanilla person – that is, somebody with no kinks. Anything you enjoy sexually that is not part of strict missionary-position procreation counts as a kink. Oral, anal, liking big boobs, having a thing for gals in glasses or sexy feet, schoolgirl / principle roleplay, choking, being tied up, or licking whipped cream off your partner is defined as a kink.

BDSM is simply the formalization of kinks into a system of mutual recognition, but then it takes that kink out of the bedroom to cater to people who want their whole relationship defined a certain way. BDSM is really the new normal for the 21st-century relationship, so much so that being an asexual normie who wants nothing but pure Vanilla to be seen as simply another Lifestyle choice.

Our modern geeky age has something to do with it as well. Geeks, as the 21st century has ruled, are now the hottest sexiest things on the planet, and BDSM is just an advanced way of managing a relationship. Instead of fumbling along with “whatever,” BDSM says you communicate with your partner first, negotiate, and set the rules and boundaries with everybody’s full consent. That’s really all it means anymore. It’s not always a leather-clad gimp in chains getting whipped, but that is on the menu.

It’s not in the closet anymore, it’s not a fringe or sub-culture anymore. It’s the default way people pair off in modern times. Hopefully, we can eventually quit tarnishing it with ugly acronyms and just go back to calling it “well-maintained relationships,” but the Internet likes to make everything weird and quirky.