Trigger warning: This article has a heavy focus on topics of sexuality, especially that of a shocking and even violent nature. Images may be disturbing, shocking and specific. If this sort of content has the potential to be triggering to you, please turn back from this page and go to a different page. Thank you! Viewer discretion is strongly advised.
This article should focus on the aesthetics associated with BDSM. For more information on the community and practices, please see the Wikipedia article.
BDSM (standing for Bondage, Dominance, Submission/Sadism, and Masochism) is a group of non-typical sexual practices that led to the development of a community. This community then developed a shared aesthetic due to the connotations of their practice and the aesthetic history of notable figures. However, BDSM encompasses multiple kinks and fetishes, with preferences (and aesthetics) depending on person to person. Multiple visuals and dynamics would not apply to everyone in the community, but all visuals and dynamics would be recognized as belonging to the subculture.
The visuals in the BDSM community are reinforced through different fetish gear sold through vendors, pornography, written erotica and its book covers, social interaction in parties and gatherings, scene ideas, and even graphic design for events and websites.
Black is the most popular color in the community due to its connotations with maturity, secrecy, and sexuality. Different materials, such as leather, latex, and PVC, are often used in BDSM imagery because of its ability to emphasize the body's shape. Its exclusivity to the community and explicitly fetishistic connotations also imply the connection.