BDSM has two specific roles. There is the dominant, or top, of the relationship. Then there is the submissive, or bottom. While the majority of relationships involved in BDSM contain these two specific parties, there is a third that is gaining momentum. The switch.
A switch is simply what it sounds like. A person who switches roles from dominant to submissive and vice versa. In other words, the switch is a person that does and enjoys it all. While there is a lot of controversy among the community about the validity of a switch, many people proudly claim the title.
Not everyone is a bondage switch and not everyone prefers to see things from both sides at any given moment. Many Doms or Mistresses prefer to remain doms as that is inherently their nature. The same is true for sexual submissives. But occasionally, even the most stoic dom will do a switch and play the other role for an evening. As will the sub. But, why? What would be the point in someone that is secure in their role switching?
- One of the top benefits that anyone gains from switching roles is the pleasure that is found in the other role. In many cases a dom or sub may have specific parts of the opposite role that they are interested in or enjoy. A big one that seems to cause switch nights is the idea of sadism and masochism. These terms refer to the infliction and receipt of mutually agreed upon pain as an erotic element to the role playing. Dominants are typically the ones that will inflict the pain (sadism). However, sometimes they would like the opportunity to experience the other side. Sometimes the Master or Mistress is actually both a sadist and a masochist. They want to experience the giving and receiving. While sadism and masochism isn't always the reason, generally speaking a person will switch simply because they enjoy the benefits of the other role.
- Knowledge is also a benefit that many will gain from switching roles from time to time. Sometimes a person has spent their entire life in their respective role. And while that is their preferred way, they would like to gain a little more information into the other role and how it works. Doms are typically dominant their entire lives. They are not aware of what it feels like to be a sub. For that reason, they have chosen to switch so that they can experience life as a sub temporarily to gain a better understanding of the way it works.
- Sometimes the party just wants to put the other person in a different role. A good example would be that a Master or Mistress utilizes the bondage switch as part of the role playing with his sub. Since a sub typically doesn't understand the role of a dominant, watching her try and enact it may simply be part of his own sexual satisfaction.
People choose to bondage switch for a variety of reasons. For some it is a regular habit. Some do it once and never quite switch back. Most, however, rarely if ever switch. Those people tend to do it simply because of the benefit that they gain from doing so. It doesn't mean that they are switching sides or that they feel any different about their own role. It simply means that for once, or once in a while, they want to experience life from the other side of the coin.