Eradicating the stigma around BDSM, kink, and alternative relationships – that’s at the core of our mission at boldpleasures. For that, we need more scientific BDSM research illuminating the world of ‘darker desires’. We need more data and different perspectives to better understand kink in general – and ourselves in particular. 

So I was thrilled to hear about a new kink-focused research project and Personal Erotic Myth (PEM) survey, designed to help individuals as well as psychology professionals, better understand kink sexuality. And the best part: we can all anonymously take part!

Last week I was lucky enough to speak with the PEM survey developer Galen Fous directly to discover more about the survey and how it can help the kink community.

Galen is a very influential kink-positive therapist, author, and sex-educator based in Portland, Oregon. His independent sexual fetish research has spanned more than eighteen years. He specializes in working with clients who seek an understanding and acceptance of their kinky fetishes, sexual identities, and orientation.

“Clients were coming to me trying to understand this mild to extremely kinky part of themselves, that had been with them, often for decades. Their sexual longings however, seemed at odds with their everyday social and moral persona.”

“More significantly, their sexual desires were often at odds with the judgements of others in their life, from their spouse, family, or religious or moral views. This fear of others judgement or discovery had generally kept my client’s desire hidden beneath a pervasive fear and shame. Nonetheless, many had chosen to act out or pursue their desires in secretive, risky or unhealthy ways, often with disastrous consequences. On the whole, my clients were just wanting to be who they were sexually, be honest about it, and resolve the shame fear and judgement that held them back.”

It was refreshingly insightful to speak with someone on the other side of the world who shares my passion for ditching the shame around kink. The PEM survey called “Discover your Personal Erotic Myth” gives everyone within the kink community the opportunity to share their voice to help lift the stigma.

Our participation in this independent study could lead to scientific research backing, which is what the kink world is constantly fighting for to help us lift the stigma. As a kinkster myself I feel like I have a personal responsibility to contribute and share with this unique opportunity with you.

The online survey is completely anonymous for participants, and no personal information is gathered, but what is great is you can opt-in after survey completion to receive the compiled survey responses, a chance to hear what others have said, is a chance to truly feel not alone in our somewhat misunderstood community.

Over 3,000 people worldwide have so far completed the PEM survey but the goal is to reach 10,000 over the next 6 months.

Galen believes that “Understanding your Personal Erotic Myth and learning how to communicate honestly about your kinks, can open you to profound sexual ecstasies, deepen intimacy in your relationships, and help you avoid disastrous erotic mismatches in long-term relationships.” Yet,

61% of kinksters struggle with honesty and openness about their desires, to their partners, families, and community.

Research like Galen’s is fundamental in removing the social stigma attached to kink. It’s part of the movement to ditch the shame and empower everybody to be their true self. As kinksters, this survey is a chance to stand up, be counted and have our voices heard.

If you’re ready to have your voice heard, then click away here

Sonja is a co-founder of boldpleasures. She's on a mission to free people to revel in their true sensuality by removing the stigma surrounding kink. Sonja writes about first steps, ditching the shame and how to combine kink and 'normal' family life. She's a mother of two and happily married.

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