The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a survey of Australian sex habits has revealed that bondage and discipline make actually make men happier.
The new sex study found that two per cent of Australian men and 1.4 per cent of women confess to enjoying BDSM-related sexual activities over the past year, however researchers believe that more are engaging but unwilling to accept the BDSM label. The results of this 20,000 person-strong phone survey give the first snapshot of Australians involved in bondage behaviour.
Lead researcher Dr Richters found that BDSM was most popular among among gay, lesbian and bisexual people and heterosexuals who are "bi-interested".People who engaged in the habit were more likely to be sexually adventurous in other ways, like trying anal sex and phone sex, looking at internet pornography or using sex toys.
Dr Richters said: "These are people for whom sex is a hobby."
They were no more likely to have suffered sexual difficulties, sexual abuse or coercion or anxiety than other Australians, in fact, Dr Richters revealed that men into BDSM scored significantly better on a scale of psychological wellbeing than other men.
"This seems to imply that these men are actually happier as a result of their behaviour, though we're not sure why. It might just be that they're more in harmony with themselves because they're into something unusual and are comfortable with that."
She added: "There's a lot to be said for accepting who you are."
Researchers said the study helps break down the reigning stereotype that people into bondage and discipline were damaged as children and were therefore "dysfunctional".
The lead researcher said: "We really found that BDSM is simply a sexual interest or subculture attractive to a minority, not a pathological symptom of past abuse or difficulty with 'normal' sex."
Dr Richters concludes:"They've just got a broader and more unusual sexual repertoire than most."